Friday, May 12, 2017

1:34 PM 5/12/2017 - DNI Confirms Senior Russian Officials' Involvement in U.S. Election - MeriTalk (blog)

Saved Stories - None 
DNI Confirms Senior Russian Officials' Involvement in U.S. Election - MeriTalk (blog)
Trump lawyers push back against Russia ties in letter - Washington Post
What's Behind the Rise of MS-13? - CityLab
Trump lawyer says tax returns from past 10 years show no 'income of any type from Russian souces,' with few ... - CNBC
Comey and Trump: Timeline to the firing - WIC News
Law Expert Says Trump 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors' Already Evident - Common Dreams
Trump's tweet on Russia and Ukraine wasn't just silly. It's bad diplomacy. - Washington Post
Donald Trump's lawyers say he doesn't have any Russian money with a few exceptions - Salon
Trump denies Russian income despite letter showing $100 million from Russian sources - Shareblue Media
Is the Watergate-Comey Comparison Simply a Way to Score Partisan Points? - The Atlantic
ISIS has wiped out thousands of years of Syrian history - Daily Mail
Trumps voter fraud commission is a shameless white power grab | Steven W Thrasher
Fact-checking Donald Trumps NBC interview, claims about firing FBI Director James Comey
Trump Lawyers State He Had No Russian Income or Debt, With 'Few Exceptions' - New York Times
Donald Trump Impeachment: Comey Firing Leads To Massive Slash In Odds, Impeachment More Likely Now Than Ever - The Inquisitr
Donald Trump Has Compromised Every Major Investigation Into Alleged Russian Interference - HuffPost
Trump Ordered to Turn Over Giuliani Memo in Travel Ban Suit - Bloomberg
Inside a White House dinner with Donald Trump - New York Post
I got Roger Stone - Washington Examiner
Donald Trump Threatens James Comey, Implies He Taped Conversations - HuffPost
Trump Should Be Wary of Putin's Syria Plan - New York Times
Impeach Trump For Right Reasons OpEd
My Dinner With Comey: Current and Former FBI Officials Dispute Trump Account of Meeting With FBI Director - CNBC
From Richard Nixon To Donald Trump: Americas Great Leap Backwards OpEd
South China Sea: Philippines Moves Troops To Island Claimed By China

Saved Stories - None 
DNI Confirms Senior Russian Officials' Involvement in U.S. Election - MeriTalk (blog)

DNI Confirms Senior Russian Officials' Involvement in U.S. Election
MeriTalk (blog)
This aggressiveness was evident in Russia's efforts to influence the 2016U.S. election, and we assess that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized the 2016 U.S. election-focused data thefts and disclosures, based on the scope and ...

Trump lawyers push back against Russia ties in letter - Washington Post

Washington Post

Trump lawyers push back against Russia ties in letter
Washington Post
WASHINGTON Lawyers for President Donald Trump said Friday that a review of his last 10 years of tax returns did not reflect any income of any type from Russian sources, but the letter included exceptions related to previously cited income ...
Trump lawyer says tax returns from past 10 years show no 'income of any type from Russian souces,' with few ...CNBC
Michael Flynn issued with subpoena by Senate committee investigatingTrump-Russia tiesThe Independent
Trump Lawyers Say Taxes Show Few Russia Ties Over 10
The Economist
all 134 news articles »
What's Behind the Rise of MS-13? - CityLab


What's Behind the Rise of MS-13?
The operation targeted gang members and associates involved in transnational criminal activity, including drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling, and sex trafficking, murder and racketeering. Of the 1,378 total arrested, 1,098 were ...

Trump lawyer says tax returns from past 10 years show no 'income of any type from Russian souces,' with few ... - CNBC


Comey and Trump: Timeline to the firing - WIC News

WIC News

Comey and Trump: Timeline to the firing
WIC News
Comey, in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it made him mildly nauseous to think his announcement of the reopening of aninvestigation into Clinton's emails affected the 2016 presidential election, but he had no regrets and would make ...

and more »
Law Expert Says Trump 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors' Already Evident - Common Dreams

Common Dreams

Law Expert Says Trump 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors' Already Evident
Common Dreams
(Screengrab)As conflicting accounts of what led to James Comey's firing linger and questions remain as to which equally troubling account of the dinner President Donald Trump had with the then-FBI director are accurate, one constitutional law expert ...

and more »
Trump's tweet on Russia and Ukraine wasn't just silly. It's bad diplomacy. - Washington Post

Washington Post

Trump's tweet on Russia and Ukraine wasn't just silly. It's bad diplomacy.
Washington Post
Critics say it's just one more example of the administration's weakness toward Russia, and Trump's affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin. This little missive was his way of undercutting that message, suggesting that he's not Putin's puppet ...

and more »
Donald Trump's lawyers say he doesn't have any Russian money with a few exceptions - Salon


Donald Trump's lawyers say he doesn't have any Russian money with a few exceptions
The letter said that Trump's tax returns do not indicate that he has any income of any type from Russian sources, as well as any debt owed by you or TTO to Russian lenders or any interest paid by you or TTO to Russianlenders. That said, the letter ...
Trump lawyer says tax returns from past 10 years show no 'income of any type from Russian souces,' with few ...CNBC
Trump lawyers outline president's Russian income but provide no documentsWashington Post
Trump's lawyers say tax returns show little income from RussiansourcesReuters
Shareblue Media -ThinkProgress -The Grio
all 135 news articles »
Trump denies Russian income despite letter showing $100 million from Russian sources - Shareblue Media

Shareblue Media

Trump denies Russian income despite letter showing $100 million from Russian sources
Shareblue Media
Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said he wants to learn more about Trump's Russian money, the Trump team released a letter from his attorneys denying he had received Russian funds. The letter, which is dated March 8 and thus was not prepared in response to ...
Donald Trump says he fired FBI chief James Comey because 'the Russiathing with Trump is a made-up story'The Independent

all 138 news articles »
Is the Watergate-Comey Comparison Simply a Way to Score Partisan Points? - The Atlantic

The Atlantic

Is the Watergate-Comey Comparison Simply a Way to Score Partisan Points?
The Atlantic
Subscribe to The Atlantic's Politics & Policy Daily, a roundup of ideas and events in American politics. ... Let us accept that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to see Trump elected (though given Hillary's reset efforts, and the isolationist ...
How to Limit Your Opponents' Executive OverreachNational Review
The Trump-Russia NexusNew York Times
President Trump Considers Four-High Ranking FBI Officials to Replace ComeyKTVN
Newstalk 106-108 fm
all 12,221 news articles »
ISIS has wiped out thousands of years of Syrian history - Daily Mail

Daily Mail

ISIS has wiped out thousands of years of Syrian history
Daily Mail
It stands at 10ft tall and weighs 15 tons, and when ISIS destroyed it in July 2015, the country's antiquities director said it was the most serious crimethe terror group had commited against Palmyra's heritage. The limestone statue had even been ...

and more »
Trumps voter fraud commission is a shameless white power grab | Steven W Thrasher

There were only four documented cases of attempted voter fraud in the 2016 elections. This commission is about something else entirely
Its been a terrible week for American voting rights. On Thursday, Donald Trump announced that Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach will work with the vice-president, Mike Pence, to lead a commission on voter fraud and suppression. Lets be clear about what this is: a white power grab as naked and frightening as last summers nude statues of Trump himself.
Before the election, Trump engaged in race-baiting when he called for poll monitors and told his supporters to take a look at Philadelphia, whats been going on, take a look at Chicago, take a look at St Louis. Its no coincidence that these are three cities with large African American populations.
Continue reading...
Fact-checking Donald Trumps NBC interview, claims about firing FBI Director James Comey

President Donald Trump downplayed the significance of the FBI’s Russia investigation and the timing of his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey in an interview with NBC May 11. He also distorted the facts on both points. Here are Trump’s most notable lines from the interview with Lester Holt, fact-checked. "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey." That’s not what the White House said previously. White House spokespeople, Vice President Mike Pence and Trump himself, in his dismissal letter to Comey, all said Trump was acting on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein wrote ... >>More
Trump Lawyers State He Had No Russian Income or Debt, With 'Few Exceptions' - New York Times

New York Times

Trump Lawyers State He Had No Russian Income or Debt, With 'Few Exceptions'
New York Times
WASHINGTON President Trump's lawyers say his income tax returns do not show income from Russian sources or debt owed to Russians, with the exception of $95 million paid by a Russian billionaire for a Trump-owned estate in Florida and $12.2 million ...
38 TV shows that have been canceledBusiness Insider
Here's the certified letter saying Trump has no Russian debts or investorsVox
Trump lawyer admits tax returns show some income from RussiansourcesThe Independent
Mediaite -Shareblue Media
all 135 news articles »
Donald Trump Impeachment: Comey Firing Leads To Massive Slash In Odds, Impeachment More Likely Now Than Ever - The Inquisitr

The Inquisitr

Donald Trump Impeachment: Comey Firing Leads To Massive Slash In Odds, Impeachment More Likely Now Than Ever
The Inquisitr
At the time of writing this, the price was stabilized at 81 percent. Bookmakers in the U.K. also saw a surge in money on the removal ofTrump following the sacking of Comey. Betfair said that an individualgambler was planning to put 100,000 pounds on ...

and more »
Donald Trump Has Compromised Every Major Investigation Into Alleged Russian Interference - HuffPost


Donald Trump Has Compromised Every Major Investigation Into Alleged Russian Interference
WASHINGTON When President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, it was the latest in a months-long string of actions that have undermined or compromised every major investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 ... 
It's Rosie O'Donnell vs. Donald Trump, James Comey editionLos Angeles Times
Is Donald Trump a Secret Redditor?The Atlantic

Donald Trump just trolled Rosie O'Donnell. Not good.CNN
OnPolitics Today: Trump contradicted himself on the Comey firingUSA TODAY
The Atlantic-ThinkProgress New Yorker-Deadline -Washington Post
all 11,322 10,201 news articles »
Trump Ordered to Turn Over Giuliani Memo in Travel Ban Suit - Bloomberg


Trump Ordered to Turn Over Giuliani Memo in Travel Ban Suit
The Trump Administration was ordered by a federal judge to disclose a memo drafted under the guidance of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani that allegedly served as an outline to make the president's travel ban look like it wasn't aimed at Muslims. 
Judge orders Trump team to hand over fresh travel ban drafted by Rudy GiulianiThe Independent
Federal judge orders Trump to share Giuliani travel ban memoThe Hill

all 89 news articles »

and more »
Inside a White House dinner with Donald Trump - New York Post

New York Post

Inside a White House dinner with Donald Trump
New York Post
As he settles down, they bring him a Diet Coke, while the rest of us are served water, with the Vice President sitting at one end of the table. With the salad course, Trump is served what appears to be Thousand Island dressing instead of the creamy ... 
Disbelief over Donald Trump's two scoops of ice creamNew Zealand Herald

all 19 news articles »

and more »
I got Roger Stone - Washington Examiner

Washington Examiner

I got Roger Stone
Washington Examiner
Roger Stone is a media personality extraordinaire best known as a "former" longtime political adviser to President Trump. He has been a Republican operative since the 1970s and is a veteran of eight presidential campaigns, starting in 1972 with Richard ...
'Get Me Roger StoneProfiles The Man Who's Wanted Trump To Run Since 1987NPR
'Get Me Roger Stone'
traces GOP strategist's influence from Nixon to TrumpLos Angeles Times

Roger Stone is the man the media can't ignoreWashington Post
Roger Stone
 denies reports linking him to Trump-Comey decision
Fox News

Washington Post
New York Times

all 62 43 news articles »
Donald Trump Threatens James Comey, Implies He Taped Conversations - HuffPost


Donald Trump Threatens James Comey, Implies He Taped Conversations
But Comey's firing came days after he reportedly asked for more resources to advance the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential election. Trump questioned that investigation again Friday morning, calling it a witch hunt..
Donald Trump'sOwn Words Become 'Exhibit A' Against HimThe Atlantic
FBI chief sacking: Trump warns Comey over leaks to mediaBBC News
 is angry that his press shop can't keep track of all his liesSalon
all 12,284 
Donald Trump's Own Words Become 'Exhibit A' Against HimThe Atlantic
President Trump Tells Lester Holt He's 'Fighting Hard' for Legitimacy in 'Divided Country'
Los Angeles Times-CNN-The New Yorker
all 12,026
 news articles »
Trump Should Be Wary of Putin's Syria Plan - New York Times

New York Times

Trump Should Be Wary of Putin's Syria Plan
New York Times
Second, if Mr. Trump felt he had to endorse the Russian initiative on Syria to prove that his strikes had had an impact, his impatience gave PresidentPutin priceless leverage. This is an odd, even embarrassing, about-face for an administration that ...
Trump and Putin to meet in July, Russian state media saysCNN
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to Meet in July, Russian Media SaysU.S. News & World Report
Putin asked Trump to meet with top Russian diplomat in Oval Office: ReportWashington Examiner -The Hill -Vocativ
all 1,094 news articles »
Impeach Trump For Right Reasons OpEd

The Constitution suddenly seems to have bestirred itself and declared itself, through its many Washington spokespeople, to be in crisis.
Im sorry, interjects the world, but what the hell took you so long?
We laid out the clear Constitutional violations of Trumps financial and business interests on the day he became president (in the real sense, not the media event months later when He finally became president by bombing enough people) at
Since the later hours of Day 1 back in January through the present instant, the clear and documented (when not openly bragged about) Constitutional offenses have been piling up.
As of a 2015 disclosure to the Federal Elections Commission, Trump owns stock in the maker of the missiles he sent into Syria, Raytheon, as well as numerous other weapons makers, Canadian tar sands, etc. Trump has continued, escalated, and threatened numerous illegal and immoral wars. That he may be personally profiting from them just adds to the supreme international crime, which of course already violates the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact, supreme laws of the U.S. under the Constitution.
Trump has unconstitutionally discriminated against refugees, been stopped by the judiciary, and immediately done it again.
Trump has pushed policies that will aggravate climate change, a crime against humanity that can be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court even against a non-member. On December 6, 2009, Trump signed a public letter to President Barack Obama urging action to protect the earth from climate change. If we fail to act now, the letter read, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet. Trump is knowingly endangering all human (and many non-human) residents of the United States, right along with the other 96% of humanity.
Trump openly sought to intimidate voters prior to his election, and fought the counting of ballots where they existed, was elected with a minority of votes, was elected with numerous votes uncounted and numerous voters blocked from voting by the partisan stripping of the rolls and by ID laws, following a nomination principally decided by dramatically biased media coverage. If none of that put the Constitution into crisis, why keep the rotting document around at all?
Pre-presidency but still available grounds for impeachment, Trump violated, according to the list in Alan Lichtmans book on Trump impeachment, the Fair Housing Act, New York charity law, tax laws, the Cuban embargo, casino regulations, the RICO statute, laws against employing undocumented immigrants, and of course laws against sexual assault. You dont have to have never been in Congress to spot a pattern of criminality here.
Of course there is one charge against Trump that has not been proven, risks confrontation with a nuclear armed government, and needlessly adds a xenophobic excuse to the dozens of solid reasons that last years U.S. election was illegitimate. So of course this is the one everybody wants to focus on: blaming Russia for exposing the Democratic Partys slanting of its own primary against its strongest candidate. Lets remember that the people who have most vigorously pursued this approach are the same people who nominated possibly the only candidate who could have lost to Donald Trump.
Now we come to a charge of possible, conceivable, or an appearance of possible or conceivable obstruction of justice and perhaps something or other at the base of the story around which justice was being sought. If we can remove Trump this way, by all means, proceed. And proceed with impeachment, not with a 2020 election campaign by some otherwise repulsive candidate who plans to win by virtue of not being Trump and somehow surviving four years of Trumpism.
But here are my concerns:
The coverup is not worse than the crime. Serious crimes are available as impeachment charges, and overlooking them effectively permits them going forward, along with any other crimes, as long as theres no coverup.
We have yet to see any actual evidence of any actual Russian influence on the U.S. election. Toying with hostility toward a nuclear government is more reckless than anything (else) Trump has done. Can you impeach and try Trump for obstructing an investigation into what all the corporate media refer to as if it were established fact, without actually focusing on whether there is any evidence, and without demonizing Russia?
If some lesser crimes are proven that involve Russia in some way, can you try them without advancing the notion that the fundamental crime is friendship with Russians?
Can you keep in perspective the hypocrisy that all of this telegraphs to the earth? Barack Obama recorded a campaign ad for a French candidate in last weeks election, while Samantha Power was busy accusing Vladimir Putin of trying to influence the French election. The U.S. has openly sought to influence dozens of elections, including Yeltsins (the Trump of Russia?), not to mention overthrowing dozens of governments still being pursued in Syria. How does this look? Wouldnt it look better to at least add in a few articles of impeachment for the highest of crimes even if Russia isnt involved in them?
And, yes, I mean even crimes committed by Obama and Bush and others before them. Im not expecting consistency. While I supported impeachment for Bush and Obama as well as Trump, one cannot expect all Democrats to have gone that far in supporting the rule of law when Obama was drone master although they may now ask Republicans to reach that higher standard of integrity. I understand that partisanship is strong poison. I just ask for at least the appearance of seriousness even if only because going into a trial in the U.S. Senate with charges that are already proven makes a conviction far more likely.
The bigger concern, of tamping down the warmongering, of lowering the risk of nuclear conflict should be made to appeal to as many as can hear it.
Impeachment certainly should be pursued, and certainly cannot wait. But it will only establish the proper threat of impeachment for the next person to hold the office if it is done for the right reasons in the right way. The right way includes being led by the public. We, not Congress, must decide when there is a crisis.
My Dinner With Comey: Current and Former FBI Officials Dispute Trump Account of Meeting With FBI Director - CNBC


My Dinner With Comey: Current and Former FBI Officials Dispute Trump Account of Meeting With FBI Director
In an exclusive interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt earlier Thursday, Trump said he believed Comey requested the dinner. Trump said Comey asked that Trump keep him on as FBI director, and told the presidenrt on three occasions that he ...

From Richard Nixon To Donald Trump: Americas Great Leap Backwards OpEd

For almost 50 years, the US economy and society has taken a great leap backward – accelerating during the past three Presidencies. Not only have we experienced the reversal of past socio-economic legislation, but also our presidents and Congress have dragged us into multiple aggressive wars. Now, the threat of a nuclear attack against our declared enemies is on the table.
Since the end of the Viet Nam war, US military interventions have become wars of long duration. These have cost millions of lives overseas, tens of millions of refugees and scores of thousands of American soldier deaths, permanent injury and serious mental and neuropsychiatric damage. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, to quote the US General William Westmoreland.
In retrospect, and after 50 years of decline, the much-maligned Presidency of Richard Milhous Nixon now stands out as a golden age of social, environmental and inter-racial advances, as well as an era of successful peace negotiations and diplomacy. President Nixon, never an ideologue, accepted the reality of a multi-polar world.
Of course, the Nixon Presidency was characterized by serious crimes against humanity, such as the CIA-sponsored coup détat against the democratically elected Chilean President Allende, the bombing of Cambodia and the genocidal invasion of the newly independent country of East Timor.
Today, he is best known for the far-less consequential events around the Watergate scandal and related domestic civil rights abuses and corruption. It was the mass media and Democratic Party politicos who have grossly inflated the election campaign chicanery, leading up to the bungled break-in of the Watergate Hotel headquarters of the Democratic Party, which led to Nixons impeachment and resignation. To todays media spin-masters, Watergate was the defining event of President Nixons Presidency.
Ironically, after Nixon resigned from office even greater disasters occurred. This paper will enumerate these and compare them with the Nixon presidency.
Far from pursuing diplomacy and peace, subsequent presidents, both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, invaded Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada, and Angola and initiated a dozen other highly destructive and economically devastating wars. The two oligarchic parties took turns in shredding Nixons comparatively peaceful legacy.
President Nixon, under the advice of National Security adviser, Henry Kissinger, supported Israels invasion of the Arab countries in 1973 as well as the bloody Chilean military coup in 1973.
President Nixon cynically designed the Southern Strategy, which transformed the Democratic Party-controlled racist fiefdoms of the US South into racist Republican-controlled states.
Progressives, liberals and self-styled democratic-socialists have played a leading role in ignoring Nixons golden years in terms of domestic and international policy achievements. Instead they focused on inane and infantile name-calling, like Tricky Dick, to describe the man. By doing so, they have failed miserably to discuss national and international issues of historic importance. They have deliberately fabricated a distorted picture of the Nixon era to cover-up for the gross failures of subsequent Democratic Party controlled Congresses and Democratic Presidents.
In this essay, we will briefly outline Richard Nixons policies and executive initiatives, which justify our designation of the Nixons golden years, especially in comparison to what has followed his era.

President Nixon: The Great Leap Forward

In the sphere of political, economic and social life, President Nixon pursued policies, which ultimately advanced peace in the world and social welfare in the United States.
In foreign policy and diplomacy, Richard Nixon ended both the draft of young Americans into the armed forces, as well as the decade-long US military occupation of Indo-China, effectively ending the war – and acknowledging the hard victory of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front. The war had cost millions of Southeast Asian lives.
Nixon visited Beijing and recognized the existence of the Peoples Republic of China, effectively ending a quarter century of economic blockades and military threats against the billion-plus population of the PRC under three Democratic (Truman, Kennedy and Johnson) and one Republican (Eisenhower) Presidential Administrations. He established full diplomatic relations with China.
Nixon initiated the Security Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements with the USSR and developed diplomatic policies, which recognized the possibility and necessity of peaceful co-existence between different social systems.
On the domestic front, President Nixon established the Clean Water Act and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with a Federal Government mandate to fight polluters and hold them accountable for the cleanup of the environment.
Nixon proposed a National Health Insurance Program – an expansion of Medicare to cover the health needs of all Americans. This radical proposal (a version of single payer) was attacked and defeated by the Democratic Party, led by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy who was backed by Big Pharma, the AMA and the growing corporate health industry.
Nixon imposed price and wage controls that constrained inflation and price gouging and actively punished commodity hoarding. This was a time of rapid inflation and shortages due to the Oil Embargo. With these measures, he incurred the wrath of Wall Street, big business and the financial press.
Nixon promoted consumer rights, supplemental legislation to expand Social Security, especially for the handicapped, while defending the retirement age for pension eligibility.
Under Nixon, union membership rose to 30% of the workforce – its high point before its precipitous decline to 12% under subsequent US Presidents.
Nixon increased salaries of federal employees and real wages rose. In the following half-century real wages have declined to only 10% of their Nixon era value!
Nixon indexed Social Security to the real rate of inflation.
The Nixon Presidency initiated the Affirmative Action program and used the Federal Government to push for the desegregation of schools, leading to the first large-scale integration of public education in the South. President Nixon created the Office of Minority Business Enterprises (OMBE); the Occupation Safety and Health Agency (OSHA); and the Legacy of Parks Programs.
Nixon proposed a guaranteed annual wage for American workers, which both Democrats and Republicans rejected and defeated! He promoted Keynesian industrial policies against the financial elites with their mania for speculation.
President Nixon appointed four Supreme Court Justices during his term. Three of his appointees supported the groundbreaking Roe versus Wade decision protecting womens reproductive rights.
Under Nixon the voting age was reduced from twenty-one to eighteen years – giving millions of young Americans a greater political voice.
When Nixon spoke in favor of gun control, both the Republican and Democratic Parties opposed his proposals.
President Nixon supported the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and the Endangered Species Act, which have remained critical to social and environmental justice.
Richard Nixon was not a single issue President. The span and depth of his progressive agenda, included fundamental changes in favor of environmental and racial justice, working class economic security and broad-ranging health issues, peace and co-operation with China and the USSR, womens rights through Supreme Court decisions; pensioners rights, and animal rights advocacy. He reduced economic inequalities between the richest 1% of capitalists and the working class. Under President Nixon inequality and the concentration of wealth in the US were far less than they became with subsequent US Presidents and especially during the Obama Administration.
No President, with the possible exception of President Franklin Roosevelts Great Depression Era legislation, even remotely achieved Nixons domestic socio-economic successes. President Roosevelt, one must not forget, operated under the immense pressure of massive working class strikes and in preparation for World War II, while President Nixon achieved his policy advances during a time of relative peace.

The Post-Nixon Bi-Partisan Regression

In the 41 years since Nixons resignation (1976-2017) there has been a systematic rollback of virtually all of the Nixon agenda. Congress, the liberals, the mass media and Wall Street immediately switched from denigrating Nixon, to praising Democratic President Jimmy Carters reversal of Nixons foreign policy achievements.
Contrary to his media-polished image as a Bible-thumping champion of human rights, President Carter dismantled Nixons policies promoting peace with the USSR and China, especially when he appointed the rabidly anti-Russian, anti-communist Zbigniew Brzezinski for National Security Adviser. The duet created the public image of Carter mouthing human rights rhetoric while Brzezinski formulated a policy of backing dictators and funding Islamist (jihadi) terrorists to undermine Soviet allies. The two-faced Evangelical Christian Carter sent confidential letters of US support for the brutal dictator Somoza to prevent the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua, while issuing platitudes about peace in Central America.
Carter worked closely with the military dictatorship in Pakistan and the head chopping monarchs in Saudi Arabia to launch the bloody forty-year war in Afghanistan, a Soviet Ally. The Carter-Brzezinski-promoted mujahidin war against secularism in Afghanistan led directly to the rise of Islamist terrorism, the Taliban and al Qaeda. Carters freedom fighters systematically massacred secular schoolteachers for the crime of educating Afghan girls in the countryside.
In order to undermine the USSR and other socialist or independent secular countries with Muslim populations, the Carter-Brzezinski duet financed and trained the Saudi-indoctrinated Al-Qaeda terrorists. They were delighted when it spread its poison across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Balkans and the Soviet Union promoting separatism and ethnic cleansing. Their cheers ceased somewhat on 9/11/2001.
Domestically, Carters deregulation of price controls led to double-digit inflation and set in motion the long-term decline in wages and salaries, which still plagues the American lower middle and working classes.
Carter appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, who implemented draconian anti-inflationary austerity policies reducing domestic consumption and opening the way for the de-industrialization of the economy.
The seismic change in the US, the financialization of the domestic economy started under Jimmy Carter and was deepened and expanded under the subsequent Presidents Ronald Regan, George H W Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush (Jr) and Barack Obama. Poverty and permanent unemployment followed.
With deindustrialization, labor union membership declined from 30% of the private labor force under Nixon to less than 7% today. Organizing workers was no longer a priority: The AFL-CIO leaders were too busy chasing after the Democrats for handouts (and get-out-of jail passes).
After Carter, the Republican President Ronald Reagan doubled military spending, brutally broke the strike of the Air Controllers union by jailing its leaders, whipped up the revival of US interventionism by invading Grenada and sending Special Forces to join the death squads murdering tens of thousands of peasant activists in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
President Reagans free market polices encouraged US multinational corporations to relocate their factories overseas to Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia, costing millions of US workers well-paying jobs and reducing the number of unionized jobs. The stock markets and profits rose while the American Dream of lifetime stable employment in industry began to fade.
Reagans threats and his huge military build-up forced the USSR to overspend in arms and strangle its growing domestic consumer economy.
The Reagan-Thatcher (British PM) era marked the demise of social welfare. They imposed the doctrine of globalization – in essence, the bellicose revival of Anglo-American imperialism and the end of domestic industrial prosperity.
George HW Bush negotiated with Russian President Gorbachev the break-up of the USSR. Despite Bushs promises not to place US-NATO forces in former Soviet-allied countries, the following period saw the huge US-NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Baltic states. President Bush (Sr.) invaded and savaged both Panama and Iraq, restarting the epoch of permanent US wars.
President George HW Bush promulgated the unipolar doctrine of US world domination, known as the Bush Doctrine.
The Reagan-Bush regimes emptied the content of the Nixon-era progressive agencies in terms of civil rights, consumer and environmental protection, and wage protection. Unionization declined by over a third.
After war-monger President Papa Bush, the Saxophone-playing President Bill Clinton was elected. While crooning the words, I feel your pain ,to American workers and racial minorities, Clinton unleashed Wall Street, ending regulation of banks and investment houses. He re-appointed Alan Greenspan to head the Federal Reserve, a proven master of grotesque financial speculation and the godfather of economic crisis (2007-2009).
President Clinton, passions aroused by the animal spirits on Wall Street (and inside his White House office), launched a vicious assault on the social welfare state, and in particular, low-income working families, single parents and African-Americans. Clintons promotion of Workfare forced single mothers to accept unsustainable minimum wage jobs under the threat of ending any welfare support, while not providing any mechanism for child care! This one policy savaged hundreds of thousands of vulnerable families. Under Clinton, the prison industry exploded as a multi-billion dollar business.
During the 1990s, Clinton backed the most retrograde pro-business, debt-ridden regimes in Latin America. Hundreds of billions of dollars of Latin American wealth was transferred to the US. Clintons Golden Years for Wall Street were a decade of infamy for Latin Americans and led directly to major leftist revolts by the end of the Clinton era.
President Clinton deepened and widened the US military drive for domination in Europe and the Middle East. Clinton bombed and invaded Yugoslavia, especially Serbia – destroying large parts of its capital Belgrade. He bombed Iraq on a daily basis and increased the starvation blockade of that nation. He invaded Somalia and backed Israeli land grabbing-settlement expansion in Palestine. He supported the Israeli savaging of Lebanon. He committed treason by submitting to Israeli blackmail over his sex-capers with Monica Lewinsky and trying to release Israeli spy-US Naval analyst Jonathan Pollard. It was only after an open threat of wholesale resignations by the CIA and other security agencies that Clinton withdrew his proposal to free the traitor Pollard.
Finance capital flourished as Clinton repealed the venerable Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 against bank speculation. He promoted the hugely unpopular NAFTA, (North American Free Trade Agreement) leading to the loss of over two million industrial jobs, as US multinationals absconded to Mexico, where wages were less than one-fifth of the US. NAFTAs savaging of the Mexican agricultural sector and massive bankruptcies of small producers led directly to the flood of desperate Mexican migrants looking for work in the US.
The Georgetown-Harvard-Oxford trained Bill Clinton was the grand wizard of talking like a black preacher in southern churches while smoothly pursuing the big bucks on Wall Street.
After Clinton, regressive policies increased sharply: President George W Bush (Jr), First Black President Barack Obama and First Billionaire President Donald Trump all supported the most virulent imperial war policies.
The two terms of President George (Jr) Bush (2001 – 2008) saw unending multi-trillion dollar-wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have destabilized two continents. Junior Bush presided over the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. His anti-Muslim global wars on terror (GWOT) was launched under the influence of Israel-First militarists who had inundated the Defense Department, National Security staff and Middle East policy and advisory staff in the State Department. Meanwhile, GW Bush deepened unemployment and allowed the mortgage foreclosure on millions of homeowners. The domestic economy was in severe crisis.
By the end of the George W. Bush Presidency, reinvigorated anti-war and social justice movements were gaining strength throughout the country. Arriving on the scene of growing social unrest and with perfect timing, the community organizer presidential candidate Barack Obama won the presidency by promising a progressive agenda to undermine the mass popular radicalization against Bushs unpopular wars, growing inequalities, endless bank swindles, foreclosures and blatant racist policies against Afro-Americans and Hispanics.
Once elected, the First Black US President Obama immediately increased Bushs militarism and handed the criminals on Wall Street a record two-trillion-dollar bailout, ripped out of what remained of public social programs. Elected on a pledge to overhaul the ridiculously inefficient, pro-profit, private health care system, Obama gave the electorate a program of greater complexity and rapidly increasing insurance premiums (Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act), which ended with a negative impact on the nations health.
Under Obama, life expectancy, as well as, the income gaps between the rich and the poor grew at an alarming rate. Inequalities increased with a historic shift of national wealth to the top 1%. The class and health apartheid sharpened in the US. The transfer of jobs abroad accelerated. Multinational corporate tax evasion rose by hundreds of billions of dollars. The gap between African-American wages and white workers increased. Obama deported more immigrants, especially workers from Mexico and Central America, than all four previous presidents combined!
Elected on a pledge to bring the troops home, President Obama broke the record for waging simultaneous wars of all previous presidents! Obama launched or backed US wars and coups (regime changes) in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Honduras and Somalia. After receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama provided advanced weapons to Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt. Obama financed and armed tens of thousands of mercenary terrorists who savaged the secular multiethnic Syrian republic. Furthermore, his administration cynically backed the separatist Kurds occupying Northern Iraq.
Hawaii born and bred, Harvard-educated President Obama had mastered the deep-voiced Southern preacher rhetoric to corrupt the leadership of the social justice and anti-war movements. He coopted the leaders of the mass popular movements to their eternal shame and the movements died. Even the short-lived anti-Wall Street Occupy Movement received Obamas expressions of sympathy as he backed the unleashing of police dogs and tear gas on the activists!
Obamas reactionary military encirclement of Russia and China influenced the foreign policy views of a majority of US liberals as well as the mass media – turning them into humanitarian interventionists and tools for empire.
Ever duplicitous, Obama signed a unilateral nuclear disarmament agreement with Iran and then immediately broke the agreement by imposing new sanctions on Tehrans banking and oil transactions.
There was great media fanfare when Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba. This move facilitated the entry and funding of pro-imperialist NGOs committed to regime change along the same line as other color revolutions. Despite the photo-ops with the Cuban leadership, the US trade embargo against the Cuban people remained in place.
Obamas State Department and Treasury were tasked with sabotaging and overthrowing the elected Chavez-Maduro governments in Venezuela promoting acts of violence, which have thrown the country into chaos. His Secretary of State Clinton orchestrated the violent removal of the presidents of Libya and Honduras and the installation of rabidly reactionary governments whose policies have created hundreds of thousands of refugees and the assassinations of tens of thousands of citizens, human rights and environmental activists.
Obamas much-promoted corporate for-profit health program brought some degree of insurance coverage to just half of the uninsured poor within its first year. However, after the first year health premiums rose by 25% while deductibles increased beyond the capacity of many working families. Since then, premiums have risen astronomically and coverage is unaffordable or unavailable in many areas of the country. The debt burden of ill health or a sudden medical emergency has increased for the middle and working class under Wall Streets First Black President. No demographic measures of improvement, in terms of life expectancy or life quality, have been documented since the implementation of Obama Care. Indeed, these public health measures have deteriorated with an epidemic of suicides, opioid-related deaths and premature deaths of all types among the working and rural classes.
After 8 years, the core of the nation, the so-called Flyover States, where the downwardly mobile working and lower middle class white majority live, was fed up with Obamas cant and blatantly elitist policies. In was in this context that the distasteful billionaire buffoon Donald Trump capitalized on mass popular discontent and rallied a populace in revolt against the previous war and bankers presidents, by promising to end corporate export of jobs, Wall Street corruption, Obama Care, competition for jobs with undocumented cheap labor and endless overseas wars. Trump hit a raw nerve among scores of millions of voters when he accused the earlier Bush Administration of fabricating the pretexts for the invasion of Iraq as well as for security failures in the 9/11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
Within weeks after taking office President Trump gracefully performed an Obama-style about-face and emerged a re-anointed warmonger of the Hillary Clinton variety: He celebrated his transformation by bombing Syria, Afghanistan and the defenseless, starving people of Yemen. He sent warships off the coast of North Korea, placed advanced missile installations in South Korea and threatened nuclear war in Asia.
Trump miserably failed to reform the corporate health plan concocted by his smirking predecessor. He shed his promise to seek peaceful relations with Moscow and embraced the policies of the worst anti-Russian liberal warmongers groomed by Clinton and Obama. Obamas overt war posturing had so deeply influenced African-American politicians that they loudly accused Trump of being too soft on Russia! Former civil rights leaders-turned politicians were calling for greater US military interventions – a spectacle what would have made our sacred civil rights martyrs rolling in their graves.
Trump, building on the immense power already entrenched in Washington, reinforced and expanded the role of finance capital and the Pentagon in determining US policy. Trump pledged to exceed Obamas arrest and expulsion of immigrants – from 2.5 million workers in eight years to an additional 5 million in his first four-year term.
The US corporate mass media and the liberal left have been pushing the pro-business President Trump even further to the right – demanding the US escalate its nuclear threat against North Korea, mount a full invasion of Syria (for its crimes against humanity) and, above all, tighten the military noose around Russia and China.


By any measure, the policies of President Richard Milhous Nixon were more socially progressive, less militarist and less servile to Wall Street than any and all of the subsequent US Presidents. This assessment is heresy to the current historical narratives promoted by both political parties and the corporate media-academic nexus.
But even during the Nixon Presidency there were already signs of an allied liberal-rightist attack on his progressive conservative agenda. Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy blocked Nixons proposal for a universal national health system built on an expansion of the highly successful Medicare Program. Nixons proposal (a Medicare For All) would have been far more comprehensive, effective and affordable than the corporate boondoggles cooked up by the Clinton and Obama Administrations.
What accounts for the dramatic shift from the center left to the far right among US Presidents after the 1970s? What explains the rise and demise of Nixonian progressivism and the great leap backward in the subsequent four and half decades?
Personality and personal background are not irrelevant: Nixons class and work background and personal experience with the Great Depression framed some of his outlook despite his conservative credentials. However, the social and political balance of forces played the decisive role. Richard Nixon came to national attention as a rightwing militarist and aggressive attack dog for Senator Joesph McCarthy during the 1950s and at the beginning of his Presidential term in the late 1960s. However, the reality of the multi-million-person anti-war movement challenged American society and influenced the armed forces from within. Even sectors of the mass media became highly critical of the permanent war state. This movement filled the streets, divided families and influenced the institutions and communities leading to a dramatic change in Nixons politics toward peace and even toward social and racial justice. Nixon truly became a realist.
In those days, the industrial trade unions were powerful. Manufacturing formed the basis of the economy and determined the direction of the banking-finance sector. Wall Street played second fiddle to production.
Fed up with the lack of social progress and opportunity in their communities, African American revolts in the streets were far more effective than the tame black Democratic Party politicos in Congress.
The decline of the social movements and militant labor unions, as well as the retreat to electoral politics among the African American and anti-war movements, ended the independent popular pressure and facilitated the rising power of the pro-war, Wall Street-controlled parties linked to money and speculation. Labor unions became the fiefdoms of corrupt millionaire union bosses who bought protection from prosecution with multi-million dollar campaign donations to both Democrats and Republican politicians. They discarded the Nixons social agenda, using the Watergate Scandal as a pretext to dismantle his advanced programs.
Presidents and Congresses became beholden to the bankers. The rise, dominance and deep corruption of the Wall Street speculators realigned the economy away from domestic manufacturing to international finance – leading to the great relocation of US factories abroad and the permanent marginalization of the once-organized American working class.
Voters were marginalized as active participants in their own public affairs. They alternated their disaffection between parties and candidates, between big and small spenders, indicted and unindicted swindlers, and exposed and unpunished perverts.
The domestic changes in the economy and social structure were the direct outcome of these shifts in the social and political struggles and organizations.
There is a dialectical relationship between socio-economic changes and the rise and fall of socio-political struggles.
These domestic shifts of power and policy were influenced by the major changes in global power, namely the demise of the USSR, the decline of secular-nationalist regimes in the Middle East, the defeat of the left in Latin America and, above all, the rise of the US imperial doctrines of unipolar power and the globalization. The changing times explains everything and nothing! While the objective world determines politics, so do the subjective responses of Presidents.
President Richard Nixon could have escalated the Vietnam War up to a nuclear attack on Hanoi: This is what the current Obama-Trump militarist advisors now recommend for the North Koreans. Nixon could have followed the rightwing free market ideology of the Republican-Goldwater faction. However, Nixon took a pragmatic, peace and social reformist position – which have brought us some of our most cherished programs – EPA, OSHA, SALT disarmament, relations with China, even Roe versus Wade, and an end to the military draft.
Subsequent Presidents, faced with the shifts in political, social and economic power, chose to re-direct the nation toward greater militarism and the domination of finance capital. They have systematically attacked and dismantled the social welfare programs, environmental protection, pro-industry legislation, diplomacy and peace pacts initiated by Nixon.
The aphorism, man makes history but not of his own doing, is central to our discussion of the Nixon legacy. The process of regression is a cumulative process, of leaps and steps. In recent years, regression has accelerated with devastating results for the domestic and world populations. Social power, concentrated at the top, weakens but also alienates power at the bottom and middle. The current configuration of power and policies cannot be permanent, even if the trajectory so far has favored the elite. Social classes and groups are not fixed in their orientations.
Twice in recent years, significant majorities voted for jobs, justice and peace (Obama and Trump) and instead got charlatans bringing greater inequality, injustice and endless wars.
Deception and deep commitments to reactionary politics have penetrated widely among the discontented classes. African-American political leaders and pundits now demand war against Russia following the pronouncements of their Black President, Barack Obama. Poor marginalized white workers still support their billionaire leader Donald Trump as he waltzes down Wall Street and into possible nuclear war.
The dialectic of discontent and resentment can lead to progressive or reactionary political and social alignments, even, or especially, in the face of historys great leap backwards!
South China Sea: Philippines Moves Troops To Island Claimed By China

The Philippines has begun moving troops and equipment to a disputed island in the South China Sea which is claimed by both Manila and Beijing, a Philippines general said. It comes ahead of construction, including lengthening an airstrip on the island.
The troops and initial supplies arrived at Pag-asa Island last week, Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario, head of the Philippine military’s Western Command, said as quoted by AP.
Some 1.6 billion pesos (US$32 million) has been set aside for construction on the island, which will include reinforcing and lengthening and airstrip and building dock, according to the official.
Solar power, a desalination plant and refurbishment of military housing, as well as sites for marine research and tourists, are set to be built on the island.
Earlier this month, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua warned that any construction on the island, known internationally as Thitu, would be illegal.
We view the occupation by the Philippine side of those islands as illegal. And so the building on it are also illegal, he said, as quoted by the Manila Times.
Zhao added that China would give warning to any intruding aircraft in the island’s airspace, as well as any unwelcome planes which may fly in the airspace of the larger Kalayaan Island Group.
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs shrugged off Zhao’s statements, with spokesman Robespierre Bolivar stating that the island and the Kalayaan Island Group are a municipality of Palawan, a province of the Philippines.
China protested a visit to the island by Philippines defense and military chiefs last month, weeks after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to occupy and fortify islands in the South China Sea in order to make a strong point amid its territorial dispute with Beijing.
Pag-asa is the second-largest island in the Spratly archipelago, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
The Spratly Islands have long been a point of contention between the Philippines and China, as Beijing lays claim to virtually all of the South China Sea. It has tried to stake its claim by transforming seven mostly submerged reefs into island outposts some of which have runways, radars and weapons systems.
The Hague Tribunal ruled last year that China has caused irreparable harm to the ecosystem of the Spratlys, and that its actions have breached the sovereign rights of the Philippines. Beijing rejected the verdict, with state media calling it ill-founded and naturally null and void.
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