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Trump foreign policy enters lame duck period

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There was a time when President Trump’s personalised diplomacy seemed a hydra-headed phenomenon with tentacles reaching far and wide. He engaged such diverse politicians — from Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong-Un to Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, from Mohammed bin Salman and Recep Erdogan to Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel. But as time passed, the circle began shrinking and the scope for personalised diplomacy altogether diminished as coronavirus epidemic spread and countries turned inward, including the US. 

Today, Trump is left largely with Putin’s company – although they have had only one formal summit in Helsinki on July 16, 2018 – to whom he keeps going back with an extraordinary frequency. Trump and Putin have held at least seven calls since March 30, amid the coronavirus pandemic. On July 23, Trump again spoke with Putin. He hasn’t spoken to any other foreign politician so frequently this year. And the paradox is that while Trump is famous for his pursuit of transactional relationships, there is very little transaction taking place between the US and Russia. 

The Kremlin often describes these Putin-Trump phone conversations as “constructive and substantive,” although we hardly see any concrete results. The two leaders strove to create and atmospherics but failed to create content in the relationship — foreplay without consummation. The leading think tanker at Moscow Carnegie and author, Dmitry Trenin tweeted after yesterday’s Putin-Trump conversation that they “appear as a parallel universe with no connection to real Russia-US relations. Weird.”
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After 30 Years, Did the Disabilities Act Work?

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Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush signed [7/26/1990] the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was supposed to create a new era of equality and justice. Instead, the ADA often turns disabilities into assets, encouraging far more people to claim to be disabled to receive special treatment or privileges. The ADA’s breadth and vagueness have spurred a deluge of absurd federal decrees and more than half a million lawsuits that risk stigmatizing people the law sought to assist. 

The ADA is essentially a federal command for people to treat certain other people “nice”- with harsh penalties for any behavior considered not nice – and with niceness defined on a case-by-case basis through endless court cases and complaint settlements. Anyone who is disabled acquires a legal right to request accommodations from employers and others, with the federal government and private lawyers waiting to sue anyone who fails to “accommodate.” Congress defined “disability” far more broadly than most Americans recognize, including anyone who claims they have significant trouble standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, or thinking. 

The ADA is known as “Attorney’s Dreams Answered.” According to lawyer Mark Pulliam, the ADA “may be the most widely-abused law in our history…. Nationwide, a cottage industry has developed among a bottom-feeding element of the plaintiffs’ bar that specializes in bringing a high volume of cookie-cutter lawsuits against small businesses for technical violations of the ADA, and extorting quick settlements of several thousand dollars each.” Federal judges have characterized mass-produced ADA lawsuits as a “sham” and “an ongoing scheme to bilk attorneys’ fees from the defendant.”
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While Covid Distracts, Turkey And Egypt On Brink Of War Over Libya

Remember Libya? The country "liberated" by Obama and Hillary? Nine years later the country remains destroyed, with the remains being picked apart by warlords and slave traders. Turkey, an enthusiastic supporter of the 2011 invasion, is making its move to snatch Libyan oil. Neighboring Egypt says, "not so fast." The world is distracted by disappearing coronavirus while a major war is brewing. Also in today's Report, Texas Covid updates, W.H.O. hires corrupt PR firm, and more. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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I Don’t Always Believe CIA Narratives. But When I Do, I Believe Them About China.

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My social media notifications have been lighting up the last few days with virulent Chinagaters sharing a video which purports to show Uighur Muslims being loaded onto a train to be taken to concentration camps. It’s actually an old video that had already surfaced last year, but it is magically making the rounds again as a new and shocking revelation in 2020 now that western China hysteria has been officially kicked into high gear, at exactly the same time the US enacts one of the most dangerous and incendiary escalations of recent years in the South China Sea.

Everyone tagging me in this video presents it as a self-evident “gotcha” moment, in exactly the same way Russiagaters spent years tagging me in every HUGE BOMBSHELL WALLS ARE CLOSING IN item of thinly sourced narrative fluff in their debunked conspiracy theory that the Kremlin had infiltrated the highest levels of the US government.

They are one hundred percent certain that the video shows Uighurs being loaded onto a train to go to a concentration camp, solely because that is what the bit of text over the video tells them they are seeing. They aren’t looking at the actual data and thinking critically about it, they’re looking at the narrative and believing it on blind faith. Which, in a post-Iraq invasion world, is an absolutely insane thing to do when presented with information about a nation that is targeted by the US-centralized empire.
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Who’s That Masked Man!

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It should be evident by now that the Donald’s one and only north star is his own glorification and self-aggrandizement. That’s why he’s totally flat-footed at this crucial moment in the pandemic saga.
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US Expels China From Houston Consulate. Is Pompeo Pushing To Spark China War?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the UK yesterday, blaming China for the spread of the coronavirus and suggesting it was a purposeful move on the part of Beijing. Meanwhile in an incredible escalation, the US State Department has demanded that China evacuate its consulate in Houston, TX. Meanwhile US Defense Secretary Esper is threatening more US military for the South China Sea. Also in today's Report: Ron Paul's headlines and new Covid updates. Watch today's Liberty Report...
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Was This Michigan Teacher Fired After Tweeting Support For Trump and Reopening Schools?

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We recently discussed a Vermont principal who was told that she would have to retire after expressing her opinion of Black Lives Matter on her personal Facebook page. Now, a popular social studies teacher and baseball coach at Walled Lake Western High School in Michigan has been fired after tweeting his support for President Donald Trump and reopening the schools.

For free speech advocates, the firing of Justin Kucera, 28, raises concerns that he might be another teacher terminated for expressing unpopular views expressed outside of the school. The District denies that it fired Kucera over his support for Trump but that means that someone is lying: either Kucera or the District. For his part, Kucera said that it was the tweets that were raised by the District, not some other ground for termination.

Kucera was called into a Zoom meeting after three tweets. In the first tweet, he retweeted the President saying “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” He also tweeted: “I’m done being silent. @realDonaldTrump is our president … Don’t @ me.” When someone responded to that tweet, Kucera responded “Liberals suck man.” He later deleted that last tweet.
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About Those Spooky Federal Cops in Portland

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Dear Portlandia progressives: a federal government big enough to take care of you is a federal government big enough to "take care of you."

Scary unidentifiable police, federal black sites, and procedureless snatching of individuals from the streets are the wholly predictable and natural consequences of the very policies you advocated for decades. Why do you imagine a big government with lots of power will restrict itself to the cozy "social issues" and economic takings you support? Government can seize the means of production, but not seize you? You wanted everything run from DC, and you got what you wanted. Plus you certainly would be every bit as outraged if federal agents concerned about the undermining of America surreptitiously snatched up a few "white supremacists," right? 

Progressives of all parties have cheered the relentless centralization of state matters—and the rejection of Tenth Amendment—for nearly 150 years. The shaky and infirm Incorporation Doctrine federalized the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court federalized social and economic issues, and the the alphabet soup of federal agencies created by progressive administrations federalized the regulatory state. Foreign policy was ripped away from Congress and commandeered by bureaucratic Deep State actors at the DOD, CIA, NSA, and the State Department. Thousands of new federal crimes were created by statute. These statutes in turn created a vast federal police state, one heavily influenced and provisioned by the residual weaponry and machinery of our overseas wars. 

So now you wonder why the Feds are sent in to quell an uprising in Portland?
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