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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Russia And US Near Conflict?

Barack O’Bomber was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize before he even became President. And he hasn’t had one day of peace in his eight years.
And, he now has 14 days left and appears to be trying to foment World War III with his remaining opportunity.
Long ago O’Bomber accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, but didn’t do anything to either justify or deserve it. More recently he’s actually done a lot to repudiate it.
In fact, according to an analysis done by the Council on Foreign Relations of Defense Department data, the U.S. dropped over 26,000 bombs in 2016 during Obama’s final year in office, that’s over 3,000 more than in 2015!
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the ousting of Viktor Yanujovych was followed by the ascension of Petro “Porky” Porochenko. Porky was a pro-Western puppet and moved Ukraine in a Westerly direction.
Vladimir Putin as a result, made overtures to a portion of southwestern Ukraine that was pro-Russian. In March, 2014, Russia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea signed a treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in the Russian Federation.
This was just the beginning of more blatant challenges to Putin and his reign. Sanctions have been placed on Putin as challenges to him have become more overt, but no more rational.
The US seems to need an enemy and a sizeable part of the military industrial complex is supportive of the demonization of Russia as a demonstrable and necessary one. This demonization is being accompanied by a continued and escalating fighting in Syria where the US wants to remove Assad.
The removal of Assad would bring the West right up to the doorstep of Putin and make his position even worse vis a vis the West. It is being accompanied by serious allegations that the West and O’Bomber in particular have been supporting the anti-Assad terror group ISIS and may have even helped to found it.
Between aiding ISIS and supporting today’s Ukrainian regime, along with numerous past anti-Russian activities, O’Bomber has set the US up as an ongoing foe of a country that itself maintains no ongoing enmity toward the West.
Nonetheless, the US has gone out of its way to put considerable pressure on Putin, Russia and its activities. Most recently, O’Bomber has moved even closer to a direct confrontation. Lithuania has just confirmed the presence of US special forces saying the deployment is to “train local forces and act as a deterrent against Russian aggression.”
Furthermore, sometime during the spring of 2017, NATO will be sending battalions to the Baltic States and Poland as part of something called operation “Atlantic Resolve”. Even Great Britain will be shipping fighter jets and troops to the region.
It has been reported by the German Armed Forces Press and Information center that 3 US transport ships are expected to arrive in Bremerhaven in the first week of January, containing 2,500 pieces of cargo, trucks, combat vehicles, trailers and containers. Upon their arrival they will be transported to Poland by rail and military convoys by approximately January 20th. Just in time for Donald Trump’s inauguration.
One German newspaper called this arms stockpiling the largest US military redeployment operation in Germany since 1990 with more than 2000 jeeps and trucks expected to be deployed over the next 9 months.
According to statements made by the US army, 4000 additional troops and 2000 tanks will also be contributed to strengthen the alliance’s “defenses”.
Colonel Todd S Bertulis, deputy head of logistics of the Stuttgart military base in Germany, stated, the operation will “Ensure that the necessary combat power is brought to the right place in Europe at the right time.”
Another US military statement which came from Lieutenant Ben Hodges, the commanding general of US armed forces in Europe, was that three years after US tanks left the European continent “We [the United States] need to get them back.” He went on to tell journalists that these recent measures were in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as their “illegal” annexation of Crimea.
The natural question which arises as a result of all this is of course, what exactly are O’bomber and the globalist elites trying to incite in Eastern Europe? Are they actually trying to kick off World War III?
The answer is yes, of course. To revamp the cold war is to stoke the flames of the military industrial complex.
The trigger happy warmongers in the US government would love a direct confrontation with Russia and China - especially people like Senator Lindsey I-never-saw-a-war-I-didn’t-like Graham who stated in reference to Russia’s supposed interference in the US election, that we [the USSA] have to be ready to “throw rocks” and all Obama has done is “thrown a pebble”.
It is interesting how quickly the US propaganda apparatus has switched their boogey man from Al- qaeda to ISIS and now to Russia for cold war 2.0 as it more aptly suits their agenda.
So with armaments being moved into strategic positions in Eastern Europe and hostile rhetoric being tossed around by trigger happy politicians who stand to benefit from the fostering of a major world war, it is important to keep in mind the financial ramifications of these possibilities.
Markets don’t like uncertainty and nothing sends mixed signals like the prospect of a war between superpowers.
That is why it is important to keep some of your assets outside the  financial system in more secure alternatives such as precious metals and cryptocurrencies.
To learn more, join us this February in Acapulco, Mexico for the TDV Internationalization & Investment Summit.  The timing of the summit couldn’t be better as a lot appears to be about to change in the world and you’ll need to stay one step ahead to survive and profit from it.
There are a number of geopolitical pieces in motion including Donald Trump who just came out with rhetoric to reign back the CIA… which is a whole other story in and of itself that we will cover here tomorrow.

Brit Coming To Trump Inauguration

Brexit campaigner Farage to attend 

Trump inauguration

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) watches as Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage speaks at a campaign rally in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S., August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, who has said he wants to be a bridge between the British government and the new U.S. administration, will attend U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration later this month.
Farage, who will attend the event as a guest of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, spoke at a Trump rally in Mississippi during the U.S. presidential campaign and was the first British politician to meet the president-elect after his victory, ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May.
Farage spent decades campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union and helped to force then Prime Minister David Cameron to call the June 2016 referendum that resulted in the Brexit vote.
Trump has said Farage - the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) - would be great as Britain's envoy to Washington, but the British government has dismissed the suggestion.
Asked if he would be attending Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, Farage told Sky News: "I certainly am, I can't wait."
"The governor of Mississippi has invited me and I'm there for a few days and it's going to be a great, historic event. In America they've had a political revolution and it's complete; the problem in Britain is our revolution is not complete because the same people are still in charge."
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Kate Holton)

Trump Shows Again That He Is No Ordinary President Elect

Getty Images

Trump's $440



The president-elect appears set on becoming
 personally involved in the contracting process.
How far can he actually go?

On Thursday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump dropped a bombshell on the defense industry: He asked Boeing to price out an alternative to Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets, a hugely valuable contract that Trump has criticized as too expensive. Lockheed's share price plunged almost 2 percent in after-hours trading.
It was the culmination of weeks of interference by the president-elect in the arcane, bureaucratic function of federal procurement. In early December, it was Boeing on the receiving end of Trump's wrath, when he tweeted that the costs of the new Air Force One planes are “out of control” and told reporters, “Boeing is doing a little bit of a number.” A few days later, he criticized the cost of the F-35 contract. And earlier this week, he convened top military officials and the CEOs of Boeing and Lockheed at his Mar-a-Lago estate to discuss how to bring costs down. Trump told reporters afterward, "We’re just beginning, it’s a dance.”
More than any other president, Trump appears to want to take a direct role in federal contracting, a technical, complex part of the government that is run by tens of thousands of career civil servants. It is normally a stodgy, rule-bound job, governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation book, which has more than 50 parts and is nearly 2,000 pages long. Mastering the rules and norms takes years, if not decades, and rarely receives much, if any, attention from the upper echelons of government.
At first glance, Trump would appear to face significant obstacles in using federal contracts as a form of leverage. But conversations with nearly a dozen contracting experts, many who previously worked on procurement issues for the government, suggest that Trump could easily blow through them — and despite the complex bureaucracy, there would likely be few brakes on his use of the process to score political points, reward his friends and punish his enemies. If he does, it could have another effect as well: driving up prices for federal government purchasing overall.
Unlike traditional contracts, most federal contracts include a “get-out-of-jail” free clause that allows the government to break a contract for a wide variety of reasons. That power is not unlimited, but for companies to prove the government illegally violated the contract, they must prove that the contracting officer acted in “bad faith,” a standard that is exceptionally hard to meet. In one case, a judge held that the company needed “well-nigh irrefragable” — meaning indisputable — “proof” to meet that standard.
“That language really sent a message to how high the standard was,” said Sandy Hoe, a lawyer at Covington & Burling who has spent more than 40 years practicing government contracts law. “[The courts] have gone away from that but it is still a very, very high standard.”
It’s hard to know how far Trump could push this power; experts have never considered that a president could effectively use the clause as a weapon against individual companies to further his own political and policy agendas. But Trump has shattered norm after norm and rule after rule on his way to the presidency.
“Theoretically, it could be done,” David Drabkin, a former top procurement executive at the General Services Administration, said about Trump going after a specific company's federal contracts. “But I can’t imagine it would ever come to that, because it would be a complete violation of both our rules and the culture of how we buy things. He could certainly threaten it. He’s already done it and it worked a little.”
That the president would use the federal procurement process broadly to advance a certain agenda is actually not uncommon. President Barack Obama has issued numerous executive orders requiring contractors to adhere to certain policies, such as not discriminating against LGBT employees, raising their minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour and offering paid sick leave. Previous presidents have used those powers as well. And these can have a significant effect on the economy, as the government spent $440 billion on procurement contracts in fiscal 2015. But these were blanket policies, applying to all contractors across the federal government.
What Trump is doing, by targeting specific companies or specific federal contracts, is new and unprecedented, experts said. “Never seen anything like this,” said Sean O’Keefe, a former secretary of the Navy and comptroller of the Defense Department.
The most famous example of the federal government canceling a contract came in 1991, when then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney terminated a $4.8 billion contact with General Dynamics and McDonnell Douglas to design and build the Navy’s A-12 stealth attack plane. At the time, the aircraft was 18 months behind schedule, around $1 billion over budget and 8,000 pounds overweight. It was the largest weapons-program termination in history and set off a 23-year legal battle between the companies and the federal government.
The lengthy legal battle occurred because the Navy terminated the contract “for default,” a legal standard meaning that the contractor failed to fulfill its contractual duties. Terminating a contract for default is rare and carries significant financial repercussions for the contractor, which does not get compensated for any uncompleted work.
“That means you failed to perform, show’s over and we’re going to stop sending you money,” said O’Keefe, who was involved in the A-12 case. “We don’t owe you another dime. Contract closed.”
While the stakes are high for both the government and contractor in termination for default cases, the government can also terminate contracts “for convenience.” Under such scenarios, the government ends a contract because it deems it no longer in the best interest of the country. It’s a unique power, rarely found in the private sector, that effectively allows the government to get out of contracts. The rationale is that the government’s needs change all the time, sometimes abruptly, such as when a war ends, so it needs the flexibility to adjust or cancel contracts.
Unlike termination for default, termination for convenience allows the contractor to recoup the costs of all its work done up to the point of termination. The government may also pay settlement fees and even sometimes pays the contractor a profit. Still, the termination can be complicated and the contractor loses future revenue. If the contractor believes the contracting officer was acting in bad faith when they cancelled the contract for convenience, they can file a lawsuit against the government. But those cases are rare and extremely difficult to prove.
For Trump to use the contracting process to punish a company, experts said he likely would terminate a contract for convenience. This, too, would involve a disruption in the bureaucracy: While the president is the ultimate contracting officer in the federal government, an implied authority given to him in the Constitution, he delegates that authority throughout the government, down to low-level contracting officers. Technically, contracting officers are independent of their superiors, including the president; courts have held that officers must make an independent determination that terminating a contract is in the best interest of the country, said Steve Schooner, co-director of The George Washington University’s Government Procurement Law Program and a former top procurement official at the Office of Management and Budget. So Trump cannot simply force an officer to terminate a contract.
But political appointees are traditionally loyal to the president and civil servants would risk their career if they were to not fall in line. That means, in practice, contracting officers are likely to acquiesce. “They can choose to say, 'I refuse to do that,'” said O’Keefe, “and then obviously they find themselves counting barrels of fuel in Beirut or something after it’s over.”
How far does Trump’s authority stretch before his actions would constitute acting in bad faith, meaning a contractor could sue the government and collect damages? To find out, I posed a hypothetical scenario to a number of contracting experts: A company angers Trump by moving 1,000 jobs overseas and, in response, Trump tweets that the government will terminate a company’s contract. A few days or weeks later, a contracting officer exercises the “convenience” clause and terminates a valuable contract with the company.
Is that bad faith? Experts said it would depend on specific facts in the case and the contract itself. But none said that that would certainly constitute bad faith. In fact, many said the government would likely still be favored to win the case.
“I couldn’t predict a clear-cut outcome at this point,” said Hoe, who said he would expect the administration to “cloak it in language that sounded like it was advancing the country’s interests and economic policies, so it wouldn’t appear to be a vindictive shot at a particular company.” He explained that a court could even hold that Trump acted in good faith because his actions were premised on saving U.S. jobs — so even if the termination of the contract had nothing to do with the contract itself, it might be legal. “It would be a fascinating case,” he added.
“Let’s say he said publicly, ‘Boeing is criticizing my trade policy, so I am going to bring their prices down.’ That’s the most extreme version,” said Steven Kelman, who headed the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the 1990s and now is a professor of public management at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “My quick reaction is that that’s not illegal.”
More broadly, experts suggested that it would be unlikely that Boeing or other companies would sue the federal government for acting in bad faith, even if they had a good chance of winning the case. Such a move might jeopardize their other federal contracts, especially if the courts ruled against them.
"If I’m counseling Boeing, Air Force One is important to me, but am I going to fall on my sword? Come on,” said a lawyer who has done extensive work with government contracts and does not count Boeing as a client. “Boeing’s not going to challenge them on that. If you shoot at the king, you better kill him.”
Asked whether there are any concerns at Boeing about Trump using the contracting process to gain leverage over companies and what legal safeguards existed to protect contractors, a Boeing spokesperson said, “They set the requirements for our various programs and we work with them to execute on that,” but declined to discuss how much authority Trump has over the federal contracting process.
It’s tough to predict how Trump will use these powers once in office, and his transition team did not respond to a request for comment. He’s spoken frequently about punishing companies that move jobs overseas, including threatening them with tariffs, although experts are unsure if he has the legal authority to do so. If he wants to both punish companies that outsource while adhering to traditional norms and rules around contracting, Trump could issue an executive order that prohibits federal contractors from moving jobs overseas. It likely would only apply to future contracts, and might be hard to enforce.
If Trump involves himself in the federal contracting process purely to reduce costs, as seems the case with his attacks on the defense contractors, experts said he'll have more leeway to cancel the contracts without violating the law, although his exact legal powers will differ depending on the specific contract. "Participating in negotiations with Boeing or Lockheed Martin, I would call it highly unorthodox but there’s definitely nothing illegal," said Kelman. The F-35 program does contain clauses to terminate for default or convenience, said Drabkin, so the president could terminate it. However, that program is years in the making and the Chinese and Russians are developing their own variants of the F-35 jet. Any major delays or changes to the program will therefore draw significant interest, and possibly pushback, from Congress as well.
Still, just the possibility that Trump could use the contracting process in such a manner could have significant implications across the government and economy, creating new uncertainty for both companies and contracting officers. Whether Trump actually follows through on threats to interfere with the contracting process, those threats, often delivered through a tweet, can have an immediate impact on a company’s share price.
Even when Trump doesn't make an explicit threat, just his willingness to involve himself in individual contracts can influence a company's decision-making. In Trump's deal with Carrier Corp. to save about 700 jobs, Carrier executives said that the potential loss of federal business for Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, influenced their decision-making. (United Technologies currently has about $7 billion in federal contracts.)
The ultimate result of Trump threatening to terminate federal contracts, whether to prevent companies from moving overseas or to cut down on perceived waste, could be higher costs for the government. Companies, faced with the increased risk of termination or negative publicity from an angry tweet from the president, would likely raise their prices in response, experts said. “With long-term complicated programs, the things that drive up prices are instability and uncertainty,” Schooner said. “That’s what he just added to the process.”
The president’s involvement in federal procurement is also likely to also slow the process. Contracting officers will negotiate and implement deals even more carefully, Schooner said, worried that the president could send out an early-morning tweet criticizing their work. All of that drives up costs for the federal government and delays much-needed acquisitions.
“He will scare the bejesus out of some fifth-level auditor who is going to say ‘Goodness gracious, maybe I ought to look at whoever he is attacking at the moment,’” said retired Adm. Dave Oliver, who was a top acquisition official in the Defense Department in the 1990s. “Am I going to believe the Lockheed Martin comptroller who is telling me this is OK, or am I going to believe the president?
“Whether the president has any legal standing of any kind in this doesn’t matter. That’s what the bully pulpit is all about,” he said. “He is going to be heard and he is going to have an impact.”

Obama And His Minions Just Can't Get Over Democratic Loss.

White House Taunts Donald Trump: Obama Won Popular Vote and Electoral College



White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest tells reporters that when President Barack Obama won the presidency, he won the popular vote and the electoral college in both 2012 and 2008.

Earnest made his comments during the White House press briefing in response to questions about the President Obama’s assertion that he could have beaten Donald Trump if he had run for a third term.
He noted the Obama was elected and re-elected with “with strong majorities — not just of the electoral college, but actually a majority of the voting population.”
Despite their political differences, Earnest said that Obama was committed to a smooth transition of power.
“Now, the President-elect didn’t get more votes, but he did win the election,” he said. “And since day one, this administration has been focused on ensuring a smooth and effective transition.”
He added that Obama was the only president since Dwight Eisenhower to win over 51 percent of the popular vote in both his first election and re-election, suggesting he was a better candidate than most modern presidents in history.
Earnest acknowledged, however, that Obama failed to deliver victories for some of the other Democrats he campaigned for, including Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton.
“I think there are a lot of theories as to why that is, but that’s undeniably true,” he said.
When reporters asked if Obama wanted to debate Trump, Earnest replied, “No.”

We Should Have a Term Limit Amendment. Are There Enough Votes For It To Pass

Ted Cruz Sen. Ted Cruz introduces term limits constitutional amendment

On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported that Sen. Ted Cruz 
, R-Tex., and Rep. Ron DeSantis 
, R-Fla., introduced a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on members of Congress.
“D.C. is broken,” Sen. Cruz said in a statement posted to his website on Tuesday. “The American people resoundingly agreed on Election Day, and President-elect Donald Trump has committed to putting government back to work for the American people. It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions.”
“The time is now for Congress, with the overwhelming support of the American people, to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification,” Cruz added. “With control of a decisive majority of the states, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, we have a responsibility to answer the voters’ call-to-action. We must deliver.”
According to the Examiner:
The proposal would limit senators to two terms (12 years total) and representatives to three terms (six years total). President-elect Trump campaigned on reining in Congress by implementing term limits, though it is unclear if the incoming administration has been involved in the proposal, which comes during Congress’ first week in session this year.
Both Cruz and DeSantis are Republicans.
“President Trump, Speaker Ryan and huge majorities of the American people are demanding term limits,” said U.S. Term Limits President Philip Blumel. “Congress must listen and pass the Cruz-DeSantis amendment immediately.”
In October, Rasmussen found that three-quarters of Americans supported term limits while only 13 percent did not.
Republican Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah and David Perdue of Georgia are co-sponsors of the amendment, the Examiner added.
Complete text of the proposed amendment can be seen here.
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Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad
Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad – Source: Author (used with permission)