Nov 182019
 November 18, 2019  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Salvador Dali Cubist self portrait 1926


Leaked Report Concludes Russia May Have Influenced Brexit Vote (AP)
Hong Kong Police Storm Into University After Violent Standoff (ZH)
Another Chapter in the Democrats’ 2020 Clown Car Disaster (Taibbi)
Morrison Told Schiff Panel: Nothing Improper During Trump-Zelensky Call (ZH)
In Trump-Nixon Impeachment Comparison, Pelosi Raises Specter Of Resignation (R.)
Pelosi: Trump’s Conduct Is ‘So Much Worse’ Than Nixon’s (NBC)
About Trump (Sylvain Laforest )
Fed Fears Next Crash Fatal – John Rubino (USAW)
China Quietly Bails Out Another Bank (ZH)
Airbus Exec: Boeing’s 737 MAX Grounding Benefits No One (CNBC)
Pictures of Prince Andrew Partying and Sweating (DM)
Against Economics (David Graeber)



Britain’s RussiaRussia craze continues. This concerns a bunch of Russian oligarchs with British citizenship who have donated to the Tories, and they are conveniently labeled “Russia”. For all we know they may be sworn enemies of Putin. And even if they’re not, they’re also not “Russia”. When the Brits show us Skripal, we can talk.

Leaked Report Concludes Russia May Have Influenced Brexit Vote (AP)

Questions about the British government’s failure to release a report on Russia’s interference in the country’s politics have continued to dog Prime Minister Boris Johnson as critics said leaks from the document raised concerns about the security of next month’s election. The report from Parliament’s intelligence committee concludes that Russian interference may have affected the 2016 referendum on Britain’s departure from the European Union, though the impact is “unquantifiable,” the Sunday Times reported. The committee said British intelligence services failed to devote enough resources to counter the threat and highlighted the impact of articles posted by Russian new sites that were widely disseminated on social media, the newspaper reported.

Emily Thornberry, the opposition Labour Party’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, said the leaks raise questions that deserve answers ahead of the December 12 poll. “Boris Johnson therefore needs to clear up the confusion, spin and speculation around this [intelligence committee] report by publishing it in full at the earliest opportunity,” she told the Times. “If not, people will rightly continue to ask: what is he trying to hide from the British public and why?” Johnson’s government has said it needs more time to review the security implications of the report. It says it will release the report after the election.

Critics have alleged the report is being withheld because it shows Russians have made large donations to the Conservative Party, which is seeking to win a majority that would allow Johnson to push his Brexit deal through Parliament. Security Minister Brandon Lewis dismissed the criticism. Asked about Russian donors to the campaign, Lewis told Sky television on Sunday that all contributions are reported to the proper authorities and the donors in question all have British citizenship.

Read more …

Developing story with some seemingly contradictory “facts”.

Guardian: 800 protesters “trapped”. “Teargas stops protesters escaping despite president of Polytechnic University assuring them of safe passage.”

Hong Kong Police Storm Into University After Violent Standoff (ZH)

Update 3: As the AP reports, local police charged demonstrators at Hong Kong Polytechnic University early Monday in a bid to end a lengthy standoff with protesters who had occupied the campus for a week, even though the local police later denied they had, in fact, raided the campus. As the WSJ adds, pro-democracy activists who had spent the night at barricades outside retreated inside the university, while those already inside campus buildings hurled Molotov cocktails and bricks at elite and riot police, who stormed the campus through the main entrance.

“Several protesters had been perched on higher floors and used a large slingshot to launch Molotov cocktails. The entryway and areas around the university’s perimeter were quickly engulfed in flames. One protester shown on live-streamed video from the site fired an arrow at the officers. Police appeared to arrest a small number of demonstrators as they advanced, but it was unclear how many students remained inside.”

Update 2: Sky News in a breaking report says officers have been given the ‘green light’ to use lethal force if needed against ‘rioters’ deploying lethal weapons at student protester-occupied Polytechnic University. According to the report: “Hong Kong protestors have fired arrows and hurled petrol bombs at police, as they seek to keep control of a barricaded university. Warning they were authorized to use “lethal force”, officers threatened to use live bullets if rioters continued. The territory continues to suffer some of its worst unrest in six months of demonstrations.” Throughout the weekend and into Monday the campus is resembling a war zone. And as protester tactics escalate, including shooting at police with bows and arrows, and launching petrol bombs via sling shots off buildings, HK police gloves are now coming off.

The battle over student protester-occupied Polytechnic University grew more violent over the weekend and grabbed headlines Sunday after a police officer was wounded by an arrow and a riot control vehicle attempting to disperse what HK authorities have labelled ‘rioters’ was set aflame by dozens of Molotov cocktails. Chinese state media has now labeled the student protesters “terrorists” and has urged police to deploy live fire given the students themselves are in possession of deadly weapons.

Read more …

Deval Patrick is candidate no. 28.

Another Chapter in the Democrats’ 2020 Clown Car Disaster (Taibbi)

People like Bloomberg and Patrick seem to believe in the existence of a massive electoral “middle” that wants 15-point plans and meritocratic slogans instead of action. As befits brilliant political strategists, they also seem hyper-concerned about the feelings of the country’s least numerous demographic, the extremely rich. A consistent theme is fear (often described in papers like the Times as “concern”) that the rhetoric of Warren and Sanders might unduly upset wealthy folk. “I don’t think that wealth is the problem. I think greed is the problem,” Patrick told CBS This Morning. He added that “taxes should go up on the most prosperous and the most fortunate,” but “not as a penalty.”

What does that mean? Should we impose higher taxes on the rich but include a note from the IRS saying, “It’s not because we don’t love you”? Along with an alarmingly high number of press figures, politicians like Patrick seem to be trapped in an “electability” concept that hasn’t made sense since the Reagan-Bush years. Outside of a few spots on the Upper East Side and in Georgetown and L.A., the “center” has been gone a long time. From Donald Trump to Sanders to Warren, the politicians attracting the biggest and most enthusiastic responses in recent years have run on furious, throw-the-bums-out themes, for the logical reason that bums by now clearly need throwing out.

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He said this last month. Schiff didn’t exactly quote him on it. Help me here: who was the guy Schiff told to reconsider his statement weeks ago? Anyone remember?

Morrison Told Schiff Panel: Nothing Improper During Trump-Zelensky Call (ZH)

A former top national security adviser to President Trump told a secret impeachment panel that he believed nothing improper occurred during a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky, according to a transcript released over the weekend. NSC official Tim Morrison, who was on that phone call, expressed this narrative-killing opinion to the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee last month – which would have undermined recent public testimony by several US officials who said that President Trump abused his office when he asked Zelensky to investigate former VP Joe Biden and matters related to the 2016 US election. That said, Morrison also testified that US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, was involved in an effort to encourage Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden – though he could not say whether Trump was involved in those efforts.

“I’m still not completely certain that this was coming from the President,” Morrison testified to House Democrats. “I’m only getting this from Ambassador Sondland.” During a closed-door deposition as part of the House impeachment inquiry, Morrison was asked, “In your view, there was nothing improper that occurred during the call?” “Correct,” he answered as he was testifying under oath.” -Epoch Times. Morrison replaced former NSC official Fiona Hill, who resigned from her position on July 19, days before the infamous Trump-Zelensky call. He says that the word “Burisma” never came up during that call, referring to the Ukrainian natural gas company which employed Hunter Biden on its board [..]

Trump asked Zelensky to investigate this, as well as allegations that Ukraine was involved with the hacked DNC server as well as the only firm allowed to look at it, Crowdstrike. Morrison also testified that the Trump administration withheld foreign aid from Ukraine due to Trump’s general skepticism toward foreign aid, and a “concern that Ukrainians were not paying their fair share, as well as concerns [that] our aid would be misused because of the view that Ukraine has a significant corruption problem.”

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I’m getting the impression this is Pelosi’s PR team speaking. That switch to “bribery” gave it away. Is “resignation” another term they checked with a focus group?!

In Trump-Nixon Impeachment Comparison, Pelosi Raises Specter Of Resignation (R.)

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is amplifying her unfavorable comparison of President Donald Trump to fellow Republican Richard Nixon, saying that disgraced president at least cared enough about the country to leave office before his impeachment. The top Democrat in Congress told reporters last week that Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate one of his potential opponents in the 2020 election “makes what Nixon did look almost small.” In a CBS interview broadcast on Sunday, she alluded to Nixon’s resignation after the Watergate scandal involving a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters and the subsequent cover-up.

“I mean, what the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue,” Pelosi said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” [..] Pelosi for months resisted calls from her more liberal Democratic lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings, but said Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy compelled her to open the inquiry against the president.

Read more …

They’re starting to intimidate witnesses.

Pelosi: Trump’s Conduct Is ‘So Much Worse’ Than Nixon’s (NBC)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Sunday that President Donald Trump’s conduct is “so much worse” than that of former President Richard Nixon, adding that Trump is insecure about being an “imposter.” Pelosi spoke with CBS’s “Face the Nation” days after House impeachment investigators conducted their first public hearings. Three more days of public hearings are scheduled for this week. “I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower,” Pelosi said of the CIA employee whose complaint about Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine led to the impeachment inquiry. “The president can come before the committee and speak all the truth that he wants … He has every opportunity to make his case.”

“But it’s really a sad thing,” Pelosi continued. “What the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did. At some point, Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue.” Since the House launched its impeachment inquiry in September, multiple Trump administration officials have alleged that Trump tied U.S. aid to Ukraine to an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Republicans have defended the president by pointing out that the aid was eventually released and Ukraine never announced an investigation into the Bidens. But Pelosi and other Democrats have said that, by conditioning aid on the investigations, Trump was attempting to commit bribery.

“The whistle was blown, the whistle was blown, and that was blown long before we heard about it,” Pelosi said. “Don’t forget that in-between all of that came the inspector general. An inspector general appointed by President Trump. And the inspector general said this was of urgent concern. That is what intervened.” Speaking with “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said Republicans have offered up “a whole bunch of defenses that don’t make sense.” “Lots of crimes can be committed … by the boss hinting and giving direction,” Himes said. “Corrupt people don’t always say, ‘Hey, here’s the signed contract.’ What has already developed from second-hand witnesses is that this aid was withheld as a condition.”

Even more Trump administration officials are set to testify publicly in the impeachment probe this week, including E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who Himes said is a first-hand witness to Trump’s conduct, having been tasked with carrying out his wishes. While Sondland’s initial October testimony largely absolved him from any wrongdoing, he submitted additional testimony in November acknowledge that he did deliver a quid pro quo message to Ukraine. Acknowledging that Sondland’s credibility is in question, Himes said it “was not lost on Ambassador Sondland what happened to” Trump associates Roger Stone and Michael Cohen “for lying to Congress.” “My guess is Gordon Sondland is going to do his level best to tell the truth because otherwise, he may have a very unpleasant legal future in front of him,” Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said.

Read more …

Nice find by Tyler, an article by Sylvain Laforest. Not saying I agree with it, but he tickles some pre-conceived “virtues”. Anyone who calls Trump the ultimate anti-narcissist knows he’s in for tons of derision. Laforest is okay with that.

“Donald simply doesn’t care if you like him or not, which makes him the ultimate anti-narcissist, by its psychological definition.”

About Trump (Sylvain Laforest )

Let’s make one thing clear: to the establishment, Trump isn’t mentally challenged, but he’s definitely seen as a possible nemesis of their world. Ever since he moved in the White House, Trump has been depicted as a narcissist, a racist, a sexist and a climate-skeptic, loaded with shady past stories and mental issues. Even though an approximate 60% of the American people don’t trust medias anymore, many have bought the story that Trump might be slightly crazy or unfit to rule, and the statistic climbs even higher when you get out of the USA. Of course, Donald isn’t doing anything special to change the deeply negative perception that so many journalists and people alike have about him.

He’s openly outrageous and provocative on Twitter, he sounds impulsive and dumb most of the time, acts irrationally, lies on a daily basis, and throws out sanctions and threats as if they were candy canes out of an elf’s side bag in a mall in December. Right away, we can destroy one persistent media myth: the image Trump is projecting is self-destructive and it’s the exact opposite of how pathological narcissists act, since they thrive to be loved and admired by everyone. Donald simply doesn’t care if you like him or not, which makes him the ultimate anti-narcissist, by its psychological definition. And that’s not even up for opinion, it’s a quite simple and undeniable fact.

His general plan exhales from one of his favorite motto: «We will give power back to the people», because the United States and its imperialist web woven over the world have been in the hands of a few globalist bankers, military industrials and multinationals for more than a century. To achieve his plan, he has to end wars abroad, bring back the kids, dismantle the NATO and CIA, get control over the Federal Reserve, cut every link with foreign allies, abolish the Swift financial system, demolish the propaganda power of the medias, drain the swamp of the deep state that’s running the spying agencies and disable the shadow government that’s lurking in the Council on foreign relations and Trilateral Commission’s offices. In short, he has to destroy the New World Order and its globalist ideology. The task is huge and dangerous to say the least. Thankfully, he’s not alone.

Read more …

John Rubino is one of the first, and most loyal, fans of the Automatic Earth. Seeing this video makes me think I should really start talking more about finance again. If only because after all, that’s where we come from. But having watched how the Fed et al have distorted and erased what are still called markets, I started to look elsewhere -as well- for what was interesting.

Fed Fears Next Crash Fatal – John Rubino (USAW)

Rubino explains, “Every sector of the U.S. economy is so over indebted I don’t see how we go on much longer. The Fed is desperately trying to prolong this thing. We are running trillion dollar deficits now, and what that is for is to keep the system from falling apart. We are 11 years into an expansion, a record. This is the longest bull market in history, and this is the longest economic expansion in history. . . . These guys don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in the next recession, but they are afraid that the system is so highly leveraged that even a garden variety three quarters of a percent of negative growth and a garden variety of 20% drop in stock prices might be fatal. The system might not be able to handle that because it would cause so much damage and there are so many different places that can blow up that the system would spin out of control. We would get 2008-2009 again but on steroids because the numbers are so much bigger this time around. So, they want to avoid that at all costs.”

Rubino points out, “Fear is the enemy in a fiat currency system. Everything is based on our assumption that the guys in charge know what they are doing and that the confidence in them is good. You take that away, and they let us see them sweat, and it’s over. There is no real bottom for the dollar, euro or the yen. Their intrinsic value is zero. When the economic players out there in the global financial system realize that the central banks of the world are out of ammo, and nothing these guys do is going to fix our problem, then all hell breaks loose. . . . What worries me about today’s world is that everything falls apart all at once, and there is no way to fix what went wrong. . . .We have a lot of examples of governments doing crazy things when everything falls apart.”

Read more …

Harbin’s biggest problem: it trades on Hong Kong’s stock exchange. You know, HK dollars.

China Quietly Bails Out Another Bank (ZH)

Harbin Bank, which is one of the biggest banks in China’s northeast with 622 billion yuan in assets as of June 30, 2019, and trades on Hong Kong’s stock exchange, becomes the fifth bank – after Baoshang Bank , Bank of Jinzhou, Heng Feng Bank, and Henan Yichuan Rural Commercial Bank – to be bailed out by the state, and will be 48%-controlled by two government entities after six private shareholders shed their stakes, according to a bank statement issued late on Friday. Total consideration for the shares involved came to almost 15 billion yuan, or around $2.1 billion, the bank said, though it described the transactions as transfers rather than stock sales, which is to be expected if the bank was being bailed out instead of actually selling a viable stake.

As has been the customary case, the bank didn’t provide any reason for the transactions in the statement, and Chinese bank regulators made no comment on the action. And, as was the case with at least one previous bank “rescue”, Harbin Bank was connected to a former oligarch who disappeared not that long ago amid allegations of massive fraud. Indeed, as the WSJ reports, the bank is among a handful of financial businesses in China linked to once-powerful tycoon named Xiao Jianhua who in early 2017 disappeared amid a wave of prosecutions of big private investors. Businesses owned by some of those people, including Wu Xiaohui’s Anbang Insurance Group Co., have also since become government-owned.

[..] So why did Harbin Bank fail? In its financial report for H1 2019, Harbin Bank cited deteriorating asset quality – read surging bad loans – as well as intensified competition for deposits and higher borrowing costs in money markets as China’s economy slows. Yet, paradoxically, the near-insolvent lender also said it recorded a profit of 2.18 billion yuan, or about $311.1 million, though that was off about 16% because of, drumroll, more-aggressive write-offs of bad debts. Which goes to show that corporate earnings reports in China are as “credible” as all other Chinese economic “data.”

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He said it straight-faced, I’m sure.

Airbus Exec: Boeing’s 737 MAX Grounding Benefits No One (CNBC)

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer forcefully rejected the notion that his company is benefiting from the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max fleet while speaking to CNBC during the Dubai Air Show. “I really need to correct that cultural belief. This does not benefit anyone in this industry, the least of which would be Airbus,” Scherer told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Sunday. “It’s a tragedy, it is an issue for Boeing to resolve, but it is not good for competitors to see problems on any one particular airplane type.” The 737 Max [..] grounding has forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights, driven up costs and dented airlines’ profits. To make up for the expected loss in services, Boeing in the second quarter took a $4.9 billion after-tax charge to compensate airlines but final amounts are unknown because regulators haven’t yet lifted the grounding.

Boeing and Airbus, often described as holding a duopoly over the large commercial airline industry since the 1990s, each own approximately half of that market. Orders for each company’s airliners, however, are expected to be smaller this year as the industry faces headwinds including a slowing global economy, climate change and safety concerns. Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace group, cut its delivery expectations for 2019 as it grapples with manufacturing delays at its recently expanded plant in Hamburg, Germany. It now plans to deliver “around 860” planes this year, down from an original target of between 880 and 890. It recorded an adjusted operating income of 1.6 billion euros ($1.78 billion) for the third quarter of 2019.

Read more …

Andrew said in the Saturday interview that he didn’t party, didn’t show personal displays of affection, couldn’t sweat and only went out wearing a suit and tie. Well, now he’s got the Daily Mail on his trail. They have a lot of pictures of him doing exactly that.

Pictures of Prince Andrew Partying and Sweating (DM)

Prince Andrew is facing an extraordinary backlash over his interview, which Prince Charles’ former PR chief Dickie Arbiter described as: ‘Not so much a car crash but an articulated lorry crash’. Mr Arbiter said he must ‘take a break’ from royal duties, adding: ‘What charity wants a VIP guest with this hanging over him?’ Viewers described watching Andrew’s grilling from behind the sofa and through their fingers as he denied having sex with Virginia Roberts because he was in Pizza Express in Woking and suggested that the world-famous picture of them together could be faked. Miss Roberts’ evidence that he sweated ‘profusely’ during sex were explained away by claiming a rush of adrenaline while being shot at during the Falklands conflict in 1982 made it impossible for him.

A royal source claimed last night he has told his mother the Queen that his appearance on the BBC Two Newsnight special was largely a ‘great success’ – but a friend told the Mail he ‘regretted’ not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview. Today former royal protection officer said it went so badly for Prince Andrew it should spark a police investigation. In another infamous set of pictures taken on the French Riviera in July 2007, the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen. The blonde interior designer can be seen licking Andrew as the pair cavorted together.

More clips from 2008 show him wandering around a party thrown by wine tycoon Claude Ott, heading to the dance floor with two women as techno music plays out. The Prince appears to look worse for wear as he enjoys the party, hair dishevelled and shirt untucked.

Read more …

Graeber is always an interesting read. But not one I can do justice in this format, if only because of the length of the essay.

Against Economics (David Graeber)

There is a growing feeling, among those who have the responsibility of managing large economies, that the discipline of economics is no longer fit for purpose. It is beginning to look like a science designed to solve problems that no longer exist. A good example is the obsession with inflation. Economists still teach their students that the primary economic role of government—many would insist, its only really proper economic role—is to guarantee price stability. We must be constantly vigilant over the dangers of inflation. For governments to simply print money is therefore inherently sinful. If, however, inflation is kept at bay through the coordinated action of government and central bankers, the market should find its “natural rate of unemployment,” and investors, taking advantage of clear price signals, should be able to ensure healthy growth.

These assumptions came with the monetarism of the 1980s, the idea that government should restrict itself to managing the money supply, and by the 1990s had come to be accepted as such elementary common sense that pretty much all political debate had to set out from a ritual acknowledgment of the perils of government spending. This continues to be the case, despite the fact that, since the 2008 recession, central banks have been printing money frantically in an attempt to create inflation and compel the rich to do something useful with their money, and have been largely unsuccessful in both endeavors. We now live in a different economic universe than we did before the crash. Falling unemployment no longer drives up wages. Printing money does not cause inflation. Yet the language of public debate, and the wisdom conveyed in economic textbooks, remain almost entirely unchanged.

Read more …




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Home Forums Debt Rattle November 18 2019

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    Salvador Dali Cubist self portrait 1926   • Leaked Report Concludes Russia May Have Influenced Brexit Vote (AP) • Hong Kong Police Storm Into Uni
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle November 18 2019]

    V. Arnold

    Salvador Dali Cubist self portrait 1926
    Okay, okay; I’ll admit it; I like this painting; even thought it’s CUBIST.
    What can I say? Foot firmly implanted in mouth? 😉


    Cubism was the thing in those days. Picasso dabbled in it a bit more than Dali I think, who seems to have discarded it quite rapidly. I guess the main man was Georges Braque. Not my favorite movement either, but it may have influenced Picasso quite a bit in his thoughts about 2D vs 3D.

    V. Arnold

    Not my favorite movement either, but it may have influenced Picasso quite a bit in his thoughts about 2D vs 3D.

    That’s intertesting; 2D & 3D in art. I should think Cubism would be ripe for that exploration…


    Just down the road here in central Appalachia the administration at Radford University (Virginia) has taught thousands of students that feeling can, indeed, overrule law, with no consequences to those with the Ph.D’s and tenure.

    All student newspaper racks “just happened” to be completely emptied before Katie Couric came to town on Sept. 18th. A police investigation determined it was a low-level employee acting “on his own” with absolutely NO direction from a superior. The low-level hourly wage employee has been subsequently disciplined. First Amendment to the constitution meet “feelings”, and be damned! The articles in that newspaper just “felt” wrong!

    So now we are back to our regular buffet of criticizing the president for breaking the law and acting impulsively…

    Up the road we have Jerry “If it’s Republican it must be moral” Falwell further joining evangelicals with the Republican party. Liberty University’s very own Caesar doesn’t want to talk about the FEDERAL AID flowing to his tens of thousands of “online” students, though!

    Thanks for that recent post, Illargi!


    IG report first week of December?

    Dr. D

    “Britain’s RussiaRussia craze continues.”

    A portion of the world is still in a psychotic, paranoid delusion. And it’s not helpful. Meanwhile, a light on the reality of things: underage rape and human trafficking being as common as cocaine, is met with a “Meh. What can you do?” A: Enforce the law? Just sayin’.

    And they can’t show Skripal anymore than they can release Assange. Skripal would tell how he wrote the Steele dossier, and Assange would say who the DNC leaker is. That is to say, both of them would utterly debunk Russia. Again. But it won’t matter. Mueller did that already and facts and reality had no effect on the madness. That’s what madness is.

    That part I understand. What I don’t understand is how they report two opposite things in the same paper, then in the same paragraph, and no one notices. It never causes remark to say “Hey! Every 30 seconds something new doesn’t make any sense. I think something may be wrong with my worldview!”

    “Hong Kong Police Storm Into University After Violent Standoff (ZH)”

    I heard, more to the point, 99% of all Hong Kong’s internet runs through the University basement. P.S.: Don’t do that.

    “Deval Patrick is candidate No. 28.”

    It’s hard not to see that this is some sort of elaborate joke I don’t get. Or I DID get, but good and hard. Joke’s on you!

    I forget who, but just yesterday, they had a sit-down panel of regular Americans, not telling them it was political. Guess what? NO ONE CARED ABOUT IMPEACHMENT. No one cared about Russia. They certainly didn’t care about Ukraine. They cared about how come they paid Washington to go up there and they were getting nothing done for the American people. And one guy was trying to get stuff done but being obstructed by every means. So if his policy is bad, imagine how much worse, how much madder people are when they’re not even trying to have a policy. But okay, election’s around the corner: good luck!

    “the biggest and most enthusiastic responses in recent years have run on furious, throw-the-bums-out themes, for the logical reason that bums by now clearly need throwing out.”

    “He says that the word “Burisma” never came up during that call,”

    That is true, we have the transcript. Vindman said he’d edit it for us, but that as it stands is accurate. They clearly meant Burisma, but didn’t say it. And why not? Ukraine was already investigating them without us. Twice.

    “Ukraine was involved with the hacked DNC server as well as the only firm allowed to look at it, Crowdstrike.”

    Rachael Maddow aside (she denied this feverishly, in a near-breakdown), this is true. Crowdstrike is a Ukrainian owner, with sharp Pro-Ukrainian, Anti-Russia bias, as already caught during the Donbass and the Georgia thing. So…why is Ukraine running the DNC servers? Doesn’t that seem a bit…hazardous…to anyone? Off-color? Like, excuse me, W.T.F.? …And worse, apparently the servers the FBI didn’t see and can’t see…the ONLY evidence of Russian hacking at all, are BEING HELD IN UKRAINE. That is, unsafely, but specifically outside the jurisdiction of the U.S.

    …Except when we do it.

    So you think someone could look into wtf is going on here? Nope. Asking questions is impeachable, imprisonable offense. Ask the many, many people who are in jail for asking or publishing questions. Your Heil Hitler is not QUITE high and sharp enough, comrade.

    “That switch to “bribery” gave it away. Is “resignation” another term they checked with a focus group?!”

    Someone pointed out the bigger problem with changing horses: So what they’re saying to the American people is, “We don’t really have a crime, we just need to pick something that will remove him. So in this court, if one charge starts not panning out, like extortion we just change the charge mid-stream, to bribery.” Yeah, we know. But that says everyone in America you have reason, no case, just Orange Man is the most Badder Man. As is this the same s—t every ordinary American puts up with such lying, disingenuine power-abusive railroading every day, we have a pre-set reaction to such things, and it’s not a good one.

    I mean, what the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did

    Granted, IF their accusation were true, this statement would be honest. So props to putting it this way. However, if she’s talking about phone-tapping opposition candidates, or using Ukraine to dig up and planting dirt on the opposition, you already beat Trump to it. For years with a few dozen cohorts. Now is it a crime or isn’t it? …And that’s why Cheeto trapped you into THIS phone call, THIS dialogue, with THIS particular nation.

    The whistle was blown, the whistle was blown, and that was blown long before we heard about it,” Pelosi said.

    I’m guessing she doesn’t mean Clinton, the CA primary-rigging, the two-talk $500k speeches with Sachs, or the 30,000 emails a certain whistleblower made (even more) apparent to the voter. Wouldn’t want to attack or intimidate THAT whistleblower. Must keep him very, very safe with drone strikes and holding him incommunicado without lawyers. Oh, and the whistleblower who wants to stop you Congress-guys and Dukes of York from raping anyone you see with free license? Get her too.

    So what was that about Droit du seigneur and human slavery we had back in the day? You know, how we’re so much more civilized now? When YOU’RE the guys who approved it and re-opened the slave market in Tripoli, spare me. And you’re going to pull down statues and criticize Jefferson? He’s dead, but you’re alive and can be arrested and imprisoned, which is more relevant right now?

    “was not lost on Ambassador Sondland what happened to” Trump associates Roger Stone and Michael Cohen “for lying to Congress.””

    Didn’t Ambassador Yovanovitch already lie to Congress, twice? Nah, can’t be. She’s on our side, so whatever she says is without flaw. Meanwhile if it’s HIS side, and a guy lies to Congress, they just send him to jail and his side nods their heads and lets it happen. …Because they should. So which is the good side, then? Am I the baddie here?

    Fed Fears Next Crash Fatal – John Rubino (USAW)”

    They’re bailing out something feverishly. They’ve already turned their $130B/day to permanent long-term, and passed the $700B bailout mark. No one notices. ‘Til they do.

    Putin says the US$ is going down right now. No Saudi oil = no Saudis = no Petrodollar = no Fed. They can stall and thrash all they want but they’re going to get a new financial system that’s honest. And there’s NOTHING they hate more than honesty, because as idiot-sons-paid-into-Yale until Yale is dumber than Des Moines Community College, they couldn’t compete for 60 seconds without bribery, dishonesty, market-rigging, and insider trading. That’s the secret of the elites, and why all you need to do is allow competition. They’re so dumb and useless their fortunes will be devoured by small businessmen in a single generation. It take the Fed and free insider loans in the hundred-billions per DAY to prevent that.

    But the new and honest financial system will leave us with a much worse problem: objective reality. That is, what goods are mined, moved, created, and used. That’s also our strength, but when you’ve burned down each of those facilities and left them in ashes for 60 years, it’s a bad hangover.

    “the primary economic role of government—is to guarantee price stability.”

    Note it’s not to enforce contract law, indict corporations for bodily harm, or even break monopolies or issue corporate licenses only for the common good. Nope. This is what they think government is for. Newsflash: government has no business in the currency and is a detriment to it. Therefore, it has no mandate in inflation. Or GDP, or unemployment for that matter. If they did their ONE JOB, and enforced the law, those things would take care of themselves. But in #Oppositeland, they do everything BUT that job. …Like everyone else, doing every action, minding everyone else’s business but their own.

    Dr. D

    Heavy, persistent snow in Wales, -7c. Should we wait until the Thames freezes over before we call it? I say wait, it’s more scientific to make absolutely sure there’s a trend.

    P.S. do they grow any food in Wales?


    “Seeing this video makes me think I should really start talking more about finance again. If only because after all, that’s where we come from. ”

    Yes please! Would really like that.

    Thought provoking artcle “About Trump”. Some things that dont quite square with me but its a good narative and I will keep it in mind when I watch Trump from now on. The narative though describes someone deeply interested in history, well read enough, is Trump? And it just fits a bit to perfectly with the authors view of things, to perfectly aligned with the truth according to the author. Might be a bit of wishful thinking in there? But what do I know.



    The biggest influence on BREXIT was the murder of the very popular MP, Jo Cox. At the time of her death the polls showed the leave vote at 57% and rising, and was it expected to be well over 60%.

    Her death probably lost at least 10% of the leave vote. The psychology is simple : by voting AGAINST her viewpoint you are voting FOR her murderer.

    Worryingly there are other examples of very popular campaigners being murdered during European referendums, with similar effects on the vote.


    ” …. because as idiot-sons-paid-into-Yale until Yale is dumber than Des Moines Community College, they couldn’t compete for 60 seconds without bribery, dishonesty, market-rigging, and insider trading. That’s the secret of the elites,….”

    Why are we NOT teaching our kid this path to success?

    Also, why are the elites permitted to apply capitalism in ways that seduce people to become debt slaves?
    Also, Why are we allowing lawyers and accountants to write the laws and the rules and regulation so that the elites can exploit everyone?
    Also, why did we allow the elites to move the jobs to lower wage countries?

    I, nor anyone else, have a solution that could be able to change our social/economic system which would eliminate what has been wrong for so many years.
    For the sake of survival, we even allow the elites to go to church with us and to make a mockery of what the church has taught us, and what we teach our children.


    More news from Ukraine

    This Is Why They Must Impeach: Ukrainian MP Says Burisma Financed Clinton Campaign With $10M Unmarked Cash, Biden Personally Prevented Money Laundering Witness From Entering USA

    This Is Why They Must Impeach: Ukrainian MP Says Burisma Financed Clinton Campaign With $10M Unmarked Cash, Biden Personally Prevented Money Laundering Witness From Entering USA
    by CD Media Staff November 18, 2019
    “And of course, Burisma also helped the Clinton campaign prior to the election.”
    How did they help we asked?
    “They paid them around $10 million.”
    Wouldn’t those wire transfers show up? we questioned.
    “This was Ukraine; everything was done with big bags of cash to the Clintons.”

    Doc Robinson

    he has told his mother the Queen that his appearance on the BBC Two Newsnight special was largely a ‘great success’
    it went so badly for Prince Andrew it should spark a police investigation

    Andrew doesn’t have to worry about jail time, because his Mum can give him a royal pardon (royal prerogative of mercy). And due to sovereign immunity, he supposedly can’t even be arrested for anything while he resides at a royal palace.

    In the English and British tradition, the royal prerogative of mercy is one of the historic royal prerogatives of the British monarch, by which he or she can grant pardons (informally known as a royal pardon) to convicted persons. The royal prerogative of mercy was originally used to permit the monarch to withdraw, or provide alternatives to death sentences; the alternative of penal transportation to “partes abroade” has been used since at least 1617.[1] It is now used to change any sentence or penalty.[2] A royal pardon does not itself overturn a conviction.

    The monarch is immune from arrest in all cases; members of the royal household are immune from arrest in civil proceedings.[37] No arrest can be made “in the monarch’s presence”, or within the “verges” of a royal palace. When a royal palace is used as a residence (regardless of whether the monarch is actually living there at the time), judicial processes cannot be executed within that palace.[38] The monarch’s goods cannot be taken under a writ of execution, nor can distress be levied on land in their possession. Chattels owned by the Crown, but present on another’s land, cannot be taken in execution or for distress. The Crown is not subject to foreclosure.[39]



    The painting: I see Dali gently mocking, while cashing in, on the Cubist phase of art fads. It was Picasso who made it work to the extent that it did, imo, and absorbed it into his toolkit and approach. Remove the superficially glaring “Cubist” aspects, and the Dali painting owes more to Van Gogh’s powerful use of rhythmic color shading and Cezanne’s use of quiet hues to bring out light by suggestion rather than direct display… altho the light itself is lost in this, as I’m sure Dali knew.

    We are left with something that uses a few semiotic labels (the pipe against newsprint, for example) to mock Braques, whose signature work sucked, imo, altho his earlier, derivative and emulative work (like the sample below) at least had joy, light, and color.

    Braques Digs Fauvism and Cezanne

    As for Trump/narcissism: the kind of insecure arrogance that NPD typifies is more likely to say ‘I don’t care what you think’ than not. But the actions will reveal otherwise.

    Not that I think that having NPD is cause for political crucifixion, because:

    A) everybody in this life is nuts in some way

    B) in politics, being somewhere on the sociopathic/narcissistic spectrum is practically de rigeur.

    The thing about Trump is that his NPD is so pronounced that, coupled with being raised as an elite and Trump’s lack of management skills, it sticks out like a sore thumb, in great part because Trump never fit in with the Good Old Boys’ Club. They don’t like him and he doesn’t like them, a mutual revulsion based in great part on Trump’s inability to go with any flow but that of his screamingly wounded existential ego, and on how it makes him not just unwilling but virtually incapable of following The Rules of said Good Old Boys Club.

    IMO, the sole reason Trump is more fit to be in office than any of the so-called “reasonable” clowns (including sacred cows like Bernie Sanders and whomever the Right once saw as their Great White Hope (McCain? Colin Powell??? I stopped tracking that side of the fence awhile ago seeing as how the GOP went off the rails entirely with the (s)election of Dubya and the resurrection of the dreaded Neo-con/lib swamp things he brought about), Trump’s one superior saving grace, is that he follows his own nose. Not with integrity either moral or strategic, but with a dogged determination that makes him like a cross between a loose cannon on deck and the Energizer bunny.

    I’ve always believed he didn’t want to win, just show that he could. But a week or so before the actually election day, he suddenly conformed and did what the teleprompters bid. Back then, he was still deep in hock to Russian sphere ganksters/bangsters(sic). I reckon they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: win or else.

    If anyone confuses that concept with the cracked glaze of ‘Putin got Trump elected’ bullshit, they deserve to be forced to attend every speaking event that Hillary and Clenis can still manage to get, paid for or not. And have every porn viewing they attempt thereon show Ms. Pelosi’s eerily sexbotic face. Imagine an aging sexbot, past the facelift reclamation phase, time to take off the old head and put on a new one along with the entire dermal sheath and some interior hardware upgrades…)

    Trump won the election via his own efforts and the deranged state of the USA plebiscite. But, imo, it was Putin et al who insisted he take the job he’d so diligently applied for.

    We live in interesting times. Boredom has become the new national pasttime (or, as we call it now, scrolling Facebook).

    After all, if Donald lost, it would’ve been Hillary, and we’d probably be vaporized ash spread over the biggest mass grave since the dinosaurs cashed out.

    That’s my story and it’s sticking to me like an iron logic straitjacket. (‘Veston detroit’ for those who speak wannabe French. I do. Ask me how!)

    In the end, it’s just another Old Fart at Play


    “And they can’t show Skripal anymore than they can release Assange. Skripal would tell how he wrote the Steele dossier, and Assange would say who the DNC leaker is. That is to say, both of them would utterly debunk Russia. Again. But it won’t matter. Mueller did that already and facts and reality had no effect on the madness. That’s what madness is.”

    Illogical, Captain. Assange surely has left instructions with a trusted deputy or three about how to deal with this situation. Something similar to a ‘deadman switch’ dossier.

    I say they can’t release him because that would prove you can fight the Black Knight and win.

    There is, I believe, an entire flock of black swans winging our way like chickens coming home to roost after being converted into a secret underground lab into flying monkeysharks with laser eyes.


    Dr. D

    Interesting. Certainly didn’t look like even he expected to win. And no surprise, considering the vote-rigging around here. What do I mean? Stein did the recount in only one part of one state, tell me what she found before they shut it down, post haste.

    Anyway, then what do you make of Mueller, since he would have been all over the Russian connections like fleas on a dog. Is he working for Trump? Or Putin?


    “Putin says the US$ is going down right now. No Saudi oil = no Saudis = no Petrodollar = no Fed.”

    I totally agree, and the craven selfish part of me wants it to be postponed another year or even two so I can crank some money out to buy some distressed rural property for my kids to escape to.

    And while said hope is based on irrational emotions, I think it’s not entirely illogical as a hope. Putin doesn’t want us to crash too hard too fast, imo. That would be a likely gateway to global havoc by the Dukes of Nuk’em.

    If they do manage to get Trump impeached, we’re up for radioactive toasting, pronto, I fear. The people will generally elect the best candidate available if the duopoly will let them run a clean-ish election, which means Sanders would’ve been our prez if not for the DNC. Oh, Sanders is by now a thoroughly chastened and submissive sheepdog, but at the time, he was living the dream, i.e.winning, and knew how to work the “bully pulpit” well enough to have prevented the worst of Deep State military shenanigans despite his obvious understanding that you Don’t Oppose the Milindustrial Complex Until You Win Office (and are willing to be assassinated).

    But that’s probably just wishful retrospective thinking, cuz even when I was an early supporter of Bernie, I knew that foreign policy was his moral Achilles’ Heel. Like too many Jews of his generation, he had a relatively blind eye toward Israel and all the vicious entanglements comprising it.


    bosco, no idea what happened there, I was trying to fix the coding error that made all your text bold, and when I pressed Save, it was gone. Sorry for that. You still have it stored somewhere?


    “Anyway, then what do you make of Mueller, since he would have been all over the Russian connections like fleas on a dog. Is he working for Trump? Or Putin?”

    Mueller isn’t worth considering, imo, as his final showdown in Congress revealed. He just did what he was told. Wadda maroon! I think the reason they didn’t go after the established money-laundering ties between Trump and (mostly Kazakhstani, as I recall) Russosphere banksters is that it lay too close to the very same grave they are now nonetheless witlessly disinterring. If they went after Trump with genuine verifiable data, that would’ve taken them down too.

    So instead, they did the Putin Rigged the Election dance, which has nonetheless brought them to the very same grave of closet skeletons they wished to avoid. It’s a BIG grave.

    They acted so because they’re as crazy as Trump, and hardly brighter if not dumber, but Trump has the dubious benefit of the truth being more on his side than theirs.

    I believe someone here quoted Hemingway recently. Something like ‘It will end two ways. First gradually, then suddenly.’ While Trump is deep in shit as much or more than they are, he knows it. He’s a Bad Boy, a rebel, and doesn’t enjoy the false sense of protection that these aging political sexbots, and their younger apprentices (anyone care to flesh that metaphor out for us? I’m tired, and a bit scared of where that might go.) So even a crazy, not fantastically bright geriatric with obvious signs of doddering into a nursing home soon, is outfoxing them like Chanticleer on rocket skates.

    It’s been great fun, y’all, but I have to run and do some, er, serious writing. Or so they call it. Stuff like this:

    “Her brother had been assassinated by a hacked delivery drone. Neat little protuberance at the front of the unloader proved adept at intruding into the dude’s solar plexus after briefly chewing his face with its rotors.”

    Not that I’m writing a thriller. Ick. I don’t like having my adrenaline amped unless I’m having sex. But the crazy revenge/societally nihilistic citizen-kills-citizen death toll grows in an up-trending curve every day, and why should guns and knives have all the fun, and why shouldn’t vengeful code-monkeys have a hand in the mayhem? It’s just something I had laying out in my certifiably chaotic notes. A slice of life detail to convey how crazy modern urban life has become.

    I talk too much so I’ll lay low for a few days. Yakking in fora and on comment threads is a former bad habit I’d finally broken until Raul, damn his gorgeous soul, lured me in with TAE. So I have to use the gift of online gab as a highly controlled substance.

    Wow. I actually conned myself into getting to work. Procrastinate Your Way to Getting Off Your Ass, my new self-help book. Available in finer imaginary bookstores.


    “bosco, no idea what happened there, I was trying to fix the coding error that made all your text bold, and when I pressed Save, it was gone. Sorry for that. You still have it stored somewhere?”

    Sorry, Raul. I typed it online.

    I know the following logic is indistinguishable from rabid paranoia, but I can’t help but think that all the NSA-ish ghosts in the ionternet have, like all things manufactured by today’s quasi-industry, has gone so wonky it screws up everything. If that tinfoil notion is true, let’s take solace that somewhere deep in the bowels of Langleyville, some spook is saying, “SHIT! no idea what happened there, I was trying to fix the coding error that made all your text bold, and when I pressed Save, it was gone.”


    Let’s just call it God’s Will. 😉 ciao


    No Langley, just WordPress.


    Back while a pizza cooks me lunch.

    SYlvain LaForest raises some terrific notions. The *effect* of Trump’s actions (described with the pill/aftereffects metaphor) seems pretty much as described. Trump might even have been smart enough to plan his actions this way.

    But I don’t know how intentional or witting those actions were. Another perspective could be that Trump simply says it like he wants to on any given day, cuz that’s Trump.

    The author kinda stains themselves with this:

    “Terrorism and anthropogenic global warming will jump in the vortex and disappear with their creators.”

    I’ve watched global climate change for a long time. I’ve been watching Peak Oil since ’75, altho the name wasn’t around back then that I knew of. Yes, we are influencing the climate. The climate ia very finely tuned, very complex system., Such things are very susceptible to changes in their dynamic balance. The fact that this means that sunspot activity, major volcanic eruptions, etc., can also disrupt this balance is not evidence against anthropogenic influence in global climate change, it is evidence supporting the basic concept of anthropogenic climate change (AGC), which is that any significant different input into said system will produce significant change.

    FWIW, the person who popularized AGC was MAggie Thatcher, and that shaved cunt did so to stomp on Welsh coal miners, who were an ornery bunch, a real force to be reckoned with. She stumbled upon AGC and saw it as a tool to make people believe that Coal Is Bad. I don’t recall her objecting to North Sea oil drilling/production/consumption.

    She has previous experience in shafting (ouch!) coal miners:

    Aberfan coal disaster

    “But in his search for cash to clear the tips, George presented the families of Aberfan with a bill for £250,000 (later reduced to £150,000) which he slyly called “a local contribution”. It would come from the charitable fund that had been set up to alleviate suffering and rebuild the community. George – a socialist later ennobled as Viscount Tonypandy by Margaret Thatcher – had behaved in a way that shamed and angered other Labour figures. The money was rightly repaid (at modern standards) by Labour’s Ron Davies and Rhodri Morgan many years later.”

    As I recall, the repayment was kinda shitty, too. But the point here is that she had no trouble with a fellow his peers saw as disgraced. Speaking of disgrace:

    Yet Another UK Politician Sex Scandal Involving Pedophilia

    God loves a fool, they say, which is the only way in which I can think of Trump as any kind of Chosen One or righter of wrongs.

    Trump’s verified history shows him as a man of minimal conscience at best, but he is Trump, not Trump-bot. He is what he is, and he is willfully independent and disruptive. But his presence is useful at least in the short run because he won’t march to any drum but his own. Confusing this independent streak with morally virtuous fortitude is not justified by what’s known of his history.

    Any swamp-draining he does, any bank-busting he does, is most likely for three reasons: one, to show those fuckers he is too better than them (after every bank in USA blacklisted him because he prefers not to repay bills unless forced to, two, because anything that makes people say, ‘Yeah Trump! is not just manna but necessary life-giving oxygen to a seriously insatiable ego (probably created by deep wounds in his early childhood along with a probable genetic predisposition toward sociopathy), and c) those fuckers want to kill him for being who he is and prez at the same time.


    Where I first learned about this awhile back:

    More Maggie and AGC


    More Ukraine new, From ZH

    In response to the review, Solomon tweeted: “I welcome The Hill’s review of my Ukraine columns and suggested it myself a month ago. I believe it won’t be hard for The Hill to review these since all my source documents and original interviews are linked for all to see. Plus witnesses have affirmed much of what I wrote.”


    Donald Trump backtracks on restricting flavored vaping cartridges. The reason given is the loss of jobs and votes that this will cause. The truth is that making money overrides safety or kids getting hooked on drugs. “Honey Cut” additive that mimics unregulated THC vaping cartridge oil kills users. Boeing has yet to agree to mandate flight training that costs money so pilots can instinctively handle the 737 Max’s new flight characteristics. Armored US National Guard units were flown in keep Syria’s oil while leaving the Kurds at the mercy of jihadists. Anything that makes money for oligarchs is acceptable no matter the consequences. This is the deregulated unsafe corporate state in action. Unrest circles the global on the first anniversary of the Yellow Vest uprising. The one sure thing is that vampire capitalism will fall.

    Will there be any survivors?

    V. Arnold

    Will there be any survivors?

    Of course there will be survivors.
    Do you remember the “book people” in Fahrenheit 451?
    And, just as Sontag escaped to the land of the Book People; the government hid their failure to capture him behind a plethora of lies and televised drama of his demise.
    As you so well illustrated; we’re already there…
    But I’m here, and not there… 😉


    After Graeber’s recent enthusiastic participation in cancel culture, I find it very difficult to give him any credence in anything at all. I first was a bit concerned when he appeared on The Kaiser Report a year or so ago and seemed to be giggling to himself with every reply, but there’s absolutely no excuse for his behaviour in the cancelling of science and academic learning. A pox on David.

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