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Do Trump's Liberal Critics Seem Increasingly Unhinged?

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Last week’s anniversary of Trump’s election sparked widespread teeth-gnashing by the nation’s pundits. Trump is supposedly the gravest threat to American democracy since the secession of the Confederacy. His presidency, probably, continues to be a boon for antidepressant sales across the land.

New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, in a column last week headlined “Anniversary of the Apocalypse,” lamented the “terror-struck and vertiginous days” after Trump’s win and the ongoing “metaphysical whiplash” and “hideous interregnum,” which leaves her “poleaxed by grief at the destruction of our civic inheritance.” Professor Henry Giroux of McMaster University frothed that Trump’s “ascendancy in American politics has made visible a culture of cruelty, a contempt for civic literacy, a corrupt mode of governance and a disdain for informed judgment that has been decades in the making.”

It is understandable that folks would be riled by Trump’s bluster about revoking the broadcast licenses of his critics or calling for the firing of protesting football players. His administration’s rhetoric on trade and the drug war threaten to revive moronic policies that should have been banished forever by perennial failures. But while Trump poses plenty of constitutional perils, many of his opponents are even more authoritarian.
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America’s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship

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A stark difference between today’s Washington and when I was here as a young Associated Press correspondent in the late 1970s and the early 1980s is that then – even as the old Cold War was heating up around the election of Ronald Reagan – there were prominent mainstream journalists who looked askance at the excessive demonization of the Soviet Union and doubted wild claims about the dire threats to U.S. national security from Nicaragua and Grenada.

Perhaps the Vietnam War was still fresh enough in people’s minds that senior editors and national reporters understood the dangers of mindless groupthink inside Official Washington, as well as the importance of healthy skepticism toward official pronouncements from the U.S. intelligence community.

Today, however, I cannot think of a single prominent figure in the mainstream news media who questions any claim – no matter how unlikely or absurd – that vilifies Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country. It is all Russia-bashing all the time.
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War on ISIS - Whose Side Are We Really On?

On Sunday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a press conference that the US military would remain in Syria for the long haul, "as long as there are ISIS who want to fight" he said. He falsely claimed that the US operates in Syria with UN permission. According to a blockbuster BBC report, however, the US government was part of a secret deal to allow thousands of ISIS fighters and their families safe passage from Raqqa -- with their weapons! What's going on here? Join us for today's Liberty Report...
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Bombshell Report Confirms US Coalition Struck A Deal With ISIS

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At a moment of widespread acknowledgement that the short-lived Islamic State is no longer a reality, and as ISIS is about to be defeated by the Syrian Army in its last urban holdout of Abu Kamal City in eastern Syria, the US is signalling an open-ended military presence in Syria. On Monday Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that the US is preparing for a long term military commitment in Syria to fight ISIS "as long as they want to fight."

Mattis indicated that even should ISIS loose all of its territory there would still be a dangerous insurgency that could morph into an "ISIS 2.0" which he said the US would seek to prevent. “The enemy hasn’t declared that they’re done with the area yet, so we’ll keep fighting as long as they want to fight,” Mattis said. “We’re not just going to walk away right now before the Geneva process has traction.”

Mattis was referring to the stalled peace talks in Geneva which some analysts have described as a complete failure (especially as the Geneva process unrealistically stipulates the departure of Assad), as the future of Syria has of late been increasingly decided militarily on the battlefield, with the Syrian government now controlling the vast majority of the country's most populated centers.
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Kochs Spend Big On Foreign Policy Realism...Should Neocons Be Worried?

The neocon interventionists run Washington foreign policy. Even a Donald Trump, whose foreign policy positions during the campaign infuriated the neocons, has had his administration infiltrated with neocons. According to recent press reports, the Koch Foundation plans to spend a few million dollars promoting the "realist" school of foreign policy at major US universities. While such a move is to be welcomed there is also danger, as "realism" and neocon interventionsm do not disagree fundamentally on principles but only on the application of those principles. Cautious optimism in today's Liberty Report...
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Is Trump Getting A Bad Rap On His Asia Trip?

The US media (and some neocon politicians) are furious that President Trump didn't lecture Philippine President Duterte on human rights and that he dared speak with Russian President Putin. How dare he listen to Putin on meddling our elections and raise doubts about the US intelligence community's conclusions! They would never lie to us...would they? All in all, however, there are more positives than negatives, as we discuss in today's Liberty Report...
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Mocking Trump Doesn’t Prove Russia’s Guilt

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If the bloody debacle in Iraq should have taught Americans anything, it is that endorsements by lots of important people who think something is true don’t amount to evidence that it actually is true. If endorsements were the same as evidence, U.S. troops would have found tons of WMD in Iraq, rather than come up empty.

So, when it comes to whether or not Russia “hacked” Democratic emails last year and slipped them to WikiLeaks, just because a bunch of people with fancy titles think the Russians are guilty doesn’t compensate for the lack of evidence so far evinced to support this core charge.

But the reaction of Official Washington and the U.S. mainstream media to President Trump saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed sincere in denying Russian “meddling” was sputtering outrage: How could Trump doubt what so many important people think is true?

Yet, if the case were all that strong that Russia did “hack” the emails, you would have expected a straightforward explication of the evidence rather than a demonstration of a full-blown groupthink, but what we got this weekend was all groupthink and no evidence.
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Saudi Arabia and Israel Know They Cannot Defeat Iran, Want to Drag the US into an Uncontainable War

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There is considerable confusion about what is occurring in the Middle East, to include much discussion of whether Israel and Saudi Arabia have formally agreed to combine forces to increase both military and economic pressure on Iran, which both of them see as their principal rival in the region. During the past week, a classified message sent by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to all its diplomatic missions worldwide that appears to confirm that possibility was obtained and leaked by senior reporter Barak Ravid of Israel’s highly respected Channel 10 News.

The cable instructs Israeli diplomats to take coordinated steps designed to discredit the activities of the Iranian government. It states, in edited-for-brevity translation, that overseas missions should contact their host countries to emphasize that the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri over Iranian attempts to take over his country “illustrate once again the destructive nature of Iran and Hezbollah and their danger to the stability of Lebanon and the countries of the region;” that the argument that having Hezbollah in the Lebanese government provides stability is false and only serves to “promote the interests of a foreign power – Iran;” and that the launch of a ballistic missile from Yemen against Saudi Arabia confirms the need for “increased pressure on Iran and Hezbollah on a range of issues from the production of ballistic missiles to regional subversion."

The Foreign Ministry message has been interpreted as “proof” that Israel and Saudi Arabia are coordinating to provoke a war against Iran as Israel is taking positions in support of Saudi claims, to include those relating to the confused conflict taking place in Yemen. My own take is, however, somewhat different. Having seen literally hundreds of similar U.S. State Department messages, I would regard the Israeli cable as consisting of specific “talking points” for use with foreign governments. Though it is clear that Tel Aviv and Riyadh have been secretly communicating over the past two years regarding their perception of the Iranian threat, it would be an exaggeration to claim that they have a coordinated position or some kind of alliance since they differ on so many other issues. They do, however, have common interests that are in this case aligned regarding the Iranians since both Israel and Saudi Arabia aspire to dominance in their region and only Iran stands in their way.
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Education Scholarship Tax Credits Help Children and Advance Liberty

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Shutting down the Department of Education and returning control of the education dollar to the American people is the key to improving education. The best way to put the people in charge of education is by shutting down all unconstitutional bureaucracies, repealing the Sixteenth Amendment, and ending the Federal Reserve’s money monopoly.
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US Demand for RT FARA Registration 'Sounds Like Desperation' - Daniel McAdams

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The US Department of Justice has demanded that Russia's broadcaster RT America should get registered under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by Monday, November 13. Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, has explained that it is being done for political purposes.

Sputnik: What do you make of the move against RT? What do you see as the underlying motive for the US actions?

Daniel McAdams: It is the ongoing Russian hysteria. We have the government, the police that have the right to tell us what stations we are allowed to watch and what radio we are allowed to listen to. And that is antithetical to a free society. It is "Big Brother" government telling us "don’t watch this." And it is only the beginning, by the way.

Sputnik: How legal is this move from the point of view of the US Constitution?

Daniel McAdams: The US government literally has no power and no authority to become involved in any way that would restrict our ability to consume any kind of media.

Sputnik: FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) was initially adopted to combat pro-Nazi propaganda in the US during wartime. How did we even come to it being used against media outlets?

Daniel McAdams: Well, we are not at war with Russia, at least not yet, thank God. The neocons have their way and I am sure this will change. It may have some useful new deal with for example some companies representing foreign governments. However, its application is very selective in Washington. That is a real "untold secret," it is very selectively applied and it is applied for political purposes, that is what we are seeing here.
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