Saturday, January 21, 2017

Israel Intends Large-Scale Palestinian Land Theft

Israel Intends Large-Scale Palestinian Land Theft

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli settlements flagrantly violate international law. Over 600,000 settlers occupy stolen Palestinian land.

Fourth Geneva prohibits an occupying power from transferring its citizens to the territory it occupies, as well as displacing people from their land to permit it. 

Israel wants historic Palestine exclusively for Jews, Palestinians denied their fundamental rights - terrorized for decades with no international support.

Ma’aleh Adumim is Israel’s third largest settlement, home to over 37,500 residents. Extremist settlers and Knesset hardliners want it annexed.

On January 22, Knesset Ministerial Committee members will consider annexation legislation, believing Washington will wink and nod with Trump in power, one-sidedly supporting Israel.

Last Tuesday, Knesset Land of Israel Caucus co-chair Bezalet Smotrich arrogantly said “I believe that this is the present the nation of Israel deserves in the wake of Trump’s inauguration and in advance of the policy change with respect to Judea and Samaria.”

“On Sunday we will submit to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation a bill to apply sovereignty on Ma’aleh Adumim.”

Last month, Security Council Resolution 2334 reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements. On Friday, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said “(a)ny Israeli decision regarding annexing the settlement of Maale Adumim will be looked at as dangerous escalation and will not be accepted.”

Don’t bet on it. Abbas is a longstanding Israeli collaborator, installed as Palestinian president to serve its interests - largely avoiding the wrath of his people by saying one thing publicly, going along with Israel privately, amassing illicit wealth in the process.

Israeli extremists consider Maale Adumin part of suburban Jerusalem. Annexing it would further Judaize the city, part of Netanyahu’s divide, conquer, steal and ethnically cleanse strategy.

He believes Jews are entitled to Judea and Samaria, Palestinians confined to isolated pockets of worthless land.

Hardline Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett introduced legislation to annex Maale Adumim, believing now’s the time to seize it with Trump in office.

He’s ideologically dangerous, saying “(n)o (Security Council) resolution can change the fact that this land, Jerusalem, is our capital. And no people can be a conqueror in their own land. That’s why this resolution, like many of the earlier resolutions, will be thrown into the dustbin of history.”

Security Council resolutions are binding - changes or rescission of Res. 2334 not forthcoming given Russian and Chinese veto power.

With strong Western support, Israel breaches international law with impunity. Bennett believes the Trump administration will end notions of Palestinian statehood, leaving Israel free to steal all occupied land it wishes.

Maale Adumin constitutes a large area Israeli extremists want annexed. With no opposition from Washington, they’re counting on it ahead of seizing all valued Judea and Samaria territory.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump at Work on Inauguration Day

Trump at Work on Inauguration Day

by Stephen Lendman

Along with the festivities of a long inaugural day, Trump signed his first executive order in the Oval Office.

It calls on federal agencies to “ease the burden” of transition from Obamacare to Trumpcare, a work in progress, likely to make a deplorable industry-enriching scheme worse.

Pending (Un)affordable Care Act repeal, he’ll act “consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act,” his EO said.

He afforded states “more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”

“To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”

A memo from his chief of staff Reince Priebus ordered federal agencies not to submit regulations to be published in the Federal Register unless a Trump-selected agency head approves them.

Some regulations approved by Obama may be rescinded - including ones not yet published. Following Senate confirmation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and DHS Secretary John Kelly, both men were sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence.

Getting to work on inauguration day was largely symbolic. Substantive work begins Monday. Shortly after Trump’s swearing in, the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) indefinitely suspended Obama’s planned mortgage insurance premium reduction, announced last week.

A HUD statement said the “FHA is committed to ensuring its mortgage insurance programs remains viable and effective in the long term for all parties involved, especially our taxpayers.”

“As such, more analysis and research are deemed necessary to assess future adjustments while also considering potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy that could impact our efforts.” 

“FHA will issue a subsequent Mortgagee Letter at a later date should this policy change.”

Vice President Pence said Trump “will hit the ground running on day one come Monday morning.” On Saturday, he’ll tour CIA headquarters in Langley, VA - hostile territory, the agency involved in the intelligence community’s scheme to delegitimize him.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump's Top Priorities


Trump’s Top Priorities

by Stephen Lendman

What he should and will do may be world’s apart. His top priorities should be world peace, stability, mutual cooperation with all nations, making America a model state, unlike its current pariah status, along with equity and justice for everyone.

No president in US history reached that standard. Jack Kennedy came closest. Franklin Roosevelt gave Americans vital New Deal policies during the nation’s Great Depression. In large measure, he also bore responsibility for WW II.

Lyndon Johnson waged war on poverty while waging far greater war abroad, dividing the nation in the process, his unpopularity forcing him out of the 1968 race despite his Great Society achievements.

Ignore what politicians say. Follow only what they do. Trump delivered a promising inaugural address, striking a far different tone than most of his predecessors, refreshingly omitting phony rosy scenario hyperbole.

He pledged to serve all Americans straightaway. Saying he’ll “fight for you with every breath in (his) body, and (he’ll) never, ever let you down” is hollow rhetoric without meaningful policy initiatives backing it.

Replacing corporate enriching Obamacare with something worse is no way to fulfill his pledge. Nor is waging war on social justice if that’s what he has in mind.

The pro-Hillary, anti-Trump New York Times outrageously called his ascension to power “a hostile takeover” of the nation’s capital. The self-styled newspaper of record is unrelenting in its maliciousness - furious over an outsider defeating its favorite, wanting revenge, disgracing itself more than already.

Trump: “We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.” 

“The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done.”

Strong stuff! Nothing Obama, Bush/Cheney, the Clintons and most other US presidents matched it in words or deeds. 

Trump no longer is a private citizen. He’s America’s 45th president and armed forces commander-in-chief, an enormous responsibility for anyone.

He’s got bully pulpit power, along with the power and influence of his incumbency. Will he back his lofty rhetoric with positive actions?

Will he serve all Americans responsibly as promised or just its privileged few - the way it’s largely worked before? 

Will he be a warrior or peace president? Is his pledge to combat terrorism real or just another ploy to continue US imperial madness?

Will he get along with Russia, China and all other sovereign independent nations or maintain adversarial relations?

Will he do the right things or be just another dirty politician? Will the Trump era be looked back on as transformational or disturbing continuity?

According to Sputnik News, “(t)he Trump Administration will consider the invitation to (Syrian conflict resolution) negotiations in Astana after its official receipt, and will not participate in any negotiations until the formation of a clear US vision of a resolution to the Syrian crisis.”

Earlier Trump complained about wasting trillions of dollars on foreign wars, accomplishing nothing but disaster. Will he curb imperial madness or continue it? Pretexts are easy to create to do what he wishes.

He took dead aim at destructive trade deals sending US jobs abroad. He wants NATO used to combat terrorism, not wage war on other countries, so he said earlier.

He rhetorically challenged longstanding US tradition. Will he initiate the most sweeping changes in American policy since FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society, and the Reagan era?

Will his agenda improve things at home and abroad or worsen them? As a newly inaugurated president, it’ll take time to tell.

He deserves a chance to prove his mettle. He’s the first US president letting ordinary Americans communicate with his administration directly - via Twitter.

I’ve done it numerous times, urging him to do the right things in brief comments and links to some of my articles. He’ll get this one. 

Incoming tweets are read by staff, checking for possible threats, along with likely gauging public sentiment, other than what polls reveal.

Trump used his inaugural address to communicate directly with ordinary Americans, hoping for improved public approval.

The only way to get it is through responsible governance - legislatively and by executive actions as necessary.

On January 20, a new era in America began - the fullness of time to tell if for good or ill.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump Administration Relations with Russia


Trump Administration Relations with Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding adversarial relations, hugely exacerbated by Obama’s neocon infested administration, won’t be easy to change - maybe impossible given US dark forces wanting them maintained - willing to risk nuclear war to achieve imperial objectives.

Trump genuinely appears to want better bilateral relations. Huge challenges confront him, including possible impeachment or assassination if he diverges from longstanding US policy.

What he intends remains to be seen, likely focusing on Russia after his first 100 days, devoted mainly to domestic issues, according to what he explained earlier.

A previous article discussed his 8-point first 100 days plan. It includes:

1. Appointing judges who’ll “uphold the Constitution” - likely code language for supporting conservative, anti-progressive policies.

2. Restricting immigration to help Americans get “good-paying jobs.”

3. Holding countries “cheat(ing) on trade” accountable - how not explained, if by imposing stiff tariffs, they’ll likely be countered by similar ones on US products, the way trade wars begin.

4. “Cancel(ing) rules and regulations that send jobs overseas.” Companies need incentives to keep jobs at home. As private enterprises, they’re free to operate anywhere.

5. Lifting restrictions on energy production - nothing in his plan  shifts from greenhouse-producing fossil fuels and dangerous nuclear power to renewable green sources.

6. “Repeal(ing) and replac(ing) jobs-killing Obamacare.” What’s vitally needed Trump opposes - universal healthcare, everyone in, no one left out, assuring all Americans have the most important human right along with food, shelter, clothing, and governance serving everyone equitably.

7. “Passing massive tax reform to create millions of new jobs and lower taxes for everyone.” Economic growth creates jobs, not tax cuts, largely benefitting high-income earners, most ordinary people getting little or nothing.

8. “Impos(ing) tough new ethics rules…to the office of Secretary of State.”

Trump said nothing about ending US imperial wars or repairing relations with Russia. Stressing “America first” ignores its responsibility to respect the sovereign rights of all nations.

It’s customary for an incoming president to focus mainly on domestic issues straightaway, especially with so much damage to repair, notably under Bush/Cheney and Obama.

With America at war in multiple theaters, it’s crucial to address what’s going on and take responsible steps to change things - hard as it’ll be to do, maybe impossible.

Normalizing relations with Russia and China is vital to avoid possible nuclear war - more important than anything else on Trump’s plate, in the interest of world peace and stability. Lacking them risks catastrophe vital to avoid.

On January 20, Sergey Lavrov said “Donald Trump has stated repeatedly that his priority in the international arena will be the fight against ISIS as the main terrorist threat to the whole of mankind.” 

“We completely share this approach and hope that under the new conditions, international cooperation and coordination of efforts by all the main players on this antiterrorist front will be far more effective.”

Lavrov hopes Washington under Trump will participate responsibly in helping to resolve Syria’s conflict - unlike how Obama obstructed it, waging imperial war, seeking regime change.

On Saturday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a Putin/Trump meeting may happen in months, not weeks, Russia’s leader to be ready whenever it occurs, in Moscow, Washington or in neutral territory.

The sooner both leaders meet, the better the chance for improved bilateral relations and world peace - no easy objectives to achieve with US dark forces strongly against them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NYT Editors Bash Trump's Inaugural Address

NYT Editors Bash Trump’s Inaugural Address

by Stephen Lendman

In contrast to Obama’s consistent demagogic doubletalk, painful to hear, Trump delivered an admirable inaugural address, abstaining from rosy scenario hyperbole, historic if able to follow through on pledges made - no easy task given enormous obstacles he’ll face.

He repudiated America’s interventionist agenda, while vowing to put the nation’s interests first. His tone was polar opposite longstanding policies pursued by bipartisan neocons infesting Washington. 

Confrontation between the executive and congressional branches seems likely if he tries fulfilling pledges made.

After 24 deplorable Clinton co-presidency, Bush/Cheney, Obama years, a leader seeking a new direction is a refreshing change - if he means what he says and goes for what he proposed whatever the obstacles, provided his domestic agenda doesn’t wage war on social justice, what progressive activists fear.

Times editors maliciously oppose whatever he does or doesn’t do, assailing him relentlessly - shamelessly calling his inaugural address “graceless and disturbingly ahistoric,” a disgraceful ad hominem remark.

They blasted his failure to highlight “the best in America’s ideals…” It’s hard imagining what they mean given its fantasy democracy, endless wars on humanity, exclusively serving wealth, power and privilege, while cracking down hard on nonbelievers.

Times editors: “With sweeping exaggeration, Mr. Trump spoke of ‘carnage’ in the inner cities. He deplored all of this decline as a betrayal of America, implicitly trashing the four former presidents who sat listening behind him at the inaugural ceremony.”

Fact: Tens of millions of Americans understand the deplorable state of America Times editors support to their disgrace.

Trump indeed “trash(ed) four previous presidents,” mostly Obama’s wretched eight years, enriching privileged Americans at the expense of most others, waging war on humanity at home and abroad.

Trump said “(t)hat all changes right here and right now…We are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people” - rhetoric  riling America’s privileged class and supportive media scoundrels.

Times editors: “The new president offered a tortured rewrite of American history - ignoring the injustices of the past as well as the nation’s economic resilience and social achievements in recent decades.”

Fact: Trump delivered straight talk rarely heard from US politicians. He criticized policies benefitting America’s privileged at the expense of most others, vowing change.

Governance under the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama ravaged social justice, institutionalizing neoliberal harshness - notably during protracted Main Street Depression conditions throughout Obama’s tenure.

Times editors: “As Mr. Trump spoke about the disappearance of jobs, it would have noted that the unemployment rate has fallen from 10 percent in 2009, the height of the recession, to less than 5 percent.”

Fact: Real unemployment is 23%, not the phony 4.7% rate, excluding around 100 million working age Americans without jobs, written off as non-people.

Fact: Most jobs created are rotten ones. Households need two or more to survive. Class warfare created a wealth disparity chasm between America’s privileged and most others.

Throughout his campaign and in his inaugural address, Trump touched important nerves powerful interests in America and supportive media scoundrels want suppressed.

If he goes all out to improve things responsibly, even if unsuccessful, his tenure will reflect an important change from deplorable earlier policies.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

WaPo Rains on Trump's Parade

WaPo Rains on Trump’s Inaugural Parade

by Stephen Lendman

The neocon, CIA house organ Washington Post called Trump’s inaugural address “a sharp disappointment” - no surprise from a broadsheet maliciously denigrating him throughout the political season and post-election period.

Instead of praising an admirable straight talk address, omitting phony rosy scenario hyperbole, WaPo lied, claiming he “painted a false picture of an impoverished, crime-ridden country that has been cheated and victimized by Washington elites and grasping interests abroad.”

Fact: In his 16-minute address, Trump only touched on how bad things really are for most Americans, punished by state-imposed third world conditions, cheated and abused by previous administrations since the neoliberal 90s.

WaPo: “America’s economy has rebounded from the 2008-2009 recession and is now outperforming other advanced industrial democracies.”

Fact: Protracted Main Street Depression conditions resemble the 1930s for tens of millions of Americans - out of work, out of luck, ignored and abused by bipartisan complicity for far too long, what WaPo and other media scoundrels won’t admit and explain.

WaPo: “(T)he Constitution…was ordained…to ‘establish justice’ and to ‘secure the blessings of liberty.”

Fact: America’s founders created a government of men, not laws. “We the people” meant them, not us.

Fact: The Constitution was no masterpiece of political architecture. Jefferson believed it should be updated every 20 years to make it relevant to the times. It’s way outdated.

Fact: Mischaracterized as the Constitution’s father, James Madison was unimpressed with the document - disapprovingly calling it “better than nothing.”

WaPo: “The United States over the decades has done well by doing good; American generosity, and its support for fair global rules, fostered prosperity in Europe and Asia and beyond, which in turn redounded to the United States’ advantage at home.”

Fact: What nonsense! America does “good” for itself by imperial wars, plundering resources of other nations and exploiting their people, harming its own population the same way.

WaPo saying Trump’s address reflected “a dark vision” disparaged his impressive straight talk, rarely heard by leaders anywhere.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Friday, January 20, 2017

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

by Stephen Lendman

Months earlier, who could have imagined the Alfred Hitchcock ending to America’s 2016 presidential race.

An outsider defied predictions to become the nation’s 45th president. His inaugural address pledged to serve all Americans. “It all begins today right here, right now,” he said.

“We are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people.” While privileged Americans prospered, ordinary ones struggled to get by, he explained.

“That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you…What truly matters is…whether our government is controlled by the people.”

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer…The American carnage stops right here and stops right now…The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.”

Trump’s rhetoric was full of lofty rhetoric and promises. He claimed he won’t impose our way of life on anyone, while “unit(ing) the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of he earth.”

He expressed no promise to end US imperial wars, raging in multiple theaters. Was his pledge to combat Islamic terrorism real or a pretext to continue imperial madness?

“(W)e will make America strong again…wealthy again…proud again…safe again…great again,” he said.

It’s the wealthiest, strongest nation on earth. Key is distributing its riches more equitably, fostering world peace and stability, renouncing imperial wars, respecting the sovereign rights of all nations - including getting along with Russia, China, Iran, Syria and other independent countries.

Trump made lofty promises. As America’s 45th president, it’s time to deliver right now. Otherwise his rhetoric is empty like most others in Washington, saying one thing, doing another.

It’s his obligation to show straightaway he meant what he said. Words are meaningless. Actions alone matters.

Looking ahead, it’s hard feeling optimistic after being betrayed so many times before. It’s your turn, Mr. President. It’s show me time.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Russia's Premier Blasts Obama

Russia’s Premier Blasts Obama

by Stephen Lendman

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev used Facebook to blast Obama’s duplicity, braking his promise like virtually all others of importance.

Russia’s then president was assured of US nuclear missile defense flexibility in bilateral talks. It wasn’t to be, or phony reset in US/Russia relations. 

They’ve been more adversarial under Obama than perhaps any time during the Cold War years - one of numerous despicable acts on his watch.

His agenda reflected pure evil, including making it hard for Trump to repair things - his top geopolitical priority if he’s up to the challenge, a key test of whether he’ll continue imperial madness or step back from the brink in the interest of world peace and stability.

Below are some of Medvedev’s comments. He didn’t hold back, saying “US-Russia relations completely fell apart by the end of the second term of the Obama administration.”

“Everyone is aware that the United States has always tried to (control) global processes, brazenly interfering in the internal affairs of various countries and waging multiple wars on foreign soil.”

“Iraq, the Arab Spring, Ukraine, and Syria are just a few examples of such reckless policies in recent years.” 

“We can still see their consequences, which range from the complete collapse of the political systems in these countries to wars which claimed tens of thousands of lives.”

“There is only one explanation for such actions: the interests of the United States” at the expense of targeted countries.

“The Obama administration was completely short-sighted on such an important and complex issue as relations with Russia. There was hope” for better bilateral ties.

“It is unacceptable to talk to a country which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council…(a) country with defensive capabilities equal to the United States” so contemptuously, so arrogantly.

Sanctions and other provocations “reduced our cooperation to zero…And it doesn’t get any dumber than restricting entry to the United States” for Russian officials and businessmen.

“Who benefitted…No one.” America’s actions “didn’t work.”

“…The Obama administration has destroyed relations between the United States and Russia, which are at their lowest point in decades. This is its key foreign policy mistake which will be remembered by history.”

“We do not know yet how the new US administration will approach relations with our country. But we are hoping that reason will prevail. And we are ready to do our share of the work in order to improve the relationship.”

Medvedev’s comments reflected justifiable anger. Obama’s tenure can be summed up in a few words: disruptive, duplicitous, lawless, deplorable, disgraceful, despicable, diabolical. 

It’s Trump’s turn to repair things if he’s strong-willed enough to try.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump to Sign Executive Orders Straightaway

Trump to Sign Executive Orders Straightaway

by Stephen Lendman

According to Reuters, he’ll sign them on day one in office - on immigration (based on nationality, not religion), building a wall on the US/Mexico border, and rescinding various Obama era policies.

Precisely what he’ll order is unknown until published on the White House web site. He promised to fulfill campaign promises, the above issues among many others he’ll address.

According to incoming press secretary Sean Spicer, “(h)e is committed to not just Day 1, but Day 2, Day 3 of enacting an agenda of real change, and I think that you’re going to see that in the days and weeks to come.”

On Saturday, he’ll visit CIA headquarters in Langley. He criticized how it treated him under outgoing director John Brennan, asking “(a)re we living in Nazi Germany?” It’s unknown whether incoming head Mike Pompeo will try changing any agency practices.

According to Reuters, “Trump’s advisers vetted more than 200 potential executive orders for him to consider signing on healthcare, climate policy, immigration, energy and numerous other issues, but it was not clear how many orders he would initially approve, according to a member of the Trump transition team who was not authorized to talk to the press.”

Presidential historian Julian Zelizer believes “(h)e wants to show he will take action and not be stifled by Washington gridlock.”

He’ll officially abandon TPP and renegotiate NAFTA, according to Spicer, saying “I think you will see those happen very shortly.”

On Wednesday, Obama said he’ll challenge Trump on his immigration policy as a former president. Trump should challenge him for eight years of endless war on humanity at home and abroad, genocide by any standard - and lots more high crimes gone unpunished.

At midday on Friday, Trump will be sworn in as America’s 45th president. Thankfully the deplorable Obama era is over. What awaits going forward remains to be seen.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Changing of the Guard in Washington


Changing of the Guard in Washington

by Stephen Lendman

It happens every four or eight years. America’s 22nd Amendment states:

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.” 

“But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.”

Ratified by the required three-fourths of the then-48 states, it became the law of the land on February 27, 1951. It was introduced in response to Franklin Roosevelt’s four-time electoral triumphs. No other president served more than two terms, a precedent set by George Washington.

He declined to serve longer, saying he “didn’t fight George III to become George I.” His farewell address warned against involvement in “entangling” alliances. 

He advised focusing mainly on domestic issues, counsel not followed except by John Adams, Jefferson and Madison. 

More recently, things went disturbingly downhill. Washington would likely cringe at what’s ongoing. US presidents since James Monroe ignored his advice. 

America is a warrior nation, a modern-day Sparta with nukes, its leaders and bipartisan congressional members disdainful of peace and stability, recent history most belligerent of all.

Changing of the guard in America usually occurs smoothly - this year very much out of step with tradition, events throughout the campaign and post-election unprecedented in US history.

Despite establishment forces and the press overwhelmingly supporting one major candidate over the other, the resoundingly denigrated outsider triumphed convincingly.

No matter. Efforts to delegitimize and undermine Trump persist, inauguration day and its aftermath promising to be tumultuous.

Hillary remains a sore looser. Graciousness was never her long suit. Wickedness defines her. Trump’s troubles may be just beginning. Dark forces wanting her to succeed Obama aren’t likely to give him a moment to breathe freely.

His tenure may be the most tumultuous in US history since the Civil War period - how it plays out and its ending yet to be determined.

It’ll take more than thick skin to handle what’s likely to come at him. America’s deep state gets what it wants. If replacing Trump with a more reliable establishment figure is intended, there’s little he can do to stop it - including staying alive if plans call for eliminating him the old-fashioned way.

The Trump era begins at midday Friday - for as long as it lasts, a big changing of the guard uncertainty unlike any previous time in US history.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Anarchist Group Calls for Inauguration Day Disruption

Anarchist Group Calls for Inauguration Day Disruption

by Stephen Lendman

Inauguration day 2017 may resemble a Hollywood thriller or horror film, depending on how things turn out.

Nationwide protests are planned, especially in Washington, aiming for more than raining on Trump’s inaugural parade.

Crimethinc.com calls itself an “anonymous collective action…everything that evades control…renegade(s) breaking ranks…the spirit of rebellion…a secret society pledged to…producing inflammatory ideas and actions…”

Ahead of Trump’s inauguration, it urged mass disruption, a checklist of provocative actions - expressing outrage “at the prospect of being governed by (what it called) a megalomaniacal buffoon.”

It should be directing its fury at a money controlled, bipartisan supported, debauched system - the real problem largely unaddressed.

Crimethinc called for “a wide variety of tactics and points of intervention,” including blockading the Washington parade route and transportation infrastructure.

“Imagine the worst case scenario,” it said, “in which millions of fans cheer for Trump while fascist gangs beat up protesters” in Washington. “(It) would make 2017 the equivalent of 1932 in Germany.”

The best outcome is massively disrupting Trump’s inauguration, it said. “(P)ick a target and carry out an offensive strike,” it urged - in Washington and other cities nationwide.

“The inauguration is an opportunity for a wide range of people to work together, building new networks that could act together for years to come.”

Resist now or face tougher police state laws than already, it suggested. Maybe so but who can know.

Resisting tyranny is a universal right. People have power when they use it. Governments are instituted to serve them. When they fail, replacing them is their rightful choice.

America’s Declaration of Independence said “whenever any form of government becomes destructive to (fundamental inalienable rights), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government,” serving them responsibly.

Martin Luther King called for disobeying unjust laws, accepting punishment to arouse public awareness, and advocate for legislative change. He championed “creative protest(s),” believing passivity is no option in the face of injustice.

Henry David Thoreau’s landmark “Civil Disobedience” essay asked “(m)ust the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree resign his conscience to the legislator?”

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.”

Where was public outrage throughout Obama’s deplorable tenure - serving Wall Street, war-profiteers and other corporate favorites exclusively, waging war on humanity at home and abroad, Hillary complicit in his high crimes!

America’s debauched political system is the problem, not a private citizen until his midday Friday swearing in.

Public anger against the wrong target accomplishes nothing. Resist tyranny, not Trump.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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