Jul 032022
 


Pablo Picasso The muse 1935

 

This 4th of July: Requiem for Freedoms Long Gone? (Brig Gen (ret) Blaine Holt)
The Disintegration Of Western Society – Visible To The Naked Eye (Wilbert)
“High Gas Prices Necessary For ‘Future Of The Liberal World Order'” (JTN)
Saudi Arabia in Discussion to Join BRICS Coalition (CTH)
A World Food Crisis Is Coming, And US Allows CCP To Buy American Farmland (CNBC)
Nuke War Coming, Mysterious Deaths Don’t Stop, Dems Can’t Win – PCR (USAW)
Kissinger’s Gas Crisis -And Pipeline- (George Webb)
Wall Street Advocates Begin Admitting Demand Side Economy is in Free Fall (CTH)
700 Million Worldwide Will Die from CV19 Vax by 2028 – Dr. David Martin (USAW)
Washington State Governor Makes Covid Vaccines A Permanent Requirement (JTN)
We’ll Investigate Bidens’ Shady Business Dealings (NYP)
On Clarence Thomas, White Liberals and Racial Politics (Musa al-Gharbi)
The EPA’s Loss Is A Win For Democracy (Darwall)
CNN Suffers Biggest Ratings Dip In 7 Years: Viewers Plummet 13% In June (DM)

 

 


Happy 51st birthday Julian

 

 

Putin on Edward Snowden

 

 


We’re almost there!

 

 

Kash Patel Transition Nov 2020

 

 

Bandera

 

 

FUN FACT: Over $8.5 trillion has been wiped out of the US stock market this year.

 

 

 

 

“Established old money elites and entrenched academics have long denigrated the power and influence that came from innovation and hard work.”

This 4th of July: Requiem for Freedoms Long Gone? (Brig Gen (ret) Blaine Holt)

Marinate those ribs, ice the beer, and get the fireworks ready so we can revel in the red, white, and blue. Let’s raise our collective glasses today to the bold few who spoke on our behalf more than 200 years ago. Thomas Jefferson’s inspired words live on: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Can you imagine how electric the atmosphere must have been on that steamy summer day when the Founders, having agreed to the brave separation from the British Crown on July 4, 1776 – committed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to each other as 51 of the 56 signers executed the Declaration of Independence.

The American Constitution is the longest standing governing document in the history of the world. We owe the Founders not just gratitude, but a civic commitment backed by our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to protect and preserve liberty. Free people in hot pursuit of their happiness are quite an excitable and often unruly lot. Established old money elites and entrenched academics have long denigrated the power and influence that came from innovation and hard work. From Woodrow Wilson to Henry Kissinger to the Davos elites, the usurpation of liberty through the attacks on individual freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are being fired upon citizens at a rapid pace. The nefarious plot to slowly eat away at liberty has been working for more than 70 years.

Global elitist, Henry Kissinger had the playbook when he said; “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.” Since Wilson’s day the elites have worked overtime imagining ways to bridle, We the People. Rather than the ho-hum predictable “good ‘ole boys (and girls) clubs,” or access to capital and opportunity based on your last name, they have leveraged eager and willing accomplices in government bureaucracy to establish what we all know as “the system.” Professional politicians beholden to big money rarely fear the people or the ballot box. Voila! — Your 40-year, double-digit term senators and representatives are born.

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“The most practical example of this is recent with the Nordics joining NATO without any referendum or popular poll within the countries’ society.”

The Disintegration Of Western Society – Visible To The Naked Eye (Wilbert)

While we notice the closest integration among emerging countries, we notice a certain disparity among the richest, first-world countries, because they may not seem like it, but they also have internal problems that cannot always be fought. And the most recent of these is inflation, with an unprecedented rise in prices. The middle class, the main target of the Great Reset enthusiasts, is beginning to feel prices rising more and more, even though they don’t fully agree with the war at the moment, which is impressive if you consider that public opinion is of little concern to the leaders who are driving the economic-military and diplomatic disaster in Europe. The most practical example of this is recent with the Nordics joining NATO without any referendum or popular poll within the countries’ society.

And the argument to be used I can already imagine: “But democracy is representative, William! If the people vote for politician x, it’s because they agree with his platform.” Yes. But that is half right. Not entirely. Democracy, especially representative democracy, has a serious flaw, precisely in terms of representation. Politicians who are not faithfully committed to the objectives of the nation, of the homeland, but, unfortunately, are rather vain, cause a distortion in the etymological sense of the term “representative democracy”, because who would it represent? Not the people! And one of the causes of the wrong votes that the people usually give (considering totally clean elections) is due to the fact that it is not invested in the political conscience of these societies, usually due to a lack of interest from part of society, but also due to the lack of incentives from the State in this matter.

But this is a very complex subject that I can deal with in another article. To try to continue the reasoning of the Western disintegration and distortion of the democratic sense, I can give a practical example of Brazil, because it is closer to home. The juristocracy ended up taking over the country after Operation Lava Jato, which was nothing more than an American collusion with the Brazilian opposition to depose the Dilma Rousseff government (which does not cancel out Dilma’s mistakes, who was a terrible supposed economist and basically destroyed the country, becoming easy prey as she fell into popular disgrace). But what is this juristocracy? Simply the country’s Supreme Court overruling any take on government that the Federal Executive Branch has. And that’s just about anyone anyway.

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He actually said it.

“High Gas Prices Necessary For ‘Future Of The Liberal World Order'” (JTN)

White House economic adviser Brian Deese on Thursday told CNN that high gas prices were a necessary inconvenience to preserve the “future of the liberal world order,” amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The average price of gas exceeded $5 per gallon for the first time in U.S. history in early June. CNN’s Victor Blackwell asked Deese to speak to comments President Joe Biden made earlier in the day suggesting Americans would pay high prices for “as long as it takes” for the war in Ukraine to end. Blackwell noted that experts have predicted the war’s end is unlikely to come in the near future before asking Deese “what do you say to those families that say ‘listen, we can’t afford to pay $4.85 a gallon for months, if not years. This is just not sustainable’?”


“What you heard from the president today was a clear articulation of the stakes,” Deese answered. “This is about the future of the liberal world order, and we have to stand firm.” The Biden administration has drawn considerable criticism for its handling of the economy, especially on inflation and energy policy. Amid rising energy costs and opposition demands for increased domestic production, the government on Friday announced it had yet to decide on a plan to deny or approve, in part or in full, the expansion of oil and gas drilling leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

Rutte WEF

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Biden’s there next week?!

Saudi Arabia in Discussion to Join BRICS Coalition (CTH)

It is very curious timing in this article from Newsweek, containing massive geopolitical implications, using identified Saudi Arabia sources, would come in advance of Joe Biden’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Is this strategic geopolitical pressure from Saudi leader Mohamed Bin Salman (MbS) ahead of the meeting with Biden; or is this a genuine possibility that looms as likely? If the former, then Joe Biden is being geopolitically slow roasted by Saudi Arabia for his previous disparagements and ideological hypocrisy in his visit. If it is the latter, well, then the tectonic plates of international trade, banking and economics are about to shift directly under our American feet.

We have been closely monitoring the signs of a global cleaving around the energy sector taking place. Essentially, western governments’ following the “Build Back Better” climate change agenda which stops using coal, oil and gas to power their economic engine, while the rest of the growing economic world continues using the more efficient and traditional forms of energy to power their economies. This article from Newsweek is exactly about this dynamic with Saudi Arabia now potentially joining the BRICS team. [..] Here is the money quote:

[…] “China’s invitation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the ‘BRICS’ confirms that the Kingdom has a major role in building the new world and became an important and essential player in global trade and economics,” Mohammed al-Hamed, president of the Saudi Elite group in Riyadh, told Newsweek. “Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is moving forward at a confident and global pace in all fields and sectors.”[…] “This accession, if Saudi joins it, will balance the world economic system, especially since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of oil in the world, and it’s in the G20,” Hamed said. “If it happens, this will support any economic movement and development in the world trade and economy, and record remarkable progress in social and economic aspects as Saudi Arabia should have partnerships with every country in the world.”

That would essentially be the end of the petrodollar, and -in even more consequential terms- the end of the United States ability to use the weight of the international trade currency to manipulate foreign government. The global economic system would have an alternative. The fracturing of the world, created as an outcome of energy development, would be guaranteed.

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Chinese Purchase Of North Dakota Farmland Raises National Security Concerns

A World Food Crisis Is Coming, And US Allows CCP To Buy American Farmland (CNBC)

At first glance, the largely barren, wind-swept tract of land just north of Grand Forks, North Dakota, seems to be an unlikely location for international espionage. There’s not much on the more than 300-acre patch of prime Dakota farmland right now other than dirt and tall grasses, bordered by highways and light industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city. The nearest neighbors include a crop production company, a truck and trailer service outfit, and Patio World, which sells landscaping supplies for suburban backyards.But when the three North Dakotans who owned the parcels of land here sold them for millions of dollars this spring, the transaction raised alarm bells as far away as Washington, D.C.

That’s because the buyer of the land was a Chinese company, the Fufeng Group, based in Shandong, China, and the property is just about 20 minutes down the road from Grand Forks Air Force Base — home to some of the nation’s most sensitive military drone technology.The base is also the home of a new space networking center, which a North Dakota senator said handles “the backbone of all U.S. military communications across the globe.”Now some security experts warn the Chinese corn milling plant should be stopped, because it could offer Chinese intelligence unprecedented access to the facility. It’s an only-in-America kind of fight — pitting the property and economic rights of a community against national security warnings from high-ranking officials in the nation’s capital.

Debate over the project has roiled the small community, with emotional city council hearings, local politicians at odds with one another, and neighborhood groups gearing up to block the project. Craig Spicer, whose trucking company borders the Chinese-held land, said he’s suspicious of the new company’s intent. “It makes me feel nervous for my grandkids,” he said. “It makes me feel nervous for my kids.” Gary Bridgeford, who sold his parcel of the farmland to the Chinese company for around $2.6 million this year, said his neighbors have vented their anger at him and planted signs opposing the project in his front yard. “I’ve been threatened,” he said. “I’ve been called every name in the book for selling property.”

Bridgeford said he believes the national security concerns are overblown. “How would they gain any knowledge of the base?” he asked. “It’s about 12 miles away. It isn’t like its next door.” “People hear the China stuff and there’s concern,” Bridgeford said. “But everyone has a phone in their pocket that was probably made in China. Where do you draw the line?”

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Paul Craig Roberts.

Nuke War Coming, Mysterious Deaths Don’t Stop, Dems Can’t Win – PCR (USAW)

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts says American leaders want war with Russia. Russia is trying to avoid war, but the provocations from the U.S. and NATO keep coming. At some point, Dr. Roberts says Russia will be backed into a corner, and it won’t take long for the battle to go nuclear. This is a special interview inside the Weekly News Wrap-Up that explains how we got here and where we are going in terms of war with Russia. Dr. Roberts says it’s no longer a question of if, but when, it all hits the fan.

You cannot hide the unexplained deaths and emergency sickness. It is now happening every week. 32-year-old SNL comedian Nick Nemeroff died in his sleep this week, but before he did, he was on video complaining about being deathly sick after the two CV19 shots he already got. He pledged that he would not get the booster, and he never did–because he died a few days later. Meanwhile, Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker was rushed to the hospital with some strange emergency, and the drummer for Five Seconds of Summer passed out on stage for no apparent reason. Once again, the question is, “Were they vaxed?” This trend is going to continue for some time to come no matter if you are famous or not.

A new poll for the Democrats is coming in awful. An AP poll reveals 8 out of 10 Democrats say the country is “headed in the wrong direction.” That’s 8 out of 10 DEMOCRATS. Let that sink in. Couple that with another story from the AP that reports new data showing 1 million Democrats have left the party to register with the GOP. It looks like the Democrats cannot win without massive cheating or a war that shuts down the election process this fall. It’s going to be a rough ride. Buckle up.

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George Webb races through Europe. He’s confusing at times.

Kissinger’s Gas Crisis -And Pipeline- (George Webb)

Five years ago, I speculated about seven laptops in the Senate Sergeant of Arms office – six laptops running covert actions in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen and a seventh laptop used for the Iran Nuclear Deal. I believe the “Iran Nuclear Deal” laptop is still in use today. I based this speculation on a Senate Sergeant of Arms Blackberry I was left by a long-time Biden advisor who said the encrypted Blackberrys were given to the US Senate by the US State Department to negotiate secret energy deals like the Iran Nuclear Deal. Each country’s “deal” had separate participants, so I speculated there would be a separate laptop for each country’s covert action participants. Very similar to the Iran Nuclear Deal was the East Med Pipeline deal involving the US, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, which I called the “Southern Route” in 2017.

The “Southern Route” was being negotiated by Eric Braveman, his “husband”, Neil Brown, Avi Braverman of Israel, and one Ukrainian Billionaire named Igor Kolomoisky with lots of Cyrus bank accounts. So with all these US Senate Sergeant of Arms laptops running these top-secret negotiations, imagine my surprise when at least six of these laptops were stolen from the US Senate Sergeant of Arms office on January 6th, 2021. The “angry mob” took selfies in the US Senate Rotunda but still found time to break into the US Senate Sergeant of Arms office and steal six critical laptops. I had followed the story of the seven laptops for the seven Top Secret plans slipping through the fingers of CIA chief David Petraeus to his girlfriend, Paula Broadwell.

Petraeus somehow left seven folders with Top Secret information for overthrow operations in African and the Middle East on his desk – “Zero Footprint” for Libya and “Timber Sycamore” for Syria, for instance. I had been looking for the Blackberrys servers on Capitol Hill since I began my video series in 2016. because I knew Hillary Clinton and CIA Director David Petraeus communicated with encrypted Blackberry devices. Imagine my surprise again a few days ago when I found that Michael Stenger, the Senate Sergeant of Arms during January 6th, 2021 Capitol break-in, was suddenly dead, just before a special hearing was called on the House inquiry into the January 6th events. The timing of this death seem to correspond to getting funding at the G7 meeting of the top seven nations of the world to underwrite the East Med pipeline.

The plan appears to be 1) Have Kolomoisky provoke Russia with a series of Azov Battalian raids in the Donbas, 2) Have Russia occupy the Donbas in response, 3) Get emergency funding from the G7 to build the East Med Pipeline on behalf of the Genie Energy oil and gas energy consortium that I had been reporting on since 2016. Since some of Kolomoisky’s henchman were seen on Capitol Hill on January 6th, I supposed early on during my broadcasts of January 6th that the Ukrainians were at least going for their own “overthrow server” and for the East Med Pipeline laptop.

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” Infuriating does not adequately describe my sentiments toward these intentional liars.”

Wall Street Advocates Begin Admitting Demand Side Economy is in Free Fall (CTH)

At the exact moment that U.S. inflation began spiking in housing, energy, fuel and food, consumer demand for non-essential purchases, durable goods, started dropping. This is a natural outcome that mirrors your own experience in checkbook economics. When food, fuel and energy cost you more, you stop buying stuff and start prioritizing. Following the path of the “build back better” agenda, the U.S. version called “Green New Deal,” meant the Biden administration had to continue denying that any demand side contraction was taking place. However, it is clear from the indexes under the control of purchasing managers that orders for factory goods have been dropping.


The same is true on the services side of the PMI. Demand for services are being prioritized, and demand for non-essential services are dropping. The U.S. economy is contracting. Denial abounds. Infuriating does not adequately describe my sentiments toward these intentional liars. We are in an abusive relationship with all levels of government and their media spokespeople. Independent and honest journalism, the sharing of information that can empower people to intercede events with political liars, is quite literally the only thing that might save us from the catastrophic consequences of all this pretending. Knowledge is power, and we need to build our arsenal with an urgency unlike any before in our lifetime.

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“This is old school racketeering, and it is no different than the mob in the 1920’s. This is old school racketeering for personal gain and profit at the expense of human lives.”

700 Million Worldwide Will Die from CV19 Vax by 2028 – Dr. David Martin (USAW)

Dr. David Martin has a deep medical science and investment resume. Dr Martin also runs a company (M·CAM International) that finances cutting edge innovation worldwide. He is also one of the key people seeking justice in lawsuits suing medical companies and the federal government involved in delivering the so-called vaccines for CV19. In simple terms, according to Dr. Martin, the CV19 vaccines are “bioweapons.” Big Pharma and the government knew it and also knew it would cause massive deaths and permanent injuries. Dr. Martin says, “It’s going to get much worse. . . . It is not a Corona virus vaccine. It is a spike protein instruction to make the human body produce a toxin. . . . The fact of the matter is the injections are an act of bioweapons and bioterrorism. They are not a public health measure. The facts are very simple. This was premeditated. . . . This was a campaign of domestic terror to get the public to accept the universal vaccine platform using a known biological weapon. That is their own words and not my interpretation.”

How many will die from the CV19 bioweapons? Dr. Martin says, “By their own estimate, they are looking for 700 million people globally, and that would put the U.S. participation in that of the injected population as 75 million to 100 million people. . . . There are a lot of reasons why they hope it will be between now and 2028 because there is this tiny little glitch of the illiquidity of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. So, the fewer recipients of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the better. Not surprisingly, the recommendation was people over the age of 65 were the first ones to get injected.”

Dr. Martin thinks the catastrophic effects of the CV19 injections will hit the medical industry soon. Dr. Martin explains, “The dirty secret is . . . there are a lot of pilots having micro vascular and clotting problems, and that keeps them out of the cockpit, which is a good place to not have them if they are going to throw a clot for a stroke or a heart attack. The problem is we are going to see that exact same phenomenon in the healthcare industry and at a much larger scale. So, we now have, along with the actual problem . . . of people getting sick and people dying, we actually have that targeting the healthcare industry writ large. Which means we are going to have nurses and doctors who are going to be among the sick and dead. That also means the sick and the dying are also not going to get care.”

Dr. Martin and his group are suing everybody from President Biden along with the FDA, CDC, Pfizer, Moderna and many others over the deaths and injuries from the CV19 bioweapons fraudulently passed off as “vaccines.” The next big court case is July 6, 2022, in federal court in Utah. Dr. Martin contends “this is far worse” than the Nuremberg trials of Nazis after WWII and adds, “This is organized crime. . . . They have hidden behind the immunity shield that absolves them of product liability by naming the delivery of a bioweapon–a vaccination program. . . . This is actually a criminal act. This is an act of domestic terror, and it is an anti-trust violation. This is racketeering. This is old school racketeering, and it is no different than the mob in the 1920’s. This is old school racketeering for personal gain and profit at the expense of human lives. You need to call it what it is, and it’s organized crime. I would say the Nazis were better than the people who are doing this. . . . The real question is why did American citizens develop a weapon to kill Americans and get paid to do it? That is a morally outrageous question, and, unfortunately, almost no one is asking it.”

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…. for many state employees

Washington State Governor Makes Covid Vaccines A Permanent Requirement (JTN)

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a directive making COVID-19 vaccines a permanent condition of employment for state workers in executive and small cabinet agencies, including boosters. The new vaccination standards for state employees are, according to the directive, meant to head off any possibility of going back to more severe actions implemented during the height of the pandemic, including stay-at-home orders and the closure of schools and businesses. “Widespread vaccination is also the primary means we have as a state to protect our health care system and to avoid the return of stringent public health measures,” the directive states.

All new state employees are required to be vaccinated with the most up-to-date vaccines, including any additional doses or boosters as recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current exempt state employees – executive or professional workers paid a salary rather than by the hour – are required to be fully vaccinated as of July 1, 2023. The directive calls for the State Human Resources Division of the Office of Financial Management to take steps necessary to continue the requirement that state employees not represented by a union be fully vaccinated, including that they have the most up-to-date vaccinations by July 1, 2023.

[..] Elizabeth Hovde, director of the Center for Health Care and Center for Worker Rights at the free market Washington Policy Center, indicated she didn’t understand where Inslee is coming from with this new directive. “COVID-19 is serious, but it is no longer a public-health crisis,” she told The Center Square in an email. “It has become like other viruses that we have to deal with in a reasonable and voluntary way. This is not reasonable or appropriate. And it doesn’t serve the public or the state workforce.” According to the state Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard, there are 228 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, and 10% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

“People of working ages – and they are who this would apply to – have never been the ones dying from COVID-19 in a way that depletes hospital resources or state workforces,” Hovde continued. “Staffing shortages in the public sector and among health care workers are exacerbated by the governor’s vaccine mandate, on the other hand. “From ferries and highway workers to hospitals and first responders, Inslee’s vaccine mandate has ruined careers and family finances, and it has decreased expected service levels, for no demonstrable health benefit.

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By Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan and James Comer. Kevin McCarthy is House Republican leader, Jim Jordan is House Judiciary ranking member, and James Comer is House Oversight ranking member.

We’ll Investigate Bidens’ Shady Business Dealings (NYP)

We’ve pursued these threads despite Democrats’ refusal to cooperate. We’ve made almost 100 requests for information relating to Biden family schemes. Many, including every request made to the Biden administration, have been ignored. But with the help of witnesses who have documentation of their dealings with the Biden family, some answers are becoming clear. First, Joe Biden’s family members profited in foreign regions where he had influence as vice president. Hunter Biden sat on the board of a Ukrainian company in an industry in which he had no experience. His only qualification was that his father ran point on US Ukraine policy. Second, Bidens have used their connections with Joe to promise access to the highest levels of government.

While Joe was vice president, Hunter promised Mexican business partners access to his father, and Joe Biden obliged by hosting them at the vice-presidential residence and the White House. Third, these practices continued during Joe Biden’s four-year government hiatus. In 2018, in the 2020 campaign’s run-up, Hunter Biden boasted privately, “If I say it’s important to me, then he [Joe] will work a way in which to make it a part of his platform.” Biden family members increasingly targeted foreign ventures, including multiple deals with the Chinese Communist Party. Fourth, Bidens were paid hundreds of thousands — if not millions — despite performing no discernible work.

Joe’s brother James boasted to foreign and domestic business partners that Joe would become president and they would reap the rewards in profits and US government endorsements. American banks flagged questionable transactions involving James and Hunter Biden and filed more than 150 Suspicious Activity Reports with the Treasury Department. Finally, contrary to Joe Biden’s statement that he never spoke to Hunter about his foreign business dealings, associates state that he was fully aware of his family’s business dealings and influence peddling. There is evidence of a direct sum of money set aside for “the Big Guy” — who witnesses have identified as Joe Biden — from foreign nationals. This raises significant questions about our national security and the role foreign nationals were allowed to play when he was vice president.

We have uncovered some answers, but many questions remain. In November, the American people will decide whether they accept being told what information they are allowed to know by a colluding media, including who is making policy decisions for this country and for whose interests. A Republican majority will be committed to uncovering the facts the Democrats, Big Tech and the legacy media have suppressed.

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“Thomas first encountered the work of Malcolm X while pursuing his undergraduate degree. He had a poster of the man in his dorm room.”

On Clarence Thomas, White Liberals and Racial Politics (Musa al-Gharbi)

Many assume that Thomas’ rulings flow out of a commitment to conservative orthodoxy, fervent Christianity, or partisan politics. The truth is much more interesting than that, albeit perhaps more unsettling. Thomas’ alignment with the Republican Party seems to be driven first and foremost by a deep mistrust of white liberals, the institutions they control, and the policies they try to advance in the name of ‘social justice.’ This mistrust was widely shared among black activists of his generation. Malcolm X, for instance, famously declared:

“In this deceitful American game of power politics, the Negros (i.e. the race problem, the integration and civil rights issues) are nothing but tools, used by one group of whites called Liberals against another group of whites called Conservatives, either to get into power or to remain in power… the white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative. Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or a tool in this political ‘football game’ that is constantly raging between white liberals and white conservatives. Politically the American Negro is nothing but a football.”

Thomas first encountered the work of Malcolm X while pursuing his undergraduate degree. He had a poster of the man in his dorm room. He memorized many of Malcom’s speeches by heart and continues to evoke him frequently to this day. But it wasn’t just Malcolm who was skeptical of white liberals. Not by a longshot. In 1966, for instance, the influential Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) issued a position paper arguing: “More and more we see black people in this country being used as a tool of the white liberal establishment. Liberal whites have not begun to address themselves to the real problem of black people in this country… previous solutions to black problems in this country have been made in the interests of those whites dealing with these problems and not in the best interests of black people in the country. Whites can only subvert our true search and struggles for self-determination, self-identification, and liberation in this country.”

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Now take on the CDC and FDA.

The EPA’s Loss Is A Win For Democracy (Darwall)

Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to proceed with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is much more significant than the narrow grounds on which it was decided. The Clean Power Plan was already dead. It had been repealed and replaced by the Trump administration, decisions that were later struck down by a court of appeals. Moreover, there is history between the EPA and the Supreme Court. In 2014, the Court ruled against the EPA’s rewriting of the Clean Air Act to facilitate its use as a tool of climate policy, which was already seen as “poor and probably unworkable” by officials in the Obama administration.

“We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance,’” Justice Antonin Scalia famously wrote. The Court also ruled that the agency had acted unreasonably with its mercury emissions rules, though the EPA boasted that despite this decision, investments meant that most power plants were already well on the way to compliance. Perhaps that attitude was a factor in the Supreme Court’s shock decision in February 2016 to stay the Clean Power Plan to prevent a repeat of the EPA’s workaround. As Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the court’s liberal minority, put it, “This Court has obstructed EPA’s effort from the beginning.” Formally, the Court’s decision revolves around rival interpretations of Section 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act and what Congress meant by “best system of emission reduction.”

Around 20 pages of Chief Justice John Roberts’s 31-page opinion for the court is taken up analyzing what he calls this “previously little-used backwater.” By “system,” did Congress mean a system modifying an existing plant’s emission performance? Or can “system” refer to the whole electrical grid or even a cap-and-trade scheme, as Kagan contends? Kagan’s brisk arguments demonstrate how a differently composed Court would have decided the matter. Important as these rival arguments might be, they function as kabuki theater for the underlying disagreement between the justices on the role and legitimacy of the administrative state. Although Roberts refers only once to the administrative state, it is never far from the surface. But the battle lines are made explicit in Neil Gorsuch’s concurrence and in the Kagan dissent.

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They hope Trump will win.

CNN Suffers Biggest Ratings Dip In 7 Years: Viewers Plummet 13% In June (DM)

CNN’s ratings continue to slip in primetime to their lowest numbers in seven years, despite a public about face on sensationalism and opinion shows under new boss Chris Licht. The network, promised by Licht to ‘go a different way’ during a time ‘where extremes are dominating cable news’, appear to still be in the tank even during a month that saw the blockbuster January 6 hearings. Despite the hearings, which drew tens of millions of viewers across multiple networks, CNN had fewer viewers in June than it did in May, which continued a months-long downward slope for the network since the invasion of Ukraine lifted them in March. While the three major cable news outlets – CNN, Fox News and MSNBC – have all seem some declines since former President Trump left office, the numbers for CNN continue to disintegrate at an alarming rate.


CNN, which moved under Warner Discovery leadership in April, drew an average of just 654,000 viewers in primetime in June and 487,000 for one entire newsday, down one and three percent respectively. During the committee hearings week of June 13-19, the network averaged just 480,000 viewers, the network’s worst ratings week since November 2015 and down 13 percent from those May averages. Overall, June 2022 was the lowest-rated month for 24-hour viewership on CNN since July 2015, according to The Daily Beast. By contrast, MSNBC – which had the highest ratings for the hearings on cable – averaged 1.28 million viewers in primetime, up 26 percent from May. Fox News also had a better second quarter than they did in 2021.

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DeSantis mRNA

 

 

 

 

Canada Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun 302022
 


Winslow Homer Camping in the Adirondacks (Wood engraving) 1874

 

Biden Officials Privately Doubt Ukraine Can Win Back All Of Its Territory (CNN)
White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil “Shock” (ZH)
G7 and the Desperation Stage of Russian Sanctions (CP)
G7 Mulls Russian Oil Price Cap as Sanctions Fail To Curb Profits (Antiwar)
German Journalist Faces 3 Years Prison Over Reporting From Eastern Ukraine (MS)
BRICS Steering Development Into New Era (China Daily)
More Than 750,000 Dead, 30 Million Injured Because of Covid Vax (TNA)
Quadruple-Vaxxed Fauci Tests Positive for COVID-19 Again (Celente)
EU Chief Can’t Find Texts With Pfizer Chief On Covid-19 Vaccine Deal (JPost)
Why We Should Doubt Cassidy Hutchinson (Athey)
Secret Service Denies Claim Trump “Lunged” For Steering Wheel On Jan 6 (SN)

 

 

 

% of Americans that say country is on the wrong track

dem: 48%
ind: 78%
gop: 87%

-yougov

 

 

Simone Gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, they privately know it’s impossible.

Biden Officials Privately Doubt Ukraine Can Win Back All Of Its Territory (CNN)

White House officials are losing confidence that Ukraine will ever be able to take back all of the land it has lost to Russia over the past four months of war, US officials told CNN, even with the heavier and more sophisticated weaponry the US and its allies plan to send. Advisers to President Joe Biden have begun debating internally how and whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should shift his definition of a Ukrainian “victory” — adjusting for the possibility that his country has shrunk irreversibly. US officials emphasized to CNN that this more pessimistic assessment does not mean the US plans to pressure Ukraine into making any formal territorial concessions to Russia in order to end the war.

There is also hope that Ukrainian forces will be able to take back significant chunks of territory in a likely counteroffensive later this year. A congressional aide familiar with the deliberations told CNN that a smaller Ukrainian state is not inevitable. “Whether Ukraine can take back these territories is in large part, if not entirely, a function of how much support we give them,” the aide said. He noted that Ukraine has formally asked the US for a minimum of 48 multiple launch rocket systems, but to date has only been promised eight from the Pentagon. And not everyone in the administration is as worried — some believe Ukrainian forces could again defy expectations, as they did in the early days of the war when they repelled a Russian advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan has remained highly engaged with his Ukrainian counterparts and spent hours on the phone last week discussing Ukrainian efforts to recapture territory with Ukraine’s defense chief and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, officials familiar with the call told CNN. The growing pessimism comes as Biden is meeting with US allies in Europe, where he will try to convey strength and optimism about the trajectory of the war as he rallies leaders to stay committed to arming and supporting Ukraine amid the brutal fight.

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“You don’t have to be a very sophisticated person to know how lines of presidential approval and gas prices go historically in the United States..”

White House Is Quietly Modeling For $200 Oil “Shock” (ZH)

While the Biden administration is hoping and praying that someone – anyone – will watch the comical “Jan 6” kangaroo hearsay court taking place in Congress and meant to somehow block Trump from running for president in 2024 while also making hundreds of millions of Americans forget that the current administration could very well be the worst in US history, it is quietly preparing for the worst. As none other than pro-Biden propaganda spinmaster CNN reports, when it comes to what really matters (at least according to Gallup), namely the economy, and specifically galloping gasoline prices, the White House is in a historic shambles.

For an administration that ended last year forecasting a leveling off of 40-year high inflation and eager to tout a historically rapid recovery from the pandemic-driven economic crisis, there is a level of frustration that comes with an acutely perilous moment. Asked by CNN about progress on a seemingly intractable challenge, another senior White House official responded flatly: “Which one?” The suspects behind the historic implosion are well known: “soaring prices, teetering poll numbers and congressional majorities that appear to be on the brink have created no shortage of reasons for unease. Gas prices are hovering at or around $5 per gallon, plastered on signs and billboards across the country as a symbolic daily reminder of the reality — one in which White House officials are extremely aware — that the country’s view of the economy is growing darker and taking Biden’s political future with it.”

“You don’t have to be a very sophisticated person to know how lines of presidential approval and gas prices go historically in the United States,” a senior White House official told CNN. A CNN Poll of Polls average of ratings for Biden’s handling of the presidency finds that 39% of Americans approve of the job he’s doing. His numbers on the economy, gas prices and inflation specifically are even worse in recent polls. What CNN won’t tell you is that Biden is now polling well below Trump at this time in his tenure. The CNN article then goes into a lengthy analysis of what is behind the current gasoline crisis (those with lots of time to kill can read it here) and also tries to explains, without actually saying it, that the only thing that can fix the problem is more supply, but – as we first explained – this can’t and won’t happen because green fanatics and socialist environmentalists will never agree to boosting output.

Which brings us to the punchline: as CNN’s Phil Mattingly writes, “instead of managing an economy in the midst of a natural rotation away from recovery and into a stable period of growth, economic officials are analyzing and modeling worst-case scenarios like what the shock of gas prices hitting $200 per barrel may mean for the economy.” Well, in an article titled “Give us a plan or give us someone to blame”, this seems like both a plan, and someone to blame.

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“..there’s no reason why Russia would want to sell any oil whatsoever to Europe at the G7’s deeply discounted price cap level..”

G7 and the Desperation Stage of Russian Sanctions (CP)

Getting all of the G7 to agree to a price cap still requires getting the rest of Europe as well as Japan, So. Korea and others to agree to that price capt as well. But isn’t Europe supposed to stop buying all Russian oil imports by end of 2022 per previous sanctions they’ve agreed to? Who believes the Europeans can agree to a price cap on Russian oil and implement that cap in three months (July-September)–and then for just three months more (October-December)? Europe can’t do anything in three months, or even six. Maybe the US and EU aren’t all that confident they can implement a full ban on Russian oil exports by December? But even this isn’t the most absurd aspect of the ‘price cap’ proposal.

Assuming Biden could get all the G7 to convince all of Europe’s 27 nations on a super discounted price, there’s still the ‘small problem’ of what Russia’s response might be to all that. The G7’s faulty logic is the deep discounted price Europe is only willing to pay for the oil would be at a price much lower than even the 30% discount that Russia is now selling oil to India, China and elsewhere. The G7 presumably would offer to buy Russian oil only at a 50% discount off current world prices maybe? That would put pressure, as the G7 argument goes, on Russian oil sales to India etc. The Indians would then demand Russia oil prices at the G7 lower 50% discount price. Russia would realize further reduced revenues from oil lower prices to India, China, the rest of the world as well as to G7 and Europe.

This is a proposal so ridiculous it’s almost embarrassing. The problem with the G7 ‘price cap’ idea is there’s no reason why Russia would want to sell any oil whatsoever to Europe at the G7’s deeply discounted price cap level. First, why should it when Europe says it plans to phase out all Russian oil by December anyway? Second, Russia has shown it is not concerned with reducing natural gas export revenues to Europe. It’s already cut cubic gas exports to Europe by one-third as part of its own economic response to Europe’s agreement with US sanctions on Russia and it’s warned Europe of another third soon. Economic warfare cuts both ways. So what’s to stop Russia from just cutting off all oil exports to Europe—and well before December? Third, Russia would have to be pretty dumb to agree to sell oil to Europe at the latter’s ‘price cap’ level which would be well below Russia’s already 30% discount oil price sales to India? It knows the likely knock on effect that would follow. India as a long term oil customer is far more important to Russia than Europe which says it’s ending as a customer in just six months.

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Europe’s new dark ages.

G7 Mulls Russian Oil Price Cap as Sanctions Fail To Curb Profits (Antiwar)

Flailing in its effort to lower Russia’s oil profits, the US has put forward an idea for a price cap on Russian oil that is being considered by the G7. But the plan, first floated by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, doesn’t seem feasible as it requires cooperation from Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as China and India. The G7 hasn’t offered any detail on the plan, but the idea would be to limit Russia’s profits without taking its oil off the global market and raising prices. But there’s virtually no chance that Putin would agree to sell Russian oil at a price set by the US. If the West tried to enforce the cap, it’s likely Putin would just stop selling oil to Europe since the EU has agreed on a phased ban of the commodity for most of its members that will take effect by the end of the year.

Despite the Western sanctions, Russia is profiting more from oil now than it did before the war, thanks to an increase in prices and China and India significantly stepping up their purchases. China and India have already been buying Russian oil at a discount and are not likely to agree with any Western plans since they have ignored US pressure to curb their imports from Russia up to this point. In the unlikely event that Russia, China, and India agree to the price cap, it would likely raise global prices anyway. An artificially low price would mean more demand than what Russia could produce, which would lead to shortages of Russian crude.

Despite how unfeasible the plan is, the G7 sounds like it’s seriously considering it. Biden and the other G7 leaders said in a joint communiqué on Tuesday that they are considering a “range of approaches” on Russian oil, including banning its shipment “unless the oil is purchased at or below a price to be agreed in consultation with international partners.”

Gonzalo Russian Default Hurts The West—Not Russia

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“I also said that for several years Ukrainians have been killing civilians in the Donbass, and that this is genocide. “And it turns out to be a crime for Germany, so they took 1,600 euro from my bank account and didn’t even tell me about it..”

German Journalist Faces 3 Years Prison Over Reporting From Eastern Ukraine (MS)

GERMAN journalist Alina Lipp has said she faces three years in prison in her home country for her reporting from Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. The charges against her relate to coverage from her News from Russia Telegram channel where she shares information with its 175,000 subscribers in both German and Russian. In an interview with the Readonka World website, she explained that she is subject to criminal proceedings by the German federal government after receiving a letter from the prosecutor’s office. She is accused by the German authorities of supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine and faces three years in prison under article 140 of the constitution or a monetary fine.

“The letter says that, for example, I say in my Telegram channel that the population of Donbass supports the fact that Russia has launched a special operation. “I also said that for several years Ukrainians have been killing civilians in the Donbass, and that this is genocide. “And it turns out to be a crime for Germany, so they took 1,600 euro from my bank account and didn’t even tell me about it,” Ms Lipp said. German authorities also closed down her father’s bank account without warning, she claimed. Ms Lipp is a former Green Party politician who has been based in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region for six months.

She says she just films what she sees and doesn’t spread “fake information.” Despite the charges against her, she plans to continue reporting from Donetsk, which she said is being shelled daily by the Ukrainian armed forces. Reporting in Ukraine is tightly restricted and those who deviate from the Kiev line do so at serious risk to their safety. Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett, who has also been reporting from the Donbass region, says she has been placed on a government kill list.

Alina Lipp

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United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Argentina and Thailand.

BRICS Steering Development Into New Era (China Daily)

The first decade of BRICS saw the member states establish or deepen cooperation in various fields, achieve convergence, and strengthen relations. On the financial front, the BRICS countries established the New Development Bank, providing infrastructure financing for member states and other emerging market and developing economies. [..] The NDB aims to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the BRICS member states as well as other developing countries, and supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for global development, and thus give BRICS a bigger say in global governance.

The “BRICS Plus” mechanism was introduced at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province, in 2017. Although the global influence of the BRICS countries has increased significantly, given the trade war and the financial war launched by the United States, it may be a wise choice to turn BRICS into an open platform to forge cooperation across continents. That would be not only beneficial to the economic development of countries, but also help build a better world order, in which emerging market and developing economies can compete and coexist on an equal footing with their developed counterparts.

This year is ideal to talk BRICS’ expansion, because it’s been five years since China proposed to start the expansion process. Although explorations and procedures continue, unofficially the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Argentina and Thailand are among the countries that could join the grouping. All in all, BRICS’ importance to the global economy is noteworthy in terms of population (40 percent), GDP(25 percent nominal), land area (30 percent), world trade (18 percent), and foreign exchange reserves ($4 trillion). And BRICS enlargement will help the grouping more soundly steer global development toward a more fruitful and mutually beneficial new era.

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“..as many as five million Americans unable to work, 30 million injured, and more than 750,000 dead..”

More Than 750,000 Dead, 30 Million Injured Because of Covid Vax (TNA)

The United States federal bodies responsible for the nation’s healthcare policies keep turning a blind eye to the devastating number of deaths and injuries associated with experimental gene therapeutics against Covid, aka Covid vaccines. All severe reactions to the shots are proclaimed “rare.” Steve Kirsch, California tech entrepreneur and founder of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation (VSRF), has estimated that the shots have left as many as five million Americans unable to work, 30 million injured, and more than 750,000 dead, as of June 24, 2022. According to the latest survey conducted by Pollfish on behalf of the VSRF, vaccines are associated with a very high number of adverse reactions, including lethal and life-altering ones. That means that the vaccinations should be halted immediately.

Writes Kirsch, Our latest poll is devastating for the official narrative: 1. a 6.6% rate of heart injury, 2. 2.7% are unable to work after being vaccinated (5M people), 3. 6.3% had to be hospitalized, 4. you’re more likely to die from COVID if you’ve taken the vaccine. 5. Almost as many (77.4% to be more exact) households lost someone from the vaccines as from COVID. He went on to remind that, according to the official data, more than one million Americans have died “from COVID,” even though it is unclear whether Covid was the primary cause of death, since Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), admitted in January that 75 percent of Covid deaths occurred in people who had “at least four comorbidities.”

Kirsch continued: This survey indicates that over 750,000 people died from the vaccine…. Surprisingly, the ever-vigilant CDC hasn’t found anyone who has died from the mRNA vaccines. Not a single person. So that’s a gap of 750,000 people. That’s a big gap. Someone isn’t telling you the truth.” Presumably, Kirsch is being sarcastic, calling the CDC “ever-vigilant” in light of last week’s report revealing that the agency has not been analyzing its own database, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), specifically designed to detect safety signals for the vaccines. The other key takeaways from the poll include the following,

• Only 34 percent of Americans will be receiving more than two vaccine doses. That means that some 66 percent of the vaccinated are not listening to the government recommendation to stay “up-to-date” with the vaccination by taking additional doses, aka boosters. • Someone died from Covid in 2.63 percent of the households, as compared to 2.03 percent of the households reporting a vaccine-related death. “This is stunning because it shows that the vaccine has killed almost as many people as the COVID virus has,” concluded Kirsch, adding, “Computed another way, there are 123M households in the US. If 2% of those experienced just one vaccine death, then that is 2.4M deaths. Even if this is overestimated by a factor of 10X, this is devastating for the vaccine narrative.” • Of those over the age of 18 who received the vaccine, 2.7 percent have reported becoming unable to work. Extrapolated to the whole of the country, this translates to more than five million severely injured people.

At the same time, 16.7 percent of respondents believe they have been harmed by vaccines. On a national scale, this means that there are more than 30 million vaccine-injured people. • The survey shows a 6.6-percent rate of heart injuries post-vaccine, or 13.3 million injured Americans. “This is 1,000X higher than the CDC told us.… How could the CDC underestimate this severe adverse event by 3 orders of magnitude?!!?” wondered Kirsch. Then, 3.7 percent reported a person in their household with a heart condition due to the vaccine. Since there are 123 million households, this may represent as many as 4.5 million new heart conditions. • Potentially 18 million people — 9.2 percent of vaccine recipients — required medical attention for injuries. Additionally, 6.3 percent, potentially representing 12 million Americans, had to be hospitalized. • The vaccines are associated with the increased risk of Covid. Vaccinated people appeared to be 17 percent more likely to become infected, and were 72 percent more likely to die after getting the vaccine. “We were told the opposite by the government,” lamented Kirsch.

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“Paxlovid Rebound.”

Quadruple-Vaxxed Fauci Tests Positive for COVID-19 Again (Celente)

Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that he is back on Paxlovid, the antiviral medication, to treat COVID-19 after recovering from the virus only to test positive again days later in what is known as a “Paxlovid Rebound.” Fauci appeared virtually during an appearance at the Foreign Policy Global Health Forum and said the symptoms are “much worse.” He said he tested negative for three days before testing positive again. The Hill reported that a “rebound” infection does not mean an individual is “re-infected,” and can be part of the “natural history” of the virus. Fauci, 81, was a candidate for the Paxlovid treatment because of his age. Fauci said the day after he was diagnosed for a second time, he began to feel “really poorly,” and “much worse than in the first go around,” he added.


The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of the anti-viral under and Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of “mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children (12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds with a positive test for the virus that causes COVID-19, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, Pfizer said. Paxlovid could reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 by 89 percent, UC San Diego Health said. Treatment should be initiated within five days of symptom onset and taken twice daily for five consecutive days. The school recently studied to see if the virus developed any drug resistance after these rebound cases began to emerge, and found that was not the case. The virus was still sensitive to the drug and showed no relevant mutations that would reduce the drug’s effectiveness, the school said.

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“..short-lived, ephemeral documents..” Like those where you discuss multi-billion deals. Don’t use email, use WhatsApp. We can delete that.

EU Chief Can’t Find Texts With Pfizer Chief On Covid-19 Vaccine Deal (JPost)

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen is no longer in possession of text messages that she exchanged with Pfizer chief Albert Bourla to seal a COVID-19 vaccine deal, the Commission said in a letter published on Wednesday. In an interview in April 2021, von der Leyen revealed she had exchanged texts with Bourla for a month when they were negotiating a massive vaccine contract.But in response to a public access request by a journalist because of the importance of the deal, the Commission did not share the texts, triggering accusations of maladministration by the EU’s ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly.


“The Commission can confirm that the search undertaken by the President’s cabinet for relevant text messages corresponding to the request for access to documents has not yielded any results,” the EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said in the letter to the ombudsman, an EU watchdog. In the letter, the Commission argues that text messages do not need to be registered and stored because they are treated as “short-lived, ephemeral documents.” The same exception to the general registration requirement applies to documents with no important information, the letter said. The deal, negotiated via text messages and calls, according to what von der Leyen herself said in her interview with the New York Times, was the biggest contract ever sealed for COVID-19 vaccines, with the EU committing to buy 900 million Pfizer-BioNTech PFE.N, 22UAy.DE shots, with an option to buy another 900 million.

Clueless Von der Leyen

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“..the “conservative” clapping seals who are always not-so-secretly rooting for Trump’s demise..”

Why We Should Doubt Cassidy Hutchinson (Athey)

The January 6 Committee geared up to deliver a potential bombshell on Tuesday with emergency testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows. But like most of the attempts to take down former president Donald Trump — from Russian collusion hoaxes to slimy porn lawyers — Hutchinson’s testimony quickly revealed itself as too good to be true. It quickly became clear that one of Hutchinson’s most shocking claims was either misremembered or an outright lie. She claimed that Tony Ornato, White House deputy chief of staff for operations, and Bobby Engel, who headed Trump’s security detail, told her that Trump had attempted to grab the steering wheel of a Secret Service vehicle to redirect it to the Capitol on January 6. When agents refused, Trump allegedly assaulted them.

Secret Service sources said that both the driver of the vehicle and Engel had heard this allegation for the first time during Hutchinson’s testimony and were prepared to testify under oath that it was not true. Fox News reported that a source close to Ornato said he was similarly shocked to hear Hutchinson’s account and would also confirm it was not true. A spokesperson for the Secret Service said that the January 6 Committee didn’t even bother to reach out to them to confirm the story before having Hutchinson testify publicly on Tuesday. If Hutchinson was able to get such a major allegation so totally wrong, how are we supposed to trust the rest of her testimony?

The answer, of course, is that we can’t. Hutchinson also testified that she wrote a note offering a potential statement for President Trump to release during the Capitol riot. Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann said that was also a lie… because he was the one who wrote the note — and had told the committee so during his own testimony. Nonetheless, the “conservative” clapping seals who are always not-so-secretly rooting for Trump’s demise insisted that Hutchinson’s allegations were disqualifying — if not proof of criminality. A high-resolution photo of Hutchinson being sworn in graced the cover of the Wall Street Journal this morning. Readers weren’t informed that the Secret Service was prepared to reject parts of her testimony until ten paragraphs into the story.

The Washington Examiner editorial board insisted that the testimony proved that Trump was “unfit for power” because he was “unstable” and “unmoored,” repeating uncritically the story of “the president trying to grab the wheel of the car to force it to be driven to the Capitol and then violently reaching for the neck of Secret Service agent Bobby Engel.”

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Wonderful detail:

“Cassidy Hutchinson was so horrified by what she saw on January 6, that she went on the record a week later to say she was going to be working for Trump at Mar-a-Lago after he left office.”

“Hutchinson appears to be pursuing a personal vendetta against Trump because he “personally turned her request down” when she tried to get a job at Mar-a-Lago.”

Secret Service Denies Claim Trump “Lunged” For Steering Wheel On Jan 6 (SN)

The January 6 Committee’s credibility has plummeted after claims by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson that President Trump “lunged” for the steering wheel of his vehicle and demanded to be taken to the site of the riots were contradicted by the lead Secret Service agent. Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, the then-White House deputy chief of staff, told her that Trump said something like, “I’m the f-ing president, take me up to the Capitol now,” and had “reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” before then using “his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” the the presidential driver. Despite the legacy media breathlessly reporting Hutchinson’s claims without much skepticism, the term ‘Amber Heard 2.0’ subsequently trended on Twitter as Hutchinson’s assertions were demolished.

Within hours, Peter Alexander of NBC News revealed that Engel was prepared to testify “under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.” Trump himself also asserted that the incident never happened. Hutchinson appears to be pursuing a personal vendetta against Trump because he “personally turned her request her down” when she tried to get a job at Mar-a-Lago. Hutchinson also apparently told another outright lie during her testimony when she claimed she had written a note of a statement for Trump to release on January 6.

The note was actually penned by Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann. “The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News Tuesday evening.It remains to be seen whether Hutchinson will face any consequences for apparently lying under oath, although the already dubious credibility of the January 6 Committee has taken a further massive blow. “The January 6 committee clowned itself,” summarized Tim Young.

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Malone Texas Senate

McCullough Texas Senate

 

 

 

 

Cheetah

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

Jun 292022
 
 June 29, 2022  Posted by at 9:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Keith Haring Untitled 1984

 

The J6 Committee Went Full Jussie Smollett Today and It is Hilarious (CTH)
Trump White House Attorney Disputes Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony (ABC)
Hillary Clinton Can Rescue Democrats In The Midterms (Juan Williams)
NATO Tells Ukraine ‘We Do Not Want You’ – Zelensky Aide (Celente)
Behind the Tin Curtain: BRICS+ vs NATO/G7 (Escobar)
CIA Ops, Commandos In Ukraine: Can We Just Admit We Are Fighting This War? (RS)
Lavrov Compares European Union And NATO To Hitler’s Old Axis (Wilbert)
Russia Promises Nuclear Weapons on Finland, Sweden’s ‘Doorstep’ (Celente)
Johnson Warns Macron Not To Attempt Ukraine Settlement Now (Pol.eu)
Omicron BA.5 Prefers Hypervaccinated Masking West Germans (Eugyp)
Docs Show Pfizer Made Its Vaccine Appear More Effective Than It Was (Harper)
“Deceleration” and “Tipping Point” of the Raging Mania (WS)
South Africa Moving Towards A Total Blackout (Enca)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenwald: Sonia Sotomayor has worked closely with Clarence Thomas for 13 years — since she joined the Court in 2009 — and her description of Thomas from this month is the exact opposite of the ugly-trope-and-stereotype-heavy depiction Hillary Clinton spewed:

 

 

Clarence Thomas WaPo doc

 

 

 

 

She was 23 at the time, and had already worked for multiple Republican politicians?! All she said was based on hearsay. But there is no cross examination allowed. Still, she may well have committed perjury.

“He told me, that she heard from him, that she heard, from another guy, that she said he told her that she heard, that Trump may have said something, which was overheard, by her, about something, to the best of my knowledge.” -Cassidy Hutchinson

“BREAKING: Jan 6 Committee Video Shows President Trump was in an SUV after the rally, not the Beast.”

The J6 Committee Went Full Jussie Smollett Today and It is Hilarious (CTH)

Either J6 committee witness Cassidy Hutchinson is currently working for Donald Trump in a weird effort to make the J6 committee look absolutely silly, or Cassidy Hutchinson is the latest Jussie Smollett or Christine Blasey-Ford. Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony was so outlandish only the most intellectually deficient left-wing loons could or would believe it. Ms. Hutchinson claimed she heard a story from some unknown person that President Trump was so insistent on traveling to the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, that he assaulted his secret service detail and grabbed the steering wheel on the presidential limousine. She heard it from someone, who heard it from someone, and so Ms. Hutchinson was pushed in front of the J6 cameras to proclaim it. The claim is so silly, it was impossible to believe. Yet the congressional committee media ran with it, and the media promoted the story, because Trump.

Within minutes of Cassidy Hutchinson’s unsubstantiated claims, the secret service was refuting it. Even NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander was forced to refute it. “A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted, and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.” he tweeted. Whoops. Ms. Hutchinson also completely fabricated a story when she claimed she wrote a note with dictation from Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. ABC reported, “At Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a handwritten note which Hutchinson testified she wrote after Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows handed her a note card and pen to take his dictation.” Only there’s a problem, she never wrote it.

ABC News –” Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann is claiming that a handwritten note regarding a potential statement for then-President Donald Trump to release during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was written by him during a meeting at the White House that afternoon, and not by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.” As John Cardillo noted on Twitter, “Junior nobody Hutchinson testified under oath that Tony Ornato told her that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limo. Ornato, a 23-year veteran of the USSS is stating unequivocally that it never happened. Ornato is currently the Asst. Director of Training for the United States Secret Service.”

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They liked Herschmann’s testimony when it suited them…

Still, “we understand that she and Mr. Herschmann may have differing recollections of who wrote the note”? It’s handwritten, easy to find out…

Trump White House Attorney Disputes Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony (ABC)

Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann is claiming that a handwritten note regarding a potential statement for then-President Donald Trump to release during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was written by him during a meeting at the White House that afternoon, and not by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News. At Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a handwritten note which Hutchinson testified she wrote after Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows handed her a note card and pen to take his dictation. Sources familiar with the matter said that Herschmann had previously told the committee that he had penned the note.

“The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News Tuesday evening. “All sources with direct knowledge and law enforcement have and will confirm that it was written by Mr. Herschmann,” the spokesperson said. At Tuesday’s hearing, Hutchinson, testifying about the note, said, “That’s a note that I wrote at the direction of the chief of staff on Jan. 6, likely around 3 o’clock.” “And it’s written on the chief of staff note card, but that’s your handwriting, Ms. Hutchinson?” Rep. Cheney asked. “That’s my handwriting,” Hutchinson replied. Hutchinson, a former top aide to Meadows, said that Meadows handed her the note card and a pen and started dictating a potential statement for Trump to release amid the Capitol riot.

Hutchinson also said that Herschmann had suggested changing the statement and to “put ‘without legal authority.'” In response to Herschmann’s claim, a spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee said, “The committee has done its diligence on this and found Ms. Hutchinson’s account of this matter credible. While we understand that she and Mr. Herschmann may have differing recollections of who wrote the note, what’s ultimately important is that both White House officials believed that the President should have immediately instructed his supporters to leave the Capitol building.” “The note memorialized this,” the committee spokesperson said. “But Mr. Trump did not take that action at the time.”

The Jan. 6 committee has repeatedly relied on Herschmann’s candid and sometimes vulgar testimony throughout the hearings in June, including when the former White House lawyer testified that he shot down former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark’s plan to overturn the 2020 election. Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, also defended former President Trump during Trump’s first impeachment trial and worked in the West Wing as a senior adviser.

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Some savior.

Hillary Clinton Can Rescue Democrats In The Midterms (Juan Williams)

Democrats need a strong voice ready to fight to restore women’s rights, now that the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade. There’s only one Hillary Clinton. Right-wingers on the Supreme Court rescinding the constitutional right to abortion is incredibly dangerous and it is not just about a woman s right to choose. It is about much more than that, Clinton told CBS News back in May, when a draft version of Friday s decision emerged. Any American who says, Look, I m not a woman, this doesn t affect me. I m not Black, that doesn t affect me. I m not gay, that doesn t affect me once you allow this kind of extreme power to take hold, you have no idea who they will come for next, she said. Go, Hillary.

Unlike most Democrats at a loss for a midterms message, Clinton knows how to deal with the far right’s bullying. The GOP’s media echo chamber long ago demonized her. She still beat Donald Trump in the popular vote in 2016. Now it is her turn to lash the GOP extremists for ending nationwide abortion rights, putting more guns on the streets, punishing corporations for supporting gay rights and dismissing history lessons on race as upsetting to white children. Clinton is exactly the right person to put steel in the Democrats’ spine and bring attention to the reality that “ultra-MAGA” Republicans, as President Biden calls them, are tearing apart the nation. The Supreme Court justices last week acted as political enforcers for extremist views that are far out of line with public opinion on abortion and gun safety.

They opened the door to women losing control over their lives without the right to have an abortion. They also gave a pass to more violent shootings on the streets by striking down a New York safeguard that required people who want to carry a firearm in public to demonstrate a specific need. These decisions amount to a political powerplay by former President Trump’s three nominees. Biden measures his words about the far right out of fear of being charged with further polarizing the country. So let Hillary roar her message to suburban white women who will be key to deciding the outcome of the midterms.

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Clear enough.

NATO Tells Ukraine ‘We Do Not Want You’ – Zelensky Aide (Celente)

Ihor Zhovkva, the deputy chief of staff for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in an interview Tuesday that Kyiv was told by NATO that it is “not a member because we do not want you.” Zhovkva made the comment shortly after the Alliance announced that Turkey agreed to allow Finland and Sweden to join. “NATO is telling us we are not giving you anything,” he said in an interview with a local news outlet in Kyiv, according to Bloomberg. Finland and Sweden announced that they would seek membership shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and were greeted with open arms by Alliance leadership. They were even told that they would benefit from security guarantees during the waiting period.


But Ukraine has not benefited from its “partner” status in the Alliance. Sure, the country received billions in aid and weapons, but Kyiv has been forced to stand up to Russia on its own. Some could argue that Ukraine was the victim misleading public statements from the U.S. and NATO prior to the invasion. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Moscow would be met with a“forceful” response if there was an invasion. Blinken went further and said the U.S. has a “sacred obligation” to defend its allies. [..] Under Article 10 of the 1949 Washington Treaty, NATO has the right to invite any willing European country into the fold. But Stoltenberg made it clear, before the invasion, that there is a distinction between a NATO partner and ally. Kyiv is a partner. NATO is compelled to only defend allies. NATO countries never embraced Ukraine as an ally because it meant certain war with Russia.

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“..by 2030, a quarter of the planet’s oil demand will come from China and India, with Russia as the major supplier.”

Behind the Tin Curtain: BRICS+ vs NATO/G7 (Escobar)

[..] there now exists what should be called a Tin Curtain, fabricated by the fearful, clueless, collective west, via G7 and NATO: this time, to essentially contain the integration of the Global South. The most recent and significant example of this integration has been the coming out of BRICS+ at last week’s online summit hosted by Beijing. This went far beyond establishing the lineaments of a ‘new G8,’ let alone an alternative to the G7. Just look at the interlocutors of the five historical BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa): we find a microcosm of the Global South, encompassing Southeast Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Africa and South America – truly putting the “Global” in the Global South. Revealingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clear messages during the Beijing summit, in sharp contrast to G7 propaganda, were actually addressed to the whole Global South:

– Russia will fulfill its obligations to supply energy and fertilizers. – Russia expects a good grain harvest – and to supply up to 50 million tons to world markets. – Russia will ensure passage of grain ships into international waters even as Kiev mined Ukrainian ports. – The negative situation on Ukrainian grain is artificially inflated. – The sharp increase in inflation around the world is the result of the irresponsibility of G7 countries, not Operation Z in Ukraine. – The imbalance of world relations has been brewing for a long time and has become an inevitable result of the erosion of international law. Putin also directly addressed one of the key themes that the BRICS have been discussing in depth since the 2000s — the design and implementation of an international reserve currency.

“The Russian Financial Messaging System is open for connection with banks of the BRICS countries.” “The Russian MIR payment system is expanding its presence. We are exploring the possibility of creating an international reserve currency based on the basket of BRICS currencies,” the Russian leader said. This is inevitable after the hysterical western sanctions post-Operation Z; the total de-dollarization imposed upon Moscow; and increasing trade between BRICS nations. For instance, by 2030, a quarter of the planet’s oil demand will come from China and India, with Russia as the major supplier. The “RIC” in BRICS simply cannot risk being locked out of a G7-dominated financial system. Even tightrope-walking India is starting to catch the drift.

At its current stage, BRICS represent 40 percent of world population, 25 percent of the global economy, 18 percent of world trade, and contribute over 50 percent for world economic growth. All indicators are on the way up. Sergey Storchak, CEO of Russian bank VEG, framed it quite diplomatically: “If the voices of emerging markets are not being heard in the coming years, we need to think very seriously about setting up a parallel regional system, or maybe a global system.” A “parallel regional system” is already being actively discussed between the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and China, coordinated by Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergey Glazyev, who has recently authored a stunning manifesto amplifying his ideas about world economic sovereignty.

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“The Russians may not see the distinction and consider this news as further evidence that their war is more with Washington and NATO than with Ukraine.”

CIA Ops, Commandos In Ukraine: Can We Just Admit We Are Fighting This War? (RS)

The Central Intelligence Agency is operating in Kyiv and has been for some time, according to new reporting by the New York Times. So, while Biden has insisted on “no U.S. boots on the ground” in Ukraine, there are soft-soled operatives, otherwise known as American spies, providing intelligence and other tactical assistance to Ukraine in its war with Russia. Sounds like Americans are in this war, like it or not. The news, based on sourcing from current and former U.S. government officials, is part of a broader report about a “stealthy network” of U.S. and European commandos and spies in “cells” run by the Pentagon’s European Command “to speed allied assistance to Ukrainian troops.” Much of this is operating from military bases in France and Germany and elsewhere. But as the NYT points out, there are European commandos and CIA agents working on the inside.

The commandos are not on the front lines with Ukrainian troops and instead advise from headquarters in other parts of the country or remotely by encrypted communications, according to American and other Western officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss operational matters. But the signs of their stealthy logistics, training and intelligence support are tangible on the battlefield. Several lower-level Ukrainian commanders recently expressed appreciation to the United States for intelligence gleaned from satellite imagery, which they can call up on tablet computers provided by the allies. The tablets run a battlefield mapping app that the Ukrainians use to target and attack Russian troops.

As usual it appears that the administration wants to have it both ways: assure the American people that it is being “restrained” and that we are not “at war” with the Russians, but doing everything but planting a U.S. soldier and a flag inside Ukraine. The CIA, as you will recall, has increasingly had an operational combat focus since 9/11, running elaborate secret prisons overseas, engaging in enhanced interrogations (torture) and manhunting with armed drones and commando teams over the last 20 years. There may be a sliver of daylight between the CIA operatives there today and the U.S. special forces that left Ukraine after Russia invaded, but given the circumstances, is it a meaningful one? Is it all about who is pulling the trigger? The Russians may not see the distinction and consider this news as further evidence that their war is more with Washington and NATO than with Ukraine.

Gonzalo Sitzkrieg

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“They are creating a new coalition for fighting, that is, for war with Russia. We will follow this very closely..”

Lavrov Compares European Union And NATO To Hitler’s Old Axis (Wilbert)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on 06/24/2022 that the European Union and NATO appear to be carrying out a military coalition for a war against Russia. The statement was given in Baku in Azerbaijan during an interview. “They are creating a new coalition for fighting, that is, for war with Russia. We will follow this very closely,” the Minister rightly declared, because that is what has been happening anyway. But first let’s go to the archetypes of the entities mentioned. The European Union, in its initial design, may have come up with good proposals for the integration of Europeans, with some Balkan countries, for example, applying to be part of the economic and diplomatic bloc, but it so happens that few people pay attention to history, especially during World War II.

Hitler wanted a union of the European countries, what he called a “Pan-European Union”, a form of closer integration between countries that would naturally be against the Soviet Union and communism in general. No wonder Hitler set up puppet governments in some European countries such as Denmark, for example, which was under the tutelage of Nazi Germany during the period August 1943 until May 1945, after the success of Operation Weserübung. As for NATO for example, it is seen as a super aggressive military alliance that causes barbarism in various parts of the world, especially in the former Yugoslavia, which had its territory balkanized after an intervention in the country in 1999 where some war crimes were committed because those bombs would hit civilian buildings, such as the famous bombing of Serbian TV, which was not a legitimate military target, but turned out to be a Yugoslav “propaganda broadcast” (obviously) at the time.

So it didn’t take much effort on the part of some “non-aligned diplomats” (which is the case of Lavrov) to understand that the European Union and NATO act together to stand up to the former Soviet Union, now Russia. NATO even characterized the country as an “enemy” several times, emphasized by Vladimir Putin in his speeches. After NATO’s expansions into Eastern European countries, even after a verbal agreement made between Soviet and American diplomats at the time that they would not move “an inch east” in the early 2000s, the opposite was seen and this was stated several times before the start of Operation Z, and was characterized in various ways by Kremlin spokespersons that Ukraine’s entry into NATO was a criminal act. And it was.

And like any criminal act, the police power, even if governed by a country’s Armed Forces, needed to come into effect because after the NATO vs. Russia diplomatic rounds no documentary agreement of truth properly bound by international law was reached. And to make matters worse, Zelensky would state on 02/19/2022 in a speech at the European Security Conference in Munich (just 5 days before the start of Operation Z) that he would no longer ratify the Budapest Memorandum, which is a treaty that denuclearizes Ukraine since 1994.

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Before Turkey gave in.

Russia Promises Nuclear Weapons on Finland, Sweden’s ‘Doorstep’ (Celente)

Just hours before NATO’s General-Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkey now supports Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the Alliance, Russia issued a stark warning for the countries. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said Moscow will have to strengthen its borders. “The Baltic region’s nonnuclear status will become a thing of the past, the group of land and naval forces in the northern sector will be seriously increased,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “No one is happy with this, not the citizens of these two NATO candidate countries.” It’s not the best prospect for them to have our Iskanders, hypersonic missiles, warships with nuclear weapons on their doorstep,” he continued.

Shortly after Russia’s 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden announced that they will begin the process of seeking NATO. Polls in both countries showed a palpable shift in public opinion about the two Nordic nations about joining the alliance. Finland has a formidable military although it only has a population of 5.5 million. The country has about the same number of reservists as Germany with a population of 83 million. Finland also shares an expansive, 830-mile border with Russia and was invaded by its neighbor during WWII, which resulted in a brutal confrontation that ultimately resulted in Helsinki and Moscow signing a peace treaty in 1948, which included Finland’s assurances that it will not join NATO. Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s foreign minister, said the security environment in the country has “dramatically changed.”

Haavisto told The Guardian that Russia has become “more unpredictable” and seems ready to take bolder risks than Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014. He called those “calculated risks.” Stoltenberg said he is “confident” that Finland and Sweden will be able to join the Alliance after the agreement with Turkey. Ankara was seen as a roadblock in the effort by these countries to join NATO. Turkey accused the countries of harboring terrorists tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and it also sought to have an arms embargo lifted due to its incursions into Syria, DW.com reported. Turkey said in a statement that it “got what it wanted,” and “made significant gains in the fight against terrorist organizations.”

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Boris likes the war. Better than his own country.

Johnson Warns Macron Not To Attempt Ukraine Settlement Now (Pol.eu)

Boris Johnson warned Emmanuel Macron that to settle the conflict in Ukraine now would only cause “enduring instability,” according to the U.K. government. In a British account of the pair’s Sunday encounter at the G7 summit — disputed by the Elysée — Downing Street said Johnson had told Macron such a move would “give [Russian President Vladimir] Putin license to manipulate both sovereign countries and international markets in perpetuity.” In the lead-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the French president was one of the few Western leaders who maintained dialogue with Vladimir Putin, and has regularly spoken to the Russian president since the conflict begun. Macron has also warned that Russia should not be “humiliated” over Putin’s “historic and fundamental mistake.”


An Elysée official said Macron and the British prime minister had “reaffirmed their strong determination to support Ukraine in the defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to prepare the reconstruction of the country.” But the French side disputed Downing Street’s version of events. “No, the prime minister [Johnson] did not warn the president [Macron],” the official said. “They had a discussion about Ukraine, during which the president strongly reaffirmed his determination to support Ukraine.” Downing Street said Johnson and Macron had agreed now is a “critical moment for the course of the conflict” and that there is an “opportunity to turn the tide in the war.”

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“Vaccine failure in one map..”

Omicron BA.5 Prefers Hypervaccinated Masking West Germans (Eugyp)

This is the Omicron BA.5 wave in central Europe, and it is attended by a curious phenomenon: Every day, you can see more clearly the borders of the old DDR in the district-level data. I’ve traced these in green just to make the phenomenon clearer. Yes yes, there are systematic demographic differences between East and West Germans, and there are probably some differences in testing rates, but above all, there is an important difference in vaccine uptake. [..] East Germans have direct experience with government propaganda, and have proven more resistent to the vaccination campaign than Westerners. Their reward, after being much maligned by state media, is now higher levels of natural immunity and lower rates of BA.5 infection, which appears to prefer vaccinated populations. As the effects of vaccine failure grow clearer, you have to wonder how long the pandemicists will be able to publish even simple infection statistics, without raising extremely awkward questions.

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“No results from the trial have yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

It was true. The Phase 3 trials of the vaccine were still ongoing, but the vaccine was now approved for use in the UK.”

Docs Show Pfizer Made Its Vaccine Appear More Effective Than It Was (Harper)

On May 24th, the anonymous Twitter account JikkyLeaks claimed that data contained inside the massive Pfizer Documents release shows their vaccine had close to zero efficacy even when it launched. There is some correcting of the raw data required to reach this conclusion, but the raw data alone hints at an efficacy of 53%. The data contradicts Pfizer’s published claims the vaccine was 95% effective, a claim still published on gov.uk domains. The original data and specifically the “95% efficacy” claim was key to getting the vaccines onto global markets around the world. If Pfizer reached this conclusion dishonourably, there could be sizable implications. At least one other researcher has publicly reached the same results using data contained in the court-ordered Pfizer documents. I have already verified that the data exists, and using very simple public code, that the numbers add up to what Josh and Jikky claim.

[..] In November 2020, Pfizer started to make its successes with the vaccine known to the media. Towards the end of the month, they published a press release stating their vaccine was 95% effective. In the release, they said they planned “to submit within days to the FDA [and other regulators] for Emergency Use Authorisation.” With their guard down, the media didn’t hold these claims to account. Instead, and perhaps understandably, they choose to jump for joy. The regulators were pleased too; just two weeks after Pfizer’s press release, the UK regulator announced it had approved the Pfizer vaccine and that rollout would start within a week. Reporting the announcement, the British Medical Journal made note of something quite remarkable: “No results from the trial have yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

It was true. The Phase 3 trials of the vaccine were still ongoing, but the vaccine was now approved for use in the UK. The trials are still ongoing according to the registered protocol, which says they’re not scheduled to be complete until February 8, 2024. So how did the vaccine come to be approved before the full completion of Phase 3 trials? According to an FOI request, and a public article, the UK regulator addressed the question and said it had used a ‘rolling review’ process to approve the Pfizer vaccine. The review was done “as the packages of data become available from ongoing studies”. Whatever that regulatory process was, it wasn’t exactly public. To make matters worse, the trial had problems with impartiality and data sharing, which, two years later, is something that still frustrates Peter Doshi at the British Medical Journal.

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Wait a few months.

“Deceleration” and “Tipping Point” of the Raging Mania (WS)

The first “deceleration” and “signs of a tipping point” cropped up in the S&P CoreLogic Home Price Index, which was released today. But today’s data for “April” consists of the three-month average of closed home sales that were entered into public records in February, March, and April, representing deals that were made a few weeks earlier, roughly in January, February, and March, funded with mortgage rates prevalent at that time and earlier for home buyers with pre-approved mortgages with rate locks when they were pre-approved, so roughly based on the mortgage rates prevalent in December through March, ranging from 3.2% to 4.7% (green box):

Other indicators of the housing market that don’t lag as far behind have shown more advanced shifts in the underlying dynamics, including sagging sales amid a surge in supply in May, a sharp drop in mortgage applications in May and into June, and a surge in active listings in May. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index will gradually begin to reflect those dynamics over the next few months. Today’s release for “April,” looking back at a period earlier this year, when mortgage rates were a lot lower, still reflects the mad scramble to buy a home and lock in the mortgage rates at the time before they rise even further.


The National Case-Shiller Index still jumped by 2.1% in April from March, but that was down from the 2.6% spike in March. Year-over-year, the index spiked by 20.4%, but that was down from the 20.6% spike in the prior month. This suggests “further deceleration ahead,” said CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp said in a note this morning. “In particular, there is a buildup in overall active inventory as fewer buyers are rushing to make offers, resulting in an increase in the share of homes that have reduced their prices from the original list price,” Hepp said. “Also, there is a notable deceleration of monthly gains in the Western markets where a rush to lock in favorable mortgage rates pushed home price growth higher in prior months,” Hepp said.

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“Once we get to that level it’s going to be very difficult for us to reawaken the entire system we are sitting in a difficult situation as things stand.”

South Africa Moving Towards A Total Blackout (Enca)

Energy analyst Sampson Mamphweli warns that South Africa is heading towards a total blackout. Earlier, Eskom warned of the possibility of Stage 6 power cuts. In a briefing earlier, the power utility explained it had suffered significant losses overnight. It adds the current strike by employees also poses a serious challenge. “The strike itself came at the wrong time because it came at a time when the system is heavily constrained with more than 40 megawatts that’s not available due to a number of factors like breakdowns,” Mamphweli said. “So, it is quite difficult. The coal fleet isn’t performing. They gave details in terms of the backlog and the maintenance. “We are moving towards a blackout. Stage 6 is one stage away from total blackout. “Once we get to that level it’s going to be very difficult for us to reawaken the entire system we are sitting in a difficult situation as things stand.”

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Jun 282022
 


Pablo Picasso The sculptor and his statue 1933

 

Global Energy Cleaving Continues, Iran and Argentina Apply to Join BRICS (CTH)
How Africa And The Middle East Could Tip War In Putin’s Favour (DM)
Sanctions Against Russia Are Leading Latin America To The Abyss (Saker)
West Doing Its Utmost To Continue The Conflict In Ukraine – Zakharova (Tass)
WHO Behind FDA Scheme to Skip All Future Clinical Trials for COVID Jabs (CHD)
Where The World Is Heading From July 2022 – Geert Vanden Bossche (Assaya)
Warnings Of Mental Health Crisis Among ‘Covid Generation’ Of Students (G.)
‘Off The Charts’ Chemical Shortages Hit US Farms (R.)
The Time of Our Time (Kunstler)
Sri Lanka Suspends Fuel Sales Amid Economic Collapse (ZH)
Voicemail Shows Biden Did Talk Business Dealings With Hunter (NM)
Turkey’s Opposition Promises To Target Israel, Saudi Arabia And Greece (MEE)

 

 

 

 

Macron oil

 

 

 

 

Desmet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had originally called my Sunday article, The Entire World Order Has Changed, BRICS+++. Changed it, in part because I thought people might not understand. 24 hours later, the first applicants.

Wonder how Russia and China can get Saudi Arabia to join, and if they can persuade both Saudi AND Iran.

Global Energy Cleaving Continues, Iran and Argentina Apply to Join BRICS (CTH)

This is not some grand conspiracy, ‘out there‘ deep geopolitical possibility, or foreboding likelihood as an outcome of short-sighted western emotion. No, this is just a predictable outcome from western created events that pushed specific countries to a natural conclusion based on their best interests. You can debate the motives of the western leaders who structured the sanctions against Russia, and whether they knew the outcome would happen as a consequence of their effort, but the outcome was never really in doubt. Personally, I believe this outcome is what the west intended. The people inside the World Economic Forum are not stupid – ideological, yes, but not stupid. They knew this global cleaving would happen.

In April the finance ministers of the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) decided to create their own financial mechanisms to continue trade between nations of similar disposition despite Western/NATO sanctions. Earlier this month Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated, “rapid changes are taking place in the global monetary system that may affect the international role of the dollar.” Additionally, as the proverbial ‘west’ follows the corporate instructions from the World Economic Forum, Powell expanded his points to note the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is also being reviewed. Following a recent meeting of the BRICS group, Iran (86 million people) and Argentina (46 million people) are now applying to join BRICS, possibly creating BRICS+.

(Reuters) – “Iran has submitted an application to become a member in the group of emerging economies known as the BRICS, an Iranian official said on Monday. Iran’s membership in the BRICS group, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, “would result in added values for both sides,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said separately that Argentina had also applied to join the group. Argentinian officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez, currently in Europe, has in recent days reiterated his desire for Argentina to join BRICS. “While the White House was thinking about what else to turn off in the world, ban or spoil, Argentina and Iran applied to join the BRICS,” Zakharova wrote on the Telegram messaging app. Russia has long been pushing to forge closer ties with Asia, South America and the Middle East, but it has intensified its efforts recently to weather sanctions imposed by Europe, the United States and other countries over its invasion on Ukraine.”

[.] The bottom line is – the 2022 punitive economic and financial sanctions by the western nations’ alliance against Russia was exactly the reason why BRICS assembled in the first place. Multinational corporations in control of government are what the BRICS assembly foresaw when they first assembled during the Obama administration. When multinational corporations run the policy of western government, there is going to be a problem. In the bigger picture, the BRICS assembly are essentially leaders who do not want corporations and multinational banks running their government. BRICS leaders want their government running their government; and yes, that means whatever form of government that exists in their nation, even if it is communist. BRICS leaders are aligned as anti-corporatist. That doesn’t necessarily make those government leaders better stewards, it simply means they want to make the decisions, and they do not want corporations to become more powerful than they are. As a result, if you really boil it down to the common denominator, what you find is the BRICS group are the opposing element to the World Economic Forum assembly.

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We’ll have to wait until Europe feels the heat. Or actually, the cold.

How Africa And The Middle East Could Tip War In Putin’s Favour (DM)

Ukraine believes its fate will be decided in the mud and blood of Donbas – where its troops are trying to grind Russia’s army into the dirt using skill, courage, and a fearsome arsenal of Western weaponry. But it seems increasingly likely that its destiny could be decided on another frontline, thousands of miles away: In the deserts of the Middle East and drought-stricken farmlands of Africa, where 44million people who relied on the country for food are now facing famine unless the conflict can be brought to a swift end. Blockades of Ukraine’s main Black Sea ports have placed a stranglehold on grain supplies which previously fed 400million, threatening starvation and riots from Libya to Liberia, and Syria to South Sudan.

On this front, at least, Putin seems to be winning. A growing chorus of leaders – joined in recent weeks by African Union head Macky Sall – are putting pressure on the West to pave the way for a peace deal that most analysts say would favour Russia, but which would get supplies flowing again. Playing catch-up, Western leaders – including Boris Johnson at today’s G7 meeting – have vowed to do ‘whatever it takes’ to reopen Ukraine’s ports, but are faced with the daunting task of sailing cargo vessels past Russia’s Black Sea fleet and through a minefield to get the grain. All the while, the risk of multiple and simultaneous global famines continues to grow – and with it, Putin’s chances of eking out something resembling a victory despite Ukraine’s heroics on the battlefield.

Before the outbreak of war on February 24, Ukraine supplied some 11 per cent of the world’s grain with food being one of its major exports – worth $18.5billion in 2018, according to latest-available data from the World Bank. Almost half of those exports went to Europe but a quarter went to either the Middle East and North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa – two regions that are now most at-risk of shortages, because they have few alternatives to turn to. Ukraine was also a major supplier of the World Food Programme – a UN body which provides sustenance for the globe’s most-vulnerable – providing up to 40 per cent of its wheat, which is used to make staples such as bread. For the time being, the crisis is logistical: There is plenty of food to go around, the difficulty is getting it to the people who need it.

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Machine translated from: http://www.opciones.cu/internacionales/2022-04-13/las-extorsiones-contra-rusia-golpean-a-latinoamerica

Sanctions Against Russia Are Leading Latin America To The Abyss (Saker)

Washington uses all kinds of extortion to that end: political influence, economic promises and blackmail, as was the case during the recent vote at the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. After the vote, several delegates expressed that for various reasons they had been forced to vote that way. Due to the impact of the Western “sanctions” war, the supply of fertilizers has been affected, which poses a threat to Latin American farmers, but is advantageous for the United States, which manufactures large quantities of fertilizer. Already, U.S. producers are looking to increase exports to countries in the region. Fertilizer prices are currently at an all-time high and in the first quarter of 2022 they rose by 30%, which exceeds those reached in 2008 during the global financial crisis.

Due to the “sanctions”, shipments from Russia have been interrupted and this country is one of the main producers and exporters globally. Moscow is the largest exporter of nitrogen fertilizers and the second largest exporter of potash and phosphorus fertilizers. In 2021 the Eurasian giant shipped fertilizers worth $12.5 billion. Among its main buyers were Brazil and the European Union with 25% respectively, and the United States with 14%. As is to be expected, if the fertilizers do not arrive, agricultural production in these countries will be greatly affected.

This complex scenario comes at a time when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) reported that the food price index reached 159.3 points in March, an all-time high, while in February it had already beaten the record since the creation of the cost index in 1990. The agency added that among the five categories that make up the index, four have never recorded such high prices: vegetable oils (248.6 points), cereals (170.1), dairy products (145.2) and meat (120.0). Two of the categories increased prices in February due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict: cereals by 17% and vegetable oils by 23%. These countries together export 30 % of the wheat and 20 % of the corn consumed in the world.

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“West unwilling to answer questions about its mercenaries in Ukraine — Russian diplomat..”

West Doing Its Utmost To Continue The Conflict In Ukraine – Zakharova (Tass)

Western countries are reluctant to answer Russia’s questions about their mercenaries in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday. “As [Russian Ambassador to London Andrey] Kelin said, they [Western countries] are writing some provocative, boorish things. They don’t want to answer the question we ask about their activities,” she said in an interview with the Voskresny Vecher (Sunday Evening) with Vladimir Solovyov on the Rossiya-1 television channel, when asked whether the United States and the United Kingdom have contacted Russia concerning their nationals who are taking part in combat operations in Ukraine.


According to Zakharova, the West is doing its utmost to continue the conflict in Ukraine as long as possible. “They are sparing no effort so that the conflict in Ukraine continued as long as possible. We remember what US 43rd President George Bush Jr said: Ukraine’s mission is to kill as many Russians as possible. <…> They have endowed Ukraine and the Kiev regime with this duty. They are using (Ukraine – TASS) as an instrument and the entire logistics are centered round that – weapons supplies, sending people, anything to keep the conflict burning, as [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson told [French President Emmanuel] Macron today, to prevent the settlement of this situation. Otherwise, their plan will fail,” she added.

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Double down.

WHO Behind FDA Scheme to Skip All Future Clinical Trials for COVID Jabs (CHD)

Late Friday afternoon, the FDA released its agenda for the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) meeting that will vote on the Orwellian “Future Framework” on Tuesday, June 28. Then on Saturday morning, the FDA released a briefing document in connection with this scheme to end science as we know it in connection with future COVID-19 shots. [..] The briefing document is 18 pages of text, 1.5 line spacing, with just 19 references — 9 of which are pre-prints or from the CDC’s in-house newsletter Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which means they are not peer-reviewed. Any true believer in The Narrative(TM) could have written this in a few hours.

To base the entire future of COVID-19 shots on this glorified undergrad term paper is madness. As I predicted, even though the April 6 meeting was presented as an exploratory initial conversation that reached no conclusions whatsoever, the “Future Framework” is now being presented by the FDA as a done deal, fait accompli, you’d have to be crazy to insist on proper safety studies. The core argument of the briefing document is hilarious (or rather, it would be hilarious if it was not a plan to permanently institutional genocide and hide the evidence). In several places the FDA argues (colloquialisms mine):

1. These COVID-19 shots work great, miracles really, incredibly effective, boy howdy do they work well! Boosters too, total home run, the Israelis even have 10-weeks of data showing that they might help old people. What more evidence could you want? 2. Okay, well, it depends on what you mean by work. These shots do not stop infection, transmission, hospitalization, or death, even though that’s why we licensed them. Any protection wears off fairly quickly, but It’s Not Our Fault(TM) because This Wily Virus(TM) mutates too fast and no one told us that it would ever mutate. 3. So these shots must be reformulated but we cannot possibly ask Lord Pharma to do proper clinical trials ever again because we already know that these shots work great.

The briefing document literally states: “The evaluation of modified vaccines for the purpose of vaccine strain composition decisions will need to rely mainly on comparative immunogenicity data due to the time constraints involved in vaccine manufacturing and clinical efficacy evaluation.” Did you catch that? The evaluation “will need to rely on” (no decision to be made here) measures other than actual health outcomes because of “time constraints.” Ah, $cience!

No clinical trials

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From commenter Germ: “Start listening at the 20 minute mark if you don’t have much time. He states that BA 4&5 is still evolving and that in 6 to 7 weeks we will see it evolve into a much more deadlier variant crashing the healthcare systems of the world. He said in two months we will be living in a different world.

You really need to listen from the 38:45 minute mark down to the 52 minute mark where he’s predicting the end of western civilization.”

Where The World Is Heading From July 2022 – Geert Vanden Bossche (Assaya)

In this talk with Assaya’s founder Clas Sivertsen, Geert predicts in this video that a new flu epidemic will soon emerge from an animal reservoir, and that the world (except Africa) will experience another wave of hospitalizations and economic collapse. He also discusses vaccinated vs unvaccinated responses to infection by new and future emerging variants, as well as describing what it will take to reach herd immunity. Clas discusses his detailed tracking of eCT values during his recent Covid-19 Omicron infection, and go through some of the histopathology and disease progression, lack of symptoms, etc.

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How to write an article that says nothing.

Warnings Of Mental Health Crisis Among ‘Covid Generation’ Of Students (G.)

The pandemic has had a lasting legacy on the mental health of the “Covid generation” of students, exacerbating rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm and resulting in a “significant rise” in young people struggling at university, experts have said. UK universities have reported that more students are experiencing mental health problems in the aftermath of the pandemic, and that this is expected to continue with the cohort arriving in September, whose school experience was heavily disrupted by the pandemic. The president of the National Union of Students, Larissa Kennedy, said she was “deeply concerned” by the student mental health crisis, which was “getting worse”, with NUS research suggesting “the majority of students are burdened by anxiety”.


Recent research by the Humen mental health charity suggested that more than two in five (41%) of students did not think their institution prevented problems from arising. Nearly half (47%) of students said mental health difficulties had a negative impact on their university experience, while a third said they didn’t know where to go to seek help, according to the survey of 7,385 students. Kennedy said students’ struggles were caused by exam pressure combined with the cost of living crisis, and called for more funding to introduce “early support hubs” that would “prevent thousands reaching crisis point” Last week the government announced £3m in funding to close the gap between the NHS and university mental health services, which the NUS warned was a drop in the ocean, equating to just £1 per student.

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You want to rely on Bayer?

‘Off The Charts’ Chemical Shortages Hit US Farms (R.)

U.S. farmers have cut back on using common weedkillers, hunted for substitutes to popular fungicides and changed planting plans over persistent shortages of agricultural chemicals that threaten to trim harvests. Spraying smaller volumes of herbicides and turning to less-effective fungicides increase the risk for weeds and diseases to dent crop production at a time when global grain supplies are already tight because the Ukraine war is reducing the country’s exports. Interviews with more than a dozen chemical dealers, manufacturers, farmers and weed specialists showed shortages disrupted U.S. growers’ production strategies and raised their costs.


Shawn Inman, owner of distributor Spinner Ag Incorporated in Zionsville, Indiana, said supplies are the tightest in his 24-year career. “This is off the charts,” Inman said. “Everything was delayed, delayed, delayed.” Shortages further reduce options for farmers battling weeds that developed resistance to glyphosate, the key ingredient in the commonly used Roundup herbicide, after decades of overuse in the United Sates. Prices for glyphosate and glufosinate, another widely used herbicide sold under the brand Liberty, jumped more than 50% from last year, dealers said, padding profit at companies like Bayer AG BAYGn.DE, BASF SE BASFn.DE and Corteva Inc CTVA.N.

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“..these giant governments and corporations are thrashing in their death throes. Get out of their way if you possibly can.”

The Time of Our Time (Kunstler)

These days, this place on the planet that used to be a nation groans under a tribulation of bad ideas, bad choices, bad conduct, bad management, and bad faith. We have not been so ripe for regime change since 1776. A ruling Party of Chaos is doing absolutely everything to disorder our lives and there really is no generous interpretation for its motives. Everything it touches breaks, wilts, withers, splinters, rots, poisons, and infects the body politic, driving it deeper into derangement. It doesn’t even pretend to make sense because that would require making distinctions between what is true and what’s not true. We follow-the-science into pure evil.

What awaits is the abandoned scaffold of the family and the community as opposed to the brute hierarchies of mere lonely, forsaken persons under the leviathan state and the behemoth corporation, which have produced mainly new kinds of cruelties, such as: the deadly “vaccine” mandates, the no-knock FBI visitations, the surveillance cameras, the robotic phone trees with their interminable holds, the obtuse insults of the HR departments, the drag queens twerking in your children’s faces, and much more. You might not know it from the news — what is the news now, anyway, except mercenary shuck-and-jive — but these giant governments and corporations are thrashing in their death throes. Get out of their way if you possibly can. Form the bonds you can with people and cherish them. For many, they will be all you’ll have for a while.

You can’t overstate the havoc that we’ll have to live with in the months ahead, short of blowing up the whole joint, one can hope. And it will happen just as a gigantic set of pretenses to a New Order of things rolls out to thumping failure. Forget about central bank digital currencies. Don’t believe that the very people who have severed the relationship between actual capital and money can just magically conjure a new order of money that they propose to control and you don’t. Meanwhile, the old-school money they created too much of is headed for the biggest gaping black hole imaginable because that’s what happens when money based on debt is not paid back. So, for a while, there will be too much money and then there will be not enough, and then nobody will have money.

All that happens as the supply of every kind of stuff in the world stops moving from Point A to Point B, including replacement parts for every sort of machine, distribution of petroleum and its products, and food. And at the same time, it finally becomes too obvious to ignore the fact that many millions are dying or becoming disabled from the effects of the mRNA vaccines foisted on the public, especially in the USA and Europe.

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Test case.

Sri Lanka Suspends Fuel Sales Amid Economic Collapse (ZH)

A broke and extremely cash-strapped Sri Lanka halted all fuel sales except for essential services in a desperate attempt to manage a severe fuel shortage — allowing the government to buy some time and send two government officials to Russia to negotiate a fuel deal. “From midnight today, no fuel will be sold except for essential services like the health sector, because we want to conserve the little reserves we have,” government spokesman Bandula Gunawardana said in a pre-recorded statement, obtained by AFP News. The Sri Lankan government announced only essential services would operate and be allowed access to fuel until July 10 because of a fuel shortage. “Sri Lanka has never faced such a severe economic crisis in its history,” Gunewardena added.

The move comes less than a week after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the debt-laden economy of the island nation has “completely collapsed:” “We are now facing a far more serious situation beyond the mere shortages of fuel, gas, electricity, and food. Our economy has faced a complete collapse. “It is no easy task to revive a country with a completely collapsed economy, especially one that is dangerously low on foreign reserves,” ” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament on June 22. “The country is also facing record-high inflation and lengthy power blackouts, all of which have contributed to months of protests — sometimes violent — calling on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down,” AFP said.

While the government said talks were held with the IMF, India, China, and Japan for new credit lines, negotiations to purchase heavily discounted Russian crude oil are set to begin this week. Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said the two ministers would arrive in Russia early this week to continue talks about directly purchasing Russian fuels, according to AP News. “There is an advantage for us if we could buy oil directly from the Russian government or the Russian firms. There are talks going on,” Wijesekera told reporters Sunday. Earlier this month, Sri Lanka turned to Russia for cheap oil to purchase crude roughly $30 below the international spot price. The South Asian country said it received 90,000 tons of Russian crude but will need a lot more.

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Of course he did.

Voicemail Shows Biden Did Talk Business Dealings With Hunter (NM)

A backup voicemail recording recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer shows that Joe Biden spoke with his son Hunter about Hunter’s business dealings with a Chinese oil giant, even though now-President Biden has repeatedly said that he has never talked to his son about his foreign business dealings. The Daily Mail reports that Joe Biden called Hunter on Dec. 12, 2018, after reading a New York Times article that detailed Hunter’s connections with the Chinese oil firm CEFC. Joe Biden left a voicemail for Hunter on his son’s iPhone XS, which was backed up on the laptop that Hunter later abandoned at a Maryland computer repair shop.The Times story in 2018 noted that CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming had been arrested in China and one of his top aides, Patrick Ho, had been convicted in the United States for bribing African officials to aid Iran in evading oil sanctions.

The story also reported that in 2017, Ye and Hunter Biden had met at a Miami hotel to talk about ”a partnership to invest in American infrastructure and energy deals.” When Ho was arrested, he called Joe Biden’s brother Jim, the Times reported, who told the paper he thought the call was intended for Hunter. The Times reported that it was ”unclear whether Hunter Biden struck any business deals with CEFC.” After reading the story, Joe Biden picked up the phone and dialed his son. ”Hey, pal, it’s Dad,” he said. ”It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you. ”’I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear,” Biden continued. ”And anyway, if you get a chance give me a call. I love you.”

As reporting on Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings have come to light, President Biden has on a number occasions denied ever having spoken to his son about them, both directly and through his press spokespersons to members of the press who have asked about the matter. Hunter Biden’s best friend and business partner, Devon Archer, texted him the next day: ”Nice quote from uncle jimmy. I hope you thanked him for that.” Hunter replied: ”Took it totally out of the context atctually (sic) the text itself that it was said in. Either way yeah I’m delighted.” But after Ho was arrested, he contacted Hunter Biden and paid him $1 million as a retainer to represent him.

The Daily Mail reports that a FISA warrant shows that federal agents were also monitoring Ho as a possible spy for China. Hunter Biden appeared to be aware of Ho’s status, as revealed in a recording while making sex tapes in a hotel room, according to the Mail. On one of the recordings, Hunter Biden tells the woman he is with: ”’I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of the, literally, Dr. Patrick Ho — the f***ing spy chief of China who started the company that my partner [Jianming], who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing.”

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A bigger Turkey.

Turkey’s Opposition Promises To Target Israel, Saudi Arabia And Greece (MEE)

The leader of the Turkish opposition said on Sunday that he will hold Israel, Saudi Arabia and Greece accountable for the steps they have taken against Turkey in recent years, promising to backtrack from Ankara’s recent policies that have sought detente with its regional neighbours. Writing in a series of tweets on Sunday, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said there were “red lines” when it came to dealing with these countries. “There is a price for martyring our citizens in international waters,” he said, referring to the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident where nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli forces in a civilian ship headed for the Gaza Strip. “My message to Israel is that this issue is not closed to us.”

His comments came following a visit by the political leader with the family of one of the Turkish activists who was killed by the Israeli forces. Turkey and Israel signed a deal in 2016 after Israel apologised and decided to pay compensation for the killings. Since then all court cases in Turkey have been dropped by the government. Both governments recently made efforts to repair their relationship, with Israeli President Isaac Herzog visiting Ankara in March. Kilicdaroglu, a possible joint presidential candidate for the opposition during next year’s elections, also criticised the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who visited Ankara last week to officially close the rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which emerged following the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the hands of Saudi agents in Istanbul.

“I also have a few words to say to bin Salman, who came to our country. Murder on our land also has its price,” Kilicdaroglu said. “Our account with him has not been closed either. He may be playing Erdogan on his finger, but Turkey is a great state, he will be made to pay for what he has done in our land.” But arguably Kilicdaroglu’s strongest comments were reserved for Greece. He threatened Greece with “nationalist” resistance and reminded Athens of the Turkish military’s 1974 Cyprus invasion which was led by then-Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit – who was also CHP leader – and deputy prime minister Necmettin Erbakan. Turkey argues that Greece has been arming some of its islands which hold non-militarised status under a set of agreements signed since the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called on Greece to stop arming the islands, otherwise their sovereignty would be put into question by Turkey. Greece denies that said deals grant non-militarised status to those islands.

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Build my house

 

 

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Jun 262022
 


Edward Hopper Excursion into Philosophy 1959

 

 

It was Jim O’Neill, Goldman’s chief economist at the time, who coined the term BRICS in 2001 for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Little did he know. He was talking about emerging economies. 13 years later, they no longer are. They are good for about 40% of the world population, and some 25% of global GDP. The world has not stood still since 2009, and it’s moving faster now.

Ironically, the BRICS countries never looked to be as prominent economically as they are today, they were happy to build up one step at a time. But then NATO decided to move east at a pace that Russia found intolerable, and now the BRICS have taken on a whole new meaning. 25% of global GDP may not seem that much, but the 5 countries hold a much bigger share of -essential- global resources and/or raw materials than that, and China moreover delivers an outsize part of finished products.

And we now know that they won’t be BRICS for much longer. Many countries choose to be affiliated, in one form or another, with the BRICS rather than the “west”. They see that Russia is winning in Ukraine, and they see the damage the sanctions do. It’s just practical considerations. Saudi Arabia and Argentina are interested in joining BRICS. So are Uruguay, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, and a number of post-Soviet States. They see where the real economic power resides.

It’s amusing to see that for this week’s G7 in Germany, the host country has “invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit..” They will not join the G7 instead of the BRICS. Why would they? The world is moving away from unipolar US/NATO power. And as Russia and China have repeatedly said, this move is irreversible. It’s all because of what happens in Ukraine. The west is losing militarily AND economically. Look at where the ruble is. We were “promised” it would dissolve, but it did the opposite.

The US became the no. 1 world power because it had the oil. Now, it has some left, but it has to use energy-intensive processes to produce it. Russia does not. Nor does Saudi Arabia, which therefore has no reason to stick to the petro-dollar system. They’re better off with the BRICS, which moreover plan to introduce a resource-based basket of currencies, which could benefit the Saudis greatly. The world is being rearranged rapidly, a process mightily accelerated by Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.

And NATO can’t even keep up militarily. From Scott Ritter today: “Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom“. Another headline: “Czech Republic Has Exhausted Its Arms Reserves Supporting Ukraine, PM Reveals”.

Perhaps even more telling is that last week, Ukraine’s President Zelensky addressed the African Union in a virtual session, and only 4 out of 54 invited African Heads of State attended (plus some lower ranked folks). They don’t care about what they see as a European conflict, they don’t believe it’s all Putin’s fault (because: sanctions!), and they won’t commit to a potentially losing side. They have bigger fish to fry at home. Look for many to become a BRICS member.

 

Africa Is A Hostage Of Russia’s War On Ukraine, Zelensky Says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called Africa “a hostage” of Russia’s war during an address to the African Union (AU) on Monday. Russia’s invasion, and its blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports, have sparked grain and fertiliser shortages and put millions of people at risk of hunger. The chair of the AU commission said there was an “urgent need for dialogue” to restore global stability. Western countries have urged Russia to release Ukraine’s vast grain stores.


The blockade has sent food prices soaring. “Africa is actually a hostage… of those who unleashed war against our state”, Mr Zelensky said in his speech. He said his government was engaged in “complex negotiations” to unblock grain reserves trapped in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. “This war may seem very distant to you and your countries,” he told the AU. “But the food prices that are catastrophically rising have already brought [the war] to the homes of millions of African families.”

I think it’s priceless that the BRICS countries took O’Neill’s term and ran with it. In 2016 the BBC said: “Brics ‘grew more than I thought’, says Jim O’Neill”. And so last week we had the 14th BRICS Summit. They are now -arguably- more powerful than the G7, they indeed ‘grew more than I thought’. Unlike in our present -post-WWII- economic system, there is not ONE leader, it’s multipolar. The best of everyone, for everyone. That sounds very idealistic, obviously, and at some point China may try to control it all, like the US does today, but right now that is not the case.

 

Putin Suggests Way Out Of Global Economic Crisis

The West’s selfish attempts to blame the entire world for its own mistakes have led to the global economic crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Thursday, appearing via video link at the 14th BRICS Summit. “Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation is it possible to find a way out of this crisis situation that has gripped the global economy due to the thoughtless and selfish actions of certain states,” Putin explained.

The Russian leader stressed that today, as never before, the leadership of the BRICS countries is needed in order to develop a unifying policy for the shaping of a truly multipolar system of intergovernmental relations, and that it ought to be based on the universally recognized norms of international law and the key principles of the UN Charter. According to Putin, the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a truly enormous political, economic, scientific, technological and human potential.

Their influence on the global arena is increasing with every year, he pointed out. “Russia is ready to continue developing close multifaceted interaction with all the [BRICS] partners and contribute to the enhancement of its role in international affairs,” Putin promised.

As I wrote earlier: “The west is not the future. That time is behind us. And many countries recognize this.”

 

China Promotes ‘Non-Western Multilateralism’ at BRICS Summit

China hosted the first day of the fourteenth annual BRICS Summit—a series of meetings involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—on Wednesday, amid a series of major shifts in the global world order and rising geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Chinese president Xi Jinping opened the summit on Wednesday, emphasizing the five nations’ “shared desire to meet challenges together through cooperation,” according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The Chinese leader also urged the countries in attendance to “embrace solidarity and coordination and jointly maintain world peace and stability.”

The BRICS group comprises the five largest developing economies; together, its members constitute forty percent of the world’s population and one-fourth of global gross domestic product. The group includes the two most populous nations in the world, China and India, as well as Russia, the largest in terms of land. Chinese state media has praised the role of the five-nation grouping, claiming that ties between the BRICS countries had increased “multilateral cooperation with non-Western styles, forms, and principles [of government”—marking a positive contrast to the actions of the United States, which it accused of “pulling its Western allies to ‘rebel’ against globalization.”

Despite considerable internal differences within the bloc, including a decades-old rivalry between China and India, all of the BRICS countries have resisted full political alignment with the West. Of the five BRICS nations, only one, Brazil, voted in the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine in February; Russia voted against the measure, while the other three countries abstained. Even Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro refused to personally condemn Putin, whom the West has widely framed as the driving force behind the Russian invasion. In his remarks on Wednesday, Xi appeared to criticize the United States and NATO, describing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “wake-up call for all in the world.”

 

From Bradley Blankenship, American journalist, columnist and political commentator, published at RT.

BRICS Members Represent The Best Hope For A Fairer World Order

The 14th BRICS Summit in Beijing is just wrapping up amid a turbulent international geopolitical landscape, which highlights the importance of the organization in general. Given the combined challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, global conflict, a looming economic crash and climate change – the current international system is failing and a new, multi-polar alternative must take its place. It’s worth noting the context of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) format. Started in 2009 amid a financial crisis, the main goal of that year’s first BRICS (or BRIC as it was then) summit in Yekaterinburg was to improve the global economic situation and reform financial institutions.

Although these countries are not joined by any particular ideology, each saw the need to democratize the global economic system that had been crashed pretty much single-handedly by the United States in an extraordinarily irresponsible – even illegal by US law, in some instances – manner. The head of China’s Central Bank bluntly called for abandoning the dollar as the global reserve currency in 2009 because of a lack of faith in US monetary leadership. That was 13 years ago, yet the necessity of a new reserve currency could not be more relevant these days. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on June 22 just ahead of the latest BRICS summit that the group was indeed developing its own reserve currency based on a basket of their currencies. With this, Putin said the group is hoping to develop alternatives to the existing international payment scheme.

While this could be seen as provocative in the West, it is actually for the betterment of mankind and is not aimed strictly at one country or one coalition of countries. To note, India pushed back against any “anti-US” rhetoric in the group’s joint statement, being a country that is considered part of the Global South, e.g., a developing country, and also has strong relations with the West. Yet, at the same time, it’s clear that all BRICS states, including India, would benefit from a democratized global economic and financial system. That is why New Delhi has not joined Western-led sanctions against Russia over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, because doing so does not serve India’s economic interests – and it would also establish a bad precedent where countries could essentially be excluded from the international community over political disagreements.

Indeed, BRICS and its members have gone a long way to pursue zero-strings-attached development cooperation. China alone had already replaced the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as the world’s largest net creditor at the beginning of the last decade, expanding investments in tangible assets across the Global South (and beyond) through the Belt and Road Initiative. But in a direct challenge to these two previously mentioned US-led institutions, which have morphed into weapons of economic coercion, BRICS established the New Development Bank in 2014.

[..] At a minimum, BRICS has a serious role in balancing out the malignant influence of the US, NATO and the prevailing Western-led world system. Finance and economics are no small part of this, and BRICS’ drive to establish alternatives to the dollar-based Bretton Woods system, providing credit to the Global South without political conditions and establishing a new reserve currency, is an extraordinary push toward a multi-polar future.

The question is of course how the reigning order will react to losing its power. Will they drop nukes? If they do, it would every likely be suicidal. But some people are very particular about control, and about losing it. Thing is, it’s already lost, they just don’t realize it yet.

While you were watching the abortion debate, and Zelensky’s heroics, the entire world order has changed. How about that?

 

 

 

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Jun 262022
 


Caravaggio The Denial of St. Peter 1610

 

The Fantasy of Fanaticism (Scott Ritter)
US Commander: China’s ‘No-limits’ Support Of Russia Threatens Humanity (JTN)
G7 Face Battle For Unity As Cost Of Ukraine War Mounts (BBC)
Adding $37 Billion to Biden’s Military Budget (CD)
Russia On Brink Of Default As Debt Deadline Looms (BBC)
Germany Fears Russia Could Shut Nord Stream 1 Within Weeks (ZH)
Just 5% Call Abortion Top Concern (WE)
“It’s Infuriating”: DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion (ZH)
Democrats Lived Rent-free For 50 Years Off Roe v. Wade
The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage and Revisionism (Turley)
Biden Undermines Supreme Court In Ways Unlike Predecessors (JTN)
EU Renews Digital Covid Pass Despite 99% Negative Public Feedback (Kogon)
Birx Had A Tough Day In Congress (El Gato)
Ghislaine Maxwell On Suicide Watch, May Seek Sentencing Delay (R.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) “..the secretary general of the trans-Atlantic alliance responsible for pushing Ukraine into its current conflict with Russia is now proposing that Ukraine be willing to accept the permanent loss of sovereign territory because NATO miscalculated..”

2) “Russia just destroyed the equivalent of NATO’s main active-duty combat power and hasn’t blinked..”

The Fantasy of Fanaticism (Scott Ritter)

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior aid to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, recently estimated that Ukraine was losing between 100 and 200 soldiers a day on the frontlines with Russia, and another 500 or so wounded. These are unsustainable losses, brought on by the ongoing disparity in combat capability between Russia and Ukraine symbolized, but not limited to, artillery. In recognition of this reality, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg announced that Ukraine will more than likely have to make territorial concessions to Russia as part of any potential peace agreement, asking, “what price are you willing to pay for peace? How much territory, how much independence, how much sovereignty…are you willing to sacrifice for peace?”

Stoltenberg, speaking in Finland, noted that similar territorial concessions made by Finland to the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War was “one of the reasons Finland was able to come out of the Second World War as an independent sovereign nation.” To recap — the secretary general of the trans-Atlantic alliance responsible for pushing Ukraine into its current conflict with Russia is now proposing that Ukraine be willing to accept the permanent loss of sovereign territory because NATO miscalculated and Russia —instead of being humiliated on the field of battle and crushed economically — is winning on both fronts. Decisively. That the secretary general of NATO would make such an announcement is telling for several reasons.

First, Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom. In short, to keep Ukraine competitive on the battlefield, NATO is being asked to strip its own defenses down to literally zero. More telling, however, is what the numbers say about NATO’s combat strength versus Russia. If NATO is being asked to empty its armory to keep Ukraine in the game, one must consider the losses suffered by Ukraine up to that point and that Russia appears able to sustain its current level of combat activity indefinitely. That’s right — Russia just destroyed the equivalent of NATO’s main active-duty combat power and hasn’t blinked.

One can only imagine the calculations underway in Brussels as NATO military strategists ponder the fact that their alliance is incapable of defeating Russia in a large-scale European conventional land war. But there is another conclusion that these numbers reveal — that no matter what the U.S. and NATO do in terms of serving as Ukraine’s arsenal, Russia is going to win the war. The question now is how much time the West can buy Ukraine, and at what cost, in a futile effort to discover Russia’s pain threshold in order to bring the conflict to an end in a manner that reflects anything but the current path toward unconditional surrender.

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“..Jake Sullivan, said that a weak U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “would send a message to other would-be aggressors, including China, that they could do the same thing.”

For some reason he doesn’t appear to include the US in that group of “would-be aggressors”.

US Commander: China’s ‘No-limits’ Support Of Russia Threatens Humanity (JTN)

China’s assertion of a “no-limits” partnership with Russia has alarmed the Pentagon and risks endangering all of humanity should the two nations continue to grow closer, according to the commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific. “From where I sit, the most concerning aspect of [Russia’s war in Ukraine] is that the People’s Republic of China has declared a no-limits policy in support of Russia and what that means to both the Indo-Pacific and the globe,” Adm. John Aquilino, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said on Friday. “If those two nations were to truly demonstrate and deliver a no-limits policy, I think what that means is we’re currently in an extremely dangerous time and place in the history of humanity, if that were to come true,” said Aquilino, speaking at an event hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think-tank.

In February, Chinese leader Xi Jinping met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing, where they heralded their relationship in a sweeping joint statement. “Friendship between the two states has no limits,” the two leaders said. “There are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.” The meeting came three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine. China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion and has echoed Russian talking points about the war. Aquilino praised the Ukrainian people for defending their country and touted the efforts of the U.S. military and U.S. allies to help Ukraine defend itself.

“Globally what we see is that the world is certainly unwilling to accept a single person’s actions — illegitimate, unprovoked — to change the world order, the status quo, the international rules-based order through an unprovoked, illicit invasion,” he said. The commander’s comments came after President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that a weak U.S. response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “would send a message to other would-be aggressors, including China, that they could do the same thing.”

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“..Germany has invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit..”

That’s two BRICS members, and three potential ones.

G7 Face Battle For Unity As Cost Of Ukraine War Mounts (BBC)

The Russian war against Ukraine will inevitably dominate the summit of G7 nations in Bavaria. And the leaders of the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan face a difficult challenge. They are aiming to put on a show of unity and resolve over the war. In recent months, the Western alliance has shown signs of strain and fatigue. Some voices – particularly in France, Germany and Italy – have asked if it might not be better for the war to end, even if it came at the cost of Ukraine having to cede territory. A recent cross-Europe opinion poll suggested some voters put solving the cost-of-living crisis ahead of punishing Russia. Others argue about the need to salvage some kind of relationship with Russia in the future.

Countries like the UK, Poland and the three Baltic States have been resisting these arguments, saying that any peace deal with Moscow that is not on Ukraine’s terms would lead to further Russian aggression in the future. President Zelensky is likely to reinforce this argument when he addresses the summit virtually on Monday. So the G7 leaders are expected to try to use the summit to clear these muddy waters, promising more weapons to Ukraine and more sanctions against Russia. The idea will be to send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the West has the strategic patience to maintain its support for Ukraine, even if it faces domestic political pressure at home from voters concerned about rising prices. The problem for G7 leaders is they also face growing pressure to show they are tackling the global economic crisis. The soaring price of fuel and food is causing hunger and unrest across the world.

And some countries are pointing the finger at the West. Many countries in the global south do not share Western concerns about Russian aggression. They see the conflict as a European war and seem unmoved by Western arguments that Vladimir Putin is acting as a colonial aggressor. And they blame Western sanctions – as much as Russia’s invasion – for the rising costs of gas and oil, and the massive shortage of wheat and fertiliser. To try to resist this narrative, G7 countries are expected to use the summit to show they are acting to help countries round the world – with development aid, debt restructuring, climate finance, help finding alternative sources of energy and, of course, fresh efforts to get grain out of Ukraine’s ports. That is why Germany has invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit, to hear their perspective and show the rest of the world the G7 is listening.

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“If you’re supporting this amendment, you’re basically paving the way to a trillion-dollar defense [bill]..”

Adding $37 Billion to Biden’s Military Budget (CD)

Progressives expressed outrage after a House panel voted Wednesday to tack an additional $37 billion on top of President Joe Biden’s already gargantuan military spending request. The Biden administration’s March request for $813 billion in military spending for Fiscal Year 2023 already marked a $31 billion increase over the current, historically large sum of $782 billion. During its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the House Armed Services Committee approved by a 42-17 margin Rep. Jared Golden’s (D-Maine) amendment to boost the topline budget by $37 billion. “Today members of the House Armed Services Committee put the demands of the military-industrial complex over the needs of the American people yet again,” Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said in a statement.

“Granting $37 billion to a war machine that can’t even pass an audit while saying that we ‘can’t afford’ what American families and communities need is quintessential hypocrisy,” said Weissman. “Congress can still correct this misstep — rerouting that funding into investments like economic stability, climate justice, and affordable healthcare for all Americans instead.” The House panel’s increase comes less than a week after the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to add $45 billion to Biden’s $813 billion request, pushing the upper chamber’s total proposed budget for national military spending in the coming fiscal year to a whopping $857.6 billion — including $817 billion for the Pentagon, $30 billion for the Department of Energy and an additional $10.6 billion that falls outside NDAA jurisdiction.

During a speech Wednesday in which she explained why she voted against Golden’s “unconscionable” amendment, Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Cailf.) stressed that “there are simply not military solutions to every problem.” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) also voted against Golden’s amendment and explained his opposition in remarks delivered from the House floor. “If you’re supporting this amendment, you’re basically paving the way to a trillion-dollar defense [bill],” said Khanna. “Is that what we want in this country?” “I just want to be clear,” he added. “There is no country in the world that is putting over half its discretionary budget into defense and I would rather for us to be the preeminent economy of the 21st century by investing in the health of our people, in the education of our people, in the industries of the future.”

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“This whole situation looks like a farce.”

Russia On Brink Of Default As Debt Deadline Looms (BBC)

Russia is on the brink of its first debt default since 1998 as the Sunday deadline to make a $100m interest payment seems certain to be missed. Russia has the money and is willing to pay, but sanctions make it impossible to get the payments to international creditors. The Kremlin has been determined to avoid a first default since 1998, and a major blow to the nation’s prestige. The Russian finance minister branded the situation “a farce”. Russia has seemed on an inevitable path to default since sanctions were first imposed by the US and EU following the invasion of Ukraine.These restricted the country’s access to the international banking networks which would process payments from Russia to investors around the world.

The Russian government has said it wants to make all of its payments on time, and so far it has succeeded.About $40bn of Russia’s debts are denominated in dollars or euros, with around half held outside the country. A default would be the first since 1998, at the chaotic end of Boris Yeltsin’s regime. The $100m interest payment was due on 27 May. Russia says the money was sent to Euroclear, a bank which would then distribute the payment to investors. But that payment has been stuck there, according to Bloomberg News, and creditors have not received it. “They have not got it,” says Jay Auslander, a US lawyer who has worked on many government debt cases. “And the overwhelming probability is they’re not going to get it.”If this money has not arrived within 30 days of the due date, that is, Sunday evening, that will widely be considered a default.

Euroclear wouldn’t say if the payment had been blocked, but said it adheres to all sanctions. Default seemed inevitable when the US Treasury decided not to renew the special exemption in sanctions rules allowing investors to receive interest payments from Russia, which expired on 25 May. The Kremlin now appears to have accepted this inevitability too, decreeing on 23 June stating that all future debt payments would be made in roubles through a Russian bank, the National Settlements Depository, even when contracts state they should be in dollars or other international currencies. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted foreign investors would “not be able to receive” the payments according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

This was for two reasons, he said. “The first is that foreign infrastructure – correspondent banks, settlement and clearing systems, depositories – ares prohibited from conducting any operations related to Russia. The second is that foreign investors are expressly prohibited from receiving payments from us.” Because Russia wants to pay and has plenty of money to do it, he denied that this amounts to a genuine default, which usually occur when governments refuse to pay, or their economies are so weak that they cannot find the money. “Everyone in the know understands that this is not a default at all,” RIA Novosti quoted him. “This whole situation looks like a farce.”

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Come -cold- winter, Europeans will not blame all this on Putin. They will demand their politicians make peace with Russia.

Germany Fears Russia Could Shut Nord Stream 1 Within Weeks (ZH)

The European Union has this week accused Russia of planning “rogue moves” regarding lowering natural gas flows to Europe, or in other words continuing to ‘weaponize’ its energy, to which the Kremlin has consistently responded with variations of ‘our gas, our rules’. This after Moscow has reduced Nord Stream 1 gas flows by 40% last week while citing technical issues, leading to a four- to sixfold rise in market prices, based on German energy officials. However, Berlin isn’t buying that needed maintenance on the key pipeline is all that’s happening here, instead seeing in it an underhanded Russian ploy to ramp up the pressure on Europe, giving way to fears that the saga could end in Russia halting its pipeline altogether.

“Gas is now a scarce commodity in Germany,” economy minister Robert Habeck said at a Thursday press conference while warning that his country is now approaching crisis supply levels which could see authorities turn to gas rationing. Habeck confirmed that the last days have seen a “significant deterioration of the gas supply situation” – following Gazprom’s Nord Stream 1 also having to now undergo what the Russian energy company has scheduled as “annual maintenance” for a period of ten days, from July 11 to July 21. Habeck was asked in an interview this week with German broadcaster ZDF about the negative scenario possibility of Russia artificially extending the repair and maintenance period: “I’d be lying if I said I’m ruling it out. In fact, Putin has gradually reduced the amount of gas more and more,” he responded.

According to the German language publication, the economy minister bluntly spelled out that Putin is trying to use energy to drive a wedge among European allies: Putin’s plan is to put pressure on the market to make prices in Europe more expensive. According to Habeck, it is mainly a matter of stirring up social unrest and breaking down unity. He wants to make sure that Putin “does not win,” the economy minister told ZDF heute Journal. Measures are also being taken to ensure the unity of society.

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“Only 5% said abortion was top issue. That might change a little, but not with people who can’t afford food or gas or rent or medical bills..”

Just 5% Call Abortion Top Concern (WE)

Abortion, the No. 1 concern in today’s media and politics, ranks nearly dead last among areas voters care about as they struggle with paying daily bills, soaring inflation, and interest rate hikes, according to a just-released survey. While the Supreme Court’s decision overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade right to abortion has dominated today’s network and cable coverage, the latest McLaughlin & Associates poll said just 5% of voters call it a top concern. Just below abortion, at 1%, is reviewing the 2020 election, over which the media are also obsessing. By comparison, 54% cited the economy. “Only 5% said abortion was top issue. That might change a little, but not with people who can’t afford food or gas or rent or medical bills,” said pollster John McLaughlin, referencing the court’s decision today.

He also told Secrets, “This was no surprise. The decision was leaked a while ago. Most states will not change their laws. Biden’s handlers are desperate to change the subject from the imploding economy.” President Joe Biden said today that he plans to dig into ways to continue the rights under Roe, but John and Jim McLaughlin said their data show it’s a desperation play to recover his base. In their latest survey, just 23% of Democratic primary voters said Biden was their first pick to run in 2024. “People are focused right now on inflation, gas, cost of living, public safety, and the disintegration of America,” Jim McLaughlin said. “You know you’re struggling when 77% of Biden’s primary voters are looking for somebody else.”

And while the media were suggesting that the question of abortion will help drive a bigger Democratic turnout in fall elections, the McLaughlins said it also stands to help Republicans. In an April survey, they found that 93% agree with this statement: “Every human being represents a life that is precious and has value.” John McLaughlin said, “If the Republicans stand on principle and defend human life, Americans are on their side.”

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“Behind the carnival tent curtain..”

“It’s Infuriating”: DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion (ZH)

Democrats are seething with rage over Friday’s 6-3 majority decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, sending the question of abortion rights back to the state-level. “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” read the opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito. Pro-abortion protesters sprung to action, deploying posters which read “Bans off my Body” and other slogans. Hours after the news broke, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called the decision “illegitimate,” and encouraged people to get “into the streets” to protest.


Her call for what we’re sure will be ‘mostly peaceful’ protests prompted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to accuse the Democrat of ‘launching an insurrection,’ adding “Any violence and rioting is a direct result of Democrat marching orders.” “I will explain this to you slowly: exercising our right to protest is not obstruction of Congress nor an attempt to overturn democracy,” AOC replied, to which Greene asked AOC why she won’t support pardons for Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, why she is “a shill for the MIC (military industrial complex) funding war in Ukraine,” or “are you too busy organizing baby killing riots?” Behind the carnival tent curtain, DC insiders are furious and are demanding that the Biden administration DO SOMETHING! “It’s infuriating. What the hell have we been doing?” one Democratic strategist told The Hill. “Why are we not talking about this every single day? Why hasn’t Biden made this the issue for Democrats? If we don’t step up, we’ve got ourselves to blame.”

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“..American liberals have lived rent free for 50 years on the Blackmun decision. They didn’t have to frame arguments. They didn’t have to persuade 50 legislatures…”

Democrats Lived Rent-free For 50 Years Off Roe v. Wade

Maybe it’s time everyone slowed down and looked at Roe for what it was. It was legal malpractice of the highest order that disenfranchised hundreds of millions of Americans by rationalizing that the Constitution had settled the question of abortion. An issue that rightly belonged in state legislatures where citizens could argue for and against was commandeered by the Blackmun court and settled. This is not merely a conservative view. Since Roe became law in 1973, a powerful consensus has been building among legal authorities left and right that Roe was constructed not on the breakwater of constitutional logic but on the seafoam of judicial activism. Here’s just a brief sampling from the left. And understand, I could easily add 20 more examples just like these:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice): “The political process was moving in the early 1970 …not swiftly enough for advocates for quick, complete change, but majoritarian institutions were listening and acting. (Roe’s) heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” Edward Lazarus (attorney, clerk to Roe-author Justice Harry Blackmun): “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose, as someone who believes such a right has grounding elsewhere in the Constitution instead of where Roe placed it, and as someone who loved Roe’s author like a grandfather. …(Roe) has little connection to the constitutional right it purportedly interpreted.”

Jeffrey Rosen (Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic): “In short, 30 years later, it seems increasingly clear that this pro-choice magazine was correct in 1973 when it criticized Roe on constitutional grounds. Its overturning would be the best thing that could happen to the federal judiciary, the pro-choice movement and the moderate majority of the American people.” Michael Kinsley (Opinion editor, Los Angeles Times; co-host of Crossfire): “Although I am pro-choice, I was taught in law school, and still believe, that Roe v. Wade is a muddle of bad reasoning and an authentic example of judicial overreaching. I also believe it was a political disaster for liberals. Roe is what first politicized religious conservatives while cutting off a political process that was legalizing abortion state by state anyway. Three decades later, that awakened giant controls the government.”

John Hart Ely (law professor; Yale, Harvard, Stanford; clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren): “(Roe) is, nevertheless, a very bad decision. Not because it will perceptibly weaken the Court — it won’t; and not because it conflicts with either my idea of progress or what the evidence suggests is society’s — it doesn’t. It is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”

On Friday, President Joe Biden ignored this consensus and railed against today’s justices who agree with it. “Make no mistake,” said Biden. “This decision is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.” To the contrary, I’ve presented above just a fraction of the counterevidence that shows Biden is wrong. Just to restate, as early as the 1970s when Michael Kinsley was chasing paper at Harvard Law, it was common knowledge in Cambridge that Roe was “a muddle of bad reasoning” and judicial overreach. American liberals have lived rent free for 50 years on the Blackmun decision. They didn’t have to frame arguments. They didn’t have to persuade 50 legislatures. The Blackmun court handed them the ball, the game and the whistle when it was only just beginning.


CA bar exam

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[n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be under- stood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage and Revisionism (Turley)

In the aftermath of the historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, politicians and pundits have denounced the Supreme Court justices and the Court itself for holding opposing views on the interpretation of the Court. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the justices “right-wing politicians” and many journalists called the Court “activists.” Most concerning were legal analysts who fueled misleading accounts of the opinion or the record of this Court. Notably, it is precisely what the Court anticipated in condemning those who would make arguments “designed to stoke unfounded fear.” Vice President Kamala Harris and others repeated the claims that same-sex marriage, contraceptives, and other rights are now in danger. The Court, however, expressly and repeatedly stated that this decision could not be used to undermine those rights: “Abortion is fundamentally different, as both Roe and Casey acknowledged, because it destroys what those decisions called ‘fetal life’ and what the law now before us describes as an ‘unborn human being.’”

The Court noted: “Perhaps this is designed to stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil those other rights, but the dissent’s analogy is objectionable for a more important reason: what it reveals about the dissent’s views on the protection of what Roe called “potential life.” The exercise of the rights at issue in Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrence, and Obergefell does not destroy a “potential life,” but an abortion has that effect. So if the rights at issue in those cases are fundamentally the same as the right recognized in Roe and Casey, the implication is clear: The Constitution does not permit the States to regard the destruction of a “potential life” as a matter of any significance.”

Indeed, I cannot recall an opinion when the Court was more adamant in prospectively blocking the use of a holding in future cases. Only one justice, Clarence Thomas, suggested that the Court should reexamine the rationale for such rights but also emphasized that the majority of the Court was clearly holding that the opinion could not be used in that way. Thomas wrote: “The Court’s abortion cases are unique, see ante, at 31–32, 66, 71–72, and no party has asked us to decide “whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised,” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 813 (opinion of THOMAS, J.). Thus, I agree that “[n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be under- stood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

Nevertheless, on CNN, legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers echoed the common claim that this decision could now be used to unravel an array of other rights and “criminalizing every single aspect” of women’s reproductive healthcare. However, Rodgers went even further. She suggested that states could ban menstrual cycle tracking: “Are they going to be able to search your apps—you know there’s apps that track your menstrual cycle. You know how far are these states going to try and go?”

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“Biden trampled his own promise to embrace government and the rule of law.”

Biden Undermines Supreme Court In Ways Unlike Predecessors (JTN)

Two months into his presidency, as he did often on the campaign trial, President Joe Biden asked America to embrace the legitimacy of government. “Put trust and faith in our government to fulfill its most important function, which is protecting the American people,” the 46th president implored his country in a March 2021 speech on the anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdowns. On Friday, after being stung by abortion and gun rights rulings by the Supreme Court that he disagreed with, the president changed his tune and launched a verbal assault on America’s judicial branch of government and its iconic marbled court of nine justices. The president took a blowtorch to the Supreme Court in language clearly designed to undermine its legitimacy.

He accused the justices of waging a “deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law” and decried their “extreme and dangerous path”, as he insisted the nation’s highest court had made the “United States an outlier among developed nations” by reversing the half-century-old Roe v. Wade decision. A day earlier, he slammed the court’s verdict that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms extended to carrying in public, calling that decision “unconstitutional.” In so doing, Biden trampled his own promise to embrace government and the rule of law. He also veered from the civility most presidents and senior political leaders have shown the court, even when it ruled against their wishes.

Barack Obama, for instance, didn’t like the famed Heller gun ruling in 2008 that overturned DC’s restrictive handgun laws, but issued a statement that suggested good people could find common ground in it. “I will uphold the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen,” Obama said. “I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws.” George W. Bush showed the same deference when the justices rejected his arguments that Guantanamo Bay terrorist prisoners didn’t deserve full rights in the courts. “We’ll abide by the court’s decision,” Bush said. “That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.”

Likewise, Al Gore upheld the legitimacy of the legal system after losing the 2000 election in an epic Supreme Court ruling: ““I accept the finality of the outcome … And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession,” the then-vice president said. Biden’s angry strike at the court’s legitimacy drew a rebuke from many corridors, including from a famed liberal law professor who voted for him. “I am concerned about that,” Harvard University law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told “Just the News, Not Noise” television program Friday night when asked about Biden’s reaction.

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“And so on and so forth through 385,191 responses.”

EU Renews Digital Covid Pass Despite 99% Negative Public Feedback (Kogon)

Acting on a proposal of the European Commission, the European Parliament, as expected, voted yesterday to renew the EU Digital Covid Certificate for another year. The vote was 453 for, 119 against and 19 abstentions. The certificate regulation had been scheduled to expire on June 30. Earlier this month, a delegation from the parliament had already reached a “political agreement” with the Commission on renewing the certificate, thus making yesterday’s vote virtually a foregone conclusion. The certificate regulation was originally adopted in June of last year, ostensibly to facilitate “safe travel” between EU member states. But the EU digital certificate quickly evolved into the model and sometimes infrastructure for the domestic “health” or Covid passes that would serve to restrict access to many other areas of social life over the following year.

The EU has opted to extend the covid certificate despite the overwhelmingly negative results of a public consultation on the subject that was launched by the European Commission under the heading of “Have Your Say” and that was open to the public from February 3 to April 8. The consultation elicited over 385,000 responses – almost all of which appear to be opposed to renewal! In a letter to the European Ombudsman that the French member of the parliament Virginie Joron posted on her Twitter feed, Joron writes: “I read hundreds of responses at random with my team. I did not find any in favor of extending the QR code [i.e. the digital certificate]. Based on this large survey, it seems obvious that virtually all the responses were negative.”

The overwhelmingly negative tendency of the responses was indeed evident from the outset. The first full page of responses, all of them dating from February 4, is available here. They are, of course, in a variety of European Union languages: French, German, Italian, and also one in English. To provide readers an idea of the tenor, here is a translation of just the first line or two of the first several responses (starting from the bottom of the page): “I am completely opposed to the establishment of this certificate given what is currently happening with the EU’s disastrous handling of Covid…” “I want this cst [probably a reference to Belgium’s “Covid Safe Ticket”] or vaccine passport simply to be eliminated… ” “There are claims made in the draft document that are not scientifically supported. For example, it is claimed that the Covid certificate represents effective protection against the spread of the virus – what data can support this claim?…

“Hello, I am shocked and disgusted by the freedom-killing decisions taken in the EU … as regards this “European certificate” … ” “The covid certificate or green pass SHOULD BE ABOLISHED immediately as discriminatory and unconstitutional and not supported by any scientific data, because it is exclusively based on PUNITIVE measures for citizens… ” “I am opposed to the extension of the green pass, which serves no purpose other than creating discrimination… ” “I never want to be subjected to a discriminatory certificate again…” “And, finally, the English-language entry: “The digital Covid certificate should end immediately. There is so much data that supports the fact that digital passports have zero positive impact on transmission rates and in fact in the most vaccinated and highly regulated countries, there [sic.] covid rates are insane…” And so on and so forth through 385,191 responses.

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“Digging further into this is going to get really good. It’s clear these people are neither smart nor informed. They hipshot and hoped. And all the carnage and calamity it drove is going to land on them.”

Birx Had A Tough Day In Congress (El Gato)

Leaders do not, mostly, lead. They follow the public mood. And as that mood is shifting, it’s becoming ok to ask the pointy questions and start getting to the bottom of things. Debbie had a tough outing here and gets pinned on a simple and vital issue: When public health officials and agencies stridently told america that the covid vaccines would be a “dead end for the virus” and stop infection and spread, upon what did they base that claim and how did they get it so wrong? Once Jordan gets a hold of her, this is like a tuna filled piñata in a tiger cage. jj: Was the government lying when they said this? db: i don’t know. i was not part of the taskforce discussions Strong start. Non-denial denial, offers up others for the trip under the bus. Both evasive and self-protective. Politics 101.

She then speaks of her family still using “layered protection” because she knew that vaccine immunity would wane like natural immunity. This is both inaccurate and deeply dishonest. If she and her compatriots “knew” that, they certainly were not saying it in public. And boy oh boy do we have the receipts on that one… Jj: when the government told us the vaccinated could not transmit it (covid), was that a lie or a guess? db: “i think it was hope” See, now that seems like a pretty poor pretext for pushing vaccination as social duty, mandating jabs, and endless campaigns of vilification, othering and claims to be on the “side of science.” “we did it cuz hope.” Digging further into this is going to get really good. It’s clear these people are neither smart nor informed. They hipshot and hoped. And all the carnage and calamity it drove is going to land on them.

It’s clear they lack basic justification for their towering, condescending certitude. This fallback to “and that’s why i think scientists and public health leaders always have to be at the table being very clear what we know and don’t know” is awe inspiring in its manipulative mendacity. Sure, the statement is true, but could anyone produce a standard that less describes what was actually done? They expressed as iron bar certainty that which they now admit was “a hope.” They attacked viciously anyone who dared call their narrative into question. I seriously cannot believe she just said that. That she did not actually burst into flame getting that out is near certain proof that she’s wearing asbestos underpants.

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“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournmen..”

You know who else is on suicide watch?

Ghislaine Maxwell On Suicide Watch, May Seek Sentencing Delay (R.)

Ghislaine Maxwell has been put on suicide watch at a Brooklyn jail, and may seek to delay her Tuesday sentencing for aiding Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls, her lawyer said on Saturday night. In a letter to the judge overseeing Maxwell’s case, Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said her client is “unable to properly prepare, for sentencing,” after officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center on Friday declared the suicide watch and abruptly moved Maxwell to solitary confinement. Sternheim said Maxwell was given a “suicide smock,” and her clothing, toothpaste, soap and legal papers were taken away. The lawyer also said Maxwell “is not suicidal,” a conclusion she said a psychologist who evaluated the 60-year-old British socialite on Saturday morning also reached.


“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournment,” Sternheim wrote. Maxwell was convicted on Dec. 29 on five criminal counts, including sex trafficking, for recruiting and grooming four girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Prosecutors have said Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison, citing her “utter lack of remorse.” Maxwell wants a term shorter than 20 years.

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Chicken Dog

 

 

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Jun 252022
 


Arnold Böcklin Mermaids at play 1886

 

Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade (ZH)
What Progressives Get Wrong About Overturning Roe (Turley)
Biden Claims Abortion Ruling Makes US ‘Outlier Among Developed Nations’ (Fox)
Putin Suggests Way Out Of Global Economic Crisis (RT)
China Promotes ‘Non-Western Multilateralism’ at BRICS Summit (NI)
US Gov’t Body Plots To Break Up Russia In Name Of ‘Decolonization’ (MP)
Why The West Risks Condemning Ukraine To Slow Strangulation (G.)
Concurrent And Hyperinflation Will Ravage The World (von Greyerz)
Don’t Fear The Recession (Denninger)
A Lemming Leading The Lemmings: The Terminal Collapse Of The Anti-war Left (Cook)
Prepare For A Tidal Wave Of Evictions (ZH)
When the Wicked Try to Flee (Kunstler)
Austria Set to Retire Vaccine Mandate by End of August (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Trump 2016 Roe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First thing we need to do is to stop making this a black and white issue. There are many shades here. Many will claim that I have no right to speak, because I am a man. But you can’t just silence half the population on crucial questions. We are not done talking.

Biden: The Supreme Court ‘took away a constitutional right’. No, that never existed.

In Europe, abortion is much more regulated than in the US under Roe v Wade. The Mississippi law that the Supreme Court upheld today bans abortion after 15 weeks. France, Belgium, Ireland, Germany ban abortion after 12 weeks. Italy 13 weeks. France, Austria, Spain after 14 weeks. UK 24 weeks. In the US, I see many voices claim abortion up to 8-9 months should be legal. That makes me very uncomfortable.

Another point: the Dems could have codified Roe v Wade into law under Clinton, Obama, even Biden. They did not. Some suggest this is because they want to be able to keep bringing it up time and again because it is an issue that is guaranteed to get them votes. Codify it, and those votes are gone.

Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade (ZH)

The Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs. Wade, returning the decision on whether or not abortion is legal to individual states. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito in the Friday decision – the May 2 leak of which led to widespread protests and an attempted murder against Justice Brett Kavanaugh – the court overturned the 1973 case which guaranteed access to abortion nationwide. The case at issue – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenged a Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks. Lower courts, citing a previous ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey preventing states from banning abortion within the first 24 weeks of gestation, had prevented Dobbs from being enacted – which the Supreme Court just reversed.

In response to the ruling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that Congressional Democrats would work to “enshrine Roe v. Wade into law” – while former President Obama said the ruling attacks ‘essential freedoms.’ Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted that “American women are having their rights taken by 5 unelected Justices on the extremist MAGA court.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the ruling is “courageous and correct.” Within an hour of the USSC Roe decision, Missouri ended abortion in the state. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said that there would be a “mini revolution” in November’s midterm elections if the landmark decision was overturned – insisting that overturning the law would be “ridiculous” and would drive Democrat turnout in November’s midterm elections.

“I don’t think the country will stand for it,” he said, adding “If in fact the decision comes down the way it does, and these states impose the limitations they’re talking about, it’s going to cause a mini revolution and they’re going to vote these folks out of office.” Earlier this year, Congressional Democrats tried and failed to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. Meanwhile, Biden said he was exploring the use of executive orders depending on the final Supreme Court decision. Biden also pushed voters to come out during midterms so that Congressional dems would have enough of a majority to codify abortion rights into law. “You gotta vote to let people know exactly what the devil you think,” he told Kimmel.

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“Now, it’s citizens who will decide.”

What Progressives Get Wrong About Overturning Roe (Turley)

With the release of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, politicians and pundits went public with a parade of horribles – from the criminalization of contraceptives to the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. In reality, the post-Roe world will look much like the Roe world for most citizens. While this is a momentous decision, it is important to note what it does and does not do. The decision itself was already largely known. It did not dramatically change since the leak of an earlier draft. The conservative majority held firm in declaring that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided: “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

In the end, Chief Justice John Roberts cut a bit of a lonely figure in the mix of the court on the issue. His concurrence did not seriously question the majority view that Roe was not based on a good law. However, he would have stopped short of overturning the decision outright. It is the ultimate call of an incrementalist detached from the underlying constitutional interpretation. The court now has a solid majority of justices who are more motivated by what they view as “first principles” than pragmatic concerns. From a court that has long used nuanced (and maddeningly vague) opinions to avoid major changes in constitutional doctrine, we now have clarity on this issue. It will return to the citizens of each state to decide. The court anticipated the response to the opinion by those who “stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil … other rights.”

The opinion expressly does not address contraception, same-sex marriage or other rights. That claim has always been absurd but has become a talking point on the left. After the leak of the draft opinion, the New York Times opinion editors warned that some states likely would outlaw interracial marriage if Roe v. Wade is overturned: “Imagine that every state were free to choose whether to allow Black people and white people to marry. Some states would permit such marriages; others probably wouldn’t.” It takes considerable imagination because it is utter nonsense, though it must come as something of a surprise to Justice Clarence Thomas, given his interracial marriage, or to Justice Amy Coney Barrett, given her own interracial family.

Nevertheless, politicians lined up to lead the parade of predicting horrible consequences. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that “with Roe and their attempt to destroy it, radical Republicans are charging ahead with their crusade to criminalize health freedom.” [..] The court held that “it is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” Much of course has changed since 1973 when Roe was handed down. At that time, most states restricted legal abortions. Now, the overwhelming majority of Americans have supported Roe v. Wade and 16 states have guaranteed abortion, including states such as California, Illinois and New York that hold a significant percentage of the population. States like Colorado protect the right of a woman to make this decision without limitations on the stage of a pregnancy.

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It’s not.

Biden Claims Abortion Ruling Makes US ‘Outlier Among Developed Nations’ (Fox)

President Biden remarked Friday that the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade made the U.S. an “outlier” in the West. “With this decision, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court shows how extreme it is, how far removed they are from the majority of this country,” Biden said during a speech at the White House. “They have made the United States an outlier among developed nations in the world. But this decision must not be the final word.” However, European nations largely have abortion laws that resemble regulations supported by many Republican-led state governments. The Supreme Court issued its decision Friday as part of a case regarding a Mississippi state law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Even states that ban abortion can’t make it illegal to travel to another state to abort a pregnancy, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his concurrence Friday. By comparison, abortion is only permitted in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger in Poland. In Ireland and Germany, abortion procedures are banned in the majority of cases after 12 weeks. Italy doesn’t allow abortions after 90 days, or just under 13 weeks. France, Austria and Spain have banned the procedure after 14 weeks. “Upholding laws restricting abortion on demand after 20 weeks would situate the United States closer to the international mainstream, instead of leaving it as an outlying country with ultra-permissive abortion policies,” the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life group, stated in 2014.

The report noted that the list of nations where abortion is legal past 20 weeks included North Korea, China and Vietnam. The Center for Reproductive Rights estimates that 12 countries now allow abortion up to 20 weeks, a legal adviser for the group told Politifact last month. The U.K. allows abortions up to 24 weeks, according to the nation’s National Health Service. In addition, there are more than 20 countries that have “flexible” laws that permit abortion procedures at 20 weeks or later under certain circumstances, according to Politifact. For example, the Czech Republic allows abortions after 20 weeks for mental health reasons and Japan permits abortions after 22 weeks for socioeconomic reasons.

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BRICS. I stopped quoting RT when it was banned all over, I want people to be able to click links and read the original articles. 1 exception here, also because this is the entire article.

Putin Suggests Way Out Of Global Economic Crisis (RT)

The West’s selfish attempts to blame the entire world for its own mistakes have led to the global economic crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Thursday, appearing via video link at the 14th BRICS Summit. “Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation is it possible to find a way out of this crisis situation that has gripped the global economy due to the thoughtless and selfish actions of certain states,” Putin explained.


The Russian leader stressed that today, as never before, the leadership of the BRICS countries is needed in order to develop a unifying policy for the shaping of a truly multipolar system of intergovernmental relations, and that it ought to be based on the universally recognized norms of international law and the key principles of the UN Charter. According to Putin, the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a truly enormous political, economic, scientific, technological and human potential. Their influence on the global arena is increasing with every year, he pointed out. “Russia is ready to continue developing close multifaceted interaction with all the [BRICS] partners and contribute to the enhancement of its role in international affairs,” Putin promised.

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The west is not the future. That time is behind us. And many countries recognize this.

China Promotes ‘Non-Western Multilateralism’ at BRICS Summit (NI)

China hosted the first day of the fourteenth annual BRICS Summit—a series of meetings involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—on Wednesday, amid a series of major shifts in the global world order and rising geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Chinese president Xi Jinping opened the summit on Wednesday, emphasizing the five nations’ “shared desire to meet challenges together through cooperation,” according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The Chinese leader also urged the countries in attendance to “embrace solidarity and coordination and jointly maintain world peace and stability.”

The BRICS group comprises the five largest developing economies; together, its members constitute forty percent of the world’s population and one-fourth of global gross domestic product. The group includes the two most populous nations in the world, China and India, as well as Russia, the largest in terms of land. Chinese state media has praised the role of the five-nation grouping, claiming that ties between the BRICS countries had increased “multilateral cooperation with non-Western styles, forms, and principles [of government”—marking a positive contrast to the actions of the United States, which it accused of “pulling its Western allies to ‘rebel’ against globalization.”

Despite considerable internal differences within the bloc, including a decades-old rivalry between China and India, all of the BRICS countries have resisted full political alignment with the West. Of the five BRICS nations, only one, Brazil, voted in the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine in February; Russia voted against the measure, while the other three countries abstained. Even Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro refused to personally condemn Putin, whom the West has widely framed as the driving force behind the Russian invasion. In his remarks on Wednesday, Xi appeared to criticize the United States and NATO, describing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “wake-up call for all in the world.”

“Blind faith in the so-called ‘position of strength’ and attempts to expand military alliances and seek one’s own security at the expense of others will only land oneself in a security dilemma,” Xi said, repeating the controversial argument that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was mainly prompted by legitimate security fears rather than Putin’s personal ideology. A virtual meeting between Xi and his counterparts Jair Bolsonaro, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, and Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to take place on Thursday morning, followed by further meetings between high-level officials from the five countries. Analysts have predicted that Xi will defend China’s governance record and highlight the country’s successful development to the other attendees amid the lifting of strict Covid-19 lockdown measures in Shanghai and Beijing.

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War games.

US Gov’t Body Plots To Break Up Russia In Name Of ‘Decolonization’ (MP)

A US government body held a Congressional briefing plotting ways to break up Russia as a country, in the name of supposed “decolonization.” The participants urged the United States to give more support to separatist movements inside Russia and in the diaspora. They proposed the independence of numerous republics in the Russian Federation, including Chechnya, Tatarstan, and Dagestan, as well as historic areas that existed centuries ago such as Circassia. This is far from the first time that hawks in Washington have fantasized about carving up foreign countries. During the first cold war, the US sponsored secessionist groups inside the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, the US-led NATO military cartel successfully dismantled Yugoslavia. And Washington has long backed separatists in the Chinese regions of Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

After the overthrow of the USSR, neoconservative operative and future Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to slice up Russia into several smaller countries. Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski even published an article in elite Foreign Affairs magazine in 1997 proposing to create a “loosely confederated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic.” Yet this Congressional hearing was one of the most high-profile and provocative calls for balkanization yet, held in broad daylight. Titled “Decolonizing Russia: A Moral and Strategic Imperative,” the June 23 briefing was organized by the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), known more commonly as the Helsinki Commission.

This commission claims to be “independent,” but it is a US government agency created and overseen by Congress. The event was introduced by Congressman Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee who co-chairs the commission. Representative Cohen claimed Russians “have in essence colonized their own country,” and argued that Russia is “not a strict nation, in the sense that we’ve known in the past.” At the virtual hearing, which was livestreamed on YouTube, the congressman was joined by veteran regime-change activists who have worked for an array of US government agencies. The event was moderated by Bakhti Nishanov, a senior policy advisor to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

He excitedly noted, “We have many, many participants. I think this is pretty much a record for a House commission briefing.” Nishanov argued that Western condemnation of Moscow’s war in Ukraine should expand to opposition to “Russia’s interior empire.” He added that the panelists hoped to “come up with ideas that will actually contain Russia.”

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“..although the EU may have won the information war on Ukraine in Europe, “a very different narrative” existed elsewhere..”

Why The West Risks Condemning Ukraine To Slow Strangulation (G.)

But it is the third theatre of war – the influence war – where the west is faring unexpectedly poorly. There is a growing awareness that the west’s narrative that Putin is fighting a colonial war and is responsible for its ripple effects is meeting indifference and even resistance in the global south. With more than 40% of wheat consumed in Africa usually coming from Russia and Ukraine, one of the key organisers of the G7 summit in Germany, Wolfgang Schmidt, said it was vital to prevent Moscow and Beijing dividing off the G7 from the so-called Brics countries by blaming western sanctions for the shortages. Germany had invited leaders from Indonesia, India, South Africa, Argentina and Senegal in part to prevent Russia and China succeeding in their goal.

Schmidt said: “When you talk to leaders outside Europe and the alliance at the moment then you will realise their perception of the [ Ukraine] war is completely different from ours. They might say: ‘Yes, we are not OK with a country invading another.’ But and then comes the big but: ‘It is your sanctions that drive up food prices, energy prices and have a devastating effect on our population.’” Ann Linde, the Swedish foreign minister, said that during her meetings with Asian and African ministers she also came across a narrative that the west was more engaged in Ukraine, than it has been in wars in the south. Her Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg, said in his recent travels in India and the Middle East he discovered that although the EU may have won the information war on Ukraine in Europe, “a very different narrative” existed elsewhere.

Outside Europe “we are the culprits. We are the reason for oil, seeds, grain and energy not being on the market or overpriced,” he said. “This is a war in Europe. But there’s another European war, because the shockwaves can be felt everywhere. It’s the first war since the second world war where you can feel the effects globally.” A massive battle is now under way to accuse Russia of using hunger as a weapon of war. The blame game could not have higher stakes. Largely due to drought in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, 16.7 million people in east Africa are already dependent on food assistance. That number is likely to increase by 20 million by September alone. The World Food Programme claimed the Ukraine ripple effect will mean a further 44 million people worldwide would be classified as “food insecure or at high risk”.

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FLATION. “Political turmoil and anarchy will be the rule rather than the exception as the people will blame the leaders for higher prices and taxes and deteriorating services in all areas.”

Concurrent Deflation And Hyperinflation Will Ravage The World (von Greyerz)

FLATION will be the keyword in coming years. The world will simultaneously experience inFLATION, deFLATION, stagFLATION and eventually hyperinFLATION. [..] With most asset classes falling rapidly, the world is now approaching calamities of a proportion not seen before in history. So far in 2022, we have seen an implosion of asset prices across the board of around 20%. What few investors realise is that this is the mere beginning. Before this bear market is over, the world will see 75-90% falls of stocks, bonds and other assets. Since falls of this magnitude have not been seen for more than three generations, the shockwaves will be calamitous. At the same time as bubble assets deflate, prices of goods and services have started an inflationary cycle of a magnitude that the world as whole has never experienced before.

We have seen hyperinflation in individual countries previously but never on a global scale. Currently the official inflation rate is around 8% in the US and Europe. But for the average consumer in the West, prices are rising by at least 25% on average for their everyday needs such as food and fuel. So the world is now approaching calamities on many fronts. As always in periods of crisis, everybody is looking for someone to blame. In the West most people blame Putin. Yes, Putin is the villain and it is his fault that food and energy prices are surging. Nobody bothers to analyse what or who prompted Russia to intervene, nor do politicians or main stream media understand the importance of history, which is the key to understanding current events.

In troubled times, everyone needs someone to blame. Many Americans will blame Biden who has both lost his grip on most US events as well as his balance. In the UK, the people blame Boris Johnson who has lost control of Britain since Partygate. In France the people are blaming Macron who just lost his majority in parliament, and in Germany people blame Scholz for sending money to Ukraine for weapons and money to Russia for gas. This blame game is only just beginning. Political turmoil and anarchy will be the rule rather than the exception as the people will blame the leaders for higher prices and taxes and deteriorating services in all areas. No country will be able to provide social security payments in line with galloping inflation. Same with unfunded or underfunded pensions, which will fall dramatically or even disappear totally as the underlying asset base of stocks and bonds implodes. As a consequence, many countries will be anarchic.

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Karl toots his own horn.

Don’t Fear The Recession (Denninger)

“Oh nos, there’s a recession coming!” CHEERS, say I. What, you say? You must be nuts! People lose their jobs in a recession and the economy stinks! Oh, so what’s going on right now doesn’t stink? Sky-high gas prices and a 50% inflation built into the PPI which has yet to work itself through the system — and won’t for at least another year even if all the crazy policies stopped now? Of course it does. The only reason to fear recessions and higher interest rates is if you, or your firm, is over-levered. To put not so fine a point on it you cheated to obtain what you claim as “prosperity” and now you’re staring down getting caught out while both unprepared and having done stupid things. Key to this is that you did the stupid things.


What was the smart thing to do in such a time? Live below your means and sock back capital during the good times. Why? Because then you have it, and its yours, when the bad times come — which means you get to pick on the people who did stupid things and, by doing so, get far ahead and you didn’t have to cheat in order to do so. Twice in my time running MCSNet I feasted on other people’s stupidity in regard to taking on leverage they could not service. Neither time was I personally responsible for the stupidity of said others, but both times I made out like a bandit — precisely because I had cash and, when the opportunity arose, could slap it on the table in exchange for what I wanted to grow the business at a ridiculous discount to what I would have otherwise paid.

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Noticed that.

A Lemming Leading The Lemmings: The Terminal Collapse Of The Anti-war Left (Cook)

Have you noticed how every major foreign policy crisis since the U.S. and U.K.’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 has peeled off another layer of the left into joining the pro-NATO, pro-war camp? It is now hard to remember that many millions marched in the U.S. and Europe against the attack on Iraq. It sometimes feels like there is no one left who is not cheerleading the next wave of profits for the West’s military-industrial complex (usually referred to as the “defense industry” by those very same profiteers). Washington learned a hard lesson from the unpopularity of its 2003 attack on Iraq aimed at controlling more of the Middle East’s oil reserves. Ordinary people do not like seeing the public coffers ransacked or suffering years of austerity, simply to line the pockets of Blackwater, Halliburton, and Raytheon. And all the more so when such a war is sold to them on the basis of a huge deception.

So since then, the U.S. has been repackaging its neocolonialism via proxy wars that are a much easier sell. There have been a succession of them: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela and now Ukraine. Each time, a few more leftists are lured into the camp of the war hawks by the West’s selfless, humanitarian instincts – promoted, of course, through the barrel of a Western-supplied arsenal. That process has reached its nadir with Ukraine. I recently wrote about the paranoid ravings of celebrity “left-wing” journalist Paul Mason, who now sees the Kremlin’s hand behind any dissension from a full-throttle charge towards a nuclear face-off with Russia. But I want to take on here a more serious proponent of this kind of ideology than the increasingly preposterous Mason.

Because swelling kneejerk support for U.S. imperial wars – as long, of course, as Washington’s role is thinly disguised – is becoming ever more common among leftwing academics too. The latest cheerleader for the military-industrial complex is Slavoj Zizek, the famed Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual whose work has gained him international prominence. His latest piece – published where else but The Guardian – is a morass of sloppy thinking, moral evasion and double speak. Which is why I think it is worth deconstructing. It encapsulates all the worst geostrategic misconceptions of Western intellectuals at the moment. Zizek, who is supposedly an expert on ideology and propaganda, and has even written and starred in a couple of documentaries on the subject, seems now to be utterly blind to his own susceptibility to propaganda.

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“..8.4 million Americans, or about 15% of all renters, who are behind on rent, are at risk of being evicted..”

Prepare For A Tidal Wave Of Evictions (ZH)

A tidal wave of evictions could be ahead. More than eight million Americans are behind on rent payments, and the CDC’s series of eviction moratoriums has long since expired. In other words, the government safety net to keep people off the streets is gone. With no federal eviction moratorium in place, 8.4 million Americans, or about 15% of all renters, who are behind on rent, are at risk of being evicted. The new figures were part of a Census Bureau survey conducted between June 1 to June 13 of households and was first reported by Bloomberg. The survey found that 3.5 million households were somewhat likely to leave their rented spaces (homes/apartments) within the next two months because of an eviction.


Most of these folks are of the working poor class and situated in large metro areas from New York to Atlanta, where the cost of living, including shelter, food, and fuel, has skyrocketed. About 6.7 million households said their rents increased, on average, $250 per month over the last year. The increase doesn’t sound like a lot but remember that many of these folks are being crushed under the weight of the highest inflation in four decades. Their credit cards are maxed out, and savings are drained as wages fail to keep up with soaring consumer prices. This shocking revelation is a reminder that today’s current economic backdrop, which some say is stagflationary, could quickly morph into recession and surging jobless. So who will the Biden administration blame for the coming tidal wave of evictions? He can’t keep blaming “Putin.”

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“The data tell us that people who got “vaccinated” and “boosted” are turning up with broken immune systems that leave them extra-specially open to repeated Covid-19 re-infection, and that each reiteration of the illness breaks down their immune systems even more..”

When the Wicked Try to Flee (Kunstler)

Dr. Anthony Fauci (White House Medical Advisor), Dr. Rochelle Walensky (CDC), and Dr. Robert M. Califf (FDA) are killing and harming Americans because… apparently, they don’t know why. As the old saw goes: they know not what they do. Or is that so? Is it even possible anymore? One must suppose it is possible if they are insane, which, you also understand, does not preclude them from being evil, too. Ms. Walensky says repeatedly that they are looking at or waiting on “the data.” No, she’s not. She’s just saying that, as if reciting a magic incantation that can deflect culpability. The data are in plain sight, not even hiding. The data are all over the world: this country, the UK, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Portugal, Israel, Cuba, South Africa, Australia, name a country. The data are turning up now in respected medical journals, many news websites, substacks, and blogs, as well, even, here and there, in what we call mainstream media. A lot of the data until very recently were getting published in the agencies own collection organs, but they deliberately stopped it.

The data tell us that people who got “vaccinated” and “boosted” are turning up with broken immune systems that leave them extra-specially open to repeated Covid-19 re-infection, and that each reiteration of the illness breaks down their immune systems even more — which suggests that over time (think: the months ahead) more and more of them are going to die from all kinds of opportunistic viral and bacterial diseases, not to mention cancers, structural damage due to blood clots, heart tissue injury directly from spike proteins, and brain-and-neuro illness, ditto. Do you believe that the authorities somehow missed all this? Are they trying to pretend that they didn’t (take your pick): 1) fecklessly promote the biggest compound medical blunder in history? 2) conspire with pharma companies in a dastardly racketeering scheme? 3) carry out the orders of some shady, malevolent elite to cull the human population under a depraved, messianic, crypto-eco ideology? or 4) just…reasons….

Before too much longer they’ll have to tell us. At this point, resigning in order to just slink away from the scene of the crime is probably not possible. Francis Collins tried to step down from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) late last year, but we’ll know how to find him, and we certainly know what he did in enabling the creation of the Covid-19 pandemic and then its supposed savior “vaccines.” This is true, by the way, across the entire medical profession, including doctors, hospital directors, and, of course, the pharma executives. They’ll have to answer for why they continued vaxxing the public when caution was indicated (primum non nocere — first do no harm), and how come they stupidly and / or maliciously suppressed cheap and effective early treatment drugs.

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Austria arguably has the most damaging mandates.

Austria Set to Retire Vaccine Mandate by End of August (Eugyp)

Yesterday, Green Party health minister Johannes Rauch announced in a press conference that the Austrian vaccine mandate will be retired after 31 August. His announcement follows the decision in March to suspend the promised fines – as high as 3,600 Euros – for the unvaccinated, which were said to be “disproportionate” given the mildness of Omicron. Rauch explained: “The vaccine mandate has not increased the number of people getting vaccinated, and they have also opened up rifts in the population. I’m convinced that it won’t help us to achieve the goal of motivating as many people as possible to have a booster in autumn – rather the opposite. It’s time to close those rifts again. Abolishing the mandate is another step out of crisis mode, towards normalisation. We must learn to live with Covid-19.”

Of course Rauch also had excuses: The legislation was introduced at a totally different moment, in the midst of a Delta wave that had caused surging hospitalisations and brought intensive care units in Austria to their capacity limits. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, in a radio interview, concurred that the mandate “was not the appropriate measure to increase the vaccination rate.” It had instead caused social division, at a time when “We have to fight together against the virus and not against each other.” As recently as January, he had called the mandate “a way back to freedom” and explained that the unvaccinated would not have to pay heavy fines, as long as they showed “active remorse” and submitted to vaccination after all.

[..] I often hear that opposition to pandemic policies is hopeless and that we are condemned to accept nothing but loss after loss. That’s not true. This is a massive victory to Austrian opponents of mass vaccination, and it represents a serious defeat for the pandemicists, who can now only speak of their defunct mandate in apologetic tones and with vaguely embarrassed excuses. General vaccine mandates are dead all over Europe, and Omicron is only the indirect cause. The vaccinators were already at the limits of their strength even at the height of the Delta wave; improving disease statistics merely drained off enough of the ambient hysteria to make their battle wholly unwinnable.

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Gonzalo: Israel Provokes Russia

 

 

 

 

Birx

 

 


June 24

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

Apr 102022
 


Inge Morath Window washers 1958

 

The Military Situation In Ukraine (Jacques Baud)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Ousted By Parliament (PD)
The Total War to Cancel Russia (Escobar)
“Europe Has Chosen Its Fate” (Escobar)
BRICS Ministers of Finance Hold a Meeting
Russia Urges BRICS Nations To Create Own ‘SWIFT’ System (ZH)
Support Grows Among Republicans For Hunter Biden Special Counsel (JTN)
$54M in Chinese Gifts Donated To UPenn, Home of Biden Center (NYP)
Hunter Biden Sought Oligarchs’ Cash In 1st Russian War On Ukraine (JTN)
Durham Evidence: Relentless Democrat Effort To Sell Russia Collusion Hoax (JTN)
Bill Maher Cheers On Elon Musk Joining Twitter (Fox)

 

 

Probably nothing…

 

 

You were told to
https://twitter.com/i/status/1512323263011119105

 

 

It’s not about health, it’s about a treaty we signed…

 

 

Michael Burry was censored over this Tweet.

 

 

Google Translate. Not to be missed.
Jacques Baud is a Former Colonel of the General Staff, former member of Swiss strategic intelligence, specialist in Eastern European countries.

The Military Situation In Ukraine (Jacques Baud)

We have to go back to March 24, 2021. On that day, Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree for the reconquest of Crimea and began to deploy his forces towards the south of the country. Simultaneously, several NATO exercises were conductedbetween the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, accompanied by a significant increase in reconnaissance flights along the Russian border. Russia then conducts a few exercises to test the operational readiness of its troops and show that it is following the evolution of the situation. Things calm down until October-November with the end of the ZAPAD 21 exercises, whose troop movements are interpreted as a reinforcement for an offensive against Ukraine. However, even the Ukrainian authorities refute the idea of Russian preparations for a war and Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukrainian Minister of Defense declares that there has been no change on its border since the spring.

In violation of the Minsk Accords, Ukraine is conducting aerial operations in Donbass using drones, including at least one strike against a fuel depot in Donetsk in October 2021 . The American press points this out, but not the Europeans and no one condemns these violations. In February 2022, events rush. On February 7, during his visit to Moscow, Emmanuel Macron reaffirms to Vladimir Putin his attachment to the Minsk Accords , a commitment he will repeat after his interview with Volodymyr Zelensky the next day. But on February 11, in Berlin, after 9 hours of work, the meeting of the political advisers of the leaders of the ” Normandy format ” ends, without concrete result: the Ukrainians still and always refuse to apply the Accordsof Minsk, apparently under pressure from the United States. Vladimir Putin then notes that Macron has made empty promises to him and that the West is not ready to enforce the Accords, as they have been doing for eight years.

Ukrainian preparations in the contact zone continue. The Russian Parliament is alarmed and on February 15 asks Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the Republics, which he refuses. On February 17, President Joe Biden announces that Russia will attack Ukraine in the coming days. How does he know? Mystery& But since the 16th, the artillery shelling of the populations of Donbass has increased dramatically, as shown by the daily reports of OSCE observers. Naturally, neither the media, nor the European Union, nor NATO, nor any Western government reacts and intervenes. We will say later that this is Russian disinformation. In fact, it seems that the European Union and some countries purposely glossed over the massacre of the people of Donbass, knowing that it would provoke Russian intervention.

At the same time, there are reports of acts of sabotage in the Donbass. On January 18, Donbass fighters intercept saboteurs equipped with Western equipment and speaking Polish seeking to create chemical incidents in Gorlivka . They could be CIA mercenaries , led or “advised” by Americans and made up of Ukrainian or European fighters, to carry out sabotage actions in the Donbass Republics.

[..] The Russian offensive proceeds in a very “classic” manner. At first – as the Israelis had done in 1967 – with the destruction on the ground of the air forces in the very first hours. Then, we witness a simultaneous progression on several axes according to the principle of “flowing water”: we advance wherever resistance is weak and we leave the cities (very voracious in troops) for later. To the north, the Chernobyl plant is occupied immediately to prevent acts of sabotage. The images of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers jointly guarding the plant are naturally not shown… The idea that Russia is trying to take over Kiev, the capital, to eliminate Zelensky, typically comes from the West: this is what they did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and what they wanted to do in Syria with the help of the Islamic State .

But Vladimir Putin never intended to take down or overthrow Zelensky. On the contrary, Russia seeks to keep him in power by pushing him to negotiate by encircling kyiv. He had refused to do so far to apply the Minsk Accords, but now the Russians want to obtain Ukraine’s neutrality. Many Western commentators marveled that the Russians continued to seek a negotiated solution while conducting military operations. The explanation is in the Russian strategic conception, since Soviet times. For Westerners, war begins when politics ceases. However, the Russian approach follows a Clausewitzian inspiration: war is the continuity of politics and one can pass fluidly from one to the other, even during combat. This creates pressure on the opponent and pushes him to negotiate.

From an operational point of view, the Russian offensive was an example of its kind: in six days, the Russians seized a territory as vast as the United Kingdom, with a speed of advance greater than what the Wehrmacht made in 1940. The bulk of the Ukrainian army was deployed in the south of the country for a major operation against Donbass. This is why the Russian forces were able to encircle it from the beginning of March in the “cauldron” between Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, by a thrust coming from the east via Kharkov and another coming from the south from the Crimea. The troops of the Republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (RPL) complete the action of the Russian forces with a push from the East.

At this stage, the Russian forces are slowly tightening the noose, but are no longer under time pressure. Their objective of demilitarization is practically achieved and the residual Ukrainian forces no longer have an operational and strategic command structure. The “slowdown” that our “experts” attribute to poor logistics is only the consequence of having achieved the objectives set. Russia does not seem to want to engage in an occupation of the whole Ukrainian territory. In fact, it seems rather that Russia is trying to limit its advance to the country’s linguistic border.

Jacques Baud is a former Colonel of the General Staff, former member of Swiss strategic intelligence, specialist in Eastern European countries. He was trained in the American and British intelligence services. He was the head of doctrine for United Nations peace operations. A United Nations expert for the rule of law and security institutions, he designed and led the first multidimensional United Nations intelligence service in Sudan. He worked for the African Union and was responsible for the fight against the proliferation of small arms at NATO for 5 years. He was engaged in talks with top Russian military and intelligence officials right after the fall of the USSR. Within NATO, he followed the Ukrainian crisis of 2014, then participated in programs of assistance to Ukraine. He is the author of several books on intelligence, war and terrorism, and in particular Le Détournement published by SIGEST, Govern by fake news, The Navalny affair, and Poutine, master of the game? published by Max Milo.

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Pushing regime change in a country of 220 million people. Which is a nuclear power.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Ousted By Parliament (PD)

Pakistan’s parliament passed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the early hours of Sunday April 10. Sunday’s vote took place one week after Khan had dissolved parliament in order to avoid the no-confidence motion, citing foreign interference. The Supreme on Thursday April 7 ruled that the move was illegal and that the parliament must be restored. The vote against Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party on April 10 was promoted by legislators from the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and other parties) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and received 174 votes in favor, two more than the necessary 172 to be passed. The session was chaired by Ayaz Sadiq of PML-N after the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser resigned from his post.

Qaiser stated that he could not take part in a foreign conspiracy to oust the prime minister, “In line with our laws and the need to stand for our country, I have decided that I can’t remain on the position of speaker and thereby resign.” When the no-confidence measure was first raised Khan had warned that it was product of an international conspiracy and alleged US involvement. While US officials denied any involvement, many have raised suspicion that the move gained strength just as Pakistan began to distance itself from Washington’s diktats. Since the Taliban take over the government of Afghanistan in August and the complete isolation of the country by the US and its allies, Pakistan has been one of the only countries engaging in economic and political relations with the government as the country faces a humanitarian crisis.

Further, it has not fallen into line with the US regarding Russia and has continued to conduct lifesaving trade and has refused to economically and politically marginalize the superpower. Khan denounced a joint letter issued by 22 European countries urging Pakistan to support a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. He declared at a public rally: “Are we slaves and do whatever you tell us… We are neutral in this conflict and will support those who want to end the war in Ukraine.” With the success of the no-confidence measure, Khan will be forced to step down. No democratically elected government has completed a full term since the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Khan’s removal comes amid a growing economic crisis due to global inflation. Prices of essential items such as cooking oil, grains, wheat, and sugar have all increased. Khan’s government turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support and had entered a stalemate with the institution which was demanding strict conditions and austerity policies.

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Two parts from one article by Pepe Escobar.

The Total War to Cancel Russia (Escobar)

By now it’s abundantly clear that the neo-Orwellian “Two Minute Hate” Russophobic campaign launched by the Empire of Lies after the start of Operation Z is actually “24/7 Hate”. Vast swathes of NATOstan have been corralled into behaving like a Russophobic lynch mob. No dissent is tolerated. The full psyops has de facto upgraded the Empire of Lies to the status of Empire of Hate in a Total War – hybrid and otherwise – to cancel Russia. Hate, after all, packs way more punch than mere lies, which are now veering into abject ridiculousness, as in U.S. “intelligence” resorting to – what else – lies to fight the info war against Russia. If the propaganda overdrive has been lethally effective amidst the zombified Western masses – call it a “win” in the P.R. war – in the front where it really matters, inside Russia, it’s a major fail.

Public opinion support for both Operation Z and President Putin is unprecedented. After videos of torture of Russian POWs that caused widespread revulsion, Russian civil society is even bracing for a “Long War” lasting months, not weeks, as long as the targets of the Russian High Command – actually a military secret – are met. The stated aims are “demilitarization” and “denazification” of a future neutral Ukraine – but geopolitically reach way beyond: the aim is to turn the post-1945 European collective security arrangement upside down, forcing NATO to understand and come to terms with the concept of “indivisible security”. This is an extremely complex process that will reach the next decade.

The NATOstan sphere simply cannot admit in public a series of facts that a military analyst of the caliber of Andrei Martyanov has been explaining for years. And that adds to their collective pain. Russia can take on NATO and smash it to bits in 48 hours. It may employ advanced strategic deterrence systems unmatched across the West. Its southern axis – from the Caucasus and West Asia to Central Asia – is fully stabilized. And if the going gets really tough, Mr. Zircon can deliver his hypersonic nuclear business card with the other side not even knowing what hit it. It may be enlightening to see how these complex processes are interpreted by Russians – whose points of view are now completely blocked across NATOstan.

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“What you are seeing now is the death of Europe. Even if it does not come to nuclear strikes on industrial centers, Europe is doomed..”

“Europe Has Chosen Its Fate” (Escobar)

It may be enlightening to see how these complex processes are interpreted by Russians – whose points of view are now completely blocked across NATOstan. Let’s take two examples. The first is Lieutenant General L.P. Reshetnikov, in an analytical note examining facts of the ground war. Some key takeaways: – “Over Romania and Poland there are airborne early warning aircraft of NATO with experienced crews, there are U.S. intelligence satellites in the sky all the time. I remind you that just in terms of budgets for our Roscosmos we allocated $2.5 billion a year, the civil budget of NASA is $25 billion, the civil budget of SpaceX alone is equal to Roscosmos – and that is not counting the tens of billions of dollars annually for the entire U.S. feverishly unfolding the control system of the entire planet.” – The war is unfolding according to “NATO’s eyes and brains. The Ukronazis are nothing but free controlled zombies. And the Ukrainian army is a remotely controlled zombie organism.”

– “The tactics and strategy of this war will be the subject of textbooks for military academies around the world. Once again: the Russian army is smashing a Nazi zombie organism, fully integrated with the eyes and brain of NATO.” Now let’s switch to Oleg Makarenko, who focuses on the Big Picture. – “The West considers itself ‘the whole world’ only because it has not yet received a sufficiently sensitive punch on the nose. It just so happened that Russia is now giving him this click: with the rear support of Asia, Africa and Latin America. And the West can do absolutely nothing with us, since it also lags behind us in terms of the number of nuclear warheads.” – “Europe has chosen its fate. And chose fate for Russia. What you are seeing now is the death of Europe. Even if it does not come to nuclear strikes on industrial centers, Europe is doomed.

In a situation where European industry is left without cheap Russian energy sources and raw materials – and China will begin to receive these same energy carriers and raw materials at a discount, there can be no talk of any real competition with China from Europe. As a result, literally everything will collapse there – after industry, agriculture will collapse, welfare and social security will collapse, hunger, banditry and chaos will begin.” It’s fair to consider Reshetnikov and Makarenko as faithfully representing the overall Russian sentiment, which interprets the crude Bucha false flag as a cover to obscure the Ukrainian army torture of Russian POWs.

And, deeper still, Bucha allowed the disappearance of Pentagon bioweapon labs from the Western mediasphere, complete with its ramifications: evidence of a concerted American drive to ultimately deploy real weapons of mass destruction against Russia. The multi-level Bucha hoax had to include the Brit presidency of the UN Security Council actually blocking a serious discussion, a day before the Russian Ministry of Defense struggled to present to the UN – predictably minus the U.S. and the UK – all the bioweapon facts they have unearthed in Ukraine. The Chinese were horrified by the findings.

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That’s most of the world. And its resources.

BRICS Ministers of Finance Hold a Meeting (CTH)

This is not some grand conspiracy, ‘out there‘ deep geopolitical possibility, or foreboding likelihood as an outcome of short-sighted western emotion. No, this is just a predictable outcome from western created events that pushed specific countries to a natural conclusion based on their best interests. You can debate the motives of the western leaders who structured the sanctions against Russia, and whether they knew the outcome would happen as a consequence of their effort, but the outcome was never really in doubt. Personally, I believe this outcome is what the west intended. The people inside the World Economic Forum are not stupid – ideological, yes, but not stupid. They knew this would happen.

The finance ministers of the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have decided to create their own financial mechanisms to continue trade between nations of similar disposition. Once the internal issues inside the BRICS alliance are resolved, and once the mechanisms are created, then other nations will be able to decide to join or not. The great global cleaving will commence. [..] The bottom line is – the 2022 punitive economic and financial sanctions by the western nations’ alliance against Russia was exactly the reason why BRICS assembled in the first place. The multinational corporate control of government is exactly what the BRICS assembly foresaw when they first assembled during the Obama administration. When multinational corporations run the policy of western government, there is going to be a problem.

In the bigger picture, the BRICS assembly are essentially leaders who do not want corporations and multinational banks running their government. BRICS leaders want their government running their government; and yes, that means whatever form of government that exists in their nation, even if it is communist. BRICS leaders are aligned as anti-corporatist. That doesn’t necessarily make those government leaders better stewards, it simply means they want to make the decisions, and they do not want corporations to become more powerful than they are. As a result, if you really boil it down to the common denominator, what you find is the BRICS group are the opposing element to the World Economic Forum assembly. The countries run by multinational corporations are in Yellow, the countries who have not yet chosen a side are in GREY:

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“It will be clear to everyone that the supposed effectiveness of sanctions is an absolute lie.”

Russia Urges BRICS Nations To Create Own ‘SWIFT’ System (ZH)

The dollar reserve system is facing its greatest threat yet. Russian Finance Minister Anatoly Siluanov said on Saturday that the five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – could mitigate the backlash of Western sanctions against Russia on their economies by pooling their efforts and using a range of financial instruments at their disposal. “The current crisis is man-made and BRICS countries have all the instruments necessary to mitigate its consequences for the national and global economies,” Siluanov was cited as saying by the Russian Finance Ministry. The minister blamed economic sanctions on Russia for “destroying the foundation of the existing international monetary and financial system based on the US dollar” and urged BRICS to rely more on their national currencies in foreign trade, integrate payment systems and create an alternative to the SWIFT payment messaging platform.

Siluanov on Friday told a ministerial meeting with BRICS that the global economic situation had worsened substantially due to the sanctions, a statement from his ministry said on Friday. “This pushes us to the need to speed up work in the following areas: the use of national currencies for export-import operations, the integration of payment systems and cards, our own financial messaging system and the creation of an independent BRICS rating agency,” Siluanov said. As The Statesman reports, central banks of the BRICS countries have already agreed to conduct the fifth test of a banking mechanism that will allow them to jointly pool “alternative currency” reserves to shield their economies from outside shocks, the ministry said.

Siluanov’s comments echoed Dmitry Medvedev’s comments on Telegram. The Deputy Head of Russia’s Security Council warned of the geopolitical consequences of Western sanctions and the weaponization of the US dollar reserve system: “Their result will be a destroyed international order and extremely difficult consequences for the world economy and the life of individual countries,” adding that: “It will be clear to everyone that the supposed effectiveness of sanctions is an absolute lie.”

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“I won’t have any faith in him,” [Ron] Johnson said of a special counsel.”

Support Grows Among Republicans For Hunter Biden Special Counsel (JTN)

Nearly 100 House Republicans are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals, saying they had the hallmarks of an influence peddling scandal. The letter led by Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the chair of the House GOP Study Committee, comes as the U.S. attorney in Delaware enters his third year investigating Hunter Biden’s taxes, foreign lobbying and money movements. In all, 95 House GOP members signed the letter. “It is increasingly clear that Hunter Biden took advantage of his father’s position as Vice President to develop business relationships with clients in Ukraine, China, and Kazakhstan,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Hunter Biden likely facilitated lobbying for foreign entities through third-party channels without registering for the Foreign Agents Registration Act. “It appears that Hunter Biden used his position as son of then-Vice President Biden to gain wealth and influence in foreign countries, using questionably sourced money to pay tax liabilities, and lobbying on behalf of foreign entities without proceeding through the proper channels.” The House Republicans said they were concerned DOJ “has an actual conflict of interest and certainly has the appearance of a conflict of interest that could prevent a fair and impartial investigation of his activities.” “We believe that in the case of Hunter Biden a special counsel must be appointed to preserve the integrity of this investigation and any subsequent prosecution.

A special counsel would also ensure there is no bias in the investigation or undue influence from the White House,” the lawmakers added. [..] While support for a special counsel has been growing, some Republicans like Sen. Ron Johnson argue it isn’t necessary and would only further delay an already slow moving investigation. “I won’t have any faith in him,” Johnson said of a special counsel.

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No investigation of Hunter can be complete without investigating Joe.

$54M in Chinese Gifts Donated To UPenn, Home of Biden Center (NYP)

A government watchdog is demanding the US Attorney probing Hunter Biden in Delaware investigate tens of millions in anonymous donations from China to the University of Pennsylvania, where an academic center is named for his father, President Biden. The Ivy League college raked in a total of $54.6 million from 2014 through June 2019 in donations from China, including $23.1 million in anonymous gifts starting in 2016, according to public records. Most of the anonymous donations came after the university announced in February 2017 that it would create the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Joe Biden, whose term as vice president had just ended, was to lead the center and was also named a professor at the university. The center, which is located in Washington, DC., opened its doors in February 2018.

Antony Blinken, whom Biden named as Secretary of State, briefly served as its managing director. The Ivy League university received $15.8 million in anonymous Chinese gifts that year, including one eye-popping $14.5 million donation in May 2018, records show. The flurry of donations may be related to Hunter Biden’s business interests in China, the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog, alleged in complaints sent in May and October 2020 to the Departments of Education and Justice. Last week, the group asked US Attorney David Weiss to step in and investigate the Chinese largesse to the school as part of his federal tax probe of Hunter Biden. “We’ve asked … Weiss to pursue the larger network of individuals and institutions who benefited from millions doled out by foreign interests connected to Hunter Biden’s work in China and Ukraine,” said Tom Anderson, director of the NLPC’s Government Integrity Project.

In its 12-page complaint, the watchdog cited a 2017 text found on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop that CEFC China Energy Co, one of the firms that Hunter Biden had a financial stake in, wanted to lobby politicians in the US but did not want to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), required for all foreign lobbyists. “We don’t want to have to register as foreign agents under the FCPA [sic] which … is much more expansive than people who should know choose not to know,” reads the May 1, 2017, text sent from Hunter Biden to his former business partner Tony Bobulinski.

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“..Moscow’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean region in 2014 was a wild card that could scuttle the success of their business pursuits..”

Oh, and definition counts: There was a 1st war on Ukraine? Was that when Ukraine invaded the Donbass?

Hunter Biden Sought Oligarchs’ Cash In 1st Russian War On Ukraine (JTN)

In the shadows of Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Hunter Biden and his business partners embarked on an aggressive campaign to score millions of dollars in “life changing” business with oligarchs in both countries who had an interest in his father’s policymaking business, according to emails and court records obtained by Just the News. President Joe Biden’s son and his associates targeted Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina — who eventually was sanctioned by the U.S. a few years later in 2018 — for as much as $200 million after helping her get a bank account set up in America, the emails show. Hunter Biden and his associates even arranged for Baturina and her husband, an ex-Moscow mayor, to meet with then-Vice President Joe Biden at an intimate dinner in Washington in 2015.

At the same time he and his team courted Baturina, Hunter Biden was securing lucrative board positions and consulting deals with Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, a man whose company, Burisma Holdings, the United States and Great Britain wanted investigated for corruption. The delicate balancing act of cashing in on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides of the conflict left the younger Biden and his partners acutely aware that Moscow’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean region in 2014 was a wild card that could scuttle the success of their business pursuits, the memos show.

“Just spent two hours on the phone with Kiev. I am confident at this point that this is a good if not life changing deal if the Uk [Ukraine] doesn’t collapse in the meantime,” now-convicted Biden business partner Devon Archer wrote Hunter Biden in one particularly candid assessment of their strategy in mid-April 2014. Eventually, another of Hunter Biden’s convicted business associates, John Galanis, would declare in a sworn affidavit to a federal court that he and his son Jason became aware of a strategy by Hunter Biden-related companies of promising oligarchs “quid pro quo” access to Washington in return for their dollars. “Jason Galanis gave his interest in Burnham/Wealth Assurance to Archer on the prospect that Archer and Hunter Biden would continue to attract foreign oligarchs on the promise of high level political contacts,” John Galanis swore in a January 2020 affidavit that unequivocally referred to the scheme as “political influence peddling.”

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Sussmann will be fun.

Durham Evidence: Relentless Democrat Effort To Sell Russia Collusion Hoax (JTN)

As the trial for former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann draws closer, Special Counsel John Durham is painting a picture of a relentless effort by Democrat operatives to sell the Russia collusion narrative across the U.S. government from the FBI to the State Department. Essentially, Hillary Clinton operatives flooded the zone in the summer and fall of 2016, hoping multiple Trump collusion allegations circulating inside the government agencies might prompt an investigation and media interest. For the first time this week, Durham called it a “joint venture” and a conspiracy to shop unproven Trump dirt.

In the case of Sussmann, Durham alleges that effort involved deceit by lying to the FBI that he did not have a client when he presented (since-discredited) evidence to the FBI that Donald Trump had a secret computer back channel at the Alfa Bank in Moscow to talk with the Kremlin. In fact, Sussmann was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a tech executive named Rodney Jaffe who was aligned with the campaign when he approached the FBI in September 2016 and made the anti-Trump allegations, Durham’s team alleges. A few months later, prosecutors say, Sussmann was still representing the tech executive when he approached the CIA in February 2017 to get the spy agency involved and again claimed he wasn’t representing a client’s interest.

On Monday, Durham showed the strength of his evidence of Sussmann’s alleged lie: He offered the handwritten notes of two senior FBI officials who recorded that the Clinton lawyer had said he was not acting on behalf of a client when he reported the Trump dirt. “Said not doing this for any client,” then-Assistant FBI Director for Counterintelligence Bill Priestap wrote in his notes, recording what Sussmann had told him. A deputy general counsel wrote a similar notation.

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“..it’s living in a space that’s not exactly a publication, but it’s not exactly a private company either… That’s why it’s so tricky.”

Bill Maher Cheers On Elon Musk Joining Twitter (Fox)

“Real Time” host Bill Maher offered enthusiastic support for Tesla CEO Elon Musk as he joins Twitter. Musk shocked the world this week when it was revealed he purchased 9.2% stake in Twitter, Inc., making him the largest shareholder in the social media giant. He made even more headlines when it was announced that he was joining Twitter’s board of directors, suggesting he could have influence over Twitter’s policies in favor of free speech principles. During Friday’s “Overtime” segment on YouTube, a viewer submitted a question asking, “What’s the panel’s thoughts on Elon Musk becoming Twitter’s single-largest shareholder. “I’m for it!” Maher exclaimed while pounding the table. New York Times writer David Leonhardt said his reaction to the Elon Musk news was, “Are we gonna have to read Donald Trump’s tweets again soon.”


“Which is a tough one,” Maher reacted. “Because once they took Trump off Twitter, things did get better but it’s… bad for free speech. And then they’re gonna go somewhere. And then the resentment and then the idea, ‘Well, you know, the people who are ganging up against us- the media and Big Tech and Big Government. I mean, that’s the convoy. You know, those convoys in Canada and all over the world.” Liberal author Nancy MacLean pushed back against Maher, arguing that Twitter’s censorship of Trump is not in violation of the Constitution since the First Amendment only applies to the government suppressing free speech, not private companies. “We live in a different age where Twitter is the public square now. If you deny someone’s right to speak on Twitter, you’re basically saying you don’t have free speech rights,” Maher said. “We’re not living in 1980 anymore. This is a different world we live in where social media controls this. So social media is sort of a… it’s living in a space that’s not exactly a publication, but it’s not exactly a private company either… That’s why it’s so tricky.”

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Zelenko

 

 

 

 

Makary

 

 

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Jul 272018
 


Pablo Picasso The three dancers 1925

 

The Mirage That Will Be Q2-GDP (Roberts)
Household Debt In UK ‘Worse Than At Any Time On Record’ (G.)
BRICS Nations Pledge Unity As Trade War Threatens (AFP)
Facebook’s $120 Billion Rout Biggest Loss In Stock Market History (CNBC)
Trade Deal With EU Greater In Scope Than Expected – US Official (R.)
Macron ‘Not In Favour’ Of Vast New US-EU Trade Deal (AFP)
EU’s Barnier Kills Off Theresa May’s Brexit Customs Proposals (G.)
Trump Threatens Turkey Sanctions Over Detained Pastor (AP)
US Government Misses Judge’s Midnight Deadline For Reunifying Families (Ind.)
Taxation Strangles Greece’s Growth Prospects (WSJ)
Death Toll From Greek Wildfires Rises To 85, Scores Stll Missing (K.)
Only 13% Of World’s Oceans Are Still Untouched Wilderness (Ind.)

 

 

Another great piece by Lance Roberts. Here’s the part on debt. It now takes $3.71 of debt to create $1 of economic growth. That won’t last.

The Mirage That Will Be Q2-GDP (Roberts)

With wage growth stagnant, corporations struggling to pass through rising commodity and tariff related costs and debt service requirements on the rise as the Fed continues to hike rates, the drag from the consumption side of the economic equation will likely dwarf the current boosts in the next two quarters. Furthermore, as I noted previously, tax cuts and reform, tariffs and other fiscal remedies promoted by the current administration fail to address the main drag to economic growth over time. The debt. “It now requires $3.71 of debt to create $1 of economic growth which will only worsen as the debt continues to expand at the expense of stronger rates of growth.”

In fact, as recently noted by our friends at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the U.S. deficit is set to surge. To wit: “The White House Office of Management and Budget recently released its annual mid-session review which updated deficit projections in its fiscal year 2019 budget request. The report projected deficits will reach $1.085 trillion in FY 2019 under their budget, which is double the $526 billion called for in the FY 2018 budget.” The report specifically addresses the biggest point of concern:

“The last time the nation experienced trillion-dollar deficits was during a serious economic downturn, no less – lawmakers took the issue seriouly. PAYGO laws were established, a fiscal commission was formed, new discretionary spending caps were implemented and policymakers entered a multi-year debate on how best to bring down long-term debt levels. This time around, with the emergence of trillion-dollar deficits during a period of economic strength – when we should be saving for future downturns – few seem to even take notice. On our current course, debt will overtake the size of the entire economy in about a decade, and interest will be the largest government program in three decades or less. This will weaken both our economy and our role in the world.”

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And more debt. And then some more.

Household Debt In UK ‘Worse Than At Any Time On Record’ (G.)

British households spent around £900 more on average than they received in income during 2017, pushing their finances into deficit for the first time since the credit boom of the 1980s. The Office for National Statistics said the shortfall amounted to nearly £25bn – equal to almost a quarter of the NHS budget – and the overspend was mostly paid for with borrowed money, though households also ran down savings. The figures pose a challenge to the government, which was warned last year that Britain’s consumer credit bubble of more than £200 billion was unsustainable. A dramatic rise in debt-fuelled spending since 2016 has also taken place against the backdrop of the Brexit vote, which triggered a rise in inflation at a time of weak wage growth. .

Analysts warned that a squeeze on household incomes from benefit cuts, lacklustre wages and high inflation would continue to force poorer households to borrow more to pay basic bills. Tom Selby, a research analyst at financial adviser AJ Bell, said the figures presented ministers with a significant challenge as they sought “to build financial resilience in the UK”. Researchers at the ONS said the situation was worse than at any time on record after the £25bn deficit last year surpassed the £300m deficit recorded in 1988. British household finances also slumped from being among the most solvent in the 1990s to being among the most indebted compared with households in other major western countries.

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42% of global GDP.

BRICS Nations Pledge Unity As Trade War Threatens (AFP)

Five of the biggest emerging economies on Thursday stood by the multilateral system and vowed to strengthen economic cooperation in the face of US tariff threats and unilateralism. The heads of the BRICS group – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – met in Johannesburg for an annual summit dominated by the risk of a US-led trade war, although leaders did not publicly mention President Donald Trump by name. “We express concern at the spill-over effects of macro-economic policy measures in some major advanced economies,” they said in joint statement. “We recognise that the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. We underscore the importance of an open world economy.”

Trump has said he is ready to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of Chinese imports, complaining that China’s trade surplus with the US is due to unfair currency manipulation. Trump has already slapped levies on goods from China worth tens of billions of dollars, as well as tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada and Mexico. “We should stay committed to multilateralism,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on the second day of the talks. “Closer economic cooperation for shared prosperity is the original purpose and priority of BRICS.” Russian President Vladimir Putin, who held a controversial meeting with Trump last week, echoed the calls for closer ties among BRICS members and for stronger trade within group. “BRICS has a unique place in the global economy — this is the largest market in the world, the joint GDP is 42% of the global GDP and it keeps growing,” Putin said.

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For what it’s worth.

Facebook’s $120 Billion Rout Biggest Loss In Stock Market History (CNBC)

Facebook on Thursday posted the largest one-day loss in market value by any company in U.S. stock market history after releasing a disastrous quarterly report. The social media giant’s market capitalization plummeted by $119 billion to $510 billion as its stock price plummeted by 19 percent. At Wednesday’s close, Facebook’s market cap had totaled nearly $630 billion, according to FactSet. No company in the history of the U.S. stock market has ever lost $100 billion in market value in just one day, but two came close. On Sept. 22, 2000, Intel shed $90.74 billion in market value as the dot-com bubble burst. Earlier that year, Microsoft lost $80 billion from its market cap in one day.

Other companies that have experienced similar one-day losses in dollar amount include Apple in 2013, when it lost $59.6 billion, and Exxon Mobil in 2008, when it lost $52.5 billion. Facebook’s enormous loss in value came a day after the company reported weaker-than-expected revenue for the second quarter as well as disappointing global daily active users, a key metric for Facebook. The company also said it expects its revenue growth rate to slow in the second half of this year. Several analysts downgraded Facebook’s stock, including Nomura Instinet’s Mark Kelley. “With stagnating core user growth, we think there is too much near- to mid-term uncertainty to recommend shares at this point,” Kelley, who downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, said in a note.

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But who’s winning?

Trade Deal With EU Greater In Scope Than Expected – US Official (R.)

The U.S. administration got more out of a trade deal with the European Union than it had expected and the two will work together to deal with China’s market abuses, a top White House official told Reuters on Thursday. President Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, struck a surprise deal on Wednesday that ended the risk of an immediate trade war between the two powers. “The EU came into the conversation and they were open to the proposals we had made about getting rid of tariffs, non-tariff barriers and subsidies,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump agreed on Wednesday to refrain from imposing car tariffs while the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers. Europe agreed to increase purchases of U.S. liquefied natural gas and lower trade barriers to American soybeans. The official stressed on Thursday that Trump retained the power to implement tariffs on cars if needed and said there was no deadline for the completion of talks. He said Trump was committed to getting zero tariffs from the European Union.= As part of the deal, the United States and Europe will work together on China. The two powers in the past have cooperated on measures to deal with theft of company secrets by Chinese entities.

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France doesn’t want to include agriculture. It gets 100s of billions in subsidies. So Macron talks about steel instead.

Macron ‘Not In Favour’ Of Vast New US-EU Trade Deal (AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday he viewed talks between US President Donald Trump and EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker as “useful”, but he was “not in favour” of a “vast new trade deal” between the European Union and the United States. “European and France never wanted a trade war and the talks yesterday were therefore useful in as far as they helped scale back any unnecessary tension, and working to bring about an appeasement is useful,” the French leader said after a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Madrid. “But a good trade discussion… can only be done on a balanced, reciprocal basis, and in no case under any sort of threat,” Macron said. “In this regard, we have a number of questions and concerns that we will clarify”.

Macron said he was “not in favour of us launching a vast trade agreement, along the lines of the TTIP, because the current context does now allow for that,” referring to a transatlantic free-trade deal which stalled two years ago. And he reaffirmed his opposition to including agriculture in any such deal. “I believe that no European standard should be suppressed or lowered in the areas of the environment, health or food, for example.” Macron went on to insist that “clear gestures are needed from the US, signs of de-escalation on steel and aluminium, on which the United States have imposed illegal taxes. That, for me, would constitute a prelude to making further concrete headway” on trade.

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Rinse and repeat.

EU’s Barnier Kills Off Theresa May’s Brexit Customs Proposals (G.)

Michel Barnier has warned that attempts to appeal to EU leaders over his head were a waste of time as he rejected Theresa May’s proposals on customs after Brexit, in effect killing off the Chequers plan. On Friday Theresa May travels to Austria to meet Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the Czech prime minister Andrej Babis, before heading off on her summer holiday. May’s trip follows the EU chief Brexit negotiator insisting there was no difference of opinion in European capitals to exploit. “Anyone who wants to find a sliver of difference between my mandate and what the heads of government say they want are wasting their time, quite frankly,” he told reporters at a joint press conference with the new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, in Brussels.

The British negotiators have become increasingly frustrated with the EU’s attitude to the white paper thrashed out at the prime minister’s country retreat. They feel that it will take an intervention by leaders, most likely at a summit in Salzburg in September, to move the dial in favour of a deal. A number of cabinet ministers have been despatched around EU capitals to make their case for greater flexibility. The impasse in the negotiations was laid bare in the press conference in the European commission’s Berlaymont headquarters as a thunderstorm broke outside. While Raab insisted that with “political will” a deal on trade and on avoiding a border on the island of Ireland was achievable by a crunch summit in October, Barnier offered a damning verdict on a major element of the UK’s vision of the future.

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And the lira plunges some more…

Trump Threatens Turkey Sanctions Over Detained Pastor (AP)

President Donald Trump says the U.S. will hit Turkey with “large sanctions” over a American pastor detained on terror and espionage charges, and he called for the pastor’s immediate release. Tweeting from aboard Air Force One, Trump said: “The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being.” Trump said Brunson “is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”

Just hours earlier, Vice President Mike Pence said that if Turkey does not take immediate action to free Brunson, “the United States of America will impose significant sanctions on Turkey.” Pence spoke at the close of a three-day conference in Washington on religious freedom. Brunson, 50, an evangelical Christian pastor originally from North Carolina, was let out of jail Wednesday, after 1 1/2 years, to serve house arrest because of “health problems,” according to Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.

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Hope Judge Sabraw comes down hard on them. When he set the deadlines a month ago, he said: “These are firm deadlines; they’re not aspirational goals.”

US Government Misses Judge’s Midnight Deadline For Reunifying Families (Ind.)

US lawyers and activists have described “chaos and confusion” at immigrant detention facilities as the Trump administration scrambles to reunify the more than 2,500 migrant children it separated from their parents at the border in recent months. The government is rushing to meet a Thursday night deadline set by US District Court Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered all of the families reunified as part of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union last month. As of Tuesday, officials said they had identified 1,634 parents possibly eligible for reunification with their children, and successfully reunified some 1,012 of them. The government was scheduled to provide an updated count to Judge Sabraw on Friday morning.

But the government also said more than 900 parents may not be eligible for reunification because they had waived their right to reunification, had criminal backgrounds, or were otherwise deemed unfit. Some 462 of those parents had already left the country, the administration said, though it was unclear whether they had volunteered to leave or had been deported against their will. Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney on the case, took issue with this number, saying the Trump administration was “unilaterally picking and choosing who is eligible for reunification”. “We will continue to hold the government accountable and get these families back together,” he said in a statement.

Immigrants’ rights groups warned that many of the parents who had left the country already may have done so under duress or coercion, or armed with bad information. Advocates described parents being pressured by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to sign paperwork they didn’t understand, or being told that they would not be reunified with their children unless they agreed to be deported.

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The Wall Street Journal forgets to mention that consumers have nothing left to spend. Growth prospects?

Taxation Strangles Greece’s Growth Prospects (WSJ)

Greece is scheduled to exit its marathon bailout this summer after hitting the tough fiscal targets set by its creditors. But the country has done so by raising taxes so high that they are strangling the small businesses that form the backbone of its economy. At the Dandy restaurant in downtown Athens, owner Charalampos Bonatsos said rising taxes have forced him to lay off half his staff and cut his remaining workers’ wages. He said he still struggles to cope with the last three years’ increases in corporate income tax, property tax and sales tax. “All that matters is reaching the bailout goals. No one cares whether doing business is possible with this policy,” Mr. Bonatsos said.

The tax increases have left Greece with some of Europe’s highest tax rates across several categories, including 29% on corporate income, 15% on dividends, and 24% on value-added tax (a rough equivalent of U.S. sales tax). Individuals pay as much as 45% income tax, plus an extra “solidarity levy” of up to 10%. Furthermore, workers and employers pay social-security levies of up to 27% of their salaries. The elevated taxes under Greece’s bailout program have fallen most heavily on small and midsize businesses and self-employed people. Lawyers and engineers, most of whom are self-employed, are fighting the government in court over having to pay what they say is up to 80% of their average monthly takings in taxes and levies.

Some also have to pay retroactive social-security contributions, to the point where professional associations say some of their members are having to pay more to the state than they make. The painfully high taxes reflect the tough demands of Greece’s main creditors: other eurozone countries led by Germany, and the IMF. Since Greece’s finances spun out of control, its bailout lenders have forced the country to cut its budget deficit from over 15% of GDP in 2009 to a surplus of around 1% in 2017. [..] The tax burden creates a serious disincentive for economic activity. It mainly hits the most productive part of the Greek society,” said George Pagoulatos, professor of economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business. “Greece resembles Scandinavian-style taxation, but its welfare state has nothing to compare to theirs: You don’t get anything in return.”

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Words fail. Yesterday, heavy rains flooded areas 25km from Mati.

Death Toll From Greek Wildfires Rises To 85, Scores Stll Missing (K.)

The death toll from the deadly blaze that ravaged the coastal town of Mati in east Attica on Monday rose to 85 on Thursday, after a 73-year-old man who was in intensive care in Athens’ Evangelismos hospital died and two more bodies were discovered by rescue crews. Earlier in the day, a fire service spokesperson told journalists the number had risen to 82. Stavroula Malliri said rescuers are looking for missing people but have not yet entered closed houses in affected areas. About 300 firemen and volunteers combed through the area looking for dozens reported missing, among them two 9-year old sisters.

“Understanding the agony of the relatives of those missing, we inform you that the search to find them will not stop until all buildings and areas affected by the blaze have been checked,” she told journalists. Malliri called on the relatives of those missing to visit the forensics department of the University of Athens in Goudi until Friday (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) where they will be briefed about the procedure followed to identify the victims. The Infrastructure Ministry announced earlier on Thursday that 1,218 buildings (48.93 pct) out of the 2,489 assessed by its engineers since Tuesday were deemed uninhabitable.

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Don’t worry, we’ll get to that yet.

Only 13% Of World’s Oceans Are Still Untouched Wilderness (Ind.)

The area of the ocean that remains undamaged by humans is tiny, according to the first ever comprehensive analysis of “marine wilderness”. Global shipping, fishing operations and pollution running into the sea from land have all taken their toll on the world’s seas, including some of the most remote areas. Areas of true wilderness are vital as they are some of the most diverse parts of the ocean and the last places on Earth still inhabited by sizeable numbers of large predators like sharks. Even the few fragments that remain are threatened as advanced fishing technologies and melting sea ice expose them to human activity. Most of the remaining wilderness, which covers no more than 13% of the world’s oceans, can be found in the polar regions and around remote Pacific Island nations.

The scientists behind the study have called for international agreements to recognise the unique value of these zones. Kendall Jones of the University of Queensland, who led the research, said they were “astonished by just how little marine wilderness remains”. “The ocean is immense, covering over 70% of our planet, but we’ve managed to significantly impact almost all of this vast ecosystem,” he said. Crucially, less than 5% of the remaining wilderness is officially protected. “This means the vast majority of marine wilderness could be lost at any time, as improvements in technology allow us to fish deeper and ship farther than ever before,” explained Mr Jones. “Thanks to a warming climate, even some places that were once safe due to year-round ice cover can now be fished.”

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Apr 192016
 
 April 19, 2016  Posted by at 9:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  2 Responses »


G.G. Bain Pelham Park Railroad, City Island monorail, NY 1910

The Hole at the Center of the Rally: S&P Margins in Decline (BBG)
US Nonfinancial Debt Rises 3.5 Times Faster Than GDP (Mauldin)
Asia’s Rich Urged to Buy US Dollars (BBG)
It’s All Suddenly Going Wrong in China’s $3 Trillion Bond Market (BBG)
China Will Bring All The BRICS Tumbling Down (Forbes)
China March Home Prices Rise At Fastest Rate In Two Years (Reuters)
Why Obama Administration Tries to Keep 11,000 Documents Sealed (Matt Taibbi)
Obama Official: Seed Money That Created Al Qaeda Came From Saudi Arabia (P.)
Saudis Are Going For The Kill But The Oil Market Is Turning Anyway (AEP)
A New Map for America (NY Times)
No One Worries Enough About Black Swans (ZH)
Credit Suisse: Germany’s Large Surplus Is The Problem, Not the ECB (BBG)
Talks With Creditors To Resume But Athens Rejects Fresh Austerity (Kath.)
Every Move You Make Is Being Monitored (Whitehead)
The Elephant Cometh (Jim Kunstler)
Over 400 Migrants Drown On Their Way To Italy (Reuters)

“Without the Federal Reserve chipping in with quantitative easing, investors have to go back to valuations and earnings..”

The Hole at the Center of the Rally: S&P Margins in Decline (BBG)

Stocks are rising, the worst start to a year is a memory, and short sellers are getting pummeled. And yet something is going on below the surface of earnings that should give bulls pause. It’s evident in quarterly forecasts for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, where profits are declining at the steepest rate since the financial crisis relative to revenue. The divergence reflects a worsening contraction in corporate profitability, with net income falling to 8% of sales from a record 9.7% in 2014. Bears have warned for years that such a deterioration would sound the death knell for a bull market that is about two weeks away from becoming the second-longest on record even as productivity sputters and industrial output weakens.

While none of it has prevented stocks from advancing in seven of the last nine weeks, rallies have seldom weathered a decline in profitability as violent as this one – and the squeeze is often a bad sign for the economy, too. “Analysts have seen the string pull as far as it can go, and there is no way for it to go but to reverse for the moment,” said Barry James at James Investment Research in Xenia, Ohio. “Without the Federal Reserve chipping in with quantitative easing, investors have to go back to valuations and earnings, and both of those – one is high and the other is low – that’s not a very good recipe for stocks.” James said his firm is raising cash amid the recent rally in stocks.

While energy producers are expected to suffer the biggest contraction in margins because of plunging oil prices, with a 28% drop in sales accompanying a first-quarter loss, analyst predicted six of the other 10 S&P 500 industries will also report lower profitability. Financial and raw-materials companies will see income growth trailing sales by at least 12 percentage points.

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It’s just like China.

US Nonfinancial Debt Rises 3.5 Times Faster Than GDP (Mauldin)

In my recent Outside the Box, good friend Dr. Lacy Hunt of Hoisington Investment Management gave us more ammunition to take on those who just don’t seem to get that the endless piling up of debt is not a sustainable way to run an economy. The most striking feature of the US economy’s performance in 2015, according to Lacy, was a massive advance in nonfinancial debt that kept the economy stuck in the doldrums of subpar growth.

US nonfinancial debt rose 3.5 times faster than GDP last year. (Nonfinancial debt is the sum of household debt, business debt, federal debt, and state and local government debt. Lacy also points out unfavorable trends in each component of nonfinancial debt.

Household debt: Delinquencies in household debt moved higher even as financial institutions continued to offer aggressive terms to consumers, implying falling credit standards. Furthermore, the New York Fed said subprime auto loans reached the greatest%age of total auto loans in ten years. Moreover, they indicated that the delinquency rate rose significantly.

Business debt: Last year business debt, excluding off balance sheet liabilities, rose $793 billion, while total gross private domestic investment (which includes fixed and inventory investment) rose only $93 billion. Thus, by inference this debt increase went into share buybacks, dividend increases, and other financial endeavors…. When business debt is allocated to financial operations, it does not generate an income stream to meet interest and repayment requirements. Such a usage of debt does not support economic growth, employment, higher paying jobs, or productivity growth. Thus, the economy is likely to be weakened by the increase of business debt over the past five years.

Federal debt: US government gross debt, excluding off balance sheet items, gained $780.7 billion in 2015 or about $230 billion more than the rise in GDP…. The divergence between the budget deficit and debt in 2015 is a portent of things to come. This subject is directly addressed in the 2012 book The Clash of Generations, published by MIT Press, authored by Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns. They calculate that on a net present value basis the US government faces liabilities for Social Security and other entitlement programs that exceed the funds in the various trust funds by $60 trillion. This sum is more than three times greater than the current level of GDP.

State and local government debt: State and local governments … face adverse demographics that will drain underfunded pension plans…. The state and local governments do not have the borrowing capacity of the federal government. Hence, pension obligations will need to be covered at least partially by increased taxes, cuts in pension benefits or reductions in other expenditures.

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The currency wars simmer on. Time for the vigilantes.

Asia’s Rich Urged to Buy US Dollars (BBG)

Money managers for Asia’s wealthy families are telling clients to buy U.S. dollars as a rally this year in regional currencies begins to sputter. Credit Suisse is advising its private-banking clients to bet the greenback will gain versus a basket of peers that includes the South Korean won, Taiwan dollar, Thai baht and Philippine peso. UBS said investors should buy the currency against the Singapore dollar and yen. Stamford Management, which oversees about $250 million for Asia’s rich, urged clients to buy the U.S. dollar each time it falls below S$1.35. The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s unexpected easing on April 14 has fueled speculation that other policy makers, concerned about a worsening global economic outlook, will follow suit.

A gauge of 10 Asian currencies excluding the yen has fallen 0.1% this month. The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index climbed 1.9% in the first three months of the year, the first gain in seven quarters, as traders adjusted bets on the timing of U.S. interest-rate increases. “We see good opportunity now to hedge against U.S. dollar strength after the strong rally in Asian currencies in the first quarter,” said Koon How Heng at Credit Suisse in Singapore. “There are risks that other Asian central banks may follow up with some more easing in the second half if their respective growth outlooks deteriorate further.” The prospect of renewed weakness in the Chinese yuan and two interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve in the second half of the year will boost the greenback, Heng said.

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“China’s aggregate financing – a broad measure of credit that includes corporate bonds – almost doubled from a year earlier to 2.34 trillion yuan [..] Yet even that wasn’t enough to save the seven Chinese companies that reneged on bond obligations this year.”

It’s All Suddenly Going Wrong in China’s $3 Trillion Bond Market (BBG)

The unprecedented boom in China’s $3 trillion corporate bond market is starting to unravel. Spooked by a fresh wave of defaults at state-owned enterprises, investors in China’s yuan-denominated company notes have driven up yields for nine of the past 10 days and triggered the biggest selloff in onshore junk debt since 2014. Local issuers have canceled 60.6 billion yuan ($9.4 billion) of bond sales in April alone, while Standard & Poor’s is cutting its assessment of Chinese firms at a pace unseen since 2003. While bond yields in China are still well below historical averages, a sustained increase in borrowing costs could threaten an economy that’s more reliant on cheap credit than ever before.

The numbers suggest more pain ahead: Listed firms’ ability to service their debt has dropped to the lowest since at least 1992, while analysts are cutting profit forecasts for Shanghai Composite Index companies by the most since the global financial crisis. “The spreading of credit risks is only at its early stage in China,” said Qiu Xinhong at First State Cinda Fund Management. “Many people have turned bearish.” China’s leaders face a difficult balancing act. On one hand, allowing troubled companies to default forces investors to pay more attention to credit risk and accelerates government efforts to curb overcapacity. The danger, though, is that investor panic leads to tighter credit conditions, dealing a blow to President Xi Jinping’s plan to keep the economy growing by at least 6.5% over the next five years.

Economic figures for March reveal a growing dependence on debt. China’s aggregate financing – a broad measure of credit that includes corporate bonds – almost doubled from a year earlier to 2.34 trillion yuan, exceeding all 24 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey as policy makers turned on the taps to support economic growth. Yet even that wasn’t enough to save the seven Chinese companies that reneged on bond obligations this year. Three of those were part-owned by China’s government, seen not long ago as a provider of implicit guarantees for bondholders. Dongbei Special Steel on April 13 missed a third payment since its chairman was found dead by hanging last month, while Chinacoal Group failed to make a distribution on April 6.

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And not just the BRICS.

China Will Bring All The BRICS Tumbling Down (Forbes)

The concept of the BRICs isn’t heard much these days beyond some cooperative institution building efforts. Originally a Goldman Sachs authored attempt to identify growth opportunities for investors (referring to Brazil, Russia, India and China), it was picked up by those countries to symbolise a hoped-for rotation in the world order: away from the old hierarchy of the West and the Rest, towards a more balanced configuration of global economic progress. For inclusiveness, the ‘s’ was eventually capitalised into ‘South Africa’ so that the African continent was not left out. With hindsight, it remains curious that the idea was ever taken seriously beyond the confines of investor advice. The nominated states have little in common, although the public diplomacy of developing economy cooperation has a lingering appeal.

The Russian economy was always based largely on hydrocarbons, and Brazil’s expansion was a broader commodity play. Each, therefore, nurtured an important relationship with China. Now, though, as commodity prices have sunk, China is the only buyer left and has no qualms about driving a hard bargain. Massive Chinese infrastructure investment created the temporary illusion of wealth while global debt levels grew relentlessly. The commodity curse then undermined real economic progress around the world, as elites chased diminishing surplus for patronage and popularity. This has left producers exposed; one – Venezuela – rapidly becoming a wasteland. In other countries, what limited democracy there was has been hollowed out, leaving Russia in a state of egregious industrial and demographic decline, and Brazil confirming stereotypes about Latin American corruption.

All because the orders are drying up and the money has run out. Both Brazil and Russia are facing the possibility of imminent collapse. India, by contrast, is its own story, a perpetual tale of slow promise that plays tortoise to China’s hare. The only real story behind the BRICs was always just the ‘C,’ as in China, and the huge investment boom that powered commodity prices towards the fantasy of a ‘super-cycle’ – another word we don’t hear much anymore – drove the whole world mad. There was money for social programs in Brazil to lift up the poor, money for Putin’s new model army in Russia to restore imperial prestige, and money for the Olympics and World Cup in both countries. Then there was money for London palaces, money for Panamanian bank accounts, money for small wars and some leftover for the supposed institutions of a ‘new world order,’ since deferred.

Now, China’s policy dilemma belongs to everyone. Having spent 15 years sucking consumption and investment from everywhere, China now has a productive capacity it cannot possibly sustain, and faces a world reluctant any longer to make up for the deficiencies in Chinese demand. It therefore confronts a build up of debts it will struggle to pay and investors who expect a return they may not receive.

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Beijing still can’t seem to see the danger.

China March Home Prices Rise At Fastest Rate In Two Years (Reuters)

China’s home prices in March gained at the fastest pace in almost two years but that growth may slow as local authorities tighten home purchase requirements in the two top performing cities on fears of a bubble forming. The southern city of Shenzhen continued to be the top performer, with home prices surging 61.6% from a year ago, followed by Shanghai with a 25% gain. Prices in the two cities were up 3.7% and 3.6% respectively from a month earlier. Average new home prices in 70 major cities rose 4.9% last month from a year ago, picking up from February’s 3.6% rise, according to Reuters calculations based on data released by the National Statistics Bureau (NBS) on Monday. March prices were up 1.1% compared to a month ago.

China’s housing market bottomed out in the second half of 2015 on a series of government support measures, but a strong rebound in prices in the biggest cities has sparked concerns that some markets may be overheating, driving Shanghai and Shenzhen’s authorities to tighten downpayment requirements for second homes and raising the eligibility bar for non-residents. While home sales in the two cities plunged as much as 52% after the tightening, prices eased only by single digit, according to data from China Real Estate Index System (CREIS). April’s official data, which will reflect the impact of the tightening measures, is due to be released in mid-May. Area of property sold in the first quarter grew 33.1% to a near three-year high, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday.

While property in China’s top-tier cities is booming, prices in smaller centers, where most of China’s urban population lives, are still sinking and complicating government efforts to spread wealth more evenly and arrest slowing economic growth. “(Monthly) price rises among cities still showed big differences. Cities with big rises were concentrated in the first-tier and, in part, the hot tier-two cities. Their growth is much faster than other cities, with the rest of the second-tier and third-tier cities relatively stable,” Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the NBS, said in a statement accompanying the data. The NBS data showed 40 of 70 major cities tracked by the NBS saw year-on-year price gains, up from 32 in February.

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Another A-class piece from Taibbi.

Why Obama Administration Tries to Keep 11,000 Documents Sealed (Matt Taibbi)

[..] Even after the state took over the companies in September of 2008, Fannie and Freddie continued to buy as much as $40 billion in bad assets per month from the private sector. Fannie and Freddie weren’t just bailed out, they were themselves a bailout, used to sponge up the sins of private firms. The original takeover mechanism was a $110 billion bailout, followed by a move to place Fannie and Freddie in conservatorship. In exchange, the state received an 80% stake and the promise of a future dividend. All told, the government ended up pumping about $187 billion into the companies. But now here’s the strange part. Within a few years after the crash, the housing markets improved significantly, to the point where Fannie and Freddie started to make money again. Lots of money. The GSEs became cash cows again, and in 2012 the government unilaterally changed the terms of the bailout.

Now, instead of taking a 10% dividend, the government decided that the new number it preferred was 100%. The GSE regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), explained the new arrangement. “The 10% fixed-rate dividend was replaced with a variable structure, essentially directing all net income to the Treasury,” the FHFA wrote. “Replacing the current fixed dividend in the agreements with a variable dividend based on net worth helps ensure stability [and] fully captures financial benefits for taxpayers.” “I’m not worried about Fannie and Freddie’s health,” said former House Financial Services Committee chair Barney Frank. “I’m worried that they won’t do enough to help out the economy.” Translation: We’re taking all your money, not just the money you owe. In court filings later on, the government offered a strange excuse for this sudden and dramatic change in the bailout terms. It explained that at the time, the GSEs “faced enormous credit losses” and “found themselves in a death spiral.”

The government claimed that the poor financial condition of the GSEs would force the Treasury to throw more money at the operations, increasing the total commitment of taxpayers and leading quickly to insolvency. It absolutely denied any foreknowledge that the firms were on the verge of massive profitability. It got weirder. Despite the fact that the GSEs went on to pay the government $228 billion over the next three years, or $40 billion more than they owed, none of that money went to paying off Fannie and Freddie’s debt. When Sen. Chuck Grassley asked aloud how it was that the company and its shareholders were not yet square with the government, the Treasury Department testily answered, in essence, that the bailout had not been a loan, but an investment. This was not a debt that could be paid back. Like a restaurant owner who borrows money from a mobster, the GSEs found themselves in an unseverable relationship.

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Obama visits SA on Wednesday…

Obama Official: Seed Money That Created Al Qaeda Came From Saudi Arabia (P.)

President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser said that the government of Saudi Arabia had paid “insufficient attention” to money that was being funneled into terror groups and fueled the rise of Al Qaeda. Ben Rhodes was speaking to David Axelrod in his podcast “The Axe Files” out Monday when he was asked about the validity of the accusation that the Saudi government was complicit in sponsoring terrorism. “I think that it’s complicated in the sense that, it’s not that it was Saudi government policy to support Al Qaeda, but there were a number of very wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia who would contribute, sometimes directly, to extremist groups. Sometimes to charities that were kind of, ended up being ways to launder money to these groups,” Rhodes said.

“So a lot of the money, the seed money if you will, for what became Al Qaeda, came out of Saudi Arabia,” he added. “Could that happen without the government’s awareness?” Axelrod asked. Rhodes said he doesn’t believe the government was “actively trying to prevent that from happening.” But he said that certain people, within the government or their family members, were able to operate on their own which allowed for the money flows. “So basically there was, at certainly, at least kind of a insufficient attention to where all this money was going over many years from the government apparatus,” Rhodes said. The remarks from Rhodes come as Obama prepares to head to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and confront the strained relations between the two allies.

The Saudis are still fuming over an Atlantic magazine article that described Obama’s frustrations with Saudi Arabia’s religious ideology, its treatment of women and its rivalry with Iran. Obama also suggested in the piece that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states are “free riders” who rely too much on the U.S. military. Friction has also been created by a push from relatives of people who died on 9/11 and a bipartisan group of lawmakers to allow U.S. courts to hold the Saudi government responsible if it is found to have played a role in the 2001 attacks.

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Ambrose is always hit and miss. This one is BIG miss: “The scare earlier this year was misguided. It is the next oil supply crunch we should fear most.” No, it’s demand.

Saudis Are Going For The Kill But The Oil Market Is Turning Anyway (AEP)

The collapse of OPEC talks with Russia over the weekend makes absolutely no difference to the balance of supply and demand in the global oil markets. The putative freeze in crude output was political eyewash. Hardly any country in the OPEC cartel is capable is producing more oil. Several are failed states, or sliding into political crises. Russia is milking a final burst of production before the depleting pre-Soviet wells of Western Siberia go into slow run-off. Sanctions have stymied its efforts to develop new fields or kick-start shale fracking in the Bazhenov basin. Saudi Arabia’s hard-nosed decision to break ranks with its Gulf allies at the meeting in Doha – and with every other OPEC country – punctures any remaining illusion that there is still a regulating structure in global oil industry.

It told us that the cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense. Beyond that it was irrelevant. Hedge funds were clearly caught off guard by the outcome since net ‘long’ positions on the futures markets were trading at a record high going into the meeting. Brent crude plunged 7pc to $41 a barrel in early Asian trading, but what is more revealing is how quickly prices recovered. Market dynamics are changing fast. Output is slipping all over the place: in China, Latin America, Kazakhstan, Algeria, the North Sea. The US shale industry has rolled over, though it has taken far longer than the Saudis expected when they first flooded the market in November 2014. The US Energy Department expects total US output to drop to 8.6m barrels per day (b/d) this year from 9.4m last year.

China is filling up the new sites of its strategic petroleum reserves at a record pace. Its oil imports have jumped to 8m b/d this year from 6.7m in 2015, soaking up a large part of the global glut. Some is rotating back out again as diesel: most is being consumed in China. Goldman Sachs says the twin effect of rising demand and supply disruptions across the world is bringing the market back into balance, leading to a “sustainable deficit” as soon as the third quarter. The inflexion point could come sooner than almost anybody expects if a strike this week in Kuwait drags on as oil workers fight pay cuts. The outage is already costing 1.6m b/d. Kuwait’s woes are the first taste of how difficult it will be for the petro-sheikhdoms to impose austerity measures or threaten the cradle-to-grave social contracts that keep a lid on dissent across the Gulf.

There is little doubt that Mohammad bin Salman, the deputy-crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, wanted an excuse to sabotage the Doha deal. He added a fresh demand that non-OPEC Norway should also limit output – a non-starter – as well as hardening the Saudi objection to Iran’s full return to pre-sanctions output. The calculus is that his country has the deepest pockets and will ultimately stand to gain by shaking out weaker players. This is a gamble. Saudi Arabia is running through $10bn of foreign exchange reserves a month to plug its fiscal deficit. The fixed riyal peg makes it much harder to roll with the budgetary punches as Russia is able to do with the floating rouble. Saudi Arabia is not as rich as often supposed. Per capita income is the same as in Greece. Standard & Poor’s has cut its credit rating twice to A-, and for good reason. The Saudis never built up a proper sovereign wealth fund in good times. Their reserve coverage is two-thirds less than in Kuwait, or Abu Dhabi.

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Decentralization goes global.

A New Map for America (NY Times)

These days, in the thick of the American presidential primaries, it’s easy to see how the 50 states continue to drive the political system. But increasingly, that’s all they drive — socially and economically, America is reorganizing itself around regional infrastructure lines and metropolitan clusters that ignore state and even national borders. The problem is, the political system hasn’t caught up. America faces a two-part problem. It’s no secret that the country has fallen behind on infrastructure spending. But it’s not just a matter of how much is spent on catching up, but how and where it is spent. Advanced economies in Western Europe and Asia are reorienting themselves around robust urban clusters of advanced industry. Unfortunately, American policy making remains wedded to an antiquated political structure of 50 distinct states.

To an extent, America is already headed toward a metropolis-first arrangement. The states aren’t about to go away, but economically and socially, the country is drifting toward looser metropolitan and regional formations, anchored by the great cities and urban archipelagos that already lead global economic circuits. The Northeastern megalopolis, stretching from Boston to Washington, contains more than 50 million people and represents 20% of America’s gross domestic product. Greater Los Angeles accounts for more than 10% of G.D.P. These city-states matter far more than most American states – and connectivity to these urban clusters determines Americans’ long-term economic viability far more than which state they reside in. This reshuffling has profound economic consequences.

America is increasingly divided not between red states and blue states, but between connected hubs and disconnected backwaters. Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution has pointed out that of America’s 350 major metro areas, the cities with more than three million people have rebounded far better from the financial crisis. Meanwhile, smaller cities like Dayton, Ohio, already floundering, have been falling further behind, as have countless disconnected small towns across the country. The problem is that while the economic reality goes one way, the 50-state model means that federal and state resources are concentrated in a state capital – often a small, isolated city itself – and allocated with little sense of the larger whole. Not only does this keep back our largest cities, but smaller American cities are increasingly cut off from the national agenda, destined to become low-cost immigrant and retirement colonies, or simply to be abandoned.

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Taleb’s take-down of Noah Smith on Twitter has been epic.

No One Worries Enough About Black Swans (ZH)

Over the weekend, Bloomberg View’s quasi-economist wrote his latest laughable article, one which supposedly “explained” how “Everyone Worries Too Much About ‘Black Swans'”, which in addition to being a rambling, meandering stream of consciousness that as is regularly the case with this particular author, made little sense, sparked a Twitter feud with the Nassim Taleb, the person who made the concept of a Black Swan into a household name. We were therefore very amused to note that none other than former FX trader and fund manager, Richard Breslow, who also writes for Bloomberg, seemingly had an epileptic fit upon reading the abovementioned drivel and wrote his own scathing reaction from the perspective of an actual trader, a rection which not only threw up on every argument of the so-called economist’s logic, but on everything else that now is passed off simply as, well, “the new normal.” Here is Richard Breslow:

No One Worries Enough About Black Swans

Trading is a hard business. The world is becoming a more complicated place: a number out of China may do more to the price of your U.S. shares in a retailer than, well, U.S. retail sales. Yet creeping, dangerously, into the investment advice dialog is the argument that buying and holding no matter what the event is the winning strategy. If you ever needed a “past results don’t guarantee…” disclaimer it’s especially true now. It’s not surprising that such shallow reasoning is becoming commonplace. Sure beats staying late at the office doing cash-flow analysis. Bad things happen and the Fed will cut rates. Worked time and again. Presto chango, that financial crisis was a buying event, stupid.

It’s gotten much worse post the latest financial crisis, as it’s assumed asset prices are the main (sole) focus of the all powerful central banks. To buy (pun intended) into this you have to presuppose that Black Swan events are easily controllable episodes that last short amounts of time. That the authorities have unlimited firepower to counteract every natural and man-made disaster. Equally scary, academics as well as analysts have taken to arguing that investors are overestimating the probability of crisis events. You don’t need to be a Taleb or Mandelbrot to calculate that we have been having once in a hundred year events on a regular basis for the last thirty years. Did a crisis happen, if you made money?

This flawed logic argues not only buy every dip, but why waste money on hedges? It assumes unlimited deep pockets and the nerve of a non-sentient computer. Just go “all in.” Looking more like today’s world all the time. Portfolio theory thrown right out the window. Perhaps Harry Markowitz will have his Nobel revoked. A portfolio built to only withstand stress thanks to central bank intervention is one destined to blow-up spectacularly. The embedded flaw in this new logic is that central banks give investors perfect foresight. And nothing can go wrong. Re-read the Investment Process section of those prospectuses.

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“His words sounded like a request of a bailout for his countries’ saving industry and savers, in an ironic twist from previous bailout requests coming from the periphery.”

Credit Suisse: Germany’s Large Surplus Is The Problem, Not the ECB (BBG)

Forget about Greek debt sustainability. Another part of the continent is in need of relief—and this time, it’s a part of the core, not the periphery. That’s how Credit Suisse analysts led by Peter Foley characterized comments from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble earlier this month. “The German Finance minister said record low interest rates were causing ‘extraordinary problems’ for German financial institutions and pensioners and risked undermining voters’ support for European integration,” writes Foley. “His words sounded like a request of a bailout for his countries’ saving industry and savers, in an ironic twist from previous bailout requests coming from the periphery.” A common criticism of unconventional central bank policy is that the ultra-low interest rates are too onerous for savers. At present, the average German bund yield is barely above zero:

Some analysts have expressed more than a modicum of sympathy for Schaeuble’s position, indicating that the ECB’s policy represents a form of John Maynard Keynes’ prophesied ‘euthanasia of the rentier’ and is not justified by its positive side effects. But instead of blaming the ECB, Foley suggests that German fiscal policymakers should pull the levers at their disposal to help remedy this situation. “Germany has continued to run a large current account surplus, and has increased it further–from 5.7% of GDP in 2009 to 8.5% in 2015,” wrote the analyst, noting that this surplus constituted the largest imbalance among major economies by this metric. “In an environment short on aggregate demand, Germany’s surplus is a problem, both globally and to the rest of the euro area.”

Foley recommends that the German authorities move to more aggressively reduce financial imbalances by increasing public investment, support private demand in certain soft segments, and implement more structural reforms. This would support Germany’s growth as well as that of its European partners, and as an added bonus, would address Schauble’s concerns about the woes of savers all in one fell swoop, the analyst concludes, by lessening the ECB’s need to support the currency union with unconventional stimulus.

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I see a hot summer.

Talks With Creditors To Resume But Athens Rejects Fresh Austerity (Kath.)

With talks set to resume on Tuesday with Greece’s international creditors, Athens said on Monday it has no intention of implementing austerity measures beyond the commitments it signed on to in the third bailout last July and plans to seek “allies” among European countries that believe now is not the time create political instability in Greece. Government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said on Monday that Athens will abide by the commitments it made last July, “nothing more, nothing less.” Her comments came after the IMF and the EU, which overcame their differences at the weekend over Greece’s budgetary outlook, took the wind out of the government’s sails by seeking another package of austerity measures to the tune of more than €3 billion (or 2% of GDP) in case there are target shortfalls over the next three years as a “guarantee” that Greece will achieve a primary budget surplus of 3.5% of GDP in 2018.

The government’s apparent defiance on Monday is a departure from its initial response at the weekend, when it implied that it could be open to discussion over the new measures – which relate to 2018 – as long as it received reassurances that it will get debt relief. Failure to wrap up the review could see negotiations drag on into June, which would put a further strain on the SYRIZA-led coalition’s fragile government, already struggling to stay afloat with a very slim majority of three deputies in Parliament. However, the new turn of events could foil the government’s ambitions, which include reaching a staff level agreement by Friday’s Eurogroup meeting in Amsterdam, to unlock vital tranches of rescue funds and pave the way for debt relief talks – a key demand by Greece.

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“..Simply by liking or sharing this article on Facebook or retweeting it on Twitter, you’re most likely flagging yourself as a potential renegade, revolutionary or anti-government extremist—a.k.a. terrorist.”

Every Move You Make Is Being Monitored (Whitehead)

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals. This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.” – Glenn Greenwald

 

Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line. Simply by liking or sharing this article on Facebook or retweeting it on Twitter, you’re most likely flagging yourself as a potential renegade, revolutionary or anti-government extremist—a.k.a. terrorist. Yet whether or not you like or share this particular article, simply by reading it or any other articles related to government wrongdoing, surveillance, police misconduct or civil liberties is enough to get you categorized as a particular kind of person with particular kinds of interests that reflect a particular kind of mindset that might just lead you to engage in a particular kinds of activities.

Chances are, as the Washington Post reports, you have already been assigned a color-coded threat score—green, yellow or red—so police are forewarned about your potential inclination to be a troublemaker depending on whether you’ve had a career in the military, posted a comment perceived as threatening on Facebook, suffer from a particular medical condition, or know someone who knows someone who might have committed a crime. In other words, you might already be flagged as potentially anti-government in a government database somewhere—Main Core, for example—that identifies and tracks individuals who aren’t inclined to march in lockstep to the police state’s dictates. The government has the know-how.

As The Intercept recently reported, the FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies are increasingly investing in and relying on corporate surveillance technologies that can mine constitutionally protected speech on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to identify potential extremists and predict who might engage in future acts of anti-government behavior. Now all it needs is the data, which more than 90% of young adults and 65% of American adults are happy to provide.

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“This will go on until it can’t, which is what discontinuity is all about.”

The Elephant Cometh (Jim Kunstler)

The elephant’s not even in the room, which is why the 2016 election campaign is such a soap opera. The elephant outside the room is named Discontinuity. That’s perhaps an intimidating word, but it is exactly what the USA is in for. It means that a lot of familiar things come to an end, stop, don’t work the way they are supposed to — beginning, manifestly, with the election process now underway in all its unprecedented bizarreness. One reason it’s difficult to comprehend discontinuity is because so many operations and institutions of daily life in America have insidiously become rackets, meaning that they are kept going only by dishonest means. If we didn’t lie to ourselves about them, they couldn’t continue.

For instance the automobile racket. Without a solid, solvent middle-class, you can’t sell cars. Americans are used to paying for cars on installment loans. If the middle class is so crippled by prior debt and the disappearance of good-paying jobs that they can’t qualify for car loans, well, the answer is to give them loans anyway, on terms that don’t really pencil out — such as 7-year loans at 0% interest for used cars (that will be worth next to nothing long before the loan expires). This will go on until it can’t, which is what discontinuity is all about. The car companies and the banks (with help from government regulators and political cheerleaders) have created this work-around by treating “sub-prime” car loans the same way they treated sub-prime mortgages: they bundle them into larger packages of bonds called collateralized loan obligations.

These, in turn, are sold mainly to big pension fund and insurance companies desperate for “yield” (higher interest) on “safe” investments that ostensibly preserve their principal. The “collateral” amounts to the revenue streams of payments that are sure to stop because the payers are by definition not credit-worthy, meaning it was baked in the cake that they would quit making payments — especially when they go “under water” owing ever more money for junkers that have lost all value. It’s easy to see how that ends in tears for all concerned parties, but we “buy into it” because there seems to be no other way to a) boost the so-called “consumer” economy and b) keep the matrix of car-dependant suburban sprawl in operation. We took what used to be a fairly sound idea during a now-bygone phase of history, and perverted it to avoid making any difficult but necessary changes in a new phase of history.

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There is a very strange silence in western media about this.

Over 400 Migrants Drown On Their Way To Italy (Reuters)

Somalia’s government said on Monday about 200 or more Somalis may have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross illegally to Europe, many of them teenagers, when the boat they were on capsized after leaving the Egyptian shore. Italian President Sergio Mattarella had said earlier on Monday that several hundred people appeared to have died in a new tragedy in the Mediterranean, after unconfirmed reports spoke of up to 400 victims of capsizing near Egypt’s coast. More than 1.2 million African, Arab and Asian migrants have streamed into the EU since the start of last year, many of them setting off from North Africa in rickety boats that are packed full of people and which struggle in choppy seas.

“We have no fixed number but it is between 200 and 300 Somalis,” Somali Information Minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir told Reuters by telephone when asked about possible Somali deaths in the latest incident. Another Somali government statement, which offered condolences, put the number at “nearly 200”, saying they were mostly teenagers. It said the boat they were on had capsized after leaving Egypt. “There is no clear number since they are not traveling legally,” the minister said, adding that he understood the boat might have been carrying about 500 people, of which 200 to 300 were Somalis “and most of them had died”. He did not give a precise timing for the incident.

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