Friday, February 21, 2014

Obama’s Incredible Shrinking "Empire"

Soon to shrink to the size of a prison cell

BOSTON HERALD
By Jonah Goldberg
02/20/2014

Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents — by “we” I mean pundits, academics and other members of the chattering phylum — two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it’s one or the other.
 
 
When the president is unpopular or when he’s lost control of his agenda or when he just seems inadequate to the demands of the job, the headline “The Incredible Shrinking Presidency” proliferates like kudzu. When the Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006, the Economist proclaimed “The Incredible Shrinking Presidency” of George W. Bush on its cover. Barack Obama has been diagnosed with presidential shrinkage many times, including in Politico, the New York Times and my own National Review.

 
The flip side of the shrinking presidency is the imperial presidency, something we’ve been fretting by name since at least Franklin Roosevelt and in principle since the founding.

Politically, what is remarkable is that Obama seems to be doing both at the same time. His “Year of Action” — intended to dispel that lame-duck scent — is simultaneously Caesar-like and pathetic. (Maybe the presidential seal should depict that dude from the Little Caesars pizza commercials?) Last week, he announced that he would unilaterally raise the minimum wage for federal contractors seeking new work. Only 1 percent of the workforce makes the minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and vanishingly few of them work for the federal government. This probably explains why the White House wouldn’t give an actual number when asked how many people his bold action would benefit.
 
 
 
Yet, at the Democratic retreat last week, Obama threw cold water on the idea that he could do much more on immigration from the Oval Office, saying there are “outer limits to what we can do by executive action.”

Some of his unilateral actions are a bigger deal, of course. The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to treat carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” is an outrageous expansion of executive power. 
 
But Obama doesn’t tout that as a bullet point; he let the EPA take the political heat for that decision a while ago. His multiple unilateral revisions to Obamacare run the gamut from desperate tinkering to outright lawlessness. But flop-sweat panic to compensate for executive incompetence and to fend off a rout in the midterms doesn’t exactly project presidential boldness either.
 
 
The “Year of Action” should actually be seen as a replay of President Clinton’s small-ball comeback after the 1994 midterms. Clinton picked micro-initiatives — school uniforms, the V-chip, etc. — that poll-tested well but amounted to very little in terms of policy. 
 
The clever twist Obama is putting on his micro-agenda is doing it in a way that successfully baits opponents into making the case that he’s more powerful and relevant than he really is.
 


Substantively, however, the imperial presidency continues to metastasize. “The presidency,” the Cato Institute’s Gene Healy has written, “keeps shrinking, but — with an executive branch of some 2.1 million civilian employees and counting — it never gets any smaller.” 
 
As a branch of government, it has grown under Republicans and Democrats alike. Some curbs were put on the office under Richard Nixon because of Watergate, and because Democrats don’t like it when Republican presidents behave like Democratic ones.
 
 
Dope smoking not allowed in U.S. prison system, Barry
"Those who tried to warn us back at the beginning of the New Deal of the dangers of one-man rule that lay ahead on the path we were taking toward strong, centralized government may not have been so wrong,” Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston of California remarked in 1973 during Watergate.


That’s a lesson Democrats would do well to ponder, because they are rhetorically giving Obama license to do whatever he likes. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) recently declared that the priority for her and her comrades should be to draft executive orders — not laws — for Obama to sign. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) suggested on “Fox News Sunday” that the president could rewrite Obamacare at whim because the Constitution gives him the power to act during a national security threat. And of course, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blew up the filibuster rules for appointees.

They shouldn’t be surprised if the next Republican president takes advantage of that license.

Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor-at-large of National Review Online.





This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

 

Egypt : Detained Al Jazeera Journalists Appear In Court As Trial Opens

CIA owned CNN squeals in terror as fellow MSM hacks are justifiably put on trial for spying, inciting sectarian violence, anti-government riots; Al Jazeera's spies have been ejected from Iraq, Syria and Egypt, their "journalists" operating without credentials in Egypt when arrested

CNN
By Sara Sidner and Laura Smith-Spark
02/20/2014

Cairo (CNN) --

Three Al Jazeera journalists were among eight who appeared at a hearing in a Cairo prison court Thursday, accused along with 17 other defendants of spreading "false news" and having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt declared a terrorist organization in December.


"Mainstream media" exposed
"Tell her I love her. Big wedding when I get out," Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy told journalists in a message to his fiancee, appearing in high spirits on the first day of his trial, despite a worsening shoulder injury.

Fahmy, a former CNN freelance producer, is accused of being a member of a terrorist group and airing false news about Egypt to give the impression of a civil war. A prosecutor has also charged Al Jazeera English correspondent Peter Greste, producer Baher Mohammed and 17 others. Al Jazeera said nine on the list were on its staff.


The charges were read out Thursday as the case opened, but no evidence was read in open court. The prosecution had been expected to outline the evidence supporting the charges.

The case against the journalists comes amid a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood after the ouster of the country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsy. The accused have denied the allegations against them, with the journalists saying they were simply doing their jobs.

 
On the stand at the police academy in the Tora Prison complex, Fahmy, Greste and Mohammed appeared with five others. "We didn't even know their names until we met them here," Fahmy told reporters asking about their relationship with the other defendants. 

They include Anas El Beltagy, son of jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El Beltagy. 

 

His mother, Sanaa Abdel Gawad -- standing outside the court wearing a badge with a picture of his sister, who was killed in August -- said their arrest was "a vendetta against his father."

Sohaib Saad, a student defendant claiming no relation to Al Jazeera, told reporters he was receiving "repressive treatment" at the Aqrab (Scorpion) Maximum Security Prison, including a ban on food and visits.

Fahmy and Mohammed were originally in solitary confinement in that prison. In their new prison, the Tora Farm Annex, they share a cell with Greste, allowed one hour of outdoor time a day and no books.

They complained that conditions inside are "psychologically unbearable," but they remained defiant. "If justice happens, we will be free soon," Greste said. Speaking in a metal cage and separated from journalists by rows of wooden benches and a line of police conscripts, his voice was barely audible.

"We need everyone's support," he said.


Al Jazeera spy, fraud "journalist" Sue Turdton (right) leading the propaganda war against the Egyptian government on CNN is also under indictment for spying, inciting sectarian violence in Cairo and will be tried with Dominic Kane, Dutch journalist Rena Netjes and other CIA spies in absentia

Mohammed told journalists to tell his wife to stay away because she's pregnant. Along with other relatives of the defendants and other reporters, she stood outside the prison complex early Thursday morning with their two children. She and Fahmy's family couldn't get inside.

In an interview, Andrew Greste told CNN how he had visited his brother Peter in Egypt's notorious Tora prison.

"There was the ability to communicate," he said. "I guess that's the only way we feel we can get through this: is trying not to get too bogged down in the emotions and the conditions that Peter is enduring, because that becomes paralyzing for us."

The family was shocked by what has happened, Andrew Greste said. "I mean, a journalist of Peter's credibility, it's just ridiculous," he said.

He said he had taken food and clothing into prison for his brother, since it was not provided by the state.

Peter Greste, an award-winning journalist, was in Egypt only to cover for a colleague, his brother added.

The Egyptian government has faced a tide of criticism about the case, from professional journalism organizations and human rights groups.

Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, last month described the prosecution as a "major setback for media freedom in Egypt."

He added, "The move sends the chilling message that only one narrative is acceptable in Egypt today -- that which is sanctioned by the Egyptian authorities."

The case relies on simmering sentiment against Al Jazeera TV, deemed biased to the Muslim Brotherhood. One lawyer told the court that there is a mix-up in investigations and other case documents between the Jazeera Mubasher Masr, banned by Egypt, and Al Jazeera English.

"Which Jazeera?" the judge asked before taking notes.

"We believe that we have not been distorting Egypt's image at all," said Heather Allan, head of Al Jazeera English newsgathering, before the trial started.

"They said we fabricated footage before they even looked at my camera," Fahmy said.

Salah El-Sadek, chairman of Egypt's State Information Service, said the Al Jazeera journalists did not have the proper legal documents to work in Egypt, creating suspicion about their activities -- although their reports aired nightly on TV.

"We have 1,100 correspondents and journalists accredited here, legally representing 200 agencies in this country," he told CNN. "None of them have been exposed to that because none of them have broken the law. So it's not a matter of freedom of speech in this case. It is a matter of breaking the law."

The Al Jazeera network has said its employees were not accredited in the country but argues that is no excuse for imprisoning them.

"Lack of credentials is not a criminal offense. ... Usually you get a slap on the wrist and a walk to the airport," Allan said.

The case has put Egypt in the spotlight, further fueling criticism about freedom of expression and the challenges facing journalists.

"Egyptian authorities in recent months have demonstrated almost zero tolerance for any form of dissent, arresting and prosecuting journalists, demonstrators and academics for peacefully expressing their views," Human Rights Watch said in a prepared statement released Wednesday.

The Committee to protect Journalists listed Egypt as third deadliest country for journalists in 2013. Journalists face deadly police force and violence by mobs on the street.

"Things are getting worse on so many levels," said Lina Attalah, chief editor of Mada Masr, which describes itself as an independent Egyptian news website.

"On a practical level, we are not able to do the job. But also on a formal censorship level, with the prosecutions that are politically motivated as we all know. It just makes us think that we can be targeted from any side and by any means."

The journalists' trial was a reminder of what awaits dissent or different voices, Attalah explained, and it has become an "embarrassment" to the state and the judiciary.

But the chairman of Egypt's State Information Service disagrees about such a crackdown on dissent. "Who said they are punished for criticizing the government? If you watch the private and even the formal or the governmental channels, you will find criticism that has been said about the government and its actions and it was way of running things more than we've ever had in our whole life," El-Sadek said.

For others, the media has been almost unanimous in its support of the current military-led government, which is often blamed for fueling xenophobia and polarization to violent levels.

The trial has also garnered international solidarity with protests in Nairobi, London and other cities in support of Egypt's arrested journalists, not all of whom are included in this trial.

Greste, Fahmy and Mohammed were happy to hear the news of such demonstrations. Fahmy raised his fist in the air in excitement. "Wait until I get out," he shouted. The three have been in detention for more than 50 days.

The procedural hearing was adjourned to March 5, to bring in prosecution witnesses, provide a translator for Greste and allow lawyers to acquire case documents. Evidence will be examined at the March hearing, and lawyers have requested an independent expert to examine the footage the prosecution said was edited to portray a false image.

They praised the work of the Canadian and Australian embassies in Cairo but wanted the governments of these two countries to do more.

Besides the three detained on December 29, a number of Al Jazeera journalists were charged in absentia. Among them is Briton Sue Turton, who has previously worked for Britain's Sky News, ITN and Channel 4.

Speaking at a protest against her colleagues' detention in London, she said the Egyptian authorities' actions were an attempt to silence reporting of views opposed to theirs.

"Certainly we are one of the only channels in Egypt that's watched widely that gives very much an opposing view to the military-backed government," Turton said.

"The domestic media doesn't, the domestic press and TV doesn't. They want to shut us up, and the best way to do that is to arrest some of our people in the hope that that will stop others from reporting from there."



This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

 



Berlin And Washington Foment Civil War In Ukraine

Obama, CIA incite WWIII in Ukraine; EU puppet governments enable White House shadow war supported by CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Euronews

WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE
By Peter Schwarz
02/20/2014

Recent events in Ukraine are a warning to the working class. They make clear that political leaders in Washington, Berlin and Brussels are prepared to split the country, drive it into civil war and risk a conflagration across the entire region to achieve their geopolitical goals.
 
 
Following the failure of the Ukrainian opposition and its Western supporters to overthrow President Viktor Yanukovych by means of demonstrations and replace his regime with an EU-friendly government, armed fascist gangs are being mobilized to achieve the same aim.

On Tuesday, Kiev witnessed the bloodiest clashes since the protests began three months ago. 
 
 
Twenty-six people, including several policemen, were killed, and some 1,000 were injured when gangs armed with paving stones, guns and firebombs engaged in violent street battles with government security forces.
 
 
"Mainstream media" aids, enables Obama/CIA/EU
Even Western media outlets, which have propagandized in support of the opposition, could not entirely ignore the role of ultra-right forces in the violent protests. 
 
The Financial Times reported, “Some demonstrators wearing camouflage clothing, military helmets and bullet proof vests responded with what appeared to be hand guns.” The same newspaper wrote: “Right Sector, one of the most militarized protest groups, urged citizens with guns to join the encampment.”


 
German news channel N24 reported that the “radicals of Right Sector have hijacked the protest movement.” Noting that the group consists of “supporters of ultra right-wing organizations across the country,” it added, “With their faces hidden behind masks or helmets, they attack the police in Kiev with batons and iron bars.”

The US and German governments are supporting these paramilitary neofascist groups in order to increase pressure on Yanukovych and his government. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung expressed this bluntly. It “no longer matters if it was radical opponents of the regime or the security forces who first resorted to violence on Tuesday,” the paper stated. “Now only one thing can help: the rapid resignation of Yanukovych.”
 
 
Despite spying spat Obama and Merkel back in bed together
On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warmly received Ukrainian opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko, but turned down their call for sanctions. After the bloody riots in Kiev, she reversed herself and expressed support for sanctions against the Yanukovych government. In a joint appearance with French President Fran├žois Hollande, she denounced the security forces in Ukraine for brutality.


Similar comments were made by the US government, which called on the Ukrainian government to withdraw its riot police. “There will be consequences if people cross a line,” President Barack Obama threatened.
 
 
Frog Mussolini clone Hollande
The fact that Berlin and Washington are prepared to exploit the services of paramilitary fascist gangs for their own purposes exposes the official propaganda, which states that what is at issue in Ukraine is the rule of law and democracy. In fact, the aim is to replace the regime of Yanukovych with one that will distance itself from Russia, subordinate itself to the European Union and impose brutal austerity policies on the Ukrainian working class.

This is also the aim of the opposition led by Klitschko, Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok, whose Svoboda party openly celebrates the Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and espouses anti-Semitism and racism.


The battle for Ukraine is part of efforts by the US and the European powers to incorporate all of Eastern Europe into their sphere of influence and isolate Russia. This process began with the restoration of capitalism, continued with the incorporation of the former Eastern Bloc countries and the Baltic States into NATO and the EU, and is now to be extended to large parts of the former Soviet Union.

Ukraine, with its network of energy pipelines, strategically important military bases and heavy industry, is a major target of American and European imperialism. On two occasions in the last century, in 1918 and 1941, German imperialism invaded Ukraine. In World War II, Hitler’s armies massacred millions of Ukrainians.
 
 
Obama following in Hitler's footsteps
Ukraine also serves as a base to draw other former Soviet republics into the sphere of influence of the EU. In an article for Carnegie Europe, journalist Judy Dempsey referred to the crisis in Ukraine as “a great opportunity for the EU.” She continued: “Now is the time for the EU to start selling itself, not just in Ukraine but also in Georgia and Moldova.”

The installation of a client regime in Ukraine or imperialist carve-up of the country is ultimately aimed against Russia itself. Various think tanks are studying the ethnic and political tensions that could be exploited to bring about regime change in Russia and dismember that country as well.


The policies pursued by Washington, Berlin and Brussels in Ukraine, with the support of their right-wing and fascist allies, are directed against the social and democratic rights of the working class. They risk civil war and increase the danger of a military confrontation with Russia.
 
 
NATO once again staring down the barrel of WWIII
The Ukrainian working class cannot avoid these dangers by supporting the camp of Yanukovych. His regime is corrupt and bankrupt, representing a different faction of oligarchs than those backing the opposition. They all agree when it comes to the looting of public property and the impoverishment and suppression of the working population.


The only way forward for the working class is to build an independent socialist party that fights for the expropriation of the oligarchy and the nationalization of the banks and corporations, uncompromisingly rejects imperialism and nationalism, and fights for the unity of Ukrainian workers with the workers of Russia, Europe and the rest of the world.





This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

 

‘Swine Flu’ Returns In U.S., Rise Of Children, Young Adults Deaths

This weaponized virus originated at Kobe University, Japan created by Teridah Ernala-Ginting under the direction of Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Ron Fouchier:  Ribavirin still remains the only known antiviral that will slow the replication of this and other manufactured, weaponized corona viruses

PRESS TV
02/20/2014

Pigs and birds have absolutely nothing to do with the origin of these viruses.

The global 2009 H1N1 virus pandemic is back in the United States, according to officials. 
H1N1
This season the resurgence of the ‘swine flu’ deaths is on a dramatic rise across the country among young and middle-aged adults and in children, Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The death tolls are remarkably higher than last year, despite being still much lower than four years ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu has been killing at epidemic levels since mid-January.


As the flu season ends in March or April, the CDC says there are still high number of visitors to doctors for flu symptoms in some states. In some cases there is even an increase in the activity. 
H1N1 weaponizers Kawaoka and Ernala-Ginting
The flu normally affects the very old and the very young, but this time 60% of those hospitalized for influenza were aged between 18 to 64.

“These severe flu outcomes are a reminder that flu can be a very serious disease for anyone, including young, previously healthy adults,” CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said.

California has seen a severe outbreak with 243 deaths of those younger than 65 this year. Forty one more cases were reported but not confirmed. Last year, there were only 26 deaths by this time while 527 died in the 2009-10 season.

The Washington Post also names cities like Virginia and Maryland, DC, San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, North Carolina as being affected by the flu.

The virus has been constantly changing genetically ever since, according to the World Health Organization, which tracks the disease.

AN/DT




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

 


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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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