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Trump Already Fading into Irrelevance

January 15th, 2018

Eric Zuesse

This will be a nonpartisan commentary about U.S. politics, as viewed by an American historian who is disgusted with the profoundly corrupt U.S. Government — not merely the political Parties, but the billionaires who effectively control them. Not everyone who finds Trump and the Republican Party to be beneath contempt is a Democrat. All that this commentator is is a democrat — a person who is opposed to all forms of dictatorship, including America’s own.

Key factors are now coming together to indicate that Donald Trump’s Presidency is already doomed, even if he survives to the end of his term as President. His remaining chances of being elected to any public office are near zero; even his success with the Republican Party has doomed — tainted for years, if not ended — that Party, made it not just repulsive, but increasingly repulsive, both inside and outside the United States; and, here is how, and why, this extraordinary phenomenon is happening:

Everyone knows, by now, that Steve Bannon, who was reliably reported (both before the election, and, in even deeper retrospect, after the election) to have been absolutely crucial to Trump’s election, has recently become instead the total opposite, Trump's enemy — out to destroy both Trump and his family. A book will soon be published from him, that’s sure to spill lots of disgustingly putrid beans, beyond anything previously wafted by the public, from these now rotting but powerful targets.

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Gallup: U.S. Well-Being Declines Under Trump, Especially for the Poor

January 15th, 2018

Eric Zuesse

On January 10th, Gallup listed their “Top Well-Being Findings of 2017”, and three findings pertained to the entire U.S. (the others pertained only to sub-populations):

Americans' well-being declines in 2017

U.S. uninsured rate rises

Exchange purchasers rate their health coverage less positively

In 2017, Trump’s first year in office, there was “a reversal of the three-year upward trend” of Americans’ well-being. This time, it went down, instead of continued flat or else went up again. Of course, nothing affects well-being or happiness as much as health does, and the U.S. is perhaps the sickest of all advanced industrialized countries. On 21 February 2017, the Washington Post had bannered “U.S. life expectancy will soon be on par with Mexico’s and the Czech Republic’s” and reported that “Life expectancy at birth will continue to climb substantially for residents of industrialized nations — but not in the United States, where minimal gains will soon put life spans on par with those in Mexico and the Czech Republic, according to an extensive analysis.

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U.S. Again Supports Al Qaeda in Syria

January 15th, 2018

Eric Zuesse

According to the most reliable reporter on the war in Syria, who anonymously blogs at his “Moon of Alabama” site, the United States Government and the Turkish Government are again supporting the effort by Al Qaeda in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government, at least in parts of the country which are currently occupied by U.S.-backed Kurds and/or jihadists.

On January 11th, he headlined “Syria - Erdogan (Again) Switches Sides - Delivers New Supplies For Terrorist Attacks” and reported:

al-Qaeda in Syria, currently labeled HTS, taking part in the "rebel" counterattack. Four days ago HTS published photos of its [Al Qaeda’s Syrian] leader Joulini meeting with his military commanders to assess the situation. [“#BREAKING - Al Qaeda in #Syria '#HTS' convened an emergency meeting of its military council led by #Saudi cleric #Jolani, about sudden defeat in southern #Idlib. Many Syrian opposition forces say the area was 'sold out' to the Syrian government after the Astana talks.”] It looked bad for them. The squabble with other "rebels" increased. Two days ago Jouliani issued a statement that HTS would stop fighting other factions in Idleb to enable all to confront the advancing Syrian government forces. It seems that this was a condition for the renewed Turkish/U.S. support.

The counteroffensive could only proceed because Turkey (again) delivered hundreds of tons of weapons to the jihadis. New supplies of TOW anti-tank missiles, distributed exclusively by the CIA, have also been seen. (Turkey is also again supplying jihadists in Libya. The Greek navy just caught a ship going from Turkey to Libya with 29 containers full of bomb precursors, detonators and other bomb making parts.)

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The Grave Threat of Possible Nuclear War

December 22nd, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Controlled by Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate predators, Pentagon hawks and likeminded GOP extremists, businessman Trump transformed himself into a warrior leader - continuing naked aggression begun by Bush/Cheney and Obama, threatening war on North Korea and Iran.

Are Russia and China on his target list per orders from the nation’s deep state? Is nuclear war inevitable?

On the occasion of Sunday’s Oslo, Norway award ceremony, presenting the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), I was invited on India’s WION television yesterday.

I and other guests discussed the cutting edge issue of our time, WION asking “Are nuclear weapons dearer than peace?”

We all agreed on the danger these weapons pose. I disagreed with a view expressed that it’s unlikely they’ll be used.

I stressed how America poses a grave danger - the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, twice gratuitously on Japan after the war in the Pacific was won, its overtures to surrender months earlier turned down by Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Nikki Haley said if Pyongyang threatens America or its allies, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy” the country.

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GOP Tax Cut Swindle: A $236 Billion Bonanza for Corporate Predators

December 22nd, 2017

Stephen Lendman

According to a report prepared for Senate Dems, 15 of America’s largest corporate predators reaped a nearly $4 trillion windfall over the last 30 years.

It came from federal giveaway subsidies, tax credits and bailouts, along with $108 billion in government contracts, many no-bid.

The largest corporate welfare beneficiaries include Apple, Pfizer, Microsoft, GE, IBM, J&J, Merck, Google, ExxonMobil, Procter & Gamble, Citigroup, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Eli Lilly and Walmart.

The GOP tax cut swindle will give corporate predators another $236 billion over the next decade - at the expense of eroding social justice to partly pay for it, the remainder adding around $2.5 trillion to the deficit and national debt, according to David Stockman, not the $1.5 trillion claimed.

Corporate predators use every devious means possible to evade taxes, including maintaining revenues and profits abroad in low-tax or no-tax havens.

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Latin America: The Pendulum Swings to the Right

December 22nd, 2017

James Petras


Clearly the pendulum has swung to the right in the past few years. Numerous questions arise. What kind of right? How far right? How did they gain power? What is their appeal? How sustainable are the right wing regimes? Who are their international allies and adversaries? Having taken power, how have the rightist regimes performed and by what criteria is success or failure measured?

While the left has been in retreat, they still retain power in some states. Numerous questions arise. What is the nature of the left today? Why have some regimes continued while others have declined or been vanquished? Can the left recover its influence and under what conditions and with what programmatic appeal.

We will proceed by discussing the character and policies of the right and left and their direction. We will conclude by analyzing the dynamics of right and left policies, alignments and future perspectives.

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GOP Tax Cut Heist Heads Toward Enactment

December 18th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Following deficit hawk Bob Corker’s about face, Americans for Tax Fairness issued the following statement:

“Hypocrisy rules in Washington. With Bob Corker’s reversal, the myth of the deficit hawk is now dead.”

“Next year when Republicans propose deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid under the guise of deficit reduction, we will all remember that they increased the deficit by $1.5 trillion in order to give tax cuts to millionaires and big corporations.”

“If this bill becomes law, it will be a travesty for working families, and a slap in the face to principles.”To avoid needing 60 Senate votes for passage, Republicans must claim their bill won’t exceed a $1.5 trillion deficit.

According to David Stockman, it’s “not even close,” adding “(i)f you adjust for all of these front-loaded cuts, one-time payfors and sunset cliffs, the total cost of the bill is $2.5 trillion or more…on an honest accounting basis…”

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Putin’s Annual Tour de Force News Conference Underway

December 18th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Nothing in the West matches it, unimaginable for a US or other Western leader to spend hours answering scores of questions.

Putin does it annually in televised events, answering questions from journalists and others, his straightforward style always refreshing.

Questions include ones asked live from the audience, submitted online, through text messages and by phone - responding candidly like always, polar opposite standard practice by duplicitous Western politicians.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said interest in this year’s Q & A session was “huge,” the event to “be special” in Putin’s last year of his current term, intending to run for reelection next March.

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Putin and Trump Speak Overnight Friday

December 17th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

It’s routine for world leaders to speak to one another, not when it involves Putin and Trump. Western media bash them both, instead of urging improved bilateral relations.

A brief White House statement said both leaders discussed “working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea.”

"President Trump thanked President Putin for acknowledging America’s strong economic performance in his annual press conference.”Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they “spoke out in favor of building dialogue and contacts with North Korea and agreed to exchange information and initiatives in this regard, focusing on ways to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.”

Both leaders remain world’s apart on dealing with the DPRK. Putin urges responsible dialogue, along with suspending provocative US, South Korean, Japanese military exercises Pyongyang calls rehearsals for war.

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Putin to Run for Reelection

December 12th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

In a Tuesday article, I discussed Russia’s electoral process. It shames America’s money-controlled sham system, fantasy democracy. Russians have the real thing.

I noted a Kremlin source saying Putin would announce his candidacy and register as required as late as possible - likely this month, no later than the January 6 deadline.

An anti-imperial peace champion, I earlier called him the world’s preeminent leader - along with Sergey Lavrov, eminently deserving of Nobel Peace Prize recognition, notably awarded to warmakers, not peace advocates.

Both officials have gone all-out for peace and stability in Syria and Ukraine. Washington’s agenda is polar opposite under GOP or undemocratic Dem. leaders - supporting terrorism, Russia under Putin effectively combating it.

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