Rainbow Conspiracy Part 8: Steve Phillips Works With 40,000 Communists And Socialists To Take Over The Democratic Party

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

Part 7 here.

Steve Phillips, a very wealthy Democratic Party operative, is working with over 40,000 communists and militant socialists to take over his own party. Shouldn’t this be front page news?

San Francisco lawyer and Democratic Party operative Steve Phillips is a huge threat to American liberty. He is working through his organizations Democracy in Color and PowerPAC+ to achieve a “New American Majority” – code for a far left “one party state.”

Steve Phillips is using his family’s extreme wealth and influence to handpick stealth socialist Democratic candidates for key races across the country. Phillips helped to give America Barack Obama and he is positioning right now to hand-pick your next President in 2020.

Steve Phillips was a student Marxist-Leninist and he has never abandoned his communist roots.

Today he is working in tandem with America’s most influential communists and socialists to flip the House of Representatives in 2018, to retake the Senate and end the Trump presidency in 2020.

John Bachtell, Communist Party USA

Communist Party USA National Chairman John Bachtell issued a call for an online webinar Wed. May 23 2018, featuring a panel of representatives from the CPUSA, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Freedom Road Socialists Organization (FRSO), Left Roots and others.

This event is aimed at encouraging participation and interaction of members of all the groups. The CPUSA urges its members and supporters to participate.

Bachtell went on to explain the background of the event, which was sponsored by the Left Inside/Outside Project:

The Communist Party (CPUSA) is collaborating with several left groups and progressive activists to promote unity and coalition building in the electoral arena. The Left Inside/Outside Project began shortly after the 2016 elections in response to some on the left who sat out the elections or encouraged building a 3rd party at the time.

The groups agree that defeating the extreme right domination of government and the courts is a strategic imperative and building electoral coalitions with every force possible including with the Democratic Party is key.

This video conference will feature speakers from different organizations in the Left Inside/Outside Project providing their perspective on the key questions facing leftists that are trying to build electoral power alongside social movements, all while navigating the complicated terrain of Democratic party politics. We will also have small group discussions and describe opportunities for collaboration across organizational lines.

The Left Inside/Outside Project went public in a letter “The Left We Want to Build: Breaking Out of the Margins,” published in Organizing Upgrade (09 June 2017), a news site closely affiliated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. The letter laid out a bold plan by America’s leading communist groups to massively expand their collective influence both inside and outside the Democratic Party.

The election of Trump has upended US politics. Across the political spectrum, activists and organizations are reckoning with the ascent of authoritarian white nationalism to the White House and the GOP’s headlock on 25 state governments and Congress. All of us feel it: the urgency to think and act in new ways, to expand our vision and take risks.

We believe that building a left trend – an alignment of organizations and individuals – based on strategic unity is key… Only determined, long-term, energetic efforts to break out of the margins based on a common view of how to engage in our electoral system, while also building mass protest, offer a chance to make the left a force in U.S. politics and, eventually, a contender for power.

The letter went on to outline a bold plan to cordinate America’s largest Marxist organizations to ramp up infiltrateation of the Democratic Party and pressure it from without, through mass protest action.

(A)  number of left organizations and activists have begun discussing the possibility of creating a higher level of political alignment based on an inside/outside political strategy.

“Inside/Outside” means organizing both inside and outside of electoral politics, and building power inside and outside the Democratic Party…We also think this strategy is the only one that will set the left on a path to grow with the surging activism that takes civic engagement seriously, the large numbers of leftists and progressives deciding to run for office, and the increasing pull of an inside/outside perspective across the social movements we’re immersed in…

 Most activists who care about progressive change, for instance, reasonably feel that defeating Trump in 2020 is an absolute priority, as is defeating Republican rule at the state and Congressional level in 2018… And electoral politics in general is one of the few ways the left will be able to engage with people at the scale we have to.

The fight against the far right is strongest when it is energized by an inspiring vision for economic and social justice. Campaigns for openly socialist candidates and progressive challenges to neoliberal Democrats must all be part of the political mix. And the opportunities for broadening the reach of progressive and left forces will be greatest when they both struggle within and work in tandem with the larger anti-Trump or anti-right front.

( T)he organized socialist left needs to balance out the strengths and weaknesses of its different organizations and activist networks. All of the organizations and networks we belong to have important strengths, but also very real limitations in terms of size, demographics, or geographic or sectoral concentration. None of them, in their current form, are capable of playing the strategic role we believe the left must play in the next period. A left trend might have that potential – the ability to reach far beyond the existing left to create a force that can move us from defense to offense.

The letter was signed “In unity and struggle” by key leaders of America’s most powerful Marxist organizations.

  • Rishi Awatramani, LeftRoots (also affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization}
  • John Bachtell, Communist Party USA National Secretary
  • Calvin Cheung-Miaw (also affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization)
  • Sendolo Diaminah, Freedom Road Socialist Organization General Secretary
  • Adam Gold, LeftRoots (also affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization)
  • Harmony Goldberg (affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization)
  • Shuron Jones, St. Louis Workers’ Education Society (a Communist Party controlled organization)
  • Judith LeBlanc, Communist Party USA National Board member
  • Timmy Lu, LeftRoots (also affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization)
  • Christine Riddiough, Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee
  • Chauncey Robinson, Communist Party USA National Board member
  • Joseph Schwartz, Vice Chair of Democratic Socialists of America
  • Tina Shannon, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism National Coordinating Committee (also a member of Democratic Socialists of America)
  • Janet Tucker, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism co-chair (also a member of Democratic Socialists of America)
  • Thomas Walker, Freedom Road Socialist Organization Tennessee leader (also a member of Democratic Socialists of America)

Broadly speaking, there are two lefts in America. One side is the anti-Democratic Party left – Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Alternative, Socialist Party USA, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Party of Communists USA etc. On the other side are the groups willing to work inside the Democratic Party – that is, those organizations signing on to the strategy outlined above.

These organizations are not to be underestimated. Separately, all these groups are dangerous. Together, they spell potential disaster.

  • Communist Party USA claims about 5,000 members, but its support base is much wider. Many Communist Party leaders are also Democrats. Examples include Houston Communist Party Chairman Bernard Sampson (local Democratic Party Precinct chairman) and Ohio Communist Party Chairman Rick Nagin, who serves on the Cuyahoga County Democratic Executive Committee. The Communist Party USA is strong in organized labor, in Black churches and in the “peace movement.” The Party is strongest in New York, Massachusetts, Chicago, Detroit, Missouri, Arizona, California and Texas. The CPUSA is aligned with China, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela and the communist parties of Russia, Britain, Canada, Mexico, Iraq and Iran.

Communist Party USA – Boston

  • Committees of Correspospendence for Democracy and Socialim is only a few hundered strong. It often shares members with Democratic Socialists of America and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Its strongholds are Boston, New York, Chicago, Louisville Kentucky and the Bay Area. CCDS has close ties to China, Vietnam and Cuba.
  • Freedom Road Socialist Organization is extremely secretive about membership numbers. Fewer than 100 members are publicly acknowledged. My estimate is around 1,000 members, but that could be off by a factor of three either way. FRSO’s dozens of front organizations are extremely well funded through the Ford Foundation and other large leftist non-profits. FRSO is strongest in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Southern Florida, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. It also has smaller bases in Austin, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, Vermont, Ohio, Oregon and Washington state. FRSO supports Cuba and Vietnam. Some elements also support China and North Korea. Freedom Road focuses heavily on racial politics and is the main force behind Black Lives Matter.
  • LeftRoots “is a national organization of 250 front-line organizers and activists, committed to politically developing their members to lead social movements across the U.S.” It is essentially a project of FRSO. LeftRoots wants to “topple capitalism in order to make way for an economic system that allows for all people around the world to develop their capacities to the greatest extent possible in harmony with the planet”.

LeftRoots national conference 2018

  • Democratic Socialists of America is the giant of the bunch. On the back of the Bernie Sanders movement, DSA has grown from 6,000 to upwards of 35,000 dues-paying members in less than two years. The organization has locals in every state but South Dakota. The larger locals include Seattle (600 members), Portland Oregon (350 members), East Bay (850 members), Los Angeles (1200 members), Chicago (1100 members), Boston (1,000 members), New York (3,000+ members), Washington, DC (1200 members), Baltimore (450 members), Atlanta (500 members) and Austin, Texas (700+ members).
  • Thousands of DSAers are active in the Democratic Party and have taken hold of local Democratic County committees from Maine to Nebraska. In Iowa, DSA controls about 20% of the delegates to the Democratic State convention. DSA has run hundreds of members and supporters across the country on the Democratic ticket this election cycle. They include DSA members Kaniela Ing (Congressional District 1, Hawaii), Rashida Tlaib (Congressional District 13, Michigan), Connie Johnson (Governor Oklahoma) and DSA supporter Cathy Glasson (Governor Iowa). DSA is in many ways more hard left than the Communist Party. In 2017, DSA voted to leave the Socialist International because it was too moderate.

Democratic Socialists of America also controls Our Revolution, the reportedly 100,000-strong nationwide movement set up to support candidates sympathetic to the Bernie Sanders movement.

According to David Duhalde, former Deputy Director of Democratic Socialists of America and now “Senior Electoral Manager” at Our Revolution:

I have been rather pleasantly surprised about how well the different post-Bernie formations have been doing and working together to keep this political revolution going. I want to give one great example, which is Our Revolution, [which] either locally or nationally endorsed all of our candidates that we endorsed nationally, as well. Not to mention tons of local races. We have a very good working relationship with Our Revolution. We often share information and talk about candidates. We, also, have this affiliation program where DSA chapters can be the local Our Revolution chapter, as well. That is to avoid unnecessary conflicts, duplication of efforts. So, our Knoxville chapter which helped elect two DSA members is, also, the Our Revolution chapter.

According to John Bachtell, the Communist Party is there too:

(Communist Party) Members were involved with Bernie Sanders campaign and are continuing their activism in Our Revolution, Swing Left, Indivisible, Working Families Party, statewide groups like the New Virginia Majority and local Democratic Party groups and 2018 electoral campaigns.

In many states the Democratic Party is a shell, nothing more than a ballot line. It is not hard to see how the Democratic Party is being completely subverted by the combined forces of Our Revolution and the Left Inside/Outside Project. How can rural and small town old school Democrats stave off an invasion of tens of thousands of dedicated Marxists moving into their semi-moribund party?

The Left Inside/Outside Project is completely on board with Steve Phillips’ new “Rainbow Coalition”/”New American Majority” Project.

Democratic Socialists of America/Left Inside/Outside Project leader Joseph Schwartz was active in the 1984 and 1988 Jesse Jackson “Rainbow” campaigns, as well as in the movement behind Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential effort.

Schwartz wrote in a September 11, 2017 report “What Should Socialists Do?“:

Socialists have the incumbent obligation to broaden out the post-Sanders, anti-corporate trend in US politics into a working-class “rainbow coalition.”

Left Inside/Outside Project leader Calvin Miaw wrote in In These Times, Nov 18, 2016:

Today we have a number of inspiring movements (and encampments!) that will continue under the Trump administration. We have incredible multiracial alliances—all across the United States. We have cutting-edge work in electoral politics through our mass organizations at the local level (like San Francisco Rising or the South Bay Labor Council) reaching into the state level (with New Virginia Majority and New Florida Majority ). There’s a lot going for us, but whether we are able to build a worthy successor to the Rainbow, which replicates its achievements while avoiding its quite obvious failures, depends on us moving beyond what we’ve been doing.

Another Left Inside/Outside Project and LeftRoots leader, Timmy Lu spelled it out explicitly in a paragraph entitled: “From the Rainbow Coalition to the New American Majority“:

In the 1980s, Asian American Movement activists connected to Left organizations made important contributions in the fight against Reaganism. These activists played key roles in the campaigns of Black mayoral candidates and the historic Presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988, helping craft Jackson’s “Rainbow Coalition…”

The future projected by demographers to arrive in 2065 is already the reality in some states. Nine states are over 5% AAPI (Asian American, Pacific Islander) : Hawaii, California, Nevada, Washington, New Jersey, Alaska, Maryland and Virginia. In many local jurisdictions in these states, whole elections are won and lost on the basis of AAPI voters. And the states with the fastest growing populations have national political significance as battleground states: Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Arizona. Given these numbers – AAPIs are now an essential component of any kind of progressive “Rainbow Coalition” or “New American Majority” electoral strategy.

Traditional electoral strategies emphasize persuading moderate and swing voters. Focusing on the New American Majority means dramatically increasing turnout amongst communities of color and low-turnout but likely progressive constituencies like young voters.

LeftRoots, incidentally, was partially created by Steve Phillips.

In 2018, two coordinators of the “Ear to the Ground” project, N’Tanya Lee and Steve Williams, toured the United States for 16 months, speaking “to 158 people involved in some of the most important social justice struggles today.”

N’Tanya Lee is a longtime Freedom Road Socialist organization affiliate and serves on the board of Steve Phillips’ PowerPAC+.

Steve Williams was studying at Stanford University just as Steve Phillips was graduating. He is also close to Freedom Road Socialist Organization. In 1997, Williams was in Cuba and in 1998, he was in South Africa for the congress of the South African Communist Party. Williams was active in a Maoist group, Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), alongside future Obama “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones. Three other STORM members, Maria Poblet, Harmony Goldberg and Adam Gold, are now leaders of the Left Inside/Outside Project.

Almost all of Lee and Williams’ interviewees were known Freedom Road members or supporters. The few exceptions included Judith LeBlanc of the Communist Party USA and Steve Phillips. That was to be expected as Steve Phillips and his mega-wealthy wife Susan Sandler helped to fund the marathon project. Lee and Williams founded LeftRoots in 2014, as a direct result of their interview findings. Steve Phillips helped “father” LeftRoots.

Steve Phillips and his PowerPAC+ are also closely tied to Our Revolution, through Our Revolution President Nina Turner and board member Ben Jealous.

Nina Turner is a longtime Steve Phillips/PowerPAC+ protege.

In 2015, Nina Turner told Melissa Harris-Perry:

If you look at the Democratic ticket right now, if I can just go there, there is not an African-American running for the presidency, and I believe that African-Americans need to run every single election cycle along with my Latino brothers and sisters and Asians, all the people of color, the rainbow coalition, every single election cycle.

In 1988, Ben Jealous, age 14, registered voters for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. Jealous has worked closely with Steve Phillips since at least the 2008 Obama campaign. Now PowerPAC+ is supporting Jealous’ bid for the governorship of Maryland.

According to Steve Phillips:

Most recently we worked with grassroots activists in Georgia to encourage African American voters to turn out in the CD-6 race in Georgia and to build support for Stacey Abrams’ race for Governor there. As we move forward, we will deepen our work in California as well as launching a multi-state initiative to support gubernatorial candidates of color in GA (Stacey Abrams), MD (Benjamin Jealous), AZ (David Garcia), CA (John Chiang), and FL (Andrew Gillum).

Also tied to the Steve Phillips network is the Howard Dean-founded Democracy for America. Currently DFA is supporting a far left Muslim candidate for the governorship of Michigan, Abdul El-Sayed. DFA is also supporting Steve Phillips’ favorites Stacey Abrams, David Garcia, Ben Jealous and Andrew Gillum.

As a part of its work in the 2018 election cycle, Democracy for America intends to raise and spend more than $12 million in support of progressive candidates, make more than 2 million voter contacts, and support more than 250 candidates nationwide — like Abdul El-Sayed — in running inclusive populist campaigns committed to turning out the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters in November.

El-Sayed is the sixth gubernatorial endorsement DFA has made in the 2018 election cycle.  Other gubernatorial endorsements the national grassroots progressive group has made this cycle includes Stacey Abrams in Georgia, David Garcia in Arizona, Andrew Gillum in Florida, Ben Jealous in Maryland, and Paulette Jordan in Idaho.

Look for Part 9 coming soon: “How Stealth Communists Almost Flipped Virginia – With Help From China”

A book entitled “The Rainbow Conspiracy” will be released in October 2018.


Why are feds trying to hide info on Blackwater?

By: J.M. Phelps | One News Now

With seemingly “nothing to hide,” why is the government hiding evidence about who was in Baghdad’s Nisour Square on September 16, 2007? It’s unethical – not to mention illegal – to withhold information that might right a legal wrong.

Many equate Blackwater’s involvement in the Nisour Square incident of 2007 to the death of innocent civilians. Some have even questioned whether a security team had actually received incoming fire before executing what they’d been hired to do: provide security and protection to a diplomatic team in Baghdad.

Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, says it is unquestioned the security team had taken fire, “because there was an incoming round that disabled one of the State Department armored vehicles. When an AK round skips off the pavement, severs a drain hose for a radiator in one of the vehicles, and then the bullet is found lodged in the radiator, you can say conclusively they were taking incoming fire.”

One has to ask, exactly who was killed on this fateful day in November 2007 – and which so-called civilian(s) was carrying an AK-47 on this fateful day of September 2007? The government has maintained that members of Blackwater’s Raven 23 team were involved in a varying number of deaths to innocent civilians, while contending there were no insurgent or terrorist groups present.

Surprisingly, on May 29, 2018, Nicholas Slatten – a team member who is now serving a life sentence – and his legal team filed an expedited request for a “motion to compel immediate production of intelligence files reflecting that alleged victims or Iraqi officers are affiliated with insurgent or terrorist groups.”

Will the motion uncover facts the government has brushed aside since Day 1 of this lengthy trial? Do the alleged victims or Iraqi police officers who were present during the firefight or the investigation have ties to insurgent or terrorist groups? The government is required to reveal this highly exculpatory intelligence information, whether it is admissible or not. The immediate production of this evidence is necessitated by the Due Process Clause.

The Department of Justice produced no information pursuant to similar requests prior to Slatten’s 2014 trial. Thus, the defense sent a request for discovery to the government on February 2, 2018, yet the government took months to reply to multiple follow-up inquiries. On May 25, 2018, the government finally responded by not confirming or denying the information actually exists. On the same day, they also filed an under seal ex parte motion with the judge seeking protection under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) not to disclose.

Why file under CIPA? Is the government hiding evidence about who was in Nisour Square on September 16, 2007? Prince says, “There’s nothing that’s worth keeping classified 11 years later, particularly when American citizens’ lives are hanging in the balance.” He believes “it is disgusting that the Justice Department would be slow-rolling on that. Even if they receive a court order, it will go to one of the other intelligence functions – whether it’s the Department of Defense or CIA. And they never like to give up anything for any reason – even to help their own people.”

Continuing, he suggests, “This speaks to the gross unresponsiveness of the permanent state bureaucracy, and that is a problem for the country.” This is exactly how things get slow-rolled, he says.

Since the first trial of this case, not only have numerous errors been made by the government, but they have also repeatedly argued that not one of the victims was anything other than an innocent civilian, which feeds to the circumstantial massacre claim. If these are indeed the facts of the case, then why file the ex parte motion to avoid answering the question about the involvement of insurgent or terrorist groups?

Jury selection for Slatten’s retrial is currently scheduled to begin on June 18, 2018. While the government refuses to confirm or deny there are any insurgent or terrorist ties to the Nisour Square incident, it is most probable they will continue to maintain the deaths or injuries are only attributed to unarmed innocents – which has clearly become a prejudicial claim against Slatten. When evidence or information is so openly suppressed, how can the defense expect a fair trial?

Withholding this kind of information is clearly a blatant Brady violation (Brady v. Maryland), as the prosecution is supposed to be required to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense as soon as it becomes available. Additionally, if those present in Nisour Square on the day of the shooting are, in fact, associated with insurgent or terrorist groups, this would completely discredit them as witnesses according to Giglio v. UnitedStates in addition to nullifying the massacre claim. These violations undoubtedly threaten the reliability of investigations conducted by the Iraqis and the FBI.

With a pending retrial for Slatten, these very distinct issues are gravely important as he remains incarcerated after his first conviction was overturned, which resulted in a life sentence. If the government can’t clearly define who was being shot at on September 16, 2007, how is this fair for the defendant who could have, in fact, been shooting a terrorist while upholding his contracted State Department assignment to protect a U.S. diplomat? The defense deserves answers.

In court transcripts, the judge stated the Iraqis deserved justice. Slatten also deserves justice. It’s up to the judge to ensure he gets it by forcing the government to turn over the intelligence it is holding onto.

J.M. Phelps is a Christian activist and journalist based in the Southeastern U.S. He is also editor and publisher of the website Lantern of Liberty.


Rogue Meets Rogue, Obama and Iran

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

While the United States has terminated it’s role in the JCPOA, the Iranian nuclear deal, Europe appears to be dedicated to remain. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is traveling in Europe meeting with leaders on the sole topic of Iran. As this item is published he is meeting with Theresa May of Britain.


On May 8, 2018, the President announced his decision to cease the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to begin re-imposing the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions that were lifted to effectuate the JCPOA sanctions relief, following a wind-down period.  In conjunction with this announcement, the President issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) directing the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other Departments and Agencies to take the actions necessary to implement his decision.

Consistent with the President’s guidance, Departments and Agencies will begin the process of  implementing 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods for activities involving Iran that were consistent with the U.S. sanctions relief specified in the JCPOA.  To effectuate the wind-down periods, today the State Department issued the necessary statutory sanctions waivers to provide for a wind-down period and plans to take appropriate action to keep such waivers in place for the duration of the relevant wind-down periods.  As soon as is administratively feasible, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) expects to revoke, or amend, as appropriate, general and specific licenses issued in connection with the JCPOA.  At that time, OFAC will issue new authorizations to allow the wind down of transactions and activities that were authorized pursuant to the revoked or amended general and specific licenses.  At the end of the 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods, the applicable sanctions will come back into full effect.

OFAC posted today to its website additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) that provide guidance on the sanctions that are to be re-imposed and the relevant wind-down periods.


Why the big push on all of this? Iran has launched new uranium enrichment plans with meet the red line. But, could that enrichment exceed agreed limits? Yes and no one would know due in part to refused access by IAEA officials for inspection.

(Reuters) – Iran’s declaration that it could increase its uranium enrichment capacity if a nuclear deal with world powers falls apart risks sailing close to the “red line”, France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said on Monday he had ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity if the nuclear agreement collapsed after the United States withdrew from the deal last month.

It also informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog of “tentative” plans to produce the feedstock for centrifuges, which are the machines that enrich uranium.

“This initiative is unwelcome. It shows a sort of irritation,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe 1 radio. “It is always dangerous to flirt with the red lines, but the initiative taken … remains totally within the framework of the Vienna (nuclear) deal.”

Tensions between Iran and the West have surged since President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran last month, calling it deeply flawed and reimposing unilateral sanctions.

European powers are scrambling to save the deal – under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for a lifting of international sanctions – as they regard it as the best chance to stop Tehran developing an atomic bomb.

However, they have warned Iran that if it were not to abide by the terms of the deal, then they would also be forced to pull out and reimpose sanctions as Washington has done.

“If they go to a higher level then yes the agreement would be violated, but they need to realize that if they do then they will expose themselves to new sanctions and the Europeans will not remain passive.”

Le Drian, who said Iran was for now still abiding by its commitments, was speaking a day after Israel’s leader urged France to turn its attention to tackling Iran’s “regional aggression”, saying he no longer needed to convince Paris to quit a 2015 nuclear deal between various world powers with Tehran as economic pressure would kill it anyway.


There is yet another item that has bubbled to the surface. Enter Barack Obama.

(AP) — The Obama administration secretly sought to give Iran access — albeit briefly — to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions kept in place after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite repeatedly telling Congress and the public it had no plans to do so.

An investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday sheds light on the delicate balance the Obama administration sought to strike after the deal, as it worked to ensure Iran received its promised benefits without playing into the hands of the deal’s opponents. Amid a tense political climate, Iran hawks in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere argued that the United States was giving far too much to Tehran and that the windfall would be used to fund extremism and other troubling Iranian activity.

The report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that under President Barack Obama, the Treasury Department issued a license in February 2016, never previously disclosed, that would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at a bank in Oman from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into U.S. dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system.

The effort was unsuccessful because American banks — themselves afraid of running afoul of U.S. sanctions — declined to participate. The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion, the report said, but both refused, citing the reputational risk of doing business with or for Iran.

“The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the subcommittee’s chairman.

Issuing the license was not illegal. Still, it went above and beyond what the Obama administration was required to do under the terms of the nuclear agreement. Under that deal, the U.S. and world powers gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program. Last month, President Donald Trump declared the U.S. was pulling out of what he described as a “disastrous deal.”

The license issued to Bank Muscat stood in stark contrast to repeated public statements from the Obama White House, the Treasury and the State Department, all of which denied that the administration was contemplating allowing Iran access to the U.S. financial system.

Shortly after the nuclear deal was sealed in July 2015, then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified that even with the sanctions relief, Iran “will continue to be denied access to the world’s largest financial and commercial market.” A month later, one of Lew’s top deputies, Adam Szubin, testified that despite the nuclear deal “Iran will be denied access to the world’s most important market and unable to deal in the world’s most important currency.”

Yet almost immediately after the sanctions relief took effect in January 2016, Iran began to complain that it wasn’t reaping the benefits it had envisioned. Iran argued that other sanctions — such as those linked to human rights, terrorism and missile development — were scaring off potential investors and banks who feared any business with Iran would lead to punishment. The global financial system is heavily intertwined with U.S. banks, making it nearly impossible to conduct many international transactions without touching New York in one way or another.

Former Obama administration officials declined to comment for the record.

However, they said the decision to grant the license had been made in line with the spirit of the deal, which included allowing Iran to regain access to foreign reserves that had been off-limits because of the sanctions. They said public comments made by the Obama administration at the time were intended to dispel incorrect reports about nonexistent proposals that would have gone much farther by letting Iran actually buy or sell things in dollars.

The former officials spoke on condition of anonymity because many are still involved in national security issues.

As the Obama administration pondered how to address Iran’s complaints in 2016, reports in The Associated Press and other media outlets revealed that the U.S. was considering additional sanctions relief, including issuing licenses that would allow Iran limited transactions in dollars. Democratic and Republican lawmakers argued against it throughout the late winter, spring and summer of 2016. They warned that unless Tehran was willing to give up more, the U.S. shouldn’t give Iran anything more than it already had.

At the time, the Obama administration downplayed those concerns while speaking in general terms about the need for the U.S. to live up to its part of the deal. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top aides fanned out across Europe, Asia and the Middle East trying to convince banks and businesses they could do business with Iran without violating sanctions and facing steep fines.

“Since Iran has kept its end of the deal, it is our responsibility to uphold ours, in both letter and spirit,” Lew said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in March 2016, without offering details.

That same week, the AP reported that the Treasury had prepared a draft of a license that would have given Iran much broader permission to convert its assets from foreign currencies into easier-to-spend currencies like euros, yen or rupees, by first exchanging them for dollars at offshore financial institutions.

The draft involved a general license, a blanket go-ahead that allows all transactions of a certain type, rather than a specific license like the one given to Oman’s Bank Muscat, which only covers specific transactions and institutions. The proposal would have allowed dollars to be used in currency exchanges provided that no Iranian banks, no Iranian rials and no sanctioned Iranian individuals or businesses were involved, and that the transaction did not begin or end in U.S. dollars.

Obama administration officials at the time assured concerned lawmakers that a general license wouldn’t be coming. But the report from the Republican members of the Senate panel showed that a draft of the license was indeed prepared, though it was never published.

And when questioned by lawmakers about the possibility of granting Iran any kind of access to the U.S. financial system, Obama-era officials never volunteered that the specific license for Bank Muscat in Oman had been issued two months earlier.

According to the report, Iran is believed to have found other ways to access its money, possibly by exchanging it in smaller quantities through another currency.

The situation resulted from the fact that Iran had stored billions in Omani rials, a currency that’s notoriously hard to convert. The U.S. dollar is the world’s dominant currency, so allowing it to be used as a conversion instrument for Iranian assets was the easiest and most efficient way to speed up Iran’s access to its own funds.

For example: If the Iranians want to sell oil to India, they would likely want to be paid in euros instead of rupees, so they could more easily use the proceeds to purchase European goods. That process commonly starts with the rupees being converted into dollars, just for a moment, before being converted once again into euros.

U.S. sanctions block Iran from exchanging the money on its own. And Asian and European banks are wary because U.S. regulators have levied billions of dollars in fines in recent years and threatened transgressors with a cutoff from the far more lucrative American market.


More Slime From The SWAMP

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Mitch McConnell cancels Senate’s traditional August recess

In a brief written statement, he said: “Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.” More here.

At least that is something right?

All of us are mad, no furious, with members of Congress. Imagine when some of those members are more angry than YOU at the system?

Leadership works with lobbyists and then leaks to the media. And then you think you have the whole story. Ah, not at all.

Just a teaser for Episode 3 is below.

In 2017, Congressman Ken Buck of Colorado wrote a book titled Drain The Swamp.

It is a great primer and a book that can be read in a day. What does go on behind closed doors in Congress? Yep, you will learn it fast. What about those committee assignments and chairmanships? Yep, they are bought. Have you considered discretionary spending? It is illegal. A large handful of congressional members are in fact on our side. Some are so disgusted they are leaving Congress.

Run out and buy the book:

Congressman Buck is hardly a rebel, but there are those colleagues that say he is. Yes, due to the weapon on the wall for which he was investigated a few years ago.

Remember that shooting at the ball field? Well, as an aside, prior to that these congressional members packed heat. Likely more are doing the same now.

Here are the members of the House Freedom Caucus who say they currently carry, or did as of 2013 (all are Republicans):

  • Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer
  • Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks
  • Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar
  • Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon
  • Arizona Rep. David Schweikert
  • Arizona Rep. Trent Franks
  • Colorado Rep. Ken Buck
  • Florida Rep. Ted Yoho
  • Florida Rep. Bill Posey
  • Indiana Rep. Marlin Stutzman
  • Louisiana Rep. John Fleming
  • Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan
  • South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan
  • South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney
  • Tennessee Rep. Scott Desjarlais
  • Texas Rep. Randy Weber
  • Virginia Rep. Dave Brat

Brooks said the Second Amendment is the “bedrock” of all other amendments, and the pro gun-control argument that the Second Amendment only applies to a militia-owning firearms is preposterous.

“The purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that the citizenry could protect itself from a dictatorial and out-of-control government,” Brooks told TheDCNF.

“It has long been a primary goal of kings, dictators, communists, fascists and the like to disarm the citizenry so that there is minimal risk of opposition to centralized government, dictating to the citizenry that is unarmed and defenseless, and unable to assert their rights,” he said. (some of them have already left congress)


Ep 2 | Everything Comes From the Top | The Swamp

"Leadership talks to lobbyists. Then the lobbyists leak to the media. We’re always the last to know what’s in a bill."

Posted by The Swamp on Thursday, May 10, 2018

Ep 1 | Meet the Troublemakers | The Swamp

They didn't run for Congress to serve other congressmen. They're uncensored, they're tough, and they're ready to shake things up … in The Swamp.

Posted by The Swamp on Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Life Is Stranger Than Fiction

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Life is stranger than fiction. Yesterday, the Trump administration asked OPEC to increase oil production by 1 million barrels to offset the lost production form Iran and Venezuela as well as capacity constraints in the US. According to Goldman, the current market is under-supplied by about 1 million barrels, thus suggesting a 2 million barrel shortfall is potentially expected.

Wow! Two months ago, many were postulating the glut will last into eternity.

Oil is a potential election issue and I believe crude over $75/barrel could be an issue in November.

Three months ago, many pundits were suggesting job creation was going to slow. According to yesterday’s JOLT survey, job openings are at an all-time high, vastly exceeding the consensus estimate.

The ISM Non-manufacturing Index – an index representing about 90% of the economy, was higher than expected, reaching a level last experienced in August 2005. The new order index surged to top the highest point since the July 1997 inception of this data point.

Input costs also rose more than expected, advancing to the second highest level since September 2012. Delivery times or potential measure of inflation is at the strongest reading since November 2005.

Inflation is defined as too much money chasing too few goods, fearing higher prices tomorrow. Thirty years ago, the above information would have sent oil prices surging and bond prices falling.

Yesterday, bond prices rose and oil prices were down for a large part of the trading session. The market is stuck on deflationary fears, the result of the environment of the last 10 years. Is this about to change?

Speaking about lack of change, the narrowness of the markets is continuing. The proverbial FAAMG stocks are dominating market performance. The combined values of these five companies are now an incredible $3.8 trillion, topping the GDP of Germany — the fourth largest global economy — and all of the companies in Japan’s Topix Index of stocks.

Value managers have abdicated and are utilizing Janusiam thinking to rationalize buying the FAAMG shares out of desperation for performance.

The only constant is change. Geopolitically, the changes are tectonic, changes that were not expected.

Market perceptions will again change, but the appropriate question is when?

Last night the foreign markets were up. London was up 0.40%, Paris was down 0.06% and Frankfurt was up 0.26%. China was up 0.03%, Japan was up 0.38% and Hang Sang was up 0.53%.

The Dow should open nominally higher as trade fears ebb. The 10-year is off 7/32 to yield 2.96%.