Ivan Shishkin The wilds 1881
The Oil Price Cap Idiocy
Tucker just ended NBC after they got CAUGHT scrubbing the Today Show's Paul Pelosi report raising questions about the attack:
"NBC News has Jeffrey Epstein'ed the entire thing." pic.twitter.com/MohFv4mQ1E
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 5, 2022
Until proven otherwise
"Until Proven Otherwise." – @DrAseemMalhotra pic.twitter.com/Bipui1xoxn
— Texas Kate (@Texas_Kate) November 3, 2022
Pepe sees some optimism. It goes through China.
“..the Scholz caravan went to Beijing to essentially lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger..”
• Berlin – Moscow – Beijing (Escobar)
Solid German business sources completely contradict the “message” delivered by the German Council on Foreign Relations on the trip to China. According to these sources, the Scholz caravan went to Beijing to essentially lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger. This is – literally – as explosive, geopolitically and geoeconomically, as it gets. As I pointed out in one of my previous columns, Berlin and Moscow were keeping a secret communication back channel – via business interlocutors – right to the minute the usual suspects, in desperation, decided to blow up the Nord Streams. Cue to the now notorious SMS from Liz Truss’s iPhone to Little Tony Blinken, one minute after the explosions: “It’s done.”
There’s more: the Scholz caravan may be trying to start a long and convoluted process of eventually replacing the US with China as a key ally. One should never forget that the top BRI trade/connectivity terminal in the EU is Germany (the Ruhr valley). According to one of the sources, “if this effort is successful, then Germany, China and Russia can ally themselves together and drive the US out of Europe.” Another source provided the cherry on the cake: “Olaf Scholz is being accompanied on this trip by German industrialists who actually control Germany and are not going to sit back watching themselves being destroyed.” Moscow knows very well what the imperial aim is when it comes to the EU reduced to the role of totally dominated – and deindustrialized – vassal, exercising zero sovereignty.
The back channels after all are not lying in tatters on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Additionally, China has not provided any hint that its massive trade with Germany and the EU is about to vanish. Scholz himself, one day before his caravan hit Beijing, stressed to Chinese media that Germany has no intention of decoupling from China, and there’s nothing to justify “the calls by some to isolate China.” In parallel, Xi Jinping and the new Politburo are very much aware of the Kremlin position, reiterated again and again: we always remain open for negotiations, as long as Washington finally decides to talk about the end of unlimited NATO expansion drenched in Russophobia. So to negotiate means the Empire signing on the dotted line of the document it has received from Moscow on December 1st, 2021, focused on “indivisibility of security”. Otherwise there’s nothing to negotiate.
5 May 2024.
• The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End (Batiushka)
Many ask how much longer will the US war against Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine last? Some say only another two or three months, others much longer, even five years and more. For my own reasons I say another eighteen months, until 5 May 2024. Whatever you think, it all depends on how much the American neocon/neoliberal elite via their NATO allies, especially the UK, the Zelensky sect and their hired killers (so-called mercenaries – for few Kiev nationalists are now left to fight) want to escalate their war. And they do, which is why it did not all end last March when it could have ended. In other words, how much does the American elite want their subject-peoples, in Northern America, Western Europe and the Ukraine, to suffer?
It appears that the US elite wants them to suffer until they are all dead. But that will not happen, for the worm will turn, long, long before that. Indeed, in today’s energy and water-restricted Ukraine, some worms are already turning. And even some cold and hungry people in Western Europe and Northern America are turning too. What the elite wants, and what the people, especially in the Ukraine, will put up with, are two different things. It could all be ended tomorrow, if the elite wanted. Much more likely, this is going to take quite some time, for the war is not between the Ukraine and Russia, but between the USA and Russia. The Ukraine is merely the battlefield. No, I repeat, wait patiently until May 2024.
“Don’t bet against China and Hong Kong..”
• Global Bankers ‘Very Pro-China’ – UBS (RT)
International investment bankers are bullish about the Chinese economy despite worrying reports by the Western media, the chairman of UBS Bank, Colm Kelleher, said on Wednesday. Kelleher was speaking at the Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit in Hong Kong, which brought together more than 200 bankers and investors from 20 countries, after more than two and a half years of Covid restrictions there. Hong Kong is now reportedly seeking to boost its status as an international financial hub. “We’re not reading the American press, we actually buy the [China] story,” he said, as quoted by the Financial Times. “But it is a bit of waiting for zero-Covid to open up in China to see what will happen.
According to the FT, Kelleher’s reference to the media was “an apparent joke and a nod” to earlier remarks made by Fang Xinghai, the vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Fang, along with other Chinese officials, used pre-recorded video interviews to reassure international investors of the country’s economic strength. He told attendees: “I would advise international investors to find out what’s really going on in China and what’s the real intention of our government by themselves. Don’t read too much of the international media.” Fang’s comments, which came after a record sell-off of Chinese equities last week in the wake of President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power, prompted laughs and applause from the audience. “Don’t bet against China and Hong Kong,” he added.
Last week, the Chinese stock market had its worst day since the 2008 global financial crisis, with the yuan hitting a new 14-year low against the US dollar, as Xi secured his third term and undertook a major leadership reshuffle. The sharp selloff was triggered by concerns that a number of senior officials who have backed market reforms and opening up the economy were missing from the new top team. This sparked investor concerns about the future direction of the country and its relations with the US.
The west doesn’t care about feeding the poor.
• Russia Seeks Sanctions Waiver To Facilitate Grain Exports (RT)
Russia has asked the EU and other Western nations to lift sanctions on state lender Rosselkhozbank, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing sources. According to the news agency, such a move would allow the bank to restore relations with its correspondent banks abroad and process payments for Russian grain and fertilizer exports. Prior to the introduction of anti-Russia sanctions, such payments were serviced by international banks and subsidiaries of Russian banks in Switzerland, the report says. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Rosselkhozbank is currently “servicing the lion’s share” of Russia’s fertilizer and food related transactions. The report did not mention whether Russia has received a response to its appeal. According to Reuters, the request was made during talks on the fate of the Ukrainian grain deal, which expires later this month.
As part of the agreement, reached in July, Western countries were supposed to ease restrictions on Russian agricultural exports. While the sanctions do not directly target these exports, certain curbs on payment processing, shipping and insurance have created obstacles for Russian exporters. Washington has taken steps to convince businesses that there are no sanctions on Russian food exports, a senior State Department official told the news outlet. The department reportedly sent out letters of reassurance to companies seeking proof that their deals with Russia would not violate restrictive measures. Nevertheless, Moscow has repeatedly said that sanctions make agricultural exports next to impossible and has demanded their cancellation. Rosselkhozbank fell under Western sanctions along with Russia’s other largest banks earlier this year, and its assets and correspondent accounts in US dollars and euros were frozen.
• The Oil Nationalization Two-Step (Luongo)
[..] say your goal is to legitimize the state takeover, or advance another step forward the state takeover, of an industry. Let’s use oil and gas for today’s lesson. The first thing you do is manufacture a crisis that will disrupt the supply of the product you want to takeover. In this case, it started with COVID-19, which disrupted far more than just the energy sector. More than 2 million barrels per day of refining capacity was lost world wide thanks to COVID-19. Given the current hostility to new refineres (more on this later), those barrels are not coming back. Don’t forget, that for a “Straussian Two-Step” this big you will have to brainwash and/or gaslight two entire generations into hating themselves for being rich, wasteful, spoiled, alive or worse, just plain white.
So, they are already primed to hate all the things at play here — capitalism, Big Oil, Banks, Old White Guys (rich or poor) — and enrage your useful idiots by pushing their already tenuous hold on reality to the literal breaking point. “I can’t even….” isn’t the most common phrase uttered on Tik-Tok for nothing. That’s the Thesis part. So, when the crisis hits thanks to natural gas disruption you forbid buying of from a particular country… — Hello, Vlad? We’re in a helluva pickle, would you mind invading Ukraine…? Nyet…? Well, we’ll see about that…. — MISSING PAGES FROM THE RETURN OF DR. STRANGELOVE WORKING SCRIPT. … you demonize not only Vlad but the industry itself for price gouging and preying on the widdle guy during a war. There’s a word for this… chutzpah.
Predictably, you then allow your fake political opponents … [enter Cocaine Mitch from Stage Right] … to produce the opposite argument. In this case, the counter is obviously we need free markets to produce oil and gas. The refiners are just responding to the market. That fake opposition, of course, also blames Vlad for this crisis to ensure the market’s champion looks not only patriotic but also suitably bought and paid for by Big Oil, Old White Guys, etc.
“..EU nations have committed to about $230 billion in new weapons purchases since the Russian military offensive against Kiev started..”
• Media Identifies Major Beneficiary Of Ukraine Crisis (RT)
Yahoo News has identified a major beneficiary of the Russia-Ukraine slugfest: the US military industrial complex, which is reaping a windfall even as the bloody conflict causes economic havoc, energy shortages and a looming food crisis around the world. As the media outlet reported on Saturday, EU nations have committed to about $230 billion in new weapons purchases since the Russian military offensive against Kiev started in February. US defense contractors are poised to land the lion’s share of those orders, given their dominance as suppliers to European militaries, Yahoo added. Many European nations turn to US arms makers for more than half of all their weapons purchases. Yahoo cited data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) to show examples of US dominance in European arsenals.
For instance, US-made arms accounted for 95% of the weapons purchases by the Netherlands from 2017 to 2021. The ratios were 83% US weaponry for Norway, 77% for the UK, and 72% for Italy. European weapons imports jumped 19% during the five-year period as then-President Donald Trump prodded his NATO allies to meet their obligations for defense spending. The Ukraine crisis is set to create an even bigger windfall, as President Joe Biden leads an international campaign to flood Ukraine with weapons and the conflict triggers accelerated steps by European nations to bolster their own defenses. “This is certainly the biggest increase in defense spending in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform, told Yahoo. The crisis in Eastern Europe dispelled the notion that war on the continent is no longer possible, he added.
“They’re waking up to the fact that not only is it very possible, but it is happening, and it’s happening not that many miles away from them.” Since Biden took office in January 2021, European countries entered at least the initial stage of negotiations for $33 billion in arms purchases, including $21 billion since February, Yahoo said, citing figures from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. US defense contractors will also benefit from Washington’s massive military aid to Kiev, as the Pentagon races to replenish stocks of artillery pieces, rocket launchers and other weapons. Biden has set aside more than $65 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine since the conflict began. Russia has warned that the influx of Western weapons will prolong the crisis while making the US and other NATO members de facto participants.
This comes far too close to putting Bandera in charge.
• US Wants Official Of Ukrainian Descent To Run NATO (RT)
The “prime candidate” favored by Washington to replace outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is Chrystia Freeland, currently Canada’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, the New York Times reportedon Friday. The bloc reportedly aims to install a woman at its helm for the first time, with other likely contenders being Estonian premier Kaja Kallas, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former president of Croatia, who was also Zagreb’s ambassador to Washington. The “strong contenders”list provided by the NYT corresponds with earlier media reports this year. The selection of a new NATO Secretary General, however, is still months away and “the names that surface first” may not survive the bargaining among the bloc’s members, unnamed NATO officials told the NYT.
Incumbent head of the bloc Stoltenberg was set to leave his post on September 30, but his term was prolonged to late 2023 amid the conflict in Ukraine. The NATO boss might ultimately end up having his tenure extended for another year, one of the officials reportedly suggested. Still, Freeland is believed to be the “prime candidate” for the post of NATO chief, favored by the US itself. “Where any of the candidates come down on support for Ukraine in the war against Russia will be a critical factor,” the paper writes. Freeland, whose mother was Ukrainian, is known to have a strong pro-Ukrainian stance. She is the granddaughter of Michael Chomiak, described by the NYT as a “grateful immigrant to Canada” who was during World War Two a “younger man involved with a Ukrainian nationalist movement that saw the Nazis as useful foils to counter the Soviets.”
The paper didn’t mention, however, that Chomiak was a prominent Ukrainian Nazi collaborator and the editor-in-chief of a Ukrainian-language propaganda daily Krakivs’ki Visti. The outlet, published between 1940 and 1945, was funded directly by Nazi Germany and described by Canadian historian – and Chomiak’s son-in-law – John-Paul Himka as a “vehemently anti-Semitic”publication. Freeland has been extremely ambiguous on her ancestry, not only refusing to condemn her maternal grandparents but somewhat endorsing them instead. In 2015 she wrote an essay called “My Ukraine,” stating that her Nazi collaborator grandparents “saw themselves as political exiles with a responsibility to keep alive the idea of an independent Ukraine.” “That dream persisted into the next generation, and in some cases the generation after that,” Freeland wrote in the essay.
Pretzel: You can’t condemn nazism without also condemning Russia, which fights nazism.
• Over 50 Countries Vote Against Anti-Nazism UN Measure (RT)
A UN resolution opposing the celebration of Nazism and related ideologies has met with significant resistance from the US and other western democracies, with 52 countries voting against it on Friday. The draft resolution “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” introduced by Russia’s representative to the UN, was adopted with 105 votes in support. In addition to the 52 votes against it, 15 countries abstained from choosing sides.
The resolution expresses profound concern about glorifying Nazism, neo-Nazism and former Waffen SS members, condemning the construction of monuments and the holding of public ceremonies honoring the Third Reich. Introducing the resolution, the Russian delegate referenced an increase in xenophobia, anti-migrant sentiment, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, among other forms of discrimination, as necessitating it. The US and several of its allies attempted to explain their vote against the measure by claiming Russia was exploiting Nazi atrocities to justify its military operation in Ukraine, insisting that to join them in condemning the lionization of Nazis would be letting them get away with weaponizing the Holocaust to serve their nefarious ends.
The UK accused Moscow of “furthering lies and distorting history,” even while acknowledging it was using “legitimate human rights concerns raised by neo-Nazism mobilization” to justify its activities in Ukraine. The US went further, arguing that Russia’s “pretextual use of fighting neo-Nazism undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism.” And Ukraine claimed Moscow’s anti-Nazism message had “nothing in common with the genuine fight against Nazism and neo-Nazism,” which Kiev stressed it condemned in all forms. Australia, Japan, Liberia and North Macedonia proposed an amendment to clarify that while they were very much anti-Nazi, they were also profoundly anti-Russian.
Their addition “notes with alarm that the Russian Federation has sought to justify its territorial aggression against Ukraine on the purported basis of eliminating neo-Nazism,” reminding everyone that the “pretextual use of neo-Nazism to justify territorial aggression seriously undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism.” Russia opposed the amendment, accusing the writers of “trying to drive a wedge between states” by dropping it on the committee at the last minute. It was adopted with 63 votes approving, 23 against, and 65 abstaining. Moscow introduced a similar resolution last year, before the military operation in Ukraine had begun but after the US-backed coup had installed a government that allowed neo-Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion and lionized Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator whose Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists was responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of Poles and Jews during World War II. The 2021 resolution was opposed by just two states: the US and Ukraine.
Banks have been encouraged to increase risk and leverage. Now that bites.
• The Great Unwind II (Alasdair Macleod)
Imagine, for a moment, that you are the CEO of a commercial bank involved in lending to businesses and with profit centres acting in a range of financial activities. As CEO, you are answerable to the board of directors for the bank’s performance, and ultimately the bank’s shareholders for maintaining and advancing the value of their shares. Furthermore, let us set this imaginary exercise in the present. These are the issues that should keep you awake at night: In common with your competitors, the ratio of your balance sheet assets to total equity is almost the highest in the history of the bank, in many cases for other banks over twenty times leaveraged. Official inflation, measured by the CPI is about ten per cent, and producer prices are rising somewhat faster.
Your central bank expects a return to the 2% target in two- or three-years’ time. But your contacts at the central bank have privately admitted to you that they cannot imagine the circumstances where this would be true without a deep recession. Bond yields are rising, and losses are beginning to impact on the bank’s investments. The bank has relatively little direct exposure to corporate bonds and equities, but they are commonly held as collateral against customer loans. How are higher interest rates impacting the quality of the bank’s loan book? The bank supported its business customers through the covid pandemic, which increased the indebtedness of them all. This exposes the bank to excessive default risk if rates rise further.
The mortgage loan book has been a profitable business for decades. But the bank is beginning to see a material rise in delinquencies. If loan guarantees are not forthcoming from government agencies, the bank may have to shut this activity down. What impact will higher interest rates have on the bank’s derivative exposure? What are the counterparty risks in derivative chains? Derivatives that involve inadequately capitalised counterparties should perhaps be sold on, or where the bank has the option to do so, closed down. The underlying problem is that the conditions that led to the bank becoming increasingly involved in diversified activities, such as investment banking, trading, and investment management have now changed.
Since financial deregulation in the 1980s, the bank has expanded into these profitable areas. The whole industry moved from dealing in credit into generating fee income. The growth in fee income can be directly related to the long-term trend of falling interest rates, which apart from interruptions such as the dot-com excesses and the Lehman crisis, stimulated growth in corporate finance, underwriting, investment management, and trading in financial securities. The expansion of these activities in turn led to a massive expansion of derivative markets, with new instruments being devised, such as credit default and interest rate swaps.
“Don’t mess w people’s kids. It lands differently — and they will hold a grudge.”
• Lockdown Lefties Struggle In Governor’s Races, Reopen Righties Win (JTN)
Some of the Democratic governors most associated with harsh and prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns are facing stiff electoral headwinds in the midterms, while Republicans who endured national scorn by quickly reopening their states are cruising toward reelection. Republicans were already in an advantageous position with voters on crime and the economy, particularly inflation, the top two issues in polling this fall. Education issues, which propelled Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to victory a year ago, are a leading concern in some races. And while elections tend to focus more on the future than the past, the starkly contrasting performances of lockdown lefties and reopen righties suggests that a reckoning on pandemic policies may be a stealth issue in major governor’s races.
The repercussions of lockdown policies are also felt indirectly in the top issues for voters, from supply-chain problems and inflation driven by COVID relief spending to plummeting test scores and parental outrage over school curricula resulting from remote learning. “Red wave is coming Tuesday,” freespoken sports show host Colin Cowherd tweeted Thursday. “Don’t mess w people’s kids. It lands differently — and they will hold a grudge.” “I lean mostly left, but data clearly proved kids 18 and under were safe,” and yet many were kept out of school, resulting in plunging test scores, rising suicides and “[c]haos for parents,” he continued. “A price will be paid and hopefully a lesson learned.” “Her Excellency the Queen of Michigan,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), “made it illegal … to visit friends, sell paint, mow grass, and golf” while flouting her own unilateral orders, The Spectator wrote in a recent list of “Eight Democrats we all hope lose this November.”
Bill Maher: "Woke culture… that's one reason why the Republicans are going to do so well in this election." pic.twitter.com/sQASkgpYQp
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 4, 2022
No chance it will go smooth.
• If Republicans Win On Tuesday, Thank The Election Integrity Movement (Fed.)
If Republican candidates do as well as expected on Tuesday, they can credit the new, widespread, and coordinated effort to begin securing U.S. elections, helping give candidates the best opportunity possible to win a fair fight in the new voting environment of mail-in balloting. The Republican National Committee, other party entities, and dozens of public interest election nonprofit groups built over the last two years a multimillion-dollar election integrity infrastructure that passed laws improving voter ID and other election security measures, defended those laws from legal attacks by Democrats, and sued states and localities that failed to follow the law. They also recruited, educated, trained, and placed tens of thousands of new election observers and other workers throughout the long midterm voting season.
And they did it all in one of the most hostile propaganda environments on record. The 2020 election was a massive wake-up call for many Americans on the right. In the months leading up to it, Democrats forced through changes to hundreds of laws and processes governing how elections are conducted. The rule-change scheme was run by Marc Elias, a Democrat election attorney who also ran his party’s Russia collusion hoax, which falsely claimed Donald Trump stole the 2016 election by colluding with Russia. Sometimes Democrats’ 2020 changes were instituted legally. Frequently, though, they were effected by other means, such as getting a friendly state or local official to change the rules unilaterally.
The 2020 election plan, some of which was admitted to in a flattering Time magazine story, sought to flood the zone with tens of millions of unsupervised mail-in ballots, historically understood to be riper for fraud and other election irregularities than supervised, in-person voting. The plan also involved the private takeover of government election offices to run Democrat-focused get-out-the-vote operations. Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men, financed the project, doling out $419 million to two left-wing groups that focused grants and assistance to government offices in the Democrat areas of swing states.
This radical change — “practically a revolution in how people vote,” as Time put it — included the widespread practice of placing ballot drop boxes predominantly in Democrat areas of the country, mailing out unsolicited mail-in ballots or applications for mail-in ballots, using well-funded teams of ballot harvesters both inside and outside of government, lowering and changing the standards for mail-in ballot acceptance, and fixing or “curing” ballots that were improperly filled out. Corporate media and other Democrats claimed the election was the best-run in history. In reality, it was a mess. Big Tech and the media ran coordinated disinformation campaigns to benefit Democrats by suppressing news that hurt the party. Big Tech also deplatformed effective conservative voices and media outlets, suppressed fundraising emails from Republicans, and elevated certain information to help Democrats.
Biden loses both CNN and NYT mere days before the midterms.
• Biden’s Midterms Message Includes False And Misleading Claims (CNN)
Social Security, part 1 Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser in Pennsylvania last week: “On our watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are going to get the biggest increase in their Social Security checks they’ve gotten.” He has also touted the 2023 increase in Social Security payments at other recent events. But Biden’s boasts leave out such critical context that they are highly misleading. He hasn’t explained that the increase in Social Security payments for 2023, 8.7%, is unusually big simply because the inflation rate has been unusually big. A law passed in the 1970s says that Social Security payments must be increased by the same percentage that a certain measure of inflation has increased. It’s called a cost-of-living adjustment.
Social Security, part 2 Biden said at a Democratic rally in Florida on Tuesday: “And on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.” The claim that the 2023 increase to Social Security payments is the first in 10 years is false. In reality, there has been a cost-of-living increase every year from 2017 onward. There was also an increase every year from 2012 through 2015 before the payment level was kept flat in 2016 because of a lack of inflation. The context around this Biden remark in Florida suggests he might have botched his repeat campaign line about Social Security payments increasing at the same time as Medicare premiums are declining. Regardless of his intentions, though, he was wrong.
A new corporate tax Biden repeatedly suggested in speeches in October and early November that a new law he signed in August, the Inflation Reduction Act, will stop the practice of successful corporations paying no federal corporate income tax. Biden made the claim explicitly in a tweet last week: “Let me give you the facts. In 2020, 55 corporations made $40 billion. And they paid zero in federal taxes. My Inflation Reduction Act puts an end to this.” But “puts an end to this” is an exaggeration. The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce the number of companies on the list of non-payers, but the law will not eliminate the list entirely. That’s because the law’s new 15% alternative corporate minimum tax, on the “book income” companies report to investors, only applies to companies with at least $1 billion in average annual income.
The debt and the deficit Biden said at the Tuesday rally in Florida: “Look, you know, you can hear it from Republicans, ‘My God, that big-spending Democrat Biden. Man, he’s taken us in debt.’ Well, guess what? I reduced the federal deficit this year by $1 trillion $400 billion. One trillion 400 billion dollars. The most in all American history. No one has ever reduced the debt that much. We cut the federal debt in half.” Biden offered a similar narrative at a Thursday rally in New Mexico, this time saying, “We cut the federal debt in half. A fact.” There are two significant problems here. First: Biden conflated the debt and the deficit, which are two different things. It’s not true that Biden has “cut the federal debt in half”; the federal debt (total borrowing plus interest owed) has continued to rise under Biden, exceeding $31 trillion for the first time this October. Rather, it’s the federal deficit – the annual difference between spending and revenue – that was cut in half between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022. Second, it’s highly questionable how much credit Biden deserves for even the reduction in the deficit. Biden doesn’t mention that the primary reason the deficit plummeted in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 was that it had skyrocketed to a record high in 2020 because of emergency pandemic relief spending. It then fell as expected as the spending expired as planned.
“..don’t blame this poor old man it’s not his fault.”
• NY Times Report That Biden Exaggerates His Economic Wins Stuns Twitter (Fox)
Critics of President Biden got a surprise on Friday, as the New York Times published a report grilling the 46th president for making exaggerations about his successes on the economy. Times reporters Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley published a piece on Friday titled, “As Elections Approach, Biden Spins His Economic Record,” which claimed that the president’s boasts about his economic achievements were not true. The report began by summing up the White House economic spin, “As President Biden and his administration have told it in recent months, America has the fastest-growing economy in the world, his student debt forgiveness program passed Congress by a vote or two, and Social Security benefits became more generous thanks to his leadership.” The piece declared, “None of that was accurate.”
The report also claimed, “The president, who has long been seen as embellishing the truth, has recently overstated his influence on the economy, or omitted key facts.” It then mentioned an erroneous claim recently made by the White House on Social Security. Quoting Biden and then correcting him, the Times said, “’On my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks,’ he declared. The problem: That increase was the result of an automatic cost-of-living increase prompted by the most rapid inflation in 40 years.” The piece added, “Mr. Biden had not done anything to make retirees’ checks bigger — it was just a byproduct of the soaring inflation that the president has vowed to combat.”
The official White House Twitter account made that same claim about Social Security this week, receiving a swift, community-based fact check from Twitter. The White House then took the tweet down. Further skewering Biden, the Times stated, “It is common for presidents to spin economic numbers to improve their pitch to voters,” yet “the president’s cheerleading has increasingly grown to include exaggerations or misstatements about the economy and his policy record.” The piece did insist that Biden’s “economic exaggerations generally pale in comparison to the tales spun by his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump,” though the very fact that a major liberal media outlet would go after Biden on falsehoods, turned heads on social media.
Conservative journalist Michael Caputo encouraged the paper to go further: “Go ahead say it, NYTimes, do it. You can say it: Biden is a liar.” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted, “I’m suspicious of NYT’s motivation for printing the truth about Biden. It’s out of character for them. Perhaps blaming him and his gaffs for the midterm results is the beginning of the left’s effort to replace him with a different nominee in 2024.” [..] National Review’s Jeff Blehar commented, “don’t blame this poor old man it’s not his fault.”
One week after Musk took over, and 4 days before the midterms, Biden accused Twitter of “spewing lies all across the world”. I don’t recall Biden having said this before, but he must have, right?! Because content moderation hasn’t changed at all yet, as per Musk. Oh, and 60 orgs call on advertizers to withdraw their money. But what exactly made Twitter toxic? Just that Musk mentioned free speech?
There is no way this is not coordinated.
• Biden Unleashes Tirade Over Musk Restoring Free Speech on Twitter (Turley)
Elon Musk has not actually changed the “content moderation” policies at Twitter yet, but President Joe Biden went on a virtual rave on Friday over the prospect of free speech breaking out on a single social media site. As a type of censor-in-chief, Biden has led calls for censorship on social media, which have been largely heeded by companies like Facebook and Twitter. Now Biden is accusing Twitter of “spewing lies all across the world” by seeking to reduce one of the largest censorship systems in history. The President lamented that the influence of the media will be “de minimus.” He is a bit late on that front. President Biden has previously accused social media companies of “killing people” by refusing to impose robust censorship over a wide range of subjects.
Many of those banned or censored were doctors with opposing views on the data and the science related to the pandemic. Some of those doctors were the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination. Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others. The Great Barrington Declaration was not the only viewpoint deemed dangerous.
Those who alleged that the virus may have begun in a lab in China were widely denounced and the views barred from being uttered on social media platforms. It was later learned that a number of leading experts raised this theory with Fauci and others early in the pandemic. We are now seeing increasing evidence of back channels used by government and political figures to maintain a censorship system by surrogate in the social media companies and foreign allies. The President, however, was in full censor-in-chief mode this week, referring to censors as “editors.” He denounced Musk who “goes out and buys an outfit that spews lies all across the world.” He then claimed “There are no editors anymore. There are no editors anymore.” The President added “the ability of newspapers to have much impact is de minimis.”
That last statement seemed to lament the loss of a close and active ally for the Democrats. Neutrality is anathema if you have largely been able to control political and social exchanges on social media. What the President said next. however, was particularly telling and chilling: “How do people know the truth? What do they — how do they make — make a distinction between fact and fiction? There’s so much — so much going on. And we’re in the middle of this.” Indeed, perish the thought that citizens might be left to pursue the truth on their own without the government or surrogates in the media framing it for them. How could we possibly “know the truth” without our social media overlords?
“If one trains the system with badly categorized data it will be badly categorize data. It does not need an extra team to learn that.”
I am amusing myself with watching the panic some people express over Elon Musk’s cleanup of Twitter. Yesterday 3,700 of its 7,500 workers were fired. That is not good, but the company was losing money and making money is at the core of the capitalist game. Of interest is what functions were eliminated. The Guardian provides this list: From news reports and terminated employees’ announcements, here’s what we know so far about the teams that have been hit by the layoffs of thousands of Twitter employees: • The human rights team has been laid off, according to a now former employee, Shannon Raj Singh, who said the team worked to protect those at risk in global conflicts, including in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. • The ML (machine learning) Ethics, Transparency and Accountability team is gone, according to a tweet of a laid-off manager. • The “internet technology team”, which helps keep the site running, has been cut to “a skeleton crew”, two sources told the Times. • An accessibly experience engineering team has been cut, according to a laid-off engineering manager. • The curation team, responsible for the Moments feature on Twitter, has also been cut, former employees reported.
Twitter’s communications department is almost entirely gone, according to the Verge. Other areas that have been heavily impacted, the Verge reported, include product trust and safety, policy, research and social good. What were these teams actually doing? The human rights team leader gave some hints: Shannon Raj Singh @ShannonRSingh – 17:58 UTC · Nov 4, 2022. “Yesterday was my last day at Twitter: the entire Human Rights team has been cut from the company. sI am enormously proud of the work we did to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those particularly at risk of human rights abuse by virtue of their social media presence, such as journalists & human rights defenders.”
The human rights team was the ‘regime change’ force on Twitter. It intervened in conflicts where the U.S. preferred a certain side. Shannon Raj Singh had previously meddled in Afghan and other countries’ cultures: “Shannon Raj Singh is a Legal Counsel for SAHR, advising a Kabul-based team on sexual violence litigation in Afghanistan, which aims to end the invasive and discriminatory practice of female virginity testing. She is an international criminal law attorney focused on victim-centered responses to mass atrocities. Currently based in The Hague, she has experience working with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a number of human rights NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa. She has also practiced as a litigator in the United States, appearing in both state and federal courts and assisting with overseas corruption investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The machine learning ethics, transparency and accountability team was also fired. Machine learning, also glorified as ‘artificial intelligence’, is essentially an (often lousy) pattern recognition system. It can be trained with categorized data and, after that, can categorized other data it gets presented. All one needs to know about its ethics, transparency and accountability is the old IT wisdom ‘garbage in garbage out’. If one trains the system with badly categorized data it will be badly categorize data. It does not need an extra team to learn that. I do not know what the ‘Internet technology team’ was doing but the function obviously still exists. It was merely downsized.
Pipeline layoffs: no prob. Twitter layoffs: consternation. pic.twitter.com/sJWds8yjUQ
— James Hirsen (@thejimjams) November 4, 2022
“The SPARS PANDEMIC 2025-2028, published by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security in October 2017..”
“You are the long-term data. You may die in the process but that’s science in the 21st century!”
• Understanding the Reveal Stage of the Pandemic Play – Are We Winning? (LDS)
The SPARS PANDEMIC 2025-2028, published by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security in October 2017, is another of those amazingly prescient, yet “entirely fictional” scenario plans that ended up looking like the blueprint for the actual covid pseudo pandemici. It is in fact the prequel to that other freakishly coincidental pandemic wargame, Event 201, hosted in October 2019 (a few weeks before SARS-COV-2 hit the headlines) by the same institution along with the CIA and the World Economic Forum (WEF). What business does the CIA and its brainchild, the WEF, have going anywhere near public health strategy planning? Absolutely none, unless of course public health strategy is to be used as a nefarious special purpose vehicle for intelligence services and the global corporate oligarchy.
[..] It is a masterclass in absurdity which has its roots in the inherent contradiction in drafting a plan that purports to deal with the inevitable fallout of a manufactured crisis while pretending that the crisis is not manufactured. Its aim is to present failure scenarios to public health spin doctors, referred to as “public health risk communicators”, and invite them to “mentally rehearse responses” to these failures. But, in providing pitiful explanations for all the failure scenarios, it effectively exposes the Medical Counter Measures (MCMs) of a corrupt pseudo pandemic for the sham that they are. Instead of mitigating the consequences of a real pandemic, the MCMs are the very things that perversely create the necessity for narrative spin and psyops.
[..] It is undoubtedly sinister because of its prediction of all the ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’ that were made in the manufactured covid ‘pandemic’. In the latter sections of the document – the Reveal stage – the planners anticipate fallout from being unable to keep a lid on vaccine injury. Nevertheless, a somewhat happy ending for the pandemic planners is fashioned in their Pandemic Play. So, will they succeed in constructing the reality they desire? In the 2017 playbook, as “claims of adverse side effects beg[i]n to emerge”, the pandemic planners coyly suggest that the demands for the “removal of the liability shield protecting the pharmaceutical companies” will be deflected by the “emergency appropriation of [taxpayer] funds”. Because God forbid that Big Pharma, having siphoned off billions from the taxpayers’ purse for efficiently distributing poison, might then be subjected to the humiliation of footing the bill for the injuries caused by it.
The pandemic planners were also prepared for the ethical quandary of hastily mass injecting an experimental preparation with no long-term safety data. The ‘rare’ side effect rebuttal is alluded to by reference to “relatively few reports of neurological symptoms” while the problem is framed as an overblown social media response. Ultimately the blame is placed squarely at the feet of an ignorant public – those “demand[ing] proof that the vaccines [do] not cause long-term effects” are “displaying a fundamental misunderstanding of scientific research”! You just don’t get it, so let me spell it out to you on behalf of the pandemic planners. You, the entire public, the 5.3 billion people injected so far – you are the subjects of the experiment, and the experiment isn’t over until the CDC, FDA, MHRA et al say it is. You are the long-term data. You may die in the process but that’s science in the 21st century!
Turkey map 2050
You know Turkish elections are around the corner when maps like this show up on tv.
They claim that by 2050 the whole region and beyond will be under Turkish control.
The best part of all this delirium is that a large number of Turks actually believe it, @RTErdogan relies on this pic.twitter.com/musnhCN1jj
— Harry Theocharous (@TheocharousH) November 5, 2022
Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.