Edward Hopper Night windows 1928
🔥 Elon Musk: “Media Matters is an evil propaganda machine…We are suing them in every country that they operate. And we will pursue not just the organization, but anyone funding that organization. I want to be clear about that. Anyone funding that organization, we will pursue… pic.twitter.com/MCEVP65a7G
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) December 10, 2023
Fake but true? 🤣 pic.twitter.com/eLDIyXMrUY
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 11, 2023
Ep. 48 The Tucker Carlson Encounter: Kid Rock pic.twitter.com/g9wLg1zlvu
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) December 11, 2023
“..”this is *not* the Court agreeing to take up the case now. It is just the Court agreeing to move *very* quickly in deciding *whether* to take up the case..”
Update: That didn’t take long… After petitioning the US Supreme Court to weigh in on former President Trump’s federal 2020 election case – specifically Trump’s presidential immunity defense, Special Counsel Jack Smith had his answer by end-of-day, after the Supreme Court granted his request to “expedite consideration of the petition.” Attorney Steve Vladeck called the response “lightning-fast by the Supreme Court’s standards.” Vladeck further clarified that “this is *not* the Court agreeing to take up the case now. It is just the Court agreeing to move *very* quickly in deciding *whether* to take up the case at this juncture (i.e., before the court of appeals).” The Court gave Trump’s team until Dec. 20th to respond.
[..] Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked the Supreme Court to immediately weigh in on former President Trump’s federal 2020 election case. In a Monday filing, Smith asked the justices to weigh in on Trump’s immunity defense, by which Trump has cited presidential immunity to try and have the case tossed. The former president is accused of entering multiple criminal conspiracies to change the results of the 2020 US election. The move comes after Trump appealed an appeals court judge’s rejection of that argument. In the Monday filing, Smith cited Trump’s fast-approaching March 4 trial date. “It is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court and that respondent’s trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected,” reads the filing.
Smith has also requested that the Supreme Court expedite its decision on whether it will take up the issue, period. If they do, he wants them to prioritize it over all other cases. “This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin,” reads the filing. “In his Supreme Court brief, Mr. Smith conceded that the trial would most likely have to be paused because of the appeal of the immunity issue. That position reversed the one his prosecutors took over the weekend in court papers, in which they argued that Judge Chutkan should not have to stay the case pending appeal. Winning the appeal of the immunity decision was only one of Mr. Trump’s goals in challenging the decision. All along, he and his lawyers have had an alterative strategy: to delay the election interference trial for as long as possible.” -NY Times
The filing comes after Judge Tanya S. Chutkan – who worked at the law firm which repped Fusion GPS, the company that helped orchestrate the Russia collusion hoax – rejected Trump’s sweeping claims of “absolute immunity” from an election interference indictment because it was based on actions taken while in office. In her ruling, Chukan condemned attempts to “usurp the reins of government,” and said that nothing in the Constitution or US history supports the notion that a former president is immune. As the Times further suggests, “If the trial were to be put off until after the 2024 election and Mr. Trump were to win, he could have his attorney general simply dismiss the charges. Holding a trial after the presidential race would also mean that voters would never hear any of the evidence that prosecutors have collected about Mr. Trump’s expansive efforts to reverse the results of the last election before weighing in on whether to re-elect him.”
“But no, I’m not a threat. I will save democracy..”
Former US president Donald Trump has brushed aside warnings by Democrats over his potential return to the White House and claimed that it’s actually his successor Joe Biden who poses a danger to the country’s democracy. Trump made the comments ahead of a possible rematch between the two at the polls next year. Trump, who remains entangled in a series of federal and state charges related to allegations that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, has nudged ahead of Biden in polling for a potential presidential race in 2024, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite the fact that his campaign is likely to be conducted in the shadow of mounting legal issues, the presumptive GOP candidate has dismissed Democratic Party warnings, that a Trump win represents a threat to the US, as a “hoax” and “misinformation.”
“Can you believe it? This is their new line, you know,” Trump said on Saturday at an event hosted by the New York Young Republican Club. “Here we go again – ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ ‘Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine.’ One hoax after another.” Trump added: “But no, I’m not a threat. I will save democracy. The threat is Crooked Joe Biden.” The former president has claimed that the myriad legal cases he faces are politically motivated, and has vowed to prosecute Biden if he returns to office. His comments come soon after he was criticized by Democratic rivals for saying that he intended to briefly be a dictator if he is reelected, in order to install more border fortifications and introduce domestic oil-production policies. “I said I want to be a dictator for one day,” Trump added on Saturday in New York, in reference to his comments days before. “And you know why I want to be a dictator? Because I want a wall … and I want to drill, drill, drill.”
Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, said during the party’s fourth primary debate last week that Trump’s comments reveal him to be “an angry, bitter man who now wants to be back as president because he wants to exact retribution on anyone who has disagreed with him.” Biden, meanwhile, recently cast a dire warning about the potential outcome of a second Trump presidency. Speaking at a fundraising event in Los Angeles on Saturday, Biden said that “the greatest threat Trump poses is to the democracy.” The president also said at an earlier campaign event last month in San Francisco that some of Trump’s rhetoric has its roots in authoritarianism, in particular his vowing to be his supporters’ “retribution” and his describing of political opponents as “vermin.”
You’d think they have the votes..
The US House of Representatives will vote on a resolution to formalize an impeachment inquiry of US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, December 13, a Republican lawmaker told Reuters. Thus, he refuted a previous statement by Representative Lisa McClain who said that the vote would take place on Thursday, December 14. The resolution introduced by Republican Representative Kelly Armstrong would instruct three House committees to authorize a probe into the incumbent US leader’s business dealings. On December 2, House Speaker Mike Johnson said they were being stalled by the White House which was preventing at least two to three witnesses from coming forward. Republicans have repeatedly claimed that the Bidens received funds from companies, including foreign businesses, for using political influence for business gain.
“..you know you are in deep, deep trouble if you are picking up the bat phone and calling Hillary Clinton to come help you out..”
The US Democratic Party establishment believes that figures like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could help President Joe Biden secure reelection next November, NBC News reported on Sunday. The former secretary of state and failed 2016 candidate has recently emerged as a key Biden surrogate, the outlet noted. NBC News cited several instances in recent months, when Clinton has advocated on behalf of Biden. On November 27, for instance, she hosted a fundraiser at Whitehaven, her family mansion in Washington DC, at which the group Women’s Leadership Forum added almost a million dollars to the campaign coffers. The same month, she penned an op-ed in The Atlantic defending Biden’s refusal to support a ceasefire in Gaza, a position on which she later doubled down, speaking on The View program.
In October, she touted the “formal deprogramming” of supporters of Donald Trump, her opponent in the 2016 election and Biden’s most likely challenger from the Republican side next year. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are loyal to the party and will “do whatever is asked of them,” a person close to her told NBC News. She is expected to lend Biden her popularity with women and ensure that his campaign does not run out of money, the thinking behind her involvement goes. But ultimately she is “filling a space that at a later point in the campaign season former President Barack Obama will join,” the report said. Obama’s intervention helped Biden get the Democratic nomination in 2020, as centrist candidates coalesced around him to defeat progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders in the primaries.
Fox News, the pro-Republican news network, took the report as highlighting the weakness of the Biden bid. Its contributor Charles Hurt mused that “you know you are in deep, deep trouble if you are picking up the bat phone and calling Hillary Clinton to come help you out”. Biden’s approval ratings are at a low point at the moment, with several recent polls making him the least favored president since Harry Truman, when measured at the same point in their respective terms, according to the political analysis resource FiveThirtyEight. A Wall Street Journal poll released on Saturday showed the incumbent losing to Trump 47% to 43% in a hypothetical race between two candidates. If Trump were convicted on one of the four prosecutions against him, Biden would only have a 1% point advantage over him.
A bit of Gaza relief today. It is certain to return. But this is so crazy, it must be included.
Italy, France and Germany called on the European Union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters, the foreign ministers of the three nations wrote in a joint letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. “We express our full support for the … proposal to create an ad hoc sanctions regime against Hamas and its supporters,” said the letter seen by Reuters. “The swift adoption of this sanctions regime will enable us to send a strong political message about the European Union’s commitment against Hamas and our solidarity with Israel,” the letter said.
Putin refuses to let Russia become overstretched..
Not even in revolutionary times have Russian elections been waged on the issue President Vladimir Putin proposed a few days ago of what it means, what it costs, what it risks for Russia to lead the national liberation of the world. Nor has Putin revealed after two days of intensive talks with Emirati, Saudi, and Iranian leaders, and then a telephone call with the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, what plan of action for the Gaza war they discussed. “Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has announced after the talks concluded. El-Sisi was so negative about this, the Kremlin record of his Saturday morning telephone call reveals no more than that he and Putin talked over “a number of issues related to Russian-Egyptian cooperation, which has been developing very successfully.
Both parties expressed their interest in further expanding cooperation in various areas in a traditionally friendly manner based on the principles of strategic partnership.” The two presidents then wished each other good luck for their re-elections. The Egyptian presidential vote is running for three days from Sunday with the result to be declared on December 18; the Russian poll will be held on March 15-17. The outcome is certain for both. Two hours after Putin put down the phone with el-Sisi, he picked it up again to call Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Kremlin communiqué has omitted to report what Netanyahu said. Instead, Putin gave the Israeli his personal assurance there will be no Russian participation in a Gaza blockade-busting plan to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinians by sea, or across the Egyptian land border. Nor will the Russian military intervene to threaten Israeli aircraft if they commence bombing Beirut and southern Lebanese targets in the war against Hezbollah.
A Russian source on military strategy believes the Russian objective is to protract the Palestine war on all fronts simultaneously, and exhaust the US and Israel by threatening Israeli ports and shipping, Israel’s offshore gas supplies, and the economy’s principal sources of income. Exhausting the US in the Middle East helps exhaust the US and NATO in the Ukraine, the source adds.Tactically, the source said, this should mean an international humanitarian operation to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in order to deliver as much aid as the besieged Palestinians need; action at the international level to deter the Israelis using uranium radiation warheads, poison gas, and other weapons to attack the Hamas tunnel network; and a no-fly zone to cover Lebanon and Syria from Israeli bombing and missile attacks. Military action, the source cautions, should be indirect and confined to proxy forces like Hezbollah on the northern front; Iraqi groups in the east; the Houthis in the south; and support for the Palestinians fighting in the West Bank.
The Israeli reaction – “what we can do in Gaza we can do in Beirut” — is to deter Russia, Iran, and the Arab states from allowing their “initiative” to adopt any of these tactics; and to deter an expanded operation by Hezbollah. “If Hezbollah chooses to start an all-out war,” Netanyahu declared publicly just before he spoke to Putin, “then it will, by its own hand, turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Younis.” Russian sources acknowledge the blackout on debate of these options in the Russian media, including the military bloggers who have become the most outspoken journalists in the country. “One war at a time, one election at a time”, according to one source. “That’s how Putin is thinking right now. How can the General Staff argue with that?”
“Arestovich recently announced that he would stand against Zelensky for the presidency, and would campaign on a platform of peace..”
Now is the time to start thinking about negotiating peace with Russia, with the situation looking more hopeless on the front line, a former adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said. Aleksey Arestovich told Inews that Zelensky has become a hostage to his own propaganda due to his propensity to “play the hero in parliaments around the world.” The former presidential adviser and spokesman, who has fallen out of favor with Kiev, said Zelensky currently “thinks not about the national interest but about his own position.” Arestovich recently announced that he would stand against Zelensky for the presidency, and would campaign on a platform of peace. With the cost of the war mounting and Kiev’s death toll rising to around 300,000, the former adviser said it was past time to start discussing terms for peace.
“For Russia, it’s for Ukraine not to join NATO, and for us it is to stop this war. These are great conditions to start a real discussion – not only between Ukraine and Russia – about a new system of collective security in Europe,” he said. Arestovich said that Ukraine was in a far stronger position to negotiate in spring 2022, after Russia’s troops were closer to Kiev, and suggested that then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have undermined the peace talks. At that time, Russia was seeking protection for the Russian language, the reduction of Kiev’s army, and a turn away from NATO, Arestovich revealed to the news outlet, claiming to have detailed knowledge of the negotiations that took place in Istanbul. After Johnson’s visit to Kiev in April, he said talks were swiftly terminated.
David Arakhamia, a Ukrainian MP who headed Kiev’s delegation in the spring 2022 negotiations with Russia, said back in November that Moscow had been ready to end the war if Ukraine promised not to join NATO. “When we returned from Istanbul, Boris Johnson came to Kiev and said that we wouldn’t sign anything with them at all, and that we should just fight,” he told Ukrainian media. A spokesperson for Johnson has dismissed this, saying the decision to fight was made because of the “iron resolve of President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine,” wrote Inews. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has reaffirmed that Russia would prefer to reach its goals in Ukraine via “political and diplomatic means.” Commenting on Tuesday, he said “we are still ready for negotiations.” President Zelensky signed a formal decree early in October stating that any negotiations with Russia under President Vladimir Putin are “impossible.”
“..the only historical purpose of Ukrainian nationalism is to turn Ukraine into a weapon against Russia..”
The puppet regime in Kiev will inevitably be abandoned by its overseas masters in the end, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin said. “The puppet regime in Kiev, which is alien to the majority of Ukrainians, and which has perpetrated bloody massacres in Donbass, in Odessa and in many other towns and villages of Ukraine, will eventually and inevitably be abandoned by its overseas masters,” he said at a roundtable discussion devoted to the study of Ukrainian propaganda and efforts to fight against it. The intelligence chief also emphasized that Russians and Ukrainians are two parts of a single nation composed of three peoples, which also include Belarusians. “Despite the seriously changed circumstances, I mean the aggression of the Western bloc against Russia, in which Ukraine is involved, I hold to the same positions on this issue, namely that Russians and Ukrainians are two parts of a triune nation, the history of which goes back centuries,” Naryshkin emphasized.
Looking back into the past, he said, it can be said that, “the only historical purpose of Ukrainian nationalism is to turn Ukraine into a weapon against” Russia. Naryshkin also noted that historians are well aware that “many former Nazi criminals found safe haven in the United States and Canada” after the war. “The Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists established there became a direct successor of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, banned in Russia – TASS) of the followers of [Stepan] Bandera and the founder of the notorious extremist organizations ‘Stepan Bandera Trident’ and ‘Right Sector’ (both banned in Russia – TASS),” he added. “Systematic work for shaping the ideological basis for a future neo-Nazi revenge has been going on for decades.
For example, the first attempt to label the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s as a deliberate genocide of the Ukrainian people was made in 1985 by a specially created commission of the US Congress,” he pointed out. Naryshkin, who also serves as chairman of the Russian Historical Society, stressed that today Russia has gained significant experience in countering this pernicious lie. “A lot of work is being done by the Russian Culture Ministry’s museum group, created at the initiative of the Russian Historical Society. And in the first months of the special military operation, employees of museums and higher educational institutions collected trophy materials, on the basis of which they organized exhibitions throughout the country,” he added.
Naryshkin noted that work for the formal study of the history of the special military operation was commenced on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prior to the roundtable event, Naryshkin toured an exhibition of Ukrainian propaganda publications, school textbooks and children’s encyclopedias, which was opened in the Russian Historical Society House as part of the event. According to the Russian Historical Society, the publications were collected in the zone of the special military operation. The exhibition included books glorifying infamous Nazi collaborators Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich, as well as the crimes of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgent Army (organizations banned in Russia).
“The hostility shown by Europeans towards the Russian people (and not just to its governance) has pushed Russia to ‘be itself’ again, which has been to its great benefit..”
U.S.-Russia relations have touched rock-bottom; it is worse even than imagined. In discourse with senior Russian officials, it is evident that the U.S. treats the former as clear enemies. To gain a flavour, it is as if a senior Russian official were to ask: “What is it you want from me?”. The answer might come: “I wish you’d die”. The inherent tension and lack of genuine exchange is worse than during the Cold War when channels of communication did stay open. This lacuna is compounded by the absence of political nous amongst European political leaders, with whom grounded discussion has not proved possible. Russian officials recognise the risks to this situation. They are at a loss however on how to correct it.
The tenor of discourse too, has slid from outright hostility toward pettiness: The U.S., for example, might block workers from entering the Russian mission at the UN to repair broken windows. Moscow then — reluctantly — finds itself with little alternative but to respond in a similarly petty vein — and so the relationship spirals down. There is an acknowledgement that the deliberately vituperative ‘information war’ is wholly dominated by the western MSM — further souring the atmospherics. And though the scattered western alternative media exists and is gaining in scale and significance, it is not easily engaged (being both diverse, and individualist). The tag of ‘Putin Apologist’ too, remains toxic to any autonomous news providers, and can destroy credibility at a stroke.
It is understood in Russia that the West presently exists in ‘phony normality’ — an interlude within its own cultural war (in the run-up to 2024). Russians, however, do perceive some obvious parallels with their own experience of radical civil polarisation — when the Soviet Nomenklatura demanded conformity to the Party ‘line’, or suffer sanction. Moscow is open to dialogue with the West, but interlocutors so far have represented only themselves and have no mandate. This experience points to a conclusion that there is little point to ‘banging one’s head’ against a brick wall of an ideologically driven western leadership — Russian values being as a red rag to the western ideological ‘bull’. Yet, it is not clear when the time comes, if an empowered interlocutor (able to commit) will be present in Washington to pick up the phone.
Nevertheless, the enmity projected in the West towards Russia is perceived as having positive aspects as well as grave risks (the absence of treaties on the use and deployment of weapons). Interlocutors underline how western disdain towards Russians — plus its explicit enmity — finally has allowed Russia to move beyond Peter the Great’s Europeanisation. That latter episode is seen now as a diversion from Russia’s true destiny (albeit one that must be seen in the context of the rise and rise of the post-Westphalian European nation-state). The hostility shown by Europeans towards the Russian people (and not just to its governance) has pushed Russia to ‘be itself’ again, which has been to its great benefit. Nonetheless, the shift gives rise to a certain tension: It is evident that western ‘hawks’ are always scanning the Russian scene in order to locate a host within the body politic in which to insert the spores of their weaponised New Moral Order — their purpose being to wedge into, and fragment, Russian society.
“..the objective course of history… is the evolution of a multipolar world..”
The 500-year-long dominance of the West is coming to an end, being replaced by “a new polycentric world,” Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Sunday in a video address to the Doha Forum. The minister expressed regret that certain “circumstances” prevented him from coming to the Qatari capital in person and hearing the discussions at the annual high-profile event. “But I assume that you were discussing the multipolar world, which is emerging after 500 years of domination of what we call the ‘collective West,’” Lavrov said. This hegemony of the US and its allies had been “based on a diverse history, including ruthless exploitation of peoples and territories of other countries,” he said. According to the minister, the West suggested that it could use the model of globalization, which it had been building for centuries, to maintain its dominance.
“However, other countries, using exactly the principles and instruments of the Western globalization, managed to beat the West on its own turf, building the economies on the basis of national sovereignty, on the basis of balance of interests with other countries.” New centers of economic growth and political influence have been emerging, “changing the balance of power in the world, and not to the West’s liking,” he said. “In order to suppress this kind of development,” the US and its allies have in recent years “sacrificed” globalization in favor of the so-called ‘rules-based world order,’ Lavrov continued. “The rules were never published, were never even announced by anyone to anyone, and they are being applied depending on what exactly the West needs at a particular moment of modern history,” he added.
The FM said that such an approach is most seen “in various conflicts, which the West ignites all over the world,” including the one in Ukraine. “Everything goes to keep the hegemony. Intervention in domestic affairs, sanctions against all the principles of competition, regime change, and of course direct military interventions, like we have seen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.” “Is there a single place where the US intervened with military force, where life has become better? I think you know the answer,” Lavrov told the forum participants. According to the diplomat, new formats like BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ASEAN, African Union, and others will become “the bricks of the new polycentric world.” It should be recognized, including by those in the West, that “the objective course of history… is the evolution of a multipolar world,” Lavrov insisted.
“Basically we will see everything that is happening on the system and nothing will be hidden, that is the goal.”
X owner Elon Musk declared during a Spaces discussion that he will never restrict free speech on the platform, no matter what entities pressure him to do so, and asserted that he would rather “go to prison” than allow it to happen. Musk’s comments came during a Spaces discussion, also featuring Alex Jones who Musk reinstated on the platform Sunday. Human Events editor Jack Posobiec asked Musk what would happen if the FBI or DHS “come to X and say ‘these posts need to be censored , this information needs to be censored.”
Musk responded that the platform will remain “as transparent as possible,” adding “Basically we will see everything that is happening on the system and nothing will be hidden, that is the goal.” Musk added that “frankly if I think a government agency is breaking the law in their demands in the platform I would be prepared to go to prison personally if I think they are the ones breaking the law.” Elsewhere during the discussion, Musk explained that he reinstated Alex Jones because as a free speech absolutist he will not censor anyone on X if they have not broken the law. Here it is in its entirety:
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) December 10, 2023
“When truth is punished, a country dies.”
I have often wondered what Roman citizens thought as they watched the Roman Empire fall apart culturally, politically, morally, and militarily. Cicero, quaestor, praetor and Counsel of Rome, tried to save the Roman Republic. For his efforts he was chased down and murdered. As Cicero was, perhaps, the most famous Roman, his murder stopped efforts to prevent Rome’s descent into tyranny. The same thing is happening today to those who attempt to arouse us to our danger. Julian Assange, for example, has been imprisoned contrary to every known US and UK law for a decade without conviction for simply doing his duty as a journalist and reporting the crimes of our rulers, the crimes of the corrupt vermin we continue to return to office and power over us. No one has done anything about it, not even his fellow journalists. When truth is punished, a country dies.
Rome survived for centuries after its essence had departed, because her enemies were weak in comparison. Rome destroyed itself. As many or more Romans died in civil wars fighting one another than died repelling barbarian invasions, Roman military might ended in self-destruction. The enemies Washington has created for America are not weak. Russia alone, China alone, perhaps even Iran alone, is a match or more for America. The three together constitute a vast over-match of US military capability. Yet Washington continues to increase hostilities with these countries. The mindlessness of my government is unbearable. Such utter stupidity. Once the moronic Biden regime’s economic sanctions and the US loss of the reserve currency role finish off the US dollar, America is finished. We will be a third world country, and the rest of the world will punish us for the sins of our government. Try to tell this to an American.
A world split in half…
The losses in the global economy as a result of the fragmentation into two blocs from the conflict in Ukraine are estimated to be up to 7% of GDP, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday. “If the global economy were to fragment into two blocs based on UN voting on the 2022 Ukraine Resolution and trade between the two blocs were eliminated, global losses are estimated to be about 2.5 percent of GDP. But depending on economies’ ability to adjust, the losses could reach as high as 7 percent of GDP,” IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said.
Gopinath pointed out that the losses may be extremely pronounced in lower-income countries and emerging markets. “Foreign direct investment (FDI) fragmentation in a world divided into two blocs centered around the United States and China – with some countries remaining non-aligned – could result in long-term global losses of around 2% of GDP,” she said. Gopinath noted that there are “clear signs” global FDI is segmenting along geopolitical lines. “Announced FDI projects between blocs declined more than those within blocs after the onset of the war in Ukraine, while FDI to non-aligned countries sharply increased,” Gopinath added.
“Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income.”
Despite being the wealthiest country in the world by net worth (according to 2022 data), the United States continues to struggle with hunger. A report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found more than 44 million Americans facing hunger last year, including 1 in 5 children. Programs which provide food to those in need are crippling under demand, as prices at the grocery store don’t appear to be dropping anytime soon. Today, it appears as though more Americans are saying their standard of living is worse than their parents’ was, a majority of which include millennials and Gen-Xers who are people in their prime working years. According to a poll released on Sunday, 51% of those aged 30 to 64 believe their standard of living is worse than their parents’ was, as well as 39% of those aged 18 to 29 and 40% of those ages 65 and older. “Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the head of Feeding America.
And when asked to answer when the “most difficult economic time” for the US was, many Americans pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. At least 51% of those aged 65 and older said the pandemic shutdowns created the worst economic hardship, with 39% of all ages saying the same. Both groups believe the pandemic was vastly worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 to 2009, as well as a period of major gas shortages and inflation in the 1970s. But at the same time, figures show job growth, rising wages, and a healthy economy of consumers who are purchasing record amounts of summer travel, concert tickets and holiday shopping. As he runs for reelection, President Joe Biden has even touted this economic recovery as the result of “Bidenomics”, and has been desperately urging Americans to adopt this notion. But Americans, many of whom are struggling to pay for basic necessities, don’t care to hear these figures.
According to the poll, 85% of Americans pay more attention to their own experiences than those who pay attention to national data (66%). At least 72% are paying attention to people they know personally, and 70% are watching businesses in their community to gauge the economy’s “strength”. A separate poll from November also found 81% of registered voters viewed the economy as either “fair” or “poor”. And a staggering 76% of Americans said their income is not keeping up with inflation. As a result, the “American Dream” has stumbled: 64% of Americans now believe that only the upper class has a chance to “get ahead”. And many Americans are uninterested in hearing about positive news as it relates to the job market. In October, a US broadcaster found that positive news about the job market in the US made “many Americans feel worse”.
And those on the frontline of food hunger in America are seeing staggering numbers reach out to them. In June, the nonprofit group Feeding America found that they had given out 5.3 billion meals in the past year, while an additional 1 million people applied for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) over the past year. Other programs are seeing a record increase in their levels of enrollments as well, with some administrators concerned that they won’t have adequate funding to keep up with demand “The demand is higher now than it ever was during the pandemic,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, head of Feeding America. “This is not just one group’s issue, it’s an American issue. Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income.”
“Household debt in the UK is projected to balloon from the current level of £73 billion ($92 billion) to £151 billion ($190 billion) in 2026..”
The worsening cost-of-living crisis will force UK families to tighten their belts this Christmas, cutting back on presents or food, The Guardian reported last week, citing new research by National Debtline. Data shows that around 6.5 million people will struggle to heat their homes sufficiently during the holiday season, while 2.7 million will have to choose between buying food or presents. According to the report, over 14 million consumers are planning to limit the number of presents they intend to buy this year, while 6 million have said they can only afford to buy gifts for children. “This Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis is set to be felt more than ever with millions of people struggling to heat their homes and many experiencing money worries,” said David Cheadle, the acting chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline.
The study showed that more than 24 million UK adults plan to use credit to pay for Christmas presents this year. Of those, 12 million intend to use credit cards, while 4.7 million will use a ‘buy now, pay later’ loan to pay for purchases over time. “We remain deeply concerned about the long-term impact that rising arrears will have on household finances going into 2024 and beyond,” Cheadle said, as quoted by The Guardian. “After missing the opportunity to help people in debt in the autumn statement, we are continuing to press the government to introduce a ‘help to repay’ scheme for energy arrears, and extend the household support fund which is providing crucial local support,” he added.
Household debt in the UK is projected to balloon from the current level of £73 billion ($92 billion) to £151 billion ($190 billion) in 2026. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), British households are suffering the biggest five-year drop in living standards to have hit the country since it started compiling records in the 1950s. Real household disposable income per head is estimated to be 3.5% lower than its pre-pandemic level.
When stressed or injured the yellow boxfish releases the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX) from its skin, which may prove lethal to fish in surrounding waters
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) December 12, 2023
Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.