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VENEZUELA: Open letter to President Nicolas Maduro

Dear Mr. President Maduro, You have the overwhelming support of the peoples of the world.

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On 25 August President Trump signed an executive order slapping Venezuela with the most sweeping economic sanctions ever. They practically paralyze Venezuela, threaten to plunge her into famine. It’s an economic coup of the worst kind. It’s outright financial warfare. For all those western nations for which such unilateral actions by the Zionist-led Washington regime has become the new normal – it is one of the highest criminal assaults a nation can impose on another nation.

To be sure, this is an act of highest treason of international law. It is a war crime, as it endangers and threatens the lives of the Venezuelan people. Furthermore, Donald Trump, has the impunity to threaten Venezuela with an overt US military invasion. ‘Overt’ – because military and secret services, i.e. CIA personnel and their proxies, trained, funded and armed, are already for years fomenting unrest and death in the streets of Caracas and elsewhere in the country.

Justifying the measures, the White House said, “[they] are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule.” The subsequent statement by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explains literally that these sanctions are aiming at ‘choking’ Venezuela into submission; however, that “exceptions will be made for a 30-day phase-in period and for certain transactions between the US and Venezuela, including petroleum exports and imports involving Citgo, PDVSA’s American unit, as well as financing for humanitarian efforts.”

How ‘human’ can Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner – still be called? How human is the entire Trump military entourage? How much humanity do such people have left? Three generals are calling the shots on Trump’s presidency. How more proof is needed for the world to see that Washington is run by the Pentagon – is a pure military-police state, with the populace stripped of 95% of their civil and human rights – by ever enhanced successive versions of the Patriot Act and related legislation? Humanity at its worst.

The venom and evil of our western society never stops to amaze me. How did we get here? The beginning may date back some 5000 years. But that’s a different story. We are living now, and have to eradicate this egocentric, blood-thirsty pathological greed society, greed economy, NOW – meaning now to spare as many lives as possible.

Trump’s stated reason for slamming Venezuela with sanctions – of course a lie, like everything coming out of Washington – is the recent popular vote for a National Constituent Assembly – ANC – Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (http://www.globalresearch.ca/venezuela-the-national-constituent-assembly-is-in-place-but-the-fight-for-sovereignty-isnt-over/5602402 ). It’s the utmost form of democracy – a National Assembly voted by the people. The opposition which vigorously boycotted the July 30, 2017 vote, are now complaining of having no seats on the ANC. Of course not. They presented no candidates.

According to both Jimmy Carter, former US President and head of the Carter Institute on monitoring international elections, as well as Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor of Linguistics and reputed scholar of geopolitics, Venezuela has the most thorough democracy in the Americas and arguably in the world. Obviously, this does not please the world’s Dictator – cum – Assassin-in-chief, the United States of America.

The largest tyrant in the world calls for atrocious ‘suffocating’ killer sanctions on a sovereign, oil- and gas rich nation in “Washington’s backyard”, under the pretext that it has gone from democracy to dictatorship which the tyranny of the north cannot tolerate, but in a gesture of generosity it grants Venezuela temporary ‘humanitarian’ relieve. What a sham!

The Trump administration, or any of his predecessors, couldn’t give a hoot about democracy and human rights in any of the countries they want to dominate. Quite to the contrary, what they want is installing chaos to be able to exploit the country’s natural resources; and that is what they consistently do. In the case of Venezuela – the world’s richest nation in hydrocarbon reserves – the objective is to retake the riches and put them back to where they were before President Chavez took over in 1998, namely under firm control of US petrol giants.

Venezuela will never tolerate this.

Curiously, it looks like Trump has been dictated to adopt a new doctrine of ‘the loots of war’. His recent declaration of increasing troops in Afghanistan – without time limit – clearly has to do with the mineral riches of that central Asian country, copper, cobalt, iron, barite, sulfur, lithium, lead, silver, zinc, niobium, and an estimated 1.4 million metric tons of rare-earth elements (REEs). The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) estimates the total resources in the Afghan grounds in excess of US$ 1 trillion. Never mind that the US has already spent between US$ 1 and 2 trillion in the 16 years of illegal war in Afghanistan, resulting in massive killings, in tens of thousands of deaths.

In the case of North Korea, it’s iron ore, the US wants, plus, of course, strategic access to China and Russia. In Syria, it’s the infamous Qatari pipeline that would allow western petro-giants shipping trillions worth of oil and gas to Europe to the detriment of Russian’s European gas contracts. Bashar al Assad has refused the pipeline ever since the CIA approached him in 2008, and so did
his father already in the early 2000s. This refusal sealed Syria’s fate. In Venezuela, the intended theft is, of course, oil and gas.

It is of little importance that Trump is contradicting himself royally. His adamant and firm pre-election promises – no longer interference in far-away countries, no longer creating ‘democracies’ US style; in the future, the US will respect other countries’ lifestyle. “We will no longer use our force in foreign lands – these days are now over”.

Wonderful. Maybe he meant it. Like perhaps he really meant making peace with Russia. This is most likely the reason why he was elected. But, would Trump be so naïve, not to know that the military industrial complex wants – no, NEEDS war? This diabolical lot wants natural resources for eternal wars.

The vast majority of people want peace not war. They want to respect Venezuela’s sovereign democracy – not interfere with it. It’s their fascist puppet leaders (sic-sic) and those who make up the Latin American regional organizations that feel obliged to submit to the demands of the naked emperor.

The extractive industry, hydrocarbons, minerals has skyrocketed exponentially since the ascent of neoliberalism in the eighties like never before in modern history. The reasons are wars and conflicts. It is estimated that today almost two thirds of the plunders of worldwide extractive industries – an unspeakable calamity to human health, local communities and the environment – goes to the international military industrial complex, with the forerunner, the US of A.

———–

The new sanctions on Venezuela have become “common staple”, for all those vassals around the western globe, who for some obscure reason – for fear or for earning kudos? – bend over backwards to lick President Trump’s boots. Donald Trump, the megalo-psychopath, is a mere caricature of the American electorate. Trump’s opinion and policies dance in the wind as only an immature master can muster. Hence, the world is kept confused and on her toes, never quite sure when another bomb shell will be dropped.

Dear Mr. Maduro, this act of war can only be committed by the United States of America, because it commands our western dollar-based totally fraudulent, privately run, debt and usury based, monetary system – for profit of the FED and Wall Street banksters. Period. The western world is still enslaved to it – though on a steadily declining scale, but still not free. The east, Russia, China and the entire Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is rapidly detaching themselves from the dollar hegemony.

Venezuela – in my humble opinion – has to do likewise, as soon as possible. There is no time to ponder: detach from the dollar, with whatever implications of asset and monetary loss this may have; and it will, but it will whether you do or whether you don’t. The rabid dog of Washington never lets loose, it bites to the end, and it will never release confiscated assets. Proof is time and again all through the world, just look at Iran.

Venezuela may want to cut her losses and starting from scratch, linking closely with the economies of Russia and China, as she is already doing – but may need to move on a more rigorous and radical basis. No more deals in dollars. Stop all dollar / bolívar manipulations from Miami. The dollar has to become a banned currency for the public in Venezuela, strictly enforced by law, only to be used by government authorities. This is still the casein in Cuba, and Cuba has survived 60 years – and counting. No euros either. The euro is in the same league with the dollar. It has been created as the foster child of the dollar – fiat currency, no backing whatsoever.

New transactions are to take place only in local currencies and / or the currencies of Russia and China – through respective Central Bank swaps – and international payment systems, outside of the privately-run FED, Wall Street, BIS (Bank for International Settlement) and SWIFT, for example through the Chinese International Payment System (CIPS). Russia is about to launch a similar scheme, detached from the western-dominated financial transaction modes, like SWIFT. Once the new Russian international transfer system is in place, together with the Chinese CIPS, the western monopoly on international payments – and sanctions – will be completely upset. International trade will be reset to function outside the dollar hegemony. Russia’s, as well as China’s economies are fully backed by gold.
——–

Under these massive and sweeping financial sanctions, imposed on Venezuela thanks to the western monetary system, Venezuela is basically barred from any international financial transactions. There is a total banking blockade directed against the Venezuelan national oil and gas company, PDVSA- Petróleos de Venezuela SA, making direct hydrocarbon transactions impossible.

It is a stranglehold on Venezuelan’s economy – a recipe for starving a country and its population into submission, weakening it to be taken over – for plundering its resources. Venezuela will NEVER allow this to happen. Citgo, PDVSA’s US subsidiary, can no longer send back dividends to Venezuela – another blow to Venezuela’s foreign exchange earnings. There is a tacit threat, Citgo’s profits in the US may be confiscated – what else than highest treason of international law is this?

Venezuela has never done any harm to another nation. To the contrary, Venezuela has stood by other countries, helping them out with low cost credits and loans, with hydrocarbon at favorable prices, when the ‘market’ was abusive with artificially driven high prices, i.e. US$ 120 / barrel and higher, with the purpose to bleed developing countries into submission. Today, crude has dropped to US$ 47 / barrel, less than half of what it was 2 years ago. The same speculators are behind this drastic drop, another willful, ill-intended manipulation. Yes, by the Saudi vassals, but even more so by Wall Street and its chief executive mobster – Goldman Sachs, to hurt especially Venezuela, Iran and Russia.

This, Mr. Maduro, is an Economic Coup. It is outright financial warfare. It is criminal, illegal and punishable according to war crimes, if there was any international court in the world not yet ‘prostituted’ by the United States and its Deep Dark Zionist handlers. Blocking bank transactions with Venezuela / debt and equity swaps with creditors / debtors is a crime. Blocking Venezuela national oil company from selling hydrocarbon abroad is a crime.

Russia’s Rosneft bought a US$ 6 billion stake in in the Venezuelan PDVSA and acquired 49.9% collateral share in its US-based CITCO. This corresponds to about a 13% of Venezuela’s total production, almost the entire contingent is resold mainly in Latin America by Russia to Venezuela’s customers, despite US ‘sanctions’.

Venezuela might want to consider negotiating concession agreements or outright sales of larger portions of PDVSA to Rosneft and other Russian and Chinese petrol giants, to be repurchased once the crisis is over. Sweden has made such arrangements, nationalizing the banking sector to overcome their banking crisis in the 1990s; an elegant alternative to bailouts. It worked. Banks were later re-privatized. Russia might sell Venezuelan petrol throughout the world, with focus on honoring contracts with Venezuelan customers. No sanctions to be expected from the White House. Who could be sanctioned if transactions took place outside of the dollar economy?

Notwithstanding Trump’s threat of a direct military intervention in Venezuela, there is also a strong possibility of a US naval blockade of Venezuela’s ports. However, today, the US is no longer the sole master of the universe. Russia and China may be invited to form a counter-blockade and even to bring troops into Venezuela.

Russia’s intervention in Syria, at the behest of President Bashar Al-Assad has worked wonders; in fact, it has liberated Syria from the siege of NATO, the US, France, UK, Germany. All criminal nations, dancing to the tune of the dying emperor. Russia’s recent air force parade over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, with nuclear-capable Tupolev-95MS bombers in the midst of the massive and provocative US-Japan-South Korea military exercises off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, has prompted Japan and South Korea to scramble jets to escort Russia’s Tupolevs. The Russian demonstration has had an impressive impact of respect. – Why would it not be a deterrent for a US navy blockade? Or to forego Trump’s threat of direct military intervention?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

Good letter Peter. It is shocking that the insane threats and dictums from the Anglo-Zionist, Talmudo-Satanist rogue state do not result in howls of censure from the media and calls for lynching by We the Pimple. More and more I want to promote a new global response to the USA and its tail, Israel – Quarantine. They deserve much worse but their two ocean-sized moats preclude any possibility of just revenge by the millions they have wronged and their surviving relatives. Quarantine will bring that about by other means.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

comment image

christianblood
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christianblood

(…Russia’s intervention in Syria, at the behest of President Bashar
Al-Assad has worked wonders; in fact, it has liberated Syria from the
siege of NATO, the US, France, UK, Germany. All criminal nations…)

Nato and U$ organizations are Satanic criminal entities in league with the Devilish ISIS and they must defeated everywhere. Nato is Hollywoodized Evil which is corrupting the world!
They must be defeated!

Gary Wells
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Gary Wells

There were good ideas in this letter. I truly hope that Venezuela is able to maintain its independence and sovereignty. Perhaps, Venezuela could conduct a defensive military exercise and invite Russian/Chinese participation. Might seem a provocative, but any move they make except capitulation will be considered provocative. The US is one ugly beast.

Suzanne Giraud
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Suzanne Giraud

Love this recipe to bits. Thank you, Peter Koenig.

IF there were any other government heads with an ounce of self-respect and love of their country and fellowmen, they could take his same recipe for breaking free of the fiat dollar ‘hegemony’, Yes?

DarkEyes
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DarkEyes

Russian Federation with President Putin maybe?

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

I wish his articles would be shorter…too long.

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Good letter. Am I right in thinking that I couldn’t find the name Rothschild anywhere, from start to finish? Because, without it, it’s not really giving the full picture.

Until enough people in the world have heard of and know the history and motives of the Rothschild funded Anglo American empire, nothing will change.

Tommy Jensen
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Tommy Jensen

Here you have it:
comment image

Omar
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Omar

Are you guys serious? First, a delusional letter that feeds on the absurd romanticism of the “Bolivarian Revolution”…and then a bunch of people in the comment section acclaiming it. This is disgusting. There is one thing all of you have in common: NONE of you seem to be Venezuelan. How many of you have seen your friends or family browsing piles of garbage looking for food?? Do you really think that Trump and the US are the one to blame after almost 20 years of chavista regime? Really? You guys will never know the fear of being pointed with a… Read more »

Bolivar
Guest
Bolivar

Long live Chavez, Maduro, & the Bolivariana Revolution…Omar is obviously a paid troll..

Tommy Jensen
Guest
Tommy Jensen

You have a point. The socialism is not always the emotional dream written. The question is whether the conditions will be better under US overrule and as American lapdog.

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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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