May 142019
 May 14, 2019  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pablo Picasso Napping 1932


AG Barr Appoints US Attorney To Investigate FBI/DOJ Spying On Trump (ZH)
Who Were the Mueller Report’s Hired Guns? (RCI)
US Accuses Iran Of Attack On Saudi Tankers (ZH)
Sweden Wants To Extradite Assange Over Rape Allegation (R.)
Lewinsky Scandal Beginning Of The End Of American Journalism – Taibbi (SHTF)
The CNN Search Engine? Google Favors Stories From Liberal News Sites (RT)
The Trend is Not Your Friend (Jim Kunstler)
US Police Raid Venezuelan Embassy To Evict Pro-Maduro Activists (RT)
Britain Risks Heading To US Levels Of Inequality – Angus Deaton (G.)
Theresa May Remains Opposed To Any Form Of Brexit Referendum (G.)
Uber & Lyft IPOs Turn into Colossal Flops (WS)
California Jury Awards Couple $2 Billion In Monsanto/Bayer Cancer Trial (RT)
Bayer Says Monsanto Likely Kept Files On Influential People Across Europe (R.)
German Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future (Spiegel)
415.26 Parts Per Million: CO2 Levels Hit Historic High (AFP)



To what extent can US intelligence take care of its own? We’re about to find out.

AG Barr Appoints US Attorney To Investigate FBI/DOJ Spying On Trump (ZH)

Attorney General William Barr has appointed US Attorney John H. Durham of Connecticut to examine the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation to determine if the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign was “lawful and appropriate,” according to Fox News. The move comes as the Trump administration has demanded answers over the use of “informants” on his 2016 campaign. According to Fox, Barr is “serious” and has assembled a team from the DOJ to participate in the probe, adding that Durham is known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor according to their source.

“Sources familiar with matter say the focus of the probe includes the pre-transition period – prior to Nov. 7, 2016 – including the use and initiation of informants, as well as potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses. An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try extracting any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia from George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, it emerged earlier this month. Papadopoulos told Fox News the informant tried to “seduce” him as part of the “bizarre” episode. Durham previously has investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office’s relationship with mobsters. He is set to continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut.” -Fox News

Of note – in January House Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows wrote to Durham, saying that they had “discovered” he was “investigating former FBI General Counsel James Baker” over unauthorized leaks to the media, adding “We know the DOJ and FBI departed from traditional investigative and prosecutorial practices, and insufficiently adhered to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Durham has a history of serving as a special prosecutor, investigating wrongdoing among national security officials – including the FBI’s ties to a Boston crime boss, as well as accusations of CIA detainee abuse. According to the report, Durham’s review would run in parallel with the ongoing DOJ probe by Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. Meanwhile, Republicans have been seeking answers from US Attorney for Utah, John Huber, who was appointed by former AG Jeff Sessions to review FBI and DOJ surveillance abuses, as well as authorities’ handling of the probe into the Clinton Foundation.

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Mueller and Steele. A fine pair. If Mueller really worked with Steele and Fusion GPS, he should be investigated, because he knew they were Hillary assets.

Who Were the Mueller Report’s Hired Guns? (RCI)

[..] The arrangement has led congressional investigators, government watchdog groups and others to speculate that the private investigators and researchers who worked for the special counsel’s office might have included Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS, the private research firm that hired Steele to produce the Russia collusion dossier for the Clinton campaign. U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the report should be renamed “The Mueller Dossier,” because he says it contains a lot of similar innuendo. Even though Mueller failed to corroborate key allegations leveled in the dossier, Nunes said his report twists key facts to put a collusion gloss on events.

He also asserted that it selectively quotes from Trump campaign emails and omits exculpatory information in ways that cast the campaign’s activities in the most sinister light. Steele’s 17-memo dossier alleged that the Trump campaign was involved in “a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor. It claimed this conspiracy “was managed on the Trump side by Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, who was using foreign policy adviser Carter Page and others as intermediaries.” Specifically, the dossier accused Page of secretly meeting with Kremlin officials in July 2016 to hatch a plot to release dirt on Hillary Clinton. And it accused Manafort of being corrupted by Russian President Vladimir Putin through his puppets in the Ukraine.

Likewise, Mueller’s report focuses on Manafort and Page and whether they “committed crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.” [..] Mueller’s team worked closely with dossier author Steele, a long-retired British intelligence officer who worked for the Clinton campaign. Mueller’s investigators went to London to consult with Steele for at least two days in September 2017 while apparently using his dossier as an investigative road map and central theory to his collusion case. Steele now runs a private research and consulting firm in London, Orbis Business Intelligence. It’s not clear if Mueller’s office paid Steele, but recently released FBI records show the bureau previously made a number of payments to him, and at one point during the 2016 campaign offered him $50,000 to continue his dossier research. Steele was also paid through the Clinton campaign, earning $168,000 for his work on the dossier.

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“Oh, and that would be the Persian Gulf for those wondering, not the Gulf of Tonkin..”

US Accuses Iran Of Attack On Saudi Tankers (ZH)

Update: Just as everyone with half a frontal lobe had expected, the WSJ reported late on Monday that according to an initial U.S. assessment, “Iran was likely behind the attack” on the two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and two other vessels damaged over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. official said, a finding that, whether confirmed or not, will certainly inflame military tensions in the Gulf and likely result in a global proxy war that drags in the US, China and Russia. Oh, and that would be the Persian Gulf for those wondering, not the Gulf of Tonkin, which is where another famous False Flag naval incident occurred. Furthermore, as we predicted would happen on Sunday, this “official assessment”, was the first suggestion by any nation that Iran was responsible for the attack and follows a series of U.S. warnings against “aggression” by Iran or its allies and proxies against military or commercial vessels in the region.

Some more details from the WSJ: “The U.S. official, who declined to be identified, didn’t offer details about what led to the assessment or its implications for a possible U.S. response. The U.S. has said in the past week that it was sending an aircraft carrier, an amphibious assault ship, a bomber task force and an antimissile system to the region after it alleged intelligence showed Iran posed a threat to its troops. “If they do anything, they will suffer greatly. We’ll see what happens with Iran,” President Trump said while meeting with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House earlier on Monday.”

The assessment, predictable from a mile away, squares perfectly with CIA veteran Mike Pompeo’s warning from just two days before the alleged attack, in which he said that “The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against US interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive US response,” the US Secretary of State wrote in a statement warning that Iran should not mistake US “restraint” for a “lack of resolve,” and criticizing Iran for “an escalating series of threatening actions and statements in recent weeks.”

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There was a preliminary investigation. The case was closed three times. The word “rape” never came up until propaganda started.

Sweden is a country full of very sick people. I haven’t seen even one raise their voice. Avoid Sweden. Don’t buy IKEA.

Sweden Wants To Extradite Assange Over Rape Allegation (R.)

Sweden reopened an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday and will seek to extradite him from Britain, a potential setback to efforts by the United States to put him on trial over a huge release of secret documents. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told a news conference in Stockholm she would continue a preliminary investigation that was dropped in 2017 without charges being brought after Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Assange, who denies the accusation, was arrested in Britain last month after spending seven years hiding inside the embassy.

The Swedish prosecutor said she would request Assange be detained in his absence on probable cause for an allegation of rape and that her office would issue a European arrest warrant – the start of the extradition process. The United States is also seeking to extradite him on conspiracy charges relating to the public release by Wikileaks of a cache of secret documents, including assessments of foreign leaders, wars and security matters. The British courts will have to rule on the two extradition requests, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid having the final say on which one takes precedence. “I am well aware of the fact that an extradition process is ongoing in the UK and that he could be extradited to the US,” Persson said.

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Yes, true. But is it all about anger? Or is the anger merely a substitute for identity and belonging?

Lewinsky Scandal Beginning Of The End Of American Journalism – Taibbi (SHTF)

In a new “On Contact” episode, host Chris Hedges and Taibbi dive into the roots of the decay of journalism in the United States, which preys on prejudices and fear while pitting people against each other and paving the way for demagogues. According to RT, Taibbi says this all started back when Bill Clinton was president. From Monica Lewinski to Hillary Clinton, the coverage of major news stories by the U.S. media has grown increasingly strident, with cable channels no longer trying to project a picture of objectivity but “selling a story that makes people angry,” Taibbi, an award-winning journalist, and author says. Taibbi says that the result of this journalistic decay and emotional fear mongering is a public addicted to hating each other.

Americans have become addicted to the news that agrees with their bias, and it was set up that way on purpose. The only thing anyone will hear when they turn on the news are stories specifically crafted to manufacture outrage, make you hate the other side, and fuel the addiction to anger. Taibbi is the author of Hate Inc: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another. “In this characteristically turbocharged new book, Matt Taibbi provides an insider’s guide to the variety of ways today’s mainstream media tells us lies. Part tirade, part confessional, it reveals that what most people think of as “the news” is, in fact, a twisted wing of the entertainment business. “Heading into a 2020 election season that promises to be a Great Giza Pyramid Complex of invective and digital ugliness, Hate Inc. will be an invaluable antidote to the hidden poisons dished up by those we rely on to tell us what is happening in the world.” –Hate Inc. description, Amazon

If video doesn’t show properly, please go to the Automatic Earth site

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“..CNN is stuck in a vicious cycle; criticized for focusing too much on negative Trump stories, yet not being able to stop for fear of losing more viewers.”

The moment CNN is labeled “left” is where insanity takes off.

The CNN Search Engine? Google Favors Stories From Liberal News Sites (RT)

Researchers from Northwestern University performed an “algorithm audit” of the ‘Google Top Stories’ box, which is a major driver of traffic to news publishers and therefore prime online real estate. They examined results for nearly 200 searches relating to news events for one month in late 2017 and found “a left-leaning ideological skew.” The researchers did allow some leeway for Google to defend itself, however, saying that while the left-leaning bias was detected, it is possible that the dominance of particular sources is a result of “successful strategic behavior” by those sources to achieve “algorithmic recognizability” — but whatever the reason, liberal sources still far eclipsed conservatives ones.

CNN, perhaps the outlet most-reviled by conservatives, was Google’s overall favorite source. Of the 6,302 articles appearing on Google’s ‘top stories’ during the month in focus, more than 10 percent came from CNN. The New York Times and Washington Post were up next, garnering 6.5 and 5.6 percent of the results, respectively. Fox News, the most mainstream right-wing outlet, was the source for only 3 percent of stories appearing in the top box. Then it was back to liberal outlets, with the BBC, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Politico and ABC News filling out the rest of the top 10. Overall, 62.4 percent of the most common sources were left-leaning, while only 11.3 perfect were said to be right-leaning.

Ironically, despite the heavy promotion from Google in the online realm, CNN’s overall audience declined by a colossal 26 percent in April compared to a year earlier — and network boss Jeff Zucker admitted last November that CNN’s audience just “goes away” any time the channel switches from its (overwhelmingly negative) coverage of President Donald Trump to other topics. So it seems CNN is stuck in a vicious cycle; criticized for focusing too much on negative Trump stories, yet not being able to stop for fear of losing more viewers. Perhaps an even more damning indictment than Google’s detected liberal bias, however, is that nearly all (86 percent) of the stories promoted by the search giant came from just 20 sources across the entire internet, which doesn’t exactly display much of a commitment to diversity of information and opinion.

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“All that, to paraphrase the immortal words of Mr. Dylan, balances like a mattress on a bottle of wine.”

The Trend is Not Your Friend (Jim Kunstler)

By the mid-1980s, the non-OPEC world was once again swimming in oil from the last great bonanzas of the oil age: The Alaska North Slope and the North Sea. Twenty years later, they were running down. Meanwhile, the USA had fecklessly “offshored” its factories in the mistaken belief that we had entered a shimmering new digital economy of virtual business were nobody had to make real stuff. China became the world’s workshop and the USA became the world’s financial bucket-shop, churning out endless swindles and frauds. The predictable result was the financial crisis of 2008, which coincided with oil prices rising to over $140-a-barrel (and six months later they crashed, with the economy, to under $30-a-barrel).

The “recovery” from that was based on Wall Street’s premier swindle: the shale oil “miracle,” based on high-risk lending to companies that couldn’t make a red cent even while accomplishing the majestic stunt of exceeding America’s old 1970 oil production peak of around 10 million barrels-a-day (now at around 12 million). Notice, too, that the final push to 12-million barrels occurred during the last two years: thus, Mr. Trump’s miracle economy. All that, to paraphrase the immortal words of Mr. Dylan, balances like a mattress on a bottle of wine.

The China-US trade impasse, if it stands for even a few months, will crash the US economy again and it will also crash the price of shale oil back to levels that destroy oil companies. You understand, of course, that the rise of shale oil was amazingly swift, ten years, and that its fall will be similarly fast and furious. The feds may have to either bail it out or nationalize the whole shootin’ match — and that will end up as just another rat-hole we pound sand into, along with our long-running campaign to build failed states overseas. Translation: not so good for the value of the US dollar.

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Sore losers.

US Police Raid Venezuelan Embassy To Evict Pro-Maduro Activists (RT)

Pro-Maduro activists occupying the Venezuelan embassy in Washington have refused to vacate the premises in defiance of a notice threatening them with arrest and police entering the building but stopping short of evicting everyone. “We are expecting the police to come in and violate the Vienna convention with their fictional government, nongovernment claiming that we should leave,” the Embassy Civilian Protection Collective said in a video message shortly before the police arrived at the doors of the diplomatic premises to the cheers of the pro-Guaido camp outside. At least four embassy ‘protectors’ have remained inside the building and could be seen through the windows – even after police entered and left, apparently stopping short of forcefully evicting everyone – for now.

Despite their resolve to defend the diplomatic mission from “illegal seizure” by Guaido-appointed US representative Carlos Vecchio, many of the activists have left the embassy – apparently tired of the siege and worried about the threat of arrest – after a notice, which was not signed by any US government agency, urged them to “depart immediately” from the building in which they have lived for the last 34 days. “The United States does not recognize the authority of the former Maduro regime or any of its former representatives to allow any individuals to lawfully enter, remain on this property, or take any action with respect to this property,” a notice taped to the door of the building earlier in the day read.

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The Guardian tries to make this about the finance sector. It is not.

Britain Risks Heading To US Levels Of Inequality – Angus Deaton (G.)

Rising inequality in Britain risks putting the country on the same path as the US to become one of the most unequal nations on earth, according to a Nobel-prize winning economist. Sir Angus Deaton is leading a landmark review of inequality in the UK amid fears that the country is at a tipping point due to a decade of stagnant pay growth for British workers. The Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank, which is working with Deaton on the study, said the British-born economist would “point to the risk of the UK following the US” which has extreme inequality levels in pay, wealth and health. Speaking to the Guardian at the launch of the study, he said: “There’s a real question about whether democratic capitalism is working, when it’s only working for part of the population.

“There are things where Britain is still doing a lot better [than the US]. What we have to do is to make sure the UK is inoculated from some of the horrors that have happened in the US.” His warning comes as analysis from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) showed that real wages in the finance sector had outstripped average salaries in the UK over the decade since the financial crisis. Earnings after inflation in the finance sector have grown by as much as £120 a week on average, compared with the average British worker still being about £17 a week worse off after taking account of rising living costs over the past decade. Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: “It’s not right that pay is racing ahead in the City when most working people are still worse off than a decade ago.”

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Who cares anymore? Wait till she loses bigly in the EU elections in two weeks. Then nobody will care.

Theresa May Remains Opposed To Any Form Of Brexit Referendum (G.)

Downing Street has said the prime minister remains opposed to any form of referendum being attached to a Brexit deal, as the government prepares to enter its seventh week of talks with Labour to find a compromise. The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, and the deputy Labour leader, Tom Watson, have said a deal is unlikely to pass without a referendum as part of the package, with up to 150 of the party’s MPs prepared to vote against an agreement without one. Key figures from both sides including Starmer, John McDonnell and Rebecca Long-Bailey, as well as the chancellor, Philip Hammond, Theresa May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, and the environment secretary, Michael Gove, are set to meet again on Monday afternoon.

Downing Street said May had made clear her views about a second public vote: “She has said on many occasions that she is focused on delivering the result of the first referendum.” May’s spokesman declined to put a deadline on the talks but said the government was prepared to move on to a series of indicative votes in parliament if no resolution was possible. “If we were able to make progress with Labour then we would look to bring the bill before the House of Commons before the European elections,” he said. Both Labour and government sources have suggested the two sides will need to take stock on the likely progress of the talks this week, and the effectiveness of continuing discussions is likely to be discussed at cabinet on Tuesday morning.

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Scams “R” Us.

Uber & Lyft IPOs Turn into Colossal Flops (WS)

The Nasdaq composite dropped 3.4% today. In the six trading days since its peak on May 3 (8,164), it has dropped 6.3%, after a historic surge of 32% from December 24 through May 3. I mean, what did you expect? The index is now back where it had first been on June 6, 2018. Uber, which had sold its China operations and is no longer significantly tangled up in the US-China trade war, is morphing from the biggest, most hyped tech IPO in recent memory into the most colossal flop in recent memory. Shares plunged nearly 11% today to $37.10 a share. This left shares down 17.6% from its IPO price of $45, at which Uber had extracted another $8.1 billion from gullible investors. Prior investors are even deeper in the hole.

Uber extracted nearly $7 billion from institutional investors between December 2015 and February 2017 by selling them 140 million shares at $48.77 a share, over half of them to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and these folks are now down nearly 24%. Shares of Softbank, which also holds a large stake in Uber, fell 5.5% today. Lyft dropped another 5.7% today, to a new closing low of $48.15. Lyft had been the trailblazer this year for the hottest most hyped IPOs. On March 28, Lyft priced the IPO shares at $72 and extracted at this price about $2.3 billion in new money from IPO investors. On March 29, the first day of trading, it took hours of machinations before shares finally started trading, with a heavily mediatized “pop” of 21%, at $87.24. Then, Lyft shares plunged 10% in 4 Hours from “pop” to close. Today, shares were down 45% from the pop.

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At what point are Bayer shareholders going to protest?

California Jury Awards Couple $2 Billion In Monsanto/Bayer Cancer Trial (RT)

A US jury has awarded $2 billion in punitive damages to a California couple after concluding that Roundup weed killer caused their cancer and that Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, failed to warn them of the chemical’s health risks. Glyphosate, the signature ingredient in Roundup, was found by jury in Alameda County Superior Court to be the cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in both Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore. The couple has used the herbicide since the 1970s. In their ruling on Monday, the jury noted that American agrochemical giant Monsanto (now owned by Germany’s Bayer AG) failed to properly warn Roundup users about potential detrimental effects to their health.

Pointing out deliberate negligence by the company, the jury went on to award $18 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages to Alva Pilliod. His wife Alberta was awarded another $37 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages. The ruling marks the third time since August 2018 that a US jury has found glyphosate to be a cause of cancer. Thousands of lawsuits with similar claims have been filed against Monsanto, which was acquired by the German pharmaceutical giant last June.

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Bayer trying to clear its name. And the press just prints it, no questions asked.

Bayer Says Monsanto Likely Kept Files On Influential People Across Europe |(R.)

Bayer said on Monday its Monsanto unit, which is being investigated by French prosecutors for compiling files of influential people such as journalists in France, likely did the same across Europe, suggesting a potentially wider problem. French prosecutors said on Friday they had opened an inquiry after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging that Monsanto – acquired by Bayer for $63 billion last year – had kept a file of 200 names, including journalists and lawmakers in hopes of influencing positions on pesticides. On Sunday, Bayer acknowledged the existence of the files, saying it does not believe any laws were broken but that it will ask an external law firm to investigate.

“It’s safe to say that other countries in Europe were affected by lists … I assume that all EU member states could potentially be affected,” Matthias Berninger, Bayer’s head of public affairs and sustainability, told journalists on Monday. While he did not say there had any illegal activity and added it was up to the external law firm to evaluate the conduct, Berninger said there were signs Monsanto had not played fairly in the use of private data. “There have been a number of cases where – as they would say in football – not the ball was played but the man, or woman, was tackled,” Berninger, who joined Bayer in January, said on a conference call.

Bayer said in its initial statement on Sunday that “Currently, we have no indication that the preparation of the lists under discussion violated any legal provisions.” It added, “Bayer will ask an external law firm to investigate the project Monsanto commissioned and evaluate the allegations. The law firm will also inform all of the persons on the lists of the information collected about them”.

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The point of my article last week was that renewables don’t scale up the way people are told to believe. Not in Germany and not elsewhere.

German Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future (Spiegel)

The German government made a key mistake when it announced the end of the nuclear era in Germany eight years ago: It announced it was turning away from nuclear power, without simultaneously initiating the end of coal. Wind turbines and solar panels were installed across the country — but the coal-fired power plants kept operating. The government set up a clean energy system alongside the dirty one. But why? Because Berlin was afraid of do anything that might harm a single company or voter. Germany has never come up with a clear strategy for the shift to renewables, fully thought out from the beginning to end. There have always been two competing concepts of the Energiewende, even before Merkel.

Politicians like former Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin, a Green Party politician who was part of the cabinet of the center-left Social Democratic (SPD) Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, were in favor of a radical shift, no matter what the cost. Others, like the SPD Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his successor Peter Altmaier, from Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), were more concerned about German industry and job numbers. Neither side trusted the other and a stalemate ensued. Progress halted. This helps explain why the government never dared set up an Energy Ministry that might have had the ability to move things forward, and instead divided up the project among the Chancellery, the Environment Ministry and the Economics Ministry.

It is an unholy trinity that has continually followed the same pattern: The Environment Ministry surges ahead, the Economics Ministry warns of dramatic job losses and the Chancellery avoids making a decision. The expansion of Germany’s electrical grid has suffered the most from this lack of political impetus. More than a decade ago, the German government passed a resolution to quickly build the necessary high-voltage transmission lines, with experts today saying there is a need for 7,700 kilometers (4,800 miles) of such lines. But only 950 have been built. And in 2017, only 30 kilometers of lines were built across the whole country. In Berlin, one can hear the wry observation that 30 kilometers is roughly the distance that a snail can travel in a year.

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“..the increase is increasing at an increasing rate!”

415.26 Parts Per Million: CO2 Levels Hit Historic High (AFP)

Scientists in the United States have detected the highest levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere since records began, sounding new alarm over the relentless rise of man-made greenhouse gas emissions..26 The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which has tracked atmospheric CO2 levels since the late 1950s, on Saturday morning detected 415.26 parts per million (ppm). It was also the first time on record that the observatory measured a daily baseline above 415 ppm. The last time Earth’s atmosphere contained this much CO2 was more than three million years ago, when global sea levels were several metres higher and parts of Antarctica were blanketed in forest.

“It shows that we are not on track with protecting the climate at all. The number keeps rising and it’s getting higher year after year,” Wolfgang Lucht, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), told AFP. “This number needs to stabilise.” But far from stabilising, levels of CO2 – one of a trinity of greenhouse gases produced when fossil fuels are burnt – are climbing ever more rapidly. Ralph Keeling, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s CO2 Programme, said the trend would probably continue throughout 2019 – likely to be an El Nino year in which temperatures rise due to warmer ocean currents. “The average growth rate is remaining on the high end. The increase from last year will probably be around three parts per million whereas the recent average has been 2.5 ppm,” he said. “Likely we’re seeing the effect of mild El Nino conditions on top of ongoing fossil fuel use.”

[..] “I’m old enough to remember when passing 400ppm was a big deal,” Gernot Wagner, a research associate at Harvard University, said on Twitter. “Two years ago we hit 410ppm for the first time. By now, it’s 415ppm. And oh, the increase is increasing at an increasing rate!”

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 14 2019


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    Pablo Picasso Napping 1932   • AG Barr Appoints US Attorney To Investigate FBI/DOJ Spying On Trump (ZH) • Who Were the Mueller Report’s Hired Gun
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 14 2019]


    V. Arnold

    Pablo Picasso Napping 1932
    Nice painting; nice boobs; the rest? Like a broken rcord.The rest, to be clear, is only referring to the MSM and their pathetic narrative…


    John Day
    ​More details from the Great-Negotiator​’s leaked “Deal of the Century”: Thanks Eleni.
    ​ ​In addition to the Trump administration’s apparent game plan to force Palestinian compliance with the so-called “Deal of the Century,” the plan also calls for the creation of a demilitarized state of “New Palestine” that would be incredibly small, as the document calls for the Israeli annexation of the entirety of the Jordan Valley (around 30 percent of the West Bank) and the annexation of all illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which now cover well over half of what international law maintains is Palestinian territory.
    ​ ​This “new” state would be showered in aid from several countries, including the Gulf monarchies, European nations and the United States, allegedly amounting to $30 billion over the next five years. Most of the funding, according to the plan, will come from oil-producing Gulf states like Saudi Arabia. It is unclear whether “New Palestine” would be considered a sovereign state and whether it would be allowed to apply for full membership in the United Nations.
    ​ ​While the plan would allow “New Palestine” access to Jerusalem as a shared, undivided capital with Israel, Palestinians would be responsible for paying the state of Israel for their security because it would be forbidden from having its own army. In other words, Palestinians would be forced to pay the Israel Defense Force (IDF), the military force that has occupied the West Bank for over 50 years, to “protect” them despite the fact the Palestinians are regularly extrajudicially murdered by IDF soldiers. However, the apparent “concession” offered by the Trump administration in this regard would be allowing the “New Palestine” to maintain a police force with “light weaponry.”

    Trump’s “Deal of the Century” Will Use Sanctions, Military Threats to Force Palestinian Acceptance

    ​Turkey is in the crosshairs of Kushner Plan for Greater Israel: Thanks for this and the next one, Eleni.

    Washington has recently vowed to cut off both Iranian exports and any and all Syrian imports of crude by force. “Analysts have widely predicted that Iran will step up efforts to smuggle oil into Syria and neighboring Iraq as the U.S. makes it more difficult for Tehran to ship oil to its few remaining customers, including China, India and Turkey,” the CNBC report found.
    It appears Iran’s latest Syria crude delivery was accomplished by “ghosting” – which involves tankers switching off their transponders.

    ​ ​The U.S. military and their allies from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) opened fire on a Syrian government ferry that was attempting to transport oil in the Euphrates River Valley.
    ​ ​According to the pro-SDF Deir Ezzor Media Center page on Facebook, the U.S. Coalition forces fired shots at the Syrian government ferry as it was traveling down the Euphrates River.
    ​ ​The U.S. has been preventing Syria from transporting oil from neighboring countries like Iraq because of the Trump administration’s ongoing sanctions against the government in Damascus.
    ​ ​Syria is experiencing a nationwide fuel crisis as a result of these sanctions; it has forced the government to ration of fuel to civilians in order to maintain their current supply.

    Who potentially benefits from secretive attacks on 2 Saudi oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz?
    Just askin’… Nobody I know.

    An American military team assessing blasts that damaged four commercial ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sunday has blamed Iran or Iranian-backed proxies using explosive charges, a source told Fox News on Monday evening.
    Each ship had a 5-to-10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. A Norwegian-flagged vessel, two Saudi oil tankers and a bunkering tanker flagged in Sharjah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates, all suffered similar damage Sunday.


    Dr. D

    “Who Were the Mueller Report’s Hired Guns? (RCI)”

    Going back years, and years and years, this story made no sense. Jimmy Dore asks, “Okay, so Russia wants to hack the election. WTF do they need Trump for? He’d just screw it up! You’d do it and NOT tell him.” Next, Ukraine. Great! Ukraine is the ENEMY of Russia right now. So NOT(?) Putin? Carter Page was an FBI informant, if I remember correctly; if they don’t know what he’s been doing over the years it’s Mueller (former director) that needs to be arrested. Same with Mifsud. Supposedly Russian agent and contact, TRAINER OF FBI in the Mediterranean, Italy says. So either he IS Russian, and Mueller is a Russian asset because he didn’t arrest the top, #1, deep-level Russian mole, OR Mifsud works for the FBI, Comey, McCabe and the boys, and it’s the biggest, top, #1 story that the FBI was unseating an elected President. …Oh and that Mueller didn’t arrest him for THAT. It can only be one way or the other; either he’s a Russian agent or he’s not.
    “Russian contacts” that happened multiple times were like being photographed at the same dinner party as a Russian, or cases where someone (like Mifsud) called the Trump campaign on the phone (like Popodopolis) and Trump said “no.” “Contact”, doncha know. Because, if there was any evidence, WHY ISN’T IT IN THE REPORT? WHY ISN’T TRUMP BEING CHARGED? Nevermind – logic. We no do that anymore.

    Meanwhile MI6 is openly rigging the election, openly paying for it, openly using their assets and 5 eyes to rig the election, it’s all reported in the NYTimes, and that’s okay. Because election rigging is not equal opportunity, apparently: it’s only okay if my guy gets in. So, as I’ve said, obviously Trump needs to wiretap all 22 DNC candidates two layers deep, plant money and honey-pot them, because that’s what we do now. Totally legal! Ask James and Andy! Democracy is when the FBI and CIA pick our leaders.

    “US Accuses Iran of Attack on Saudi Tankers (ZH)”

    Let’s say it IS Iran, as a warning. WHO in Iran, exactly? The legit parliament right up through Rouhani? Or their ‘CIA’ islanded and outside of civilian control inside the Revolutionary Guard? Their “Iran” is no more cohesive than the “U.S.” does things. Some do, some don’t. Some things have been approved, some haven’t. And sometimes those overreaches are discovered and prosecuted, but mostly not. So WHO is he talking to? WHO is doing the sabotage here? Why not Saudi themselves? Why not the CIA to get a war going that gets everyone off their back? Why not MI6 or Germany for reasons we don’t know? Why not Exxon and Morgan to raise prices before Fracking debt takes down the U.S.? Be careful.

    “Sweden Wants to Extradite Assange Over Rape Allegation (R.)”

    So they want to investigate rape past the statute of limitations, on behalf of someone who doesn’t want to press charges, and who openly says it was consensual? Sounds legit. “Habeas Corpus.” Meaning, “Produce the Body.” Whoever has his testimony can convict the Deep State of treason. Which is why the Media wants Assange to hang, because they, the media, were participating and promoting, for money, fame, and blackmail.

    “Lewinsky Scandal Beginning of the End of American Journalism – Taibbi (SHTF)”

    I disagree with Taibbi. The media dutifully refused to report Lewinski, although everyone in D.C. knew all about it and so many others. …The very first thing ever reported about Bill was his philandering, and quite probably raping girls in Arkansas and using the S.P. to cover it up, which is why he’d never be President. Drudge, of this new “Internet” (a series of connecting tubes), wasn’t “IN” the media, and DID report it. Why? Because it’s a gol-darned story! Crickey! How little things change.

    So then, just like now, he caught and discredited journalists as propagandists, and they had to follow up and report. But this was just reflecting the difference of Tipper and the Gipper shouting across Congress, then afterwards sitting down in the White House after 5pm and talking out real compromises. Instead, with a new “our side right or wrong” and “we’ll use our power in government to attack all our opponents/enemies”, the media got their orders – as we just established they do whatever they’re told – and ran the political hay-making, just as the partys’ planners asked them to. So then you have the OPPOSITE, because it’s not really a story. His sex life is not germane to the Presidency unless he’s sleeping with foreign agents. But they use it to puff up pressure of REAL stuff they won’t put into public. …Which makes it partisan propaganda NOT reporting all over again. Things like the WTO and handing Scandia Lab’s project book to China. You know, real stories like that, which we now have to fight today, when they’re 50x worse, 30 years later.

    Journalism? Brian “Beautiful Bombs” Williams, “Live from the Moon” for decades. Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America”, was top dog when this quote was said, “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years……It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.”

    Yeah, just like that “spotless” FBI under J Edgar, wiretapping peaceniks and telling MLK to kill himself. …How quickly we forget it was all a sham, a con, all the way back. “Journalism” was any good before 1996. Please.

    “The moment CNN is labeled “left” is where insanity takes off.”

    Or that Fox is “Right”, owned by very-left UK/AUS Murdoch, and now his even-more Left kids. There are only two classes: the insiders and the outsiders. The rest is just WWE. The “Left” had 100% of the Wrestlemania in the U.S. covered, so Murdoch picked up the phony “Right” for views, steering them wherever he wanted. Like into the wars they all agreed on then and agree on today.

    “There’s a real question about whether democratic capitalism socialism is working,”

    Fixed it. Because what would you have when the government is united with and working on behalf of the oligarchs and corporations? Capitalism? No, that requires free markets and bankruptcy. The joining of the two is either Fascism or Socialism, but they’re really the same, as in the “National SOCIALIST Worker’s Party”. As Goebbels said, “the difference between Communism and the Hitler faith is very slight.” — Viz, one was ‘National’ and one was ‘International’. But sure, let’s give the government MORE power. Surely unlike the last 100 years, they won’t use that power to rob the poor and help their rich friends, right? More government equals more income disparity. Check history.

    “The more restrictions and prohibitions there are,
    The poorer the people will be.
    The more sharp weapons people have in a country,
    The bigger the disorder will be.
    The more laws and commands there are,
    The more thieves and robbers there will be.

    Therefore the sage says:
    I do not act, And people become reformed by themselves.
    I am at peace, And people become fair by themselves.
    I do not interfere, And people become rich by themselves.”
    –Tao Te Ching

    “415.26 Parts Per Million: CO2 Levels Hit Historic High (AFP)”

    Just like clockwork. Long before cars. Why?



    Unlike Vaccines, PFAS Affect Us All, Especially Men

    Chemicals in air water food fabric pharma hygiene and container products are turning all male fish, frog, bird and mammal into females. 

    Petro Pharma Chemicals (PPCs) are also shrinking male dicks.

    PPCs will make 90% of North American and European men infertile by 2050.

    Two types of PPCs are PFAS and PFOS, there are thousands of different kinds of them.

    PFAS are called Forever Chemicals and will last longer than many rocks.

    PFAS show up in 99% of North America’s blood.

    Unlike vaccines, PFAS affect us all.

    PFAS concentrate and accumulate up the food chain and towards the north.

    They affect all vertebrate species and people in North America and Europe.

    do not click



    ” PFAS – Chemicals in air water food fabric pharma hygiene and container products are turning all male fish, frog, bird and mammal into females.”

    And the winners are

    Right to life or right to choice
    Functioning males
    sex toys
    Whites, brown, black, or yellow
    Poor, middle class, or rich
    Sperm banks
    Gaia – the ancestral mother of all life
    Strange attractor




    Climate ‘scientists’ insist on only using data gathered ‘since records began’, about 150 years in the UK and about 100 years for most of the world. Much less for arctic ice and CO2 levels.

    The Earth is 4.5 billion years old, can’t science give us more data? Yes of course, but it is the ‘wrong data’ and is ignored. For example ice and sediment cores show there have been three previous warm periods in just the last 3 thousand years, the Bronze, Roman and Mediaeval.

    Each was warmer than today, in fact the Bronze was warmer than the Roman, which was warmer than the Mediaeval, which was warmer than today! These cores also show the relationship between CO2 and temperature : CO2 levels move in step with the global temperature 600 years previously! CO2 is a ‘lagging indicater’, not a cause. Science also shows CO2 levels are at historical lows – it has been as much as seven times higher in the past.

    There was an interesting graph published in New Scientist showing a temperature reconstruction of the Earth for the past 4 billion years. For over 50% of the time it showed the Earth as being several degrees warmer than today! I think 2018 was declared the fourth warmest year ‘on record’, but was more like the 2.7 billionth warmest year on Earth! What was interesting was that there seemed to be an upper limit for global temperature, which suggests there is some feedback mechanism to stop temperatures going beyond a certain point.

    ‘Records’ began soon after the Little Ice Age, so it is not surprising that global temperatures increased. For those ‘scientists’ who ARE surprised it is the same as recording temperatures in February and panicking by June because you ‘know’ that in six months time the Earth will be too hot for life.

    After global warming stopped in 1998 a new man-made disaster had to be invented : Climate Change. It is like a fortune teller saying something bad will happen, but they can’t say what or when. When something bad happens they exclaim ‘AHA, told you!…and it’s YOUR fault’.

    I haven’t followed this for a few years. The last thing I read was that they were concerned people regarded ‘Climate Change’ as just being ‘bad weather’ so they needed yet another ‘man-made’ disaster – a computer model to ‘predict’ species extinction. Now they ‘predict’ one MEEELLION species are heading for extinction. Very suspicious!



    Don’t buy IKEA.

    Sounds like good advice. Of course, you are leaving yourself open to anti-Sweditic slurs.


    Dr. D

    Ugh. Palestine deal. The worst.

    But this is what happens when you ignore war crimes for 40 years, don’t enforce any U.N. resolutions. …Now the Palestinians have no power, no land, and no bargaining leverage. They’re stamping a done deal, fait accompli, but I wouldn’t stamp it.



    This from the actual Northwestern Study (not RT).

    “Is there simply more news produced on the left? It appears so. We confirmed this by searching the GDELT database of news articles for the same queries we used to audit Google. In GDELT there were 2.2 times as many articles from left-leaning sources as right-leaning sources. But in Google Top Stories that ratio was 3.2, indicating that the curation algorithm was slightly magnifying the left-leaning skew in comparison to the GDELT baseline.”

    “Another aspect of Google’s news curation is the timeliness of articles selected. Just how quickly does Google churn through news content? Since the Top Stories box provides the approximate age of each article (e.g. “2 hours ago”), we were able to tabulate the recency of articles. What we found is that 83.5 percent of articles were less than 24 hours old and 13.1 percent were less than an hour old. What this means is that organizations that can generate fresh copy may be more apt to have that material selected by the curation algorithm.”

    Once again RT takes information and twists it into the paradigm it wants to impress upon as many people as it can. How is it that Russian media, Fox news, and the GOP are so closely aligned conceptually? Rather strange to me, at least from an historical perspective.



    The USA has only democratic friends.
    Dictators not allowed
    Military ruler not allowed
    Corrupt gov. not allowed
    Execution by beheading political enemies are not allowed

    Only YES gov. will be tolerated and not be subjected to sieges.

    Cuba, Venezuela, are not the right kind of democracy

    China and Russia are in a special class.

    Israel and Palestine are the USA proxy in the middle east



    Dr. D wrote, “Or that Fox is “Right”, owned by very-left UK/AUS Murdoch, and now his even-more Left kids.”

    Very left??? To me an exceedingly odd point of view. The view in Australia is that Murdoch, his media empire and his kids are Hard Right who enthusiastically support the outgoing neocon / neoliberal federal government, to the extent that some people wonder where the government ends and News Corp begins.

    Never Left. Unless the US has some strange new definition of the meaning of “Left.”



    Fox News may be sinister, but it’s not left wing.

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