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Peace and Prosperity

US Arms Makers’ Stocks at Record Highs on Saudi Deal

The weekend finalization of a US arms deal with Saudi Arabia which officials say will be worth at least $350 billion over the next decade sent the stocks of politically well-connected US arms makers soaring to all-time highs, underscoring just how much money there is to be had in keeping Saudi Arabia awash in weapons to drop on Yemen.

Lockheed Martin is the biggest “winner,” most analysts agree, with some $28 billion in weapons and equipment out of the initial $110 billion going to them, and likely to get the biggest sum out of anyone else in the subsequent parts and maintenance that will bring it to a record $350 billion overall.
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Trump Advisers Want at Least 50,000 US Troops in Afghanistan

While publicly US strategy in the Afghan War has been based around the conceit that the conflict is in a “stalemate,” despite mounting losses by the Afghan government. Advisers have offered a classified assessment on the conflict recently, however, conceding that the Ghani government’s survival is at risk, and that the war is being “slowly” lost.
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Why Washington Took al-Qaeda in Syria off the Terrorist List

It might come as a surprise to many Americans that their government does not classify al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist organization. The reason it refuses to make the determination would shock them even more. 

The Syrian franchise of the organization involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington has long gone by the name Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), and was sent into Syria by the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi went on to launch the rival breakaway group ISIS, while Nusra maintained its status as al-Qaeda's boots on the ground in the war against the Syrian government.
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NATO's Biggest Challenge -- Make 'Frightened' Europe Pay Up!

The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to join NATO as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed and are currently among the most shrill anti-Russian voices outside of Hillary campaign hangers-on and their newfound neocon allies. Just this week, the Lithuanian president begged Washington to permanently station troops on its soil to "not only deter but to defend" against the great Russian "threat" across their border.
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Saudis Plan $40 Billion US Investment To 'Cement Ties With Trump'

Having gone all-in on a Hillary Clinton victory ahead of the elections, Saudi Arabia has quickly pivoted in its "appreciation" of the Trump administration, and having realized that the fastest way to Trump's heart is through the US Treasury's bank account, it is preparing to invest an "unprecedented" amount of money in the US. According to Bloomberg, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will announce plans to "deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure." The investment will likely be unveiled as early as next week when Trump is scheduled to visit the kingdom.
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Trump Is Making Good Diplomatic Progress With Russia

It's always important from the standpoint of peace that America and Russia, two major nuclear powers, continue to practice diplomacy. The 20th century, with hundreds of millions dead as a result of government wars, provides us all with valuable lessons on the importance of diplomacy.
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Texas House to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The Texas state House of Representatives is scheduled to consider Thursday HB 81, legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in the state.

The legislation, should it become law, will prevent the incarceration of people solely for possessing one ounce or less of usable marijuana. While HB 81 would protect such individuals from a criminal conviction and prison time, police would be able seize their marijuana and issue them a citation that may lead to the imposing of an up to $250 fine.
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Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey this evening in a surprise move. Various politicians and the media have openly referred to the act as “Nixonian” and “another Saturday Night Massacre.”  I have previously stated how the Saturday Day Massacre has been misrepresented. I also do not agree with Jeff Toobin on CNN tonight that the decision was clearly due to the fact that Comey’s investigation was getting “too close” to President Trump. I agree that the timing is concerning and legitimately questioned. However, the Administration may also have waited for the Deputy Attorney General to be confirmed to allow a career prosecutor to review the matter and to concur with the decision.
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A New Constitutional Convention?

The Texas House of Representatives approved a resolution (SJR 2) on Thursday requesting that the United States Congress call a new constitutional convention — the first since the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that resulted in the drafting of the current US Constitution to replace the then-in-operation Articles of Confederation. The state Senate had already approved a constitutional convention resolution, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, in a Thursday statement, indicated his support.

It is not just the Texas government that is requesting a new constitutional convention. Jonathan Tilove reported Thursday at the Austin American-Statesman that ten other states have made requests similar to the Texas request that Congress call a constitutional convention to propose an amendment or amendments related to a few particular listed goals. The number is higher for state legislatures requesting a constitutional convention to propose a US balanced budget amendment.
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