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America continues its Israel first policy as public coffers run dry

Meanwhile, the Pentagon and Israel don’t have to worry about their budgets

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America continues to increase its debt to unsustainable levels and public benefits coffers run up against funding shortfalls, but that doesn’t slow down a growing defense budget, or foreign aid package to nations which are routinely involved in egregious human rights violations and often serve as a contentious force in a region, the Middle East, becoming ever more destabilized, also at the hand of Washington’s politicians, whether on the right or left.

Both Medicare and Social Security are programs which working Americans pay into, and which are expected to run out of money, while the Pentagon and Israel don’t have to worry about their budgets.

Activist Post observes:

As the United States government admits that Social Security and Medicare services are going bankrupt and will both be completely depleted within the next 16 years, American taxpayers are giving around $10.5 million to a close ally that is routinely accused of human rights violations.

The latest report from the Social Security Administration revealed that Social Security funds will be depleted by 2034, and Medicare funds will be depleted by 2026—three years earlier than what was last reported. Last year, Social Security and Medicare funds accounted for 42 percent of federal program expenditures, and as the report noted:

Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy options that would close or reduce the long-term financing shortfall of both programs. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits.

While the increased reduction in Social Security and Medicare funds can be blamed on the federal government, it is not the only area where government spending should warrant serious concern. In December 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal debt held by the public was more than $9 trillion or 62 percent of GDP.

The federal debt held by the public is now $16 trillion or 78 percent of GDP, and the latest projections from the CBO show that it is estimated to increase to $29 trillion or 96 percent of GDP by 2028, which would mark “the largest since 1946 and well more than twice the average over the past five decades.”

As the Foundation for Economic Education reported, while the government continues to spend money it does not have as if there are no consequences, it has gotten to the point where it seems unlikely that the debt will ever be paid back:

“A fair amount of this trouble can be laid at the feet of the federal government and its seemingly insatiable habit of spending money it doesn’t have. It’s gotten to the point that there isn’t really anywhere else in the world that has the amount of money the US government needs to borrow. It seemed so easy to just take that money from the Social Security and Medicare trusts at the time, but with federal spending now higher than it’s ever been (regardless of whether you adjust for inflation or simply count it as a percentage of GDP), it seems very unlikely that that money will—or even can—ever be paid back.”

While the U.S. government’s failure to take care of its citizens may be viewed as a good thing because it lets them turn to solutions in the private sector to solve their problems, the government is still robbing citizens through taxes, and making it look as if it will benefit them in the long run through programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

In reality, the federal government is using the money it extorts from citizens to fund endless wars in the Middle East—with the price tag for the longest war in U.S. history costing double the estimate of what it would cost to end homelessness in the U.S. annually in 2018. Millions of taxpayer dollars are also being spent on questionable foreign aid programs, such as the United States’ increasing pledges of military aid to Israel.

Former President Obama set the record by pledging $3.8 billion to Israel every year for the next 10 years in 2016, with the largest military aid deal in U.S. history. President Trump increased the amount by pledging an additional $75 million in 2018, while Americans suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey begged for aid.

The United States’ commitment to Israel has stayed the same, even as Israel was caught opening fire on peaceful protesters near their border fence in Gaza, killing dozens and injuring thousands. While other countries accused Israel of war crimes and called for an investigation, the U.S. blatantly ignored the atrocities.

If countries such as Syria, Russia, or Iran, were targeting civilians in the same way that Israel is, the United States would be calling for a full-scale invasion. Instead, the U.S. continues to condone the country’s treatment of Palestinian civilians by sending Israel $10.5 million a day—even when Americans are in desperate need—all while the president in office gained support by promising to put “America First.”

However one chooses to look at Social Security and Medicare, they are paid for by Americans, and they benefit Americans in a way that is much different from programs termed ‘handouts’.

Additionally, with the decreasing number of jobs available which pay wages capable of covering these expenses, a number of real world issues come into play at some point for every American, and that is age and the related issues of declining health, both of which are things which impact Americans who, when these factors are encountered, are no longer able to cover through wages, since not all employers can or will hire elderly or disabled persons and are much less likely than that to pay them an amount capable of not only providing for their living but also for their medical expenses.

The jobs and wage issue strikes Americans of all ages, but the issue becomes even more pronounced when it addresses American who are elderly and experience health issues, which makes covering these expenses on their own something that simply doesn’t match today’s healthcare and cost of living realities.

But America can host military bases the world over, spend trillions on weapons, and send money to float Israel. Or, at least that’s what it chooses. But apparently, choosing Americans first is not what’s on the top of the agenda of an administration which touts ‘America First’ as its motto and justification for waging trade, and shooting, wars the world over.

 

 

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AJ
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AJ

They will just print up new dollars to cover any shortfall – thats the advantage of holding reserve currency you can never default on anything denominated in dollars. This would be an epic bailout greater even than the 08 banking crisis.

tom
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tom

Instead of listening spellbound to the politicians and their official flunkeys endlessly advancing charges against each other on meaningless grounds such as “collusion”, it’s time the citizens of the USA took back their government and put on trial all those responsible for robbing them blind decade after decade.

Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

It all boils down to one thing. America focuses ONLY on politics, never on economics or security:
http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news–analysis/todays-america-politics-trumps-economics

CumExApostolatus
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CumExApostolatus

The Catholic Church was infiltrated and its substance eaten out from within 2 centuries ago. The World Council of Churches (Rockefeller) set in motion the whole “we are the world” baloney and the Scofield “bible” which imprinted the idea that Jesus is coming soon and to sit back and wait for the rapture. AND that Israel is actually the “holy” land and that Jews aren’t in fact, THE #1 enemy of all Christians (and gentiles). What a JOKE…and a very bad joke at that. “IsRaEL”, Judaism, and its adherents are the problem that needs correcting, and soon.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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