Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Petraeus Redux?

The news that President-elect Donald Trump called in disgraced retired Gen. David Petraeus for a job interview as possible Secretary of State tests whether Trump's experience in hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” honed his skills for spotting an incompetent phony or not. Does Trump need more data than the continuing bedlam...

The Orwellian War on Skepticism

Under the cover of battling “fake news,” the mainstream U.S. news media and officialdom are taking aim at journalistic skepticism when it is directed at the pronouncements of the U.S. government and its allies. One might have hoped that the alarm about “fake news” would remind major U.S. news outlets,...

The CIA and the Press: When the Washington Post Ran the CIA’s Propaganda Network

Last week, the Washington Post published a scurrilous piece by a heretofore obscure technology reporter named Craig Timberg, alleging without the faintest evidence that Russian intelligence was using more than 200 independent news sites to pump out pro-Putin and anti-Clinton propaganda during the election campaign. Under the breathless headline, “Russian propaganda effort...

Egypt’s Unlikely Ardor for Trump: Why Cairo Welcomes His Presidency

More than three weeks after the election, the American public remains divided over Donald Trump's surprise victory. Six thousand miles away, however, one U.S. ally has demonstrated a far more unified response. Egyptians, particularly those of a pro-government bent, are among the world’s happiest people about the Trump win. That...

Obama Is Expanding Trump’s War-Making Powers on His Way Out the Door

From drone strikes to Navy SEALs, the next president will have more lethal options than ever. The scope of war-making authorities and powers available to the Trump administration depends on decisions made by the Obama administration. Two recent news reports shed some troubling light on its approach to the coming...

Obama Expands War With Al Qaeda to Include Shabab in Somalia

WASHINGTON — The escalating American military engagement in Somalia has led the Obama administration to expand the legal scope of the war against Al Qaeda, a move that will strengthen President-elect Donald J. Trump's authority to combat thousands of Islamist fighters in the chaotic Horn of Africa nation. The administration...

Apple in line of fire if trade wars start

Trump's decision to scrap Trans-Pacific Partnership is a lost opportunity for tech. There aren’t many politicians in the US right now who are prepared to shed public tears over abandoned trade deals. So when president-elect Donald Trump declared this week that the US, under his administration, would drop its support for...

The Dark-Money Cabinet

During the Presidential primaries, Donald Trump mocked his Republican rivals as “puppets” for flocking to a secretive fund-raising session sponsored by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire co-owners of the energy conglomerate Koch Industries. Affronted, the Koch brothers, whose political spending has made their name a shorthand for special-interest...

Whither the Iran Deal Under Trump?

How the president-elect might pick apart one of the Obama administration's signature accomplishments. In the aftermath of Donald Trump's upset victory, no foreign policy question looms larger than the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. That central component of President Barack Obama’s legacy was the focus of Trump's contempt on...

New York Times Advocates Internet Censorship

In its lead editorial on Sunday, The New York Times decried what it deemed “The Digital Virus Called Fake News” and called for Internet censorship to counter this alleged problem, taking particular aim at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for letting “liars and con artists hijack his platform.” As this mainstream...

Abe looks to bolster U.S.-Japan alliance at next Trump meeting

NEW YORK – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who became the first foreign national leader to meet face to face with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday, hopes to produce an agreement to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance when they meet next time, according to informed sources. To lay the groundwork for...

Installing a Torture Fan at CIA

President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, an open aficionado of torture practices used in the “war on terror,” to be CIA director shows that Trump was serious when he said he would support “waterboarding and much worse.” Earlier, there had been a sliver of hope that that,...

Like a double dose of Dubya: Donald Trump’s presidency will be like the George...

The Trump White House already resembles a far more extreme version of the disastrous Bush administration. In yet another post-election example of wish fulfillment, there are rumors circulating that president-elect Donald Trump won’t actually stay in office all four years because he won’t want to do the job. After Trump...
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Mark Blyth: Global Trumpism and The Revolt Against The Creditor Class

Mark Blyth is a Scottish political scientist and a professor of international political economy at Brown University. At an event on November 9 at Brown's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, he spoke about "Global Trumpism" -- a worldwide working-class backlash against harmful macroeconomic trends. "What we have everywhere...

Shiite Militias Are Crashing the Mosul Offensive

Pro-Iran militias are looking to settle an old grudge in one of the Islamic State's strongholds in northern Iraq. One of the mysteries about the ongoing offensive in Mosul, where Iraqi security forces are now pressing into the northern, eastern, and southern edges of the city, has been the apparent...

Donald Trump Hopes to Abolish Intelligence Chief Position, Reverse CIA Reforms

Donald Trump's national security team is discussing plans to dismantle the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the organization that was created in response to the 9/11 attacks, according to an adviser to the president-elect and a former senior intelligence official. The news comes as the current director...

Did Shinzo Abe Get What He Came for in Meeting With Trump?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the first foreign leader to meet with President-elect Donald Trump (and with his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner). After the Nov. 8 U.S. election, Abe was quick to call Trump, who has for decades argued that America is losing to Japan on...

Trump’s Fascism Picks Up Where Obama’s Leaves Off

Donald Trump wants to deport three million illegal immigrants, and he’s willing to split up families to do it. Expect resistance: street protests, networks of safe houses, American citizens willing to risk prison to hide undocumented workers. Barack Obama deported two million — more than any other president. Thousands of...

Everyone in Europe Needs to Take a Deep, Calming Breath

We don't yet know how the president-elect will behave in office. Meanwhile, the present state of hysteria could make things worse. “The sky is falling!” exclaimed Chicken Little, in the well-known folk tale, after an acorn fell on the poor fowl’s head, leading to mass hysteria over an imminent apocalypse...

Presidential Elections: Myths and Deceits

Every aspect of this year’s US Presidential election has been fraught with myths, distortions, fabrications, wishful thinking and invented fears. We will proceed to discuss facts and fictions. Electoral Participation The mass media, parties and candidates emphasized the ‘unprecedented voter turnout’ in the elections. In fact, 48% of the eligible voters abstained. In other words,...

What to Do About Fake News

In the wake of Donald Trump's victory, a hot new issue – raised by President Obama in an international setting on Thursday and touted on The New York Times’ front page on Friday – is the problem of “fake news” being disseminated on the Internet. Major Internet companies, such as...

Trump Prepares to Takeover Fed

In Donald Trump's first four years as president, he will not only choose three judges for the Supreme Court, he’ll also pick five of the seven members on the Fed Board of Governors. It would be impossible to overstate the effect this is going to have on the nation’s...

Turkish Client Paid Trump Adviser Michael Flynn’s Company Tens of Thousands of Dollars for...

Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” of Washington corruption. The new ethics pledge he announced Wednesday would prohibit registered lobbyists from working for his transition team or administration. But Trump's supposed aversion to lobbyists has not harmed the fortunes of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, one of Trump’s...

Career Racist Jeff Sessions Is Donald Trump’s Pick For Attorney General

If anyone had doubts that Trump's presidency would return white supremacy to power, Friday’s announcement that the president-elect has tapped Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (named after a Confederate general) to head the Department of Justice should settle the question. There is no other way to describe Jeff Sessions but as...

NATO secretary general projects confidence after call with Trump

The pattern of learning transition news from foreign leaders continues. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke with President-elect Donald Trump on the phone Friday to congratulate him on his election victory and discuss the organization’s “enduring importance,” NATO shared in a readout of the call. Trump and...
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Michael Hudson on the Orwellian Turn in Contemporary Economics

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of Killing the Host (2015), The Bubble and Beyond (2012), Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire...

Saudis, China Dump Treasuries; Foreign Central Banks Liquidate A Record $375 Billion In US...

One month ago, when we last looked at the Fed's update of Treasuries held in custody, we noted something troubling: the number had dropped sharply, declining by over $22 billion in one week, one of the the biggest weekly declines since January 2015, pushing the total amount of custodial...

Bolton calls regime change the only long-term solution in Iran

John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations and a contender to be the next secretary of state, argued Thursday that the United States should support a push for regime change in Iran, calling it the “only long-term solution” to threats the country poses in the Middle East. “The...

Bibi’s Trump Dilemma: Why a Friendlier Washington Is a Mixed Blessing for Israel

On November 9, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated President-elect Donald Trump through a video message, in which the Israeli leader could barely contain his giddiness at the prospect of a friendlier White House. The ruling Israeli right-wing coalition, which sees Trump as a potential champion of Greater Israel, believes...

Germany Can Protect the Liberal Order

As U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Berlin for a farewell visit on Wednesday, German policymakers were scrambling to develop a road map for dealing with the presidency of his successor, Donald Trump. Last week, in a congratulatory note to the president-elect, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gently conditioned Germany's...

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