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Why the emergence of Rand Paul is a good omen

Rand Paul is becoming the most intriguing figure in U.S. politics behind Donald Trump.

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As the war waged by the media and Deep State against Trump escalates, Rand Paul is deftly coming to the President’s aid.

And that makes him someone worth watching.

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On two key issues this week Paul took the Deep State head on to diffuse the outcry over Trump’s performance at Helsinki. First, in an article published the day of the summit he announced he would be traveling to Russia as a diplomatic envoy to build on Trump’s meeting with Putin.

But, more importantly Paul sided with the President on another matter, NATO and, by extension, our entangling military alliances. On these issues he truly rises to take on the mantle of his father’s foreign policy, a foreign policy which nearly won him the Republican nomination in 2012.

Dialogue is especially important when hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, as is the case in relations between the United States and nuclear-armed Russia. So I applaud Trump for both chiding our NATO allies and greeting its expansion with skepticism, and I applaud him for sitting down with Putin. We should be doing more of such self-examination and dialogue.

Socrates famously said, “An unexamined life is one not worth living.” But, the lack of examination of the horrific consequences of U.S. foreign policy as proscribed by the neoconservatives in the GOP and DNC has led to a life on this planet that far more dangerous than it needs to be.

Life is always worth fighting for, and Paul’s stance here is both principled and correct. As is Trump’s.

Since Trump took office, Paul has been the President’s critic and ally. As a libertarian at his core, Paul’s principles lead him to put his own ego aside when insulted by Trump, stand his ground on the issue nut keep his options open to future opportunities for common ground.

In effect, Paul’s approach to Trump is to praise Trump when he’s on the right of an issue and criticize him when he isn’t.

And he always has a concrete policy option to offer, which is very important in any negotiation.

So, now, with Trump attempting to take control of foreign policy after ceding it to his staff and their neoconservative bias for most of 2017, Paul is supporting Trump directly in this turn away from them.

His questioning ex-CIA Director John Brennan’s use of his security clearance for personal gain led directly to a meeting with Trump and an announcement that not only is Brennan in trouble of it being revoked, but also that of James Clapper, James Comey, Susan Rice, Michael Hayden and Andrew McCabe.

These form the core of the resistance and likely the leaks to the media that have been undermining Trump’s ability to function as the U.S.’s executive.

Unfortunately, for Paul, Trump demands loyalty as well as trust. So, I fear Paul’s balanced approach will keep him at arm’s length with Trump. But, as I said, rarely does Paul criticize the President without presenting him an alternate plan of action.

Criticism is worthless otherwise. In this way Paul is always seen as a willing partner in solving problems even if it is politically inconvenient for Trump at that moment.

But, on foreign policy Trump has precious few allies inside the Beltway. Trump needs allies and Paul knows this is his opportunity to build that trust with Trump and his base, who are, by and large, not as libertarian as he is.

So, Paul’s support on this front will go far with Trump while their confrontation on Obamacare reform, for example, will be properly depreciated.

Paul’s campaign against intelligence agents keeping their security clearance is a direct attack on the Deep State itself and is an important vector to starve the media of any relevancy in the public forum. As he said on Fox News recently.

“I don’t think that ex-CIA agents of any stripe who are now talking heads should continue to get classified information. I think it’s wrong.”

Paul clearly has John Brennan in his sights.

But, this move to support Trump here is both strategic and tactical. Strategically, Paul is learning the rules of what will work for him in the post-Trump era. He is setting himself up for a more important position within the New GOP I see forming after the mid-term elections.

The Democrats are imploding. People like James Comey are now openly calling for the party to support moderate candidates this fall and not the new golden child, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The poll numbers are showing that #TreasonSummit was a failure. Trump’s approval rating keeps climbing. Rasmussen put out a poll recently which I believe is accurate saying that 65% of self-identified Democrats believe Trump is a traitor while as many as a third of Republicans do as well.

Those numbers shouldn’t frighten you. This is a wedge issue. It represents a fork in the road for the U.S. voter. Treason is a serious charge, it comes, as Paul reminds us with a death sentence.

With more than 40% of the U.S. electorate identifying as Independent (and that number is rising) those in the ‘treason’ camp represent, at most, 30% of voters – 20% from the Democrats, at most 10% from Republicans.

That’s about right for the true cross-over of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists (or do I repeat myself?). The neocons have already said they’re going back to the Democrats from which they came, since they are just moldy, warmed-over Trotskyites anyway.

So, Paul knows this is about as bad as it gets for Trump. Once you go nuclear, there’s no going back without a massive loss of face. Going after the “treason” point-man Brennan is tactically the right move.

And the mid-term elections are shaping up to be the moment where Trump welcomes the disaffected centrist voter who sees things improving and a President working for peace and rejects the insanity coming from the Left.

Treason will be a very hard sell from here.

People like Lindsay Graham cannot jump party lest they lose their important committee positions. Old guard Democrats like Dianne Feinstein could be out of a job anyway. There is real change on the horizon in Congress if Trump plays his cards right.

Strategically, it allows Paul to rise in the ranks of the most important committees. Because Trump will, in effect, control a New GOP that represents to voters the American they hold in their heads, not the one we actually live in.

There he can begin wielding real power versus just being a gadfly. By the time Trump is done in 2024 he could easily be seen as the standard-bearer to rebuild the American political system that Trump took a hammer to.

My feeling is that Trump is Loki. His job is to create chaos, upset the balance of things because they are in desperate need of realignment. Rand Paul is a much more balanced presence, a man of strong convictions but milder temperament that will be needed after we pass through the eye of this political storm.

He is a man to watch very carefully from here.

Via Strategic Culture

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tibetan cowboy
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tibetan cowboy

I’m elated to read this important statement. He is an outlier, a good one, like his father, also a doctor. Both are intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken, unlike almost all senators and representatives. Although I’m a liberal “ex-hippie”, I considered voting for Ron Paul but he was displaced along the way. His powerful main message is stop the USA’s worldwide invasions that are crippling and bankrupting our nation. The Rands know that the Pentagon is the USA’s worst enemy and leading us to civil war and self-destruction unless reigned in soon. He’s fighting the best and most difficult fight of all,… Read more »

jmg
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jmg

From the article: “Paul’s campaign against intelligence agents keeping their security clearance is a direct attack on the Deep State itself”. Yes, and we can remember why they were keeping their security clearances. As it’s well-known, that’s because former government officials with top secret clearances get more easily well-paid jobs at war profiteering corporations and related organizations: defense contractors, big banks, oil companies, CIA controlled mass media, etc. That’s called the “revolving door”, and it’s part of the reward for acting as military industrial complex faithful agents while in the government, funneling money from US taxpayers, national debt ($21 trillion… Read more »

CumExApostolatus
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CumExApostolatus

((They)) called JFK treasonous as well.

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BREXIT chaos, as May’s cabinet crumbles (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 18.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the various scenarios now facing a crumbling May government, as the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is forcing cabinet members to resign in rapid succession. The weekend ahead is fraught with uncertainty for the UK and its position within, or outside, the European Union.

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If Theresa May’s ill-fated Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is eventually rejected this could trigger a vote of no confidence, snap elections or even a new referendum…

Here are six possible scenarios facing Theresa May and the UK (via The Guardian)

1 Parliament blocks Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement and political declarations

May faces an enormous task to win parliamentary approval, given that Labour, the SNP, the DUP and 51 Tories have said they will not vote for it.

If the remaining 27 EU member states sign off the draft agreement on 25 November, the government will have to win over MPs at a crucial vote in early December.

If May loses the vote, she has 21 days to put forward a new plan. If she wins, she is safe for now.

2 May withdraws the current draft agreement

The prime minister could decide that she will not get the draft agreement through parliament and could seek to renegotiate with the EU.

This would anger Tory backbenchers and Brussels and would be seen as a humiliation for her government. It might spark a leadership contest too.

3 Extend article 50

May could ask the European council to extend article 50, giving her more time to come up with a deal that could be passed by parliament – at present, the UK will leave on 29 March 2019.

Such a request would not necessarily be granted. Some EU governments are under pressure from populist parties to get the UK out of the EU as soon as possible.

4 Conservative MPs trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister

If Conservative MPs believe May is no longer fit for office, they could trigger a no-confidence vote.

Members of the European Research Group claim that Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee, will receive the necessary 48 letters this week.

A vote could be held as soon as early next week. All Tory MPs would be asked to vote for or against their leader. If May wins, she cannot be challenged for at least 12 months. If she loses, there would be a leadership contest to decide who will become prime minister.

5 General election – three possible routes

If May fails to get support for the current deal, she could call a snap general election.

She would table a parliamentary vote for a general election that would have to be passed by two thirds of MPs. She would then set an election date, which could be by the end of January.

This is an unlikely option. May’s political credibility was severely damaged when she called a snap election in 2017, leading to the loss of the Conservative party’s majority.

Alternatively, a general election could be called if a simple majority of MPs vote that they have no confidence in the government. Seven Tory MPs, or all of the DUP MPs, would have to turn against the government for it to lose the vote, triggering a two-week cooling-off period. May would remain in office while MPs negotiate a new government.

Another route to a general election would be for the government to repeal or amend the Fixed-term Parliaments Act which creates a five-year period between general elections. A new act would have to be passed through both the Commons and the Lords – an unlikely scenario.

6 Second referendum

May could decide it is impossible to find a possible draft deal that will be approved by parliament and go for a people’s vote.

The meaningful vote could be amended to allow MPs to vote on whether the country holds a second referendum. It is unclear whether enough MPs would back a second referendum and May has ruled it out.

 

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement may lead to Theresa May’s downfall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been published and as many predicted, including Nigel Farage, the document is leading to the collapse of Theresa May’s government.

During an interview with iTV’s Piers Morgan, remain’s Alistair Campell and leave’s Nigel Farage, were calling May’s Brexit deal a complete disaster.

Via iTV

Alastair Campbell: “This doesn’t do remotely what was offered…what is the point”

“Parliament is at an impasse”

“We have to go back to the people” …”remain has to be on the ballot paper”

Nigel Farage:

“This is the worst deal in history. We are giving away in excess of 40B pounds in return for precisely nothing. Trapped still inside the European Union’s rulebook.

“Nothing has been achieved.”

“In any negotiation in life…the other side need to know that you are serious about walking away.”

“What monsieur Barnier knew from day one, is that at no point did Theresa May intend to walk away.”

“Fundamental matter of trust to the electors of our country and those who govern us.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and why the deal is a full on victory for the European Union and a document of subjugation for the United Kingdom.

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Coming in at 585 pages, the draft agreement will be closely scrutinized over the coming days but here are some of the highlights as outlined by Zerohedge

  • UK and EU to use the best endeavours to supersede Ireland protocol by 2020
  • UK can request extension of the transition period any time before July 1st, 2020
  • EU, UK See Level-Playing Field Measures in Future Relationship
  • Transition period may be extended once up to date yet to be specified in the text
  • EU and UK shall establish single customs territory and Northern Ireland is in same customs territory as Great Britain

The future relationship document is less than seven pages long. It says the U.K. and EU are seeking a free-trade area with cooperation on customs and rules: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free trade area combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”

The wording might raise concerns among Brexiters who don’t want regulatory cooperation and the measures on fair competition could amount to shackling the U.K. to EU rules.

As Bloomberg’s Emma Ross-Thomas writes, “There’s a clear sense in the documents that we’re heading for a customs union in all but name. Firstly via the Irish backstop, and then via the future relationship.”

Separately, a government summary of the draft agreement suggests role for parliament in deciding whether to extend the transition or to move in to the backstop.

But perhaps most importantly, regarding the controversial issue of the Irish border, the future relationship document says both sides aim to replace the so-called backstop – the thorniest issue in the negotiations – with a “subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

On this topic, recall that the U.K.’s fear was of being locked into the backstop arrangement indefinitely in the absence of a broader trade deal. The draft agreement includes a review process to try to give reassurance that the backstop would never be needed. Basically, the U.K. could choose to seek an extension to the transition period – where rules stay the same as they are currently – or opt to trigger the backstop conditions. In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the word “backstop,” which has been a sticking point over the Irish border for weeks, is mentioned only once in the text.

As Bloomberg further adds, the withdrawal agreement makes clear that the U.K. will remain in a single customs area with the EU until there’s a solution reached on the Irish border. It’s what Brexiteers hate, because it makes it more difficult for the U.K. to sign its own free-trade deals, which they regard as a key prize of Brexit.

Predictably, EU Commission President Juncker said decisive progress has been made in negotiations.

Meanwhile, as analysts comb over the documents, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, has already written to Conservative lawmakers urging them to vote against the deal. He says:

  • May is handing over money for “little or nothing in return”
  • The agreement treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the U.K.
  • It will “lock” the U.K. into a customs union with the EU
  • It breaks the Tory election manifesto of 2017

The full document…

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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