Sep 262019
 September 26, 2019  Posted by at 9:28 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Paul Gauguin By the stream, autumn 1885


House To Grill Trump Intel Chief About Whistleblower Report (R.)
House Backs Release Of Trump Whistleblower Complaint 421-0 (R.)
Biden Campaign Blasts Republican Request For Classified VP Documents (Pol.)
Fury And Mistrust As The Brexit Pressure Cooker Blows Its Top (Sky)
Financial System Disappearing into Black Hole – Egon von Greyerz (USAW)
How Employees & Employers Get Bled by Health Insurance (WS)
The Disaster of Negative Interest Rates (Brown)
New Weapons for the ECB (Varoufakis)
Boeing Settles First Lion Air Lawsuits For At Least $1.2 Million Apiece (R.)
Beijing Vows To Retaliate After US Hong Kong Human Rights Bill Approved (SCMP)
Salisbury Attack Novichok Bottle Was Not Recovered For 4 Months (Ind.)



It’s time for a lot of people to take a lot of very deep breaths and count to ten a million times. The UK is imploding on rhetoric, and in the US people convince themselves they see diametrically opposed things in the exact same material, much of which they‘ve never even read or watched.

There is such a thing as the future of your country and your (grand-)children that must also be considered, guys and gals. You will all have to live together.

House To Grill Trump Intel Chief About Whistleblower Report (R.)

President Donald Trump’s top intelligence official will be grilled by U.S. lawmakers on Thursday over the administration’s handling of a whistleblower report central to an impeachment inquiry into the president. The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, will testify to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee after refusing to share the complaint with Congress, despite a law requiring that it be sent to lawmakers after an inspector general’s determination that it was urgent and credible. Maguire has been in his position for less than two months.

While the formal impeachment inquiry announced on Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is led by Democrats, some of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined them in calling on the administration to send the report to Congress. Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees were allowed to see the complaint on Wednesday. “Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons to say there’s no there there when there’s obviously lots that’s very troubling there,” Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said after reading the document.

Read more …

We agree then.

House Backs Release Of Trump Whistleblower Complaint 421-0 (R.)

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 421-0 on Wednesday for a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to release a whistleblower complaint to Congress, despite the administration letting them view the classified document at secure locations in the U.S. Capitol. Two House members voted present and 10 did not vote. The document is central to the impeachment inquiry into the Republican president announced on Tuesday by the Democratic House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, after reports that Trump had tried to put pressure on Ukraine’s president to help smear a political rival.

The Senate passed a similar resolution by unanimous voice vote on Tuesday. Republicans joined Democrats in backing the release of the document, after many lawmakers argued that Trump’s associates were defying a law calling for whistleblower complaints to be sent to Congress if they are found to be credible.

Read more …

Doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.

Biden Campaign Blasts Republican Request For Classified VP Documents (Pol.)

The Biden campaign slammed the Republican National Committee on Tuesday night for urging former Vice President Joe Biden to release the transcripts of his calls with Ukrainian and Chinese leaders, saying it would not be legal or even physically possible for Biden to do that. “Imagine our disbelief that Republicans called for Joe Biden to break the law and release classified transcripts he doesn’t have access to or permission to release, given their track record for holding politicians who commit crimes accountable and their general ethical and moral conduct across the board,” Biden spokesman TJ Ducklo said in a statement provided exclusively to POLITICO.

On Tuesday afternoon, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel called for Biden to release the transcripts of his calls during his years as VP “while his son was conducting shady business deals in those countries.” There’s no indication that Hunter Biden did anything illegal in his business dealings in Ukraine. “With their newfound sense of transparency, will they also ask President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, something he promised to do nearly four years ago?” Ducklo added.

Read more …

What kind of country will it be, whatever happens?

Fury And Mistrust As The Brexit Pressure Cooker Blows Its Top (Sky)

Brexit has been a pressure cooker for our government, our parliament, our political parties, our MPs and for all of us too – and finally the tensions really erupted. Back in business after the Supreme Court ruled the government’s decision to suspend parliament was unlawful and therefore void, the whole place was absolutely furious from the moment Geoffrey Cox took to the dispatch box at 11.30am to the close of play nearly 12 hours later. The attorney general, the prime minister’s warm up act, he quickly set the tone. Yes this was a government which had been admonished by the Supreme Court for proroguing parliament unlawfully. But there would be no apologies, contrition or regret.

Instead the government’s top legal brain unleashed an unfettered attack on parliament, working himself into a frenzy as he raged against the “spineless” Labour frontbench and “cowardly” MPs for refusing to grant the prime minister an election. “This parliament is a disgrace,” he boomed to the jeering of opposition MPs. “This parliament is a dead parliament. It should no longer sit, It has no moral right to sit on these green benches.” He charged on: “The time is coming when even these turkeys won’t be able to prevent Christmas!” MPs raged. Labour’s Barry Sheerman shaking in anger as he accused the attorney general of having “no shame all”. “To come here with his barrister’s bluster to obsfucate the truth – a man like him, a party like this and a leader like this to talk about morals and morality. It’s a disgrace.”

With the stage set, Mr Johnson was straight into character as he arrived in the parliament, unrepentant and indignant as he tried to goad his opponents into tabling a motion of no-confidence in the government. The people versus the parliament election, Mr Johnson cast himself as the prime minister trying to deliver on the biggest popular vote in history while ‘the establishment’ – be it the parliament or the courts – block his path. The language provocative and incendiary as he sought to portray his political rivals as anti-democratic and treacherous. Parliament was “refusing to deliver on the priorities of the people” while Jeremy Corbyn and his cronies “do not trust the people. They are determined to throw out the referendum result, whatever the cost.””We will not betray the people who sent us here,” he bellowed as MPs erupted in fury.

Complaints that his inflammatory words were being cited in death threats were dismissed as “humbug”. When he told MPs that the “best way” to honour Jo Cox, who was murdered in the 2016 referendum, was to “get Brexit done”, the chamber moved past boiling point and into complete meltdown. Some MPs walked out of the chamber in protest. Others left in tears.

Read more …

“The balance sheet . . . of the Fed is going to go from around $4 trillion to $40 trillion. It is going to go to $100 trillion before this is over.”

Financial System Disappearing into Black Hole – Egon von Greyerz (USAW)

Europe is starting QE again with $20 billion a month, but that’s nothing compared to what is coming. . . . The panic that started with central banks in the summer in late July and August was, to me, the first step towards total chaos in the world that we will be seeing in the months and years to come. They (central bankers) see it clearly. They know the banking system is absolutely on the verge of collapse. They know Deutsche Bank (DB) and CommerzBank, too, are down 95%. If you show this chart to a child and ask where is that likely to go, it is likely to go to zero. DB, with their $50 trillion in derivatives, there is no chance they will survive. Of course, Germany and the ECB is panicking because that will affect the whole banking system worldwide.

This is why they have started to print money now because there is a massive liquidity problem, and that’s Germany, which is the best country in the EU from the point of economics. Then you take Italy, Spain, France and Greece and they are in a real mess. This is why the whole system is on the verge of disappearing into a black hole. . . . With the U.S., there is massive liquidity pressure there too.” The massive amount of money printing to keep the fiat system afloat is just starting. EvG contends, “This is just a practice round. This is just more money at this point. The balance sheet . . . of the Fed is going to go from around $4 trillion to $40 trillion. It is going to go to $100 trillion before this is over.

All of these bubble assets that are based on just credit and credit expansion are going to implode measured in real terms, measured in gold. I expect the stock market and the property market to lose at least 95% or more in real terms. . . . The next up cycle for gold (and silver) has started. The next phase of this market has started, and it is going to go on for a long, long time. It is going to go to levels that will be hard to believe today.

Read more …

People suffer and die.

How Employees & Employers Get Bled by Health Insurance (WS)

The annual cost of the average health insurance family plan through employers — employer and employee contributions combined – rose another 4.9% in 2019, to $20,576. This is up 255% from 20 years ago, having soared five times faster than the Consumer Price Index (+52%). Employees paid about 29% of the premium for family coverage ($6,015 annually, red portion) and employers paid about 71% ($14,561 annually, blue portion). Over the past 20 years, the employee contribution has increased by 290%. These are among the findings of the annual survey of over 2,000 companies, both small (3-199 employees) and large (200+ employees), including non-federal public employers, by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

Employers and employees both are groaning under the relentlessly ballooning weight of health insurance costs. And the numbers are large: 153 million Americans are covered by employer sponsored health insurance. At companies with few lower-wage workers, the employee contribution for family coverage was on average $5,968 annually. But at companies with many lower-wage workers, the employee portion for family coverage was $7,047 annually. “The single biggest issue in health care for most Americans is that their health costs are growing much faster than their wages are,” KFF CEO Drew Altman said. “Costs are prohibitive when workers making $25,000 a year have to shell out $7,000 a year just for their share of family premiums.”

Many lower-wage workers cannot afford the contributions and forego the health insurance even if their companies offer it. As a result, at companies with many lower-wage workers, only 33% of the workers are covered by the employer’s health insurance, compared to 63% at the other companies. For single coverage of the employee only, the annual cost of the average health insurance premium — employer and employee contributions combined — rose 4.2% in 2019, to $7,188, with the employee paying 17% or $1,242 (up from 14% in 1999) and the employer paying 83% or $5,946 (down from 86% in 1999).

Read more …

“Before the Eurozone debt crisis of 2011-12, even the European Central Bank was forbidden to buy sovereign debt.”

The Disaster of Negative Interest Rates (Brown)

EU member governments have lost the sovereign power to issue their own money or borrow money issued by their own central banks. The EU experiment was a failed monetarist attempt to maintain a fixed money supply, as if the euro were a commodity in limited supply like gold. The central banks of member countries do not have the power to bail out their governments or their failing local banks as the Fed did for U.S. banks with massive quantitative easing after the 2008 financial crisis. Before the Eurozone debt crisis of 2011-12, even the European Central Bank was forbidden to buy sovereign debt. The rules changed after Greece and other southern European countries got into serious trouble, sending bond yields (nominal interest rates) through the roof.

But default or debt restructuring was not considered an option; and in 2016, new EU rules required a “bail in” before a government could bail out its failing banks. When a bank ran into trouble, existing stakeholders–including shareholders, junior creditors and sometimes even senior creditors and depositors with deposits in excess of the guaranteed amount of €100,000–were required to take a loss before public funds could be used. Also included in Italy were subordinated bonds that were owned not just by well-off families and other banks but by small savers who in many cases were fraudulently mis-sold the bonds as being risk-free (basically as good as deposits). The Italian government got a taste of the potential backlash when it forced losses onto the bondholders of four small banks. One victim made headlines when he hung himself and left a note blaming his bank, which had taken his entire €100,000 savings.

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Making sense.

New Weapons for the ECB (Varoufakis)

Fortunately, an effective weapon can immediately be built to all four of these standards: ECB conversion bonds. A sketch of their announcement follows: “Henceforth, whenever a eurozone government bond matures, the ECB will issue a conversion bond with a face value equivalent to the Maastricht-compliant portion of the member-state’s total public debt. The bond’s purpose is to service, at low interest rates that only the ECB can fetch, member states’ Maastricht-compliant public debt (up to 60% of GDP) – conditional on member states’ commitment to redeem the bond and afford it seniority over all other debts (presumably serviced at higher interest rates).”

To give a numerical example, if a member state’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 90%, the ECB conversion bond services €667 of each €1,000 of maturing state debt. The less the member state has exceeded its Maastricht debt limit, the larger the percentage of its public debt that will be serviced at the ultra-low ECB bond yields. Immediately, we see how this interest rate differential encourages discipline and eliminates the fear of moral hazard that the present quantitative easing program has elevated to dangerous levels. Note also that, besides minimizing moral-hazard risks, the new ECB bonds meet the other three standards. Their issuance requires no discretionary powers by the ECB as it follows directly from the existing Maastricht limits.

They would provide eurozone banks the missing safe asset they need to wean themselves off bonds issued by often-weak national governments (while creating a safe asset for foreigners to buy with their euros). Finally, ECB conversion bonds would allow interest rates in surplus countries like Germany to rebound, because the ECB would no longer need to buy German bunds as a condition for purchasing Italian bonds. [..] Technically speaking, ECB conversion bonds are the obvious replacement for the failing quantitative easing program. Only the misplaced fear of debt mutualization stands in their way.

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It seems like only yesterday that they offered $120,000. Wait, that WAS yesterday.

Boeing Settles First Lion Air Lawsuits For At Least $1.2 Million Apiece (R.)

Boeing Co has settled the first claims stemming from the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX in Indonesia, a U.S. plaintiffs’ lawyer said, and three other sources said that families of those killed will receive at least $1.2 million apiece. Floyd Wisner of Wisner Law Firm said he has settled 11 of his 17 claims against Boeing on behalf of families who lost their relatives when a brand-new MAX crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29 soon after take-off, killing all 189 aboard. Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe declined comment. Boeing did not admit liability in its 11 settlements, Wisner said.

The claims, each representing one victim, are the first to be settled out of some 55 lawsuits against Boeing in U.S. federal court in Chicago and could set the bar for mediation talks by other Lion Air plaintiffs’ lawyers that are scheduled through next month, three people familiar with the matter said. Wisner said he could not disclose the amount of the settlements because of a confidentiality agreement with Boeing. The three people familiar with the matter said families of Lion Air victims, who were nearly all from Indonesia, are set to receive at least $1.2 million each. That amount would be for a single victim without any dependents.

Read more …

“If passed, it would, among other actions, require the US to sanction Chinese officials deemed responsible for “undermining basic freedoms in Hong Kong…“

Beijing Vows To Retaliate After US Hong Kong Human Rights Bill Approved (SCMP)

China said it would “hit back forcefully” at the United States after the US Congress officially pushed ahead with a bill to support democratic freedoms in Hong Kong by putting pressure on Chinese authorities. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 moved through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, setting the stage for votes in both chambers in the coming weeks. The bill could pave the way for diplomatic action and economic sanctions against the Hong Kong government.

If passed, it would, among other actions, require the US to sanction Chinese officials deemed responsible for “undermining basic freedoms in Hong Kong” and require the US president to review Hong Kong’s special economic status. China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement on Thursday that the bill was an attempt to “wantonly interfere in China’s domestic affairs” and had shown the “malicious intention of some in the US Congress to contain China’s development”.

Read more …

This must be the strangest thing I’ve read in a long time. The claim is that the Novichock used in the first (Skripal) incident was found after the second incident. But we know that bottle was sealed, and couldn’t have been used on Skripal. How is this a story then to be published today?

Salisbury Attack Novichok Bottle Was Not Recovered For 4 Months (Ind.)

Investigators took almost four months to recover the bottle which contained the deadly novichok nerve agent for almost four months after it was used in an assassination attempt in Salisbury. After it was placed on the front door of former double agent Sergei Skripal on 4 March 2018, a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle which was used to smuggle the nerve agent into the UK, was not recovered until 27 June. Police believe two Russian men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, then used a secret pump to spread the nerve agent on Mr Skripal’s front door in March 2018. The former Russian military intrelligence officer and his daughter Yulia were both left seriously ill and a further six people were exposed to novichok in Salisbury, which saw large swathes of it’s town centre shut down as police investigated.

Nick Bailey, a police officer, also fell seriously ill after being exposed to the substance while investigating the case. The source of the novichok was found almost four months later, after the death of Dawn Sturgess. Ms Sturgess was given the perfume bottle as a gift by her partner Charlie Rowley, who had found it in a charity shop bin on 27 June 2018. She died from exposure to the nerve agent three days later. Mr Rowley fell seriously ill but later recovered.

Read more …


He’s getting an award.






Home Forums Debt Rattle September 26 2019

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    Paul Gauguin By the stream, autumn 1885   • House To Grill Trump Intel Chief About Whistleblower Report (R.) • House Backs Release Of Trump Whist
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle September 26 2019]

    V. Arnold

    Ain’t it wonderful; Boeing and myriad others, can buy their corruption for a mere $1.2 million per dead body.
    Surely that’s an economic success, no?
    Wontanly kill as many humans as you like for a price…
    And the price is cheap by all measure of economic value!
    It’s carte’ blanc for the MIC…
    And they are taking full advantage…

    V. Arnold

    Paul Gauguin By the stream, autumn 1885
    Oh shit!
    I would be remis if I didn’t comment about that spectacular picture, By the Stream.
    Wow, what colors…
    I remember falls like that in New York; out on Long Island…

    Dr. D

    “House Backs Release of Trump Whistleblower Complaint 421-0 (R.)”

    Amazing. They’re not done yet. The clue may be that 100% of the other party both House and Senate just voted to release information on themselves. …Because it will be incriminating? How can you not see this coming? The GOP didn’t even stall and say, “Don’t throw me in that briar patch.” Sigh.

    From yesterday, there ARE larger forces going on, a lot of them. And like with Flynn, they may misunderstand what a President’s job is. The President’s job IS to call other world leaders and make deals. That’s by definition quid pro quo. His JOB. Chief negotiator. In the Constitution. (after which deals must be ratified by Congress) But they’re upset he’s doing his job, asked them to look into corruption Zalinski ran on and they were already investigating, and upset he asked Ukraine, the location of the bot farms, to look into the 2016 election tampering they were just going mad for under Mueller. Sadly, this particular call was a lot of empty glad-handing, with no deals, no discussion, no quid pro quo, and no follow up. So nothing got done so far as anyone knows, which is par for the course everywhere.

    Anyway, like Lewandowski and Mueller, with the Whistleblower they’re up for another Congressional camera-fest, while getting nothing done for Union Democrats in Wisconsin. Winning plan since we already see them flee the party in Minnesota, a state that stayed blue last time: However, Ms. Omar may have changed all that.
    This is partially because Minnesota, like half the country, is rural, and therefore owns guns, and Beto just promised he would go door-to-door taking them from black folks and honest Union Democrats, a clip which the NRA will play on loop for 100 years.

    Point being, this yet-another-investigation, adding to what Pelosi numbered as six already, is only going to hurt them in 2020. Investigate and interview if you want, but be mindful and legislate for the people too.

    I don’t know who’s running their strategy, because I’m sitting here gobsmacked they seem to want everything that will hurt them, and pursue nothing that will help. “They don’t know what to do!” I don’t know, promote policy that people want and would vote for under candidates they like? Just thinking outside the box here.

    “Biden Campaign Blasts Republican Request for Classified VP Documents (Pol.)”

    Fun stuff. This is why DJT immediately released the transcripts, so he could ask Biden for support to do the same. They are right Biden doesn’t have or own them: they are government records. The point was for him to say, “Sure, go ahead, I did nothing wrong, release anything you want and I’ll see you at the elections, idiot.” BUT HE DIDN’T. Just like with investigating Hunter. Good call with the tax records, that’s how Biden in competent and the rest of the candidates aren’t. However, I’m pretty sure he’ll ultimately laugh and release them, because it’s impossible they haven’t already illegally looked at them, and if there were anything there, would have already leaked it.

    “Fury and Mistrust as The Brexit Pressure Cooker Blows Its Top (Sky)”

    Interesting that the Supreme Court has been in Britain only since 2009. That is, it’s basically never done anything, nobody knows what point or place they serve. According to their recent ruling, it appears they oversee the people, and can overrule decisions of the public and public referendums. They also oversee Parliament and can decide if anything political can be reversed that they like or don’t like. They are also the intermediary between Parliament and the Sovereign, and approve or deny all discussions there. What’s more, they are superior to the Queen, and can tell her she’s a stupid old bat who has no authority to authorize Prorogue Parliament when both she and the P.M. agree on it.

    In fact, the Supreme Court has just effectively said they rule all of England, the People, the Lords, the MP’s, and the Queen. Quite a power grab, and as one might imagine, legally based on f—k-all, literally nothing. We’ll see what comes of it, but Britain has a messy system.

    On the flip side, they are defending democracy and Parliament, except for one important thing: Parliament won’t do their job. They won’t approve a deal. They won’t leave the EU. And they won’t call a general election. They are stonewalling all and every thing in England, and thereby holding the majority government hostage, which should also not be allowed. This is the very reason the Queen WOULD, or MIGHT dismiss them, in order that something might get done for the good of the country. So they and just going to sit and not act on the people’s will and not call elections for 1,000 years? Why not.

    Given this case, what do you think they, BoJo, Liz, and the People, should do?

    I say surrender and give rule of the whole nation to 11 unelected magistrates forever, like something in “Handmaid’s Tale”, but that’s just me. And Westminster. And The Guardian. They approve wholly and without hesitation that surrender to unelected authoritarian rule is the only option.

    “How Employees & Employers Get Bled by Health Insurance (WS)”

    Medicine is measurably about 8x what it should be, and has only been able to reach this level with violent government intervention. We have the most expensive care on planet earth, with no delivery of medical care. At what point do you say “infinite prices + zero care”, maybe we should cry Uncle? Never, apparently. Just like Baltimore schools with $50k in student costs and a 5% pass rate. It’s just not bad enough yet to do something about.

    When you find you’re paying infinity for nothing, isn’t it time to try the free market? It can’t possibly we worse. A: No. Of course not. It’s never time to have free markets and voluntary exchange.

    “New Weapons for the ECB (Varoufakis)”

    I think this is a new way of unifying EU debt, as described by Martin Armstrong. It is therefore also the Federalization of Europe, a thing everyone knows is true, but has always been denied. Sovereignty…and your cultures and traditions, will be erased. That might even be okay, a choice, if only the EU were elected, but it’s not. Its power rests exclusively in unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats under a soviet system that can pursue favoritism as it pleases, and has, and does every day. See Germany and Greece.

    “Beijing Vows to Retaliate After US Hong Kong Human Rights Bill Approved (SCMP)”

    Great idea! We should do this in Sudan, and Spain, and Saudi Arabia, and St. Louis, and…
    If fact, we will have perfect freedom once we boycott everyone else on earth for doing exactly what we do, only less of it. #Winning!

    “the Novichock used in the first (Skripal) incident was found after the second incident. But we know that bottle was sealed, and couldn’t have been used”

    Don’t fret, it makes just as much sense as Every. Other. Thing. in the whole case. Even the ducks were fake.

    John Day

    John Ward performed Dude-diligence on the UK Supremes. Blairites.
    Attorney General Cox assured Team Johnson that proroguing Parliament was “entirely lawful”, and objections to it “are nothing more than political rhetoric”.

    These are the eleven judges who unanimously overturned that judgement….

    Lady Brenda Hale (Chair) is a lifetime academic and former Law Professor who went straight into being a Judge with no history in commercial law at all. She is a feminist, a great believer in diversity, and a lifelong liberal. I would be amazed if she voted any other way than Remain.

    Lord Robert Reed (Deputy) is a Scot who also sits on the EU’s European Court of Human Rights. He was an expert advisor to the EU/Council of Europe Joint Initiative with Turkey. No prizes for guessing where Rabbie’s sympathies lie.

    Lord Brian Kerr is the former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, and the first Catholic ever appointed to that post. In 2014, he had this to say in a lengthy interview:

    “The Law has changed enormously since the enactment of the Human Rights Act. The central point about the Act is that it has given judges free access to the rich vein of jurisprudence that is provided by the Strasbourg Court…..we now have the ability to draw on jurisprudence from all over the Council of Europe on matters that critically affect the balance of power between the citizen and the state and I think that that can only be a good thing.”

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Lord Nicholas Wilson is left of centre and on the record as saying, ““In pursuit of its economic policy, the UK government has recently felt the need to dismantle much of our welfare state, namely social security and the National Health Service.” He is a passionate supporter of the ECHR in Strasbourg. The activist site Divorce & the City is currently preparing to impeach Lord Wilson for alleged corruption and ‘pro State’ bias. He is, reputedly, not a fan of Boris Johnson or Brexit.

    Lord Robert Carnwath is an unknown quantity who appears never to have expressed an opinion about anything, except he sits on the advisory council of the English School in Poland.

    Lord Patrick Hodge is another Scot. He was a civil servant in the 1970s, and then Counsel to the Department of Energy from 1989 to 1991, and to the Inland Revenue from 1991 to 1996. Ergo, chummy with the unelected State, 99.99% of whom are anti-Brexit. I’d imagine he’s also a wow at parties.

    Lady Jill Black is unique in the Supreme Court in not having been to Oxbridge. You can see from this just how inclusive the Court is, and thus totally in touch with the average person.

    Lord David Lloyd-Jones is another scholar who wound up a judge. He was a Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge from 1975 to 1991. From 1999 to 2005, he was a visiting professor at City University, London, and was then put onto The Bench. He has always specialised in international and EU law. Only two months ago, in a Supreme Court hearing involving Kuoni Travel, Lloyd-Jones ruled that EU Law had primacy in the case. He gave the judgement in Welsh, which was a first. Highly unlikely to have voted to leave a Union in whose law he specialises, one could reasonably argue.

    Lady Mary Arden became a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2011, and sits as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg blah blah yawn etc. In 2015 she published a book about the impact of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on the domestic law of the UK. In his preface to the book, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales noted:


    Not a Leaver then, we suspect. This is all getting terribly predictable, isn’t it?

    Lord David Kitchin coxed the team that won the 1975 Boat Race for Cambridge. More pertinently, he has for many years been a strong advocate of more harmonisation of the Law between EU jurisdictions. In May this year, he gave an interview offering the following opinion in relation to patent law, in which he is a specialist:

    “The situation is improving and that is because there is now much more discussion and communication between judges in different countries. Judges now meet regularly to discuss these and other difficult issues. We consider each other’s judgments; all of us attach importance to the decisions of the Technical Boards of Appeal and the Enlarged Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Convention….there might not be jurisdiction to make references to the EU Court of Justice in these cases, or any cases after Brexit.”

    And so this would be a bad thing, wouldn’t i? Get real: Lord Kitchin is a Good European who lectures about legal alignment in the EU.

    Lord Philip Sales really is a case of leaving the best until last. Sales has had something of a meteoric rise: he is the youngest of the Supreme Court judges, and was a practising barrister at 11 King’s Bench Walk – according to The Guardian ‘a network of old boys and cronies’ that enabled him to be appointed First Counsel at the Treasury…a department of State with a long and grubby history of undying support for the EU. The recommendation that he be appointed came from Lord Irvine and Tony Blair’s old chambers.

    Philip Sales is New Labour through and through. In 2016, he was a member of the Court of Appeal which ruled that 130,000 Labour members who joined the party after 12 January 2016 would not be able to vote in the leadership contest. This overruled the previous High Court decision to allow the 130,000 disenfranchised Labour Party members to vote in the 2016 Labour Party leadership election. In short, it was a bid by the Blairites to keep Corbyn out.

    Finally, he was one of the three judges forming the High Court in proceedings concerning the use of the royal prerogative for the issue of notification in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. His role in this judgment meant that he appeared in an infamous front-cover of the Daily Mail – Enemies of the People – as a solid-gold Remainer.

    Dr. D

    Because: “Science!”™ and MIT, MIT’s new “Food Computer” (swear I’m not kidding) is a complete fraud:

    That’s beyond even that, maybe, just maybe, plugging your tomato plant into the wall to suck coal in a petrocarbon box is less ecological than putting it out in the sun and rain? Spitballing here.

    Please don’t ask because I could post several of these complete fabricated science frauds a day, our Lords and Masters who-shall-not-be-questioned. “The Science is Settled!”™

    John Day

    John Ward had this news today on the UK Supremes. “Stipend”.
    Trust me, Ocean’s Eleven had nothing on this shower.
    Overnight, it has emerged that 9 of the 11 each receive a “stipend” of €175,000 per annum from the EU for their ‘European harmonisation duties’…..and the Chair of the Court Lady Hale ACTIVELY campaigned to Remain, as well as being in favour of revoking Article 50…..which, as it happens, was drafted originally by another member of the Supine Court, Lord Nunn.
    They’re bought….every last useless, arrogant, élitist international blocist one of them.


    In other words:

    I agree!

    • House To Grill Trump Intel Chief About Whistleblower Report (R.)

    …. another Congressional camera-fest, ….

    “The President’s job IS to call other world leaders and make deals. That’s by definition quid pro quo. His JOB. Chief negotiator. In the Constitution.”

    • Boeing Settles First Lion Air Lawsuits For At Least $1.2 Million Apiece (R.)

    I want to know, how the system works.
    Where is the money coming from?

    Will the money come from the Boeing president’s savings account, the printing press, the tax payers?

    Will the lawyers be laughing all the way to the bank?

    John Day
    Rothschild owned Financial Times comes out for curative surgery on Rentier Capitalism, which is killing the host again. Reset near, I guess.
    ​ ​The reality is that the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few privileged rentiers is not a deviation from capitalist competition, but a logical and regular outcome. In theory, we can distinguish between an unproductive rentier and a productive capitalist. But there is nothing to stop the productive, supposedly responsible businessperson becoming an absentee landlord or a remote shareholder, and this is often what happens. The rentier class is not an aberration but a common recurrence, one which tends to accompany periods of protracted economic decline.
    ​ ​It is a shift that tends to occur after economic crises, when less profit is to be had in productive enterprise and money is more effectively spent seeking monopoly rents or moved into speculative assets. Take, for example, the Medici family in Renaissance Florence, when they transformed themselves from textile traders into bankers after the crisis of the 14th century. The wealthy merchants of Amsterdam, too, became “periwig” rentiers as the Dutch Republic declined in the 18th century.
    ​ ​The French historian Fernand Braudel called this regular shift “a sign of autumn” – a symptom of the final phase of a long expansion, which is inevitably followed by a period of disorder and reorganisation.
    ​ ​The same process has been unfolding once more, albeit on a much larger scale, since the economic crisis of the 1970s. Having picked up steam after 2008, it has given rise to a new crop of rentier capitalists and platform monopolists – from Amazon to Facebook, Goldman Sachs to GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer – that exert not just immense market power, but also great political influence.

    ​Pepe Escobar Interviews a Yemeni military commander about Yemen’s strike capability against Saudi petroleum infrastructure:. (Where now, petrodollar?_
    “There is no other plausible explanation” translates as the occultation of Yemen. Yemen only features as the pounding ground of a vicious Saudi war, de facto supported by Washington and London and conducted with US and UK weapons, which has generated a horrendous humanitarian crisis.
    So Iran is the culprit, no evidence provided, end of story, even if the “investigation continues.”
    ​ ​Hassan Ali Al-Emad, Yemeni scholar and the son of a prominent tribal leader with ascendance over ten clans, begs to differ. “From a military perspective, nobody ever took our forces in Yemen seriously. Perhaps they started understanding it when our missiles hit Aramco.”…
    ​ ​Al-Emad breaks down Houthi weaponry into three categories: the old missile stock; cannibalized missiles using different spare parts (“transformation made in Yemen”); and those with new technology that use reverse engineering. He stressed: “We accept help from everybody,” which suggests that not only Tehran and Hezbollah are pitching in.
    ​ ​Al-Emad’s key demand is actually humanitarian: “We request that Sana’a airport be reopened for help to the Yemeni people.” And he has a message for global public opinion that the EU-3 are obviously not aware of: “Saudi is collapsing and America is embracing it in its fall.” (Whazzat s’posta mean?)


    “…. another Congressional camera-fest, ….”

    Lawyers can make anyone believe or deny that the truth is a lie and that a lie is the truth.

    (eat your popcorn and be quiet)


    “Saudi is collapsing and America is embracing it in its fall.” (Whazzat s’posta mean?”

    Embracing SA means we can’t protect but we can occupy it, using the Houthi threat as an excuse. For awhile during the occupation (or perhaps leading up to it), we’ll directly bomb Yemen into holy smokes, but I suspect that Russia will stop that shortly after letting us show the world yet again what a sorry bunch screwball psychopathic chickenshits we are.

    We’ll go broke doing it, but in a way that lets us continue going broke a little longer.

    That’s what the hazy images in my crystal bong show today.


    You might want to look into this.

    In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.

    V. Arnold

    “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.

    I’ve no doubt, even murder charges would roll off the hoi poloi like water off a ducks back…

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