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Daily Digest 12/18 - Venezuela Inflation Rate Passes 1,000,000%, Would Human Extinction Be A Tragedy?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 9:20 AM

Economy

Trump and China: Towards a Cold or Hot War? (John J.)

In the capitalist headquarters the illusion is cherished that with the economic opening in China capitalism will irreversibly seep in and eventually take over from the ‘communist regime’. Two birds killed with one stone: favourable prospects for the multinationals on one hand and the elimination of an ideological rival on the other. That’s why China is admitted to the World Trade Organisation in 2001.

UK's May says rescheduling Brexit vote in parliament for mid-Jan (TS)

“Many members of this house are concerned that we need to take a decision soon,” May told lawmakers in the House of Commons. “We intend to return to the ‘Meaningful Vote’ debate in the week commencing seventh of January, and hold the vote the following week.”

Venezuela Inflation Rate Passes 1 Million Percent, and It’s Costing Lives Every Day: This Is What Devastating Hyperinflation Looks Like (Sparky1)

With such a staggering rate, it's no wonder Venezuelans like Diaz have rushed to spend money before prices continue their increase. Last month, after Maduro announced its sixth minimum wage increase in 2018, the price of a cup of coffee went up 285,614 percent—which is equivalent to 400 sovereign bolivars or $0.76—and the black market exchange rate, considered the real measure to know real costs in Venezuela, dropped to 526 bolivars per dollar from the previous 460, Bloomberg's Cafe Con Leche Index reported early this month. Pan de jamón, a bread filled with raisins and ham (a staple food for Venezuelans during Christmas) increased 52 percent in late November, Bloomberg added.

Iraq’s Post-ISIS Campaign of Revenge (jdargis)

By noon, Sahar had presided over ten trials, involving twenty suspects. The courtroom lost power twice, but Sahar kept going in the dark, skimming documents by the light of his cell phone. The final case before lunch involved three defendants, all badly injured. As they limped into the courtroom, a security officer put three plastic chairs in the cage. The last suspect to appear was a bald, bespectacled man in his mid-thirties, named Louai; he was hunched over a pair of short wooden crutches, and moved as if one of his legs were paralyzed and his vertebrae were no longer aligned. Courtroom 2 was silent, except for the sounds of him struggling toward the cage.

Reports show Russia mounted sweeping effort to sow divisions, support Trump (TS)

The reports also give fresh ammunition to critics of the tech industry, which is already under intense pressure in Washington over election interference as well as privacy violations and conservative accusations of bias. Democrats and Republicans appear poised to dial up their scrutiny of Silicon Valley next year in the divided Congress.

China’s Bizarre Program to Keep Activists in Check (jdargis)

He’s part of a broader trend. Since organized opposition is impossible, protest and resistance have increasingly shifted to the Internet. Spotlighting abuse and corruption, online critics and bloggers have often succeeded in rallying public opinion and pressuring authorities to act. Online platforms like WeChat and Weibo, in their fragmented immensity, can still provide badly needed public spaces for critical exchange, as well as bonding and camaraderie, all with the advantage of speed and influence.

Homelessness Rises Slightly Despite Strong Economy, Federal Report Finds (TS)

“I’m not sure victory is the right word to use here,” said Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development. He attributed some of the increase to about 4,000 people who have been temporarily displaced from their homes, including by natural disasters.

The Curbside Chat: Charles Marohn of Strong Towns on Building Better Places (Uncletommy)

How can our towns get stronger—not weaker—when our economy changes? How can we repopulate our empty streets and empty storefronts? What can we learn from the earliest days of city building about building better places tomorrow? And how can active citizens, local officials, and ordinary people make it happen today, no matter how badly we’re starting off?

The World's Most Controversial Coal Mine Is Set to Break Ground (jdargis)

Australia is already the world’s second-largest exporter of power station coal, contributing more than 200 million metric tons a year to the global seaborne trade. If Carmichael -- along with its railroad -- gets built, it will be despite almost a decade of concerted opposition from environmental groups.

Opinion: Would Human Extinction Be A Tragedy? (tmn)

To be sure, nature itself is hardly a Valhalla of peace and harmony. Animals kill other animals regularly, often in ways that we (although not they) would consider cruel. But there is no other creature in nature whose predatory behavior is remotely as deep or as widespread as the behavior we display toward what the philosopher Christine Korsgaard aptly calls “our fellow creatures” in a sensitive book of the same name.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/17/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

14 Comments

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Lying to the FBI. Mueller can't find transcripts

Jame Howard Kunstler discusses the latest problems with General Flynn's sentencing hearing.  Judge Sullivan wants to see the actual evidence against Flynn before sentencing him.   The judge ordered Robert Mueller to produce the transcript of the interview where Flynn "lied to the FBI." 

(He is about to be sentenced for the crime of lying to the FBI.)

Oops.  Meuller can't find the transcript. 

JHK writes

Last Friday morning, we adjourned the blog in anticipation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handing over certain FBI documents in the General Flynn matter demanded by DC District Federal Judge Emmett G. Sullivan no later than 3:00 p.m. that day. Guess what. Mr. Mueller’s errand boys did not hand over the required documents - original FBI 302 interrogation reports.Instead, they proffered a half-assed “interview” with one of the two agents who conducted the Flynn interrogation, Peter Strzok, attempting to recollect the 302 half a year after it was written. Of course, Mr. Strzok was notoriously fired from the Bureau in August for bouts of wild political fury on-the-job as FBI counter-intel chief during and after the 2016 election. (This was the second time he was fired; the first was when Robert Mueller discarded him from the SC team in 2017 as a legal liability.)

So, 3:00 p.m. Friday has come and gone. It appears that the FBI 302 docs have come and gone, too. Actually, we have reason to believe that nothing ever created on a computer connected to the internet can actually disappear entirely. Rather, the data gets sucked into the bottomless well of the NSA server-farm out in Utah. Most likely, the original 302s exist and Mr. Mueller is pretending he can’t find them. In effect, it appears that Mr. Mueller has responded by gently whispering “fuck you” to Judge Sullivan.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Lying hounds

Trust Bloomberg to to ascribe resistance to the world's most controversial coal mine to "environmental groups." No! The resistance comes from ordinary people also!

And Adani are flat out lying when it comes to the number of jobs their project will create. To the public and the terminally-gullible governments they promise thousands; to their shareholders they promise automation from pit to port.

Another reason to rush the opening of the mine is to make it subject to the penalty clauses under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Plundership treaty, where Australia collectively will be sued for imagined loss of profits if any existing or future government stops the project.

The current federal government may have signed its electoral death warrant over this issue, but it's too late.

We're kaput.

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Helix
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I believe the title should

I believe the title should read "Reports ALLEGE Russia mounted sweeping effort to sow divisions, support Trump (TS)".

Articles like these give new meaning th the phrase "Trumped Up".

Doug's picture
Doug
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Sullivan got it right

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/in-the-courtroom-judge-lambastes-flynn-delays-sentencing/2018/12/18/f0bd88de-031f-11e9-958c-0a601226ff6b_story.html?utm_term=.f7dc7eb78868

 

Quote:

Looking down over his glasses, Sullivan hinted from the start that things weren’t going to go as planned.

He upbraided Flynn for lying to the FBI — in the West Wing no less. He invoked the American flag, and said Flynn’s conduct undermined everything it stands for.

And then he landed the big one.

“Arguably, you sold your country out,” he told Flynn, drawing a stunned gasp from many of Flynn’s family members.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/18/politics/judge-sullivan-flynn-sentencing/index.html

Quote:

"I am not hiding my disgust, my disdain for your criminal offense," Sullivan said of Flynn.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/18/judge-tells-michael-flynn-you-sold-your-country-out-at-hearing.html


Quote:

Sullivan began the hearing by pushing Flynn and his lawyers on their suggestion in a recent court filing that he might have been unfairly treated by the FBI in the case, which was lodged by Mueller.

Flynn told Sullivan that he did not want to withdraw his guilty plea or to challenge the fairness of the FBI interview that led to his plea.

Flynn's lawyer told the judge he had not been entrapped by the FBI.

"I was aware" that lying to the FBI was a crime, Flynn said, declining an offer by Sullivan to postpone the sentencing.

Some supporters of Flynn — along with Trump — had suggested he did not know that.

Defense lawyers last week in their court filing noted that Flynn did not have an attorney with during that Jan. 24, 2017, interview, and agents didn't warn him that he could be prosecuted if he lied to them.

So, Flynn confessed to everything he was charged with.  The judge gave him every opportunity to object to his conviction based on the various scenarios being pushed by conspiracy theorists, including FOX news, Trump, etc., but Flynn took full responsibility for everything he was accused of, namely lying to FBI agents two days after he was sworn in as National Security Advisor to the POTUS.  He admitted to being fully aware of the prohibition that he had sworn to numerous times in his career against lying to Federal investigators.  Nonetheless, the judge gave him more time to consider his options before sentencing, which could still include prison time.

Of course, this case did not consider the other accusations against Flynn, including being a nondisclosed agent for a foreign power, Turkey, during the campaign and transition.  Nor did it consider his cozy relations with Russians including foreign secretary Kysliak, Putin and various oligarchs.

Perhaps the delay in sentencing will give Flynn even more opportunities to help Mueller in his investigation of Russian interference in our elections.

 

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mememonkey
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Political Theatre for the Brainwashed
Doug wrote:

So, Flynn confessed to everything he was charged with.  The judge gave him every opportunity to object to his conviction based on the various scenarios being pushed by conspiracy theorists, including FOX news, Trump, etc., but Flynn took full responsibility for everything he was accused of, namely lying to FBI agents two days after he was sworn in as National Security Advisor to the POTUS.  He admitted to being fully aware of the prohibition that he had sworn to numerous times in his career against lying to Federal investigators.  Nonetheless, the judge gave him more time to consider his options before sentencing, which could still include prison time.

Of course, this case did not consider the other accusations against Flynn, including being a nondisclosed agent for a foreign power, Turkey, during the campaign and transition.  Nor did it consider his cozy relations with Russians including foreign secretary Kysliak, Putin and various oligarchs.

Perhaps the delay in sentencing will give Flynn even more opportunities to help Mueller in his investigation of Russian interference in our elections.

 

Good Call Doug! As an attorney I'm sure you would advise your client to stand up and disavow the terms of a plea deal that you had negotiated with the State during a sentencing hearing.  Makes sense to deny responsiblity and relitigate at exactly that juncture!

I join you in this celebratory feast of Nothing Burgers. We can count on the political establishment to ferret out and punish the rare DC political operatives that lie, cheat or steal, and or represent foreign or special interests over the interests of the body politic.

Now that Manafort, Cohen and Flynn et. all are being punished for their crimes against humanity, we can breathe a sigh of relief that the good name of MIC lobbyists, fixer attorneys and DC political hacks will not be muddied by these few bad apples. 

For heaven's sake, what's with these politicans talking with foreign ambasadors and leaders?  That is no way to conduct diplomacy!  Next thing you know all those cozy relations will lead to Trump selling off our strategic Uranium reserves for his personal gain.

Thankfully our system is working to purge such reprobates and expose the evil Russians and how they were able to spin a $4,700. google ad budget and untold thousands of dollars spent on sowing discord in these great UNITED States by Ruski disinformation trolls into the greatest political upset of all time!

And in so doing, totally negating the 1.2 billion campaign budget of HRC and the weight of the entire media establishment old and new, stepping on the scales for her thus depriving us of the good governance and ethically unassailable graces of the Clinton Machine. Lord knows they wouldn't ever pander to foreign interests or gasp, tell lies.

I share your unquestioning belief in authority and authority figures, the inherent goodness and fairness of our court system, particularly the DC Circuit, the abject neutrality of the special prosecutor and of course the unassailable integrity of the FBI.  ~ Lie to those 'Dudley Do Rights' at your own Peril indeed!

Thankfully we have the good CIA folks at the Washington Post to frame everything in a comfortable narrative that fits the propaganda feed on my Facebook page and CNN and triggers all my emotional belief touchstones thus allowing me me to focus my two minute hates on the appropriate villains.

mm

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cmartenson
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Appearance vs fact
mememonkey wrote:

I share your unquestioning belief in authority and authority figures, the inherent goodness and fairness of our court system, particularly the DC Circuit, the abject neutrality of the special prosecutor and of course the unassailable integrity of the FBI.  ~ Lie to those 'Dudley Do Rights' at your own Peril indeed!

Thankfully we have the good CIA folks at the Washington Post to frame everything in a comfortable narrative that fits the propaganda feed on my Facebook page and CNN and triggers all my emotional belief touchstones thus allowing me me to focus my two minute hates on the appropriate villains.

mm

Plus eleventy for the whole piece!

What the DC deep state structure seems to be unaware of is that it is both the appearance and the fact of justice that matters.

Were there specific laws that Flynn. et al., were charged with violating?  Yes, that's a fact!

But what about the appearance of HRC and her cast of reprobates either not being charged or being granted immunity when none was needed to testify before politically friendly bodies, or that other people had been put in jail for the very same crimes that were committed by exposing state secrets through the use of unofficial devices?

From where I sit it's completely obvious that there's no such thing as either the appearance or the fact of law in DC.  It's all political theater.  Who gets charged and who doesn't even get investigated is simply a function of the current political weighting at the time.

Accordingly, I don't believe it's at all worth my time to get worked up over any of it.  As a downside, I have no faith in the system of justice and and an eroding belief in the goodness and durability of my country as a legitimate, ongoing concern.  

It's that last part that the DC crowd, as a group (independent of party or elected vs appointed vs hired status), are to be most derided and for which I hold the entire lot in contempt.  As I grow older I realize more and more that integrity is the most important asset I have.  Once integrity is lost or violated with another person, it's near impossible to regain.  It's to be valued and treasured above all else.

So those who would either gleefully stomp on the integrity of our prime social contract - the rule of law - or stand ineffectively by while that's being done, are utterly lacking in integrity.  It's been lost for those individuals and now it's being lost at the institutional level.

I have no respect for the FBI anymore.  It's completely lost and I have no idea what could be done to restore it outside of an insider rebellion by FBI agents with integrity that arrest and hold accountable their own who have strayed.  Until and unless that happens...just a bunch of suited up enforcers for the current mob operatives.

AaronMcKeon's picture
AaronMcKeon
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Would Human Extinction be a Tragedy?

Only for us!

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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No White Hats In This Scenario
cmartenson wrote:

What the DC deep state structure seems to be unaware of is that it is both the appearance and the fact of justice that matters.

Were there specific laws that Flynn. et al., were charged with violating?  Yes, that's a fact!

But what about the appearance of HRC and her cast of reprobates either not being charged or being granted immunity when none was needed to testify before politically friendly bodies, or that other people had been put in jail for the very same crimes that were committed by exposing state secrets through the use of unofficial devices?

From where I sit it's completely obvious that there's no such thing as either the appearance or the fact of law in DC.  It's all political theater.  Who gets charged and who doesn't even get investigated is simply a function of the current political weighting at the time.

I have no respect for the FBI anymore.  It's completely lost and I have no idea what could be done to restore it outside of an insider rebellion by FBI agents with integrity that arrest and hold accountable their own who have strayed.  Until and unless that happens...just a bunch of suited up enforcers for the current mob operatives.

Right on regarding HRC, Chris, but you left out Obama.  Congress wants to indite and imprison Trump for something that Obama got a financial slap on the wrist for doing,

Cruise over to the AP website and read where a report from the US Congress says that Russia has been meddling in the social media.

There are two obvious points here.  

First, where is the US not meddling.  Putin made this same point in an interview with Megyn Kelly.  He said something like, "close your eyes and put your finger on a world map and you will be pointing at where the US is meddling."

Second, no one in this scenario is wearing a white Stetson, certainly no one in Washington is wearing one.

I'm a little disapointed that no one commented on "Would Human Extinction Be A Tragedy."  That was the most thought provoking link on this episode of "The Daily Digest."  

It's one thing to collectively put our heads in the sand regarding the damage we are doing to ourselves with the "Western Diet" and the damage is deadly.  It's another thing all together to ignore the methods that run away capitalism in the form of our food industry and factory farms are using to provide us with cheese burgers.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Oops
AaronMcKeon wrote:

Only for us!

Aaron sent this whilst I was typing.  I wasn’t the only one who thought the human extinction article was noteworthy.

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Michael_Rudmin
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Noteworthy in a different way.

I actually went ahead and read the article, despite the fact that this kind of article feels like one of those threats that are made by wicked totalitarian government officials.

His point was about how a tragedy is the classical greek fall.

I'm going to say therefore, no. It wouldn't be a tragedy, any more than thuggies waylaying a caravan and slaughtering its members to steal their stuff ... is a tragedy. Murder, yes.

The reason I say this is that the destruction that we do and experience is largely a result of us being denied gourts of justice; and from what I can tell that denial is externally imposed.

Moreover, I would say that we are not the quintessential predator the author makes us out to be. There is too much evidence throughout history of the spiritual world, and too much documentation of such beings called watchers.

THEY are the quintessential predators. So THEIR destruction might be a tragedy; ours would be nothing more than a waylaying.

Among us humans, some are more predatory, some less; but we do not have the power to control history.

And we have been denied justice.

Aside from that, we are not the first intelligent species on the planet. We are not the first dominant species; and we are not the most destructive species or the most predatory; others have been and in some cases are greater than us on each of these scales.

Our problem is a lack of justice.

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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still waiting for collusion

I'm still waiting for evidence of "collusion" with Russia to rig the election.  And when I say "collusion", I mean some actual crime.  Being "cozy" doesn't count.  Last I heard, "cozy" wasn't a violation of any sort of Federal law.  We didn't start the Mueller investigation to ferret out who was "cozy".

So, any collusion?  The answer would be no.

Lots of people caught for lying to the investigation, though.  The operational strategy seems to be, "if we can't find collusion, then we must do our best to create a bunch of criminals as a side effect of the "interviews", prosecute said "criminals" for the crimes we just created, and then hope that the faithful don't realize there wasn't any collusion."

As an example of "The Faithful", Doug certainly has bought in.  He thinks the investigation has been a rousing success.  It has uncovered "cozy" behavior, and a bunch of people who lied to the investigation.  No actual collusion, but lying to the investigation is almost as good, right?

Curious.  Your Government can lie to you every single day with impunity.  You lie to them, just once - even just by accident - its five years in the pokey.

Remember how people are hardwired to dislike unfairness?

This approach is guaranteed to destroy people's faith in government.  No need for Russia to sow disorder - we are doing it to ourselves, with a "leak strategy" and an "insurance policy", all done under the color of authority.

Part of the irony of all this is, the "law and order" Republicans (Trump's base) have grown to distrust the FBI.  A good thing too.  Amusingly, the Democrats, who in the past were always appropriately leery of "the man" (think: COINTELPRO, J.Edgar Hoover's files, etc) now believe the FBI are saints, and can do no wrong.

Kinda like the irony of formerly "pro-labor" Democrats who are now for virtually unlimited immigration, beacuse its "politically correct" (and just happens to benefit their corporate donors too).  Republicans have always been for unlimited immgration, of course.  Same donors benefit.  Yay, companies win again!

Gotta love irony.  Of course, recognizing this sort of irony requires a functioning memory.

Memory seems to be in short supply these days.

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cmartenson
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Oh the Irony!
davefairtex wrote:

Gotta love irony.  Of course, recognizing this sort of irony requires a functioning memory.

Memory seems to be in short supply these days.

I just came across this bit from the "memory hole" today:

Mr Comey is dirty as all get out, and people on the left flocked to hear him brag about that on his book tour, simply because they hate Trump so much.,  Were Comey protecting Trump thusly, I believe they'd hate him with a burning fury that would know no bounds.  Perhaps I am unfairly characterizing them, but I doubt it.

And vice versa for conservatives when it was all reversed.  

Me?  I have a moral compass that is far more fixed.  Either something is immoral all the time or it's not a moral position.  It's a selective position of temporary convenience.  

Actually makes life a lot simpler to live if one can adhere to an inner compass that always knows its way.  Then I don't have to engage in utterly indefensible rationalization efforts such as are on display all over the power structures today.  

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What did Flynn Lie About?

What  Did Michael Flynn Lie About?

It looks like there were 2 primary events Flynn did not discuss in the way the FBI wanted him to. 

1.  Giving a lecture in Moscow paid for by the news and entertainment agency RT.  (here and here)

2. During the Obama to Trump transition period, in the last week of December 2016, Flynn talked on the phone with the Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, asking him NOT to retaliate to Obama sanctions against Russia, ostensibly levied in retaliation for Russia “interfering” in the election of Trump.

Paid lecture in Moscow

Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Elijah Cummings of the House Oversight Committee said … that in 2016, Michael Flynn did not disclose on an application to renew his security clearance that he was paid for a speech delivered for Russia Today in Moscow.

“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from [“]Russia[“], Turkey or anybody else,” Jason Chaffetz said during a press conference today. “And it appears as if he did take that money.”

Chaffetz also said that legally, Flynn was supposed to get permission to receive money from ["]Russia["] both from the secretary of state and the secretary of the Army, and there is not currently evidence that he did so.

Misleading is the conflation of the terms “Russia” and the news and entertainment organization “Russia Today (RT).”

Also misleading is the implication that this public lecture for RT was conducted secretly or that it was deliberately hidden from the US government.  This was not the case.

Michael Flynn’s attorney said in a statement today,  “As has previously been reported, General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of DoD, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings.”

Conversation with the Russian Ambassador during the Obama to Trump transition period 

The New York Times offers a timeline of this event and is recommended.

1. Dec 28.  President Barack Obama signs an executive order announcing sanctions against Russia for trying to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The executive order takes effect the next day.

2. Dec. 28. Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, contacts Michael T. Flynn.

3.  Dec. 29.  Mr. Flynn calls a senior transition official to talk about what to say to Mr. Kislyak. They also discuss that “members of the presidential transition team” at Mar-a-Lago “did not want Russia to escalate the situation.”

4.  Dec. 29.  Immediately after that call, Mr. Flynn calls Mr. Kislyak and asks that Russia not escalate the situation.

5.  Dec 29.  Shortly after his call with Mr. Kislyak, Mr. Flynn calls the transition official to report on his conversation with the Russian ambassador.

6. Dec. 30.  President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia announces he will not take retaliatory measures in response to the sanctions.

7.  Dec. 30.  Mr. Trump praises Mr. Putin’s response on Twitter: “I always knew he was very smart!”

8.  Dec 31.   Mr. Kislyak calls Mr. Flynn and tells him that, in response to Mr. Flynn’s request, Russia chose not to retaliate.

9.  Dec 31. Mr. Flynn tells senior members of the transition team what Mr. Kislyak told him.

What then follows is a circus of obscuring, deceptions and false statements as the Trump transition team attempts to hide this back door negotiation from the public while the Deep state attempts to create the impression of a secret and malign influence of Russia on Trump.

My own take on this is that the back door diplomacy was very reasonable, above board, and seems to have been conducted in good faith with an overall goal of improving relationships between the United States and Russia, a goal that I share.

This backdoor negotiation is only problematic from the viewpoint that it failed to feed the vilification of Russia narrative.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis secret backdoor negotiations between Kennedy and Khrushchev permitted a de-escalation.  The USSR removed missiles from Cuba and 6 months later, the US removed intermediate range nuclear missiles aimed at the USSR from Turkey.  Kennedy reportedly asked Khrushchev in secret correspondence to never publicly acknowledge that the removal of US nuclear missiles from Turkey was a part of the negotiated settlement as Kennedy could not appear to be “soft” on the USSR, domestically.

Private communications have a legitimate place in human affairs.

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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HRC false statements

Yeah, when Flynn makes a false statement, or Papadapoulous, or anyone in the gunsights of the Mueller investigation, it's 5 years in the pokey.  Crossfire Hurricane.

When HRC does the exact same thing, its immunity deals, unrecorded interviews, lawyers up the wazoo, and a tut-tut from Jim Comey - a deluge of Get Out of Jail Free cards that the targets of Mueller would love to have given to them.

"It's GOOD to be the king!"  Or, in this updated 2016 version, "It's GOOD to be the queen!"

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