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Barack Obama’s 2008 Speeches Surface Showing He ‘Plagiarized’ Mass. Governor’s Speech [Video]

Melania Trump, plagiarized. Barack Obama was inspired.

Alex Christoforou

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While the US news cycle has completely turned into a Melania Trump, ‘did she’ or ‘did she not’ plagiarize Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech, PhD debate, it was around the same 2008 time frame, that Michelle’s, then Senator husband, was doing a bit of plagiarizing during his stump speeches…or as White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest so eloquently puts it (and I paraphrase), Obama never plagiarized, he was inspired.’

The liberal media hamster wheels never stop turning. Melania Trump, plagiarized. Barack Obama was inspired.

The subtle differences between plagiarize and inspire was not lost on Fox News’ Hannity, who reminds us of how the then Senator Obama, used former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s words in some of his most memorable speeches.

The mainstream media is up in arms about similarities between passages found in the speech delivered by Melania Trump during Monday’s Republican National Convention and a few lines from the 2008 Democratic Convention speech delivered by Michelle Obama. However, it wasn’t too long ago that the media turned a blind eye when President Barack Obama was busted plagiarizing some of the most memorable lines from his speeches.

In 2008, then-candidate Obama was found to have plagiarized the speeches of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on a number of occasions.

“I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me, I’m asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations,” Patrick said in a speech delivered in June of 2006. Obama repeated the line verbatim in a speech in South Carolina in November of 2007. In addition, Obama’s famous refrain of “just words” in a 2008 speech was lifted directly from a speech Governor Patrick delivered in October of 2006.

When the Clinton campaign cried foul, The New York Times reported:

With the next round of voters set to weigh in on the Democratic presidential race, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign on Monday accused Senator Barack Obama of committing plagiarism in a weekend speech. Mr. Obama dismissed the charge as absurd and desperate.

Mr. Obama told reporters he should have credited Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, a friend, for a passage in a speech he delivered on Saturday in Milwaukee. But Mr. Obama said his rival was “carrying it too far.”

While the Obama campaign might have been dismissive of the charges, the video evidence made it absolutely clear that the then-Illinois Senator did indeed lift passages directly from Governor Patrick.

Take a look for yourself:

Hannity then ends his case by stating…

Perhaps the left should heed the advice that those in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones.

Via: http://m.hannity.com/articles/hanpr-election-493995/flashback-obama-was-busted-plagiarizing-governor-14922331/

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Mike Pompeo lays out his vision for American exceptionalism (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 158.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda take a look at Mike Pompeo’s shocking Brussels speech, where the U.S. Secretary of State took aim at the European Union and United Nations, citing such institutions as outdated and poorly managed, in need of a new dogma that places America at its epicenter.

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Speaking in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unwittingly underscored why nobody takes the United States seriously on the international stage. Via The Council on Foreign Relations


In a disingenuous speech at the German Marshall Fund, Pompeo depicted the transactional and hypernationalist Trump administration as “rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” He did so while launching gratuitous attacks on the European Union, United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—pillars of the existing postwar order the United States did so much to create. He remained silent, naturally, on the body blows that the current administration has delivered to its erstwhile allies and partners, and to the institutions that once upon a time permitted the United States to legitimate rather than squander its international leadership.

In Pompeo’s telling, Donald J. Trump is simply seeking a return to the world that former Secretary of State George Marshall helped to create. In the decades after 1945, the United States “underwrote new institutions” and “entered into treaties to codify Western values of freedom and human rights.” So doing, the United States “won the Cold War” and—thanks to the late President George H. W. Bush, “we won the peace” that followed. “This is the type of leadership that President Trump is boldly reasserting.”

That leadership is needed because the United States “allowed this liberal order to begin to corrode” once the bipolar conflict ended. “Multilateralism has too often become viewed as an end unto itself,” Pompeo explained. “The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are. The more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done.” What is needed is a multilateralism that once again places the nation-state front and center.

Leave aside for the moment that nobody actually believes what Pompeo alleges: that multilateralism should be an end in itself; that paper commitments are credible absent implementation, verification, and enforcement; or that the yardstick of success is how many bureaucrats get hired. What sensible people do believe is that multilateral cooperation is often (though not always) the best way for nations to advance their interests in an interconnected world of complicated problems. Working with others is typically superior to unilateralism, since going it alone leaves the United States with the choice of trying to do everything itself (with uncertain results) or doing nothing. Multilateralism also provides far more bang for the buck than President Trump’s favored approach to diplomacy, bilateralism.

Much of Pompeo’s address was a selective and tendentious critique of international institutions that depicts them as invariably antithetical to national sovereignty. Sure, he conceded, the European Union has “delivered a great deal of prosperity to the continent.” But it has since gone badly off track, as the “political wake-up call” of Brexit showed. All this raised a question in his mind: “Is the EU ensuring that the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of bureaucrats and Brussels?”

The answer, as one listener shouted out, is “Yes!” The secretary, like many U.S. conservative critics of European integration, is unaware that EU member states continue to hold the lion’s share of power in the bloc, which remains more intergovernmental than supranational. Pompeo seems equally unaware of how disastrously Brexit is playing out. With each passing day, the costs of this catastrophic, self-inflicted wound are clearer. In its quest for complete policy autonomy—on ostensible “sovereignty” grounds—the United Kingdom will likely have to accept, as the price for EU market access, an entire body of law and regulations that it will have no say in shaping. So much for advancing British sovereignty.

Pompeo similarly mischaracterizes the World Bank and IMF as having gone badly off track. “Today, these institutions often counsel countries who have mismanaged their economic affairs to impose austerity measures that inhibit growth and crowd out private sector actors.” This is an odd, hybrid critique. It combines a shopworn, leftist criticism from the 1990s—that the international financial institutions (IFIs) punish poor countries with structural adjustment programs—with the conservative accusation that the IFIs are socialist, big-government behemoths. Both are ridiculous caricatures. They ignore how much soul-searching the IFIs have done since the 1990s, as well as how focused they are on nurturing an enabling institutional environment for the private sector in partner countries.

Pompeo also aims his blunderbuss at the United Nations. He complains that the United Nations’ “peacekeeping missions drag on for decades, no closer to peace,” ignoring the indispensable role that blue helmets play in preventing atrocities, as well as a recent Government Accountability Office report documenting how cost-effective such operations are compared to U.S. troops. Similarly, Pompeo claims, “The UN’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations simply as a vehicle to redistribute wealth”—an accusation that is both unsubstantiated and ignores the urgent need to mobilize global climate financing to save the planet.

Bizarrely, Pompeo also turns his sights on the Organization of American States (OAS) and the African Union (AU), for alleged shortcomings. Has the OAS, he asks, done enough “to promote its four pillars of democracy, human rights, security, and economic development?” Um, no. Could that have something to do with the lack of U.S. leadership in the Americas on democracy and human rights? Yes. Might it have helped if the Trump administration had filled the position of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs before October 15 of this year? Probably.

Equally puzzling is Pompeo’s single line riff on the AU. “In Africa, does the African Union advance the mutual interest of its nation-state members?” Presumably the answer is yes, or its members would be headed for the door. The AU continues to struggle in financing its budget, but it has made great strides since its founding in 2002 to better advance security, stability, and good governance on the continent.

“International bodies must help facilitate cooperation that bolsters the security and values of the free world, or they must be reformed or eliminated,” Pompeo declared. Sounds reasonable. But where is this “free world” of which the secretary speaks, and what standing does the United States today have to defend, much less reform it? In the two years since he took office, Donald Trump has never expressed any interest in defending the international order, much less “returning [the United States] to its traditional, central leadership role in the world,” as Pompeo claims. Indeed, the phrase “U.S. leadership” has rarely escaped Trump’s lips, and he has gone out of his way to alienate longstanding Western allies and partners in venues from NATO to the G7.

When he looks at the world, the president cares only about what’s in it for the United States (and, naturally, for him). That cynicism explains the president’s deafening silence on human rights violations and indeed his readiness to cozy up to strongmen and killers from Vladimir Putin to Rodrigo Duterte to Mohammed bin Salman to too many more to list. Given Trump’s authoritarian sympathies and instincts, Pompeo’s warnings about “Orwellian human rights violations” in China and “suppressed opposition voices” in Russia ring hollow.

“The central question that we face,” Pompeo asked in Brussels, “is the question of whether the system as currently configured, as it exists today—does it work? Does it work for all the people of the world?” The answer, of course, is not as well as it should, and not for nearly enough of them. But if the secretary is seeking to identify impediments to a better functioning multilateral system, he can look to his left in his next Cabinet meeting.

“Principled realism” is the label Pompeo has given Trump’s foreign policy. Alas, it betrays few principles and its connection to reality is tenuous. The president has abandoned any pursuit of universal values, and his single-minded obsession to “reassert our sovereignty” (as Pompeo characterizes it) is actually depriving the United States of joining with others to build the prosperous, secure, and sustainable world that Americans want.

“Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” the secretary of state declared in Belgium. “This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat.” How true. Pompeo’s next sentence—“President Trump is determined to reverse that”—was less persuasive.

 

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Macron offers crumbs to protestors in bid to save his globalist agenda (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 36.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at French President Macron’s pathetic display of leadership as he offers protestors little in the way of concessions while at the same time promising to crack down hard on any and all citizens who resort to violence.

Meanwhile France’s economy is set for a deep recession as French output and production grinds to a halt.

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Via Zerohedge


As if Brussels didn’t have its hands full already with Italy and the UK, the European Union will soon be forced to rationalize why one of its favorite core members is allowed to pursue populist measures to blow out its budget deficit to ease domestic unrest while another is threatened with fines potentially amounting to billions of euros.

When blaming Russia failed to quell the widespread anger elicited by his policies, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to appease the increasingly violent “yellow vests” protesters who have sacked his capital city by offering massive tax cuts that could blow the French budget out beyond the 3% budget threshold outlined in the bloc’s fiscal rules.

Given the concessions recently offered by Italy’s populists, Macron’s couldn’t have picked a worse time to challenge the bloc’s fiscal conventions. As Bloomberg pointed out, these rules will almost certainly set the Continent’s second largest economy on a collision course with Brussels. To be clear, Macron’s offered cuts come with a price tag of about €11 billion according to Les Echos, and will leave the country with a budget gap of 3.5% of GDP in 2019, with one government official said the deficit may be higher than 3.6%.

By comparison, Italy’s initial projections put its deficit target at 2.4%, a number which Europe has repeatedly refused to consider.

Macron’s promises of fiscal stimulus – which come on top of his government’s decision to delay the planned gas-tax hikes that helped inspire the protests – were part of a broader ‘mea culpa’ offered by Macron in a speech Monday night, where he also planned to hike France’s minimum wage.

Of course, when Brussels inevitably objects, perhaps Macron could just show them this video of French police tossing a wheelchair-bound protester to the ground.

Already, the Italians are complaining.  Speaking on Tuesday, Italian cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said Italy hasn’t breached the EU deficit limit. “I repeat that from the Italian government there is a reasonable approach, if there is one also from the EU a solution will be found.”

“France has several times breached the 3% deficit. Italy hasn’t done it. They are different situations. There are many indicators to assess.”

Still, as one Guardian columnist pointed out in an op-ed published Tuesday morning, the fact that the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) organizers managed to pressure Macron to cave and grant concessions after just 4 weeks of protests will only embolden them to push for even more radical demands: The collapse of the government of the supremely unpopular Macron.

Then again, with Brussels now facing certain accusations of hypocrisy, the fact that Macron was pressured into the exact same populist measures for which Italy has been slammed, the French fiasco raises the odds that Rome can pass any deficit measure it wants with the EU now forced to quietly look away even as it jawbones all the way from the bank (i.e., the German taxpayers).

“Macron’s spending will encourage Salvini and Di Maio,” said Giovanni Orsina, head of the School of Government at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University. “Macron was supposed to be the spearhead of pro-European forces, if he himself is forced to challenge EU rules, Salvini and Di Maio will jump on that to push their contention that those rules are wrong.”

While we look forward to how Brussels will square this circle, markets are less excited.

Exhausted from lurching from one extreme to another following conflicting headlines, traders are already asking if “France is the new Italy.” The reason: the French OAT curve has bear steepened this morning with 10Y yields rising as much as ~6bp, with the Bund/OAT spread reaching the widest since May 2017 and the French presidential election. Though well below the peaks of last year, further widening would push the gap into levels reserved for heightened political risk.

As Bloomberg macro analyst Michael Read notes this morning, it’s hard to see a specific near-term trigger blowing out the Bund/OAT spread but the trend looks likely to slowly drift higher.

While Macron has to fight on both domestic and European fronts, he’ll need to keep peace at home to stay on top. Remember that we saw the 10Y spread widen to ~80bps around the May ’17 elections as concerns of a move toward the political fringe played out in the markets, and the French President’s popularity ratings already look far from rosy.

And just like that France may have solved the Italian crisis.

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Theresa May steers UK towards hardest BREXIT or nullification of referendum (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 35.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the tragedy that has fallen up May’s disastrous Brexit deal. The UK Prime Minister has now delayed a critical Brexit vote well past the new year, as she runs to Brussels to seek “assurances” from EU oligarchs.

Meanwhile in a stunning decision that is sure to be leveraged by multiple EU member states, the European Court of Justice has ruled that Britain is free to revoke Brexit unilaterally.

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As Zerohedge reports, ‘Meanwhile In Brexit… Total Chaos’:


It has been a furiously chaotic day for Brexit developments, which considering the “organized” nature of the process to date, is saying something.

Just a few hours after the embattled U.K. prime minister announced to the House of Commons she would “unexpectedly” delay the critical Brexit vote – facing certain and humiliating defeat – and return to Brussels to seek “assurances” from European Union leaders, the fate of any upcoming votes to ratify the deal is now in limbo.

As ITV’s Richard Peston reported, “it appears that UK PM May could keep the current talks with EU going well past January 21st “perhaps right up to Brexit day 29 March, and avoid any parliamentary Brexit vote,” effectively eliminating a popular vote of disapproval for her process.

That, as Bloomberg notes, raises the prospect that May will be back in Parliament in January with virtually the same deal, relying on tanking markets, a crashing pound and frightening no-deal preparations – including even more doomsday rhetoric from the Bank of England – to convince lawmakers to back her. Sadly for May, the parliamentary arithmetic won’t have changed, as only an election can do that. And an election is out of the question as May will almost certainly lose her job, potentially resetting the Brexit process back to square one (or perhaps minus one).

Meanwhile, with the Brexit vote in parliament indefinitely postponed, the UK Parliament will debate the vote delay for three hours on Tuesday according to House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, assuring even more drama and chaos.

The debate was demanded by opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said May has shown “disregard for Parliament and the rights of this house” by making a “unilateral” decision to delay vote on her Brexit deal. While the debate won’t be binding on May’s government, contributions “will reflect anger” at May avoiding what was predicted to be a heavy defeat of her deal in House of Commons, according to Bloomberg.

Even so, Corbyn won’t table a “no confidence” motion against Theresa May’s government until there’s been a formal vote on the withdrawal agreement, effectively trapping May in a no way out situation.

And while the domestic chaos hit previously unseen levels, in Brussels European Council President Donald Tusk called a leaders’ meeting on Brexit for Thursday, but made it clear that the EU “will not renegotiate the deal” even as he tweeted that “we are ready to discuss how to facilitate ratification.”

Amusingly, it’s not just Europe that refuses to renegotiate the deal: Irish PM Leo Varadkar was also on the tape re-iterating that the deal cannot be renegotiated.

All this is happening as May’s critics hate the agreement she negotiated because, as BBG notes, they think she’s allowing the U.K. to be trapped in the EU’s orbit indefinitely – a situation they consider even worse than current membership.

To that end, the Daily Mail’s tweeted that Brexiteers claim to have heard of “a couple more” letters of no confidence in Theresa May going in tonight, which means that should the total surpass 48, May’s cabinet may fall even before a vote in Parliament is held… if one is held to begin with.

If that wasn’t enough, juggling a seemingly infinite number of variables, May said the government will step up preparations in case Britain does crash out of the bloc on March 29, which is less than 4 months from now. She once again brought up the threat of no-deal – the worse-case scenario for business – as a weapon to try and bring rebellious Conservatives on both sides of the Brexit debate into line.

To be sure, as the Brexit chaos hits previously unimaginable levels, traders no longer are able to follow every twist and turn in this melodramatic tragicomedy, and appears to be resigned to just sell the pound as it now appears that the only thing that can get the pound to surge – i.e., get a Brexit deal – is if the pound first crash. It did so today, with sterling hit the lowest since April as the market either judged that the risk of no-deal Brexit has increased, or realized that the only way to get a deal is to scare parliament into voting for May’s deal.

So what happens next? Nobody knows.

As Bloomberg reports when pressed by members of Parliament to tell them when she would bring the deal back, May refused to answer, saying only that Jan. 21 served as a deadline because it’s the date in the law when the government has to report back to Parliament on what it’s doing if there’s no deal.

“The worst case is no vote until January 21,” according to Societe Generale SA strategist Kenneth Broux, adding that the longer it takes, the lower the pound is likely to fall.

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