Thursday, July 19, 2018

Patrick Armstrong — Russian Federation Sitrep 19 July 2018

Lighthearted but serious Patrick Armstrong updates us with links and humor.

Russian Observer
Russian Federation Sitrep 19 July 2018
Patrick Armstrong

See also

Strategic Culture Foundation
The Establishment Strikes Back
Philip Giraldi, former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer, now Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

See also

Fort Russ
Ronald Thomas West | former Special Forces Sergeant of Operations and Intelligence, and retired investigator (living in exile)

Sarah Berger — 4-day work week is a success, New Zealand experiment finds

If productivity is plummeting in the workplace, the solution might be simple: Make the work week shorter.
One company did just that by experimenting with a four-day work week. The trial was so successful, management is seeking to make the change permanent....

Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?

A perfect example of how free markets can sometimes explode costs. In Europe the government takes care of the healthcare and can negotiate using highly paid professionals to get the lowest healthcare and medicine charges. Where in America, the land of the free, it's down to individuals to figure this out, and most often, it's too complicated to figure out, or can never be figured out, it just remains expensive.

Why not have a team of doctorates and top professions figure it all out instead for you while you just go fishing instead, or dancing, or take a snooze, or whatever, and actually save a bundle at the same time? Now that's freedom! I never have to fill any forms in, or anything, I just turn up and get my treatment. And now I get free prescriptions at the chemist, and as they know me I don't have to show any ID and I don't have to sign any forms, I just walk in and walk out with it. Now that's liberty and freedom, Not a worry in the world.

Even more strange, Americans actually pay more tax for their healthcare than people do in other Western countries, which means we pay less tax and get just as much healthcare, while you have to pay for private insurance on top as well. Wow, your private healthcare industry is getting paid double.

Imagine if your company could win the contract to supply all the replacement hips in the UK, well, that's a big contract, so all replacement hip manufactures are going to do their utter best to win that bid, and when they win, the economies of scale will help reduce prices and increase their profits.

So, as you can see, socialist economies can get lower prices and make capitalism more competitive. Libertarians can never beat this.

In which John discusses the complicated reasons why the United States spends so much more on health care than any other country in the world, and along the way reveals some surprising information, including that Americans spend more of their tax dollars on public health care than people in Canada, the UK, or Australia. Who's at fault? Insurance companies? Drug companies? Malpractice lawyers? Hospitals? Or is it more complicated than a simple blame game? (Hint: It's that one.) For a much more thorough examination of health care expenses in America, I recommend this series at The Incidental Economist: The Commonwealth Fund's Study of Health Care Prices in the US: Some of the stats in this video also come from this New York Times story: This is the first part in what will be a periodic series on health care costs and reforms leading up to the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in 2014.

Mike Steiner — Causes in Real Life – How Organizations Perform a Root Cause Analyses (RCA)

Not a priority but of interest if for those who want to know more about how organizations deal with causation by analyzing the concrete in terms of the abstract. 

This is related to what Hegel called "concrete universal, and Marx defined as "concrete abstraction." This is the basis of the dialect for Hegel and Marx's adoption and adaptation of it.

A Philosopher's Take
Causes in Real Life – How Organizations Perform a Root Cause Analyses (RCA)
Mike Steiner | Strategic Initiative Specialist at TransCanada

Stephen F. Cohen — Trump as New Cold War Heretic

Heretics are scorned or worse, but sometimes in history they prevail. However strongly people may disapprove of the president’s other words and deeds, anyone, anywhere across our political spectrum, who wishes to avoid war with Russia—again, conceivably nuclear war—must support and encourage this Trump heresy until it is no longer heresy, until the full debate over reckless US policy since the 1990s finally ensues, and until that approach changes, as should have happened, as Trump said, “a long time ago.” It is not too late, but it may be the last chance.
The Nation
Trump as New Cold War Heretic
Stephen F. Cohen | Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, History, and Politics at New York University and Princeton University

See also

Democracy Now
Katrina vanden Heuvel: We Need “Robust Debate” in Reporting on Russia, Not “Suffocating Consensus”
Amy Goodman interviews Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher of The Nation and wife of Stephen F. Cohen.

Lars P. Syll — What’s the use of economics?

The economists' dilemma: If economic methodology doesn't base itself on assumptions common to the hard sciences, like homogeneity, additivity, transitivity, etc, then it won't be considered a real science. On the other hand, if economists ignore reflexivity, downward causation in systems, synergy, and other factors that affect individuals who are socially embedded, its output will not fit reality and it will appear lack empirical foundation, not to mention disappointing raised expectations resulting from the claim of being a "hard" science distinct from "soft" science like social science.

Maybe quit being hypocritical and 'fess up to the actual situation?

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
What’s the use of economics?
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Keiser Report: Consequences of Neoliberalism (E1254)

I've looked at a few videos this morning all good enough to put out here, but I never reached the end of them so I thought maybe not quite, but this video gripped me to the end.

Max Keiser  discusses how since neoliberalism was introduced back in 1976 Britain's productivity has gone steadily down and has got a lot worse since 2008. In Britain it takes workers five days what the French produce in four. Max Kaiser says British workers need a pay rise.

Max Kaiser says how the government was thinking about linking London and all the major cities up to Scotland with a new rail system to take the heat off London and spread more work to the regions, but the gents in the City of London put the blockers on it as a overheated London and impoverished regions suited them better.

Now if that was interesting the second half is riveting. RBS and Loydds which are publicly owned deliberately pulled the rug from under 30,000 small too medium sized businesses bankrupting them to make massive profits while destroying Britain's productivity even more. Two reports were produced about it but the Conservative Government  sat on them, and so did the BBC. Many small businessman committed suicide when their businesses folded up.

But there's more, the banks lost hundreds of £billions but were also caught money laundering, but the top bankers made a fortune. Neil Mitchell, a whistleblower, has uncovered all the crime the bankers have committed and says they should be put on trail. This is basically organized crime and the Conservative Party is hiding it. This is treason.

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy ask why it takes a British worker five days to produce the same economic value as a French worker produces in just four. Productivity has collapsed in the UK to the lowest since 1794. In the second half, Max interviews Scottish businessman, Neil Mitchell, about his many years long battle for justice for UK victims of RBS, the taxpayer owned bank that was found to have forced viable businesses into bankruptcy. Mitchell suspects the bank may have also practiced such tactics in America and is taking his case across the Atlantic.

Renegade Inc. Tweet - Everything in the UK Is a lie

Financial Times reader comment:
Everything in the UK is a lie. There is no capitalism. There is no free market. There is no price discovery. There is no free press. Work does not pay. The Bank of England is not independent. The government does not represent the people.

Renegade Inc. Tweet - Everything in the UK Is a lie

Stephen Lendman - Russiagate: A CIA Concocted Hoax

No Russian interference in America’s political process occurred in 2016, earlier, or is being cooked up for the nation’s November midterm elections.
Trump knows it and said so in Helsinki. When asked if he holds Russia accountable for anything, he said:
“I hold both countries responsible (for dismal bilateral relations). I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish…And I think we’re all to blame.”
Regarding election meddling, he said: “There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. And people are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know, virtually none of it related to the campaign. And they’re going to have to try really hard to find somebody that did relate to the campaign.”
“My people came to me and some others…(T)hey think it’s Russia…President Putin…said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I dont see any reason why it would be.”
“…President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Trump is wrong about most things, not this. No evidence, nothing, proves Russian meddling in the US political process. 
If it existed, it would have been revealed long ago. It never was and never will be because there’s nothing credible to reveal, Big Lies alone.
Trump’s above remarks were in Helsinki. In response to a raging Russophobic firestorm of criticism back home, he backtracked from his above comments, saying he misspoke in Helsinki.
He accepts the intelligence community’s claim about Russian US election meddling – knowing it didn’t occur.
Russiagate was cooked up by Obama’s thuggish Russophobic CIA director John Brennan, media scoundrels keeping the Big Lie alive.
DNC/John Podesta emails were leaked, not hacked – an indisputable fact media scoundrels suppress to their disgrace.
Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray earlier explained that “(t)he source of these emails and leaks has nothing to do with Russia at all,” adding:
“I discovered what the source was when I attended the Sam Adam’s whistleblower award in Washington.” 
“The source of these emails (came) from within official circles in Washington DC. You should look to Washington, not to Moscow.”
“WikiLeaks has never published any material received from the Russian government or from any proxy of the Russian government. It’s simply a completely untrue claim designed to divert attention from the content of the material” and its true source.
The Big Lie alone matters when it’s the official narrative. The Russian meddling hoax and mythical Kremlin threat to US security are central to maintaining adversarial relations with America’s key invented enemy.
Its fake enemy is vital to unjustifiably justifying the nation’s global empire of bases, its outrageous amount of military spending, its belligerence toward all sovereign independent states, its endless wars of aggression, its scorn for world peace and stability, its neoliberal harshness to pay for it all, along with transferring the nation’s wealth from ordinary people to its privileged class.
America’s deeply corrupted political process is far too debauched to fix, rigged to serve wealth, power and privilege exclusively, at war on humanity at home and abroad.
It’s a tyrannical plutocracy and oligarchy, a police state, not a democracy, a cesspool of criminality, inequity and injustice, run by sinister dark forces – monied interests and bipartisan self-serving political scoundrels, wicked beyond redemption, threatening humanity’s survival.
Today is the most perilous time in world history. What’s going on should terrify everyone everywhere.
Washington’s rage for global dominance, its military madness, its unparalleled recklessness threatens world peace, stability, and survival.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Panic mode

Sputnik and RT reporting on the farce that now taking place in America — which the US media is presenting selectively and in a biased way. Who is "sowing discord."

The Week
FBI Director Wray: Russia is continuing to sow discord in the U.S.
Catherine Garcia

DJT is closing in on the swamp and the critters are freaking.

'That Would Absolutely Be Grounds for Removal from Office': Democrat Says Trump's Latest Capitulation to Putin Could Lead to Impeachment
Cody Fenwick

Brendan Greeley — Goodbye to Sunday morning economics


FT Alphaville (requires free registration)
Goodbye to Sunday morning economics
Brendan Greeley

Two from Tom Luongo

… as [Trump] learned..., nothing will appease these people than his removal from the office. The Resistance needs it to vindicate their descent into madness. The Deep State needs it to ensure the gravy train keeps flowing. 
There are too many cozy relationships at risk, too many think tank jobs on the block, and too many weapons contracts at stake and too many more taxpayer-funded junkets to attend for Trump and Putin to remake the post-WWII political order....
Strategic Culture Foundation
While His Opponents Cry Treason Trump Sues for Peace
Tom Luongo

See also
Given the best these people can do is hang Trump with the term ‘traitor’ so casually is prima facia evidence of 1) their desperation and 2) their insanity. Trump cannot be a traitor for going out and executing one of the main functions of the President, meeting with foreign leaders.
The insanity stoked by real traitors like James Comey, John Brennan, Bill Browder, and John McCain who did conspire with foreign governments (the U.K., Ukraine and yes, Russia) to bring down a sitting President has people still believing that they can overturn the election and award the Presidency to Hillary Clinton ex post facto.
As lawless as the United States has become, even that is a little beyond the pale… but only just a little....
Zero Hedge

Jumping the shark

Sputnik International
Another Head-Scratcher: US PAC’s Billboard Implies GOP Is … Communist? (PHOTO)

Sputnik International
Who Is Marina Gross? US Translator Thrust into Spotlight With Subpoena Threat

Sputnik International
‘F**k Trump’: Image of POTUS Being Beheaded Sparks Backlash in Oregon (PHOTO)

Sputnik International

Sputnik International

Jeff Klein — When the US Invaded Russia

September 4, 1918-April 1, 1920,

Consortium News
When the US Invaded Russia
Jeff Klein

C J Hopkins — Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism

More fun from satirist C. J. Hopkins.

The Trump-Putin Derangement Syndrome is a combination of gaslighting and good old-fashioned McCarthyism.

Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
C J Hopkins

John Helmer — July 17 Is the Fourth Anniversary of the MH17 Attack – Time and Reason to Doubt the Allegations

Update. Noting big one way of the the other, but interesting if you are still following this. The investigation appears to be inconclusive in spite of claims to the contrary.

Dances with Bears
July 17 Is the Fourth Anniversary of the MH17 Attack – Time and Reason to Doubt the Allegations
John Helmer

The Atlantic - The 99% Is a Myth—Here's How It Really Breaks Down

When it comes to the division of wealth, many Americans believe that the country is split between the 1%, which possesses a significant share of the country’s money, and the 99%, or “the people.” In reality, The Atlantic writer Matthew Stewart argues, 9.9% of the population comprises America’s new aristocracy, which often “takes wealth out of productive activities and invests it in walls.” But this group of people is rich in more than mere money, and its constancy poses an insidious threat to the promise of American democracy.

The 9,9% are doing well - they are the doctors, lawyers, and managers, etc - but they don't feel are that they are because the 0.1% are fast pulling away from them and this raises the prices of high class goods and property.. The bottom 90% are becoming increasingly poor and the middle class is disappearing.

It's funny how people keep voting for the parties of the 1%? KV

Michael Hudson — Argentina back on the debt train

Must-read. Michael Hudson gives the background on Argentina's fall in terms of neoliberal capitalism.

Michael Hudson: What really is at issue is whether all debts should be paid, or not? I think that there should be an international rule that no country should be obliged to pay its debts to the wealthy One Percent, especially to a creditor class that prefers to hold its domestic wealth offshore in foreign currencies. No country should be obliged to pay its bondholders if the price of paying means austerity, unemployment, shrinking population, emigration, rising suicide rates, abolition of public health standards, and selloffs of the public domain to monopolists. To make matters even worse, the privatizations demanded by the IMF and World Bank, for instance, will sharply raise the prices for what had been public services, transportation, water and sewer, communications, and telephones.
There should be principle that the domestic people should come before foreigners. But the guiding principle of the IMF, World Bank, and the United States the opposite: namely, that no nation should put its own interests first. Instead, every nation is told to put the interests of international creditors first, even when the cost is impoverishment, dependency, mass poverty and deindustrialization. This is what globalization really means today. It’s an international imposition of class war by the creditor One Percent against labor and the indebted 99 Percent and their governments.
The madness of this was spelled out over 2000 years ago. In Book I of Plato’s Republic you have Socrates arguing against the idea that all debts should be paid. He asks, what if you borrow a weapon from a crazy person, and he asks for it back. Should you give him a weapon if he’s likely to hurt people?
This applies to creditors in general: Should you pay off debts if the creditors are going to use their money to impoverish society and reduce people to debt dependency? That’s what the Republic is all about. We’re still dealing today twenty four hundred years later with the same issue.
The issue is: what should come first: the people’s welfare, or that of creditors?
Michael Hudson — On Finance, Real Estate And The Powers Of Neoliberalism
Argentina back on the debt train
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

Brian Romanchuk — The Yield Curve Provides Limited Economic Information

The relentless flattening of the Treasury yield curve has been a topic of ongoing debate -- is this a signal that a recession is near? The key to interpreting the flattening is that bond market participants are not paid to to anticipate economic outcomes (outside the corner case of the inflation-linked market), rather to anticipate the path of short-term rates (and the term premium). The flattening yield curve tells us that market participants (on average) believe that we are near the end of the rate hike cycle, but that does not necessarily mean that a recession is imminent....

Bill Mitchell — Limits to government spending are not determined by private bond markets

The article had a picture of the latest progressive political star – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with the caption that she:
... backs the view that restraints on a government’s spending are primarily set by the amount it can borrow without fuelling inflation.
Progressive types then thought it was useful to retweet this incessantly for a few days.
My response – I certainly hope that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not back that construction of the limits on spending for a currency-issuing government.
And I certainly hope that progressives do not embrace it either.
It is fundamentally incorrect and just reframes the way neoliberals think and uses their sort of language....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Limits to government spending are not determined by private bond markets
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

George Soros "Paid Protestor" Opens Up To TYT?!

TYT Politics reporter Michael Tracey interviews a "paid protester" from George Soros at a Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) town hall.

A pyramid scheme where this paid protester gets double the money for recruiting others. He says it has made him rich and if it wasn't for the money he would be skiing, or something.

The Rational National - Ben Shapiro Blasts Dem Socialist Ocasio-Cortez For ‘Radical’ Platform

Ever wondered about Ben Shapiro, well, it turns he is paid shill of the ruling elite? What about Dave Rubin, well, he became a libertarian overnight when the Koch brothers offered him big money?

David Doel says all these people are interested in is money; that they are have been corrupted by the Corporatocracy. .Ben Shapiro is also a liar who distorts the facts.

On Fox News, Ben Shapiro blasted new Democratic challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But what’s really behind his message?

PCR - Putin Confronts The American Dystopia

Putin Confronts The American Dystopia

Paul Craig Roberts
We have to hand it to Putin. He is the best that there is. Note the ease with which he mopped up the floor with that idiot Chris Wallace.
What is wrong with the US media that it cannot produce a second competent journalist as company for Tucker Carlson? Why are America’s remaining good journalists, such as Chris Hedges, now in the alternate media?
All I can say, and Putin probably already knows it, is that there is more going on than presstitutes holding the relationship between Russia and the US hostage to an internal political struggle between the Democratic Party and President Trump. It is not just that the corrupt US media is serving as propagandists for the Democratic Party against President Trump. The presstitutes are serving the interest of the military/security complex, which has ownership interests in the highly concentrated US media, to keep Russia positioned as the enemy that justifies the huge $1,000 billion budget of the military/security complex. Without the “Russian enemy,” what is the justification for such a waste of money when so many real needs go underfunded and unfunded?
In other words, the American media are not only stupid, they are corrupt beyond all measure.
The armaments industry should also be nationalized. Not only is it a power greater than the elected government, it also is vastly inefficient. The Russian armaments industry with a tiny fraction of the US military budget produces far superior weapons. As President Eisenhower, a Five-Star General, said, the military-industrial complex is a threat to American democracy. Why are the presstitute scum so worried about non-existant Russian interference when the military/security complex is so powerful that it can actually substitute itself for the elected government?

John Atcheson - Let's Just Admit It: Capitalism Doesn't Work

"In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy."—Fran Lebowitz

In almost every way you examine it, capitalism – at least the relatively unconstrained, free- market variety practiced here in the US and supported by both parties -- has been an abysmal failure. Let’s take a close look some of its worst failings.  But first, it must be admitted that when it comes to exploiting people and the planet for the purpose of generating apparent wealth for the few, it has been a smashing success.  More about that notion of “apparent wealth” in a moment, but now, the specifics.

The logical end-point of a competitive system is an oligarchic monopoly

A recent report  by UBS reveals that the global march of economic inequality is accelerating.  The report found that the billionaire’s share of wealth grew by nearly 20 percent last year, reaching a level of disparity not seen since 1905, the gilded age.  Interestingly, the first gilded age followed decades of uber-free market laissez-faire policies, just as today’s gilded age has.

Not surprising, really. Empirical evidence shows that without constraint, markets will proceed toward a winner-take-all status. In short, monopolies and oligopolies. For example, the United States has had three periods of prolonged laissez-faire economic policies, and each was followed by extreme wealth inequality and the three biggest economic crises in US history, such inequality causes.

Oh, but the magic of competition makes companies compete for our dollar, so they can’t afford to exploit us, right? Not so much.

The magic elixir of competition doesn’t work—for the simple reason that there isn’t much competition anymore. Having convinced folks that regulation is bad, the Oligarchy is in the midst of a frenzy of mergers that is giving a few large conglomerates control of many of the major market sectors.

Derrick Thompson, in a recent article in the Atlantic, lays out some of the grim statistics that illustrate the trend. As Thompson writes,

To comprehend the scope of corporate consolidation, imagine a day in the life of a typical American and ask: How long does it take for her to interact with a market that isn’t nearly monopolized? She wakes up to browse the Internet, access to which is sold through a local monopoly. She stocks up on food at a superstore such as Walmart, which owns a quarter of the grocery market. If she gets indigestion, she might go to a         pharmacy, likely owned by one of three companies controlling 99 percent of that market. If she’s stressed and wants to relax outside the shadow of an oligopoly, she’ll have to stay away from ebooks, music, and beer; two companies control more than half     of all sales in each of these markets. There is no escape—literally. She can try boarding an airplane, but four corporations control 80 percent of the seats on domestic flights.

The consolidation of the media is yet another example; just six corporations now control 90 percent of the market. And of course, there’s the inconvenient fact that the “too-big-to-fail” banks that were a major cause of the 2008 Great Recession are now bigger and fewer.

This concentration of market power translates into lower wages, fewer jobs, and higher prices – exactly the opposite of what the neoclassical economic theory embraced by capitalists tells us will happen when we remove regulatory constraints – and exactly the opposite of what the Republicans’ trickle-down myth says will happen. Or what the neoliberal Democrats tell us, for that matter.

But it also gives the wealthy control over our political system, and the people have gotten wise to it.  That’s why a little over a quarter of the eligible voters were able to put Trump in power – most of the rest of us are completely turned off by a political system that’s clearly for sale and so, increasingly, many do not show up to vote.

That control has expressed itself in policies that result in extreme income disparities between the increasingly few haves and the expanding have-nots. Today, just five people have as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people comprising the least wealthy half of the world’s population, and nowhere in the developed world is the problem as acute as it is in America.  The system is rigged, and our belief in capitalism and the power of the magic markets is what allowed that.

Now, about that “apparent wealth”

We measure our wealth in currency.  But currency is simply a surrogate for real wealth, which is based on natural capital and labor.  The problem with this is that natural capital is limited, while the amount of currency is limitless.  For example, the value of the derivatives has been estimated to be as high as $1.2 trillion, or nearly 20 times the size of the global GDP.  So what?  Well, since:

currency is merely a claim made against real wealth, not wealth itself; and
currency has the capacity to grow infinitely; but
natural capital, the source of real wealth is finite …
That means we are creating claims on natural capital that exceeds the planet’s capacity to provide it.  In short, we are essentially creating debt for future generations and calling it wealth creation.

More here on externalities - 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sputnik — Coming Coup Against Trump

But since the West has been fighting World War III against itself, its victory will also be its defeat. Indeed, not only is it losing, but it is also being invaded—by mobs of migrants from the various countries it has destroyed, having used them as surrogate enemies in its notional battle against Russia. Give it a few more decades, and at this rate the West will be no more, its slow-breeding population replaced by the much more fecund newcomers. The countries that make it up will dissolve in a sea of migrants and will come to resemble the more crowded parts of the third world.
This will no doubt make the Russians a little bit sad; after all, they couldn’t have asked for a nicer enemy.
The ongoing soft coup that has been unsuccessful so far turning hardening into something more sinister?
The American political class are agog to get rid of Trump, but they are apprehensive to make a decisive move just yet, because such a gambit to depose the president may engender a wider social revolt against the elites. There is a strong sense that US society is seething from numerous grievances. Poverty and abysmal social inequality as well as popular alienation from the Washington establishment are all too rife for a potential civil war or revolution if stoked too much.
One can anticipate that the media campaign to pillory Trump as a traitor will go into overdrive in the coming days, with the calculation by his powerful enemies within the deep state that public opinion can be turned decisively against him for "betraying America" to a "hostile enemy". If that manipulation of public opinion is achieved, then Trump is a goner.…
As soon as the meeting was over in Helsinki, all hell has broken lose in the deep state-controlled US media and politicians, condemning Trump....
When the interests of the ruling elite in the US are threatened anything is possible. Assassinations and coups are par for the course for these plutocrats and their agents.
The livid reaction to Trump's eminently reasonable engagement with Putin this week — a reaction that is vicious and coordinated — is an ominous sign that powerful forces are moving against this president.
Sputnik International
Coming Coup Against Trump

Pepe Escobar — A walk on the wild side as Trump meets Putin at Finland station

Pepe catches us up on the Trump-Putin summit and fallout.

Asia Times
A walk on the wild side as Trump meets Putin at Finland station
Pepe Escobar

See also
Unbeknownst to most, World War III has been raging for very close to four decades now—ever since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It was preceded by the Cold War, which ended when Mikhail Gorbachev capitulated to the West, causing the Warsaw Pact to dissolve in confusion.
In spite of his capitulation, the West never abandoned its plan to destroy the Warsaw Pact along with parts of the former USSR, then conquer and dismember Russia itself. In absence of any military threat from the east, NATO, along with its parasitic twin, the European Union, has relentlessly expanded eastward, gobbling up country after country. It has by now conquered the entire Warsaw Pact plus Moldova and the three tiny Baltic statelets, and is now going after other loose bits of the former USSR: the Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia.
The reason almost nobody in the West realizes that World War III has been happening all along is that the West has suffered a mental collapse as profound as the USSR’s physical collapse. Russia has recovered from its collapse; the West probably never will....
But since the West has been fighting World War III against itself, its victory will also be its defeat. Indeed, not only is it losing, but it is also being invaded—by mobs of migrants from the various countries it has destroyed, having used them as surrogate enemies in its notional battle against Russia. Give it a few more decades, and at this rate the West will be no more, its slow-breeding population replaced by the much more fecund newcomers.
The countries that make it up will dissolve in a sea of migrants and will come to resemble the more crowded parts of the third world.
This will no doubt make the Russians a little bit sad; after all, they couldn’t have asked for a nicer enemy.
Russia Insider
NEWSFLASH! World War III Finally Over!
Dimitry Orlov

See also
The poll found that 55 percent of registered voters disapproved while 37 percent approved of his handling of relations with Russia.
Among Republicans, 71 percent approved of his handling of Russia compared to 14 percent of Democrats.…
The poll found that 55 percent of registered voters disapproved while 37 percent approved of his handling of relations with Russia.
Among Republicans, 71 percent approved of his handling of Russia compared to 14 percent of Democrats…. 
Damon Darlin, Chris Kahn

See also

The Maven
Mass Hysteria
Mike Mish Shedlock

Sputnik — ‘Russian Agent’ Arrested in US Was Endorsed by Anti-Putin Opposition

The curious case of Mariia Butina, a Russian national arrested in Washington, takes a truly astonishing turn. Despite being portrayed as an agent of the Russian government, in reality she seems to be tied with the politicians opposing President Putin, and even actively participated in anti-government protests in Moscow.

Butina was arrested Sunday on the charge of conspiring to act as a foreign agent of Russia, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) statement and indictment released Monday. Tuesday, yet another charge was filed against Butina, this time accusing her of not just conspiring to work as an agent of Russia, but of actually having done so.…
Butina has long advocated for gun rights in Russia and was endorsedby none other than opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Navalny receives considerable coverage from the Western press hailing him as Putin's primary opponent despite the fact he consistently polls in the single digits. In the US, he is promoted as a liberal reformer, notwithstanding his deeply racist views.…
One of Russia's main opposition news outlets, Medusa, spoke with a source who personally knew Butina through work. They said she holds views in line with the opposition and even demonstrated in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in 2011 amid protests against the result of elections to the Duma, Russia's parliament. The New York Times notes that the protesters were against "Putin's party" and that Navalny, who was arrested during the demonstrations, later addressed the crowds from prison....
Sputnik International
‘Russian Agent’ Arrested in US Was Endorsed by Anti-Putin Opposition

Paul Antonopoulos — BEYOND THE NOISE: What ELSE did Trump and Putin discuss at Helsinki?

Putin's view of what transpired as he has stated it publicly.

Fort Russ
BEYOND THE NOISE: What ELSE did Trump and Putin discuss at Helsinki?

See also at Fort Russ

In contrast to US MSM, German foreign minister calls for more US-RF rapprochement as a necessity
Maria Kormbaki reporting via

John Helmer — Dmitry Peskov Coaches Vladimir Putin at Helsinki Game

Prepped by Peskov, Putin Began at Minute 31 to “Suggest That Your Relevant Commission Led by US Special Counsel – What Is His Name, Mr Mueller or Meller? – Should Send Us, in Compliance With This Treaty, an Official Request for Interrogating the People That He Believes to Be Guilty of Committing a Crime. Our Prosecutor-General’s Office and Investigative Agencies Can Interrogate These People and Forward the Relevant Materials to the United States.
“Moreover, We Can Take Another Step to Meet You Halfway. We Can Allow US Official Representatives, Including Those From the Mueller-Led Commission, to Be Present at the Interrogation. Certainly, in This Case, We Will Be Seeking Reciprocal Steps From the United States. We’ll Expect the American Party to Interrogate the Officials, Including the US Intelligence Officers, Who Are Suspected of Committing Illegal Acts in Russia, in the Presence of Our Investigation Officers.
“I Mean the High-Profile Case, Involving [Bill] Browder’s Hermitage Capital Company. According to Our Investigative Officers, a Group of People – Mr Browder’s Business Partners – Who Illegally Made Over $1.5 Billion in Russia Did Not Pay Taxes Either in Russia or the United States but Transferred This Money to the United States. They Contributed $400 Million to Ms Clinton’s Election Campaign. This Is Official Information Included in Their Reports – $400 Million. Well, It Was Up to Them, They Might Have Done This Legally, but the Gains Were Ill-Gotten….
“The Company I Mentioned, Concord, and One of Our Restaurateurs Are Being Accused of Interference. However, They Do Not Represent the Russian State. Even if That Is the Case, I Can Imagine. So What? I Have Given You Examples. You Have Many People, Including Those With Major Billion-Dollar Fortunes, Such as Mr Soros. He Interferes Everywhere He Can, but What Is This? Is It the Position of the American State? No. This Is the Position of a Private Person. So It Is in This Case.”
Dances with Bears
Dmitry Peskov Coaches Vladimir Putin at Helsinki Game
John Helmer

Tucker Carlson Tonight — Russian Studies Prof: Criticisms of Trump Over Putin Presser Are 'Like Mob Violence'

Tucker Carlson of Fox News hosts US Russian expert and Professor Emeritus Stephen F. Cohen, who is a contributor to The Nation. He is married to The Nation's publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel.

We are unlikely to see him on the Rachel Maddow Show at MSNBC, where one would expect a liberal.

It's turning into a topsy-turvy world.

Fox News Insider
Russian Studies Prof: Criticisms of Trump Over Putin Presser Are 'Like Mob Violence'

Tucker Carlson Tonight