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RISE AND FALL OF GIANTS: US-Russian VISA Suspension Begins the Next Cold War

Today, Wednesday August 23, 2017, marks the official re-start of the American-Russian “Cold War 2.0”. Get ready

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The rumbling tension between Russia and America means one thing: it’s
1987…all over again.

Minus President Ronald Reagan, the secret Oliver North-CIA
drug-running-arms deal hearings (Iran-Contra), cell phones the size of
car batteries, and despite the fact that music today is much, much
worse, our current international news sounds eerily similar to
1987’s…only more dangerous.

Above the half-witted mainstream media’s shrill noise about
Charlottesville’s George Soros (aka, Grigori Schwartz) funded,
statue-destroying, history-erasing, tattooed LGBT left-wing
anarchists, we can hear something far more frightening. We hear the
gargantuan growling curses of cannibal giants—the morally lobotomized
military industrial complex—hiding in the darkness, scraping swords
against stones and cracking knuckles, as they prepare to clash; and in
the process of their reckless grappling, crush civilization and
crumble landscapes. The question is what will trigger their fight?

The geopolitical temperature of today’s world is bubbling over with
volatility. We see millions of tattered, angry migrants pouring into
Europe through the holes made by the U.S. military adventures in
Africa and the Middle East, accelerating the break-up of the European
Union. As a result, many European and former Soviet bloc nations are
rediscovering their instinctive love of tribalism and their natural
right to sovereignty as they’re forced to defend their borders,
people, and resources. Germany is also making a semi-independent
stand by rejecting the U.S. sanctions against Russia due to their
impending damage to the German economy; and is gravitating towards the
perspective of Russia and China regarding the United States, which is
probably the most important political shift in the past 50 years.
With China, Russia, and Germany locking arms and standing up in
defiance and disgust toward the warmongering rhetoric and threats of
military engagement, some very real problems and opportunities also
emerge.

Additionally, starting today, the Trump State Department has
officially suspended of all non-immigrant VISA’s, and effectively
stopped all Russian people from traveling to the United States. This
marks the official re-start of the American-Russian “Cold War 2.0”.

Now as a former U.S. Army Psychological Operations Officer and Booz
Allen Hamilton defense contractor who worked at the State Department,
Special Operations Command, and Central Command, I can confirm that
this is not the way to win wars—including cold ones—by persuading,
changing, and influencing behaviors.

The U.S. justification for this action, so we’re told, is because the
Russian government had previously ordered U.S. State Department staff
(CIA agents) to leave Russia in order to create a more equal number of
Russians and Americans working in each others’ embassies. Of course,
what is conveniently ignored is that in December 2016 President Obama,
in violation of international law, seized the Russian Government’s
summer house and property in the Washington DC metro area, and Trump
has continued the crime by refusing to return the Russian property
without getting some kind of “benefit” in return. Extortion?

A few days before this “Cold War 2.0 restart”, we saw the entire U.S.
Navy freeze all of its operations dead-in-the-water after the U.S.S.
John McCain became the second U.S. navy ship (the first was the U.S.S.
Fitzgerald) within a few weeks to be mysteriously stopped, radar
jammed, and rammed by a larger civilian ship, allegedly by accident.
This of course hearkens all military and intelligence people to recall
the April 2014 U.S.S. Donald Cook incident in the Black Sea, where a
Russian jet knocked out the U.S. ship’s electronic systems—most likely
to prove the same point we are uncomfortably re-learning now.

Essentially, since no reasonable person—even in Congress—can accept
the explanation of ‘incompetence’ or technological decay as the excuse
for these ships’ ‘accidents’, these events can only be classified in
two ways. Either they are 1) a CIA false-flag event to manipulate a
gullible President while whipping-up extra agency powers, budgets, and
military-industrial complex contracts; or 2) a pre-emptive action by a
foreign power. Since we already know the CIA-DEEP STATE-MILITARY
obsession with expanding US-NATO hegemony and natural resource
domination across the planet, the other explanation would be this is a
response to the U.S. navy menacing China’s South China Sea Spratly
island bases, as a warning sign before anything serious develops in
the Mediterranean involving Ukraine, Libya, or Syria. Seems logical.

In the first Korean war in 1951, China warned the U.S. that it could
not tolerate an enemy power on the Yalu River, and that it would side
with North Korea and fight to protect their land, government and
culture from destruction. We ignored this, advanced deep into North
Korean territory, and unleashed a massive Chinese counterattack that
pushed Americans back deep into South Korea. Eventually, an armistice
was reached with the 38th Parallel being the line dividing each side.
China lost 600,000 men in the Korean war, while we lost a fraction.
They are prepared to lose more in the next war, in order to tell
Americans that not only are the days of regime change over, but they
are prepared to die to prove it. Why? Existentially, Russia and
China cannot tolerate the destruction of Korea, or in fact any kind of
US-Korea military confrontation. The resulting refugee overflow into
China and Russia would be dangerously destabilizing; and the U.S.-NATO
military planners, and the Vatican, not only know this, but are
counting on this to achieve their long-term agenda of “regime change”
in China and Russia.

FALL OF GIANTS

Thirty years ago in 1987, the two most powerful nations on the planet
entered the final phase of a wrestling match which had lasted for over
fifty years. One nation’s strength was thinning, its defensive
posture bending, and its will to fight disappearing; while the other
nation was increasing its points, securing a final chokehold, and
hungry to win the match. At the last minute it seemed like a
compromise had been reached. A tapping-out was negotiated, and both
competitors agreed to stop and conclude the match without risking a
final death struggle, since it might cripple both competitors. With
history as referee, Ronald Reagan’s victorious arm was held high for
all the world to see, while Mikhail Gorbechev’s head drooped from the
fatigue of decades of economic and spiritual communism. (NOTE: The
typical communist socio-economic model is to a nation what an
artificial steroid is to the human body: it appears to grow strength
in the beginning but ends up destroying the body in the end). The two
opponents, America and Russia, left the arena, respectful to
eachother, and hopeful of a paradigm shift in their relationship that
might extinguish all memory of the cold war that had exhausted the
world for too long. Both nations were ready…and so was humanity.

Unfortunately, all of President Ronald Reagan’s honor, goodwill, and
promises to Mikhail Gorbechev and the Russian people that NATO and the
West would not expand military bases or encroach into Russian
territory or peel away buffer territories like Ukraine, were not only
ignored by subsequent U.S. Presidents and Russia’s trust betrayed, but
the cold war became a hot diplomatic war with occasional bloodshed as
the West accelerated its military-intelligence-economic operations
against Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Ukraine, and other former Soviet lands.

Fast forward to 2017 and we see the world has changed…and not for the
better. Instead of the United States pressuring the Soviet Union into
a frantic state of cultural abandonment and political disintegration,
this same exact transformation is now happening to the United States,
except, ironically—or perhaps miraculously—without any help from the
Russians. I use the word miraculously advisedly, and admittedly with
a slight tinge of humor because when you think about it, there is a
rather Divine sense of “poetic justice” to the notion that the United
States—more specifically the DEEP STATE—is now suffering the same kind
of confusion, oppression, and paranoia it enthusiastically helped
inflict upon Russia some 30 years ago. Somehow the pulling-down of
the statute of Confederate General Robert E. Lee by a left-wing zealot
in America seems eerily reminiscent of the pulling-down of the
statutes of Stalin, Lenin and Saadam Hussein decades ago. Karma?
Judgement? Inevitability?

Although similar to many of the societal erosions Russia faced in the
1980’s, America’s are far more insidious and lethal today. They are
in fact terminal, unless properly purged from our body politic. These
societal erosions include, but are not limited to, the following:

* A self-consuming appetite for blind multi-culturalism that
foments suicidally reckless immigration policies and spawns the
unlawful monstrosity of “sanctuary cities”.
* A desperate obsession to manufacture the perfect health-care
system that will, somehow, automatically and effortlessly guarantee a
constantly blissful, supernaturally healthy life. Unfortunately the
Soma today are opioids and anti-depressants which transform the mind
and body like tobacco smoked into ash.

* A hyper-sensitivity and quasi-religious worship of
‘political-correctness’ which has essentially outlawed traditional
notions of American moral-religious purity, as well as sickened
America with a kind of sexual-identity schizophrenia. This
schizophrenia has in turn unleashed a plague of confusion and
misunderstanding in America about sex, love, intimacy, natural law,
the human body, emotions, and male-female roles, which is now
manifesting as selfishness, hedonism, transgenderism, sex
re-assignment, pedophile friendly child-sized sex dolls, and other
perversions and abominations.

Despite the rotten stench of insanity and death it carries, this
sexual and moral schizophrenia has been re-defined by the priests of
political-correctness—the Democrats, cultural Marxists, and Strausian
neocons—as the climax of civilized humanity and the ideal of feminist
politics. However, an interesting—or somber—observation of the
potential long-term impact of this cultural pathology is its
degeneration of society into a painfully lonely, delusional humanity,
which is symbolized in the recent American film Her starring Joaquin
Phoenix, where he plays an isolated, divorced American man
falling-in-love with his hand-held computer that speaks to him in
algorithmically calculated words of kindness, empathy, and emotionally
erotic stimulation, using Scarlett Johannsson’s sultry voice. These
are just a few of the most destructive social and spiritual illnesses
destroying the American mind, weakening its institutions, and
darkening the light of freedom and peace in America’s domestic culture
and international relationships.

Perhaps this explains why America’s pop-culture is more often
disdained as toxic by many non-western audiences and not particularly
cherished for its purity or illumination. Whereas Ronald Reagan or
John Wayne symbolized the arch-type of heroic American manhood in the
past, Bruce Jenner the Olympic athlete (now sex-changed by a butcher’s
scissors into Caitlyn Jenner) seems to be modern America’s
replacement—which certainly doesn’t bode well for future wars.
Re-read that sentence and let it fully sink in. A military and
political establishment where the bureaucrat mind and emasculated
drone spirit is celebrated and rewarded with promotion, while the
creative maverick and bold risk-taker are ostracized, prosecuted, and
killed for their superior skills, is both a direct contradiction of
the American spirit, and the essential plot of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas
Shrugged.

Interestingly enough, Russia seems to be contradicting its CIA
branding as a blood-thirsty enemy of America, by responding
compassionately toward America’s slow political train wreck (which is
now visiting Europe with mass migrants as casualties). In fact,
instead of trying to mercilessly dismember America’s economy,
military, and government like a geopolitical serial-killer, Russia has
been patiently bending and enduring the hysterics, hypocrisy, and
violent unilateralism of America’s politicians, military, and media.
This of course may shock some, such as the blindly Russia-phobic
religious bigots who chronically despise the independence of the
Russian Orthodox Church and banking systems; and the
self-tranquilizing simpletons desperately scraping the resin of
America’s Puritan character from the 1950’s while violently thrashing
to escape modernity invading their head-sized sand-holes.

Unlike the United States, Russia doesn’t seem to be jubilantly
celebrating with the same sadistic relish the disintegration of
America’s reputation and place in the world as a result of its “regime
change” miscalculations (Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria). In fact, it
seems as if Russia itself is experiencing some deeply personal, quiet
amazement and discomfort as they watch from a distance America’s
gradual cultural meltdown. It’s as if Russia is witnessing with
head-shaking sadness and disgust as their once respected competitor
blurs into senility, loses their mind and self-respect to political
Dementia, and fades into a state of confusion, fear, and the
slow-motion coma of a national police state.

POLITICS OF TRUTH

The supreme law of the land is the Constitution, and it is clear: no
federal or state law, statute, code, or policy can exist that violates
or undermines any part of the Constitution. Anything that does, is
unlawful and has no authority over citizens. The reason for America’s
obscenely immoral Congress is because they have abandoned and hated
the idea of truth animating all government laws and actions. Let us
always remember that truth is the union between a people and their
government. Truth is the life force behind all law, and the U.S.
Constitution; it is the substance of contracts; it is the light
guiding man’s righteous claim and defense of his inalienable rights;
it is the spirit of a responsible and benevolent self-government.
Truth is the soul of justice, the shape of love, and the sound of
peace. But sadly the corruption of man, his lusts, and selfish pride
reject this principle in exchange for the shifting sands of pleasure
and popular opinion.

The recent US-Russian sanctions bill is a prime example. Currently
the U.S. Congress is fast-tracking a Russian sanctions bill (S.341 –
Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017 sponsored by Senator Lindsay
Graham; and H.R.3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through
Sanctions Act sponsored by Rep. Royce, Edward R.
[R-CA-39]<https://www.congress.gov/member/ed-royce/R000487>).
Besides being an act of war according to international law, this
sanctions bill is in no way based on truth, facts, or accurate
intelligence; nor is it supported by human intelligence reports,
evidence, sworn testimony, or forensic investigations. To the
contrary, it is based entirely on false information, propaganda, and
lies—and the Russians know this. As a result, the Russian-American
struggle has not only re-awakened, but is rallying the rest of the
world against the United States foreign policy.

By ignoring truth when making law, Congress destroys both. Without
truth, there is no semblance of government authority, there is only
the tyranny of DEEP STATE bureaucrats who channel fear to continue
their power. One of the key elements is the UNCONSTITUTIONALITY of
this law, which even President Trump tweeted about—and therefore has
jeopardized himself because of his signing it. Technically speaking,
now Trump can be impeached for violating his oath to uphold the
Constitution. By signing this law, which he has admitted is
unconstitutional, he has inadvertently undermined it—which is a crime
for a politician.

Yet inevitably, truth wins out in the end. We now see in The Nation
that the VIPS group (veteran intelligence professionals for sanity)
comprised of Ray McGovern, Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, and others, have
technically proven what sensible people have been saying for over a
year: That there was no external penetration or hack into the
Democrat National Committee computer servers. Instead there was an
inside leak, and the data was downloaded from the computers by an
external device like a thumb drive, disc, or backup drive. It was not
invaded by an electronic hacker operating from a distant foreign
country, cackling from the locked basement of his parents’ house. We
also now see that Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange has met with
Congressman Dana Rohrabacker and has communicated that he will provide
evidence that proves the Russians were not the source of the
intelligence materials obtained from the DNC and Clinton emails, and
this will exculpate Russia of any criminal suspicion. The data
download speed, the time, and other undeniable facts prove this. And
in proving this it proves the Congress are either liars or fools if
they don’t correct their ignorant law and cancel it out. If they
don’t, they are also traitors, because they have betrayed the most
vital element of the constitution…the truth. Without truth, there is
no agreement, no constitution, no state, and therefore no more
government. There is only Hobbesian jungle survival where life and
tribes struggle to exist in a state of perpetual war and constant
distrust of one another. We also now see that Wikileaks Founder
Julian Assange has met with Congressman Dana Rohrabacker and has
communicated that he will provide evidence that proves the Russians
were not the source of the intelligence materials obtained from the
DNC and Clinton emails, and this will exculpate Russia of any criminal
suspicion.

CONCLUSION

In 1987, the Soviet Union’s economy was like an overburdened tree
branch—drooping, splitting, and about to break-off from the weight of
its burden. Also in 1987, America was at the pinnacle of its powers
and confidence. It’s economic productivity and political influence
over the world seemed unstoppable and irresistible. But it was
precisely at this moment of self-anointed “exceptionalism”, that the
spirit of liberty and the blessing of power morphed into a license to
dominate and a quasi-religious calling to control. This of course
became even more surreal when the evangelical Christian-Zionist
community infused their heretical distortions of bible prophecy into a
perverted, self-fulfilling 9-11 counterterrorism political agenda to
both define and destroy every evil using the license of “American
democracy, human rights, global capitalism” as their coat of many
colored exceptionalisms.

As a result of the U.S. suspension of all non-immigrant Russian
VISA’s, the anti-Russian economic sanctions, and the bizarre
electromagnetic failures of U.S. navy ships sailing near Asia, today
marks the official re-start of the American-Russian “Cold War 2.0”.
Get ready.

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Voltaire
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Voltaire

Franky, who in their right mind would want to visit the USA, the home of the new barbarians…??

All the culture and civilisation of the world is contained in Eurasia…

The United States is a toxic dump, full of drug addistc, with opioid zombies, murdering cops, an out of control prison system with 2.5 million prisoners and 40% of the population OBESE…

Do I need to go on?

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

I do not see “ALL of culture and civilisation in the world” as being in either Europe [countries located on The Continent], nor in Asia [countries peopled by Oriental civilisation and peoples]
I do see more of it, and it’s future, as being in Russia though.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Russia is and always has been part of Eurasia…

And, of course, I agree that Russian culture is one of the most important in the world…

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Define “Eurasia”. Please explain why no-one ever refers to Mexcan by it’s appropriate title in the same way.

Paul Kindlon
Member
Paul Kindlon

Been living in Russia for 25 years. It has Asian elements and European elements but is really neither. IMHO

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Agreed….

Russia straddles Europe and Asia….and is thus a central part of Eurasia…

And its culture is so rich as a result of this blend….

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Superb article, explicit, well supported and pungently expressed. What the writer didn’t go on to mention, but I think is a natural consequence of the things he pointed out so well, is that we are at a crucial time of major change. We have several natural cycles of change happening concurrently. These are of climate change which is perfectly in keeping with patterns of normal change we have data of going back thousands of years showing us, and has nothing to do with driving 4-wheel drives; of major social change and this includes major economic changes and the drives to… Read more »

Paul Kindlon
Guest
Paul Kindlon

Come to Moscow. Dying to meet you.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

You are in Moscow, I take it Paul. What do you think of it? And – thank you. I’ll let you know 🙂

Paul Kindlon
Member
Paul Kindlon

Come to Moscow and I will tell you. I will be your guide and translator as well

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

OK – that’s a nice offer, thank you.

RussG
Guest
RussG

I love reading your comments, Isabella, and respect your opinions. Not surprisingly, I agree with almost all of them. One fear I do have, though, is that the American animal in its death throes could decide that if we cannot survive, “they” will not either and do the unthinkable with the big red button. What do you think?

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

I think that when we have that “thrashing dinosaur in it’s death throes” situation, then yes, we are in danger. Either from it’s random lashings, or some insane psycho deciding as you outline – or just a ghastly accident and misunderstanding — any one of a dozen or more possible scenarios ranging from the deliberately deadly to the just plain bad luck, could happen.
All we can do is stand back, watch carefully, and be prepared to take whatever evasive action seems available, I guess. Not a lot else we can do I think.

Gio Con
Guest
Gio Con

I don’t think the “old” cold war ever ended. After 1991, Bill Clinton, through his puppet Boris Yeltsin, oversaw the pillage of the former Soviet Union. Since then, the US has been quietly encircling Russia with NATO bases and building an alliance against Russia. It’s only Russia’s strengthened economy and military, as evidenced in its trade alliances with China and its success in Syria, that have exposed the depths of the US animosity, which, however, had never wavered but was only under the public radar until the Democrats brought it into the light after Hillary lost the election. Let’s face… Read more »

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

A well-written article but a weak conclusion. Cold War 2.0 has been ongoing for some time, if in fact the Cold War itself ever ended. I don’t think history will view the current embroglio as a 2.0, at least not from the perspective of the US military and State Dept. What we are seeing are more desperate attempts to bait Russia (and now China) into escalation so that public attention can be re-directed from the pathetic bungling of the deep state, in all its branches, to a foreign adversary, since previous attempts have failed. Maybe they will succeed this time,… Read more »

Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

Russia seems to be able to process Visa’s from Americans to visit Russia with no problem. With having the exact same number of diplomatic staff the US now has in Russia.And with there being twice the population inside the US than there is in Russia. So the US excuse should fail to convince anyone.

disappointed
Guest
disappointed

Superb article it aint. Rife with judgement and moralizing. That dramatically lessens whatever value the rest may contain as far as I’m concerned. We can “get it” or we can devolve. It is opportunity. When people are saturated with drugs and chemicals, distributed efficiently through pollution of the entire environment for the glory of profit to a few and greater indifference to what it does to the masses, then distraction is the order of the day. Is it little wonder that there is “confusion” about sexuality and interpersonal roles wide spread throughout the worlds population? The fish in the rivers… Read more »

stevek9
Guest
stevek9

Agree except for your list of the major ills confronting the US. Healthcare — there are plenty of good (and much cheaper) health-care systems that we could copy. I lived under the Canadian system for 6 years and it is infinitely better than ours, in a country that culturally is quite similar. And, you left out inequality (the 1% or however you want to define it). That is very corrosive to our society (the comfortable middle class is disappearing), at least as much as identity politics, which basically are just a tool of the oligarchs to keep people distracted.

Aussie battler
Guest
Aussie battler

There is a saying in America Scott, ( what goes around comes around ).
like a spoilt rich kid who knows jack shit and blows the families wealth,
Reality stares you in the face!!.

Marshalldoc
Guest
Marshalldoc

Might have been interesting but after reaching the author’s half-witted pro-fascist comments about Charlottesville it was evident that that he has his head up his swastika and therefore cannot shed light on anything.

7awmee7
Guest
7awmee7

World war 3 had started long ago but the protagonists are getting deception after deception, failure after failure ,their lies are exposed and their mainstream media are tasting panic and international hate. Vladimir the brave soldier has penetrated enemy lines and there is now havoc in their strategy. They think the whole world I Libya or Iraq or VZietnam. Too late for COngress to change the rules. They are hemmed in , cornered and surrounded by the Bear. Grizzly bear. He will have not only to protect family but environment ,his neighbours lives their territory. No retreat No surrender. God… Read more »

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FBI recommended Michael Flynn not have lawyer present during interview, did not warn of false statement consequences

Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18.

Washington Examiner

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Via The Washington Examiner…


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who arranged the bureau’s interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 — the interview that ultimately led to Flynn’s guilty plea on one count of making false statements — suggested Flynn not have a lawyer present at the session, according to newly-filed court documents. In addition, FBI officials, along with the two agents who interviewed Flynn, decided specifically not to warn him that there would be penalties for making false statements because the agents wanted to ensure that Flynn was “relaxed” during the session.

The new information, drawn from McCabe’s account of events plus the FBI agents’ writeup of the interview — the so-called 302 report — is contained in a sentencing memo filed Tuesday by Flynn’s defense team.

Citing McCabe’s account, the sentencing memo says that shortly after noon on Jan. 24 — the fourth day of the new Trump administration — McCabe called Flynn on a secure phone in Flynn’s West Wing office. The two men discussed business briefly and then McCabe said that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with Flynn to discuss Flynn’s talks with Russian officials during the presidential transition.

McCabe, by his own account, urged Flynn to talk to the agents alone, without a lawyer present. “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

Within two hours, the agents were in Flynn’s office. According to the 302 report quoted in the Flynn sentencing document, the agents said Flynn was “relaxed and jocular” and offered the agents “a little tour” of his part of the White House.

“The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview,” the Flynn memo says. According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

The agents had, of course, seen transcripts of Flynn’s wiretapped conversations with Russian then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak. “Before the interview, FBI officials had also decided that if ‘Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used … to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said … they would not confront him or talk him through it,'” the Flynn memo says, citing the FBI 302.

“One of the agents reported that Gen. Flynn was ‘unguarded’ during the interview and ‘clearly saw the FBI agents as allies,'” the Flynn memo says, again citing the 302.

Later in the memo, Flynn’s lawyers argue that the FBI treated Flynn differently from two other Trump-Russia figures who have pleaded guilty to and been sentenced for making false statements. One of them, Alexander Van der Zwaan, “was represented by counsel during the interview; he was interviewed at a time when there was a publicly disclosed, full-bore investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election; and he was given a warning that it is a federal crime to lie during the interview,” according to the memo. The other, George Papadopoulos, “was specifically notified of the seriousness of the investigation…was warned that lying to investigators was a ‘federal offense’…had time to reflect on his answers…and met with the FBI the following month for a further set of interviews, accompanied by his counsel, and did not correct his false statements.”

The message of the sentencing memo is clear: Flynn, his lawyers suggest, was surprised, rushed, not warned of the context or seriousness of the questioning, and discouraged from having a lawyer present.

That is all the sentencing document contains about the interview itself. In a footnote, Flynn’s lawyers noted that the government did not object to the quotations from the FBI 302 report.

In one striking detail, footnotes in the Flynn memo say the 302 report cited was dated Aug. 22, 2017 — nearly seven months after the Flynn interview. It is not clear why the report would be written so long after the interview itself.

The brief excerpts from the 302 used in the Flynn defense memo will likely spur more requests from Congress to see the original FBI documents. Both House and Senate investigating committees have demanded that the Justice Department allow them to see the Flynn 302, but have so far been refused.

In the memo, Flynn’s lawyers say that he made a “serious error in judgment” in the interview. Citing Flynn’s distinguished 30-plus year record of service in the U.S. Army, they ask the judge to go along with special counsel Robert Mueller’s recommendation that Flynn be spared any time in prison.

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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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Watch: Democrat Chuck Schumer shows his East Coast elitism on live TV

Amazing moment in which the President exhibits “transparency in government” and shows the world who the Democrat leaders really are.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency was because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – against Democrat policy decisions and “stupid government” in general.

One of the reasons President Donald Trump is reviled is because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – in the American political scene.

In other words, there are two reactions to the same characteristic. On Tuesday, the President did something that probably cheered and delighted a great many Americans who witnessed this.

The Democrats have been unanimous in taking any chance to roast the President, or to call for his impeachment, or to incite violence against him. But Tuesday was President Trump’s turn. He invited the two Democrat leaders, presumptive incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and then, he turned the cameras on:

As Tucker Carlson notes, the body language from Schumer was fury. The old (something)-eating grin covered up humiliation, embarrassment and probably no small amount of fear, as this whole incident was filmed and broadcast openly and transparently to the American public. Nancy Pelosi was similarly agitated, and she expressed it later after this humiliation on camera, saying, “It’s like a manhood thing for him… As if manhood could ever be associated with him.”

She didn’t stop there. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Queen Bee took the rhetoric a step below even her sense of dignity:

Pelosi stressed she made clear to Trump there isn’t enough support in Congress for a wall and speculated the President is refusing to back down because he’s scared to run away with his tail between his legs.

“I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild,” Pelosi said of the Oval Office meet, which was also attended by Vice President Pence and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

This represented the first salvo in a major spin-job for the ultra-liberal San Francisco Democrat. The rhetoric spun by Mrs. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer was desperate as they tried to deflect their humiliation and place it back on the President:

With reporters still present, Trump boasted during the Oval meeting he would be “proud” to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t earmark cash for his wall before a Dec. 21 spending deadline.

Pelosi told Democrats that Trump’s boisterousness will be beneficial for them.

“The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” Pelosi said. “That was an accomplishment.”

The press tried to characterize this as a “Trump Tantrum”, saying things like this lede:

While “discussing” a budgetary agreement for the government, President Donald Trump crossed his arms and declared: “we will shut down the government if there is no wall.”

While the Democrats and the mainstream media in the US are sure to largely buy these interpretations of the event, the fact that this matter was televised live shows that the matter was entirely different, and this will be discomfiting to all but those Democrats and Trump-dislikers that will not look at reality.

There appears to be a twofold accomplishment for the President in this confrontation:

  1. The President revealed to his support base the real nature of the conversation with the Democrat leadership, because anyone watching this broadcast (and later, video clip) saw it unedited with their own eyes. They witnessed the pettiness of both Democrats and they witnessed a President completely comfortable and confident about the situation.
  2. President Trump probably made many of his supporters cheer with the commitment to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his border wall funding. This cheering is for both the strength shown about getting the wall finished and the promise to shut the government down, and further, Mr. Trump’s assertion that he would be “proud” to shut the government down, taking complete ownership willingly, reflects a sentiment that many of his supporters share.

The usual pattern is for the media, Democrats and even some Republicans to create a “scare” narrative about government shutdowns, about how doing this is a sure-fire path to chaos and suffering for the United States.

But the educated understanding of how shutdowns work reveals something completely different. Vital services never close. However, National Parks can close partly or completely, and some non-essential government agencies are shuttered. While this is an inconvenience for the employees furloughed during the shutdown, they eventually are re-compensated for the time lost, and are likely to receive help during the shutdown period if they need it. The impact on the nation is minimal, aside from the fact that the government stops spending money at the same frenetic pace as usual.

President Trump’s expression of willingness to do this action and his singling out of the Dem leadership gives the Democrats a real problem. Now the entire country sees their nature. As President Trump is a populist, this visceral display of Democrat opposition and pettiness will make at least some impact on the population, even that group of people who are not Trump fans.

The media reaction and that of the Democrats here show, amazingly, that after three years-plus of Donald Trump being a thorn in their side, they still do not understand how he works, and they also cannot match it against their expected “norms” of establishment behavior.

This may be a brilliant masterstroke, and it also may be followed up by more. The President relishes head-to-head conflict. The reactions of these congress members showed who they really are.

Let the games begin.

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