Dec 242019
 December 24, 2019  Posted by at 10:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

George N. Barnard Federal picket post near Atlanta, Georgia 1864


Impeachment Foot-Dragging Is Proof Dems Have Nothing On Trump (McCaughey)
‘Stop Playing Games’: Graham Warns Pelosi Senate May ‘Strike Back’ (ZH)
Hunter Biden Allegedly Linked To Multiple Criminal Probes (NYP)
US Govt Blew $3 Trillion On Afghanistan, Congress Adds Another Trillion (OP)
Christmas in Flyover Land (Kunstler)
Medical Opinion, Torture and Julian Assange (AIM)
Russia Ready To Share All Info Required By MH17 Crash Investigators (RT)
New Russia-Crimea Rail Link Condemned By EU (BBC)
World ‘Faces 80% Calorie Increase By End Of Century’ (BBC)
For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865 (NPR)
‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’ Goodies Hottest Holiday Merch This Xmas (NYP)



Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.

She has some intriguing arguments: “they are trying to strong-arm McConnell into calling witnesses. Yet they are forgetting that McConnell can’t negotiate away executive privilege. It’s not his to surrender.”

The discussion is far from over.

Impeachment Foot-Dragging Is Proof Dems Have Nothing On Trump (McCaughey)

McConnell is proposing that House Dems and then White House lawyers make their arguments to the senators. The trial could be wrapped up in a couple of weeks, unless senators ≠decide after hearing the arguments that they need to hear witnesses. But Schumer wants more witnesses guaranteed upfront. After 17 witnesses, 8,000 pages of testimony and legal arguments, 106 House staff members working full-time, six high-paid outside lawyers and millions of dollars spent to produce a party-line vote in the House to impeach, Senate Democrats are hankering for another long, drawn-out spectacle. They aren’t outsmarting anyone except themselves. The witnesses they are seeking are unlikely to show up, no matter what political tricks the Democrats try.

Meanwhile, national support for impeachment is steadily falling, and every day Democrats spend on impeachment lessens their chances of unseating Trump in November. Schumer wants four White House officials, including Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton, to testify. But Democrats lost their chance to bring in these witnesses by voting to impeach. Close advisers to any president are protected by executive privilege. That isn’t a Trump invention. Presidents, including George Washington, have said “no” when Congress demanded access to evidence of White House decision-making. President Barack Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, was especially aggressive about asserting privilege.

The Constitution creates three equal branches of government, and the president has a duty to protect his branch from congressional overreach. When these two branches clash, the federal courts are the referee. That’s true generally, but House Dems took a shortcut. When Trump refused to provide certain witnesses, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff balked at “a lengthy game of rope-a-dope with the courts.” It was a short-sighted move. Once House Dems voted to impeach, they lost any chance to have the federal courts order Trump’s advisers to appear. The Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that judges cannot interfere in impeachment trials, because the Senate has “the sole power” over them.

In fact, minutes after the vote, federal appeals judges asked Congress to show why its case to compel the testimony of former White House lawyer Don McGahn isn’t abruptly ended because “the articles of impeachment render the case moot.” With the courthouse doors slammed shut on impeachers, they are trying to strong-arm McConnell into calling witnesses. Yet they are forgetting that McConnell can’t negotiate away executive privilege. It’s not his to surrender.

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The only thing left for Pelosi appears to try and draw it out.

‘Stop Playing Games’: Graham Warns Pelosi Senate May ‘Strike Back’ (ZH)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Monday that the “Constitutional outrage” by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “needs to end,” and that if it continues into 2020, “the Senate needs to strike back.” “The Senate will decide how we dispose of this sham created by the house,” Graham tweeted, referring to the impasse created by Pelosi – who is refusing to transmit two articles of impeachment against President Trump until the Senate agrees to her terms. President Trump also had words for Pelosi on Monday after the Speaker called for “fairness” in a Senate trial.

“Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so,” Trump tweeted, adding “She lost Congress once, she will do it again!” Pelosi says she will only transmit the impeachment articles to the Senate after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announces the process they will use for Trump’s trial. McConnell has advocated for a similar process to Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment, which included an initial agreement to first hear the case, followed by a vote on whether to call witnesses.

Speaking with “Fox and Friends” on Monday, McConnell said “we’re at an impasse” and “we can’t do anything until the speaker sends the papers over, so everybody enjoy the holidays.” McConnell blasted Pelosi for trying to “tell us how to run the trial.” “Look, what we need to do is to listen to the arguments, have a written questioning period, and then decide whether we need witnesses or not,” McConnell said, adding that some Republican senators “have said, ‘I am thinking of myself as a juror,'” while others believe “the case against President Trump is very thin.” -NBC News

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Either Joe drops Hunter or the Dems will drop Joe.

Hunter Biden Allegedly Linked To Multiple Criminal Probes (NYP)

Hunter Biden is the subject of multiple criminal investigations related to “fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme,” it’s claimed in court documents filed Monday in his Arkansas paternity case. The claims were put forward by a Florida-based private-eye firm, D&A Investigations, in Biden’s ongoing case against alleged baby mama Lunden Alexis Roberts, a former Washington, DC, stripper who went by “Dallas.” Soon after the claims were filed, a judge struck the allegations down because they were filed by an “intervener,” according to court papers. Biden filed a motion to strike down the claims, arguing “the notice is filed by a non-party simply to make scandalous allegations in the pending suit to gain some media attention.”

Biden, 49, “is the subject of more than one criminal investigation involving fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme,” the filing alleges. One of those purported investigations relates to Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company with which Biden held a lucrative board post while his father, Joe, was vice president — drawing allegations of impropriety from Republicans including President Trump. Biden and a group of business associates “established bank and financial accounts with Morgan Stanley … for Burisma Holdings Limited … for the money laundering scheme,” D&A claims, further alleging that the accounts showed an average account value of nearly $6.8 million between March 2014 and December 2015.

Biden and the others — including Devon Archer, John Galanis and Bevan Cooney — allegedly “utilized a counterfeiting scheme to conceal the Morgan Stanley et al Average Account Value,” D&A claims in the papers filed at the Circuit Court of Independence County, Arkansas. The filing additionally alleges that Biden had a hand in a plot including Galanis, Cooney and Archer to rip off Sioux Native Americans to the tune of $60 million through the shady sale of tribal bonds. Galanis, Archer and Cooney were found guilty for their roles in June 2018, following a lengthy trial in Manhattan federal court. In November, Archer’s conviction was overturned by a Manhattan federal judge.

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In case you were wondering who really rules the USA.

US Govt Blew $3 Trillion On Afghanistan, Congress Adds Another Trillion (OP)

It’s rare that I read something on the Washington Post that I don’t find highly biased, even repugnant. But with their recent article on the Afghanistan Papers, they truly knocked the ball out of the park. The facts they shared should have every American protesting in the streets. Trillions of dollars have been spent on a war that the Pentagon knew was unwinnable all along. More than 2300 American soldiers died there and more than 20,000 have been injured. More than 150,000 Afghanis were killed, many of them civilians, including women and children. And they lied to us constantly. Congress just proved that the truth doesn’t matter, though. A mere 22 hours after the release of this document, the new National Defense Authorization Act that breezed through the House and Senate was signed by the President.

That bill authorized $738 billion in military spending for 2020, actually increasing the budget by $22 billion over previous years. So, how is your representation in Washington, DC working out for you? [..] I know, I know – WaPo. But believe me when I tell you this is something all Americans need to see. This was an article that took three years of legal battles to bring to light. WaPo acquired the documents using the Freedom of Information Act and got more than 2000 pages of insider interviews with “people who played a direct role in the war, from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials.” These documents were originally part of a federal investigation into the “root failures” of the longest conflict in US history – more than 18 years now.

Three presidents, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, have been involved in this ongoing war. It turns out that officials knew the entire time this war was “unwinnable” yet they kept throwing American lives and American money at it.

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“Pottersville is way more appealing than 99 percent of America’s small towns today, dead as they are.”

Christmas in Flyover Land (Kunstler)

When you get down to it, the sickness at the heart of our nation these days is the result of countless bad choices, large and small, that we’ve made collectively over decades, including the ones made by our elected officialdom. The good news is that we could potentially move in the opposite direction and start making better choices. However deficient and unappetizing you think Mr. Trump is, and how crudely unorthodox his behavior, that equation is what got enough people to vote for him. The strenuous efforts to antagonize him, disable him, and get rid of him by any means necessary — including police-state tactics, bad faith inquisitions, and outright sedition — have prevented the nation as a whole from entertaining a realistic new consensus for making better choices. In fact, it has achieved just the opposite: a near civil war, edition 2.0.

All the people of America, including the flyovers, are responsible for the sad situation we’re in: this failure to reestablish a common culture of values most people can subscribe to and use it to rebuild our towns into places worth caring about. Main Street, as it has come to be, is the physical manifestation of that failure. The businesses that used to occupy the storefronts are gone, except for second-hand stores. Nobody in 1952 would have believed this could happen. And yet, there it is: the desolation is stark and heartbreaking. Even George Bailey’s “nightmare” scene in It’s a Wonderful Life depicts the supposedly evil Pottersville as a very lively place, only programmed for old-fashioned wickedness: gin mills and streetwalkers.

Watch the movie and see for yourself. Pottersville is way more appealing than 99 percent of America’s small towns today, dead as they are. The dynamics that led to this are not hard to understand. The concentration of retail commerce in a very few gigantic corporations was a swindle that the public fell for. Enthralled like little children by the dazzle and gigantism of the big boxes, and the free parking, we allowed ourselves to be played. The excuse was “bargain shopping,” which actually meant we have sent the factories to distant lands and eliminated your jobs, and all the meaning and purpose in your lives — and cheap stuff from Asia is your consolation prize. Enjoy…

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After Doctors For Assange, it’s high time for Lawyers For Assange. Take the governments involved to court in their own countries.

Medical Opinion, Torture and Julian Assange (AIM)

The medical degrading of Assange has assumed ever greater importance, suggesting unwavering state complicity. On November 22, over 65 notable medical doctors sent the UK Home Secretary a note based on Melzer’s November 1 findings and Assange’s state at the October 21 case management hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court. “It is our opinion that Mr Assange requires urgent expert medical assessment of both his physical and psychological state of health. Any medical treatment indicated should be administered in a properly equipped and expertly staffed university teaching hospital (tertiary care).”

In a second open letter to the UK Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice dated December 4, the Doctors for Assange collective warned that the UK’s “refusal to take the required measures to protect Mr Assange’s rights, health and dignity appears [to] be reckless at best and deliberate at worst and, in both cases, unlawfully and unnecessarily exposes Mr Assange to potentially irreversible risks.” The same grounds were reiterated in a December 16 letter to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, with a curt reminder that she had “an undeniable legal obligation to protect your citizen against the abuse of his fundamental rights, stemming from US efforts to extradite Mr Assange for journalism and publishing that exposed US war crimes.” In the event that Payne took no action on the matter, “people would want to know what you […] did to prevent his death.”

In the addendum to the open letter, further to reiterating the precarious state of Assange’s health and medical status as a torture victim, the doctors elaborate on the circular cruelty facing the publisher. An individual deemed “a victim of psychological torture cannot be adequately medically treated while continuing to be held under the very conditions constituting psychological torture, as is currently the case for Julian Assange.” Appropriate medical treatment was hardly possible through a prison hospital ward. A lesson in understanding mental torture is also proffered. “Contrary to popular misconception, the injuries caused by psychological torture are real and extremely serious. The term psychological torture is not a synonym for mere hardship, suffering or distress.”

At Assange’s case management hearing on December 19, restrictions on medical opinion were again implemented; psychiatrist Marco Chiesa and psychologist David Morgan were prevented from attending. Both had been signatories to the spray of open letters. According to Morgan, he had hoped to “provide some observations about Julian Assange’s health, psychologically, and with my colleagues, physically.” Instead, it transpired that access was denied, according to psychologist Lissa Johnson, “despite members of the public offering to give up seats for them.”

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They have been for 5.5 years. But they have already been found guilty before any trial. The “investigators” went with Ukraine and Bellingcat instead, and are now so deeply invested they can’t get out anymore.

Russia Ready To Share All Info Required By MH17 Crash Investigators (RT)

Moscow is poised to give assistance in the investigation of the crash of flight MH17 in 2014, as it always has been, a Russian EU envoy has assured stakeholders, responding to a call for cooperation by the Dutch foreign minister. “We are ready to cooperate in clarifying all the circumstances of the incident,” Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s envoy to the European Union, told media on Monday. In fact, Moscow has always been poised to do so, but its proposals were brushed aside, the diplomat recalled. Moscow is also prepared to hand over “the data we have” to its Dutch counterparts, ahead of a court trial that will look at the evidence collected by the Netherlands-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in March next year, Chizhov said.

The envoy spoke shortly after Stef Blok, the foreign minister of the Netherlands, said Russia’s contribution is needed to find some missing facts about the crash, which killed 298 passengers and crew. The Hague had “asked the Russian Federation to cooperate in a factual investigation into the closing of airspace above and around Ukraine,” Blok wrote to Dutch lawmakers on Sunday. Blok’s letter comes two months after Chris van Dam, spokesman for the MH17 probe, announced the inquiry will focus on why Ukraine’s airspace “was not closed” over Donetsk at the time of intense hostilities between the government military and rebel forces in the breakaway Donbass region.

Back in 2015, a report released by the Dutch Safety Board confirmed that, while it was hard to find out who was behind downing of flight MH17, the airspace over Ukraine should have been closed. Meanwhile, lawyers representing some victims of the crash maintain that it was Ukraine’s responsibility to ensure the safety of civilian air traffic during the fighting. [..] Moscow has consistently said that, despite not being included in the investigation team, it is still open to cooperation. Russia has already provided radar records, declassified military data on a missile thought to have downed the plane, and files proving that the projectile which downed the plane had been in Ukraine since the 1980s – but the data was persistently rejected as the probe proceeded.

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St Petersburg to Sevastopol: a 43-hour train ride.

New Russia-Crimea Rail Link Condemned By EU (BBC)

President Vladimir Putin has heralded the opening of a railway bridge to the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula by posing in the driver’s cab and praising construction workers. But opening of the railway was immediately condemned by the European Union as “another violation” by Russia of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory. Russia’s 19km (12-mile) bridge to Crimea first opened in May last year. President Putin marked that occasion by driving a lorry over it. On Monday he asserted that millions of cars had already crossed the bridge and said the rail link “was a big deal as well”, with plans to carry 14 million passengers and 13 million tonnes of freight in 2020. Until the bridge was built, Russia had to rely on sea and air to supply the peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in February 2014 before annexing it through a referendum rejected by the United Nations as invalid.

The $3.6bn (£2.8bn; €3.2bn) bridge was built by a close friend of the president, Arkady Rotenberg. Mr Rotenberg and several of his companies had EU and US sanctions imposed on them. Russia’s president said the Kerch Strait bridge, with its new rail link, would have an impact on Russia’s economy as a whole. In a tweet, the presidency declared the bridge open to railway traffic. Mr Putin boarded a three-carriage train in the Crimean city of Kerch, stood in the cab beside the driver and sounded the horn, before sitting with Mr Rotenberg as well as Russian and local officials as they travelled across the strait to Taman in southern Russia. Mr Putin told construction workers that there had only been three times in 145 years that the rail route from St Petersburg to Sevastopol in Crimea had been broken: during the Russian revolution, during World War Two and in 2014.

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Some things simply won’t happen because they can’t.

World ‘Faces 80% Calorie Increase By End Of Century’ (BBC)

The amount of food needed to feed the world’s population by the end of the century could increase by almost 80%, a study has suggested. Researchers from Germany said a trend of increasing Body Mass Index (BMI) is resulting in individuals requiring more calories. The authors warn that failure to meet the need for more calories could lead to greater global inequality. The findings have been published in the journal Plos One. The study, carried out by a team from the University of Gottingen, calculated that 60% of the calorie increase would be a result of the growing number of people in the world.

According to the UN World Population Prospects, the global population was estimated to increase from almost seven billion in 2010 to almost 11 billion in 2100. Yet, more that 18% of the increase in the calories from 2010 levels would come from a projected increase in height and weight figures in the global population. “The increase in the average daily required energy rises by 253 kcal per person between 2010 and 2100 in our estimations, assuming a rising BMI and height,” explained co-author Lutz Depenbusch from the World Vegetable Center. He told BBC News: “On a global scale, we calculate that the effect of the BMI and height increases in our model would lead to additional calorie requirements that match the 2010 requirements of India and Nigeria combined.”

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The system many people claim would be too expensive to repair or replace. Sounds like pretty straightforward fraud to me.

For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865 (NPR)

Alexa Kasdan had a cold and a sore throat. The 40-year-old public policy consultant from Brooklyn, N.Y., didn’t want her upcoming vacation trip ruined by strep throat. So after it had lingered for more than a week, she decided to get it checked out. Kasdan visited her primary care physician, Roya Fathollahi, at Manhattan Specialty Care, just off Park Avenue South and not far from tony Gramercy Park. The visit was quick. Kasdan got her throat swabbed, gave a tube of blood and was sent out the door with a prescription for antibiotics. She soon felt better, and the trip went off without a hitch. Then the bill came. The news was that her insurance company was mailing her family a check — for more than $25,000 — to cover some out-of-network lab tests.

The actual bill was $28,395.50, but the doctor’s office said it would waive her portion of the bill: $2,530.26. “I thought it was a mistake,” she says. “I thought maybe they meant $250. I couldn’t fathom in what universe I would go to a doctor for a strep throat culture and some antibiotics and I would end up with a $25,000 bill.” The doctor’s office kept assuring Kasdan by phone and by email that the tests and charges were perfectly normal. The office sent a courier to her house to pick up the check. How could a throat swab possibly cost that much? Let us count three reasons. First, the doctor sent Kasdan’s throat swab for a sophisticated smorgasbord of DNA tests looking for viruses and bacteria that might explain Kasdan’s cold symptoms.

Dr. Ranit Mishori, professor of family medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, says such scrutiny was unnecessary. “In my 20 years of being a doctor, I’ve never ordered any of these tests, let alone seen any of my colleagues, students and other physicians order anything like that in the outpatient setting,” she says. “I have no idea why they were ordered.” The tests might conceivably make sense for a patient in the intensive care unit or with a difficult case of pneumonia, Mishori says. The ones for influenza are potentially useful, since there are medicines that can help, but there’s a cheap rapid test that could have been used instead.

The second reason behind the high price is that the doctor sent the throat swab to an out-of-network lab for analysis. In-network labs settle on contract rates with insurers. But out-of-network labs can set their own prices for tests, and in this case the lab settled on list prices that are 20 times higher than average for other labs in the same ZIP code. In this case, if the doctor had sent the throat swab off to LabCorp -Kasdan’s in-network provider- it would have billed her insurance company about $653 for “all the ordered tests, or an equivalent,” LabCorp told NPR. The third reason for the high bill may be the connection between the lab and Kasdan’s doctor. Kasdan’s bill shows that the lab service was provided by Manhattan Gastroenterology, which has the same phone number and locations as her doctor’s office.

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A fitting end to the year.

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’ Goodies Hottest Holiday Merch This Xmas (NYP)

It’s the most controversial time of the year. Following the August death of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a rash of sweaters, Christmas tree ornaments and other holiday goods have appeared on retail sites like Amazon and Etsy touting conspiracies that the 66-year-old was murdered. “Christmas lights are a lot like Epstein — they don’t hang themselves,” reads one $19.80 sweater on Amazon featuring the 66-year-old in a Santa hat. Plenty of ornaments also include the allegation, including this one, which also features a noose.

“During Christmas, an elf may sit on a shelf, but Epstein didn’t kill himself,” says another Amazon sweater, available starting at $29.99 in eight different colors.“Dasher & dancer & prancer & Epstein & didn’t & kill himself & Donner & Blitzen,” reads one $18.99 T-shirt. An almost-classic gingerbread-themed ornament has a naughty box, a nice box — and an “Epstein didn’t kill himself” box, which is checked. “Merry Christmas!” reads the cover of a $6.99 notebook, “Epstein didn’t kill himself.” A ransom-style note sweater with “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself,” is available in designs featuring Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Kim Jong-un.

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Home Forums Debt Rattle Christmas Eve 2019

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    George N. Barnard Federal picket post near Atlanta, Georgia 1864   • Impeachment Foot-Dragging Is Proof Dems Have Nothing On Trump (McCaughey) •
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle Christmas Eve 2019]

    V. Arnold

    George N. Barnard Federal picket post near Atlanta, Georgia 1864

    That is one hell of a photograph; taken 155 years ago…
    Great choice Ilargi…


    I was imagining them celebrating Christmas together.

    Dr. D

    “Impeachment Foot-Dragging Is Proof Dems Have Nothing on Trump (McCaughey)”

    I have no idea what they’re doing. It’s national-security critical they impeach and not wait for election, until it’s suddenly national-security critical they NOT impeach, and hold off forever, or something, they’re not explaining it well. While they House tries to run not only the Executive, not only the Judiciary (by not waiting and presenting then removing cases), but the Senate too? And now they want to call witnesses they didn’t call because they were in a rush? But not THEM, but to make the Senate do the work for them? Well shirking all work and duty and ordering other people to do their job for them is like Socialists everywhere, so that makes sense, but I got nothin’. Like the Senate should care if she passes the papers or not? Why? The GOP WANTS the trial, but if not, they’ll just keep doing their day job of appointing Federal Judges and watching Barr and Durham arrest and declassify FBI crimes.

    Baffling. But I’m not a vicious two-faced butt-weasel, so I have a hard time imagining what they have planned.

    Anyway, I can’t see that helping with the American people whom they’ve already lost. It’s only saying to the dumbest guy that they’ve got no crimes, no urgency, and it was political, just like the GOP is trying to argue.

    Hunter Biden Allegedly Linked To Multiple Criminal Probes (NYP)

    Sadly. But you can’t leave a hundred-million dollar paper trail through several countries worldwide without attracting attention. The fraud and crime is just too large to hide. Wish he hadn’t done that, sounds like he had enough life-problems already. He’s still due in court with his taxes for paternity.

    US Govt Blew $3 Trillion on Afghanistan, Congress Adds Another Trillion (OP)”

    The Secret State of Military-Industrial, and Eisenhower said “Congressional” complex. So in that case who’s against them? Certainly seems like somebody is. And from my suspicion it is the foot-soldiers there, you know, the REAL Army, not Halliburton, real Army intelligence, not CIA, yesterday’s report that Admiral Rogers of the NSA is being just as helpful to Barr vs. the CIA/FBI as he was when he set up a SCIF and informed Trump he was being spied on in Trump Towers using non-stop FBI informants and wiretapping. You know, just like Watergate, only 100x larger. But here’s that old Admiral Rogers again. So if we’re picking sides, who’s where?

    And since Trump is Hitler, WHY have Pelosi and the Democrats resisted him by giving near-infinite money to him and the military again, in the face of a 20-year Pentagon-Papers scandal, without a whiff of shame or irony? So what side does that put THEM on? Rogers and the dogface’s side, or Deep State MIC-C’s side? When it’s reported, then not reported, which side does that put CNN, WaPo, and the BBC on?

    Pottersville is way more appealing than 99 percent of America’s small towns today, dead as they are.

    I just watched that movie and that was my exact impression. Pottersville is a god-d—-d DREAM compared to the reality of every (former) Bedford Falls in America. At least there IS economic activity, regardless of how bad. “Nobody in 1952 would have believed this could happen.”? No, Ayn Rand did, and precisely, much as it pains me to say so. She wrote the EXACT future of Detroit’s majesty in 1957, if the U.S. kept adding Socialism drop by drop: Detroit would fall to ruins, back to a brushy wild acres between collapsed auto plants, where illiterate people caught rabbits, thinking of nothing higher about the post-apocalyptic ruins around them. Chapter 9, page 270.

    But “nobody could have seen it coming”, you know, unless they read any history book on Socialism ever. This is EXACTLY what does, must, and always will happen, as we’ve run the experiment some 100 times for some 150 years and got the same result each time. What’s that definition of Insanity, of #AntiLogos, again? Killing 300 million people? I’d say more than Religion, but Socialist Scientific Materialism IS a religion, with wild-eyed Zealots of the Inquisition arresting and excommunicating people daily for scientific heresy such as the existence of gender, as we see in the news.

    Ah Pottersville. At least you can go to work and after get a drink at an open bar. Neither is possible in Flyoverland.

    Medical Opinion, Torture and Julian Assange (AIM)”

    Stop talking about torturing Assange: you’re just giving these guys Christmas joy to know they have death and mass-murder in their stocking. Ah and the good people are sad about it? See, Christmas wishes really do come true.

    Russia Ready To Share All Info Required By MH17 Crash Investigators (RT)

    The levels we get to are truly astonishing, aren’t they? So 6 years after this super-duper-big-deal crash, they’re only THINKING about, you know, maybe, getting evidence from the guy who had full radar and satellite coverage of the area in question. Huh. It’s almost like you’re not serious about this. And also don’t give a s—t about 283 of your citizens, or want to ask why they were diverted to fly directly over a war zone where two Ukrainian MIGs were waiting for them.

    World ‘Faces 80% Calorie Increase by End Of Century’ (BBC)

    Malthius said the same thing. Luckily we waste more food than that in ethanol and restaurant plates, and also still have so much land we’re mostly paving instead of planting it. So despite Greta’s and the BBC’s best efforts to kill everyone on earth, I think we’ll be okay.

    For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865 (NPR)

    With no price-signals since 1990, we have random cost subtracted by a random discount, hilariously unrelated to profit, effort, or logic. Apparently it’s not bad enough yet that anyone wants to enforce the law. You know, Sherman Anti-trust that medical industry lost in the Supreme Court several times? Nope. Enforce the law when we have infinite costs x infinite corruption = zero results? No way. I can still see a horizon, and it’s still far away. (Smack). America: the land of Over-do.

    This was an interesting quote. About the Bundy standoff: “they still stood there in an act of open rebellion against the government – a position the Left would call treason, since the Left views people as serving government, hence rebellion against government is treason. The Right views the government as serving people, and open warfare against the will of the people is treason.”

    Very insightful. Also why everything the government says is true™, but also why everything said by anyone related to Bill Barr or John Durham is false. While everything said by Schiff is true, everything said by Nunes is false. So I finally have my decoder ring: we know whether it’s true or not, whether people are lying or not, depending on whether they want larger or smaller government. The people who believe this most desire to be the servants of government, some strongman and warlord who will tell them what to do, while the people who dissent want the government to serve the people and the government doesn’t get to tell them what to do: they tell the government.

    I emailed a copy of the Constitution to a friend. I was hoping the NSA would finally read it.

    He continues: “As we have seen from previous Leftist Singularities (Robespierre, Stalin, Mao, Mangos and A Future That Must Not Be), once a Leftist movement is started, the killing only ends when a leader, (Stalin or Mao, for instance) kill everyone to the LEFT of them. The Right has seen this, the Right understands this.”

    Seems counterintuitive, yet that’s exactly what’s happening with SJW today. But they’re to the LEFT of Mao: at least Mao thought there should BE a country, and that country is known by its people and its borders. As #AntiLogos, they categorically refuse all borders, all limits, and all definitions at all. Even those of the laws of biology, sociology, and physics.


    hallucination, mirage mean something that is believed to be true or real but that is actually false or unreal. delusion implies an inability to distinguish between what is real and what only seems to be real, often as the result of a disordered state of mind.


    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by private owners for profit rather than by the by the community as a whole.
    Where is Santa Claus right now? We’re tracking his sleigh across the globe.
    He’s the man with all the toys, and NORAD has eyes on him.


    instead try
    ENABLER – (banker, lawyer, accountant financier, politician, elite)

    a person or thing that makes something possible.


    Running Hot

    DECEMBER 21, 2019
    The highly probable and downright inevitable unwind of today’s trifecta of financial asset bubbles: stocks, corporate credit, and Treasury bonds may soon morph into brutal bear market. The end game is unstoppable in our view and approaching fast.

    Doc Robinson

    “After Doctors For Assange, it’s high time for Lawyers For Assange.”

    And how about Journalists for Assange? The corporate media coverage is abysmal, but it’s encouraging to see so many individual journalists “speak up for Assange.”

    1022 signatories from 91 countries so far


    Money goes a long way in making everything legal.

    Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Alleges Ambassador Yovanovich Prevented Yanukovych Stolen Billions From Returning To Ukraine

    Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Alleges Ambassador Yovanovich Prevented Yanukovych Stolen Billions From Returning To Ukraine
    by CD Media Staff December 23, 2019

    Former Ukrainian General Prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko alleged in Ukrainian media this week that former American Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, prevented billions of dollars of Ukrainian public funds stolen by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, from returning to Ukraine in order to keep the money accessible to the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The interview was aired on “Freedom of Speech” with Savik Shuster.
    According to Lutsenko, the people of the former president withdrew more than $ 7 billion to the American hedge fund Franklin Templeton Investments.


    Surprised? Me? How about this is a move that keeps House members from being compelled to testify before the Senate?

    House Democrats Mull Second Impeachment

    .. while DOJ lawyers acknowledged in a Monday brief that the legal fight over McGahn isn’t moot, the fact that the House Judiciary Committee moved forward with impeachment on a completely different matter removes the urgency to resolve their case.

    “The reasons for refraining are even more compelling now that what the Committee asserted — whether rightly or wrongly — as the primary justification for its decision to sue no longer exists,” wrote lawyers for the DOJ. The agency also argues that the Mueller impeachment investigation is over, when House lawyers and lawmakers have described it as ongoing and active, according to the report.

    Dr D Rich

    Come on Dr. D! You would have us believe Saint Admiral Mikey Rogers sprinted to Trump Tower out of his heart’s goodness rather than to protect his deep in the MIC ass from federal prison. I’d say He of The Four Titles Rogers panicked rather than engage in some noble deed. Think about it 1. Director NSA 2. Director US Cyber Command 3. Director Central Security Service 4. 4-star Admiral all held simultaneously. The nation owes a debt of gratitude to this great man of many simultaneous titles who spied on every single freakin’ communication of the American people. Yeah, that kind of Boy Scout.
    Again, a personal anecdote. Mike and I were officer contemporaries, but he fell a little behind the curve on the promotion ladder. What accounts for his meteoric rise after Captain? One of his replacements, Jan Tighe, was also a classmate whose equally meteoric rise to the admiralty is underscored by a PhD awarded by NPS. I just can’t recall her demonstrating the aptitude or academic achievement as an undergraduate which generally herald auch future achievements.
    But sour grapes and all that.

    John Day
    This is something we don’t really see in our world, but I look at most years, or rather I read the transcript of Vladimir Putin’s year-end press conference and watch a little bit, to see how he looks. He looks good, at ease, in command of the facts, conversant with all that he is asked. The conference is 4 hours and 20 minutes. It’s a really long transcript, yet it was worth the read to me. Where is another political leader like this? He comports himself as a public servant. His knowledge and humility are hard for me to describe. I come up short. He is an important human for this historical epoch, I believe.

    Proof That America’s “Deep State” Exists and Controls the Government, Eric Zuesse (lots here, poor organization)
    ​ ​As everyone knows who has been closely following the most-reliable evidence regarding the question of how DNC emails had been copied and supplied to Wikileaks, there has been much credible, soundly-sourced, speculation that the DNC employee Seth Rich had physically copied the data from a computer there onto a thumb drive (or “USB stick”), which then was picked up in the U.S. by a Wikileaks agent, who physically delivered it to Julian Assange at London’s Ecuadorean Embassy. The great independent investigative journalist (virtually barred since 2007 from being published in the U.S. anymore), Seymour Hersh, personally investigated the records of the murder of Seth Rich, both at the Washington DC police and at the FBI, and this is from the transcript I had made of his statement in a Web-posted phone-call​.

    Gladio, The Story of a Conspiracy Thanks Dan.
    ​ ​When in the early 1970s an Italian right-wing journalist told me about a secret army training in Italy’s mountains, I scoffed at first thinking he was repeating a rumor picked up from some scoop-obsessed reporter. But my tune began changing when he gave it a name—“Stay Behind Army”—and explained it was a secret army to fight the Soviet armies which someday soon would invade West Europe. He gave me the name of a member of that secret army who would talk with me…
    ​ ​Years later, in the late 1980s or early 90s, it happened by chance that I met in a Rome hotel bar an American who knew details about that secret army. I was sitting on a stool at the bar of the luxurious Grand Hotel waiting for an appointment with a well-known writer when the man sat down on the stool next to me. I recognized William Colby from pictures of him in the press announcing the presence in Rome for a conference of the former Director of the CIA. I nodded, said hello, and we chatted bar talk until the chat turned into a short interview, which I subsequently published in the European press. I told him I knew who he was, and as we spoke I asked him point-blank about the mysterious Stay-Behind Army.
    ​ ​To my surprise Colby almost boasted that the covert action branch of the CIA to which he was attached in the 1950s built throughout Western Europe what in intelligence trade parlance were known as ‘Stay-Behind Nets’, in Italy known as Gladio, the headquarters of which was in Rome. In that post-war period Colby was a young intelligence officer assigned to the CIA station in the US Rome Embassy. Officially the network was clandestine, he related, ready to be called into action as sabotage forces when the time came, confirming the few words of those two young Romans of years earlier. Colby said that in 1951 the chief of the CIA in West Europe sent him to the field to help build the Stay-Behind network. ‘Our aim was the creation of an Italian nationalism capable of halting the slide to the left,’ he said, as if speaking of ancient Greek history.

    Gladio: the Story of a Conspiracy

    ​The Real Revolution In Military Affairs, Pepe Escobar gives the high points of the American military’s complete vulnerability to Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons, both at sea, and every American military base in the world. Mutual Assured Destruction has never been more robust.​ The most expensive military in the world can only kill, not protect.

    PEPE ESCOBAR: You Say You Want a (Russian) Revolution?

    Mohamed El-Erian is worried about the “new normal” without economic growth, and thinks Europe is first in line at the chopping block. The whole interview is realistic, but targets very rich audience. Upshot is “dump risk now!”
    What’s going on in the advanced world is structural. It’s about productivity and growth potential. If you run complex liberal democracies at low growth for a long time, things start to break. So as good as the «New Normal» was for the last ten years, I don’t think it will expand the next ten years. We’re going to see a tip, and in Europe we’re getting much closer to it: If Europe hits stall speed in 2020, which is a growth rate of below 1%, the chances of a recession are increasing. Yet, with better policies, Europe can also bounce back quite quickly. So Europe is really heading for this tipping point or T-junction. The same is true for China and the US. But Europe is most advanced in that process.

    ​Don’t try to interpret this study at home!
    It won’t actually have a real, verified meaning until we have a medicine to sell you for a few thousand dollars per month, for the rest of your life.​ (I eat chilies 4 times a day, myself.)
    ​ ​For many years, chili has been hailed for its therapeutic properties, and now researchers have found that eating chili peppers regularly can cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
    ​ ​Carried out in Italy, where chili is a common ingredient, the study compared the risk of death among 23,000 people, some of whom ate chili and some of whom didn’t.
    ​ ​Participants’ health status and eating habits were monitored over eight years, and researchers found that the risk of dying from a heart attack was 40% lower among those eating chili peppers at least four times per week.
    Death from stroke was more than halved, according to results published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


    Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for visiting.

    Doc Robinson

    The organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF, based in Paris) published this today:

    Two months before Assange’s extradition hearing, RSF calls for his release on humanitarian grounds and for US Espionage Act charges to be dropped

    The Boards of RSF include, among others, the head of the Associated Press in Paris, the global news director at AFP, the CBS correspondent in Paris, and some Nobel prize winners.

    V. Arnold

    Merry Christmas to you Ilargi…

    V. Arnold

    …and thank you for all that you do…
    Best wishes to you for the coming new year; it will be interesting, to say the least…


    A few word
    I wish everyone happiness, peace and a painless life.


    Dr. D Rich & Dr. D:

    I read both of your comments concerning Admiral Rogers.

    Dr. D your comment, I have had to re-read multiple times to try and fathom your meaning(s). You ask many good thought provoking questions.

    Dr. D Rich your comment seems clear. Rogers was a classmate. The good Admiral Rogers isn’t so good!

    However, I am not convinced Dr. D is saying that the good Admiral Rogers is necessarily so hot either! He seems to have ended his comments asking some good questions that remain unanswered! I suspect if truthful answers could be obtained, they might not shine favorable on the good Admiral Rogers.

    However both of you have furthered my understanding of the complex role played by Admiral Rogers in the deep state’s coup attempt against President Trump. Sadly for JFK, his own party voted to permanently fire him.

    I must confess, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night. So that is not a good sign!

    I must also confess to working in a Siberian coal mine for 6 months back in 1983. Sadly, I never got to experience the affections of any Russian honey pots. My one regret.

    Obviously my mission to save communism was a total failure! Maybe that was the real goal of my mission? So yes, there are likely some rather thick files on me!

    Oh yes! Merry Christmas to you both!

    Dr. D

    Since perhaps we’re on Debt-report holiday:

    If you’re overlooking Hanukah, here’s an interesting take on the Macabees and today by Rabbi Cahn:

    At 9:50 “A new civilization rises up, a Greek civilization, they want to make everybody the same… [Antiochus rises ]where they will all follow the god of the Greeks… every nation must give up their traditions, give up their Gods” and follow the one tolerant, cosmopolitan religion.

    10:58 But there is one people who are actually religious and don’t fit in. So Antiochus says “I’m going to wipe out their faith…and make everyone apostatize so he puts up laws…” and desecrates all that is holy to these backwards, religious holdouts.

    13:07 They have pagan celebrations in it, it’s darkened because they have sexual immorality in the Temple [Church] … We’re going to persecute the people of God. Anyone caught with a Bible, or a scroll, is going to be killed and they start burning [books].”

    13:00 “Anyone who keeps the Sabbath, anyone who teaches their children in the ways of God will be killed…in fact across the occupied country, we’re going to force the people to sacrifice to OUR Gods.

    13:41 “People across ]the country] start going along with it. This is the way the times are going, better just go along with it. …We’ll start walking around naked in the gymnasiums…even the religious start going along…”

    14:06 BUT, “from the middle of nowhere, out of the hill country…a guy called Matthew starts a resistance. …They don’t know how to fight, they don’t know how to do anything, but we’re going to resist this. …The Greeks send an army against them and they miraculously win and take their weapons.”

    15:38 Antiochus sends half his army in…to wipe them out completely…[yet] they win.”

    16:43 So they turn the tide, light the temple, and rededicate themselves back to their original principles.

    Sound familiar? Any two groups in a major nation that come to mind? My but “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

    So from yesterday, is the Left now a religion?

    Along with the whole panoply of other faith-religion, anti-science elements, headliners like Alyssa Milano, when faced with a political setback, now decide to pray instead of, say, going door to door and raising money, or finding an updated political message and candidates that people actually want. That is, they’ve installed the last block sliding into place for a straight up fundamentalist orthodox religion. Which sad to say, is the religion of losers; those who have ceded their power to work for themselves over to some distant “fate”, and supplicate to this power and orthodoxy instead of say, hoeing fields and hammering iron. Which is just why although a sizeable block the Religious Right, has gone nowhere all these years, and is mostly still going nowhere now.

    So there’s your Hanukah message, no doubt given to you by those speakers such as Cahn, but also Shapiro, Breitbart, Mnuchin, Cohn, and Stephen Miller (yes, that one).

    Times, history, complicated, ironic, deceptive, and if anything seems two-dimensional, you might be doing it wrong. Ask yourself regularly: what if I’m not the hero.? Am I the baddie here? What if the tolerant people aren’t so tolerant? What if the religious people aren’t so godly? The only way to stay open, to not become a zealot, is to have continuous doubts, and therefore to ask continuous, uncomfortable questions. Hanukkah sameach!

    Dr. D

    Good Dr., et al.

    Oh yes. The Marine Generals, Military Intel, and the NSA are not your friends. They think they are, but they’re not. They’re re-setting the U.S. away from empire and back to domestic use but for principle? Probably not, they were just peachy with the empire try-to-take-over-the-world attack by Bush on the middle east, then the double-down of 5,000 innocents droned in Obama’s 5 (or 15) new wars. It’s only because that failed they need to withdraw to their borders and defend, which the Neo-lib/Neo-cons psychotically refuse, constantly doubling down until all is lost.

    This part’s a bit complicated though, since they DO think they’re Americans and Constitutionalists. They are saving the Republic by returning us to our home and our values. “The enemy of my enemy” and all that, I’m thrilled to let these two Deep State factions fight it out in public instead of killing all of us instead, as planned, so I can just eat popcorn and mouth off online.

    But again, they are not, and this anti-Empire faction ever puts down the CIA and MICC-Empire faction, they will be more dangerous because they are fair-seeming with good talk. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Rogers was saving his rear admiral by falling immediately on the mercy of the new President…however, the coup was so widespread I don’t see that as likely in the primary sense: he had an entire army of additional force he could have hit Cheeto with. I think he believes himself and wants to take out these other forces — his rivals — in bureaucracy, and he thinks he’s for Hamilton’s Washington’s Republic. But he’s not and can’t be. Is he going to stop spying tomorrow and erase his whole organization domestically and worldwide? Is he going to call for the erasure of 9/10th of the Federal Government and the standing Army to be erased and go back to a militia, on Swiss status? That’s what every founding father would require (okay, maybe not Hamilton). Not on your life.

    But first things first. SOMEBODY is fighting the greater enemy of the Deep State, CIA, profiteers, anti-law, and worldwide mass murderers. Let that army go down first, THEN we the people can discuss and apply our remaining pressure on the wild, dizzying overreach of the remaining government. …And against a backdrop of de-centralization as we see rising worldwide, which will certainly happen if the money gets reset. So that’s the problem: THEY (Trump, Rogers) think they’re for the people. And while much appreciated, I think they’re not. They’re for themselves, like everybody else.

    V. Arnold

    …and a merry Christmas to all the Automatic Earther’s and my best wishes for the coming new year.
    We do indeed live in interesting times; I cannot remember a time past, fraught with such dangerous uncertainties…
    Such is the content of memory…

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