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The Only Regime Change that Is Needed Is in Washington

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One of the things to look forward to in the upcoming holiday season is the special treats that one is allowed to sample. Fruitcake and nuts are Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites. They usually come in tins or special packages but it seems that this season some of the nuts have escaped and have fled to obtain sanctuary from the Trump Administration.

Currently, there is certainly a wide range of nuts available on display in the West Wing. There is the delicate but hairy Bolton, which has recently received the coveted “Defender of Israel” award, and also the robust Pompeo, courageously bucking the trend to overeat during the holidays by telling the Iranian people that they should either surrender or starve to death. And then there is the always popular Haley, voting audaciously to give part of Syria to Israel as a holiday treat.

But my vote for the most magnificent nut in an Administration that is overflowing with such talent would be the esteemed United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey. The accolade is in part due to the fact that Jeffrey started out relatively sane as a career diplomat with the State Department, holding ambassadorships in Iraq, Turkey, and Albania. He had to work hard to become as demented as he now is but was helped along the way by signing on as a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
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Pentagon Fails First Audit, Neocons Demand More Spending!

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The Pentagon has finally completed its first ever audit and the results are as many of us expected. After spending nearly a billion dollars to find out what has happened to trillions in unaccounted-for spending, the long look through the books has concluded that only ten percent of all Pentagon agencies pass muster. I am surprised any of them did.
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Progress or Failure in North Korea?

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In this same week the New York Times asserted North Korea is engaged in a “great deception” over its nuclear forces, South Korean unification minister Cho Myoung Gyon is visiting the United States with plans to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a Member of Congress, and to address several forums.
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A White House Press Pass Has Nothing to do with the First Amendment

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A federal judge this week ruled the White House must temporarily re-instate the press pass of CNN reporter Jim Acosta's, who had been barred after an argument with Donald Trump in the press room. The judge ruled the White House had violated due process by banning Acosta.

CNN, however, had requested a ruling saying that Acosta more or less had a constitutional right to a press pass, and that the First Amendment guaranteed CNN and its reporters access to the White House press conference room.

Judge Timothy Kelly disagreed. According to the Washington Post:
In explaining his decision, Kelly said he agreed with the government’s argument that there was no First Amendment right to come onto the White House grounds. But, he said, once the White House opened up the grounds to reporters, the First Amendment applied.
On the due process issue, Kelly is mostly right on this one. But Kelly gets it wrong when he says that the First Amendment potentially applies wherever the White House has opened up access to reporters overall.
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Amnesty Strips Aung San Suu Kyi of its Highest Honor; Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Should be Next

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Amnesty International announced it would strip Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of its top award, saying it was “profoundly dismayed” at her failure to acknowledge the full scale of atrocities against the Rohingya people.

Before you are tempted to view this as some kind of principled, honorable move on Amnesty’s part, stop yourself and check out its dubious government and corporate funding sources, its selective support for the concept of free speech and the fact that it spends quite a bit of time soft-pedaling Western imperialism and its atrocities while magnifying the wrongdoings of the West’s adversaries.

Amnesty’s attempt to win plaudits for its decision to revoke Suu Kyi’s award has come after mounting calls for the controversial figure’s 1991 Nobel Peace Prize to be stripped from her. Nearly half a million people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the Nobel Committee to take back the award.

Given that the committee has been, shall we say, less than picky, about who it bestows the honor on, we can probably assume Suu Kyi will remain on the recipients list. Not to mention, the committee has already confirmed that worrying about what recipients do after the award ceremony isn’t part of the job. You see, the rules regulating the Nobel Prize, apparently, do not allow for the award to be withdrawn, which is fairly convenient.

I say convenient, because if they started taking Nobel Prizes back from all the people who (oops!) didn’t actually deserve them, the list of remaining recipients would shrink very quickly indeed.
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Crosstalk: Nationalism

Was French president Emmanuel Macron correct at the WWI commemoration over the weekend when he asserted that patriotism is the opposite of nationalism in a pointed dig at US president Donald Trump? RPI Board Members Lew Rockwell and John Laughland join scholar George Szamuely on RT's Crosstalk to debate whether nationalism is the bogeyman that Macron and others make it out to be? Or is it just a way to further destroy national sovereignty and bring about an unelected permanent globalist empire?
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Libya's Peace Process Dies in Palermo

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“Resounding flop” was the verdict of Italy’s former prime minister Matteo Renzi on this week’s Libya peace conference held in Palermo. He’s not wrong. The conference hosted by Italy’s new government achieved the remarkable feat of making Libya’s tensions worse, not better. Acrimony broke out between the parties, and Turkey’s delegation walked out, its vice president Fuat Oktay accusing unnamed States of trying to "hijack the process.”

Some sources in Palermo suggested, yet to be verified, that the US thought the Conference was not too bad: a joke if true.

Moreover the mystery we might ask is what “process” is there to hijack? Because the truth is, the peace plan the conference was supporting is already dead.

That plan was the brainchild of the United Nations, launched more than a year ago with the aim of ending Libya’s split between warring Eastern and Western governments with elections in December. 

Even before the first delegates set foot in the pleasant Sicilian city of Palermo this week, the UN admitted the election date of December 10 they had decided to scrap.
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DoJ Filing Mistakenly References Sealed Criminal Charges Against Assange

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In a truly astounding misstep, the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Virginia filed a document that referenced an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The filng in an unrelated court filing seems to confirm that charges are pending or planned against Assange but the Justice Department will only say that “The court filing was made in error.” The charges would raise serious first amendment questions over whether it is a crime to publish hacked emails if you were not a party to the hacking. Wikileaks maintains that it was performing a journalistic function.
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Deception in North Korea? Nope, But a New Flavor of Neocon

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What is the state of diplomacy on the Korean peninsula? Are we again heading toward the lip of war, or is progress being made at an expected pace? Are there Asian Neocons fanning the flames for conflict in Pyongyang much as others did with Baghdad?

A year ago, in November 2017, John Brennan estimated the chance of a war with North Korea at 20 to 25 percent. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the odds were 50/50. The New York Times claimed we were “slouching toward war” with the North, on a “collision course.” National security adviser HR McMaster said North Korea represented “the greatest immediate threat to the United States” and that the potential for war with the communist nation grew each day. The US lacked an ambassador in Seoul; Victor Cha was rejected by Trump because, according to “sources and reports,” he didn’t support a preemptive strike on Pyongyang. It was reported the US was “imminently preparing for an attack on North Korea,” driven in part by hawks like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.

All that was wrong.

Cha, it appears, didn’t in fact support what Trump actually was planning: not a preemptive strike, but a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, held some five months ago in Singapore following a first try at courtship aside the Seoul Olympics in January 2018. World leaders meeting to talk peace is historically seen as a good thing. Yet the American media consensus was a president they believe is roundly despised globally conveyed “legitimacy” on Kim Jong Un, no matter that his family has ruled North Korea for some seven decades, and his country already holds a seat at the United Nations. No shortage of experts from South Korea universities and American think tanks were found to support those claims.
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New Study: War On Terror Cost $5.9 Trillion (And Counting). Do You Feel Safe?

Seventeen years of "war on terror" has cost the United States nearly six trillion dollars. How are we doing? Any victories? Nope. Not a one. In Afghanistan the Taliban re-claim new territory daily. Iran's influence has increased due to our policies. Al-Qaeda was viewed by the Washington warmongers as an ally in the fight to overthrow Assad in Syria. Are we getting ripped off? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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