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US Government’s Own Data Shows Interfered In 81 Elections

As The Media Focuses On Russia, Government’s Own Data Shows US Interfered In 81 Elections

Activist Post |

By Claire Bernish

Ask an average American who makes a habit of following government-mouthpiece corporate media about interference in national elections and you’ll likely elicit a nebulous response concerning Russian hackers and a plan to install Donald Trump in the White House — but you probably won’t hear a single syllable pertaining to United States government’s actual attempts to do the same.

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed for the first time publicly that the bureau is officially investigating hotly contentious allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election — but, even if proven true, such geopolitical escapades better characterize the routine behavior of accuser than of accused.

“The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election,” the director announced, adding the bureau would conduct a probe to discern whether Trump’s associates had contact with Russian officials.

Despite that the U.S. has hypocritically exerted influence over foreign elections in all corners of the globe — in fact, it has arrogantly done so a whopping 81 times between 1946 and 2000, alone — with just one-third of those operations undertaken overtly.

For months, mainstream media parroted murky accusations hurled by politicians — keen to point a finger of blame for the apparently stultifying victory of a former reality television host on someone — that The Russians had somehow surreptitiously undermined the election-centric foundation of American Democracy.

While that has yet to prove true, this new Red Scare constitutes a duplicitous attempt by the pot to call the kettle … an election meddler.

Researcher Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Politics and Strategy — an expert on the topic at hand — discussed the lengthy but incomplete list of times the U.S. government has interfered in other nations’ elections with NPR’s Ari Shapiro.

Asked for examples where this tampering tangibly altered results, Levin stated,

One example of that was our intervention in Serbia, Yugoslavia in the 2000 election there. Slobodan Milosevic was running for re-election, and we didn’t want him to stay in power there due to his tendency, you know, to disrupt the Balkans and his human rights violations.

So we intervened in various ways for the opposition candidate, Vojislav Kostunica. And we gave funding to the opposition, and we gave them training and campaigning aide. And according to my estimate, that assistance was crucial in enabling the opposition to win.

Levin reiterated the more blatant methods with which the U.S. asserts dominance — through the overt coups or all-out regime changes branding the nation a notorious interventionist — are not among the list of the 80-plus attempts to manipulate the electoral outcome.

As for the issue of pot versus kettle, Levin explained that — although Russia and other powerful nations indisputably employ similar tactics — the United States has been quite prodigious in its effort.

Well, for my dataset, the United States is the most common user of this technique. Russia or the Soviet Union since 1945 has used it half as much. My estimate has been 36 cases between 1946 to 2000. We know also that the Chinese have used this technique and the Venezuelans when the late Hugo Chavez was still in power in Venezuela and other countries.

As sanctimoniously as U.S. politicians cry foul about The Russians, it would behoove the new McCarthyites to reflect on the nation’s sticky imperialist fingerprints around the globe — like that time in 1996, when the United States undertook an extensive, secret operation to ensure the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.

That is, of course, former President Boris Yeltsin — of the Russian Federation.

No evidence, lots of McCarthyism at Russia influence hearings

Canadians want action on illegal immigration

Trudeau and Bay Street are on a collision course

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with members of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association. (Galit Rodan/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with members of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association. (Galit Rodan/CP)

Trudeau and Bay Street are on a collision course over income inequality

Post-Brexit and Trump, Canada’s federal government has decided wealth redistribution is the future, and Bay Street is finding itself sidelined

Kevin Carmichael

Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News |

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly has Bay Street in a tizzy. David Rosenberg, a famous economist who works for high-end wealth manager Gluskin Sheff + Associates, this week advised readers of his $1,000-a-year newsletter to sell Canadian stocks and convert their loonies to other currencies before the March 22 budget ruins them. “This promises to be a tax-grab budget that would have made the likes of Herb Gray very proud if he was still alive,” Rosenberg wrote on March 13, according to a subscribers-only report in the Globe and Mail.

Six things to watch for in Canada’s 2017 federal budget

Rosenberg, known for prescient forecasts based on hard data, has been spreading rumours for at least a month that Trudeau intends to raise taxes on capital gains. There has been no confirmation of this, but the very thought of it is making capitalists upset.

The Globe, which targets the same high rollers who might turn to Gluskin Sheff for financial advice, reported (subscribers only) that the conjecture over taxes was “spreading fear” amongst Canadians who seek reward from buying low and selling high. An Ottawa-based tax adviser said his firm already was talking to clients about how they can “protect themselves.” One piece of advice: sell now, while the rate on capital gains is only 50 percent. Billionaire investor Stephen Jarislowsky, whose firm manages $35 billion in assets, wrote an op-ed for the Financial Post that says higher taxes on capital gains would, “hammer another nail in the coffin for Canadian investments, particularly at a time when our economic outlook is already relatively weak.”

Now, I can’t help but wonder if Langevin Block is punking Bay Street. When (if) Morneau leaves the rate on capital gains unchanged, he will (would) look like the protector of the business class. By overreacting to rumours of higher taxes, Canada’s millionaires and billionaires are blowing political capital they might have used to make the case for lower ones. The sop to Bay Street in Budget 2017 could be leaving capital gains rates unchanged. Makes you wonder what Morneau might really have in mind?

But enough idle speculation. I don’t know what’s in the budget, and I doubt Rosenberg does either. Still, the past few weeks have been informative. If it wasn’t clear before, we know now that Trudeau is serious about the inequality story. And Bay Street’s response suggests they are struggling to adjust to a world where finance no longer is the focus point of economic policy. The priority of Canada’s government is social stability.

This year was supposed to be all about innovation. Trudeau reset the benchmark in Hamburg, Germany on February 17, delivering a direct message to business leaders: “It’s time to pay a living wage, to pay your taxes and to give your workers the peace of mind that comes with stable, full-time contracts.” On March 9, cabinet minister and economist Jean-Yves Duclos hosted reporters at the National Press Theatre for a seminar on the weakened state of Canada’s middle class. And yesterday in Frankfurt, Morneau told a gathering of international bankers that, “we need to better share our success with others, by implementing policies that ensure that the benefits of economic integration of our citizens—the middle class—rather than the wealthiest.”

Morneau mentioned that he soon would be presenting his second budget. He said nothing of taxes, although it is fair to wonder whether he might be seeking new revenue.

How the next federal budget might change the game on income inequality

“I will be confirming that Canada plans to continue doing what confident, optimistic countries do—invest in our people, our communities and our economy,” Morneau said at a conference hosted by the International Institute of Finance, an association of about 500 of the world’s biggest banks and insurance companies. “I will also be taking steps to create a culture of lifelong learning, helping people develop the skills they need at every stage of their life to succeed in the new economy.”

The usual suspects have said the usual things about Trudeau’s pre-budget rhetoric. Those who derive most of their income from asset-price appreciation, rather than salaries, say higher taxes would unfairly punish risk takers. The tech crowd—or least, some who claim to know the minds of tech entrepreneurs—says the government appears set on making it more difficult to lure talent to Canada. The Fraser Institute, a think tank that advocates cutting taxes to the lowest level possible, questions whether income inequality is even a problem. “Canada’s middle class is actually doing much better relative to past decades based on a host of indicators,” Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre, two from Fraser’s stable of experts, wrote in an op-ed published in the Ottawa Citizen on March 17.

I’ve been where these people are. After Morneau released his 2016 budget, I criticized the emphasis on coddling middle-class families, when stagnating economic growth seemed the bigger problem. Morneau had his priorities reversed, I thought at the time. And I still would think that, if not for Brexit, Trump and the existence of a former Conservative cabinet minister who thinks she can become leader of the Opposition by appealing to our worst instincts. It’s true that most measures of income inequality suggest the situation in Canada isn’t all that bad. But those data also tend to be years old, as it takes time to collect them and complete the analysis.

Real-time indicators suggest strain. Household debt is at record levels, while average wages are growing only fast enough to keep up with inflation. Entire industries are collapsing, forcing thousands of people to go back to school or take jobs they never wanted. None of this portends a pleasant future.

Canada’s Top 100 highest-paid CEOs

Instead of waiting for things to get worse, Trudeau appears to want to try to get ahead of the problem. This will be difficult for conservatives to accept. If you believe that a government’s first priority should be to do no harm, then you will struggle to support policies designed to correct a situation that isn’t yet supported by data. However, the International Monetary Fund has built a compelling case over the past few years that income inequality is an important determinant of sustainable economic growth. Its work shows that marginal tax increases have little effect on economic growth, provided the revenue is used to pay for things such as education and healthcare. One of the reasons is that redistribution of wealth avoids the social disruption that now plagues the U.S. and Britain. Those countries will be beset by political upheaval for years. Little of substance will get done, as partisans fight and governments change. The economy will suffer as a result.

Bay Street appears not to have bought in yet. At least not fully. To his credit, Jarislowsky offered Trudeau and Morneau a different target: rather than wealth generators like him, the government should go after the chief executives who make millions running companies they had no part in creating. Another good idea is one touted by Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist who is the favourite to win the French presidency. Macron, a former investment banker, would scrap France’s wealth tax on everything with the exception of capital gains from real estate.

The policy would reward those who build companies that employ people, and discourage investment that does little but enrich real-estate agents and speculators. I’m sure Bay Street and the conservative think tanks can come up with with some ideas of their own. But they ought to hurry up and propose something new. The government is moving on, with or without them.

 

Why is Bay Street so much more bullish than the Bank of Canada right now?

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Source: Trudeau and Bay Street are on a collision course over income inequality

Just 7% of Journalists Call Themselves Republican

REMINDER: Just 7% of Journalists Call Themselves Republican

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In light of all the fake news and blatant media propaganda being published these days, I think it's important to remember how little diversity of opinions there are amongst our 'independent press'. A survey done in 2013 found that most shills hide under the cloak of 'independent', with about 30% calling themselves democrat. You can see how this trend has disjointed over the decades, with republicans being systematically removed from the sacred 5th estate.

With merely a handful of so called republicans in America's newsrooms, how can they honestly call themselves a 'free press', when in fact they're nothing more than democratic advocates shilling for their ideologies?

Incidentally, America's trust in their media has correlated very closely to the lack of political diversity in her newsrooms over the decades.

I suppose when you completely abandon principles for party, casting aside 50% of your viewer/reader base in the process, that's not exactly a sound business model for journalistic success -- judged by public opinion.

Then again, do they even care?

Source: REMINDER: Just 7% of Journalists Call Themselves Republican

"Reliable Sources" RT discussion ?