Breaking News………

Posted on May 20th, 2017 in Politics by Robert Miller

It seems like the Washington Post has become a better newspaper under Jeff Bezos’ leadership. At least that’s the way it seems to me. The founder of Amazon.com is making waves, as he continues to improve the Washington Post, which is now a rival for the New York Times. Not bad for a person that started out as an engineer, and quickly became an entrepreneur. The Washington Post has a new visual display showing the Russian connections for future use which you can view HERE. It is the most recent development which shows all the major players on the Trump squad, including some Russian players that we haven’t seen before; one must remember that an unidentified person of interest is now under investigation, and he/she is a member of the White House Staff, meaning that the investigation will be in an accelerated mode in the coming weeks and months.  This person, for obvious reasons has not been identified yet. (Jared Kushner, President Trumps son-in-law, has been identified as the new person under investigation).  All of these efforts point to an increasing level of pressure on the White House staff, especially give the fact, which we have seen reinforced lately, with many White House staffers, wondering if the are the next person to be thrown underneath the bus, as Donald Trump, in recent weeks has become famous for doing just that. The article that addresses this news and be seen HERE

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US Economy is Dragging it’s Feet Since Trump was Elected President

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 in Politics by Robert Miller

In an article published in New York Times, a few days ago, a special story on the slow growth of the economy beginning in January of this year; you can read this story HERE. Right now the growth rate of the U.S. economy stands at 0.7 %, the slowest growth rate for nearly three years. Since 70% of our growth rate is attributed to consumer spending, the slow growth rate reported by the Commerce Department, can be attributed to the lack of confidence in the Trump administration or in Trump himself. Because this took place earlier this year, there is little chance we can attribute this sudden downturn in the economy to Obama; it must therefore be attributed to the Trump administration. In President Obama’s last three months in office the G.D.P. grew at 2.5%.  Naturally, the Trump people want to blame the sudden down turn to the Obama administration, but that rings hollow because it suddenly happened in January of this year. Meanwhile the stock market continues to surge, up 11% since the election took place (Trump insists that the downturn occurred in the last quarter, but the facts say otherwise).

Of course, we know by now now that Trump lives in his own reality, and the truth has no chance of penetrating his very thick skull, if even for a microsecond. He lives in his own world and he is awash with alternate facts. But we are not allowed in that world because most of us have to stick to the facts as we see them. No Chance for alternate facts in our world.

The article goes on to suggest that the Fed may look at these numbers and balk at raising the interest rates any time soon

RFM

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A Note From Juan Cole

Posted on March 27th, 2017 in Politics by Robert Miller

This was entirely copied from Juan Cole’s web site which you can view HERE.

True, Trump hasn’t Criticized Putin for Navalny Arrest; but Navalny is more like Trump

 

 

 

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The meme du jour about the protests in Russia on Sunday is that Donald Trump did not criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin for arresting the protesters, including their leader, Alexei Navalny.

Apparently the pressure on the State Department from Russia hawks in Congress was so great that State issued a brief statement condemning the arrest of protesters.

But Trump was uncharacteristically quiet.

It is a fair point, and signals Trump’s double standards.

But the irony is that Navalny is even more like Trump than Putin is, and in fact is a little scary.

Navalny is a nationalist, who has been seen at far-right, ultra-nationalist events. His platform not only attacks corruption but also calls for deportation of undocumented workers.

Navalny accused Russian prime minister Dimitry Medvedev of embezzling so much money he has become a billionaire. He has a Non-Governmental organization intended to track corruption in Russia’s elite.

Medvedev may well be extremely corrupt. But this campaign against him looks like Trump’s demands that Hillary Clinton be locked up without trial.

Navalny was behind the demonstrations throughout Russia, in 80 cities, on Sunday, and was detained after they broke out.

BBC Monitoring translated his and his supporters’ tweets to the effect that all the employees of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation were arrested on Sunday:

“Moscow police have detained all employees present at the headquarters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), according to Navalny himself.

“All employees of the Anti-Corruption Foundation have been detained. This is the best possible appraisal of their work. The FBK will not allow thieves a quiet life,” Navalny wrote on Twitter on 26 March (bit.ly/2n6O4N7).

FBK staff had been broadcasting live footage of anti-corruption protests taking place in Moscow and other cities around Russia. According to Navalny ally Leonid Volkov, who had been presenting the live feed, during his detention he was asked by police whether the broadcast had been sanctioned by the authorities (bit.ly/2ojF3AP).

Earlier, Navalny himself was detained at the beginning of the protest on Moscow’s central Tverskaya street. He later tweeted, urging his supporters to continue marching without him.”

But Navalny’s agenda goes beyond corruption. The Atlantic writes,

“In an interview in January, Navalny laid out the main points of the so-called nationalist agenda, including combating illegal immigration and ethnically based organized-crime groups; protecting ethnic Russians abroad; and bringing order to the North Caucasus, which he has called a de facto lawless “off-shore zone.” ”

He has also demanded that all Federal funding for the Caucasus be suspended.

So the Caucasus is to Navalny as Mexico is to Trump.

In Moscow authorities appear to have asked Navalny and his protesters to move somewhere quieter, rather as George W. Bush (unconstitutionally) proposed “protest zones” for those unhappy with his Iraq War.

This is not the liberal opposition in Russia, but something dark and even to Putin’s right. While Navalny’s followers should have the right to demonstrate freely, there is no particular point in demanding that Trump swing around and blindly support Navalny just because he isn’t Putin.

 

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