May 122020

Edward Hopper Night in the park 1921


Letter from Hong Kong to Covid Ravaged UK: What On Earth Are You Doing? (HKFP)
14 Million Wuhan Residents To Be Tested For COVID19 In 10 Days (SCMP)
As US Meat Workers Fall Sick And Supplies Dwindle, Exports To China Soar (R.)
Mexican Border Town Uses ‘Sanitizing Tunnels’ To Disinfect US Visitors (G.)
Tesla’s Musk Says Ready For Arrest As He Reopens California Plant (R.)
The Sum of All Broken Promises (Kunstler) ;
Record Unemployment Drives Forbearances Up (NMN)
The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich (Eisinger)
Bitcoin Goes Through Third ‘Halving’ (R.)
BOJ Will Do ‘Whatever It Can’ To Combat Pandemic Fallout: Kuroda (R.)
Trump And Biden Trade Anti-China Ads (IC)
Jan 5 Oval Office Meeting Key To Entire Anti-Trump Operation (Hemingway)
List Of Obama Officials Involved In Unmasking Declassified (SAC)
Another Former Obama Official Contradicts Her Public Statements (Turley)
2,000 Former DOJ, FBI Officials Demand Barr Resign Over Flynn Case (UPI)



• US registers less than 900 #coronavirus deaths in 24-hours for second day

• US records 830 #coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 80,352, according to Johns Hopkins University. The figure followed Sunday’s toll of 776, the lowest daily tally since March,










Cases 4,273,104 (+ 72,174 from yesterday’s 4,200,957)

Deaths 287,621 (+ 3,471 from yesterday’s 284,150)




From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-



From Worldometer



From SCMP:








“At the moment the number of deaths in Hong Kong [..] is four. Not 4,000, not 400, not 40. Four, as in number of gospel writers.”

Letter from Hong Kong to Covid Ravaged UK: What On Earth Are You Doing? (HKFP)

Five years ago I passed a landmark of no significance to anyone else but me: I had spent more than half of my life in Hong Kong. But I still wish you well. [..] And I need to ask, from one crowded island to another, what the hell have you been getting up to. My Facebook feed is bulging with lockdown stories. And it is horrifying to read the news that total deaths from Covid 19 in your place have passed, at the time of writing, 30,000. It seemed to me entirely irrelevant that, the week before, the total casualty toll had passed the tally of British Army deaths on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. When two highly industrialised nations put hundreds of thousands of young men in a field with instructions to kill each other you expect the blood to flow.

But we are all, give or take a few civil wars a safe distance away, at peace at the moment. And the excuse that this massacre is all inevitable, the result of a medical problem which nobody could have foreseen and for which there was no immediate remedy, doesn’t wash because the consequences have been so variable. I understand it is too early to say whether the UK will achieve the unwanted distinction of the highest death rate in Europe. But why is it even in the running for this title? At the moment the number of deaths in Hong Kong, whose government enjoys neither democratic legitimacy nor a reputation for unusual efficiency, is four. Not 4,000, not 400, not 40. Four, as in number of gospel writers.

This is in a territory with a land border to the mainland, where it all started. So we had less warning and more opportunities for imported infections. Taiwan and Thailand, similarly disadvantaged, have also managed strikingly low numbers, and Viet Nam claims to have no cases at all. [..] There is an interesting irony here, at least for the moment. It seems your government is not getting the blame it has richly earned. Ours, which has had a good epidemic so far, is not getting much credit. Partly, this is because of events in the year before the arrival of the new disease. Our Chief Executive has trodden in too many political cowpats to have a shot at the Hong Kong’s sweetheart title, whatever she does about viruses.

It is also partly because the government was propelled towards some precautions, like closing the border, by public agitation. But I think the main reason is because Hong Kong people, while they do not trust the words of their government, and still less those of the government over the boundary on the mainland, did not need to be persuaded to take the whole matter seriously. This made a big difference. Why so serious? We participated extensively in the SARS epidemic in 2003, still fresh in many memories. Indeed I imagine many households, like mine, still had a box of face masks which were tucked away when that epidemic subsided. Hygiene was already a thing.

In countries that have not seen a real epidemic since the Spanish flu in 1918 this awareness would of course be absent. But this is where, in a democratic society with a literate population and free media, public information should have come in. Instead governments dithered, at best, or denied there was a problem, at worst. I do not allow the defence that they were relying on scientific opinion. This is a contradiction in terms. Science, in its slow, tentative way, produces factual observations. The opinions of scientists about matters on which science has not yet determined the facts are not scientific. They are just opinions. You may think they are expert opinions, but expert opinions about the future (see the works of Philip Tetlock) are lamentably unreliable.

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I suggest we call this a test drive.

We can only wish the west would be as thorough. China understands Crush the Curve. It just took them a fateful 5-6 weeks too long to figure it out.

14 Million Wuhan Residents To Be Tested For COVID19 In 10 Days (SCMP)

Authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic coronavirus was first detected, have ordered fresh Covid-19 tests for all of its 14 million residents after a cluster of new community cases. The Wuhan Covid-19 Epidemic Prevention Headquarters ordered all districts in the city to come up with plans for a 10-day barrage of nucleic tests and submit the plans by noon on Tuesday. The tests should cover both permanent residents and mobile populations, and target residential estates and densely populated areas, the headquarters said in the orders. The unprecedented move came after reports on the weekend of six new coronavirus cases from the same residential compound, known as Sanmin.

The cases were the first in the city since its last local Covid-19 patient was reported on April 3. One Sanmin resident, an 89-year-old man, showed symptoms as early as March but was not confirmed as a coronavirus patient until Saturday. The confirmation prompted authorities to test around 5,000 people from the complex, uncovering five more cases. Zhang Yuxin, who had been serving as the Communist Party secretary in charge of the Sanmin area, was sacked for poor management, state media reported on Monday. A Chinese professor of epidemiology, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said large-scale testing was needed to prevent a new wave of infections.

“The new cases in Wuhan show there is a real risk of a second wave of potential transmission in the community by the asymptomatic carriers or mild symptoms. Covid-19 started with a few after all,” he said. “Tests on such a broad scale can help find these hidden carriers and eliminate that risk.”

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If so many people get infected in meat plants, there appears to be a serious hygiene problem right where your food comes from, and maybe the entire industry should be revised.

Q: what are the similarities between meat plants and care homes, other then they’re all virus clusters?

As US Meat Workers Fall Sick And Supplies Dwindle, Exports To China Soar (R.)

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered meat processing plants to stay open to protect the nation’s food supply even as workers got sick and died. Yet the plants have increasingly been exporting to China while U.S. consumers face shortages, a Reuters analysis of government data showed. Trump, who is in an acrimonious public dispute with Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act on April 28 to keep plants open. Now he is facing criticism from some lawmakers, consumers and plant employees for putting workers at risk in part to help ensure China’s meat supply.

Meat buyers in China ramped up imports from around the world as a pig disease decimated its herd, the world’s largest, and pushed Chinese pork prices to record highs. The supply shock drove China to pay more for U.S. meat than other countries, and even U.S. consumers, since late 2019. “We know that over time exports are critically important. I think we need to focus on meeting domestic demand at this point,” said Mike Naig, the agriculture secretary in the top U.S. pork-producing state of Iowa who supported Trump’s order. Processors including Smithfield Foods, owned by China’s WH Group Ltd, Brazilian-owned JBS USA and Tyson Foods Inc temporarily closed about 20 U.S. meat plants as the virus infected thousands of employees, prompting meatpackers and grocers to warn of shortages.

Some plants have resumed limited operations as workers afraid of getting sick stay home. The disruptions mean consumers could see 30% less meat in supermarkets by the end of May, at prices 20% higher than last year, according to Will Sawyer, lead economist at agricultural lender CoBank. While pork supplies tightened as the number of pigs slaughtered each day plunged by about 40% since mid-March, shipments of American pork to China more than quadrupled over the same period, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

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Makes me think of how the Japanese 500 years ago called westerners dirty pigs.

Mexican Border Town Uses ‘Sanitizing Tunnels’ To Disinfect US Visitors (G.)

Fears of foreigners bringing infectious disease into the country. Enhanced border checkpoints. And the use of disinfectant spray to sanitize human beings. These aren’t notes from one of Donald Trump’s freewheeling press conferences. The United States’ troubled response to the coronavirus pandemic is such that the Mexican border city of Nogales, Sonora, has set up “sanitizing tunnels” to disinfect people leaving the US through Nogales, Arizona. On the Mexican side of two major border crossings, drivers coming from Arizona must exit their vehicles and step into an inflatable tunnel that sprays them with a cleansing solution.

Videos posted to social media by the municipal government of Nogales, Sonora, show people rotate under the vapor, stretch their arms and lean over to allow the disinfectant to reach their entire bodies. In a press release, the Nogales government states that the cleansing solution is biodegradable and protects from “any virus or bacteria, including Covid-19” for up to 24 hours. It adds that the tunnels “reduce the chances that a foreign citizen or citizen of this city who presents symptoms of the disease will infect other people on the Mexican side”.

The border city’s mayor has told Mexican news outlets that a majority of the people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Nogales, Sonora, had recently returned from the US. The Mexican border city plans to install five sanitizing tunnels to disinfect people arriving through its two main ports of entry from Nogales, Arizona. A sanitizing tunnel is also stationed outside a hospital in Nogales, Sonora, where visitors must brush open or duck through clear plastic curtains to be washed with the disinfectant mist.

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Now talk to the shareholders.

Tesla’s Musk Says Ready For Arrest As He Reopens California Plant (R.)

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Monday said production was resuming at the automaker’s sole U.S. vehicle factory, in California, defying an order to stay closed and saying if anyone had to be arrested it should be him. The move comes as states and cities around the United States experiment with ways to safely reopen their economies after the coronavirus outbreak shuttered businesses and forced tens of millions of Americans out of work. Musk over the weekend threatened to leave California for Texas or Nevada over his factory’s closure. His move has highlighted the competition for jobs and ignited a rush to woo the billionaire executive by states that have reopened their economies more quickly in response to encouragement from U.S. President Donald Trump.

In an email on Monday, Tesla referred to an order on Thursday by California’s governor allowing manufacturers to resume operations and said that as of Sunday, previously furloughed employees were back to their regular employment status. “We’re happy to get back to work and have implemented very detailed plans to help you keep safe as you return,” according to the email seen by Reuters and titled “Furlough Has Ended And We Are Back To Work in Production!” Musk in a tweet said production was resuming on Monday, adding that he would join workers on the assembly line. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” he wrote.

[..] Health officials in Alameda County, where the Fremont factory is based, late on Monday said they were aware that Tesla had opened beyond the so-called minimum basic operations allowed during lockdown, and had notified the company it could not operate without a county-approved plan. In a statement, officials said they expected a proposal from Tesla later on Monday and “hope Tesla will likewise comply without further enforcement measures.”

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People have been getting so used to dire stories about the economy, they can no longer tell when things are really going south.

The Sum of All Broken Promises (Kunstler) ;

[..] one reason the markets may not keep chugging is that money is disappearing into the ol’ black hole of extinction even faster than the Fed can enter keystrokes that magically represent new money. The reason: if, in fact, money is loaned into existence, it is defaulted out of existence when the loans are not paid back. After all, that’s what a loan is: money advanced on a promise to be paid back, generally at interest, interest representing the time-value of money, that is, the duration of the loan. Do you have any idea how many loans are not being paid back, and may now never be paid back?

Start with houses. 63 percent of homeowners pay a mortgage (a loan) every month. The national average outstanding mortgage debt is $148,000. Total mortgage debt is $10.3 trillion. Now cars: There are roughly 260 million passenger vehicles registered in America, with upward of 100 million of them bought on loans that are still active, amounting to $1.2 trillion, enough to buy 53 million Ford Fusions at $23,000 each. Now credit card debt: total for the US is $3.9 trillion with an average carried balance of $9,333. Meanwhile, 45 percent of adult Americans have no savings.

[..] Consider that a trillion is a thousand billion (and a billion is a thousand million). In an ordinary reality, a reality-based reality, that is, with reality-based money, that would be a lot of money (and a lot of debt)! It’s hard to project an exact figure, but with over 20 percent of the US work-force idle, with no income, there’s liable to be a lot of debt that’s not being paid back, will never be paid back, and a lot of money headed into extinction. That will translate into a lot of people with no money. Until all that money they owed is finished not being paid back, and the new money that Fed is busy creating, with no relationship to the production of things of value, overcomes the old money that’s finished disappearing. Then Americans will have plenty of money. The catch is that the money will be worthless. Thus, the two ways of going broke: having no money; or having lots of money that’s too worthless to buy anything. So it goes.

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Oh well, houses are way overpriced anyway.

Record Unemployment Drives Forbearances Up (NMN)

The number of mortgages in coronavirus-related forbearance rose by 37 basis points between April 27 and May 3 as the unemployment rate kept growing, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Nearly 4 million mortgages sat in forbearance plans as of May 3. About 7.91% of all outstanding loans went into forbearance, compared to 7.54% the week before. The share of loans in forbearance at independent mortgage bank servicers saw a greater increase than the industry-wide average, growing to 7.54% from 7.13% over that period. At depositories, that share increased to 8.75% from 8.41%.

“With the calendar turning to May, the share of loans in forbearance increased, but the pace of the increase and incoming forbearance requests continued to slow,” Mike Fratantoni, the MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, said in a press release. “The dreadful April jobs report showed a decline of more than 20 million jobs, and a spike in the unemployment rate to the highest level since the Great Depression. It will not be surprising if the forbearance numbers continue to rise.” In April, the largest spike came in the first full week of the month. Some projections show the same could be in store for May. Forbearance requests as a percentage of servicing portfolio volume declined 12 basis points for the week ended May 3 to 0.51 % from 0.63. But call center volume as a percentage of portfolio volume increased to 8.6% from 7.2% the previous week.

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That’s the whole idea. But the rich still live in the same country. Let the economy fail and they’re no longer rich.

A bit unreal that the Fed uses the language of MMT.

The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich (Eisinger)

Ten weeks into the worst crisis in 90 years, the government’s effort to save the economy has been both a spectacular success and a catastrophic failure. The clearest illustration of that came on Friday, when the government reported that 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April. It marked a period of unfathomable pain across the country not seen since the Great Depression. Also on Friday, the stock market rallied. The S&P 500 is now up 30% from its lows in mid-March and back to where it was last October, when the outlook for 2020 corporate earnings looked sunshiny. Companies have sold record amounts of debt in recent weeks for investment-grade companies. Junk bonds, historically dodgy during an economic swoon, have roared back.

If you’re looking for investors’ verdict on who has won the bailout, consider these returns: Shares of Apollo Group, the giant private equity firm, have soared 80% from their lows. The stock of Blackstone, another private equity behemoth, has risen 50%. The reason: Asset holders like Apollo and Blackstone — disproportionately the wealthiest and most influential — have been insured by the world’s most powerful central bank. This largess is boundless and without conditions. “Even if a second wave of outbreaks were to occur,” JPMorgan economists wrote in a celebratory note on Friday, “the Fed has explicitly indicated that there is no dollar limit and no danger of running out of ammunition.”

Many aspects of the coronavirus bailout that assist individuals or small businesses, meanwhile, are short-term or contingent. Aid to small businesses comes with conditions on what they can do with the money. The sums allocated by the CARES Act for stimulus and expanded unemployment insurance are vast by historical standards. But the relief they provide didn’t prevent tens of millions from losing their jobs. The assistance runs out in weeks, and the jobless live at the mercy of a divided Congress, which will decide whether that help gets extended and, if so, for how long.

The Nasdaq has put in six consecutive daily gains of 0.50% or more. The last time we saw such a streak was 17 years ago on 9/4/2003

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The Fed props up the stock market, not bitcoin.

Bitcoin Goes Through Third ‘Halving’ (R.)

Bitcoin slid on Monday in volatile trading, after it went through a technical adjustment that reduced the rate at which new coins are created, but the outlook remained upbeat as the increase in supply slows down. Monday’s “halving” cuts the rewards given to those who “mine” bitcoin to 6.25 new coins from 12.5. The next halving will be in 2024. Bitcoin relies on so-called “mining” computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve mathematical puzzles every 10 minutes. In return, the first to solve the puzzle and clear the transaction is rewarded new bitcoins. In late afternoon trading, bitcoin was last down 1.3% at $8,620.43 against the dollar on the Bitstamp platform. It briefly turned higher.

“The incentive is less for miners now to mine bitcoin and they will probably switch to more profitable cryptocurrencies. So in the short term, there’s going to be pressure for bitcoin,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York. “But longer term, you’re probably going to see higher prices. With all the fiscal and monetary stimulus that’s being pumped into the global economy, there’s renewed interest from institutional traders looking for alternatives to modern government-backed currencies.” Bitcoin has gained more than 20% since the beginning of the year. It touched $10,000 last week, a roughly three-month high, after Bloomberg reported that hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has backed bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.

Traders said the prospect of bitcoin’s halving has fueled gains in the asset this year. Bitcoin two earlier “halvings”— one in November 2012 and the other in July 2016 — had signaled the start of bitcoin’s most dramatic bull runs over a period of several years, although not before a brief sell-off. The previous two bitcoin events propelled rallies of about 10,000% from late 2012 to 2014, and roughly 2,500% from mid-2016 to the currency’s all-time high just shy of $20,000 in December 2017, according to traders.

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Kuroda’s been head of the BOJ for over 7 years. The outcome? “Japan’s economy is in an increasingly severe state…”

BOJ Will Do ‘Whatever It Can’ To Combat Pandemic Fallout: Kuroda (R.)

The Bank of Japan will do “whatever it can” to mitigate the growing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday, warning that a collapse in global activity has had severe consequences on the the economy. The central bank has various tools at its disposal if it were to ramp up stimulus such as accelerating money printing, increasing market operation tools and cutting interest rates, Kuroda said in a semi-annual testimony to parliament. He signalled that any further steps the BOJ takes will focus on helping cash-strapped firms, rather than stimulating demand. “What’s most important for us is to take steps to smoothen corporate financing and stabilise markets,” Kuroda said.

“We will do whatever we can as a central bank, working closely with the government.” Kuroda ruled out the possibility of adding municipal bonds to the list of assets the BOJ buys, however, saying he saw no need to do so for the time being. The world’s third-largest economy is on the cusp of a deep recession with many analysts projecting a double-digit contraction in the current quarter, as the pandemic forces households to stay home and businesses to shut down. While the government plans to lift the state of emergency for some prefectures that saw infection numbers stabilise, many big cities including Tokyo will likely see current restrictions kept in place at least for the rest of this month.

Kuroda said Japan did not face an imminent risk of a sharp credit contraction, as many financial institutions have sufficient buffers to weather the pain from the pandemic. But he warned the outlook for Japan’s economy was “highly uncertain” and dependent on when the pandemic is contained, with risks skewed to the downside. “Japan’s economy is in an increasingly severe state. The outlook will remain severe for the time being,” he said.

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When will Biden start up the anti-Putin ads?

Trump And Biden Trade Anti-China Ads (IC)

As coronavirus deaths mount, President Donald Trump’s China-bashing has evolved from a short-term political tactic into a full-fledged election strategy. Take the ad “Travel Ban,” which was unveiled last week by pro-Trump Super PAC America First Action. The spot is one of several anti-China ads released by the group over the past few weeks, and it revisits some standard Trump campaign tropes: There are images of Biden from the Obama years, clips of the former vice president stumbling over his words, and allusions to the decades Biden spent in Washington. But the ad, which is part of a larger attempt to dub the presumptive Democratic nominee “Beijing Biden,” reserves its greatest ire for Biden’s purported ties to China, zooming in on a shot of him shaking hands with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“China is killing our jobs and now killing our people,” a male voice intones ominously. Instead of taking the high road, the Biden campaign has offered its own version of xenophobic hype. A Biden campaign spot released in mid-April juxtaposes Chinese medical workers in Tyvex suits with lines of Americans waiting to get tested for the virus. “Trump rolled over for the Chinese,” a narrator says. Both ads have angered Asian American activists. The Biden spot in particular has upset people who view him as a potential ally at a time of rising xenophobia.

They worry that even without going to extremes like calling Covid-19 the “Chinese virus” and the “kung-flu” — terms used by Trump and officials in his administration over the past few months — images of Asian faces and offhanded mentions of “the Chinese” are just a slightly subtler form of racist dog-whistling, and harmful at a moment when hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. “There’s a clear link between the rhetoric that’s being used and the increased harm to our community,” said John Yang, president of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC. “We are equally concerned about both parties. We are concerned that there will be a race to the bottom.”

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I don’t think the DOJ will go after Obama, only Sidney Powell would.

Jan 5 Oval Office Meeting Key To Entire Anti-Trump Operation (Hemingway)

Information released in the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case it brought against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn confirms the significance of a January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama White House. It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration. “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia,”

National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote in an unusual email to herself about the meeting that was also attended by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, and Vice President Joe Biden. A clearer picture is emerging of the drastic steps that were taken to accomplish Obama’s goal in the following weeks and months. Shortly thereafter, high-level operatives began intensely leaking selective information supporting a supposed Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, the incoming National Security Advisor was ambushed, and the incoming Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from oversight of investigations of President Trump. At each major point in the operation, explosive media leaks were a key strategy in the operation to take down Trump.

Not only was information on Russia not fully shared with the incoming Trump team, as Obama directs, the leaks and ambushes made the transition chaotic, scared quality individuals away from working in the administration, made effective governance almost impossible, and materially damaged national security. When Comey was finally fired on May 9, in part for his duplicitousness regarding his handling of the Russia collusion theory, he orchestrated the launch of a Special Counsel probe that continued his efforts for another two years. That probe ended with Mueller finding no evidence of any American colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election, much less Trump or anyone connected to him.

An analysis of the timeline from early 2017 shows a clear pattern of behavior from the federal officials running the collusion operation against the Trump campaign. It also shows how essential media leaks were to their strategy to sideline key law enforcement and intelligence officials and cripple the ability of the incoming Trump administration to run the country. Here’s a timeline of the key moments and news articles of the efforts, per Obama’s direction, to prevent the Trump administration from learning about the FBI’s operation against it.

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Can I get this straight? Susan Rice was Obama’s national security advisor. She unmasked US officials while she was no longer at the job. Even if individuals are unmasked, their identities remain highly classified. But they were leaked in substantial numbers. Which is in turn highly illegal.

Samantha Power was United Nations Ambassador. She also unmasked Trump officials. In fact she made 260 requests for unmasking. Only, she didn’t. Someone else did in her name.

List Of Obama Officials Involved In Unmasking Declassified (SAC)

In 2017, information published by this reporter and John Solomon, then with Circa, a online news organization under Sinclair Media, exposed that former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice had unmasked a number of U.S. officials connected to then President Donald Trump’s campaign. On Monday night, reports surfaced, first with ABC News and then others, that the acting Director Of National Intelligence Richard Grenell had authorized the declassification of the list of senior Obama officials that had unmasked Americans exponentially in the last months of the Obama administration. A U.S. official familiar with the declassification process confirmed to that the list of officials has been declassified and should be made public shortly.

In May, 2019 President Donald Trump authorized the Department of Justice to declassify the list, as well as all the other documentation pertaining to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance warrant used to spy on short term campaign volunteer Carter Page. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed in several recent reports that the FBI and DOJ failed to validate the evidence used to obtain the warrants to spy on Page and omitted evidence that would have stopped the secret court from authorizing the warrant to spy on the campaign. The most egregious unmasking was that of Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whose prosecution has now been overturned by the Justice Department.

In January, 2017 Flynn’s name and the contents of his conversation with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was revealed to a Washington Post reporter by a senior official in the Obama administration. The contents of the conversation were later outed in a column by Washington Post writer David Ignatius. The highly classified information led to the false allegations that Flynn and the Trump campaign were conspiring with Russia. Still, no one has been held accountable for the highly classified leak. However, sources tell this reporter there has been an ongoing DOJ investigation into the matter.

Rice, who hid her role in unmasking Trump officials, eventually admitted that she had requested unmasking of officials in the campaign. However, it was in April, 2017, when Trump White House lawyers were informed that Rice had requested the identities of U.S. persons in the raw intelligence reports. Usually in the raw reports Americans are identified as U.S. Person 1 or U.S. Person 2. Those identities are considered top secret and are limited to only a few persons. Further, there was an abundance of evidence that former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, unlike any former U.N. Ambassador before her, was also unmasking American’s identities in these highly classified reports at an extraordinary rate.

Then, in October, 2017, House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy revealed that Power had admitted under testimony that not all the “unmaskings” attributed to her were made by her but instead were done by someone else who signed in her name. She allegedly made 260 requests to “unmask” Americans who had been in communication with non-U.S. citizens that were under surveillance. Recent testimony, declassified by Grenell has shown that to be the case and Power’s testimony coincides with Gowdy’s recollection of the events. “I think if she were on your show, she would say those requests to unmask may have been attributed to her, but they greatly exceed by an exponential factor the requests she actually made,” said Gowdy, in October 2017 to Fox News.

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There are now quite a few people known who said completely different things in public from what they said under oath.

Another Former Obama Official Contradicts Her Public Statements (Turley)

The long-delayed release of testimony from the House Intelligence Committee has proved embarrassing for a variety of former Obama officials who have been extensively quoted on the allegedly strong evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign and the Russians. Figures like James Clapper, who is a CNN expert, long indicated hat the evidence from the Obama Administration was strong and alarming. However, in testimony, Clapper denied seeing any such evidence.

One of the most embarrassing is the testimony of Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama Administration official who was widely quoted in her plea to Congress to gather the evidence that she knew was found in by the Obama Administration. In her testimony under oath Farkas repeatedly stated that she knew of no such evidence of collusion. Farkas, who served as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, was widely quoted when she said on MSNBC in 2017 that she feared that evidence she knew about would be destroyed by the Trump Administration.

She stated: “..was urging my former colleagues, and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill… Get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration, because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people that left. So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy . . . the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more.”

MSNBC never seriously questioned the statements despite the fact that Farkas left the Obama Administration in 2015 before any such investigation could have occurred. As we have seen before, the factual and legal basis for such statements are largely immaterial in the age of echo journalism. The statement fit the narrative even if it lacked any plausible basis. Not surprisingly, the House Intelligence Committee was eager to have Farkas share all that she stated she “knew about [“the Trump folks”], their staff, the Trump’s staff’s dealing with Russian” and wanted to get “into the open.” After all, she told MSNBC that “I knew that there was more.”

She was finally put under oath in the closed classified sessions and there was nothing but classified crickets. Farkas was repeatedly asked to share that information that electrified the MSNBC hosts and audience. She repeatedly denied any such knowledge, telling then Rep. Trey Gowdy (R, S.C.), “I didn’t know anything.” Gowdy noted that Farkas left the Obama administration in 2015 and asked “Then how did you know?” She repeated again “I didn’t know anything.”

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“If any of us [..] were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation..”

Isn’t that exactly the point? Barr said it was not properly predicated?!

2,000 Former DOJ, FBI Officials Demand Barr Resign Over Flynn Case (UPI)

Almost 2,000 former federal prosecutors and members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation published an open letter Monday calling for the resignation of Attorney General William P. Barr over the dropping of the Michael Flynn case in federal court. Former U.S. Department of Justice and FBI officials, identifying themselves as both Republicans and Democrats, said Barr’s decision to drop prosecution of Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor, was a case of using “the Department as a tool to further President Trump’s personal and political interests,” the letter said. “Make no mistake: The Department’s action is extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented,” the letter added.

“If any of us, or anyone reading this statement who is not a friend of the President, were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation, and admit we did so under oath, we would be prosecuted for it.” Last week, Barr’s prosecutors asked a U.S. District judge to dismiss the charge of making false statements to the FBI with prejudice against Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general. Co-signers of the letter said Barr earlier overruled sentencing recommendations to seek favorable treatment for President Trump’s close associate, Roger Stone, showing that Barr was doing the president’s bidding as Attorney General.

[..] “[Barr’s actions flout] the core principle that politics must never enter into the Department’s law enforcement decisions and undermined its mission to ensure equal justice under the law,” the letter said. Co-signers included former federal prosecutors and some former presidential appointees. The highest-ranking signee was Stuart Gerson, who served during the Clinton administration as acting attorney general, NBC News reported. The letter urged District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who’s in charge of the Flynn case, to examine the DOJ’s rationale for dismissing the charges, and to hold hearings with witnesses if necessary, then to “deny the motion and proceed with sentencing if appropriate.” Along with urging Barr’s resignation, the group urged Congress to reschedule a House Judiciary Committee meeting to censure Barr, “and demand that he answer for his abuses of power.”

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 12 2020

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    Edward Hopper Night in the park 1921   • Letter from Hong Kong to Covid Ravaged UK: What On Earth Are You Doing? (HKFP) • 14 Million Wuhan Reside
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 12 2020]

    V. Arnold

    Edward Hopper Night in the park 1921
    That’s some pretty amazing drawing…


    ‘Ten reasons to end the lockdown now:
    Lockdown is impairing our ability to live with the effects of this virus, while not changing the long game’, by
    Dr John Lee:

    “Writing in this magazine a month ago, I applauded the British government’s stated aim of trying to follow the science in dealing with COVID. Such promises are easier made than kept. Following science means understanding science. It means engaging with rival interpretations of the limited data in order to tease out what is most important in what we don’t know. Instead, the government in the UK (and many other places) seems uninterested in alternative viewpoints. The chosen narrative — that lockdown has saved countless lives — has been doggedly followed by all spokespeople. No doubt is allowed. We have been seeing the groupthink response to a perceived external threat that Jonathan Haidt describes so lucidly in his excellent book on human moral thinking, The Righteous Mind.

    It has now become a matter of faith that lockdown is vital. Not only is it believed to be causally responsible for ‘flattening the curve’, but it is feared that releasing it too soon may cause a second spike in cases and ‘economic disaster’ (presumably due to further huge numbers of deaths). On what evidence is this made?..”


    Its a good thing that the USA made a wall. It keeps the gringo out.
    • Mexican Border Town Uses ‘Sanitizing Tunnels’ To Disinfect US Visitors (G.)
    Mexican border city of Nogales, Sonora, has set up “sanitizing tunnels” to disinfect people leaving the US through Nogales, Arizona. On the Mexican side of two major border crossings, drivers coming from Arizona must exit their vehicles and step into an inflatable tunnel that sprays them with a cleansing solution.
    “reduce the chances that a foreign citizen or citizen of this city who presents symptoms of the disease will infect other people on the Mexican side”.
    Do you have any idea how many loans are not being paid back, and may now never be paid back?

    The print master knows which elites will have a JUBILEE.

    • The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich (Eisinger)
    …. Batman, Robin, Lone Ranger, Superman, Spiderman, Darth Vader, Captain America


    It’s amazing when you think about it – two whole continents, North America and Europe, totally incapable of making PPE equipment!

    Dr. D

    Just as UK lockdown is universal double-plus good, 66% of NYers got the virus in their house under quarantine.
    Trust the science. Except whenever it’s inconvenient, complicated, or gets in the way of power.

    “The economic devastation wrought by the pandemic could ultimately kill more people than the virus itself” –LA Times
    Well-known right-wing rag, pushing this craziness.

    Oh wait: Of course their Brooklyn, Beverly Hills conclusion is that these physics only apply to other countries, because there are no poor people in East L.A. or central Pennsylvania who lost 50 jobs per death, and now their small businesses, and whole communities, have been destroyed. Nope! No poor people here! Because Flyoverland aren’t “people”. Only people in NYC, where 2/3s of the deaths are, matter. (Thanks to purposefully shipping COVID patients back to nursing homes. Cuomo is more popular than ever after that! Presidential material!)

    Riots Return to France’s No-Go Zones”

    They’re not following social distancing rules! It’s almost like they’re not following arson, assault, robbery, weapons, and murder rules either! But I said! I told them to follow the law!

    London’s Trains Packed with Commuters as PM Johnson Lifts ‘Stay Home’ Order”

    As with mass transit everywhere. Good thinking! Upper Michigan can’t go 4-wheeling in 500 miles for forest, but Staten Island is packed into the R train. Rules for thee and not for me! Hey, you can lose your father’s floor tile business in Marquette but we wouldn’t want to stop Wall Street from packing the lobby, amirite? Gotta have priorities: each NYer is worth 1,000 Flyovers. Each Wells Fargo is worth 1,000 George Bailey’s Building and Loan. Do I exaggerate? Where did the money go just an hour ago? Seems like to Fargo, who committed 10 million felonies in just *one* case, with fake fraudulent accounts. They’re in business, George Bailey is out. And the bailout money came FROM Bailey and Mr. Martini. You get what you incentivize. Incentivize packed trains and 10 million felonies, following the 100 million felonies in MERS. D—n you George Bailey!!! When will you stop competing with me? Can’t you just give up and let the last few towns become Pottersville, where only strip clubs, drug dispensaries, and liquor stores are open, where nobody has a job but prostitutes?!? Wait: Mission Accomplished.

    As Smith says: “The Fed’s fix is to lower the interest rate that banks and corporations pay to borrow money from the Fed while interest rates paid by the bottom 90% remain much higher.”

    However, he also says this is a suicide pact that will break the system: “All the Fed can do is fuel a revolt of the bottom 90% against their parasitic masters, the Fed, and the class the Fed has enriched with their free money for financiers and stock buybacks. It’s not that hard to forecast a populist revolt against the parasitic class that’s grown obscenely wealthy as a direct result of Fed policies while millions lose their jobs…”
    “bailing out Wall Street is the Fed’s only plan and only super-power. It’s the only reason the Fed exists: the parasitic class would wither away without the Fed’s constant distortions of what was once known as “the free market.””

    We don’t have a free market because then Potter would have to compete with Bailey. Because Potter is a mouth-breathing idiot son of an idiot son who went to Yale who loses money every year on every trade and requires bailouts to survive each week, we can’t have free markets, honest pricing, and real competition because he wouldn’t last 12 hours. That’s the whole point and reason to have power: to avoid the consequences of your own stupidity and irrational actions. That’s why the Fed exists and the SEC and CFTC have covered up every fraud and theft for 50 years. Remember Madoff had only one banker, whose board of directors oversaw every move. Everyone could see it and Harry Markopolis did. The SEC, CFTC, Fed, Geithner, IRS, DoJ, NY State Police and 50 state Attorney Generals covered it all up, right there in public on the front pages and every one of them is still employed. Except George Bailey and Mr. Martini’s Restaurant. Thanks to all the “help” they’ve been getting, Bedford Falls is closed and Potterville has prevailed.

    It takes a government to make this happen.

    But we have a solution: more Fed, more money, more government, more trust in authorities that lie and steal. But we told them not to! It’s almost like they’re breaking the law! The law nobody reads, follows or enforces. Worse than Paris rioters, and far more deadly.

    Have we pulled the plug on this system back in October, just before the world’s best-timed virus? I guess we’ll all find out.


    “It takes a government to make this happen.”

    You are hiding the truth by omission.
    Say the word…. ENABLERS
    The enablers came out of universities. The enablers are accountant, lawyers and politicians.
    They are doing the bidding of the elites.
    The education system is being changed as we speak.
    Applicants are getting accepted by all of the universities that they applied.
    Why? All the university are scrambling for rifraf bodies/Money to take care of their inflated expenses.


    My uncle reports that the sanitizing tunnels were set up in their city (Merida, Yucatan) weeks ago. They are just out in the open, scattered around the city; I got the sense that no one was being forced to go through them, they were just set up and citizens were encouraged to use them. They are really fortunate to live in the best-run state in Mexico, Yucatan.

    John Day

    In univariate analyses, zinc sulfate increased the frequency of patients being discharged home, and decreased the need for ventilation, admission to the ICU, and mortality or transfer to hospice for patients who were never admitted to the ICU. After adjusting for the time at which zinc sulfate was added to our protocol, an increased frequency of being discharged home (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.12-2.09) reduction in mortality or transfer to hospice remained significant (OR 0.449, 95% CI 0.271-0.744). Conclusion: This study provides the first in vivo evidence that zinc sulfate in combination with hydroxychloroquine may play a role in therapeutic management for COVID-19.



    My daughter just finished her first year of business at Ryerson in Toronto.

    She says studying on line sucks. She is planning on living at home and commuting.

    I think I heard her say if everything is to be online then what is the point?

    Somewhere I read that universities might see 20% less students in September.

    Have you seen any such estimates?


    John Day:

    It seems like years ago you figured out these meds and got ready.

    It would be nice if you have been Austin’s lonely Maytag repairman!

    Tomorrow spring should finally arrive to stay in Toronto and I can finally plant some peas, beans, and lettuce!



    “My daughter just finished her first year of business at Ryerson in Toronto.
    Have you seen any such estimates?”

    No. I think those numbers are secret.
    I’m completely lost on what to recommend for education prep for the future.
    Here are some numbers that I’m seeing.
    $2,000 for those who qualify. (Don’t forget, check out if you can qualify)
    Mr. gas station had gas at 82.9, then within a week at 92.9, and today at $1.02.
    The gov. will also give millions in support to the energy industry
    Talk about double dip.
    The stores that are closed are straining at the bit to get some of that money.
    (restaurants, etc.)
    Don’t forget that $300.00 that they promised for seniors today.
    Do some number calculation so that you don’t end up losing.
    $2,000 minus taxes, (assume 20% taxable rate), means keep $400.00 to pay for taxes.
    I’m not hoodwinked, the money was given to people to spend on businesses that were going to go bankrupt. Save the businesses.
    Keep the border closed. We don’t need USA $ to make us sick. (Dr. Bonnie Henri agrees)



    “My daughter just finished her first year of business at Ryerson in Toronto.”
    If she listen to you, then she will be a straight A student.


    Andrew Cuomo’s report that “66% of NYers got the virus in locked in their homes” is the crux of the problem America’s response to the Wuhan corornavirus and why I am going bonkers. There is no information on how this is possible.

    Humans can only get infected by significant contact with the virus transferred to nose and eyes or by breathing the aerosol droplets of the viruses shed by other infected humans. It is possible also by contact with surfaces contaminated earlier; for example, elevator buttons or amazon packages with your hands and transferred to the nose and eyes. But this is speculation. Are gloves alone sufficient to mitigate the risk? All questions that the federal CDC should be gathering. But it is sidelined by the White House.

    There is no universal testing to see who is shedding the virus or not. Yes, college students forced to return home could have infected their families. Did the patients go grocery shopping? Did home cleaners or repairman visit? Were their home deliveries contaminated? Did the apartments have central heating? Only contact tracing, gathering the data, review and scientific studies can find the answers. But the US federal government is not spending the money or directing programs to do the testing and contact tracing required for this.

    There is no federal program to isolate the infected in safe secure facilities. The lockdown of Americans at home is not a public health quarantine program that has controlled the pandemic in other nations. It is mitigation that is not working in 20 states including Maryland where I live.

    The 81,537 deaths are directly due to the White House failure to close all borders in the first week of February 2020 and the current lack of a functional public health system in the USA. More deaths are to come.


    This is a goodie:
    HCQ is very effective – except for the ones it’s specifically contraindicated for.

    Remind me again how those Worldometer stats which entirely aggregate populations by country are in any way useful/meaningful?

    Dr. D

    My thought on the tunnels was antiscience. They disinfect – seems a bit broad-brush at best – then get right back in the car filled with the virus. Good thinking! But it’s all about feels and crow’s foot magic talismans. Same day, baseball says they’ll open because they have drones to spray and disinfect the bleachers. Which are open the sun. That kills the virus in no time, for free. All for the feels, to sell the seats. #Antiscience. But no one notices, both because they’re entirely illogical and have no reason, but no doubt also because science has been saying utterly nonsensical things like this for decades without being called out and put in line by their own.

    What I’m saying about a fake, fantasy-theatre lockdown. Which we’ve known from the first week. So…virus essentially is airborne, lives 9-days on surfaces, and lives in most hosts without symptoms. Masks cut I dunno, 80%, but you can see the videos on the vapor getting through, so you’ll get a viral load in 15 minutes of talking to someone instead of 5 minutes. Wow! Hospitals, where they use actual science, say because of this, the masks are good for maybe a half-hour until saturated and must be dried, sterilized, reset. Gloves do nothing and may even help as viruses live better on the surfaces. There is a long, deeply annoying, glove-wasting protocol to use gloves effectively at all. So what have we here? As the article, near-total antiscience, or at least non-science.

    Given this, how did 66% of NYers get it? Because the virus follows science and not superstition, politics, and feels. You thought I was exaggerating, but they didn’t weld humans into their houses without food or contact for 40+ days. Those people, whether leaving the house or not, got food from somewhere. And that food came in cans, in chilled boxes of milk, stocked by a person touching thousands of things, carried to them by a person who touched hundreds of things, and that’s even if everyone was being careful as they claim. I can suppose 1/3 of the 2/3ds weren’t anywhere near as careful as they thought, removing their mask for a minute or whatever. So the virus was on everything. If you want to see, powder charcoal on your hands and see how it goes, where contacts are. A: Everywhere. Instantly.

    Totally predictable with an airborne cold-grade virus. Which is why it was irrational and unscientific to begin with. If you’re going to do this, you need to sell it and do actually it. If you half do-it, or even 80% do it, you have total failure and get the worst of both worlds: no virus slowdown AND a totally destroyed economy, eliminated Bill of Rights, and a Totalitarian state that has legal precedent and Fascistically supports all insider big businesses, and utterly destroys the middle class and all competition of small businesses. Which we have. As was totally predictable from the first week, since we knew it was near-aerosol, as transmissible as the flu, 40 days without symptoms – if ever — and 9 days on surfaces.

    So yes, I said it’s logical and obvious this wouldn’t work, and NY just proved it didn’t. And that’s without cheating, which everybody did. Then you have essentially no quarantine at all.

    But not to fear! It was never dangerous to begin with! Despite media which lies with every waking breath, the curve has flattened everywhere naturally and automatically whether there was a fantasy fake lockdown or not. The U.S. was trailing because it’s absolutely enormous, has 3,000 rural counties, and takes a lot of time to get everywhere. But it’s flattening, exactly as predicted, although their measures did nothing but print money and hand it to billionaires, as predicted. The numbers are still 0.01%, especially excluding whatever outlier-strangeness was happening in NYC, maybe Cuomo pointedly sending Covid people back to nursing homes for maximum death, I don’t know.

    But that’s it. It’s over. 0.01%. Panic! WeAllGonnaDie! GA has opened, no bounceback. SD never had one, despite the press. No outbreak, no bounceback. FL beaches packed: a week or two later, no bounceback.

    Their “Helping” didn’t help but it did destroy a whole bunch of other things, and killed poor people while the rich took their money, as always. Stop helping! But nobody ever learns. We did it again, the 100th time in a row in my lifetime, and next time we’ll not have learned, believe the liars, and beg for it again. And you wonder why the rich get richer.

    Apparently it’s voluntary. ‘Cause it’s just science. It followed science and not T.V. fantasies, because #Science is supposed to be #Reality, #Logos, but we are an #AntiLogos nations, where the only enemy is #Truth.

    How dedicated are we to this? For the 3rd or 4th time, China locks down again, while simultaneously claiming they have zero cases. So you locked down because of the outbreak you didn’t have? Yup! Everyone posts their numbers on worldmeter above, cheers, and claims China won and we should be like them, with police roundups, concentration camps and all. No, you silly persons: they’re L Y I N G. Just like we are, the WHO and CDC are, the Media, Cuomo, and everybody else who writes words are. The only enemy is #Truth. They’re LYING. Please say that to ourselves until we all internalize it and develop immunity to this garbage, unscience criminal thieving lies.

    John Day

    Thanks for the kind recognition, WES.

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