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Trump-Land Shock Wave: Empire Inc on Steroids or ‘Drain the Swamp?’

President elect Trump faces daunting tasks as he forms his new administration, seeking to reconcile his opponents whilst keeping faith with his supporters, and as his own ideas of the way forward remain unclear.

Gilbert Mercier

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Submitted by the author, first published by News Junkie Post

Donald Trump’s election is viewed by most on the United States’ left coast and worldwide as a regressive historical anomaly. It has left the political class in Washington, and the rest of the world, in a state of shock. The type of nightmarish hangover that a drunk time traveler would get if he was accidentally taken to let’s say the McCarthy era in the US or to Germany in 1933.

Uncertainty usually provokes anxiety, and this is precisely what we are witnessing in this time of history.

Trump is an accidental president as he was never supposed to be elected. Case in point: at the early stages of his campaign, the man running it was Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s main handler John Podesta.

Trump’s initial function was to be a decoy, a scarecrow and  an ostentatious crude comic relief to ensure Clinton’s election. Almost nobody made the forecast of a Trump victory, but it was however highly predictable as Trump started to personify a populist anti-establishment protest movement: the raw expression of rage from the victims of disaster capitalism.

The miscalculation was that Trump not only likes to compete, he also most of the time manages to win.

The mainstream US media, more or less all paid for or in collusion with the Clintons, is flabbergasted by the result and has lost the little credibility it had left. Wikileaks’ Podesta emails disclosures exposed many of them as corrupt propagandists. The problem with propagandists is that they often end up believing their own lies. Of course Trump became their favourite punching bag, but it eventually backfired on them and finally, blew up in their faces.

Trump claimed rightly that the US political system is rigged, but his mandate is far from a plebiscite, as Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Therefore, before his inauguration in January President-Elect Trump must reach out and make peace with the left coast.

During this election, the divide between the heartland Bible and rust belt and the rich urban east and west coasts has grown. Trump’s first task should be to rebuild bridges between two cultures hostile to each other.

This is imperative, if he is to succeed, but it is, to say the least, an extremely challenging task. How will he reconcile the clash of values between a left coast socially liberal in terms of civil rights and climate change, and a poor heartland economic casualty of globalisation, living paycheck to paycheck, but socially conservative and a proponent of increased policing? 

Some of the names of the political players actively jockeying to jump on Trump’s train for the key cabinet positions give an indication that an olive branch strategy might not be in the forecast to bridge the deep cultural divide of this land.

Is the house of Trump built on quicksand?

On November 8, 2016, Americans rolled the dices and opted for the candidate viewed, rightly or not, as the anti-establishment candidate.

The premise is accurate: America is broken, but how to rebuild it is the issue.

Trump did start a movement to get elected; it had its slogans “Make America Great Again” and “Drain the Swamp”, but how will they be applied exactly and will they end up in the dustbin of history like Obama’s unfulfilled promises of “Hope and Change”?

Slogans are political marketing devices and get people elected by motivating voters, but they are rarely implemented and are certainly not policy indicators.

If America dodged the bullet of a potential civil war if the Clintons had successfully rigged the elections and won, the country is still divided and bruised. Does Trump have what it takes to be a healer-in-chief?

Further, the key campaign slogan refers to an era when America was great, but it never refers to an exact time frame. Are we talking about Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Nixon, or Reagan? If we are talking about the latter, I am sure that the president-elect is fully aware that Reagan was merely a figurehead run by George Bush Sr. who endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps Nixon could be an interesting model, as he managed to extract the US from the Vietnam quagmire as well as establish foreign relations with China, not to mention create the EPA.

President-elect Trump must clarify, as a guideline, when he thinks America was great so we may study that time frame and its leadership.

Draining the Washington Swamp

Trump was elected because he is an outsider, a savvy businessman who has promised to rebuild a land wrecked by globalisation and poor management. But now, he has to deal with the traitorous waters of Washington’s insiders.

There is a saying in DC: if you want a friend get a dog. This is why enduring politicians value loyalty above anything else.

Cultivating loyalty has its shortfalls, and as it becomes inbred and corrupt it can become borderline criminal.

In March 2015 I coined the notion that the two leading US political dynasties, Bush & Clinton, were largely operations like crime syndicates. This idea became very popular with Trump’s core base of the so-called deplorables.

The Bushes betrayed Trump during the elections, therefore we’ll find none of their crew in Trump’s cabinet.  This also goes for anyone connected with the Clinton crew and their Wall Street sponsors. President Barack Obama  was apparently given a list of Wall Street approved cabinet members before his election in November 2008.

One hopes that Mr. Trump will stay away from this type of conflict of interest. It is clear, judging by the way he has run his campaign, that President-Elect Trump will be the boss in the White House.

This seems to be exactly what the American people want at the moment, and as the CEO of America Inc. he will hire his own trusted people and won’t have any problem, if needed, with using his famous TV reality show line: “You are fired!”

Trump’s cabinet

It appears that former Speaker of The House Newt Gingrich will play a leading role in the Trump administration.

Other names are being floated, some of them contradicting the notion of “draining the swamp”.

Gingrich has been mentioned for Secretary of State, but this is not apparently what he wants. Another name is mentioned to head the key position of head of the State Department, and it is unfortunately the Bush crew man John Bolton.

Bolton, besides being tainted for his role in the Bush administration, has a short fuse, which is not really the best quality for the top diplomat of a country. Robert Corker is also considered for Secretary of State.

In my opinion, If Trump wants to depart from US aggressive hegemony foreign policy, and ease the tensions with Russia and China, he should seriously consider Ron Paul for the job.

It is likely that former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani will become Attorney General, and he is certainly more than qualified for the job.

Unfortunately, Trump is considering his friend Steven Mnuchin, formerly at Goldman Sachs, for Secretary of the Treasury.

Jeff Sessions is the likely choice for Secretary of Defence. I think that Chuck Hagel should also be considered in some capacity, as well as Paul Craig Roberts who served in the Reagan administration.

David Clarke is on top of the list to head the Department of Homeland Security.

Perhaps the most disastrous name mentioned, at least for people concerned by climate change, are the names considered for Energy Secretary, Interior Secretary, and EPA: for Energy Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma billionaire who made his fortune in fracking is a shoe-in; Forrest Lucas from Lucas Oil, might become Interior Secretary; and perhaps the most controversial choice of all would be the one of on record climate change denier Myron Ebell to head the EPA.

For the sake of bipartisanship and inclusiveness, it might be a good idea to consider someone like Bernie Sanders for either Secretary of Labor or Education. This type of idea would go a long way to unite a divided country.

Last but not least, President-Elect Trump should consider putting pressure on Sweden’s government to drop the manufactured charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, considering that without the release of  Podesta’s emails, Hillary Clinton would have likely been elected. All Americans and the world citizenry should want the Trump administration to be successful. Our common future depends on it.

Gilbert Mercier is the Editor-in-Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of The Orwellian Empire.

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Why did Trump recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the reasons behind US President Trump’s sudden recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Following Trump’s statements as US President, acting Israeli Foreign Minister is saying that Trump will make it official and sign an executive order to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Syrian border territory on Monday.

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Via DW

Israel says White House officials are preparing an official document to codify support for Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights, which will be signed by US President Donald Trump on Monday.

The signing of the decree will be witnessed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during talks with Trump at the White House, Israel’s acting foreign minister, Israel Katz (pictured), said in a Tweet.

“Tomorrow, President Trump, in the presence of PM Netanyahu, will sign a decree recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan. Israel-US ties are closer than ever,” Katz said.

Israel seized the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, subsequently annexing it in 1981 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Trump’s tweet annoys allies

Trump broke with decades of US Middle East policy when he posted a Tweet on Thursday that said it was time to accept Israel’s widely-contested claim to the border territory.

The decision has been criticized by many US allies — Germany, Britain, France and the EU have all said they still consider the Golan Heights to be “occupied” by Israel.

Syria and other states in the region said the recognition, if confirmed, would violate international law.

Netanyahu has long pushed for Washington’s endorsement, and many analysts see Trump’s comments as a campaign gift ahead of Israel’s April 9 election.

In 2017, Trump drew condemnation throughout the Middle East when he recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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Russia Gives US Red Line On Venezuela

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

The encounter in Rome this week was described as “frank” and “serious” – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange. The timing comes at a high-stakes moment, after Venezuela having been thrown into chaos last week from civilian power blackouts that many observers, including the Kremlin, blame on American cyber sabotage. The power grid outage followed a failed attempt by Washington to stage a provocation with the Venezuelan military over humanitarian aid deliveries last month from neighboring Colombia.

The fact that Washington’s efforts to overthrow the elected President Nicolas Maduro have so far floundered, might suggest that the Americans are intensifying their campaign to destabilize the country, with the objective of installing US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido. He declared himself “acting president” in January with Washington’s imprimatur.

Given that the nationwide power blackouts seem to have failed in fomenting a revolt by the civilian population or the military against Maduro, the next option tempting Washington could be the military one.

It seems significant that Washington has recently evacuated its last remaining diplomats from the South American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the evacuation by saying that having US personnel on the ground “was limiting” Washington’s scope for action. Also, American Airlines reportedly cancelled all its services to Venezuela in the past week. Again, suggesting that the US was considering a military intervention, either directly with its troops or covertly by weaponizing local proxies. The latter certainly falls under Abrams’ purview.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly: “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand. “No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

The arrogance of the Americans is staggering. Abrams seems, according to US reporting, to have flown to Rome with the expectation of working out with Ryabkov a “transition” or “compromise” on who gets the “title of president” of Venezuela.

That’s what he no doubt meant when he said after the meeting “there was not a meeting of minds”, but rather he got “a better understanding” of Russia’s position.

Washington’s gambit is a replay of Syria. During the eight-year war in that country, the US continually proffered the demand of a “political transition” which at the end would see President Bashar al Assad standing down. By contrast, Russia’s unflinching position on Syria has always been that it’s not up to any external power to decide Syria’s politics. It is a sovereign matter for the Syrian people to determine independently.

Nearly three years after Russia intervened militarily in Syria to salvage the Arab country from a US-backed covert war for regime change, the American side has manifestly given up on its erstwhile imperious demands for “political transition”. The principle of Syrian sovereignty has prevailed, in large part because of Russia’s trenchant defense of its Arab ally.

Likewise, Washington, in its incorrigible arrogance, is getting another lesson from Russia – this time in its own presumed “back yard” of Latin America.

It’s not a question of Russia being inveigled by Washington’s regime-change schemers about who should be president of Venezuela and “how we can manage a transition”. Moscow has reiterated countless times that the legitimate president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro whom the people voted for last year by an overwhelming majority in a free and fair election – albeit boycotted by the US-orchestrated opposition.

The framework Washington is attempting to set up of choosing between their desired “interim president” and incumbent Maduro is an entirely spurious one. It is not even worthy to be discussed because it is a gross violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Who is Washington to even dare try to impose its false choice?

On Venezuela, Russia is having to remind the criminal American rulers – again – about international law and respect for national sovereignty, as Moscow earlier did with regard to Syria.

And in case Washington gets into a huff and tries the military option, Moscow this week told regime-change henchman Abrams that that’s a red line. If Washington has any sense of rationale left, it will know from its Syria fiasco that Russia has Venezuela’s back covered.

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Now, the desperate Americans could still try more sabotage, cyber or financial. But their options are limited, contrary to what Trump thinks.

How the days of American imperialist swagger are numbered. There was a time when it could rampage all over Latin America. Not any more, evidently. Thanks in part to Russia’s global standing and military power.

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With RussiaGate Over Where’s Hillary?

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including ‘Miss’ Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller’s investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary’s failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump’s guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that she has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin’ Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain

She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She’s worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there’s little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won’t give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that’s what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry.

It didn’t work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman’s resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further.

Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I’ve been convinced that it would come down to reputations.

Would the British MP’s vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU?

Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end?

Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn’t get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that HIllary’s blackmail is now worthless.

They don’t fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power.

The progressives that were convinced of Trump’s treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave.

Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops.

But the Democrats have a sincere problem. Their candidates have no solutions other than to embrace the crazy and go full Bolshevik. That is not a winning position.

Trump will kill them on ‘socialism.’

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled.

If they don’t do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, “No evidence of collusion.”

It’s clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point?

Comey? No. McCabe? No.

There is only one answer. And Obama’s people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that “Hillary would indict herself.” And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn’t win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable.

Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast.

If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it’s the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.

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