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Saturday, December 3, 2016

ISIS update 12/03/2016..Heavy battles as SAA retakes more eastern districts of Aleppo

Bad weather, damaged infrastructure hinder movement around Mosul



Iraqi special forces advance in eastern Mosul




Detonating ISIS Truck Bomb West of Mosul- Aerial View










The ISIL is engaged in efforts to find a successor for the terrorist group's ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed on Saturday.

According to the dissident-backed London-based center, information obtained from reliable sources showed that the ISIL leaders in Iraq have called on other commanders of the terrorist group in Raqqa of Syria and the commander of Jeish al-Sham to convene in a secret place in Iraq.

According to the unnamed sources, the ISIL is seeking to hold a meeting to choose a successor for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "to run a Caliphate for Muslims".

The news was released as contradictory reports have appeared in recent months on the fate of ISIL leader Al-Baghdadi.

Spokesman of Hashd al-Shaabi (the Iraqi volunteer forces) Ahmad al-Assadi said in mid November that the latest information and intel shows that ISIL Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still in Iraq, hiding somewhere outside Mosul.

"The terrorist, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is in a region between the town of Tal Afar (some 54km North-West of Mosul) and the town of al-Baaj (157km to the South-West of Mosul)," al-Assadi was quoted as saying by Iraq's al-Ma'louma news agency.

He also said that the operations of the volunteer forces cover an area 14,000 sq/km around Mosul that includes the towns of al-Hazar, al-Baaj and its surrounding regions towards Tal Afar.

Based on an agreement made earlier, the Iraqi popular forces and Peshmarga Kurdish troops will not be part of the invading forces inside the two cities of Tal Afar and Mosul, while they will help tighten and maintain the siege on the rims of the two cities. Various units of Iraq's armed forces, including the army, police and anti-terrorism troops, lead the assault.

Al-Assadi's statement is the last in a string of reports on the fate of the notorious ISIL leader. During the last several months, many contradictory reports have surfaced the media about the health conditions and location of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

Syria army retakes another Aleppo neighborhood



Aleppo combat footage: Heavy battles as SAA retakes more eastern districts




Sappers leave Moscow for mine-clearance operation in Aleppo



Russian sappers left the Moscow region to conduct a mine clearance operation in liberated areas of eastern Aleppo, departing from Chkalovsky airport, Friday.


Russia warns against re-branding Nusra terrorists in Syria





Syria in Last 24 Hours: Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Offensive in Aleppo



The Syrian army continued attacks on the terrorists in Aleppo, and inflicted heavy losses on the militants in the last 24 hours.

The Syrian army killed and wounded scores of terrorists in at least three districts of the city of Aleppo.

The Syrian army also inflicted heavy losses on the terrorist groups in other key regions across Syria.

Aleppo

Syrian military forces inflicted major losses on Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups and pushed them back from more positions in at least three districts of Aleppo city.

The army men stormed the position of Jeish al-Fatah in the neighborhoods of al-Jazmani, al-Maysar, al-Halwaniyeh and a road connecting Aleppo city to the town of al-Bab, scoring more victories against militants.

Jeish al-Fatah has thus far suffered heavy casualties in the army attacks.

Fierce clashes are underway in al-Jazmani, al-Maysar and al-Halwaniyeh.

Reports said earlier on Friday that residents of Hanano Housing Project, whose district was freed from Jeish al-Fatah terrorists by the Syrian Army troops a couple of days ago, started returning home after the army established security and defused mines and bombs in residential areas, the governor of Aleppo said.

Hussein Diab said in a statement that 100 families, including 600 members returned to their houses in Hanano Housing Project after staying at the makeshift centers.

Diab noted that his department has been working round the clock to provide all services to the families that have arrived in the newly-liberated neighborhoods.

"Schools will start working next week after being closed for more than four years under the terrorists' siege and public buses will rerun soon, stressing that food and fuel supplies and all other necessary requirements will be provided to the families in the district," he added.

Syrian Army troops and popular forces drove Jeish al-Fatah terrorists out of the key district of Hanano Housing Project last week and started to fortify their positions in the newly-liberated district.

Dara'a

Syrian Army troops targeted the gatherings and movements of terrorists across the neighborhoods of the Southern city of Dara'a, leaving a large number of terrorists dead or wounded.

The army soldiers targeted terrorists' concentration centers in the neighborhood of al-Bajabjah, East of the Road to the Dam, Western and Northern sides of the refugee camp in Dara'a al-Balad district, inflicting a heavy death toll on the militants and destroying their positions.

Earlier reports said that a notorious field commander of a terrorist group affiliated to the Free Syrian Army was killed by a roadside bomb planted by the Syrian Army troops in Eastern Dara'a.

Field Commander of Liwa'a Tawhid al-Junoub Fawzi Eid al-Mosalma was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by the army soldiers on the Na'eima-Gharaz road.

Damascus

Tens of vehicles, a large number of missiles and a large volume of ammunition were handed over to the Syrian Army troops by the militants that joined peace agreement with government in Western Ghouta.

The militants, who laid down arms and joined the peace agreement with the government in Khan al-Shieh town, handed over tens of armored vehicles, missiles, RPG rockets, rifles and ammunitions to the army soldiers.

The militant groups also handed over 23 kidnapped people to the army men.

Reports said earlier on Friday that the last group of militants that had joined the peace agreement with the Syrian government in Western Ghouta evacuated the two key towns of Khan al-Sheih and Zakiya under the Syrian Army troops' monitoring.

A major part of the last group of militants that comprise of 2,100 militants left the towns of Khan al-Sheih and Zakiya, leaving Western Damascus evacuated from terrorists.

The militants left Khan al-Sheih towards the terrorist-held regions in Idlib.

Based on field sources, Khan al-Sheih and its surroundings have been evacuated from militants, pushing Western Damascus one step more closer to sustainable security.

A major part of 2,100 local militants and their families were transferred from Khan al-Sheih and Zakiyeh to Idlib on Friday and the remaining militants are due to move to Idlib on Saturday.

65 government's green buses with 35 seats transferred the last group of militants from Western Damascus to Idlib.

The first group of militant left the region with 29 buses towards Idlib on Tuesday.

Arabic-language Anab Baladi news website reported that with the evacuation of militants from Khan al-Sheih and Zakiyeh, Western Ghouta has been practically emptied of militants, while two months ago the towns of Darayya and al-Mo'adhamiyeh al-Sham were emptied from the terrorists.

Homs

A number of militants, including several commanders, were killed and many more were wounded in Syrian army troop's attack on their position in Northern Homs.

The army men targeted terrorists' position in the surrounding areas of al-Rastan town, 20 km North of Homs city, killing a number of terrorists deployed in the position, including leaders of the terrorist groups.

Also, the army's artillery units pounded the gathering centers of the al-Nusra Front (recently changed name to Fatah al-Sham) and its other affiliated terrorist groups in the villages of al-Tiba al-Gharbia, Tal Dahab, and al-Sama’lil in al-Hola region in the Northern part of Homs province on Thursday.

Several Fatah al-Sham terrorists were killed while their ammunition and fortifications were also destroyed as a result of the artillery attacks.

The Syrian army also killed a number of the ISIL terrorists, injured others and destroyed their vehicles in Talit al-Awamid and the area to the North of al-Qariatin dam Southeast of Homs province.

Army units, operating in the Northern part of the province, directed strikes on the gatherings of al-Nusra Front in al-Ghanto and al-Sam’alil village, destroying a number of their vehicles as well as killing and injuring a number of terrorists.

The Syrian air force hit hard the military positions and gathering centers of al-Nusra Front terrorists in Talbiseh, al-Rastan and Teir Ma'ala in the Northern part of Homs province.

Two sites and a number of vehicles of the al-Nusra Front were destroyed and a number of its members were also killed.

The Syrian Air Force also destroyed a number of ISIL vehicles and killed a number of terrorists in Rasm al-Saba'a village East of Homs city.

Lattakia

Syrian Army troops targeted a large gathering of terrorists near a village in Northern Lattakia, killing or wounding a number of militants.

The army soldiers hit terrorists' concentration center near the village of Faleh, leaving a number of militants dead or wounded and destroying the equipment.

The Syrian army intensified its attacks on the terrorists in the Northern part of Lattakia province on Thursday.

The army units and the terrorists are now engaged in fierce clashes in Kabani region in Northern Lattakia province.

Meantime, the Syrian army's artillery and missile units pounded terrorists' military positions in Kabani region.

A number of terrorists were also killed and others were injured in air assaults carried out by the Syrian Air Force against their gatherings and positions in the Northern countryside of Lattakia province.

The airstrikes targeted the terrorists in the villages of Kabaneh, Ruweiset al-Alliyeh, Dahret al-Dighleh, Ba’arbayia and Hallouz in the Northern part of the province.

Also a number of their vehicles were destroyed in the raid.

Hama

Syrian Army troops fended off terrorists' attack on government forces' positions near the town of al-Salamiyah, killing and wounding several militants.

The army soldiers repelled terrorists' offensive on the village of al-Ramliyeh in the Western countryside of al-Salamiyah, inflicting a heavy death toll on the militants.

In the meantime, the army men opened heavy fire on terrorists' movements near the town of Hirbnafsa in Southwestern Hama, killing a number of militants.

The Syrian army and air force destroyed terrorists' military positions in Hama, killing and injuring scores of the militants.

The army units hit hard the terrorists' gathering centers in Kafr Zira, al-Latamina, Wadi al-Eis and al-Sayyad regions in the Northern part of Hama province, destroying four military vehicles, artillery units and several of their military positions.

Several terrorists, including Tarek Khattab who was in charge of the artillery unit of Jeish al-Izzah terrorist group, were killed in the army offensive in Northern Hama.

Meantime, the terrorists' gathering centers and fortification came under heavy offensive by the Syrian army in the regions of Morek, Atshan, Skeik, North of Ma'an and Tibet al-Imam as well as the farms located between al-Zakat and Kafr Zita.

A large number of terrorists were killed in the operations and a number of their military vehicles were also destroyed.

The Syrian air force, meantime, targeted the terrorists’ gatherings in Morek, al-Quneitrat, al-Araba’een area, North of Souran, Skeik towns and Tal Tarae in the Northern part of Hama province, destroying the terrorists’ weapons and ammunition depots, positions, military vehicles in addition to inflicting at least 40 casualties on the militants.

Idlib

A military vehicle carrying members of Faylaq al-Sham and Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) sustained heavy damage in a roadside bomb blast on a road in Idlib province with heavy casualties reported.

The vehicle, with a number of fighters from Faylaq al-Sham and Fatah al-Sham Front on board, was hit badly in a roadside bomb blast on the Kansafrah-Kafr Nabal road killing and injuring several militants.

Usually, such attacks are carried out by ISIL cells or ultra-radicalized al-Qaeda linked units relatively abundant in groups like Jund al-Aqsa.

 





Erdogan’s Hard Times in Syria









Russia Again Disciplines The Wannabe Sultan
http://www.moonofalabama.org/
The Russians just gave (again) a public lecture of how to handle the wannabe-Sultan Erdogan.

Turkey entered Syria to end al-Assad’s rule: President Erdoğan - November 29
The Turkish military launched its operations in Syria to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Nov. 29.

“In my estimation, nearly 1 million people have died in Syria. These deaths are still continuing without exception for children, women and men. Where is the United Nations? What is it doing? Is it in Iraq? No. We preached patience but could not endure in the end and had to enter Syria together with the Free Syrian Army [FSA],” Erdoğan said at the first Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul.

“Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice. We entered there to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason,” the president said.

If Turkish troops were in Syria to remove its President, instead with the flimsy excuse of fighting ISIS under a badly fitting UN mandate, they would be a hostile invasion force and a legitimate target for Syria and its allies. The remark was thus stupid. It weakened the Turkish position.

Erdogan was immediately told so:

Kremlin asks Erdogan to clarify ‘anti-Assad’ goals in Syria - November 30
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that his goal in Syria was to end the rule of Bashar Assad has caused consternation in the Kremlin, with officials saying it contradicted previous assurances and was out of sync with Moscow’s take on the situation.

"The statement was indeed news, this is a very serious statement. [It] is in discord with the previous [statements] in general and with our understanding of the situation," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

"We hope that in the near future there will be explanations on this from our Turkish partners," he said, adding that Russia is the only country whose armed forces are in Syria on a legitimate basis – at the direct request of the Syrian authorities.

The emphasized part is a hardly hidden direct threat. Erdogan put his forces in Syria into immediate jeopardy.

Erdogan tried to save the situation, promising a retreat from his statement for at least some gain for the Jihadis he supports.

Erdogan and Putin discuss #Aleppo for the third time this week: Disagreement over ceasefire? - November 30
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the grave situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone on Nov. 30 for the third time in a week, with the two “agreeing on the need for a ceasefire,” presidential sources said.

The sources said the two leaders agreed to step up efforts to stop clashes in Aleppo and deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in the besieged city.

That was the Turkish version of the call. The Russian statement on that call was sparse and did not mention any ceasefire.

Thus this translation from Diplomatese:

"I will take that statement back if you give me a ceasefire deal in Aleppo," Erdogan told President Putin.

"Screw you," was the response.

Turkey, Russia see need for Aleppo truce but divisions remain - December 1
Lavrov said the bloodshed must stop in Syria and the region, that Moscow was ready to talk to all parties in the war, and that it would continue cooperating with Turkey. But he also vowed Russia would continue its operations in eastern Aleppo and would rescue the city from what he described as terrorists.

Erdogan's statement, aimed at his supporters in Turkey and elsewhere, created a legal mess for his troops. The attempt to sell a retreat from it for some gain was harshly rejected by Russia. Now all Erdogan could do was to take his statement back with no gain at all. This was quite a loss of face for him - a well deserved one.

Operation in Syria only targets terror, Erdoğan clarifies - December 1
Turkey’s military operation in Syria is not against any country or person but terror groups in general, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, in contrast to earlier remarks that Turkey’s objective was to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following.

“The aim of the Euphrates Shield Operation is no country or person but only terror organizations. No one should doubt this issue that we have uttered over and over, and no one should comment on it in another fashion or try to [misrepresent its meaning],” Erdoğan said at a 30th gathering with village chiefs at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Dec. 1.

Hahaha - see how that dog pulls its tail between its legs - whining in retreat?

The game Erdogan tried would probably have worked with Merkel, or some other EU politician. Russia will have none of it. No means no. When Russia says stay out of Al-Bab it means stay out of Al-Bab. With regard to Syria Erdogan now has to do what he is told to do. He was just publicly lectured about that again. Still, I doubt that he really learned the lesson.

 



Farsnews

Syria: Terrorists Withdraw From More Key Positions in Eastern Aleppo

Syrian Army Troops Impose Control over Key Road East of Aleppo City

Military Source: Syrian Gov't Forces to Free Aleppo City in Early Days of 2017

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Offensive in Aleppo

Syria: Army Victories in Eastern Aleppo Strengthening Security at Int'l Airport

Syrian Army Warns Militants to Leave Southern Damascus Immediately

Syrian Analyst: Aleppo Battle As Important to Israel As War in Tel Aviv

Opposition Group: Gov't Troops in Charge of 60 Percent of Eastern Aleppo Now

Keiser Report: Neoliberalism Strikes Back (E1001)

Keiser Report: Neoliberalism Strikes Back (E1001) - YouTube


Italy to vote on constitutional reform on Sunday

Italy to vote on constitutional reform on Sunday - YouTube



Western media says Fake news created as part of Russian propaganda

Fake news created as part of Russian propaganda - media - YouTube



Sorcha Faal says Russia Warns America Is At The Abyss: Next 10 Days Will Shake The World



Russia Warns America Is At The Abyss: Next 10 Days Will Shake The World

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

In a not so subtle reference to American socialist John Reed’s book “Ten Days That Shook The World” about the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, a new Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) report circulating in the Kremlin today is warning that the “silent coup” currently underway in the United States against President-elect Donald Trump that has brought that nation to the edge of an abyss has just 10 more days to play out, and whose consequences and final outcome will, most certainly, forever alter the world as we now know it. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no e exact counterpart.]







According to this report, the current US presidential election is racing towards a hard and fast 13 December deadline mandated by Title 3, U.S. Code, Section 5 that each of the individual American States must have concluded all controversies related to their voting and submit their Electors for the 19 December Electoral Collage vote to install that nations next leader.

To how immovable the 13 December date is under this American federal law, this report explains, was evidenced in the 2000 US presidential election when on 12 December the US Supreme Court ordered that recounting of votes in the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore be immediately halted so this 13 December deadline would be met.

In the US Supreme Court’s 12 December 2000 5-4 ruling in the case “GEORGE W. BUSH, et al., PETITIONERS v. ALBERT GORE, Jr., et al.” adhering to the 13 December deadline for States to have election controversies ended, however, this report notes, it seemingly appeared to state that its ruling only applied to that election—which is critical to note if this present election reaches that legal level as this high court only has 8 justices and a majority may not currently exist to enforce Title 3, U.S. Code, Section 5.







To how America has been brought to this current abyss, this report explains, began in the summer of 2013 when “rogue/subversive” forces loyal to Hillary Clinton within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made a “radical departure” from all past precedents in awarding a staggering $600 million contract to the shadowy American billionaire Jeff Bezos who founded the internet giant Amazon.com.

With the Hillary Clinton’s and the CIA’s backing, this report continues, Jeff Bezos then, in October 2013, purchased America’s premier political newspaper The Washington Post in order to “guide/facilitate” her gaining the US presidency in 2016.

To how critical The Washington Post has been to the CIA and the neocon factions in America backing Hillary Clinton in their pushing for perpetual war in cause of globalization, this report says, was evidenced in 2003 when this “newspaper of record” singlehandedly launched a war with its incredible 140 front page stories and 27 editorials (that were republished thousands of times by other mainstream media outlets) pushing for America’s illegal invasion of Iraq that has left close to one million people dead and continues to leave a trail of destruction across the Middle East.







Even today, MoFA experts in this report state, The Washington Post, under Bezos-Clinton-CIA “control/guidance”, has begun silencing all news about their “silent coup” against President-elect Donald Trump with this “newspaper of record” having this past week published an article falsely claiming that 200 American alternative news websites are Russian propaganda—and that was quickly followed by the US Congress silently passing a law called “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017” that intends to destroy all of these alternative news sites forever and jail their reporters.

As to the actual “workings/mechanics” of this “silent coup” against President-elect Donald Trump by those forces loyal to Hillary Clinton, this report continues, involves the corrupting of the 13 December certification of Electors from the States of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—and that Pennsylvania shockingly released the names of yesterday so that the Electors in their State could be terrorized in order to keep them from voting for Trump on 19 December.







With all of President-elect Trump’s electors now receiving death threats from those forces loyal to Hillary Clinton, and with the likely event occurring that in the States of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania they will not be able to meet their 13 December deadline to certify their Electors, this report notes, the entire 8 November US presidential election will be nullified—thus leaving the US Congress to decide who the next president will be.

Critical to note too should the US Congress be deciding who the next president is, this report details, is that their choice of whom to vote for will be determined by the 19 December Electoral Collage vote—and if there is one “protest” Electoral vote for a third candidate, a person not even now being thought of for America’s next leader could actually be chosen as the next US president.

With President-elect Donald Trump having won the Electoral Collage vote by 306 to Hillary Clinton’s 232, but Hillary Clinton winning 48.2% of the popular vote compared to Donald Trump’s 46.3%, MoFA intelligence analysts in this report state that by all “measures/appearances”, it appears that the US Congress will, in fact, elect someone other than Trump and Clinton in what they call a “consensus vote” on a supposedly neutral candidate inserted by a “protest” Elector vote on 19 December—but who will actually be a “hidden hand” supporter of the Clinton-Bush-Obama regimes who fear Trump’s uncovering of their many crimes.







In order to make this “hidden hand” president acceptable to the American people though, this report says, all of the powerful forces backing the Clinton-Bush-Obama regimes have now combined to defeat President-elect Trump in this “silent coup”—and that now includes Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s former top White House ethics lawyer, who just yesterday shockingly called on all Electors not to vote for Trump.

As part of this “silent coup” against President-elect Trump too, this report states, is the beginning of a full onslaught of new attacks against him by the US propaganda mainstream media attempting to influence the Electors by warning that he is dangerous and their foolishly saying that he has brought the United States close to outright war with China—and that was due to Trump’s having a prearranged telephonic conversation with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.

MoFA experts in this report note that President-elect Trump’s call with Taiwan’s leader was an actually a much needed “shot across the bow” against the communist leaders of China who have done nothing to stop the nuclear ambitions of their client state North Korea—and that all of America’s top military leaders have warned is the United States greatest current threat.

And as America’s top military leaders have continually saw their grave warnings about North Korea being ignored by the Clinton-Bush-Obama regimes, this report concludes, they have now become President-elect Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters against this “silent coup”—and whose unmatched power appears to now be “in force” as they prepare not only to defend their new Commander-In-Chief, but the very survival of the United States too.

Just 10 days now await for America’s survival to be determined, and as the entire world holds its breath.





Want to know more? Click HERE to read this full letter.

December 3, 2016 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com 

Brandon Smith tells X22Report Spotlight 'Operation Shift Blame' Is A Go

The Elite Already Have The Collapse Planned, 'Operation Shift Blame' Is A Go: Brandon Smith - YouTube



Jim Sinclair tells Greg Hunter Financial Pressure Cooker Bomb Cooking Now

Jim Sinclair-Financial Pressure Cooker Bomb Cooking Now - YouTube



Rogue Money Radio: The Real Fair & Balanced

Rogue Money Radio: The Real Fair & Balanced - YouTube




Sprites, M6 Alaska, New Land | S0 News Dec.3.2016

Sprites, M6 Alaska, New Land | S0 News Dec.3.2016 - YouTube



“Taming Trump”, Key Republican Appointments: What a Trump Presidency Might Look Like by Jack Rasmus



JackRasmus.com 1 December 2016




In the weeks since the November 8 US presidential election, the dim outlines of what a Trump presidency might look like are beginning to appear. Trump continues to retreat on several fronts from his campaign ‘right populist’ positions, while doubling-down on other radical positions he previously proposed during the campaign. How to make sense of his apparent evolving policy divergence?

One the one hand, Trump appears to moving closer to traditional Republican party elite positionson big reductions of taxes on corporate-investor elites and on delivering long standing elite demands to deregulate business; at the same time he appears to be moderating his position with regard to that third top priority of the US neoliberal elite—i.e. free trade—as he back-peddles rapidly from his campaign attacks on trade and free trade agreements.

At the same time Trump appears to be doubling down on his campaign’s radical social policy issues like immigration (promising to immediately deport or jail 3 million), taking a harder line position on law and order and civil liberties (declaring those who burn the flag should lose their US citizenship or go to jail), reaffirming his intent to privatize education services (by appointing a hard liner as Education Secretary who strongly favors charter schools and school vouchers), attacking environmental programs and protestors (calling for restoration of the Keystone pipeline), while showing early signs of moving closer toward Congressional Republican elite leaders, like Paul Ryan, and Ryan’s radical proposal to replace current Medicare with a federal ‘voucher’ system that would freeze the amount Medicare would pay doctors and hospitals as health care costs continued to escalate.
Areas Still Vague: Infrastructure Spending and Foreign Policy

Less clear than Trump’s above policy bifurcation are what policy positions he will take on fiscal and monetary matters.

Trump campaign promises of more government spending on ‘infrastructure’ still remain too vague. Will that mean more oil and gas pipelines and coal mining? More tax cuts to construction companies? More direct subsidies to businesses? And how much ‘spending’ is involved? Early indications are the infrastructure program may be mostly tax credits for businesses—and in addition to his massive corporate-investor tax cuts also planned.

Trump in the past has called for $1 trillion. (Clinton had called for a $250 billion program over five years. That $50 billion was just about the amount the US now provides in subsidies to agribusiness). And so far as infrastructure spending’s impact on the US economy, $50 billion a year is insignificant. $1 trillion and $100 billion a year over ten years, Trump’s campaign proposal, might have some effect on US GDP. But GDP growth does not necessarily translate into benefits in income to all—as the last eight years has clearly shown as 97% of all GDP-income gains under Obama have gone to the wealthiest 1% households. Nor will infrastructure spending likely translate much into job creation—and could especially result in little positive impact on jobs if infrastructure spending is composed mostly of tax cuts, business subsidies, and high capital-intensive projects that may take years to realize. It is highly unlikely Trump is talking about a 1930s-like ‘public works program’. It’s more likely to be the federal government writing checks to big construction companies, pocketing nice profit margins in the process.

Trump’s influence over monetary policy in general—and interest rates in particular—will be even more minimal. The US elites will strongly oppose any Trump attempts, as promised during the election, to ‘reform’ the US central bank, the Federal Reserve. And the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike cat is already out of the bag. Long term rates have been already rising rapidly and will continue to do so, as will the US dollar in turn, as the two—rates and the dollar—are highly correlated. And the Federal Reserve is clearly on track to raise short term rates soon.

The question is whether the rise in interest rates—short and long term–will discourage investment, thus hiring and job creation, in those industries not directly affected by infrastructure spending? Will the negative effect of rate rises on investment and job creation be greater than the positive effect of infrastructure spending? Will those negative effects emerge sooner than the positive from infrastructure investment? And will the rising dollar associated with the rate hikes further reduce manufacturing exports and jobs in that sector? The dollar rise has already stagnated manufacturing output and employment. Further increases will almost certainly result in a contraction of manufacturing exports and jobs.

‘Yes’ is probably the answer to all the above, which means Trump job creation net effects during his first two years in office may not materialize. Moderate at best job creation from delayed infrastructure spending could be more than offset by job loss from rising rates and the US dollar.

The other major Trump policy area that still remains vague is foreign policy. It is not clear as yet what Trump’s true positions will be on NATO and China. But the US elite are intent on bringing him around to their positions and will exert extreme pressure on Trump in order to do so. They have already begun to do so. They will not let up on the pressure.

Trump’s intent is to become more militarily aggressive against ISIS in the middle east, and possibly ‘partnering’ with Russia to do so. That latter possibility is currently causing fits with US elites behind the scene. Backing off from NATO military deployment provocations in eastern Europe, the US-NATO current policy, while looking favorably on Europe’s backing off of economic sanctions against Russia, may also become Trump policy.
Trump’s Big Three Cabinet Appointments

Whether that foreign policy redirection occurs under Trump is now playing out in backroom maneuverings within the Trump administration with regard to key Trump cabinet appointments involving departments of State, Defense, and remaining national security positions. The elite want Romney. Populist right forces in the Trump camp do not. And behind the appointment issue is whether a Secretary of State position under Trump becomes a mere figurehead to Trump foreign policy decided in the White House by Trump and his close aides like General Flynn and others.

The US elite want Romney and they want their Secretary of State to have independence. Should Romneyget the appointment here, it will signal they have prevailed. The result will be a bifurcation on foreign policy directions in the Trump administration which will ultimately break down at some point.

Obama’s recent ‘tour’ of NATO countries should be viewed as an effort by US elites to try to ensure NATO allies that Trump’s campaign proposals targeting NATO will not be the final position of the Trump regime. The Obama tour was in part at least to hold NATO allies’ hands and ask them to be patient—i.e. the elite will bring Trump around to reality. Be patient. We will eventually ‘tame’ Trump is no doubt the message. After Europe, Obama scurried back to Asia, attending the APEC economic summit, and providing no doubt similar assurances to US allies there that Trump would ‘come to his senses’ as cooler elite heads advised him.

Trump appears to have just appointed General (nicknamed ‘mad dog’) Mattis. Petraeus, a more establishment figure under consideration is out; or maybe Petraeus decided himself that hitching a ride on a Trump administration was not the greatest career restoration move. But the Mattis appointment still leaves the direction of a Trump administration’s policies on NATO, Russia, or Asia up in the air.

The third key cabinet appointment is Secretary of the Treasury. Here Trump’s transition team initially appeared to favor the CEO of the biggest US bank, Chase’s Jaime Dimon. Treasury secretaries in recent decades, under US Neoliberalism since Reagan, have always been heads of some big financial institution. And in recent decades, the Treasury Secretaries have repeatedly been alumni of the big investment bank, Goldman Sachs. And so too is Mnuchin, continuing the trend of the wheeling-dealing ‘shadow banking’ sector still dominating the Treasury.

Together with Wilbur Ross, appointed to Commerce Secretary, also a ‘shadow banker’ and former Private Equity Firm owner, the Mnuchin-Ross team will determine banking and economic policy in the Trump administration. Their initial target will no doubt be dismantling what’s left of the skeleton of the Dodd-Frank banking regulation bill.
Trump ‘Free Trade’ Policy

Trade as a policy has both foreign policy and economic dimensions. The US elite is now facing a major challenge, having temporarily lost the TPP and with the Europe TTIP in trouble, given a year of intense political instability on the horizon in Europe. They will focus on just keeping the prospects alive temporarily. In the meantime, the thrust is to prevent the deterioration of NAFTA, CAFTA, and other bilateral free trade deals signed under Bush and Obama. The objective will be to stop Trump from making any changes in NAFTA in the short term, and ensuring whatever changes after is cosmetic and token in the longer term.

Taming Trump may prove more difficult with regard to Free Trade, however, compared to getting Trump to implement US elite objectives on matters of tax cuts and deregulation. Trump’s positions during the election were strongly anti-Trade. It played a key role in his election victory, and clearly in the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. It will be more difficult for him to renege and about-face on the trade issue. Taming Trump will prove more difficult.

But here’s how it nonetheless may develop:

Reversing the worst effects of NAFTA cannot be done in the short term. The elites have many ways to slow and block his efforts. Some token renegotiation of NAFTA will eventually take place, resulting in minor adjustments. In the meantime, however, Trump can gain publicity and placate his base on this issue by achieving ‘victories’ discouraging specific companies to abandon plans to relocate to Mexico or abroad. Recent events involving Ford Autos and the Carrier company are examples of what may be the Trump short term policy direction with regard to trade.

As for other multilateral free trade treaties, Trump has declared he would stop the TPP, Transpacific Partnership Asia-US free trade deal. But that was already dead in Congress. And the US-Europe counterpart to the TPP, the TTIP, is impossible in 2017 with the accelerating upheaval in European politics and coming unraveling of the Eurozone after next week elections in Italy and Austria, and with elections in France, Netherlands and Germany on the agenda in 2017.
What will Trump’s longer term free trade policy look like? It is important to understand that Trump is not against free trade. He opposed multilateral programs, which were at the center of US neoliberal elite objectives.

Trump’s free trade policy will be to negotiate country-by-country free trade deals. Renegotiating free trade will make it appear as if he’s dismantling it. But the process will take a longer time, certainly not in the first year or two. The US elite can probably live with that. Their task in ‘taming Trump’ is to ensure he does not take precipitative action against current free trade deals, that he puts off such action, and settles into a longer term bilateral renegotiating policy. In the meantime, it will be more highly visible personal actions like the Ford and Carrier deals, to make it appear he is doing something on the matter.

What that all means is that except for token company examples like Ford and Carrier, free trade deals will continue. The US elite will get to continue their Neoliberal policy priority of free trade, just in another form that emphasizes slow, token changes to existing agreements and bilateral new free trade agreements. But free trade bilaterally is still free trade. And job losses and wage compression, the two major consequences of free trade deals, will continue. It’s just free trade in another form.

Trump is betting that the lack of job creation, from a retreat from is promises to ‘bring back jobs’ lost to trade, will be offset by job creation from infrastructure spending. Meanwhile, he can and will claim he is saving jobs by talking down Ford, Carrier, and other companies. Alongside this, bilateral free trade deals will go forward.
Massive Tax Cuts and Business Deregulation

The other two major priorities of the US elite are big corporate-investor tax cuts and deregulation. Here Trump has signaled he is in full agreement with the elite. No need to ‘tame’ Trump here. These policies will be forthcoming almost immediately in the new Trump regime.

Trump has proposed to cut corporate taxes even more than the Ryan-Republican Party faction in Congress. From the current 35% corporate rate, Trump proposed reducing it to 15% while Ryan and friends to 20%. Both are in agreement to reduce the top income tax rate for their wealthy friends, from current 39.6% to 33%. The Capital gains tax, now 23.8%, is scheduled for a cut to 20% by Trump and 16.5% by Congress. Both Trump and Ryan plan to abolish the Estate Tax, reducing taxation on estates worth $7 million (now the threshold) altogether. Both are strong proponents of allowing big US multinational corporations in Tech, Pharma, Banking and others to ‘repatriate’ $2.5 trillion in taxes they have been hoarding in profits offshore to avoid paying the US 35% rate to a low of 10%. The 4.8% surtax on the wealthiest to help fund Obamacare will also certainly disappear. Also notable is that net taxes on the middle class will rise under both plans, and the countless loopholes for investors will continue.

It should be noted that this massive tax cut package amounts to $4.3 trillion, according to Trump. But according to the Tax Policy Center research group, it will reduce federal revenues by $6.2 trillion. The wealthiest 1% would realize a 13.5% cut in their taxes, while the rest of all households would have a 4.1 % rise in their taxes.

This $4.3 or $6.2 trillion follows a $5 trillion tax cut agreed to by Obama, Democrats and Republicans in Congress that took place in early 2013 as part of the then phony ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis. That followed a $800 billion tax cut pushed by Obama at the end of 2010, in which Obama continued the previous Bush tax cuts for another two years and then some. That followed a preceding $300 billion tax cut in Obama’s 2009 initial recovery program. And all that came after George W. Bush’s estimated $3.4 trillion in tax cuts in 2001-04, 80% of which accrued the wealthiest households and businesses. So under Bush-Obama, taxes for the rich and their corporations totaled approximately $9.5 trillion, and now Trump-Ryan propose another $4.3-$6.2 trillion minimum, running the total up to more than $15 trillion.

And corporations and their lobbyists won’t wait for the tax cut legislation. They are already pressing for a Trump reversal of Obama administration measures over the past year to slow the rampant ‘tax inversion’ scams by big multinational tech, pharma and banks, that have been avoiding taxes by shifting their company headquarters offshore on paper. Corporations have avoided paying hundreds of billions of dollars in US taxes in just the past three years by means of ‘inversion’ scams. Trump doesn’t have to wait for Congress, for him to open the floodgates allowing massive corporate tax avoidance through unlimited ‘inversions’ once again. Big business lobbying arms, like the Business Roundtable, American Bankers Association, and National Association of Manufacturers are reportedly already demanding Trump lift all restrictions on ‘inversions’.

Trump and Ryan-Congress are no less in synch on the third policy priority of US elites—deregulation. Like corporate-investor tax cutting, Trump and the US elite are on the same page when it comes to deregulation. High on this agenda will be slicing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Trump will not need to repeal it and won’t. It will be given a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ and allowed to collapse. Already in big trouble as a program unable to control health insurance costs or prescription drug price gouging, ACA provisions like mandatory insurance purchases and the 4.8% surtax on the wealth to help pay for the subsidies are likely to go quickly. A similar major deregulation will be the Dodd-Frank banking regulation act, which has already had much of its provisions defanged since its passage in 2010. A main target will be the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

To gain public awareness of his pledges to deregulate, Trump will immediately in 2017 repeal, however, as many Obama Executive Orders as possible. Receiving the brunt of this will be immigration provisions, like the Dream Act, and numerous Environmental regulations. Trump’s EPA head will no doubt immediately reverse the regulations involving the industrial plant pollution proposals not yet or just recently proposed. In Labor matters, overtime pay rules and private pension rules are targets as well. Trump will immediately in 2017 reverse all the regulations he possibly can by Executive Order. That includes the Dream Act for youth of immigrants in the first 100 days, and new Executive Orders giving new powers of detention and arrest to border and police officials. Efforts by cities and universities to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants will result in immediate harsh financial and other actions against those same. Recent minimal rulings by the National Labor Relations Board favoring union workers and institutions will be quickly reversed as well.

The US elite, in Congress and beyond, will tolerate much of this deregulation, as well as a significant assault on immigration, law and order, policy repression of ethnic communities, deportations, limits on civil liberties, cuts in social programs, and privatization proposals across the board involving education, Medicare, and healthcare. Their priority is passage of policy in the areas of tax cuts, deregulation, and delaying any potential actions that might endanger existing free trade agreements.

Getting Trump to back off his campaign promises—i.e. his right wing populism—in areas of foreign policy and trade redirection are also elite priority issues. Trump has never needed ‘taming’ on tax and deregulation issues. And he will be allowed to proceed with elements of his right wing populism that involve attacks on environment, law and order, civil liberties, and immigration—so long as the latter involves low paid undocumented immigration from Latin America and does not interfere with the 500,000 high paid tech jobs legally given to Chinese and Indian immigrants on H1-B and L-1/2 visas. And so long as he doesn’t proceed so fast that it precipitates excessive social unrest. Go slow, he will be told. Nothing too extreme. And ensure that taxes, deregulation, trade and foreign policy are priority and are concluded first.

The US elite will abandon Trump if he doesn’t play ball on taxes, deregulation, going slow on Trade, and if he upsets long-standing foreign policy directions too radically. They will let him run amuck on issues of immigration, civil liberties, law and order, environment, and privatizing of social programs. So how might that elite ‘tame trump’ if and when necessary? The preparations just in case are already underway. They include the following:
How To Tame Trump

There are at least six ways by which they can, and are now preparing, to control him.

1. Trump Business Conflicts

Trump has 111 businesses in 18 countries. It is not possible to even put these in a blind trust, as previous presidents have done with their business interests. The elite will gather all the incriminating evidence they can to reveal his conflicts of interests, if necessary, at some point. They will threaten Trump quietly first to reveal and proceed against him and, if he doesn’t respond in their favor on some issue or policy, start the process of undermining his reputation and credibility in the media and with public opinion. Keeping the heat on will be mainstream media like the New York Times, Washington Post, and major broadcast TV sources. It won’t be difficult to dig up the dirt.

2. Trump Foundation

Like the Clinton Foundation, as with foundations of many of the super wealthy, the Trump Foundation is a source of potential major scandal. Incriminating or even insinuating investigations will be undertaken quietly, and then publicly if necessary.

3. Nepotism Charges

Trump has already shown a preference for family member involvement in his administration. That opens him to criticism of nepotism. That becomes the nexus for alleging Trump using the presidency to enrich himself indirectly through his family connections.

4. Trump’s Tax Returns

Trump may not have released his returns during the campaign, and probably for good reason. Few in the wheeling-dealing commercial real estate sector are squeaky clean when it comes to tax avoidance and even fraud. The worse of his tax matters will be quietly passed on to the New York Times and other media. They can be revealed at the appropriate juncture, if Trump doesn’t ‘play ball’ with the elite on matter of policy the latter consider strategic.

5. Attacks on Trump Appointees and Family

Trump can be damaged and undermined by attacking his appointments and family members. Favorite targets will be radicals like Steve Bannon of Breitbart who has been brought into the Trump White House as advisor. Trump’s son-in-law may prove another favorite target. So might even be his appointed national security adviser, General Flynn. Already major feature pieces on Bannon have appeared in the Times and media. The media continues to keep alive Flynn’s alleged pro-Russia views and contacts. Meanwhile, talking heads experts continue to appear on the mainstream press TV shows like CNN, MSNBC, CBS and others continuing the press the election themes of Trump’s character limits and dangerous personal traits. The elite will keep these issues of Trump judgment and volatility before the public, until Trump comes around and adopts US elite policies, especially on foreign policy, trade, and other matters.

6. Violations of Law

Trump’s proclivity to engage in tweets may yet get him in serious legal trouble. So too may any precipitous incitement of radical elements and actions that result from his public statements. Or any premature over-reaching Executive Orders.
From ‘Faux Left’ to ‘Faux Right’ Populism

In 2008 Barack Obama ran for president based on a program that in some ways was clearly populism. Entering the president primary race late, in early 2008, Obama’s advisers vaulted him to the nomination six months later by employing a strategy that consistently was to the left of the other Democrat candidates, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Obama appeared the popular left candidate. Many voters were sufficiently misled. Immediately after elected, however, Obama proceeded to appoint advisers and cabinet members who were clearly representatives of the banking industry and business interests in general. Neoliberal policies were given a ‘left cover’, as Obama then ruled from the ‘center-right’ on key matters of economic policy of primary interest to the elite—i.e. bailing out the banks, rescuing big businesses from bankruptcy, ensuring the stock and bond markets boomed, pressing for free trade deals, going slow and minimalizing banking regulation, ensuring healthcare reform did not include the ‘public option’ or even consider Medicare expansion, and turning over US jobs and trade policy to figures like Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric. Mortgage companies were given preference over bailing out homeowners facing foreclosure and ‘negative equity’. Latinos were deported in record numbers, students allowed to accumulate more than $1 trillion in debt, job creation involved mostly low paid, contingent service work, pensions were allowed to collapse, senior citizens’ savings evaporate while investors enjoyed eight years of near zero interest rates, and progressive labor legislation was quickly shelved.

What started as a hope of a resurrected left populism quickly and progressively decayed into a comprehensive program that delivered 97% of all income gains to the wealthiest 1% households.

Voters chose a black president in 2008 because they wanted change. They didn’t care about his race. They didn’t get it. In 2016 they now voted again—for change. Those voters did not become racist in the past eight years, even though the candidate they just voted for indicated in many ways he himself was racist and misogynist, to name but a few of his apparent character faults. Those voters who in 2008 chose a ‘left populism’ that turned out to be false, chose in 2016 a ‘right populism’. But what they will get is not populism but another disappointment.

Like the Obama regime, the Trump regime will retreat to a neoliberal US elite regime. It will be a ‘Neoliberalism 2.0’. An evolved new form of Neoliberalism based on the continuation of pro-investor, pro-corporate, pro-wealthy elite economic policies—with an overlay of even more repressive social policies involving immigration, law and order, privatizations, cuts in social programs, more police repressions of ethnic communities, environmental retreat, limits on civil liberties, more insecurity and more fear. This is the new form of Neoliberalism, necessary to continue its economic dimensions by intensifying its forms of social repression and control.

We predict Trump will concede to elite neoliberal policies on Trade and Foreign Policy eventually, as he already is about to do with regard to elite policy preferences on taxation and deregulation. If he does not, elite interests are waiting in the wings, gathering the evidence and ammunition to attack Trump more directly if necessary, should he not comply. So long as he plays ball with them, they’ll just hold their ammunition at the ready. They will lock and load, and cock the hammer, taking aim and give a warning.

Trump will respond. He will come around to their demands. After all, he has more personally to even lose than did Obama. Faux left is replaced by faux right in American politics.

Jack Rasmus is the author of Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy, by Clarity Press, 2016, ‘Looting Greece: An Emerging New Financial Imperialism’, by Clarity Press, October 2016, and the forthcoming ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes’, Clarity Press, March 2017. He blogs at jackrasmus.com. His website is jackrasmusproductions.com. His twitter handle is @drjackrasmus.
The original source of this article is JackRasmus.com

Friday, December 2, 2016

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President Elect Donald Trump began his thank you tour in Ohio yesterday, where he said our "unifying factor" is that we are all Americans. He attacked globalism, and vowed to restore America's economy. In domestic news, anti-trump violence continues, and SJW students at Ohio State explain "racism" as the reasoning behind the savage terrorist attack on their campus.

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