Majorityrights News > Category: U.S. Politics

Americans do not pay into Social Security beyond yearly earnings of $127,500

Posted by DanielS on Friday, 28 April 2017 01:33.

Gary tax Asia to pay for black Welfare Cohn and Steve put the goyim to work Mnuchin

The Hill, 27 April 2017:

“Trump officials stage full-court press for tax plan”

The Trump administration on Thursday began a full-court press aimed at generating momentum for President Trump’s tax reform plan.

(((...)))

The Trump administration also made efforts to rally support from influential conservatives. Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Gary Cohn on Thursday met with groups such as Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a group backed by the Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch.

(((...)))


The White House’s plan came in the form of one-page overview, and set down some significant markers, including lowering the top individual rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent and the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

(((...)))

Businesses have been excited about the prospects for tax reform since Trump was elected, and groups overall were pleased to see a plan that proposed lower rates for businesses and a move to a “territorial” system that doesn’t tax U.S. companies foreign earnings.

(((...)))

We can be sure these tax proposals are going to run contrary to Jewish interests and their complicit, predatory right wing interests (of course not).

(((...)))

In fact, Gary Cohn’s tax program is going to tax Asia in order to pay for American blacks ..and even to pay for all America’s SSD and SSI, which America’s wealthy should be paying their fair share for (either that, or have Americans come to terms with who they don’t want to live with and be bothered by).

Kumiko, “A view of Brexit from Asia: Britain as a Pacific trading power in the 21st century”, 6 Mar 2017:

I mean let’s be real, the Americans just somehow non-ironically elected a guy who came out with a speech 120 hours ago where he advocated what? This hilarious list:

a. 54 billion more drunkenly spent on defence spending targeted at nothing,
b. 1 trillion more for infrastructure spending for inner city no-go zones which will have pitiable return on investment,
c. More o’ dem social programmes for the poor baby Trayvons in Detroit who lost their jobs – despite them never having had a job – to the allegedly ‘bad bad’ people in Manila or ‘bad bad’ people in Ho Chi Minh City who are apparently ‘ripping’ you, because why? Because of course. Apparently according to Hunter Wallace, African-Americans are now more valuable to the Alt-Right than trade with Asian states is, so what the hell.
d. Free cash-money for Israel. Because Trump just loves Israel. Because his family is married into it. All of them will continue to studiously ignore that tendency.

So there I was, watching that mortifying clown-car of super-horrible policies unpacking itself into the international arena and I was asking – while I was drinking white rum directly from the bottle – a single question. Only one question.

“But Bernie—I mean, Trump, how are you planning to actually pay for any of this stuff, fam?”

The answer arrived shortly thereafter! The ‘answer’ is apparently:

a. Doubling-down on protectionist tariffs and incoherent ‘buy American’ sloganeering to socially reinforce it, a move which depends on the absurd and not-ever-happening idea that Asian economies will passively allow the United States to subject them to a tariff regime designed by Gary Cohn since certain commodities stocks have spiked up since 09 November 2016, and maybe if the markets reorder themselves around that, those positions can continue to grow. People can make instruments which tap into that expansion, and then people and the state itself can borrow against those instruments using some very fancy mathematical formulas to predict their performance. Detroit and other Rust Belt disaster zones will somehow magically be rebuilt, and the African-Americans will somehow crank out billions of widgets while somehow not being at all socially-dysfunctional, so that all of the big spending will totally somehow pay for itself. The formulas may or may not have documentation associated with them. The formulas may or may not even be based in any kind of rational thought. Your children can then repay the money to Goldman Sachs about 35 years from now. And all of that is to be done so that the allegedly heroic America can finally defeat the allegedly undead East Asia.

Wow, right? Really very much wow. I mean the whole Trump-style plan has literally never failed before except for like every single time ever.

I guess you could say that I disagree with the Israel-backed Trumpist manchild plan, because my geopolitical stances are all anti-Semitic in one way or another. You could say that I disagree with the Israel-backed Trumpist manchild plan because I am of course an Asian woman, which is another factor that makes me very scary and perhaps ‘evil’.

Financial Samurai, “Maximum Taxable Income Amount For Social Security (FICA)”

Uncle Sam The Tax ManFICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and consists of a Social Security tax and a Medicare tax. This tax is very important for everyone to understand because so often we only think about federal tax rates and state income tax rates. The FICA tax is a big percentage of your total tax bill, especially for those making under six figures a year.

When I was making big bucks in finance, the tax bill was equally big bucks. The only saving grace was seeing my after tax paycheck increase after the maximum taxable income threshold for Social Security was breached each year. The tax amounts were jolting based on how inefficient the government was and still is with regards to spending our money.

For 2017, the maximum amount of taxable earnings for Social Security and Medicare is $127,500. In other words, an employee must pay 6.2% of any income up to $127,500 for 2017 = $7,905. But any dollar you make above $127,500 is free of the Social Security tax. Hence, a good goal for everyone is to make as much as they can over $127,500 as possible, right?

Not so fast. Given we have a progressive tax system in America with Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and deduction phaseouts, I’ve calculated that the optimal Adjusted Gross Income is roughly $250,000, +/- $50,000. At $250,000, $131,500 of the earnings is free from the 6.2% Social Security tax. Meanwhile, you still get most of your mortgage interest deduction, and only have to pay a slight amount of AMT, depending on the person. A $250,000 income is also high enough to live relatively comfortably in any part of the world.

Some might argue that the Social Security tax is regressive because it caps out at $127,500 in 2016. Why shouldn’t rich people pay more? Here’s the thing people might not understand. Social Security benefits cap out based on the maximum amount of Social Security tax contribution as well. It’s not like someone who is making $500,000, and not having to pay the 6.2% Social Security tax on $381,500 of his earnings is getting extra benefits based off his $500,000 income. He’s just getting the maximum Social Security payout amount when it comes time for him to collect based on the maximum taxable income amount he contributes.

The $500,000 income earner is already paying the highest marginal federal tax rate of 39.6% plus state taxes, if applicable.


Thread Wars: Armed Reconnaissance Edition, versus EGI Notes and AWPN.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Monday, 17 April 2017 20:19.

Disqus profile card as of 17 Apr 2017.
My Disqus profile card as of 17 Apr 2017. Follow me, I’m lots of fun.

Introduction

As far as I’m aware, I’ve really made some figures in American White Nationalism upset with my latest two articles, ‘Donald Trump authorises reckless airstrikes against the legitimate government of Syria’, and ‘Silk Road News: First demonstration cargo train departs London for Yiwu, China’. But it doesn’t end there.

‘Armed recon’

It looks like my presence on Disqus comments threads has finally become the target of something resembling a rag-tag opposition. I have to say it took them long enough, given that I’ve been actively and openly voicing my opinions on that platform since Autumn 2015. Some people have now been drawn into mounting a weak and pathetic campaign against me and against Majorityrights.com generally.

Why am I jokingly calling this article ‘armed recon’ in the title? Because it has been kind of like the internet equivalent of that process, in the Vietnam era sense. See this definition:

Armed Reconnaissance: A mission with the primary purpose of locating and attacking targets of opportunity, i.e., enemy materiel, personnel, and facilities, in assigned general areas or along assigned ground communications routes, and not for the purpose of attacking specific briefed targets.

In simple terms, it means going out there and thrashing around methodically in the brush and then seeing who comes out to shoot at you and what tactics they use while doing so.

That’s basically how all this started. I offer my unvarnished and real opinion, as always, and then I see who agrees and who disagrees. Here’s an example of that:

Disqus / AltRight.com, ‘Trump is Trophy Hunting in North Korea’, 15 Apr 2017:

Disqus comment concerning DPRK.

And another example in a different thread:

Disqus / AltRight.com, ‘Meet Globalist Gary’, 14 Apr 2017:

Disqus comment concerning Gary Cohn.

These are clear stances.

What kind of person—if anyone—might appear out of the brush to tell me that I’m not allowed to hold those opinions because they are dangerous and that I had better sit down and shut my whore mouth immediately?

Well, I hit the jackpot.

Out comes Ted Sallis with an absolutely insane narrative:

Ted Sallis / EGI Notes, ‘Silk Road News: Asian Infiltration of AltRight.com’, 15 Apr 2017:

EGI Notes agitprop: 'Asian infiltration'.

Apparently I’ve ‘infiltrated’ AltRight.com by simply commenting there like anyone else can do.

Are you surprised? I’m not surprised. After I made the comment about Gary Cohn, things got slightly interesting. One of the figures who seems to be associated with the American White Pride Network (AWPN.net) who was commenting under the name ‘Celestial Time’, began to obliquely defend Gary Cohn and the rest of the Zionist Trump administration. Seriously, that happened. You can read the thread to see how that played out.

In summary: My assertion was that Bob Whitacker’s mantra and the ‘anti-White’ discourse concept had been appropriated by Zionist forces and used as a method for defending Zionists. Their response was to laughably claim that my viewpoint on that was in and of itself an ‘anti-White’ viewpoint.

They say that my anti-Zionism is ‘anti-White’: I fire back

The entire conversation then devolved into a handwringing crybaby session on the part of the AWPN guy, who basically proceeded to redefine ‘anti-White’ to mean any opinion which happens to hurt his feelings, or could be conceivably interpreted by other White people as being hurtful to their feelings.

That’s about as vague as the definition of ‘anti-Semitism’. Incidentally, if they had chosen to use ‘anti-Semitic’ as their accusation toward me rather than ‘anti-White’, it would have made no functional difference because both discourses are being used to defend objectively Zionist outcomes.

So I went with the ‘whisper gently into the megaphone’ approach:

Disqus / AltRight.com, ‘Meet Globalist Gary’, 15 Apr 2017:

Disqus comment concerning Anti-Zionism.

I am terrible, aren’t I? Profound butthurt on the part of my opponent ensued. I can’t be given a ‘free pass’ to ‘belittle’ the apparently ‘White’ people who are upset about my comments! I must be held to account!

There is an easy way to understand how that kind of surreal outcome could manifest. You only need to know that Argumentum ad Asiatica is the new Argumentum ad Hitlerum. ‘Anti-White and anti-American’ is the new ‘anti-Semitic’. Up until now, the masters of cultural critique did not have a method for shutting down Asian criticisms of Zionist policies. The rise of Trump as a Zionist, and the affinity that certain pro-White activists have for Trump, means that by some historical accident Zionism is now effectively sheltering under ‘Whiteness’ in the American context.

Anyone who doubts this only needs to watch any of the top trending videos on Rebel Media’s youtube channel, which is controlled by none other than Israeli Zionist Ezra Levant. The trend is absolutely obvious.

Donald Trump card trick

I love card tricks!

I don’t know if you’ve had fun with this article, but I have.

I once heard about something called the ‘Donald Trump card trick’. It really illustrates how the Donald Trump campaign, as well as the Alt-Right opinion leaders who supported him, have run their operation. Let’s call this trick ‘The Donald’.

Check it out, it goes something like this.

To gain admission to the show, you have to basically mortgage your entire future for a generation or more. Having done that, you are in. You do that first.

So, secondly, they open a perfectly ordinary deck of cards, and you will be shown that they are indeed all different. Let’s say that the campaign is the card trick, and let’s say that the followers and voters have been asked by Trump, to pick a card.

Trump fans the cards out, and he acts like the selection of the cards doesn’t really matter. It’s an old magician’s trick; the selection of the card actually always matters. But you have to be a certain kind of nonchalant if you want to do a force.

And so Trump says, “Pick a card.” And the voters and supporters come together and pick a card and it’s the Jack of Hearts. Trump doesn’t know that. So the Trump campaign takes the card and slides it back into the deck.

Now, don’t forget, it’s the Jack of Hearts. It’s now somewhere in the middle of the deck.

Trump then gives the cards a shuffle while he’s talking. Now, the patter does not matter, Trump can say absolutely anything that pops into his head. Let’s say, “I’ve got a perfectly ordinary deck of cards here, and Mexicans are rapists.”

And then he shuffles a little bit more, and “I still have a perfectly ordinary deck of cards here, and Asian countries are ripping us off on trade via currency manipulation.”

And then he gives them another little shuffle and puts in a little bit more misdirection, like, “I could shoot somebody on fifth avenue and I wouldn’t lose any votes”, and, “She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever”, “They are ripping us”, and “We’re going to build a big, beautiful wall.”

And when election time comes, after all this misdirection, all this shuffling, all this handling of the cards, Trump then has the card on top.

Clean-handed, and with great flourish, he produces the card, turns it around and holds it out, and says, “Is this your card?”

And it’s the…

Eight of Spades, not the Jack of Hearts.

Because he’s a fucking idiotic Zionist tool and so are you.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


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That’s it, who’s a good goy now?

Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:23.

Active Measures, er, RT reports the following:

Tillerson and Lavrov

RT, ‘Highly provocative: Lavrov says agreed with Tillerson no future US strikes on Syrian govt.’, 13 Apr 2017:

Moscow and Washington have reached an understanding that further US strikes similar to the one carried out against Syria’s Shayrat Air Base “should not occur again,” the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Lavrov emphasized that this issue was raised during his discussions with the US Secretary of State on Wednesday when Rex Tillerson was visiting Moscow.

“We have discussed this issue with the US Secretary of State in details yesterday and agreed upon the fact that a similar should not occur again,” he told journalists ahead of his meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Walid Muallem, in Moscow.

Lavrov further underlined that the US missile strike against the Shayrat Air Base played “a highly provocative role.”

He went on to say that the US confirmed its commitment to the idea that there is no other option of resolving the Syrian conflict other than the political dialog, adding that this offers hope for the future of the peace process.

“It is encouraging to some extent that Rex Tillerson confirmed yesterday that [the US still holds] the opinion that there is no alternative to the political process [of the resolution of the Syrian crisis] despite all the recent negative developments,” he said.

A “right and responsible step” is how Lavrov described the Syrian government’s decision to invite experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct an investigation of the chemical weapon incident in Idlib province.

A blog called Jewish Power posted the following back on February 2016. It looks far more like prescience than conspiracy theory:

Netanyahu and Lavrov

Jewish Power, ‘Sergey Lavrov’, 13 Feb 2016:

Medvedev the Russian token Prime Minister has said a new cold war is on the horizon.

Medvedev is easy to identify as a crypto Jew.

Lavrov the foreign minister is also a Jew, no doubt he goes along with Medvedev.

Lavrov’s daughter attended Columbia University and lived in the US for a long time.

Putin’s daughter married a Jewish banker.

All the rhetoric like these comments from Medvedev-steen are just so much bullshit.

The Jews objective is to destroy Syria..via a long drawn out civil war. It does not make any difference whether it is the Americans or Russians who are bombing the country..as long as the bombing continues.

Put it like this: The Russian government likes Russian nationalists …up to a point. However, if Russian nationalists choose to identify the role of the Jews…the Jewish oligarchs…the pillaging of Russia by Jews like Abramovich and all the rest of them…THEN something goes dramatically wrong….the nationalists start being targeted by the Russian government!!…which is just what you would expect IF Russia was controlled by the Jews…and it is.

So, as many people have pointed out…all this posturing by Russian, American, British politicians is a COMPLETE CHARADE.

Armed with this knowledge about Jewish power you can make very accurate predictions in certain areas. For example…The next president of the USA will definitely 101% be a Jew…no ifs, buts or mmaybes…the next president in the Oval Oriface will be a JEW. That is a money back guarantee of certainty.

        And remember that it was The Russian Federation that de-fanged Syria in the first place:

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar in the Jewish Museum in Moscow, Thursday, June 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Kumiko Oumae / Majorityrights.com, ‘Russia uses its leverage in the Arab world to aid Israel where it can feasibly do so.’, 10 Jun 2016:

[...]

The Jewish lobby doesn’t place all their eggs in one basket, and Russia’s economic and military connections to the Arab world can always be used as leverage to produce outcomes that are favourable to Israel.

One memorable example of this can be found during the earlier stages of the Syrian conflict in 2013, when John Kerry demanded that the government of Syria must come to the table and agree to surrender its chemical weapons and dissolve its chemical weapons battalions, thus ceding all of the strategic gains against Israel that had been secured through the development and enhancement of those weapons.

People were sceptical as to the enforceability of this demand. After all, couldn’t Syria simply go to Russia and ask to be supplied with the S-300 and some Su-30s, and thus severely decrease the ability of the United States to threaten them?

That was not to be, as Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov would ‘rise’ to Kerry’s challenge of ridding Syria of weapons within a week, by turning around and using their leverage over Syria to force them into accepting the challenge, by refusing to supply Syria with the S-300, and then brokering the handover of all Syria’s chemical weapons to the international community. [...]


Trump no longer appears sympathetic to student debtors

Posted by DanielS on Friday, 14 April 2017 02:29.

RevealNews, “Trump no longer appears sympathetic to student debtors”, by Lance Willams, 14 April 2017:

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump said he sympathized with America’s 44 million student debtors and vowed to make their burdens easier.

The federal government should not be profiteering on the interest students pay on their federal loans, candidate Trump declared. (The U.S. will reap $66 billion in profit from student loans issued between 2007 and 2012, the Government Accounting Office says.)

Trump also promised to ensure that debt loads would be limited by students’ ability to repay. Student loans shouldn’t be “an albatross” hung for life around their necks, he said.

But since the election, the president has been quiet on student debt. And two recent moves suggest the administration is headed in the opposite direction, helping the student loan industry at the expense of borrowers. 

The most recent move came Tuesday, when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos scrapped a set of rules intended to shield borrowers from some of the worst abuses of the student debt collection industry.

Today, America’s student debt load is upward of $1.3 trillion – more than the nation’s credit card debt. As an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting concluded last year, student loans have become the worst kind of debt for Americans – and the best kind for banks and debt collectors.

READ MORE...


The Paleocon agenda behind the Alt-Right & Trump becomes explicit with Trump’s attack on Syria

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 14:58.

Frank Meyer, father of (((Paleocons))), grandfather of “The Alternative Right.”

With the attack on Syria and the confirmation of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, The Trump administration’s (((paleocon agenda))) has come to explicit fruition - any pretenses to wear its new wardrobe lent by the Alternative Right in their disingenuous/naive trendy support has been thrown off - cucks: they’ve been used. The denial of having been used as paleocons takes the form of saying “Trump has gone neocon”, when in fact, he hasn’t changed - he has just come out in the open with the paleoconservatism that’s always been behind the Alternative Right.

This turn of events should serve to illustrate why the terms we have to defend and negotiate our way in ethnonationalism are crucial to navigate our proper course. The terms to organize and understand our defense are not jargon, they are not complicated but they are very important.

If they were not important, Jewish interests would not have been so intent upon getting White advocates to identify their enemy as “the left” and to divert them into “the Alternative Right” big tent, which is just (((paleoconservatism))), revised with trendy terms, memes and a few more provisional adjunct circles to ease the entryism of Jews and sufficiently didactic right wingers (Captainchaos, take note) - largely a millennial generation internet bubble circle jerk; wherein they tell themselves that they are “rebelling” against boomer generation (((neoconservatism))), so that they can blame that instead of taking responsibility for having been hoodwinked in the garbed up (((paleoconservatism))) which had them as millennial fogies, getting behind Trump: “The Alternative Right” has aided, abetted, deepened entanglement and embrace of Whites with Jewish/Zionist interests.

While not naming the neocons explicitly, (((John K. Press)))‘s “culturalism” - published at Alternative Right - is definitively paleoconservative by contrast to neoconservatism.

With Trump’s coming out into the open in his paleocon agenda, Alt Righters are quickly encouraged to divert blame to the “neocons.”

(((Edmund Oslan))), who identifies as Alt Right and contributes to Alternative Right.org as well, cites Trump as having gone “Neocon” - Savage Hippie Episode 41 – Did Trump Go Neocon, or Is He a Crackhead?

Matt Heimbach and Sven Longshanks follow suit, blaming boomer generation neoconservatism for Trump’s actions in Syria.

MacDonald with Red Ice blames Trump for succumbing to neocon influence: Neocons to Remove Assad, Trump Buys the MSM Lie.

It goes without saying that the flagship of the AlternativeRight - viz Alt Right - would toe the Alternative Right/Paleocon line: Neocon Puppet Donald Trump Announces His Unilateral Attack On Syria.

Counter-Currents depicts their rightist contrast to Trump’s Syrian venture “neoconservatism” as well, not seeing the culpability which its rightism shares with all of the above for playing a part in support of Trump, not having extricated themselves from paleoconservatism.

All the while, the paleocon jargon that entangles would-be White advocacy with Jewish interests under the rubric of the alternative right is protected and defended against clarification and correction.


Concerns for balkanization of the US are in order but not mutually exclusive to other ethnonationalist concerns - they occur in hermeneutic process, attended to as relevant - for those in The US, perhaps a predominantly regular concern.


When a scientist (at the Annenberg School of Communications) asks the wrong question…

Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 13:55.

...he gets the wrong answer, of course. Garbage in means garbage out:

Emile Bruneau recently invited Muslim students and staff at the University of Pennsylvania to help him figure out one of the most pressing questions of our time: How can we stop despising each other?

Bruneau wanted to know more about what kind of arguments effectively combat common prejudices: that Muslims are terrorists, that they don’t want to assimilate, that they are intolerant and hate American freedom. Liberals often believe that Muslim women are oppressed. He enlisted members of the Muslim Students Association to look for videos they thought might prove persuasive. He thought firsthand experience with discrimination might be helpful. (He’s also working with former white nationalists.) He was looking, he told them, for “individualized psychological medicine.”

What worked best was a “very cerebral” video from Al Jazeera in which a Muslim woman said blaming all Muslims for terrorism was like blaming all Christians for the actions of Westboro Baptist Church or the KKK.

The question to ask is not, “how can we bridge our divides and induce Abrahamic religions and peoples to accept one another?”

It is rather to ask, “how can we disabuse people of Abrahamic religion and its universal imperialism in order to defend ethno-nationalism and human ecology against it; and failing completion of that task, contain its extant effects on people; keep our sane interests from being affected by its intransigent elements and lingering influences?”

Communicology is a fascinating and eminently useful discipline that we will be applying here at MR - correctly, unlike this effort from the Annenberg school. Nevertheless, there are some interesting take-away propositions here - notably, that Americans are low information decision makers, therefore equipping them with particularly helpful analogies for them to rationalize their coming to a position we like for them (in our case, we would want them to come to a natural and healthy ethnonationalist position for them and their people) is liable to work better than emotional appeals, despite a commonly ascribed-to school of thought which holds emotions to be the effective means to that end. 

Philly.com, “Penn professor uses science to bridge the political divide”, 2 April 2017:


Emile Bruneau studies conflict between groups and how to combat prejudice at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication.

Emile Bruneau recently invited Muslim students and staff at the University of Pennsylvania to help him figure out one of the most pressing questions of our time: How can we stop despising each other?

Muslims and Christians may have been the groups he had in mind that day, but Bruneau, a child of California hippies who took an unusual route to Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, ultimately has broader goals in mind.  What if there is a psychological key that could defuse the animosity between hate-filled groups around the globe? That includes U.S. Republicans and Democrats, who, his research has found, are almost as alienated from one another as Palestinians and Israelis. The only difference, he said, “is that we’re not actually killing each other.”

Most of us think the antidote to hate and close-mindedness is emotional. But, so far, Bruneau’s research shows that the way to the mind is not necessarily through the heart. In fact, he believes, the way to the heart is through the mind.

Bruneau wanted to know more about what kind of arguments effectively combat common prejudices: that Muslims are terrorists, that they don’t want to assimilate, that they are intolerant and hate American freedom. Liberals often believe that Muslim women are oppressed. He enlisted members of the Muslim Students Association to look for videos they thought might prove persuasive. He thought firsthand experience with discrimination might be helpful. (He’s also working with former white nationalists.) He was looking, he told them, for “individualized psychological medicine.”

READ MORE...


Trump administration ‘will be having restless nights over Flynn testimony offer’

Posted by DanielS on Monday, 03 April 2017 17:15.

ITV News, “Trump administration ‘will be having restless nights over Flynn testimony offer”, 31 March 2017:

       
Flynn was famously pictured sitting next to Vladimir Putin at a gala in Moscow in December 2015 and it was his conversations with Russian officials that ultimately led to his downfall.

President Trump and his administration will have endured a “restless night’s sleep” following Michael Flynn’s offer to testify about possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution, Barack Obama’s former press secretary has told ITV News.

Flynn, ousted as national security adviser in February following an onslaught of damaging headlines about his ties to the Kremlin, has told the FBI and Congress that he “has a story to tell” but wants assurances “against unfair prosecution”.

Josh Earnest, who served as the former president’s top spokesman for three years, said Flynn’s offer “is an indication that he is concerned about the information he may reveal”.

“My guess is that there were a lot of restless night’s sleep last night after that Wall Street Journal story posted,” Earnest told ITV News.

“Because everybody who thought they were having a private conversation with Mike Flynn in the last two years or anybody who sent an email over the last two years or anybody who has been responsible for publicly defending him over the last two months is now in a position where that information could be revealed to the FBI or congressional investigators.

“That has to be a little disconcerting to everybody - including the president of the United States.”

Trump’s young presidency has so far been blighted by the ongoing suspicion that his campaign colluded with the Russian government in its efforts to sway the election in his favour.

Flynn is one of a number of Trump associates under investigation by the FBI as part of the probe into Russian meddling.

Earnest said Trump’s decision to appoint Flynn to a role “so crucial” to America’s national security would again come under scrutiny.

“Appointing someone like General Flynn to be his national security adviser and have him resign after 24 days because he was being dishonest and now potentially has some criminal liability - it’s concerning and does raise questions about the president’s judgement in putting somebody like General Flynn into a position that is so crucial to our national security.”

Earnest, who now works as a political analyst for NBC, urged observers not to jump to conclusions over Flynn’s offer to testify, saying it was too early to say whether the retired three-star Army general would provide the “smoking gun” which directly links the president to Russia’s aggressive operation to meddle in the election process.

“He’s got a story he wants to tell - we’ll see what happens.”

Flynn was one of Trump’s closest confidantes on the campaign trail, gaining prominence for his raucous attacks on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server.

In comments likely to come back to haunt him, Flynn told NBC last September: “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime.”

After Trump’s victory, Flynn was appointed as the new administration’s top security adviser despite concerns over his desire to forge closer ties to the Russian government.

He was famously pictured sitting next to Vladimir Putin at a gala in Moscow in December 2015 and it was his conversations with Russian officials that ultimately led to his downfall.

       
Michael Flynn, pictured above left with Donald Trump, was ousted as national security adviser in February following an onslaught of damaging headlines about his ties to the Kremlin Credit: AP

Flynn was forced to quit after a less than a month in the role when it emerged that he had discussed sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on the Kremlin with the Russian ambassador - conversations which he then subsequently lied about to the Vice-President Mike Pence.

It is one of a number of scandals to have engulfed the president since he took office on January 20.

“Everyday seems to be a day of new drama in this White House and it is part of the leadership style that we’ve seen from President Trump - he likes to preside over chaos and keeping people off balance,” Earnest said.

“It’s the way he ran his campaign and it worked; But I think we are seeing that running a campaign is a lot different to running a country. When you are running a country people expect you to be a source of stability, not chaos.”


Why Trump’s ties to Russia would be way worse than Watergate

Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 01 April 2017 08:31.


Illustrations by Sophia den Breems

Why Trump’s ties to Russia would be way worse than Watergate

- Sarah Kendzior, Flyover Country Correspondent, 30 March 2017:

At 5:25 am on Monday, March 20, Donald J. Trump logged onto Twitter and wrote: “James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!”

Hours later, at a congressional hearing assembled to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, FBI director James Comey confirmed the FBI probe into Trump’s ties to Russia that same day. Comey confirmed that Trump and “individuals associated with the Trump campaign” had been under investigation for Russian collusion since late July, and that the investigation was still ongoing.

Contrary to Trump’s assertion, this statement was not “fake news,” nor was it news at all to those who had followed the Russian interference story since it broke last summer.

In August 2016, former Democratic Senator Harry Reid implored Comey to reveal information about Russian interference that he said “is more extensive than is widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results,” adding that the public had the right to know before the November election. Comey responded, notoriously, not by revealing that Trump was under FBI investigation, but by implying that Hillary Clinton was, in an “October surprise” faux email scandal that was retracted only after the rumor had damaged her campaign.

Reid wrote to Comey again in late October and reemphasized the Russian threat: “It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity… and yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.”

After Trump won, calls for an investigation into Russian interference began in late November, led by Republicans like John McCain and Lindsay Graham as well as Democrats like Elijah Cummings, Maxine Waters, and Adam Schiff, the latter of whom led the interrogation of Comey and NSA head Michael Rogers at the March 20 hearings. Though it has falsely been portrayed by both the Trump administration and some media outlets as a Democrat-led witchhunt, Russian interference in the election was always a bipartisan concern. Any threat to both national security and sovereignty is a bipartisan concern, and the reluctance of the Trump administration to cooperate with the investigation has long been an ominous indication of his limitations and loyalties.

Instead of watchdogs, we have lapdogs

If you were the president of the United States, sworn under oath to protect and serve the public, wouldn’t you want foreign interference in your campaign to be investigated – at the very least, to prevent the recurrence of similar actions?

Or would you try to impede the investigation, by smearing those who seek it (among them intelligence officials, legislators, and reporters) and by installing officials who either benefit from the Russian relationship (like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson), seem selected in order to obfuscate the Russian relationship (like Attorney General Jeff Sessions), or both?

Trump chose to assemble an administration designed to cover up and aid his shady dealings with the Kremlin, leading to an administration so spectacularly corrupt and inept it has no corollary in US history.

Here’s where it currently stands:

The President is under investigation for colluding with a foreign power. He is being investigated by an oversight committee, the head of which, Republican representative Devin Nunes, has functioned less as a watchdog than a lapdog, providing information about the investigation of Trump to Trump in a breach of protocol. And this was not Nunes’ only misdeed: he was also present at a January meeting between Turkish officials and Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who in February resigned in disgrace after being revealed to be working secretly for the Turkish and Russian governments for millions of dollars.

In short, the US has employed a president suspected of treason, an oversight committee head who refuses to do oversight, and a national security advisor who undermined US national security.

The Trump clan and the Russian spy recruiter

Unfortunately, that’s only the beginning. There is also attorney general Jeff Sessions, who has had to recuse himself from the Russia interference investigation because he is implicated due to multiple meetings with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the campaign. (Sessions is not alone; Kislyak, rumored to moonlight as a spy recruiter, also met with Flynn, Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner, and Trump, though all have mysteriously foggy memories of these encounters.)

Then there’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, recipient of an “Order of Friendship” medal from Vladimir Putin, who does not seem to know why he is even in office, admitting this week, “I didn’t want this job, my wife told me to do this.” Unfortunately, Tillerson came to that revelation only after inflaming military tensions with North Korea.

On top of that, the Trump administration contains a burgeoning and possibly illegal nepotistic dynasty (Jared and Ivanka, currently getting security clearances and White House office space despite no experience in government)....

READ MORE...


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