Dec 312019
 
 December 31, 2019  Posted by at 10:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Peter Beard Francis Bacon on his Roof at 80 Narrow Street, London 1972

 

The Decade of Debt (R.)
I, Who Vowed to Never Short Stocks Again, Just Shorted the Entire Market (WS)
Pelosi’s Half Right Constitutional Claim Leaves The House All Wrong (Turley)
Strzok Claims FBI, DOJ Violated His Free Speech, Privacy Rights (Hill)
Tulsi: Impeachment Greatly Increased Likelihood Of Trump Reelection (Hill)
Forecast 2020 — Whirlin’ and Swirlin’ (Kunstler)
States Are Already Paying For Unfunded Pensions (Platt)
Ex-Nissan Boss Ghosn Says Is In Lebanon, Fleeing Japan’s ‘Rigged’ Justice (R.)
How Fentanyl Spread Across the US (Kolitz)
UK MoD Proposed Russian Membership Of NATO In 1995 (G.)
Images Of ‘Mayhem’ And ‘Armageddon’ As Bushfires Rage (G.)

 

 

Leave it to Reuters to turn this into a bland story. Oh, and just you watch the next decade.

The Decade of Debt (R.)

Whatever nickname ultimately gets attached to the now-ending Twenty-tens, on Wall Street and across Corporate America it arguably should be tagged as the “Decade of Debt.” With interest rates locked in at rock-bottom levels courtesy of the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy after the financial crisis, companies found it cheaper than ever to tap the corporate bond market to load up on cash. Bond issuance by American companies topped $1 trillion in each year of the decade that began on Jan. 1, 2010, and ends on Tuesday at midnight, an unmatched run, according to SIFMA, the securities industry trade group. In all, corporate bond debt outstanding rocketed more than 50% and will soon top $10 trillion, versus about $6 trillion at the end of the previous decade.


The largest U.S. companies – those in the S&P 500 Index – account for roughly 70% of that, nearly $7 trillion. What did they do with all that money? It’s a truism in corporate finance that cash needs to be either “earning or returning” – that is, being put to use growing the business or getting sent back to shareholders. As it happens, American companies did a lot more returning than earning with their cash during the ‘Tens. In the first year of the decade, companies spent roughly $60 billion more on dividends and buying back their own shares than on new facilities, equipment and technology. By last year that gap had mushroomed to more than $600 billion, and the gap in 2019 could be just as large, especially given the constraint on capital spending from the trade war.

Read more …

Just too juicy.

I, Who Vowed to Never Short Stocks Again, Just Shorted the Entire Market (WS)

In my decades of looking at the stock market, there has never been a better setup. Exuberance is pandemic and sky-high. And even after today’s dip, the S&P 500 is up nearly 29% for the year, and the Nasdaq 35%, despite lackluster growth in the global economy, where many of the S&P 500 companies are getting the majority of their revenues. Mega-weight in the indices, Apple, is a good example: shares soared 84% in the year, though its revenues ticked up only 2%. This is not a growth story. This is an exuberance story where nothing that happens in reality – such as lacking revenue growth – matters, as we’re now told by enthusiastic crowds everywhere.

Until just a couple of months ago, the touts were out there touting negative interest rates soon to come to the US and thus making stocks the only place to be. Those touts have now been run over by the reality. Now they’re touting QE4 by the Fed, or whatever. And people were looking for any reason to buy. The unanimity of it all was astounding. I’ve seen this before, but not in this magnitude. And there is this: As stocks were surging over the past few months, investors with large gains who wanted to sell didn’t sell before year-end in order to defer that income for tax considerations. So there was reduced selling pressure from that group that would have liked to sell, and that will sell after the new year starts.

So I shorted the stock market today, December 30 – me who is on record of saying repeatedly that I would never ever short anything ever again, after the debacle of November 1999 when I shorted the most obviously ridiculous Nasdaq high-fliers a few months too early. They collapsed to near-zero, but not before ripping off my face.

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Turley’s on a roll.

Pelosi’s Half Right Constitutional Claim Leaves The House All Wrong (Turley)

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe has penned an editorial column in support of the refusal of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to submit House articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial. Tribe declares this strategy is not just constitutional but also commendable. That view may be half right on the Constitution. However, it leaves Pelosi all wrong on her unprecedented gaming of the system. The withholding of the articles is not only facially inappropriate. It shatters the fragile rationale for the rush to impeach. Tribe focuses on a point on which I agree entirely. We both have criticized the position of Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, who testified with me in the House Judiciary Committee hearings, that President Trump has not really been impeached.

Feldman insists that impeachment occurs only when the articles and a slate of House trial managers are submitted to the Senate for trial. However, there is no support for that interpretation in the text or history of the Constitution. Indeed, English impeachments by the House of Commons often were not taken up for trial in the House of Lords, yet all those individuals still were referenced as impeached. Now for our point of disagreement. The Constitution does not state that the House must submit the articles of impeachment to the Senate at any time, let alone in a specific period of time. Tribe insists this means that the “House rules unmistakably leave to the House itself” when to submit an impeachment for trial. There are, in fact, two equal houses of Congress.

Faced with a House manipulating the system, the Senate can change its rules and simply give the House a date for trial then declare a default or summary acquittal if House managers do not come. It is the list of House trial managers that is necessary for Senate proceedings to commence. The “standing rules of procedure and practice in the Senate when sitting on impeachment trials” are triggered when the House gives notice that “managers are appointed.” The Senate is given notice of the impeachment in the congressional record shared by both houses. The articles are later “exhibited” by the managers at the trial. Waiting for the roster of managers is a courtesy shown by the Senate to the House in preparing its team of managers for the trial.

We have never experienced this type of bicameral discourtesy where the House uses articles of impeachment to barter over the details of the trial. Just as the Senate cannot dictate the handling of impeachment investigations, the House cannot dictate the trial rules.

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Feels weak overall, given the contents of his mails to Lisa Page.

Strzok Claims FBI, DOJ Violated His Free Speech, Privacy Rights (Hill)

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok, a onetime member of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, is claiming the FBI and Justice Department violated his rights of free speech and privacy when firing him for uncovered texts that criticized President Trump. Strzok and his legal team made the claims in a court document filed Monday that pushes back on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) motion to dismiss the lawsuit he filed in August over his ouster a year earlier. DOJ alleged in its motion to dismiss that Strzok’s role in high-profile investigations meant he was held to a higher standard when it came to speech.

But Strzok’s legal team disputed this in Monday’s filing, saying that the approximately 8,000 other employees in similar positions retain their privacy even when using government-issued devices. “The government’s argument would leave thousands of career federal government employees without protections from discipline over the content of their political speech,” the filing said. “Nearly every aspect of a modern workplace, and for that matter nearly every non-workplace aspect of employees’ lives, can be monitored,” it added. “The fact that a workplace conversation can be discovered does not render it unprotected.”

Strzok’s team also accuses the bureau and DOJ of only punishing those who condemn Trump, as “there is no evidence of an attempt to punish” those who verbally backed the president ahead of the 2016 election. The FBI declined to comment, saying the bureau does not comment on pending litigation. “It doesn’t matter who you are — someone, like Pete, who has devoted his whole life to protecting this country, or a Gold Star family, or a Purple Heart winner, or a lifelong Republican who spent 5 years as a POW in North Vietnam. If you dare to raise your voice against President Trump, he and his allies will try to destroy you,” Strzok attorney Aitan Goelman said in a statement to The Hill.

Read more …

Trying to please the DNC. Not.

Tulsi: Impeachment Greatly Increased Likelihood Of Trump Reelection (Hill)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) predicted Monday that it would be more difficult for House Democrats to remain in control of the House following passage of articles of impeachment against President Trump. In a video tweeted Monday evening, the 2020 candidate for president wrote that Trump’s chances of winning reelection had been “greatly increased” because of the House’s vote. “Unfortunately, the House impeachment of the president has greatly increased the likelihood Trump will remain the president for the next 5 years,” Gabbard says in the video. “We all know that Trump is not going to be found guilty by the U.S. Senate,” she added. The remarks are not the first Gabbard has made warning against Trump’s impeachment. She made similar comments just days ago in New Hampshire, arguing that Trump’s supporters would be emboldened by the House’s move heading in to 2020.

Read more …

“..the Golden Golem of Greatness himself, rises in his pajamas and tweets that, at long, long last, he has finally got “woke,” changed his name to Donatella..”

Forecast 2020 — Whirlin’ and Swirlin’ (Kunstler)

[..] a venerable institution such as The New York Times can turn from its mission of strictly pursuing news and be enlisted as the public relations service for rogue government agencies seeking to overthrow a president under false pretenses. The overall effect is of a march into a new totalitarianism, garnished with epic mendacity and malevolence. Since when in the USA was it okay for political “radicals” to team up with government surveillance jocks to persecute their political enemies? This naturally leads to the question: what drove the American thinking class insane?

I maintain that it comes from the massive anxiety generated by the long emergency we’ve entered — the free-floating fear that we’ve run out the clock on our current way of life, that the systems we depend on for our high standard of living have entered the failure zone; specifically, the fears over our energy supply, dwindling natural resources, broken resource supply lines, runaway debt, population overshoot, the collapsing middle-class, the closing of horizons and prospects for young people, the stolen autonomy of people crushed by out-of-scale organizations (government, WalMart, ConAgra), the corrosion of relations between men and women (and of family life especially), the frequent mass murders in schools, churches, and public places, the destruction of ecosystems and species, the uncertainty about climate change, and the pervasive, entropic ugliness of the suburban human habitat that drives so much social dysfunction.

You get it? There’s a lot to worry about, much of it quite existential. The more strenuously we fail to confront and engage with these problems, the crazier we get. Much of the “social justice” discontent arises from the obvious and grotesque income inequality of our time accompanied by the loss of meaningful work and the social roles that go with that. But quite a bit of extra tension comes from the shame and disappointment over the failure of the long civil rights campaign to correct the racial inequalities in American life — everything from attempts at school integration to affirmative action (by any name) to “multiculturalism” to the latest innovations in “diversity and inclusion.”

[..] By 2020 Wokesterism has shot its wad and the Wokesters are banished to a windowless room in the sub-basement of America’s soul where they can shout at the walls, point their fingers, grimace spittlingly, and issue anathemas that no one will listen to. And when they’re out of gas, they can kick back and read the only book in the room: Mercy, by Andrea Dworkin. And then, one fine spring morning, after everyone else has given up on it, Donald Trump, social media troll-of-trolls, the Golden Golem of Greatness himself, rises in his pajamas and tweets that, at long, long last, he has finally got “woke,” changed his name to Donatella, and declared his personal pronoun to be “you’all.”

Read more …

“When a company defaults, there is a clear legal framework for who gets paid back first. This isn’t the case for states, however, as there is no such legal structure, nor much precedent.”

States Are Already Paying For Unfunded Pensions (Platt)

Kicking pension problems into the future is popular with politicians, enabling them to make promises and let voters worry later about borrowing costs. But large, unfunded state pension liabilities are a costly problem—and the cost is already reflected in current bond prices, research by Chicago Booth PhD candidate Chuck Boyer suggests. “The public pension funding crisis is not merely about future insolvency,” he writes. “Future obligations are having an effect on debt spreads right now.” To many Americans, it may seem unimaginable that states would fail to fully pay pensions promised to teachers, firefighters, and other public-service workers.

It has been almost 90 years since the last state default: during the Great Depression, Arkansas owed over $160 million to debt payments, which was nearly half of the state’s annual revenue (and equivalent to roughly $3 billion in 2019 dollars). The debt was restructured and “debtholders were eventually made whole,” Boyer writes in recounting this history. However, pension obligations are mounting in many states, and officials are struggling to cut costs and raise taxes to pay what is owed. And he argues that the effects can be seen in the $3.8 trillion capital market for US municipal bonds, which includes bonds issued by 50,000 state and local governments. When a company defaults, there is a clear legal framework for who gets paid back first.

This isn’t the case for states, however, as there is no such legal structure, nor much precedent. The markets’ expectations, then, are built into bond prices. Bondholders, wary of how a default could play out, demand a premium. Using annual fiscal reports released by state governments, Boyer looked at the ratio of unfunded pension liabilities to GDP from 2002 to 2016 and estimates that every 1-standard-deviation increase is associated with a 27–32 basis-point increase in bond spreads over the Treasury rate, up to a fifth of the average total spread. Unfunded pensions cost US states more than $2 billion in lost bond-issuance proceeds in 2016, he calculates, adding that he considers that a conservative estimate.

But the penalty that a state would essentially pay in the form of higher spreads varies from state to state, providing some indication of how the market thinks a default could play out. States where pensioners have more legal protections and their unions have more bargaining power (and maybe higher public support) are paying higher borrowing costs. In these areas, debtholders see a higher risk of default—perhaps assuming states would take care of pensioners before bondholders, who are mostly high-net-worth and retail investors.

Read more …

Walking away from a $9 million bond.

Ex-Nissan Boss Ghosn Says Is In Lebanon, Fleeing Japan’s ‘Rigged’ Justice (R.)

Ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn confirmed he fled to Lebanon, saying he wouldn’t be “held hostage” by a “rigged” justice system and raising questions about how one of the world’s most-recognized executives escaped Japan months before his trial. Ghosn’s abrupt departure marks the latest dramatic twist in a year-old saga that has shaken the global auto industry, jeopardized the alliance of Nissan Motor Co Ltd and top shareholder Renault SA and cast a harsh light on Japan’s judicial system. “I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied,” Ghosn, 65, said in a brief statement on Tuesday.

“I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution. I can now finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week.” Most immediately, it was unclear how Ghosn, who holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizenship, was able to orchestrate his departure from Japan, given that he had been under strict surveillance by authorities while out on bail and had surrendered his passports. Japanese immigration authorities had no record of Ghosn leaving the country, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said. A person resembling Ghosn entered Beirut international airport under a different name after flying in aboard a private jet, NHK reported, citing an unidentified Lebanese security official.

His lawyers were still in possession of his three passports, one of his lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters in comments broadcast live by NHK. Hironaka said the first he had heard of Ghosn’s departure was on the news this morning and that he was surprised. He also said it was “inexcusable behavior”. [..] Ghosn was arrested at a Tokyo airport shortly after his private jet touched down on Nov. 19, 2018. He faces four charges – which he denies – including hiding income and enriching himself through payments to dealerships in the Middle East. Nissan sacked him as chairman saying internal investigations revealed misconduct ranging from understating his salary while he was its chief executive, and transferring $5 million of Nissan funds to an account in which he had an interest.

Read more …

Words fail. It’s not just bankers that don’t go to jail.

How Fentanyl Spread Across the US (Kolitz)

Often lost in the early news reports was the fact that fentanyl alone wasn’t killing people; many different kinds of fentanyl were. Since its invention in 1959 by the Belgian chemist and doctor Paul Janssen, fentanyl has seen more than 1,400 analogues: twists on the original formula whose origins and effects vary widely. Carfentanil, for instance—100 times stronger than fentanyl—was until 2018 FDA-approved for use as an elephant tranquilizer. It is here that the opioid crisis intersects with (and amplifies) a newer scourge: NPS, or new psychoactive substances, molecularly tweaked stand-ins for traditional street drugs. The best-known of these is probably K2, or Spice, the ostensible marijuana substitute whose high bears little resemblance to the real thing and whose side effects include blood-clotting, kidney failure, and instant death.

But there are hundreds more, and likely thousands in development. Mini-pandemics have erupted across the country, as when, in the course of a single week last year, over 100 people in New Haven overdosed on what was later determined to be AB-FUBINACA, yet another synthetic cannabinoid. Ben Westhoff, in “Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic”, charts this progression in harrowing detail. We are now dealing, he writes, with “the harshest drug challenge in our history.” His book is one of the first to address what the Centers for Disease Control has called the “third wave” of the opioid crisis: first OxyContin, then heroin, and now fentanyl and its analogues.

Earlier accounts of this crisis – Sam Quinones’s “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” or Beth Macy’s “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America” – had in Purdue Pharma the benefit, structural and dramatic, of a villain. More or less everyone can agree that pharmaceutical companies should refrain from wantonly pursuing profit at the expense of public health. Dopesick is rarely a pleasant read, but Macy’s account of Purdue’s first major court battle – which culminated in criminal convictions for three executives and $600 million in fines—provided at least some measure of catharsis.

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I still wonder what made Yeltsin turn to Putin. Guilt, a rare moment of lucidity?

UK MoD Proposed Russian Membership Of Nato In 1995 (G.)

Russia could have become an “associate member” of Nato 25 years ago if a Ministry of Defence proposal had gained support, according to confidential Downing Street files which also expose Boris Yeltsin’s drinking habits. The suggestion, aimed at reversing a century of east-west antagonism, is revealed in documents released on Tuesday by the National Archives at Kew. Presented by Malcolm Rifkind, then defence secretary, to a Chequers strategy summit, the plan was to dispel Kremlin suspicions of the alliance’s eastwards expansion. In 1995, Yeltsin was president and the cold war over. Relations were in flux as a Russia tried to come to terms with shrunken international borders.

Yeltsin was proving an unpredictable ally. Files show that he urged western leaders at a summit in Halifax, Canada to delay Nato enlargement until after Russia’s elections because “public discussion could provoke trouble”. But poor health and heavy drinking jeopardised his authority. The previous year he had notoriously failed to disembark from a plane during a stopover in Ireland amid rumours of alcoholism and a heart attack. In July 1995, the Moscow embassy cabled about Yeltsin going into hospital due to his “longstanding heart condition”. At Hyde Park, the Roosevelt home in New York, according to US diplomats, Yeltsin subsequently appeared “rolling, puffy and red”. He consumed “wine and beer greedily … and regretted the absence of cognac. One of his aides took a glass of champagne from him when the aide felt enough was enough and he was alcoholically cheerful at his press conference with Clinton.”

[..] In a 10-page submission, Rifkind argued that: “A possible solution would be to create a new category of associate member of Nato. Such a status could not involve article V guarantees [which declares an attack on one state is an attack on all members], membership of the IMS [Nato’s International Military Staff] or Russian vetoes and would not therefore change the essence of Nato. “It would, however, give Russia a formal status within Nato, allow it to attend, as of right, ministerial and other meetings and encourage a gradual convergence and harmonisation of policy, doctrine and practice.”

Read more …

The photos have now all turned red. NOTE: the army still hasn’t been sent in, apparently. The people dying are volunteer firemen.

Images Of ‘Mayhem’ And ‘Armageddon’ As Bushfires Rage (G.)

Thousands of people fled to the lake and ocean in Mallacoota, as bushfires hit the Gippsland town on Tuesday. The out-of-control fire reached the town in the morning and about 4,000 people fled to the coastline, with Country Fire Authority members working to protect them. The town had not been told to evacuate on Sunday when the rest of East Gippsland was, and authorities decided it was too dangerous to move them on Monday. People reported hearing gas bottles explode as the fire front reached the town, and the sound of sirens telling people to get in the water. By 1.30pm the fire had reached the water’s edge. A local man, Graham, told ABC Gippsland he could see fire in the centre of the town, and 20m high flames on the outskirts where he believed homes were alight.

“We saw a big burst of very big flames in Shady Gully,” he said. “As I speak to you I’m looking across Coull’s Inlet and there are big flames … and they would be impacting houses. That’s not good at all.” People in Mallacoota posted in community social media groups estimates of about 20 houses lost, with the school, bowling club and golf club also hit. Hundreds more evacuees sheltered in the community centre. “There are a lot of people at the waterfront jetty, in the lake, on the sand spit between the lake and the ocean, and there are people on a sandbar, and some on boats,” Charles Livingstone told Guardian Australia from the community centre. He said there were at least 350 people in the community centre, many with children and pets. He, his wife and their 18-month-old baby were at the jetty on Monday night but moved to the community centre to avoid the heavy smoke.

Read more …

 

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle New Year’s Eve 2019

This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  V. Arnold 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #52417

    Peter Beard Francis Bacon on his Roof at 80 Narrow Street, London 1972   • The Decade of Debt (R.) • I, Who Vowed to Never Short Stocks Again, Ju
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle New Year’s Eve 2019]

    #52418

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Peter Beard Francis Bacon on his Roof at 80 Narrow Street, London 1972
    Ha, ha, ha, lol…just love that photo…
    Whimsical and just lovely…

    Calvin and Hobbes at their whimsical best…
    Happy New Year Ilargi; may the coming year be just swell for all of us…

    #52419

    And Happy New Year to you. With all our readers way east of us, better get the wishes out in time…

    Don’t know how swell the year will be, but then perhaps it depends on your definition of swell.

    #52420

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Don’t know how swell the year will be, but then perhaps it depends on your definition of swell.

    Swell is an archaic Americanism which I particularly enjoy.
    Swell probably doesn’t describe what’s about to happen in 2020; but, one can always hope, no?
    But then, I do share your pessimism in the fact…

    #52421

    Cole Porter: What A Swell Party This Is

    Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry all in one:

    #52422

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Holy shit! You’re just amazing Ilargi; that was just swell……………. 😉

    #52423

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “I, Who Vowed to Never Short Stocks Again, Just Shorted the Entire Market (WS)”

    Sure, but he may have to weather the meantime. With Dow near 30,000(!) and pumping $1T daily without comment, and the RoW about to hit the wall and rush safe havens back to the U.S., I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that meantime that might be Dow 60,000. Why not? How less logical is that than 30,000? Did it seem Nasdaq was vertical in 1996? Well it doubled again before the end.
    Worse, the Shorts are literally the fuel to get there. The fake market-rigging system needs them and must have them to make the car go. Then there’s a 50% it will inflate instead and go to 600 million. Losses Unlimited.

    Pelosi’s Half Right Constitutional Claim Leaves the House All Wrong (Turley)

    I don’t know what Tribe would be thinking here since there’s literally no purpose of voting if not to pass the indictment for prosecution. It’s to allow the semi-impeached permanent legal amnesty? That’s the net effect. Besides, as Turley says, “It shatters the fragile rationale for the rush to impeach.” Which isn’t a legal thing, but a voter-support thing. Which loses elections.

    He’s right about passing the vote to the Senate. The Senate can pretend the House vote is adequate and make them take it up in the Supreme Court, as well as a couple other approaches, none of which have all that much leverage. Leverage that would be illegal anyway, since the Senate has “Sole discretion”. But it’s political: what rules? We make the rules now, and while you’re chasing them, we’ll just change them again…says Karl Rove. In any case, it’s a play for time to avoid indictments so it’s actually worked pretty well. Make them go back to the planning quantum supercomputer and run a week’s more scenarios.

    Strzok Claims FBI, DOJ Violated His Free Speech, Privacy Rights (Hill)

    Well that’s an argument. However, as far as it exists here, speech on corporate devices, on company time, are basically the property of the company. And why wouldn’t they be? The FBI is no different. You want privacy in speech, use your own device on your own time. That case would have reasonable merit, but still be germane to proving prosecutorial bias and able to be subpoenaed. The device and time of your employer, the American People? Not so much. Let me tell you, they would reveal my texts going back to childhood and think nothing of it. They do it just to trash folk-lift operators who used Photoshop once. What free speech? Speech is public, that’s why you said it with your mouth, TO other people.

    Tulsi: Impeachment Greatly Increased Likelihood of Trump Reelection (Hill)”

    Strangely, she’s right, but telling the truth is the only crime, the only sin. We cannot let that go unpunished.

    Forecast 2020 — Whirlin’ and Swirlin’ (Kunstler)

    The only reason Don wouldn’t become Donetella is because Kunstler thought of it first.

    You’all is spelled “y’all”. Donald would say “Yuse”, like any good New Yorker.

    To many Americans, it may seem unimaginable that states would fail to fully pay pensions

    Really? Who are these people? Every American I know has been reneged and defaulted on almost every year. Ask GM. These “Americans” he speaks of must be the coastal elites surrounding Wall Street, which defaulted in ’08 and got record bonuses, ‘cause the rest of us got screwed and expect to get screwed every day.

    How Fentanyl Spread Across the US (Kolitz)

    What was that with the trunkful of Chinese fentanyl, smuggled through Mexico, that was enough to kill everyone in a city of 200,000? And that was just ONE traffic stop. Talk about chemical weapons! …But why would we shut to border, arrest anyone or stop this? That’s just crazy talk. Racism is the only explanation. We need to outlaw guns, not fentanyl that kills 100x more people, ESPECIALLY when the guns are stopping crimes in Texas.

    UK MoD Proposed Russian Membership of NATO in 1995 (G.)”

    If this doesn’t say ‘insanity’, I don’t know what does. So…who would a combined Euro-American-Russian NATO be defending against? The Lizard aliens of Alpha Centuri? And they’re complaining about Yeltin, “Yats, he’s our boy!” when it’s well-established on all sides that the West specifically chose him and put him in more or less by economic force. And WE can dare complain about HIM? If an employee is drunk on the job, don’t we generally blame the manager? That’s you MoD. And because of that, and your pathetic, ruinous mismanagement of it, you got Putin, who has check-mated all you brainiacs combined*. Own it.

    Yelts

    *Well they come from Eton, Oxford, and Yale, so “brain” may be a wild exaggeration, but…

    #52424

    Good story:

    Carlos Ghosn Fled Japan By Hiding In Musical Instrument Box

    A band of musicians entered his home in Japan under the pretense that they would provide the entertainment during dinner. After leaving the party, Ghosn had hidden inside one of the musical instrument’s boxes before departing Japan via a local airport.

    MTV added that Ghosn had been in Lebanon for many hours before the news of his escape from Japan was made public. Japan’s ambassador to Lebanon was informed of his arrival in the country after being contacted by MTV, the station said. -AlArabiya

    #52425

    zerosum
    Participant

    Be nimble to adapt to change

    • Forecast 2020 — Whirlin’ and Swirlin’ (Kunstler)

    We, at TAE, find nothing that he said, is a new revelation. Due to the complexity of our social/economic structures, only general broad outcomes can be seen.
    We can only guess at which domino will start the cascade.
    Each of us, living in different parts of the world, will have different experiences as the dominos cascade down.
    In many areas, the hardship will happen but differ from others areas.
    Those areas with guns, (ie. police, military, etc.), could be ruled by cruel or benevolent gun toting rulers.
    Dispensation of resources and protection of the lines of distribution will change to whatever will work for the elites to continue to receive whatever they want.
    The enablers of yesterday will be replaced enablers with guns.
    All these change mean yesterday is gone. Yesterdays’ solutions will not work.

    Yep!

    Happy new year to all!

    #52426

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Trying for that war again, this time in Iraq. From Pompeo, reportedly, on behalf of Israel, or at least Nutty, who needs a(nother) war to distract from his bribery and hundred other felonies and war crimes..

    Cheeto says Iraq has to kick out Iran. Read a book: Iraq is 2/3 Shia, they run the country, and Iran was the one holding off the U.S. from ruining the place with even more depleted uranium than we already used. …You know, I get the idea they don’t like us invading their country and killing everyone, causing generations of birth defects. No appreciation! I thought you wanted Democracy! Congratulations, 51% want Shias and Iran!

    Anyhow, nice try, but I doubt it.

    #52427

    zerosum
    Participant

    Something is hitting the fan!!!
    Where? Who, what, how will be impacted?
    Australia
    No. It wasn’t shit.
    Fire and you didn’t even see it coming or realize that it could be a domino.
    Millions of animals are or will die.

    #52428

    zerosum
    Participant

    There is no proof of wrong doing -Biden
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/judge-hunter-biden-paternity-case-mysteriously-recuses-hours-after-new-allegations-filed
    The recusal came two hours after ‘defrauded investor’ Joel Caplan filed to become a party in the case, which included a witness statement from ex-Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who says he was fired for investigating a Ukrainian gas company which Biden worked for.

    https://contexte.aoc.arkansas.gov/imaging/IMAGES/DMS/CK_Image.Present2?DMS_ID=71E4437B55E137FAE35BB71034727F432EB502C7B437FB67D554694D578E47FAA5CB16B692BDEC9A2C9653243B19ED66BEA3FC1FA043011F4C8621171E0FF585&i_url=https://contexte.aoc.arkansas.gov/imaging/IMAGES/DMS

    Caplan, who filed papers from Jerusalem, Israel, claims many Chinese nationals made fortunes from the ploy, which involved presenting fake company documents and claiming they were genuine investments when they were actual frauds. -Daily Mail
    Here is more
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7840445/Hunter-Bidens-Burisma-dealings-pulled-Arkansas-child-support-suit.html

    #52429

    John Day
    Participant

    Did You Evah by Iggy and Debbie looks like it came out in 1991.
    I completely missed it!
    (I was very busy and working on the Navajo res. with 3 little kids and an also-busy wife and no MTV)
    This is the first I heard of it.
    It looks like it inspired Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun in 1994

    Thanks also V.Arnold and Ilargi, for the Kunstler piece.
    He lets it all hang out. Right on!
    Something-New Decade!

    #52430

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    What the hell is going on with all of the Pancreatic Cancer cases in the news lately.
    Many celebrities and politicians diagnosed with it, not to mention just plain folk???
    We’ve got 3 doctors here; so, guys? Anything?
    Thanks in advance…

    #52431

    Dr. D
    Participant

    http://www.alt-market.com/index.php/articles/4046-the-leftist-cult-vs-the-trump-cult-similarities-and-differences

    “Anytime the public starts to wake up to the web of control, all the elites have to do is push one or both sides of the political spectrum towards extremism and let the people rage at each other instead of picking up their torches and pitchforks and tearing down the oligarchy. This method of division and diversion keeps the masses occupied and feeling as though they are accomplishing something while actually accomplishing nothing.

    As Carroll Quigley, globalist insider and mentor to Bill Clinton, admitted in his book ‘Tragedy And Hope’:

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy….Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

    He being as cynical as I sound, he doesn’t point up that the people involved are actually trying to do something good, left and right alike. That doesn’t disprove this method of control, but only people at the very top are aware of the scam they’re running, and maybe not even then — I’m sure many are cynical about getting anything done “in this corrupt old town” but doing what they can, and figuring it’s their best. …Note, all the while letting the corruption roll ever on without opposition, as telling the truth or prosecuting felonies are the only real crimes.

    And since the people want that, participate in it, love it, fight against anyone who would change it, and oppose all morality in word and in deed, who am I to say? They get just what they most desire and deserve. It can’t change until we, change. WE, not them. “For the violent narcissistic sociopaths will always be with us.”

    “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsy

    #52432

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsy

    Yes!

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