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Mon, 16 Jan 2017
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Chess

Russian MP advises Trump not to use sanctions to pressure Moscow


Alexei Pushkov
The incoming US administration should not use the issue of lifting anti-Russian sanctions as means of leverage on Moscow, a member of the Russian parliament's upper house, Alexei Pushkov, said Monday.

Trump said in a Sunday interview with The Times and Bild that US sanctions against Russia could be lifted in exchange for a bilateral agreement on the reduction of nuclear weapons. Trump noted in the interview to the newspaper that such an approach would result in "de-escalating international tensions".

Bad Guys

John Pilger: Trump faces American 'war-machine' if he tries to strike deal with Russia

© Politicus USA
President-elect Donald Trump may want to make a deal with Russia, award-winning journalist John Pilger told RT, adding that the "US intelligence and national security monolith is pointed towards war."

"It seems that he [Donald Trump] wants to make a deal with Russia, it makes sense from everyone's point of view," Pilger told RT's Rory Suchet during a lengthy interview. "There is a great pressure on him not to do it".

The US president now has "enormous military power," noted Pilger. Trump is currently under pressure from fellow Republicans calling for tougher sanctions against Russia and those standing for softening rhetoric towards Moscow.

Chess

Trump concedes 'Russian hacking' - But why?

© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump
On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump held a press conference - his first since being elected - covering a range of topics. He was asked many questions about connections to Vladimir Putin and Russian hacking of the DNC, alleged by the US media and intelligence agencies.

When Trump was asked who he thought was behind the hack, his answer was a dramatic reversal from his previous position and that of his surrogates that it was impossible to determine the guilty party:
As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people. And I — I can say that you know when — when we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, they didn't make a big deal out of that. That was something that was extraordinary. That was probably China.
This shocking concession by Mr. Trump follows his classified briefing on "Russian hacking" with US intelligence agencies the previous Friday.

Quenelle - Golden

Russia's Top Liberal Politician Slams Obama: 'Go Back to Hawaii, Play Golf & Cry'


Vladimir Zhirinovsky
The always outspoken leader of Russia's Liberal-Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has decided to give Barack Obama one final send off.

Zhirinovsky spoke to the Russian press and lambasted Obama for his many broken promises and the wholesale destruction he has caused during his 8 years in power. He remarked that Obama cried at his last public appearance because he must feel shame at his actions and his total destruction of US-Russian relations.

Flashlight

Zakharova: US intel agents deliberately embroiled Washington and Moscow in conflict - May have contributed to Russian statesman Primakov's death

© Reuters / Reuters
Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov
A ham-fisted attempt of the US intelligence services to recruit a Russian diplomat resulted in a delay in the delivery of a rare medicine needed for the treatment of legendary Russian statesman Evgeny Primakov, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

The scandal, which was previously never made public, was revealed on Sunday by Maria Zakharova in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV. It happened sometime before Primakov's death in June 2015.

According to Zakharova, doctors treating the legendary diplomat needed rare medicine that was available at the time only in the US. Time was of the essence, so as a favor to its former chief the Russian Foreign Ministry organized the purchase of the drug through a practicing US doctor. An embassy employee was supposed to pick up the package and deliver it to Moscow through diplomatic channels.

Comment: Drip, drip, drip... the US Deep State is being publicly exposed day-by-day...

The Primakov Policy - a great man's legacy to Russia


Chess

Is Obama condoning and directing the hit on Trump?

It's now publicly accepted that the CIA, factions in the CIA, whatever, object to Trump and are making life difficult for him.

The interesting question is, is President Obama just a passenger on the runaway Deep State train, thoughtlessly rattling through his hollow valedictories, or is he the conductor? or the engineer?

I was struck by this possibility while reflecting on David Ignatius' revelation on Thursday that intercepts showed that Trump's security adviser, Michael Flynn, had been on the phone with the Russian ambassador several times on the day President Obama announced the expulsion of the Russian diplos.

Hmmm. I thought. With all due respect, David Ignatius doesn't do reporting. He does top-drawer steno. He didn't dig this factoid out. It was fed to him. Specifically, the fact that Flynn's communications were being intercepted - normally, one would expect, the kind of tittle-tattle kept from the public eye under the rubric of "protecting sources and methods" - was being made part of the public discourse.

Brick Wall

8 men own same wealth as half the world - Oxfam

© AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo
Workers unload bricks at a brick-making factory in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. As bricks continue to be used in construction throughout Myanmar, traditional craftsmen who produce hand-made bricks are facing competition from machine-made bricks which are produced more efficiently
The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday.

Presenting its findings on the dawn of the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, anti-poverty organization Oxfam says the gap between the very rich and poor is far greater than just a year ago. It's urging leaders to do more than pay lip-service to the problem.

If not, it warns, public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes akin to last year's election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

"It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, who will be attending the meeting in Davos. "Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy."

The same report a year earlier said that the richest 62 people on the planet owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. However, Oxfam has revised that figure down to eight following new information gathered by Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

Comment: See also: Report: World's richest 1 percent will have more than half the world's wealth in two years


Che Guevara

Move over, Fake News Outlets! Trump administration may invite bloggers and talk show hosts to enlarged press briefings at new, larger venue

© Justin Lane/EPA
Trump calls on a reporter during his latest press conference on 11 January
Talk radio hosts and bloggers could be invited to official White House press briefings once the Trump administration takes office, under a highly irregular proposal being floated that may also remove briefings from the West Wing.

Trump's pick for White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said on Sunday that due to "off the chart" interest in the new administration, the president-elect was considering moving briefings from the James S Brady press briefing room, which has been used by presidents to address the media since 1970, to a venue with a greater capacity.

A report published by Esquire magazine on Saturday indicated the venue could be inside the Old Executive Office Building, just west of the White House.

"I know change is difficult sometimes," Spicer told Fox News. "But sometimes change can actually be better."

Spicer argued the proposal would mean "you can involve more people, be more transparent, have more accessibility". He suggested that this would mean outlets that are not traditionally part of the White House press corps would be able to ask questions during presidential press briefings.

Comment: This just gets better and better!

Out of the way, Fake News outlets; it's time for the adults to take charge.


Chess

Trump interview: May lift Russian sanctions - Merkel's migrant policy 'catastrophic' - NATO 'obsolete' - Won't quit tweeting

© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump
US President-elect Donald Trump has hinted that the US could lift its sanctions against Russia, called Merkel's migrant policy "a catastrophic mistake" and branded NATO "obsolete" in a new interview for The Times and Bild.

The interview was given in the President-elect's office in Trump Tower, just days before his inauguration.

Trump was quite straightforward in speaking out in favor of some common ground with Moscow.

"They have sanctions on Russia — let's see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially," Trump said to the two media outlets.

Comment: Exactly; why quit a good thing?

Trump tweets, the world listens (because the Fake New Outlets that berate him for tweeting make his tweets headline news!).


Stormtrooper

Can Donald Trump trust the Secret Service to keep him safe?

© Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters
Secret Service agents surround Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a disturbance as he speaks at Dayton International Airport in Dayton, Ohio
Quis custodiet ipsos custodies is a Latin phrase meaning, who will guard the guards? Much has been said about Trump's need to 'watch his back' do to his high level enemies in the deep state. As with many other solutions Trump has found in order to help go directly to the people rather than rely on mainstream media, similar methods can be used and ought to be explored when it comes to providing Trump's personal security.

Comment: Well the NRA might seem like a reasonable idea, but let's not forget that some people will do nearly anything for money...