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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Coupa Cola

Un-Cola Nuts,

Matt Taibbi
I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score.
​ ​The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who’s got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who’s writing tonight’s newscast?
​ ​When the KGB in 1991 tried to reassume control of the crumbling Soviet Union by placing Mikhail Gorbachev under arrest and attempting to seize Moscow, logistics ruled. Boris Yeltsin’s crew drove to the Russian White House in ordinary cars, beating KGB coup plotters who were trying to reach the seat of Russian government in armored vehicles. A key moment came when one of Yeltsin’s men, Alexander Rutskoi – who two years later would himself lead a coup against Yeltsin – prevailed upon a Major in a tank unit to defy KGB orders and turn on the “criminals.”
​ ​We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.
​ ​That’s all over, in the Trump era.
​ ​On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
​ ​Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be asked to give depositions to impeachment investigators. They’re reportedly going to refuse. Their lawyer John Dowd also says they will “refuse to appear before House Committees investigating President Donald Trump.” Fruman and Parnas meanwhile claim they had real derogatory information about Biden and other politicians, but “the U.S. government had shown little interest in receiving it through official channels.”
​ ​For Americans not familiar with the language of the Third World, that’s two contrasting denials of political legitimacy.
​ ​The men who are the proxies for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in this story are asserting that “official channels” have been corrupted. The forces backing impeachment, meanwhile, are telling us those same defendants are obstructing a lawful impeachment inquiry.
​ ​This latest incident, set against the impeachment mania and the reportedly “expanding” Russiagate investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, accelerates our timeline to chaos. We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.
​ ​My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.
​ ​The Trump presidency is the first to reveal a full-blown schism between the intelligence community and the White House. Senior figures in the CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies made an open break from their would-be boss before Trump’s inauguration, commencing a public war of leaks that has not stopped​..​.  
​ ​It was also a bold new foray into domestic politics by intelligence agencies that in recent decades began asserting all sorts of frightening new authority. They were kidnapping foreigners, assassinating by drone, conducting paramilitary operations without congressional notice, building an international archipelago of secret prisons, and engaging in mass warrantless surveillance of Americans. We found out in a court case just last week how extensive the illegal domestic surveillance has been, with the FBI engaging in tens of thousands of warrantless searches involving American emails and phone numbers under the guise of combating foreign subversion.
​  ​The agencies’ new trick is inserting themselves into domestic politics using leaks and media pressure. The “intel chiefs” meeting was just the first in a series of similar stories, many following the pattern in which a document was created, passed from department from department, and leaked.​..
 I don’t believe most Americans have thought through what a successful campaign to oust Donald Trump would look like. Most casual news consumers can only think of it in terms of Mike Pence becoming president. The real problem would be the precedent of a de facto intelligence community veto over elections, using the lunatic spookworld brand of politics that has dominated the last three years of anti-Trump agitation.

​But I thought the US was pulling soldiers out of the Mideast!
​ ​The Pentagon has increased the number of US forces in the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations by about 14,000 since May this year, as it continues to lock horns with Tehran. Not all of those went to Saudi Arabia, however, as CENTCOM’s area of operations covers the entire Middle East, including Afghanistan and Syria.

Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach revealed on Wednesday that former Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 from Burisma Group for lobbying activities, citing materials related to an investigation. 

Ukrainian Government Will 'Happily" Investigate Pro-Hillary Election Interference, President Says​ 

​Real whistle-blowers get treated like this:
Julian Assange to remain locked up in UK prison following brief court appearance ahead of US extradition hearing

 Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water someone poked a couple of holes in an oil tanker belonging to Iran. This sent oil prices up briefly in the vain hope of stabilizing them. But, strangely, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was silent.
This was a warning to Iran from someone on the Saudi/Israeli/U.S. side, “You won’t win without costs.”
Well, of course, that’s true. The big question everyone is asking is, of course, “Who did this?”​...
​ If the neocons and Israeli Firsters in Congress (and formerly in his cabinet) have turned on Trump to the point of starting impeachment proceedings against him for not going to war with Iran, then Trump is free to finally just blow it all wide open.
​ ​Which is exactly what he is doing. The Kurds were simply mercenaries to help us defeat ISIS. Job’s done, your beef with Turkey is your problem.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told "Face the Nation" in a Sunday interview that the Trump administration is "preparing to evacuate" about 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria "as safely and quickly as possible," CBS reports...
This also comes after a week ago Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern border posts ahead of a Turkish military incursion to establish a so-called 'safe zone'. That decision has been met with fierce push back among Congressional leaders and pundits, angry at the US "betrayal" of its Syrian Kurdish partners, namely the US-funded and trained Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
  

​ ​Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unleashed a verbal attack against the Saudi and Egyptian governments on Thursday after the latter two states criticized Ankara’s new military incursion in Syria.
​ ​“Saudi Arabia has to look in the mirror before it criticizes the peace process,” Erdogan said in a speech during an expanded meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), as quoted by the Anatolia news agency .
​ ​“Who brought Yemen to this situation, except Saudi Arabia, and the Egyptian president in particular, has no right to speak at all, he is a killer of democracy in his country​.​”  


​China was never a signatory to the intermediate range ballistic missile treaty, and has been advancing missile technology rapidly, so the US needed out of that treaty and blamed Russia for cheating. I have been saying that. Vladimir Putin says it , now.​
https://sputniknews.com/world/201910111077019575-putin-us-invented-pretext-to-withdraw-from-inf-treaty-over-concerns-with-asian-region/  

​Before or after he confiscates all the AK-47s in Texas? (Sorry, Fox News, but reflects anti-reality bias.)
​ Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke says he'd strip churches of tax-exempt status if they don't support same-sex marriage.
 When the former Texas congressman was asked if religious institutions -- "colleges, churches, charities" -- should be stripped of tax-exempt status Thursday night by CNN anchor Don Lemon during the LGBTQ town hall, he immediately responded, "Yes."
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/beto-church-of-tax-exempt-status-gay-marriage  

​Worthy of note...​
An article published by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), or Dutch Central Bank, has shocked many with its claim that "if the entire system collapses, the gold stock provides a collateral to start over."  

​Nuts for Winter​

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