Poll Shows 10% of Voters Prefer a Giant Meteorite to Trump or Clinton

Poll Shows 10% of Voters Prefer a Giant Meteorite to Trump or Clinton

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A recent poll showed that one in ten respondents would rather trust their fate to a giant meteorite than vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Public Policy Polling asked participants, “If the choices for President were Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, and a Giant Meteor hitting the earth which would you choose?”

The giant meteorite came in third, with 13%. Trump came in second, with 38%, and Clinton took the lead with 43%. The remaining 7% could not choose. The giant meteorite found support across ideological lines, gaining approval from 21% of conservative voters, 16% of moderate voters and 23% of liberal voters.

Men proved to be more in favor of the meteorite than women, and Democrats and Republicans support a flying space rock slamming into the Earth equally. Interestingly, 27% of independent voters supported the meteorite, as opposed to 35% supporting Clinton and 31% supporting Trump.

A combination photo shows Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R)
© REUTERS/ Scott Audette (L), Javier Galeano (R)

Among the non-space-death-kill-rock options, Clinton leads Trump by a mere four points, 45% to 41%, with 5% opting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, 2% for the Green Party’s Jill Stein and 7%  were undecided.

The poll company surveyed 853 registered voters during a period from June 27–28, via internet and landline telephone calls. The poll’s margin of error was 3.4 percentage points.

The survey flatly states, “It’s a simple reality that both of this year’s Presidential candidates are unpopular.”

2016 Race: Hillary Clinton the Candidate of Neo-Conservative War Hawks

http://sputniknews.com/us/20160702/1042322650/clintonthe-neo-conservative-support.html

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02:13 02.07.2016(updated 02:31 02.07.2016) Get short URL

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Arch neoconservative Republican pundit Robert Kagan is surprisingly (or not) hosting a major fundraiser not for the Republicans but for Hillary Clinton.

Journalist and policy analyst Gareth Porter told Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker that he was not surprised when he learned that the founder of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is now supporting the presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Reality is that Kagan has been close to Hillary for a long time,” Porter said, during a Loud & Clear broadcast. “Furthermore, Kagan is well entrenched with the pro-military think tank Center for a New American Security, which is co-founded by the woman who is considered to be the leading candidate for Secretary of Defense under Hillary Clinton administration.”

​Neoconservatives, who dominated the administration of US President George W. Bush, may be demonized by the left for their support of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Porter admitted. But, he argued, their hyper-interventionist position is not unacceptable among leftists who “fancy themselves to be national security analysts,” and “who are interested in American power in the world.” And, to many observers, Hillary Clinton is clearly one of these people.

Final Decision on Clinton’s Email Probe to Be Done by Independent Prosecutors, FBI

“When she started running for Senator, she became almost automatically a centrist, and therefore was aligned with the viewpoint of the Kaganites, the neoconservatives, on Iraq, and ever since then has been very willing to collaborate and work very closely with Kagan and the neoconservatives.” Porter said.

He also noted that Kagan is married to State Department official Victoria Nuland, known for escalating the conflict against Russia, the main voice in the Ukraine crisis, and one who distributed snacks to anti-government protesters on Maidan square in Kyiv. She is also quoted as saying that “a new day has arrived for Ukraine,” after then-President Yanukovych was forced to flee the country in a coup.

“Definitely, one has to be extremely concerned about the kind of foreign policy that would emerge toward Russia, should Nuland in fact be the Secretary of State,” Porter warned. “This is something that I think deserves a great deal of scrutiny in the news media as we get into this campaign.”

He added that Clinton is much more extreme when it comes to foreign policy than Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defense in 2006-2011, who himself is a strong supporter of military force.

“What is most concerning about a Hillary Clinton administration is precisely that she was the cheerleader not only for the intervention in Libya but even more significantly at this moment for a military commitment by the United States in Syria.” Porter said.

Hacked Emails Reveal NATO Pushed Obama Administration to be Tough on Russia
| July 1, 2016 | 7:51 pm | Analysis, political struggle, Russia | No comments
Portuguese Fuzileiros secure an area after disembarking from an amphibious transport during an exercise as part of the NATO's Trident Juncture 2015 in Troia, 100 kms south of Lisbon on November 5, 2015

Hacked Emails Reveal NATO Pushed Obama Administration to be Tough on Russia

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http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160702/1042319954/breedlove-nato-obama-pressure.html
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Leaked emails reveal that NATO’s former supreme commander conspired against US President Barack Obama to ensure the alliance maintained a provocative stance toward Russia.

Ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, the military bloc has committed to increasing its troop presence in Eastern Europe, with plans to deploy four rotational battalions in the Baltic region and in Poland. According to leaked emails, these moves are a direct result of aggressive maneuvering by former NATO supreme commander Gen. Philip Breedlove.

The correspondence, obtained by The Intercept, suggests that the aggressive posturing was done behind the back of the Obama administration.

“I may be wrong,…but I do not see this WH [White House] really ‘engaged’ by working with Europe/NATO. Frankly I think we [NATO] are a ‘worry,’…ie a threat to get the nation [the United States] drug [dragged] into a conflict,” Breedlove wrote in an email to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“I seek your counsel on two fronts, how to frame this opportunity in a time where all eyes are on ISIL [Daesh] all the time,…and two,… how to work this personally with the POTUS [Obama].”

Breedlove attempted to sway the Obama administration through a number of intermediaries. One email, sent by Breedlove to senior adviser to the Atlantic Council Harlan Ullman, references his plea to Powell.

“My first of him [Powell] though is to help me break through to re-energize interest in Europe/NATO in general,” Breedlove wrote. “I think POTUS sees us [NATO] as a threat that must be minimized…ie do not get me [the Obama administration] into a war????”

Increased NATO presence along Russia’s border has been regarded by many on both sides of the fence as an unnecessary provocation. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the alliance’s eastern expansion “a great mistake.”

“Today, NATO seems to be making a show of its anti-Russian stance. NATO not only seeks to find in Russia’s actions pretexts to affirm its own legitimacy and the need for its existence, but is also taking genuinely confrontational steps,” the Russian president said.

Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that Moscow would not “give in to attempts to drag us into a confrontation.”

“We see continued attempts to exert pressure on us, to launch an anti-Russian campaign with the goal of forcing us to abandon our fundamental moral approach to world order problems,” he said.

“There is a clear desire to patch up transatlantic discipline on our expense, at the same time undermining Russia’s position as a competitor in the energy and arms markets.”

‘I don’t know’: US AG Lynch claims ignorance on Clinton email probe timeline

https://www.rt.com/usa/349134-lynch-clinton-email-scandal/

United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch  © Nancy Wiechec
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has stepped away from deciding whether Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be charged in the classified email investigation, following outrage over the AG’s private Monday meeting with Bill Clinton.

Lynch commented on the move during her conversation at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which was scheduled for weeks before Friday morning’s revelation.

She clarified to pro-Clinton  Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, who moderated the one-on-one, that she isn’t technically recusing herself because she will be briefed about the decision.

Lynch told Capehart, the Aspen audience, and those watching the live stream that the recommendations will be presented to her, and that she fully expects, “I will be accepting their recommendations and their plans for going forward.”

But when asked about how soon charges might be handed down in the case, she claimed, “I actually don’t know.”

“This case will be resolved by the team that has been working on it from the beginning,” Lynch added. “Supervisors always review matters, in this case the review will be career people in the DOJ, and also the FBI will review it, up to and including the FBI director, and that will be the finalization of not just the factual findings, but the next steps in this matter.”

The news comes in the wake of accusations that the Barack Obama appointee has a conflict of interest in the case, after she met with former president Clinton on her government plane while on the tarmac of Phoenix, Arizona’s Sky Harbor Airport on Monday.

“He said hello and we basically said hello, and I congratulated him on his grandchildren as people tend to do,” Lynch said Friday morning. “It really was a social meeting, and it really was in that regard.”

She also claimed she had already decided to follow this hands-off process before meeting with the Arkansas native.

Normally, the AG and other DOJ officials would have the final say in bringing charges in an investigation.

Although Lynch previously stressed the two did not discuss official business, she was accused of impropriety and was urged to recuse herself.

READ MORE: Bill Clinton’s secret meeting with Loretta Lynch sparks suspicions over Hillary email scandal

“When I first heard that… I actually thought they were joking,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday on the Fox News Channel program Hannity. “I’m just flabbergasted by it. I think it’s amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders said on CBS News in May that voters should take a “hard look” at a State Department audit on the matter, but has not commented on what Lynch’s role should be in the investigation since her Sky Harbor summit.

However, the scandal did not sway enough Democratic primary voters away from the former secretary of state, who is leading in the delegate count going into this month’s convention.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein told the Observer two weeks ago, “This is sort of typical Hillary Clinton; to do things that are not legal, to say that they are, and then try to cover them up. Hillary Clinton severely chastised other whistleblowers for using Internet channels that were not secure and yet she herself was doing that with private, high level state department information.”

When asked why she keeps making the distinction that the case will be handled by “career” prosecutors, Lynch said questions about her role in the investigation have been focused on concerns over “whether a political appointee would be involved in deciding how to investigate a matter, or what something meant, or how the case would proceed going forward. As I have always said, this case would be handled by career prosecutors, who are independent.”

Lynch’s decision is a departure from previous investigations. When President Obama’s former CIA director David Petraeus was investigated for leaking classified documents to his biographer and girlfriend, the FBI recommended felony charges, but Lynch’s predecessor, Obama appointee Eric Holder, changed it to a misdemeanor.

The investigation has been examining Clinton’s use of a private email server in her home while she was the country’s top diplomat to determine whether she or anyone on her team broke the law by setting it up or sending classified information through it.

While it has already been established that some sensitive info was sent on the server, the question lies how Clinton handled the data and if it amounts to criminal mishandling of classified information.

Lynch’s decision to accept the recommendation of the prosecutors is standard procedure for an attorney general, but it eliminates the possibility that Lynch would overrule investigators, something that has been suggested.

Earlier this week, Capehart wrote a column titled Bernie Sanders has a lot of nerve,” in which he called on the Vermont Senator to drop out of the presidential race.

An indictment against Clinton before the Democratic Convention later this month could pave the way for Sanders to become the nominee, although this possibility was not addressed during Friday’s conversation.

Breedlove’s war: Emails show ex-NATO general plotting US conflict with Russia
| July 1, 2016 | 7:40 pm | Analysis, political struggle, Russia, Ukraine | No comments

https://www.rt.com/usa/349213-hacked-emails-breedlove-ukraine/

Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Phillip Breedlove © Olivier Hoslet
Hacked private emails of the US general formerly in charge of NATO reveal a campaign to pressure the White House into escalating the conflict with Russia over Ukraine, involving several influential players in Washington.

The emails, posted by the site DCLeaks, show correspondence between General Philip M. Breedlove, former head of the US European Command and supreme commander of NATO forces, with several establishment insiders concerning the situation in Ukraine following the February 2014 coup that ousted the elected government in favor of a US-backed regime.

Breedlove served as the NATO Supreme Commander between May 2013 and March 2016. His personal email incorporated his Air Force call sign “Bwana” – a Swahili word for “boss.”

The hacked emails reveal his frequent and intense communications with retired General Wesley Clark, as well as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and involving a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, State Department official Victoria Nuland, and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.

Clark, who commanded NATO during the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, reached out to Breedlove in April 2014. On April 8, he forwarded “intelligence” obtained by Anatoly Pinchuk and Dmitry Tymchuk, activists close to the new regime, claiming a Russian invasion was in the works.

The information was conveyed by Phillip Karber, an ex-Marine and president of the Potomac Foundation, whom Clark calls a “colleague” and “our guy.” Karber wrote about observing the Russian border from inside a Ukrainian tank, and eagerly transmitted Tymchuk and Pinchuk’s calls for support. Contacted by The Intercept on Friday, Karber confirmed the authenticity of several emails in the leaked cache.

Reporting on his meeting with Ambassador Pyatt on April 6, Karber wrote: “State is the one trying to be pro-active and recognizes need to do more faster,” while General Martin Dempsey – at that point the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – was “dragging his feet in order to save [military] relations with Russians.”

In an email dated April 12, Clark referred to his exchange with “Toria” Nuland – the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, who personally backed the Ukrainian revolution – pushing for open US support for the regime in Ukraine to use force against protesters in the east. Prior to the coup, Washington had strongly warned Kiev not to use force against the anti-government demonstrators in the city.

Kiev’s summer “anti-terrorist operation” ended in crushing defeat in August, and the first armistice between the government and rebels was signed in Minsk in September. Meanwhile, the so-called Islamic State jihadist group arose in Iraq and Syria, drawing US attention away from Eastern Europe with gruesome beheadings of Westerners. Frustrated by the White House’s reluctance to back his belligerent agenda in Ukraine, Breedlove reached out to Powell, a retired general and former secretary of state.

“I seek your counsel on two fronts,…. how to frame this opportunity in a time where all eyes are on ISIL all the time,… and two,… how to work this personally with the POTUS,” Breedlove wrote to Powell in September 2014. Powell’s response was not made available.

via DCLeaks

Breedlove was introduced to Powell by Harlan Ullman, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and the author of the “shock and awe” doctrine used by the Bush administration in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In October 2014, Ullman urged Breedlove to reach out to Vice President Joe Biden. Aside from Powell, Ullman wrote, “I know of no better way of getting into 1600,” referring to the White House’s address on Pennsylvania Avenue.

In November, Ullman also suggested Breedlove should get together with David O’Sullivan, the new EU envoy to Washington. Noting that Europe “seems to be a six letter expletive in the White House,” Ullman adds that “perhaps quiet collaboration between him and NATO (SecGen) as well might be useful.”

“Obama or Kerry needs to be convinced that Putin must be confronted,” Ullman wrote in February 2015, before the ‘Minsk II’ talks.

He also gave Breedlove pointers on getting into the good graces of Ash Carter, the new Defense Secretary. “I would take or pretend to take careful notes.  Ash is an academic. And he is trained that students who take good notes rise to be A grades.  This may be maskarova.  But it is useful maskarova,” Ullman wrote, misspelling the Russian word for camouflage (maskirovka).

Washington did approve hundreds of millions of dollars in “non-lethal” aid to Ukrainian troops, including the notorious “volunteer battalions,” in the 2016 military budget.

Breedlove continued to push for more aggressive US involvement, claiming a heavy Russian troop presence in Ukraine – which was later denied even by the government in Kiev. In March this year, the general was telling US lawmakers that Russia and Syria were “deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.”

Breedlove was replaced at the helm of EUCOM and NATO in May, and officially retired from the military on July 1. He was replaced by US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, whose public statements suggest a similar level of hostility for Russia.

The new party line: Democratic platform unveiled

https://www.rt.com/usa/349218-democratic-convention-platform-unveiled/

© Shannon Stapleton
A newly revised version of the Democratic Party’s platform was released Friday, ahead of the July 4 three-day holiday weekend. It includes a plank calling for a $15 per hour minimum wage and criticism of global trade deals.

A word finder shows the name “Trump” appearing 35 times in the 35-page document. The names Clinton and Sanders do not appear at all, however.

Calling for an abolition to the death penalty and for a “public option” in healthcare, the platform is being hailed by both supporters and critics as the most progressive outlook on issues in recent history.

A word search turned up 46 mentions for the word “jobs,” while “education” appeared 34 times along with 25 entries for the phrase “health care.” Immigrants or immigration was mentioned 19 times, while “terrorism” and “Wall Street” each received nine references.

Big banks are another priority in the platform, which lays out a multi-pronged approach to “tackle dangerous risks” posed by them and the rest of the financial system. Democrats “need to prohibit Wall Street from picking and choosing which credit agency will rate their products” as well as prevent them “from imposing excessive fees on consumers.”

The platform adds that “no bank can be too big to fail and no executive too powerful to jail.”

Championing their own history as “the party that created Social Security,” the Democrats promised to keep the entitlement program afloat for future generations “by asking those at the top to pay more,” specifying that incomes over $250,000 would see an increase in taxes.

Under the party’s plans for improving the nation’s infrastructure, “a major federal jobs program that puts millions of Americans back to work” serves as the centerpiece for restoring manufacturing jobs, advancing to environmentally friendly energy sources, improving transportation and revitalizing a deteriorating middle class.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has yet to officially bow out of the presidential race, won enough delegates to have substantial influence over the platform. “Millionaires and billionaires” are targeted in a call to implement a “multimillionaire surtax” and the phrase “starvation wage” appears in the party’s condemnation of the current minimum wage, saying it “must be increased to a living wage.”

The platform does not, however, oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Sanders lamented on Twitter. Additionally, there is no mention of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, another issue close to Sanders’ campaign and supporters.

Donald Trump Vows to Torture: ‘Waterboarding? I Like it a Lot!’
| June 30, 2016 | 7:29 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, political struggle | No comments
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Eugene, Oregon, U.S. on May 6, 2016

Donald Trump Vows to Torture: ‘Waterboarding? I Like it a Lot!’

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http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160630/1042256561/donald-trump-waterboarding-torture.html
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Presumptive Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump has once again affirmed his support for torture, even proclaiming that waterboarding “isn’t tough enough.”

Speaking at his rally in St. Clairsville, Ohio, on Tuesday, Trump asserted that he would be extremely tough on Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State, and would support torture in an effort to defeat the terrorist group.”We have to fight so viciously and violently because we’re dealing with violent people,” he said.

Trump then dove into specifics, expressing that while he supports waterboarding, he wants to use even harsher tactics.

“What do you think about waterboarding? I like it a lot,” he told the cheering crowd. “I don’t think it’s tough enough.”

Trump has previously expressed his support of torture, vowing during a primary debate to utilize the tactic — and worse.

“I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” Trump said.

Trump’s statements ignore scores of research and studies that show torture is not an effective means for gathering information.

As Sputnik previously reported, a study conducted by Shane O’Mara, a professor of experimental brain research at the University of Dublin’s Trinity College and director of its Institute of Neuroscience, a constant state of stress induced by various torture techniques, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation, creates a negative physiological effect. Torture cause a part of the brain called the hippocampus to shrink and fail, which has an adverse effect on memory and other functions.This consequently causes the victim’s mind to focus only on functions essential to survival, suppressing any other thoughts or emotions.

In a book based on his research, O’Mara argues that any action that causes a victim’s brain to undergo a constant state of stress “destroys the fabric of memory” itself, rendering torture useless.

“It is just about the worst possible means of retrieving information from people’s memories,” the book concludes.

Despite the evidence pointing to torture’s ineffectiveness, polls have shown that two-thirds of the American population believe the practice can be justified at times.