Monday, December 5, 2016

Sahra Wagenknecht interviewt von Sophie Shevardnaze (RT(

"Merkel hat versagt" - Das große RT-Interview mit Sahra Wagenknecht
RT Moderatorin Sophie Schewardnadse befragt die Vorsitzende der Fraktion Die Linke, Sahra Wagenknecht, zu Bundeskanzlerin Merkel als „Anführerin der freien Welt“, den Erfolgen der AfD, der Flüchtlingskrise sowie dem Sanktionsregime gegen Russland. Die Bundesregierung sei den USA hörig, so Wagenknecht, die auch die politische Hexenjagd gegen RT verurteilt.

Trump’s Appointments by Paul Craig Roberts

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 05.12.2016

What do they mean?

Before I give an explanation, let’s be sure we all know what an explanation is. An explanation is not a justification. The collapse of education in the US is so severe that many Americans, especially younger ones, cannot tell the difference between an explanation and a defense, justification, or apology for what they regard as a guilty person or party. If an explanation is not damning or sufficiently damning of what they want damned, the explanation is interpreted as an excuse for the object of their scorn. In America, reason and objective analysis have taken a backseat to emotion.
We do not know what the appointments mean except, as Trump discovered once he confronted the task of forming a government, that there is no one but insiders to appoint. For the most part that is correct. Outsiders are a poor match for insiders who tend to eat them alive. Ronald Reagan’s California crew were a poor match for George H.W. Bush’s insiders. The Reagan part of the government had a hell of a time delivering results that Reagan wanted.
Another limit on a president’s ability to form a government is Senate confirmation of presidential appointees. Whereas Congress is in Republican hands, Congress remains in the hands of special interests who will protect their agendas from hostile potential appointees. Therefore, although Trump does not face partisan opposition from Congress, he faces the power of special interests that fund congressional political campaigns.
When the White House announced my appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Republican Senator Bob Dole put a hold on my appointment. Why? Dole had presidential ambitions, and he saw the rising star of Republican Representative Jack Kemp as a potential obstacle. As I had written the Kemp-Roth bill that had become Reagan’s economic policy, Dole regarded me in the Treasury as a one-up for Kemp. So, you see, all sorts of motives can plague a president’s ability to form a government.
With Trump under heavy attack prior to his inauguration, he cannot afford drawn out confirmation fights and defeats.
Does Trump’s choice of Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary mean that Goldman Sachs will again be in charge of US economic policy? Possibly, but we do not know. We will have to wait and see. Mnuchin left Goldman Sachs 14 years ago. He has been making movies in Hollywood and started his own investment firm. Many people have worked for Goldman Sachs and the New York Banks who have become devastating critics of the banks. Read Nomi Prins’ books and visit Pam Martens website, Wall Street on Parade ( My sometimes coauthor Dave Kranzler is a former Wall Streeter.
Commentators are jumping to conclusions based on appointees past associations. Mnuchin was an early Trump supporter and chairman of Trump’s finance campaign. He has Wall Street and investment experience. He should be an easy confirmation. For a president-elect under attack this is important.
Will Mnuchin suppport Trump’s goal of bringing middle class jobs back to America? Is Trump himself sincere? We do not know.
What we do know is that Trump attacked the fake “free trade” agreements that have stripped America of middle class jobs just as did Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot. We know that the Clintons made their fortune as agents of the One Percent, the only ones who have profited from the offshoring of American jobs. Trump’s fortune is not based on jobs offshoring.
Not every billionaire is an oligarch. Trump’s relation to the financial sector is one as a debtor. No doubt Trump and the banks have had unsatisfactory relationships. And Trump says he is a person who enjoys revenge.
What about the hot-headed generals announced as National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense? Both seem to be death on Iran, which is stupid and unfortunate. However, keep in mind that Gen. Flynn is the one who blew the whistle on the Obama regime for rejecting the advice of the DIA and sending ISIS to overthrow Assad. Flynn said that ISIS was a “willful decision” of the Obama administration, not some unexpected event.
And keep in mind that Gen. Mattis is the one who told Trump that torture does not work, which caused Trump to back off his endorsement of torture.
So both of these generals, as bad as they may be, are an improvement on what came before. Both have shown independence from the neoconservative line that supports ISIS and torture.
Keep in mind also that there are two kinds of insiders. Some represent the agendas of special interests; others go with the flow because they enjoy participating in the affairs of the nation. Those who don’t go with the flow are eliminated from participating.
Goldman Sachs is a good place to get rich. That Mnuchin left 14 years ago could mean that he was not a good match for Goldman Sachs, that they did not like him or he did not like them. That Flynn and Mattis have taken independent positions on ISIS and torture suggests that they are mavericks. All three of these appointees seem to be strong and confident individuals who know the terrain, which is the kind of people a president needs if he is to accomplish anything.
The problem with beating up on an administration before it exists and has a record is that the result can be that the administration becomes deaf to all criticism. It is much better to give the new president a chance and to hold his feet to the fire on the main issues.
Trump alone among all the presidential candidates said that he saw no point in fomenting conflict with Russia. Trump alone questioned NATO’s continued existence 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Trump alone said that he would work to bring middle class jobs back to America.
And Trump said that he would enforce immigration laws. Is this racism or is this a defense of citizenship? How is the US a country if there is no difference between illegal aliens and citizens?
Commentators of all stripes are making a mistake to damn in advance the only government that campaigned on peace with Russia, restoring middle class jobs, and respect for the country’s borders. We should seize on these promises and hold the Trump administration to them. We should also work to make Trump aware of the serious adverse consequences of environmental degradation.
Who is blowing these opportunities? Trump? Mnuchin? Flynn? Mattis?
Or us?
The more Trump is criticized, the easier it is for the neoconservatives to offer their support and enter the administration. To date he has not appointed one, but you can bet your life that Israel is lobbying hard for the neocons. The neocons still reign in the media, the think tanks, university departments of foreign affairs, and the foreign policy community. They are an ever present danger.
Trump’s personality means that he is likely to see more reward in being the president who reverses American decline than in using the presidency to augment his personal fortune. Therefore, there is some hope for change occuring from the top rather than originating in the streets of bloody revolution. By the time Americans reach the revolutionary stage of awareness the police state is likely to be too strong for them.
So let’s give the Trump administration a chance. We can turn on him after he sells us out.

Is The Donald trumped? Clinton scheming to seize White House through backdoor

Robert Bridge
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist based in Moscow, Russia. His articles have been featured in many publications, including Russia in Global Affairs, The Moscow Times, Lew Rockwell and Global Research. Bridge is the author of the book on corporate power, “Midnight in the American Empire”, which was released in 2013. email:
Next month, Donald J. Trump, with hand on Bible, will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Or will he? The recent talk about recounting votes and 'faithless electors' suggests this highly contentious power struggle is far from over.
In fact, it may be just beginning.
Anybody who believes Hillary Rodham Clinton has been sent to the political graveyard by a Manhattan real estate developer has forgotten the cruel surprises of recent history (Remember the Greek referendum? Brexit anyone?). Democratic due process has devolved into something like ‘The Hunger Games’ for the rich - a sensational televised spectacle to entertain the elite every four years, while keeping the people believing they can effect real change.
Although it may seem implausible to some, Donald J. Trump may be denied the presidency due to a democratic system that has been corrupted to the bone by excessive wealth, power and collusion at the highest levels.

Countdown to disaster?

As the world media continues to eulogize Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the neocon-liberal establishment is quietly positioning their chess pieces for a power grab of epic proportions. As far as I can tell, there are three stages of this silent coup presently being carried out on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
The first step in the process was to perpetuate the news that although Donald Trump won the Electoral College (306-232), he failed to win the popular vote - reportedly by 2.5 million votes, at last count.
Clinton’s alleged victory in the popular vote count, which continued for three weeks after Nov. 9 (keep in mind that most of the vote monitors had already gone home as these votes were being quietly tallied), could present serious complications for Trump and his chances of entering the White House, as will become clear a bit later.
Meanwhile, the blatantly anti-Trump media is conducting “thought experiments” to show how Clinton would have, could have, should have won the Electoral College if only the Electoral map had been spliced and diced here and there across the nation. The implicit media message behind all of this tomfoolery, of course, is that Wall Street-approved Clinton deserves her coronation, because, well, that is what the elite want, democratic procedure be damned.
This ongoing campaign on behalf of Clinton is much more than just sour grapes; in fact, it is a war of attrition designed to exert undue pressure on the Electoral College, the rickety institution that got Trump elected in the first place. And although it has never robbed an election from a candidate who has gained the majority of Electoral College votes, there is a possibility – and a very high one in this particular battle - of so-called “faithless electors” tipping this contest in Clinton’s favor.
This represents the second stage of Clinton’s attempt at reversing the results of the presidential election in her favor.

Will the Electoral College go rogue?

The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on December 19 to perform what, under normal circumstances, would be a mere formality of voting for either Clinton or Trump, according to the will of their constituents.
Needless to say, however, we are not dealing with “normal circumstances.” This is a battle the Democrats have no intention of losing, no matter what the Electoral College results tell us.
The 2016 presidential campaign represents an epic power struggle that will determine the trajectory of US domestic and foreign policy like no other contest in recent history. No surprise, then, that neo-liberal lobbying groups have been exerting immense pressure on these electors to ignore the will of the people and “vote their conscience.”
You’d be very wrong to think this couldn’t work. If 37 Republican electors essentially break the law and vote against Trump, it will block him from winning the presidency. The Democrat's team of lawyers and political consultants are now working around the clock to make this happen.
Micheal Baca, a Denver Democrat and a member of the state’s Electoral College delegation, is one of the individuals attempting to persuade Republican electors to discard the will of the people and vote for anybody but Trump.
Baca makes no secret about his intentions to override the Constitution and go rogue.
“This is not about Hillary,” he said. “This is about trying to stop Donald Trump.”
The Democrat full-court press is getting results. Art Sisneros, a Texas Republican elector, confirmed this week that he would resign his position rather than perform his Constitutionally mandated task. 
Before continuing, let's take a moment and perform our own "thought experiment" and consider would would happen if Hillary Clinton somehow gets the nod for the presidency instead of Trump. If the country is not completely overwhelmed by coast-to-coast riots and protests, and there is somehow a peaceful transition of power, then Clinton can expect to face four years of the most hostile, uncooperative (Republican) Congress in American history. Although given the number of neocons who openly support Clinton and her hawkish tendencies, there could be points of agreement.
In a best-case scenario, there would be - aside from carrying out the necessary task of maintaining ‘law and order’ at home, while continuing on a war footing abroad - a four-year-long government shutdown. America would get its first real taste of what martial law feels like.
The American Conservative painted the following picture as to what would happen if Trump’s Electoral College victory were rescinded: “Constitutional government would have broken down, and we would be facing something like a Latin American presidential dictatorship. For several years, Washington’s political debate would be reduced to something like a Hobbesian war of all against all.”
Is that something we really need? Apparently it is for some folks, and not least of all Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein.
And this brings us to the final stage of a possible Clinton coup.

Civil War, anyone?

It is generally assumed that it was Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate who masterminded the call for a recount of votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. That’s not quite right.
New York magazine reported that on November 17 Hillary Clinton was “urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump… The group is so far not speaking on the record about their findings and is focused on lobbying the Clinton team in private.”
Just one day after the above article appeared (Nov. 22), Jill Stein, who came in dead last with about 3 million votes less than Gary ‘What is Aleppo?’ Johnson, announced she would be collecting money to recount votes in the swing states. One of the interesting things about Stein's choice of swing states to hold recounts is that these are the very same places where Trump emerged victorious. Coincidence or not, that alone should have set off some alarms.
In any case, the reason Jill Stein and not Hillary Clinton is calling for the recount is evident: Throughout the campaign, the media hounded Trump with a single annoying question never asked of the future loser: Would he accept the results of the election in the event he lost? When Trump said he would take a “wait and see” approach, Clinton assumed a holier than thou position.
“Now make no mistake,” Clinton solemnly told supporters, “by doing that, he is threatening our democracy. The peaceful transition of power is one of the things that sets us apart. It’s how we hold our country together no matter who’s in charge.”
So now that the tables are turned, Stein is in the kitchen doing the dirty work. And the media suddenly can’t get enough of this woman who haunted the 2016 election campaign like a rare phantom sighting.
Here’s how News Busters tallied her sudden stardom: “When Jill Stein was the Green Party’s candidate for US president, the networks only gave her 36 seconds of coverage. However, as soon as she launched a campaign to contest the presidential election and demand a recount of ballots in several key states, the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC managed to find 7 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage for her in just four days. That's more than 12 times as much coverage as in the entire campaign.”
But it gets better. Stein has managed to accumulate a massive war chest to carry out the recount - $7 million at last count (or about seven times what she received during her entire presidential campaign). At one point, her recount drive was pulling in almost $5,000 every minute. Somehow that doesn’t sound like Joe Voter digging deep in his Levi's; that sounds more like big league spenders stepping up to the plate. Incidentally, when Stein first started passing the hat around, she said $2.5 million would be plenty, thank you very much. Yet every time she hit the target, a higher threshold was introduced. 
Is Stein’s recount campaign really about collecting some easy money while giving the Green Party some much-needed attention? Or is Stein just trying to shed some light on the dry rot gnawing away at the foundation of US democracy? All that, however necessary, seems very unlikely. After all, the recount plan was initially floated to Hillary Clinton, not Jill Stein. Thus, we must assume this is all part of a major power push for the Democrats to steal the White House from Donald Trump.
As Paul Joseph Watson summed up the situation: “Her entire campaign was backed by an establishment that wouldn’t hesitate to exploit a recount to carry out the vote fraud they thought they didn’t need on Election Day.”
And here is where we can fit the last piece into the puzzle to understand what is really going on here. If the recount effort alone won’t make much of a difference to either Clinton or Stein’s chances of overturning the massive edge that Trump now enjoys, then why are they bothering themselves? Hold onto your seats, folks, this gets interesting.
The answer boils down to simple arithmetic, as well as some monkey play in the system.
Presently, Michigan has already agreed to a recount, which will be carried out this weekend and require hand-counting of ballots in the regions. This process will take many days. Federal law requires the recount to be finished by Dec. 13 – just six days before the Electoral College is expected to cast its votes.
Wisconsin has already agreed to a recount, while Pennsylvania is dragging its feet. In other words, this process will probably take us right up to Dec. 19 – the date the Electoral College is supposed to cast their votes (Why the Electoral College vote isn’t valid without these voters, who could go rogue, is a question for another day).
Keep in mind that the total number of Electoral College Votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania equals 46. Now take Trump’s 306 Electoral votes and subtract that amount. This leaves you with 260, which is below the 270 required for a candidate to be automatically considered the winner of a presidential election. Do you see where this is going?
Now if this recount should start to point toward a Clinton victory in these three swing states, this will present Trump with a very serious quandary. Should he kick up a fuss and protest the recount on the grounds that he won the Electoral College, this could provoke some sort of “constitutional crisis” that prevents the recount from being completed by the Dec. 13 deadline.
Now, if the matter remains unsettled by Dec. 19 this could - technically speaking - give the Electoral College’s “faithless electors” yet more reason for not aligning themselves with their constituents. Or, on the other hand, the Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania votes could be considered forfeited because they failed to resolve the issue by the Dec. 19 deadline.
So if it did come down to this, who do you think will be selected – possibly by the very Supreme Court that Trump hopes to disband once in office – to be the 45th president of the United States?
Yes, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the candidate we have been told got 2.5 million more popular votes than Donald Trump (I would suggest Trump start a serious process to challenge those votes right now).
For those who still doubt this possibility, please consider the two latest failed grassroots movements of our times – Brexitand the Greek referendum - two examples of ‘democracy in action’ that the political elite has de facto canceled or put on hold indefinitely.
Such dramatic setbacks, which are becoming the rule rather than the exception, lend credence to Mark Twain’s famous observation that “If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”
In other words, the elite will always get what they want, regardless how the votes goes.
Clinton seizing the White House through the backdoor would not be the strangest thing to happen in old Washington. Just ask George W. Bush how he got elected president in 2000 by the Supreme Court, not We the People.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.