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Tyler Durden

Biden To Boost Already Bloated Pentagon Budget With Proposed $715 Billion

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Despite progressive lawmakers in his own party long demanding a serious reduction in the Pentagon's notoriously bloated budget, President Biden on Friday is expected to request a whopping $715 billion for the Pentagon for fiscal year 2022.

This is a slight increase from the prior year as Politico noted late Thursday in reporting the news: the Pentagon budget topline to be presented to lawmakers represents "a roughly 1.5% increase in defense spending from the current year's [$704 billion] level, making it effectively an inflation-adjusted budget boost."

However, it's a slight decrease from what Trump had reportedly planned to propose for this next fiscal year, which was $722 billion. 

According to Bloomberg Government:
A $715 billion discretionary top-line would amount to a decrease of about 0.4% in real terms, adjusting for inflation from this year’s enacted appropriations of about $704 billion. That’s in contrast to a push for 3% to 5% real annual increases in national security spending endorsed by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis in 2017.
As for the aforementioned progressive pushback, they are pointing to the astounding waste that in the reality has little to do with defending the American people, but more to do with handing out huge contracts and fattening up the military-industrial complex.
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'It Doesn't Look Pretty': COVID's Harsh Financial Reality Continues Across The US

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While government officials think people should be sitting around worshipping them for throwing the peons $600 in stimulus (which hasn't even arrived yet), the reality on the ground in the United States is that the government's decision making, as it relates to Covid, has simply crippled many people's finances.

Never was this more evident than in a recent WSJ piece that profiled several people the paper had checked in with during the year to see if their finances had recovered. 

A couple named Robert Rodriguez and Migdalia Wharton, who were previously out of work and couldn't pay their bills, "finally started getting unemployment benefits" over the summer before they "both found new jobs". At both new jobs, they are making less than their pre-Covid jobs. “We don’t want to fall behind. The way things are, it doesn’t look pretty,” they told the WSJ.
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US Announces Sanctions On Assad's Wife & Even Her British Family Members

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With apparently little else left to sanction in Syria, the United States is now going after Bashar al-Assad's wife and even extended family members which have long resided in London.

A Tuesday statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated the US is imposing sanctions on Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad, blaming her in part for prolonging the war and blocking a peaceful political settlement through her charities and civil society organizations. 

Of course, in Washington-speak "stalling efforts to reach a political resolution" means simply that Bashar Assad has refused to step down and flee the country, which would ultimately put the secular Baath state in the hands of the jihadi fanatics.

Pompeo's statement specifies that "The Department of State today is imposing sanctions on Asma al-Assad, the wife of Bashar al-Assad, for impeding efforts to promote a political resolution of the Syrian conflict pursuant to Section 2(a)(i)(D) of Executive Order 13894." It adds that "Asma al-Assad has spearheaded efforts on behalf of the regime to consolidate economic and political power, including by using her so-called charities and civil society organizations."
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NATO Declares Biden White House Will Finally Confront 'Assertive Russia'

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With Joe Biden declared president-elect by a chorus of major networks in unison on Saturday, the same mainstream media has suddenly dropped any notion of 'Russian interference' in the election which for years had received wall to wall coverage. 

Over the weekend an MSNBC host went so far as to declare without evidence "This might be the cleanest election we have ever had." And conveniently apart from the 'sudden' unprecedented leap in vaccine development and with markets soaring on the news, the foreign policy "wins" are conveniently pouring in even before Biden enters the White House on January 20.

As a case in point NATO's official message of congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris underscored that a Biden White House will finally be able to confront "assertive Russia" according to a statement by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

"I warmly welcome the election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. I know Mr. Biden as a strong supporter of NATO and the transatlantic relationship," Stoltenberg's written statement began.
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Michigan Governor Whitmer Goes Full Orwell, Demands Full Names, Phone Numbers For All Restaurant Customers

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Effective this week, diners in Michigan are now going to be required to produce their full name and contact information simply for wanting to eat out at a restaurant or bar.

Ironically, it's likely more information than citizens are required to produce in order to vote. 

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has moved her state one step closer to a true Orwellian paradise, asking her citizens to surrender their privacy every time they want a cheeseburger and a coke at their local diner. Whitmer has already been struck down once by the Supreme Court over trying to unilaterally extend the state's emergency declarations, The Western Journal noted. 

A new release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said: “Like many other businesses in Michigan, bars and restaurants will also be required to take names and contact information to support effective contact tracing if necessary.”

But who can be worried about such mundane things as rights in the midst of an unstoppable pandemic that is slightly more deadly than the flu, right?
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ANTIFA Is Compiling Lists Of 'Fascist' Businesses For Yelp's New 'Racist Behavior Alerts'

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It was less than 48 hours ago that we pointed out that "review" website Yelp was getting into the business of social justice by saying it would append a "Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert" to any businesses page where a company had been accused of racism.

"The b.s. never ends," said Donald Trump Jr., in response to the idea. "What are the odds this isn't insanely abused?" he followed up asking on Friday.

Well, Don, we think we have an answer for you: the odds look pretty long. That's because just 2 days after Yelp's announcement, ANTIFA has already starting compiling the names of businesses that it wants to submit to Yelp and put out of business.

As if throwing rocks through their windows and stealing from them wasn't enough.

The list is being prepared by the same ANTIFA group is that "responsible for organizing the violent Portland riots," according to the Post Millennial. In fact, Tweets from the group compiling the data suggests that ANTIFA members submit "non-friendly" businesses, "AKA any company that's hanging blue lives garbage in their store or anything else that's anti the BLM movement".
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US Fails Utterly In Friday Night UN Security Council Vote On Extending Iran Arms Embargo

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The US bid to extend a UN Security Council total arms embargo on Iran which had been in effect for 13 years, but which is set to drop this fall as part of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA), has ended in utter failure late this week.

As The Hill reported of the vote Friday night, the resolution didn't even come close to gaining the requisite nine “yes” votes which would have forced Russia or China to use their vetoes.

Officially, the final tally was 11 abstentions, two yes and two no votes. After all of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's lobbying through the summer to essentially make permanent an international arms blockade on the Islamic Republic the US had only two votes in favor: its own and that of the Dominican Republic.

All European members of the P5+1 nuclear deal as expected were abstentions. The vote began via remote means Thursday due to the pandemic with the results tallied and announced by late Friday.
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US Takes Unprecedented Step Of Imposing Sanctions On Assad's Teenage Son

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This week the US imposed a new round of sanctions against the Syrian government, and while this is nothing new, what is gaining attention is the unprecedented step Washington has taken against Bashar al-Assad's teenage son.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited that the continued sanctions under the 'Caesar Act' were geared toward ending Assad's "brutal war against the Syrian people." 

President Assad's oldest son, 18-year old Hafez Bashar al-Assad (named after his grandfather who previously ruled Syria), is not known to be politically active or connected, and holds no office or decision-making abilities, but now under the new sanctions he won't be allowed to travel to or have assets in the US, reports The Guardian.

When pressed US officials admitted that the action against Assad's children are preemptive. US deputy assistant secretary of state, Joel Rayburn, was cited in the following...
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More Explosive Leaks From OPCW Show Trump Bombed Syria On False Grounds

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As the ongoing increased sanctions regimen on Syria demonstrates, Washington's pursuit of regime change against Assad is not over, despite Damascus clearly having won the war, and with the US having wisely ditched talk of some kind of overt major Iraq-style military intervention (as was the case under Obama in August 2013).

While mainstream media has largely "moved on" from coverage of Syria (so much for feigned humanitarian "concern" for millions of Syrians suffering under severe American-led sanctions!), some analysts like independent journalist Aaron Maté have been detailing damning leaks from the chemical weapons watchdog Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

"A series of leaked documents from the OPCW raise the possibility that the Trump administration bombed Syria on false grounds and pressured officials at the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up," Maté's latest report in The Nation begins.

"Two OPCW officials, highly regarded scientists with more than 25 years of combined experience at the organization, challenged the whitewash from inside. Yet unlike many whistle-blowers of the Trump era, they have found no champion, or even an audience, within establishment circles in the United States," the report continues.
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