Tag Archives: President Trump

Trump’s Fed Picks? More of the Same! by Ron Paul

It’s not clear if Ron Paul thinks the right personnel, policies, and an audit will cure an institution that rests on an illogical foundation, is inherently corrupt (if you or I counterfeit money, we get thrown in jail), and is the apex of a bankers’ cartel. Paul is not happy with Trump’s candidates for the next Fed head. From Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

This week President Trump revealed his final five candidates for Federal Reserve chair. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, all five have strong ties to the financial and political establishment. The leading candidates are former Federal Reserve governor and Morgan Stanley banker Kevin Warsh and current Fed governor, former investment banker, Carlyle Group partner, and George H.W. Bush administration official Jerome Powell. Gary Cohn, current director of the president’s National Economic Council and former president of Goldman Sachs, is also on Trump’s list.

Trump is also considering reappointing Janet Yellen, even though when he was running for president he repeatedly criticized her for pursuing policies harmful to the middle class. Of course candidate Trump also promised to support Audit the Fed and even voiced support for returning to the gold standard. But, he has not even uttered the words “Audit the Fed,” or talked about any changes to monetary policy, since the election.

Instead, President Trump, in complete contradiction to candidate Trump, has praised Yellen for being a “low-interest-rate-person.” One reason Trump may have changed his position is that, like most first-term presidents, he thinks low interest rates will help him win reelection. Trump may also realize that his welfare and warfare spending plans require an accommodative Fed to monetize the federal debt. The truth is President Trump’s embrace of status quo monetary policy could prove fatal to both his presidency and the American economy.

The failure of the Fed’s post-2008 policies of unprecedented money creation and record-low interest rates shows our experiment with fiat money is nearing its inevitable end. All of Trump’s potential picks are likely to continue the Fed’s current policies. Even the ones who say they favor higher rates will likely bow to the wishes of their friends in the financial and political establishment and make sure any rate hikes are minuscule. Appointing a Fed chair who will continue, or only make marginal changes to, these failed policies will hasten the collapse while making the resulting depression more painful.

To continue reading: Trump’s Fed Picks? More of the Same!

Advertisements

Trump: Russian Uranium Deal “Is The Biggest Story That Fake Media Doesn’t Want To Follow”, by Tyler Durden

By tweeting about the Russian uranium scandal, President Trump has just made it harder for the mainstream media to ignore. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

As we reported yesterday, as the media continues to lose their collective minds over $100,000 worth of Facebook ads allegedly purchased by Russians during the 2016 election, the Senate Judiciary Committee has finally decided they’re going to take a look into a shady Russian deal – first  profiled here last summer – that handed Putin 20% of America’s uranium reserves, was approved by the Obama administration during an ongoing FBI investigation into charges of bribery, extortion and money laundering by the Russian buyer and netted the Clintons millions of dollars in donations and ‘speaking fees.”

Recall that on Wednesday it was reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee launched a full-scale probe into a Russian nuclear bribery case, demanding several federal agencies disclose whether they knew the FBI had uncovered the corruption before the Obama administration in 2010 approved a controversial uranium deal with Moscow. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee chairman, gets his first chance to raise the issue in public on Wednesday when he questions Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an oversight hearing.

“It has recently come to the Committee’s attention that employees of Rosatom were involved in a criminal enterprise involving a conspiracy to commit extortion and money laundering during the time of the CFIUS transaction,” Grassley wrote in one such letter addressed to Sessions.

“The fact that Rosatom subsidiaries in the United States were under criminal investigation as a result of a U.S. intelligence operation apparently around the time CFIUS approved the Uranium One/Rosatom transaction raises questions about whether that information factored into CFIUS’ decision to approve the transaction,” the chairman added.

Fast forward to this week when thanks to newly released affidavits from a case that landed one of the Russian co-conspirators, Vadim Mikerin, in jail, we learned on Tuesday that not only was the Obama administration aware the Russians’ illegal acts in the U.S. but it may have also been fully aware that “Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.”

To continue reading: Trump: Russian Uranium Deal “Is The Biggest Story That Fake Media Doesn’t Want To Follow”

Trump and Obamacare, by Andrew P. Napolitano

When the Republican Congress refused to make an appropriation for Obamacare in 2013, President Obama had no constitutional authority to spend the money he deemed necessary for the program. Now President Trump has reversed that unconstitutional executive order. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

Late last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the secretaries of the treasury and health and human services to cease making payments to health care insurance companies in behalf of the more than 6 million Americans who qualify for these payments under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Obamacare is the signature legislation of former President Barack Obama, enacted in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. Its stated goal was to use the engine of the federal government to make health insurance available and affordable to everyone in America.

It seeks to achieve that goal by regulating the delivery of health care, giving federal bureaucrats access to everyone’s medical records, compelling everyone in America to acquire health insurance and providing financial subsidies for those people whose household incomes are below certain levels and who do not otherwise qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Under President Obama, the subsidies were regularly paid, and they had been paid under President Trump, as well, until he decided to cease paying them last week.

Here is the back story.

How is it up to the president to decide whether to spend federal dollars when the law requires him to do so? The answer to that question depends on whether Congress has authorized the specific expenditure of the tax dollars.

Under the Constitution, when Congress passes legislation that directs the president to spend federal tax dollars — or, as is likelier the case today, dollars borrowed by the federal government — Congress must appropriate funds for the expenditure. So for every federal program that spends money, Congress must first create the program — for example, building a bridge or paving an interstate highway — and then it must pass a second bill that appropriates money from the federal treasury and makes it available to the president for the purpose stated in the first law.

To continue reading: Trump and Obamacare

 

The Decertification of Iran Speech: Refuting Trump, by Ted Snider

It’s far easier to find the lies in President Trump’s recent decertification of Iranian Nuclear Agreement compliance than it is to find any nuggets of truth. Ted Snider exposes and refutes most of the lies. From Snider at antiwar.com:

Iran’s hardliners were right. They recited a long history of agreements in which Iranian compliance was repaid with American betrayal. Like a Persian chorus of Cassandras, they called their warnings into the wind, and the world called them crazy. Well, the mad mullahs were right. Despite the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declaring each time it has reported – most recently in August 2017 – that Iran is in total compliance with its agreements in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Donald Trump has now carried through on his threat to decertify Iran.

And the United Nations body is not alone. Trump’s own military and intelligence community has clearly told him the same thing. US Strategic Command Chief General John Hyten has recently insisted that Iran is in full compliance and that any concerns the US may have with Iran are independent of the nuclear agreement. General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs, has also recently told a senate hearing that Iran is complying with the JCPOA.

Contrary to Trump’s claim that the JCPOA is no longer beneficial to the safety and security of the American people, that it does not “contribute to ‘regional and international peace and security,’” that too is sharply inconsistent with the message of both the American and the international military and intelligence communities. Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the senate armed services committee recently that the JCPOA is in the national security interest. European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherinis said that “We cannot afford as the international community to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working.”

Trump’s speech was not only disconnected with the reality of Iran’s compliance with the agreement and with the effectiveness of the agreement, it also contained an unbelievably long list of false charges against Iran and of historical falsehoods, prompting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to suggest that Trump read his history books.

To continue reading: The Decertification of Iran Speech: Refuting Trump

Trump’s Scary Nuclear Doctrine, by Alastair Crooke

The scariest part of Trump’s nuclear doctrine is that nobody knows what it is, perhaps not even Trump. From Alastair Crooke at consortiumnews.com:

Pleasing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and terrifying almost everybody else, President Trump is threatening nuclear war against North Korea and, by implication, war with Iran, as ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke explains.

There are acres of print analyzing “will he, or won’t he” in respect to President Trump taking military action in North Korea. And equally, volumes on what Trump may intend to do in respect of Iran: Is he engaged primarily in rhetorical “theatre” to please his base, and earn press plaudits; or is he girding up for attrition (hot or cold) against Iran?

Illustration by Chesley Bonestell of nuclear bombs detonating over New York City, entitled “Hiroshima U.S.A.” Colliers, Aug. 5, 1950.

The unanswered question is: does President Trump regard North Korea and Iran as somehow connected (albeit that Iran has no nuclear weapons, and no nuclear weapons program)? Certainly one person – one who talks to the Trump family a lot – does think the two are directly linked.

Jeffrey Sachs, who listened to Trump’s speech at the United Nations, in which the President said he was ready to “totally destroy” North Korea, tells us about the audience reaction: “Well, you could hear shuffling, chuckles, amazement, gasps, a few applause. There was Netanyahu enthusiastically applauding. It was a very odd scene. I am still a bit shaken by it.”

Of course, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some neoconservatives, a U.S. attack on the Korean nuclear program sets a wonderful precedent for Iran – for now or for the future.

We just do not know. Trump’s former career as a reality TV host has left him with a predilection for teasing and hype (“just tune in again next week, to learn more”). What is increasingly plain is that those on the inside – such as the Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee – are equally unsure whether President Trump is about to unleash “World War III” – or not.

To continue reading: Trump’s Scary Nuclear Doctrine

Empire Destroying Wars Are Coming to America Under Trump – Part 2, by Michael Krieger

Trump will try to make patriotism synonymous with supporting another stupid American war. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

– Major General Smedley Butler, War is a Racket (1935)

Yesterday’s post, Empire Destroying Wars Are Coming to America Under Trump – Part 1, outlined my view that President Donald Trump, despite campaign slogans to focus on “America First,” is likely to entangle the nation in major new wars which will precipitate a chaotic and dangerous collapse of U.S. empire.

I base this view on his actions since coming into office, as well as the bloodthirsty war hawks he’s increasingly turning to for advice, with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton being the most concerning of all. Today’s post will dig into how Trump will attempt to sell his wars, and will also address the role corporate media is likely to play in the legitimization of any future destructive conflagration.

 

To continue reading: Empire Destroying Wars Are Coming to America Under Trump – Part 2

Trump: Rhetoric vs. Reality, by Justin Raimondo

Regardless of rhetoric, President Trump is not going to start a war with North Korea. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Don’t mistake the bluster for policy

With Donald Trump in the White House, merrily tweeting whatever disruptive and disturbing sentiments erupt from his consciousness in the early morning hours, hysteria has become the default condition of our pundit class. Trump tweets that “only one thing” can stop Korean despot Kim Jong-un’s nuclear pyrotechnics, and the editorialists swing into action, while the Democrats point gleefully to the prospect of World War III: “See? We told you he’s nuts!”

Add to this the widespread belief that Kim Jong-un is a “madman,” and the hysteria of the chattering classes reaches fever pitch: we’ve got no less than two crazy people with nuclear weapons, and they’re about to blow up the world! Oh no!

The problem with this scenario is that it has nothing to do with reality: it’s a rhetorical construct, based on the verbal extravagances of actors whose entire modus operandi depends on a constant stream of bluster, bluff, and unmitigated bullshit.

For Kim and the North Koreans, this strategy has served them well: long after the fall of communism, the withdrawal of Soviet protection, and their alienation from Beijing, the last bastion of old-style Stalinism continues to defy the West. It has taken a monomaniacal focus on a single goal – the complete militarization of their society, resulting in the utter impoverishment of the populace – but the North Koreans have managed to do it: while their little Sparta would ultimately lose a war with the United States, the price they would make us pay is far too high for the preventive war so many fear to be “on the table,” as our rulers routinely put it. North Korean artillery perched on hillsides within range of Seoul – South Korea’s bustling capital, with a population of some ten million – would wreak devastation on a scale not seen since Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden. North Korea’s one-milion-plus Army would pour over the border and smash through both the South Korean defense forces and the 30,000 or so US military personnel currently (and foolishly) stationed on the peninsula.

To continue reading: Trump: Rhetoric vs. Reality