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Fri, 20 Jan 2017
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Majority of Americans believe Trump would have won anyway, hacked or not

© AP / Washington Post / Ghetty Images
A majority of Americans think the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections would have remained the same, despite Russia's alleged hacking. Donald Trump (left) won the election over Hillary Clinton (right) in November 2016
Most Americans think Donald Trump would have still won the election regardless of information leaks that came out of Russia's alleged hacking, a poll reported.

In the study, 58 per cent thought the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections would have remained the same, despite the hacking of files from the Democratic National Convention.

Americans thought 'regardless of the information released as a result of Russian hacking' Trump would still have won the election, according to a poll conducted by CNN and ORC.

A minority of 40 per cent of people said the information leak was damaging enough to change voter's minds.

Wikileaks published thousands of emails and documents pertaining to Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC, in June 2016.

Comment: So far there has been no hard evidence provided by the CIA that Russia was involved in the leaks. Most likely it was leaked by a Clinton insider.


Book 2

'Obama's decision on Manning very tepid attempt to address issue' - Assange's lawyer to RT

© Reuters
Julian Assange's lawyers are "assessing" the situation, following Chelsea Manning's commutation announcement and Assange's comments that he's willing to make a deal with the US should the whistleblower be granted clemency.

"Mr. Assange stands by everything what he has said," Melinda Taylor, Assange's lawyer told RT from the Hague, but added Obama's decision to commute much of the sentence "certainly falls far short of what Miss Manning deserves."

"Her sentence was commuted, but she wasn't pardoned. She should also never been convicted in the first place," Taylor said.

When asked if Assange is likely to get on a plane to America shortly after Manning is freed in May, his lawyer said her colleagues are now "assessing" the situation.

Black Magic

Social Justice, Clinton and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis

We all know by now that the 2008 Crisis was the result of the unchecked and unregulated greed of Wall Street Fatcats. This greed, that infects the 1%, nearly brought the entire world economy to its knees, and could have brought it lower.

Money-mad psychopaths were able to convince the government to deregulate important parts of the financial markets, allowing them to glut their inhuman avarice, and when it all went sour, those same psychos were bailed out by a corrupt bipartisan political maneuver to further rob the taxpayers of the world and put their hard-earned cash right in the pockets of the same people whose criminal behavior had led to the crisis in the first place.

That's what we all know, what we all seem to agree happened. But it may not be true.

Hourglass

George H.W. and Barbara Bush both hospitalized


George H.W. and Barbara Bush
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, have both been hospitalized, his spokesman said Wednesday.

President Bush, 92, was admitted to intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital to address "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia. Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation," his spokesman, Jim McGrath, said in a statement.

Barbara Bush also was admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning as a precaution after "experiencing fatigue and coughing," McGrath said in the same statement.

President Bush was first hospitalized over the weekend suffering from shortness of breath and a cough and was treated with IV antibiotics.

At first, McGrath reported that he was responding well to the drugs. But Wednesday, the 41st President's condition changed and he was admitted to the intensive care unit, sedated and intubated.

Comment: Looks like the former Warmonger-in-Chief is not long for this world.


Airplane

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard makes secret "fact-finding trip" to Syria


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), joins colleagues and members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in support for the permanent re-authorization of the Zadroga Act.
A US congresswoman made a secret "fact-finding trip" to the Syrian capital Damascus days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Democratic Representative and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard visited Damascus "to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders," Gabbard's spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

The exact dates of the trip were kept secret for security reasons, but her office said the Hawaii lawmaker was currently in the Middle East.

Gabbard, a vocal opponent of the Barack Obama administration's policy of regime change in Syria, has publicly acknowledged that the US government has been supporting terrorists in Syria.

The congresswoman unveiled a measure in Congress late last year that would prohibit Washington from funding or arming militant groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian government, including Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda, and Daesh.

Comment: Gabbard's secrecy for her trip is understandable considering the attack on the French delegation earlier in the month:

French delegation set to expose Western lies about Syria targeted by US backed 'rebels' in Aleppo


Pirates

Nadia Savchenko draws condemnation in Ukraine by suggesting Crimea be put "on the back burner"

© RadioSvoboda.org (RFE/RL)
Nadia Savchenko
Ukrainian lawmaker Nadia Savchenko has caused controversy by suggesting that Kyiv must accept Moscow's grip on Crimea for the time being if it wants to regain control over eastern territory held by Russia-backed separatists.

Speaking on 112 Ukraine TV on January 17, Savchenko said that "the only peaceful way" to resolve the status of the eastern Donbas region in Kyiv's favor is to put the issue of Crimea, which was seized by Russia in March 2014, "on the back burner."

"We must not abandon" Crimea or the Donbas, Savchenko said. But she suggested that in order to regain control of separatist-held territory in the east, Ukrainian politicians will have to "give up" Crimea "for a certain period."

She suggested that if Kyiv focuses on demands for the return of control over Crimea, the Donbas will become "another Transdniester" -- a reference to a sliver of neighboring Moldova that has been held by pro-Russian separatists since a war in 1992.

The only other way to regain control over the Donbas is by force, she said.

Comment: It says a lot when a crazy-woman like Savchenko is outranked in craziness by other Ukrainian politicians.


Snakes in Suits

Deconstructing MI6 smear artist Chris Steele's 'dossier' on Trump's Moscow visit

Almost everyone goes to bed at night. Some get up to urinate. The older, less continent ones can't get up easily, so they urinate on themselves. If properly cared for, they do so in what is known in the geriatric product market as roll-ups.

A small minority arrange to be urinated upon by others, though not usually on the bed they aim to sleep in. This may be an erotic pleasure for you, a perversion to the next man. The name for it is Golden Showers. If conducted between consenting adults, it's not a crime. Paying for it may be a crime, depending on the local law on procuring. In the Russian criminal code it's not a felony but a misdemeanor with a fine so small it usually isn't enforced by the police; certainly not in expensive big-city hotels.

Cowboy Hat

Trump the 'cure for spinelessness' as Germany begins blaming U.S. for refugee crisis

Trump is the perfect villain who may finally spark a German declaration of independence from the Empire

Trump might just turn out to be the cure to Germans' spinelessnes. Speaking to a German daily earlier this week the man to be sworn in as POTUS this Friday wondered if US' NATO alliance with Western Europeans was not outdated, explained he has no great love of the European Union, and characterized Merkel's immigration policy as a catasthrophic mistake for Germany.

The German leadership must have been quite stung by Trump's unflattering comments seeing how they've reacted in a most uncharacteristic manner -- by growing some teeth themselves.

Clipboard

Worst legislative record in history? Obama

© Getty Images
"In case you forgot how, let me help you with that..."
President Obama oversaw the deepest legislative malaise in modern political history, according to the Washington Times Legislative Index, which captures his struggles to find ways to work with a Congress that ranged from lukewarm to openly hostile toward him.

Over the course of his eight years, he has signed just 1,227 bills into law — less, even, than one-term Presidents Carter and George H.W. Bush. Digging deeper into the numbers, Congress spent less time in session, handled fewer business on the chamber floors and generally sputtered for much of Mr. Obama's tenure, according to The Times' index.

Blame for the poor showing falls across Washington. Some analysts say a Congress with four years of divided control hamstrung Mr. Obama, while others say the president failed to find ways to work with the legislature that voters gave him — particularly after the 2010 elections.

"The president was never good at reaching across the aisle. So when the composition of Congress changed relative to what it was in his first two years, he wasn't able to accommodate that very well," said Andrew Busch, a presidential scholar at Claremont McKenna College in California. "He never accustomed himself to operating in a system where he was not the sole player."

Comment: Democrats and Obama in denial...yes there was certainly a pattern of blame established culminating in the insular animosity and pseudo blowback experienced today. It just wasn't his/their fault. Unfortunately, though they moved agendas along, Obama's executive orders and presidential memoranda get little to no scrutiny versus a bill before congress, no matter how lame a congress it is. As of Tuesday, January 17, Obama issued 195 executive orders and 198 presidential memoranda.

From Infowars 2014:
Obama said: "The truth is, even with all the actions I've taken this year, I'm issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years." [...] '"So it's not clear how it is that Republicans didn't seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did."

Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "While Republicans accuse President Obama of executive overreach, they neglect the fact that he has issued far fewer executive orders than any two-term president in the last 50 years."

President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders.

Like executive orders, presidential memoranda don't require action by Congress. They have the same force of law as executive orders and often have consequences just as far-reaching. And some of the most significant actions of the Obama presidency have come not by executive order but by presidential memoranda.

The Office of Legal Counsel — which is responsible for advising the president on executive orders and memoranda — says there's no difference between the two.



Question

Will President Trump rein in the U.S. Military Industrial Complex?

© AFP 2016/ DON EMMERT
President-elect Donald Trump
Whilst Donald Trump has spoken of reducing waste in the US military procurement system, ultimately if his administration is going to bring defence costs under control it needs to draw back from the US's excessive military commitments.

One of the most striking - though unreported - aspects of Donald Trump's interview with The London Times and Bild-Zeitung is what Trump had to say about the state of the US military and of the US defence budget.

Comment: Here's how the Saker concluded his piece on the Russian military, which should put things into perspective:
In conclusion, I want to come back to my statement about Russia being the only country which now openly dares to reject the western civilizational model and whose leader, Vladimir Putin, enjoys the support of 80%+ of the population. These two factors are crucial in the assessment of the capabilities of the Russian armed forces. Why? Because they illustrate the fact that the Russian soldier knows exactly what he fights for (or against) and that when he is deployed somewhere, he is not deployed as a tool for Gazprom, Norilsk Nickel, Sberbank or any other Russian corporation: he knows that he is fighting for his country, his people, his culture, for their freedom and safety. Furthermore, the Russian soldier also knows that the use of military force is not the first and preferred option of his government, but the last one which is used only when all other options have been exhausted. He knows that the Russian High Command, the Kremlin and the General Staff are not hell-bent on finding some small country to beat up just to make an example and scare the others. Last but not least, the Russian solider is willing to die for his country and while executing any order.