May 062022
 
 May 6, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Nude on a beach 1929

 

NATO’s New World (Vilches)
Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)
For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)
Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)
Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)
Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)
Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)
Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)
Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)
Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)
2000 Mules (AG)
FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)
McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)
UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)
EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

 

 

 

 

Tucker MAGA

 

 

 

 

Psaki abortion

 

 

Celente

 

 

“..per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”

NATO’s New World (Vilches)

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss recently experienced her 15 minutes of glory with a blatant hissy-fit rant policy speech at a London´s Mansion House banquet. She posited that the collective West now needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Publically, Ms Liz Truss tapped her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly require a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics ´clearly clearly clearly´ let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons should make sure it´s the other way around, see ? So beware… With an AUKUS core, the strategic concept is “all for one, and one for all” just like ´The Three Musketeers´ except that the world´s livelihood is for real, not a novel. Liz Truss is not a cartoon character either, she is today´s United Kingdom Foreign Secretary.

Lebensraum Ukraine would only be the starting point says Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Mind you readers this is a historical certainty, unfortunately not fiction. Curiously enough, WW2 ended when Germany´s dictator shot his lover and himself in the temple only four years after the Wehrmacht had invaded Ukraine pursuing its much-needed Caucasus´ oil. So paraphrasing Mark Twain, and relating Nazis to Ukraine and oil …with the Russians defending and finally winning… history doesn´t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.

But no Sir, what Adolf Hitler conceived 90 years ago today is not large enough at all for NATO, sorry. Per Liz Truss (more on her later) it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature, understand ? The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world, okay ? Furthermore, in the meantime and so as not to waste valuable time and resources, Liz Truss urges current (limited) “European” NATO to send more “heavy weapons, tanks, and also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”. Her obvious Russo-Europhobic objective is to split Eurasia into fractions according to the very British well-proven ´divide and conquer´ philosophy.

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“The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military.”

Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)

The Russian military forces are grinding down Ukrainian ground forces by extensive use of heavy artillery. The Ukrainian artillery has been destroyed or lacks ammunition.The Ukrainian forces have orders to stay in their position and to hold the line. That only makes sure that Russian artillery strikes will destroy them. The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military. There are claims that the Russian progress in Ukraine has been slow or has even come to a halt:


“The United States assessed last week that Russian troops were making “slow and uneven” progress in the Donbas, often of no more than “several kilometers … on any given day, just because they don’t want to run out too far ahead of their logistics and sustainment lines,” one senior U.S. official told journalists. But in its daily reports, the Institute for the Study of War noted that Russian forces made no confirmed ground attacks on Monday or Tuesday. It said a Ukrainian artillery strike April 30 on a Russian command headquarters near Izium has slowed the Russian push, and noted that, farther north, a Ukrainian counterattack Monday pushed Russian forces back 25 miles east of Kharkiv.”

Those claims do not hold up to reality. As Clausewitz wrote about the Schwerpunkt in ‘On War’: “[N]o matter what the central feature of the enemy’s power may be—the point on which your efforts must converge—the defeat and destruction of his fighting force remains the best way to begin, and in every case will be a very significant feature of the campaign.” Basing our comments on general experience, the acts we consider most important for the defeat of the enemy are the following: “Destruction of his army, if it is at all significant. Seizure of his capital if it is not only the center of administration but also that of social, professional, and political activity. Delivery of an effective blow against his principal ally if that ally is more powerful than he. Accordingly the Russian military is tasked with demilitarizing the Ukraine, Clausewitz’ task one, and that is what it is doing.


Russia is using the best available means to destroy the Ukrainian military. On the ground that means ruthless systematic mass use of artillery. Reports about the high morale of the Ukrainian soldiers who halt Russian advances are copium when compared with the reality of the battlefield. From the preface of the book King of Battle: Artillery in World War: “Artillery dominated the battlefields of World War I. That was seen in various ways, from wounding patterns and doctors’ clinical data, to memoirs, diaries, and letters, through to changed military doctrine after the war. No nation that had experienced significant ground combat would blithely assume morale could replace firepower. Artillery even holds the dubious distinction of causing a new diagnosis, shellshock.”

Azov Mariupol

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“..color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction..”

For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)

A special military operation (SVO) revealed a plan prepared in advance by the US power and financial elite to seize power in Russia. It includes the following components and stages.

1. Wear out the Russian armed forces in a war with well-trained and directly controlled by the Pentagon fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, “stitched” by the Nazis with a vertical of officers appointed by the US and British special services. Turn the population of Ukraine into zombies infected with Russophobia. At the same time, incite the international community against Russia, making accusations of war crimes and genocide against its leadership. On this basis, confiscate Russia’s foreign currency assets and impose total sanctions against it, causing the maximum possible damage. This stage is actually completed.

2. Terrorize the Russian population with shelling of border settlements and military infrastructure, sabotage of transport, and hacker attacks. Hit the public consciousness with a flood of negative fake news and anti-government propaganda through social networks. To impose, through their agents of influence in the financial and economic authorities, an economic policy that blocks the mobilization of resources, including: inflating interest rates, continuing the export of capital, encouraging currency and financial speculation, manipulating the ruble exchange rate, and inflating prices. Thus, the sanctions can be repeatedly aggravated and provoke a collapse in production and a decline in living standards. This stage is in full swing.

3. Provoking protest moods and destructive socio-political actions aimed at overthrowing the legitimate authorities against the background of falling living standards and losses in the course of their activities. The use of the entire arsenal of methods for organizing “color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction. At the same time, we are preparing the organizational and ideological foundations for separatist actions in the regions. This stage is under active development.

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“Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts?”

Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)

Does Joe Biden intend to take the U.S. into a direct war with Russia? Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts? Perhaps, because they need a bigger distraction from the political impact of their own policies? Those questions need to be asked and answered quickly, because the White House is about to flip the switch from a “proxy war” into an actual hot war between the United States and Russia. How do we know? Because the Biden administration is openly bragging about their specific military operations inside Ukraine that are killing Russians. Consider:

NYT: “The United States provided intelligence that helped Ukrainian forces locate and strike the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet last month, another sign that the administration is easing its self-imposed limitations on how far it will go in helping Ukraine fight Russia, U.S. officials said.” NYT:”The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.”

Why would Joe Biden be bragging about killing Russians in Ukraine if he wasn’t trying to provoke us into a hot war? “The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield and maritime intelligence it is sharing with the Ukrainians secret out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war. But in recent weeks, the United States has sped heavier weapons to Ukraine and requested an extraordinary $33 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid from Congress, demonstrating how quickly American restraints on support for Ukraine are shifting.”

Priest

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“In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.”

Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)

Donald Trump has been well relegated to the sidelines of America’s political debate, but the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) lives on, more virulent than ever. The latter is what’s behind Washington’s descent into the current mindless Ukraine war fever—an outbreak of irrationality that makes even the post-9/11 hysteria seem like an orderly discourse. At the center of this madness, of course, is Vladimir Putin, the Devil Incarnate. Prior to February 24th he had attained that designation in Imperial Washington not just because of his rough methods of governance in Russia or small time military forays in the 2008 South Ossetia/Georgia dispute or in putting down alleged terrorists in Chechnya, but because according to the RussiaGate hoax he had thrown the election to Donald Trump in 2016, thereby shockingly interrupting the rule of the bipartisan duopoly.

Accordingly, for the next four years the apparatus of official Washington–including the MSM in cahoots with the national security state—did not cease in its vilification of Putin via the running RussiaGate Hoax, the phony Mueller investigation, the rogue impeachment proceedings and the nonstop MSM linkage of Trump’s unwelcome presence in the Oval Office with the nefarious doings of Vlad Putin. At length, the TDS got so virulent and all-consuming inside the beltway that the resulting enmity toward Donald Trump became coterminous with the demonization of Putin. Consequently, when Trump got ushered off the stage (barely) by the American electorate in November 2020, Washington’s war on the Donald simply got re-focused with fevered intensity on Putin. In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.

Needless to say, with the politicians in both parties foaming at the mouth against Putin, the Deep State and military-industrial complex had a field day hyping Russia into a national security threat that was not remotely justified, but which did massively distort policy. That includes perpetuating the Donald’s insanely bloated national security budget even further to $813 billion in the FY 2023 Biden request; stonewalling Russia’s reasonable proposals of December to reset security arrangements in eastern Europe, which would have precluded the devastation now besetting Ukraine entirely; and, after February 24th, turning the intramural dispute between Russia and its historic vassal and step-child, Ukraine, into a purported history-defining contest between peaceful Democracy and belligerent Autocracy—a struggle that justified launching a global Sanctions War against the very essence of the dollar-based payments and trading system upon which America’s tenuous prosperity precariously rests.

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“You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit..”

Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)

President Joe Biden lashed out at the “MAGA crowd” and supporters of former President Donald Trump on Wednesday. The harsh and derogatory disparagement against tens of millions of Americans prodded former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to condemn President Biden. On Wednesday, Biden suggested that the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade was a slippery slope. Biden proposed a hypothetical situation, “What happens if you have states change the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children?” President Biden told reporters at the White House, “Is that legit under the way the decision is written? What are the next things that are going to be attacked?” “Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history, in recent American history,” Biden said, making a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement.

[..] Gabbard was incensed by Biden’s incendiary remarks and slammed the president during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “When you look at the President of the United States of America calling millions of Americans, essentially terrorists, people who politically opposed him or voted against him, he’s calling them terrorists in an attempt to intimidate them into silence. And we know this because we’ve heard this before from both him and his attorney general.” Gabbard pointed to the Justice Department’s newly-formed “Domestic Terrorism Unit” that will target the “elevated threat from domestic violent extremists.” “You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit,” Gabbard said.

“So he’s essentially saying that this, quote-unquote ‘MAGA’ crowd are worse than terrorists. This is outrageous.” “And so for every American who’s watching, every American who’s seen this, no matter how you feel about the MAGA crowd, this is an authoritarian assault on our freedom,” the former Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii proclaimed. “And we need to stand together very strongly against this attempt to intimidate and silence anyone who holds political views that are different from or opposed to what this president and his administration are furthering. This is an assault on our democracy.”

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“I’m on the warpath!” he declared.”

Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)

Billionaire tech entrepreneuer Elon Musk is “on the warpath.” Musk is now “expected to serve as a temporary CEO of Twitter for a few months after he completes his $44 billion takeover of the social media company,” according to CNBC’s David Faber. The Tesla founder and CEO has the Woke establishment in full meltdown, even reportedly bringing the Big Tech platform’s Trump-banning chief counsel Vijaya Gadde to tears. She’s now expected to be axed. Musk, known for his cryptic tweets, alluded to shaking up the leadership team; of course, he did it with a meme. The context for the meme was provided by Newsmax’s Benny Johnson. It regards an interview between Tim Pool and the Twitter chief counsel herself.

“So your platform restricts speech?” Pool asked. “Our platform promotes speech unless people violate our rules,” Gadde replied. “In a specific direction,” he said. “In any direction,” she argued. “It’s about a pattern and practice of violating our rules.” Pool pointed out the obvious: “You have a pattern and practice of banning only one faction of people.” Then, Pool cited a report from Quillette. It found that out of 22 high-profile bannings from 2015, “21 of them were only on one side of the cultural debate.” “But I don’t look at the political spectrum of people when I’m looking at their tweets,” she claimed.


Musk has big plans for one of the most influential social media platforms. At the Met Gala on Saturday, he discussed his vision with the Associated Press. “Well, I mean, the goal that I have, should everything come to fruition with Twitter, is to have a service that is broadly — is as broadly inclusive as possible where ideally most of America is on it and talking!” Musk told the AP. “I think just generally, the — I’m looking for something that’s like I said as broadly inclusive as possible, that’s as trusted as possible as a system, and I hope we are successful in that regard,” he continued. “I’ve also vowed this publicly that we have to get rid of the bots, trolls, scams, and everything,” he added. “That’s obviously diminishing the user experience and we don’t want people to get tricked out of their money and that kind of thing.” “I’m on the warpath!” he declared.

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“Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low..”

Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has the world’s elites in panic mode – with the Biden administration launching a “Disinformation Governance Board” days after his announcement…followed by the United States, the EU, and 32 non-EU countries announcing a “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” that includes language to require web services to remove illegal content and prevent ‘harm’ to users – which is code for mean tweets, among other things. Another globalist, Bill Gates, is talking greasy after Musk compared the world’s former richest man to the pregnant man emoji. Musk’s purchase also prompted a constellation of 26 Soros-linked NGOs to sign a letter expressing concern about the plan – writing that “Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized.”


The authors that under Musk’s management, “Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low,” adding “Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account. We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not.” Those advertising on Twitter would risk their company associating “with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” according to the letter. A quick look at the signatories:

Musk responded to the campaign against him by asking “Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …” adding “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

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“..Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship…”

Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)

I previously wrote about Hillary Clinton’s call on European countries to pass censorship laws to force social media companies like Twitter to regulate speech even after Elon Musk’s pledge to restore free speech to Twitter. Now the Parliament has called on Musk to testify and to explain his alarming pledge to restore free speech. The Biden Administration’s Disinformation Governance Board head, Nina Jankowisz, previously called upon Great Britain to impose state censorship rules. That call has grown since Musk’s purchase. Until now, a unified front of corporate censors was able to maintain an extensive system of censorship with the encouragement of politicians and pundits, including Joe Biden and Democratic members .

The head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Julian Knight has assured her countrymen that they can stay calm and censor on. She issued a letter for Musk to appear before the committee to answer for his terrifying suggestion of free speech: “At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms.”

Like the EU’s censorship plans under the Digital Services Act, the proposed Online Safety Bill would introduce state censorship through the purview of Ofcom (The Office of Communications), the broadcasting regulator in Britain. It would allow the company to fine firms up to ten percent of their global revenue should they violate ill-defined “harm” standards. If passed, Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship. This includes confiscatory fines for anything deemed “grossly offensive.“ The bill would allow countries like Great Britain to impose censorship on the rest of the world.

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“These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel.”

Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)

5. Protect against Surrogate State Censors.

As it became more likely that Musk could buy Twitter, there was a notable shift in the comments of pro-censorship figures. Hillary Clinton, who has long been viewed as hostile to free speech values, went to Twitter to call on the European Union to quickly pass the Digital Services Act in Europe to force censorship “before it’s too late.” That time table appears to be the Musk takeover when the public will suddenly have a free speech alternative to the once solid alliance of censorship among social media companies. Since figures like Clinton cannot count on corporate surrogates to censor, they are returning to good old-fashioned state censorship. If the DSA is passed, they hope to force Twitter to resume censoring material – a warning echoed by EU officials this week. Congress needs to act to blunt such an attack on American companies seeking to restore free speech values.

At the same time, the United Kingdom is pushing its own Online Safety Act and recently Musk was summoned to Parliament to answer for his alarming suggestion of restoring free speech on social media. The British are assuring citizens to “stay calm and censor on” despite Musk’s pledge. It is threatening to take ten percent of the company’s profits if Musk does not censor users. Musk will have to create firewall or siloed systems for countries forcing censorship. These systems should post tweets with a warning that these users are being subjected to national censorship standards while protecting U.S. users from having their free speech reduced to the lower common denominator.

These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel. The greatest asset that Musk brings to Twitter beyond a deep pocket and deep faith in free speech is his legendary creativity. He tends to focus on a horizon rather than the obstacles or opponents before him. Free speech remains a horizonal ideal but one that is attainable for someone with unflagging commitment and creativity. This could be the ultimate “moon shot” for Musk to bring free speech back to the Internet.

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Think this was also banned from Twitter.

2000 Mules (AG)

After the 2020 election, government officials and their allies in the media repeated the mantra that the election was the “most secure in American history,” Dinesh D’Souza pointed out before the premiere of his new documentary film 2000 Mules at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday night. But how would they know that? D’Souza wondered. Even if they couldn’t prove the election was rigged, “it still doesn’t follow that it was the most secure election in history,” he said. “The only way you could prove that would be if you were to compare the amount of fraud in 2020 with 2016, with 2012, with 2008, with 2004, and show that there has been less fraud now than in any of those elections.”

D’Souza’s question is a good one. Did election officials study the security of every election prior to 2020 to make the determination that the 2020 election was “the most secure ever”? Or were they just spinning another false narrative that benefits one side of the aisle? The movie 2000 Mules handily answers that question. Using state-of-the-art technology, the film convincingly makes the case that the 2020 presidential election was perhaps the most unsecure election ever, and was stolen from former President Trump.

The election intelligence organization True The Vote gathered geospatial and temporal data—amounting to a total of 10 trillion cell phone pings—between Oct. 1 and Nov. 6 in the battleground states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The researchers looked at data surrounding ballot drop boxes in targeted areas, as well as UPS stores and select government, commercial, and non-governmental organization (NGO) facilities. This data, coupled with the surveillance video of the drop boxes, provide damning evidence of a coordinated illegal ballot trafficking operation across critical swing states. “Without free and fair elections, we are not a democracy, we are a criminal cartel masquerading as a democracy,” D’Souza argues in the movie.

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The vaccines still haven’t done enough harm, apparently.

FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)

The FDA has limited the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine to only those over 18-years-old due to blood clotting issues. Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine is now limited to adults due to the risk of a rare blood clotting syndrome. FDA – “Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate, and to individuals 18 years of age and older who elect to receive the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” (read more)


WHAT CHANGED? – “The FDA and CDC have continuously monitored for and investigated all suspected cases of TTS reported to VAERS. In an updated analysis of TTS cases following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine that were reported to VAERS through March 18, 2022, the FDA and CDC have identified 60 confirmed cases, including nine fatal cases. The FDA has determined that the reporting rate of TTS is 3.23 per million doses of vaccine administered and the reporting rate of TTS deaths is 0.48 per million doses of vaccine administered.”

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“..if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower..”

McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)

Are we on the precipice of a major uptick in serious heart problems among otherwise young, healthy Americans due to the mass-disseminated mRNA COVID shots? Observations from several medical experts, including a well-known cardiologist, suggest that we are. Some individuals who appear to be facing worrisome jab-related heart problems are commercial airline pilots. Advocacy groups also say these pilots are being forced to keep mum about their health issues—and that a far greater percentage of them are likely suffering than the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would like to admit. Joshua Yoder is an airline pilot and co-founder of the U.S. Freedom Flyers (USFF), an advocacy group formed to help transportation industry employees maintain their medical autonomy and oppose federal vax statutes.

As noted by the website American Greatness, Yoder recently disclosed in an interview with Vaccine Safety Research Foundation founder Steve Kirsch that the USFF has already received hundreds of reports of pilots experiencing chest pain and other adverse side effects of COVID shots while flying planes. Of course, people experiencing chest pain caused by jab-related pericarditis or myocarditis (heart inflammation) is concerning enough. But to know that men and women are experiencing these issues while flying commercial aircrafts is deeply worrisome, Yoder says. Plus, many of these airline pilots are reluctant to speak out about their health problems because they fear losing their jobs. “I’m afraid if we keep going down this path,” he said in his interview with Kirsch, “at some point, it’s going to end in catastrophe.”

“If passengers actually knew what was going on at the airlines and the FAA,” he adds, “they would be livid, and everyone would be jumping on a class action suit against all of them.” In his interview, Yoder also shared what well-known Texan cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough said to him in a prior conversation: “if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower” due to new jab-related cardiac issues.

Kolakusic

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Major US export.

UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)

The World Health Organization says the rates of people who are obese and overweight in Europe have hit “epidemic proportions,” with nearly 60% of adults and a third of children in one of those categories. In a report issued Tuesday, the UN health agency’s European office said the prevalence of obesity among adults is higher across the continent than any other world region – except for the Americas. “Alarmingly, there have been consistent increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the WHO European region and no member state is on track to reach the target of halting the rise in obesity by 2025,” the report said. Among the countries it counts in its Europe region, WHO said the highest rates of obesity were seen in Turkey, Malta, Israel and Britain.

WHO said being overweight or obese is among the leading causes of death in the region and is responsible for more than 1 million deaths every year. Scientists have long warned that being heavy significantly increases the risk of numerous diseases, including respiratory conditions, diabetes and at least 13 cancers. It is also the leading risk factor for disability. “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we experienced the true impact of the obesity epidemic,” WHO Europe director Dr Hans Kluge wrote in the report. He noted that the obese were “more likely to experience severe outcomes of the Covid-19 disease spectrum, including intensive care unit admissions and death.”

Kluge also said that Covid-19 interventions like school closures and lockdowns often raised the risk of gaining weight when people turned to unhealthy diets and were forced to be sedentary. WHO called for countries to adopt policies to improve “environmental factors” linked to obesity, including taxing sugary drinks, restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and efforts to improve physical activity In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 74% of Americans over age 20 are obese or overweight.

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There goes my faith in mankind…

EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

Brussels officials are being trained to meditate to help them tackle the climate crisis as part of a new wave of “applied mindfulness” that seeks to take the Buddhism-inspired practice “off the cushion” and into hard politics. EU officials working on the 27-country bloc’s green deal climate policy are attending “inner green deal” courses intended to foster a deeper connection among decision-makers and negotiators tasked with tackling the crisis. The courses incorporate woodland walks near Brussels and meditation sessions, including one that invites participants to feel empathy for trees and animals to boost “environmental compassion”. Some managers have reportedly shown impatience at being asked to meditate and want to “get on with business”.


But early results from the first 80 participants suggest the course has strengthened officials’ motivation to tackle climate problems and overcome personal despair that little can be done. Mindfulness has boomed in the west in recent years through courses, meditation apps and books. But it has drawn criticism that it has become a “religion of the self”, with one critic warning of “McMindfulness”. However, it is recognised by the NHS as an effective treatment for recurrent depression when delivered as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Now advocates of “applied mindfulness” believe it could accelerate consensus-building between climate decision-makers. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the need for “inner transitions” and the potential of meditation to encourage lower-carbon lifestyles.

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From the Attorney General for Virginia

 

Unparalleled disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apr 272022
 


Raphael The miraculous draught of fishes 1515

 

A Recap Of The War In Ukraine (Gonzalo Lira)
Possible Romanian-Ukrainian Joint Offensive On Transnistria (T.)
Gazprom Cutting Off Gas Supplies To Poland, Bulgaria (Fox)
Ukraine Is Using Elon Musk’s Starlink For Drone Strikes (DW)
Elon Musk Slams Twitter’s Top Lawyer (DM)
Audio From Internal Twitter Meeting Leaked By Project Veritas (PM)
Durham To Call Former FBI General Counsel James Baker (Fox)
Text Message Makes Case ‘Materially’ Worse For Michael Sussmann (Hill)
Glenn Greenwald on Elon Musk Motives and Purchase of Twitter (CTH)
Denmark Suspends Covid Vaccination Campaign (IP)
Pfizer Seeks Authorization of COVID-19 Booster Shot for Ages 5 to 11 (R.)
Wimbledon Will Allow Unvaccinated Players To Compete – But Not Russians (GBN)
Alfa Bank Hoax Researchers Also Worked For Robert Mueller (Fed.)
Soros-funded Group Works Behind The Scenes With Biden Admin On Policy (Fox)
Financial Records Reveal Joe Biden Had $5.2 Million In Unexplained Income (DM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones reinstated

 

 

 

 

Twitter thread turned into an article by MoA.

A Recap Of The War In Ukraine (Gonzalo Lira)

Quick recap for those who haven’t followed what’s been going on in Ukraine but want to understand: 02/24: The Russians invaded from the south, south-east, east and north, in a lightning campaign. The Russians invaded with 190K troops—against 250K combat troops from Ukraine. The RF put 30K troops near Kiev—nowhere near enough to capture the city—but enough to pin down some 100K AFU defenders. The RF also launched several axes of attack, with reinforcements on standby (including a famed 40km long tank column), to see where they might be needed. Crucially—the Russian’s blitz on several axes pre-empted an imminent UKRAINIAN blitzkrieg. The AFU had been about to invade the Donbas. This was the immediate motivation for Russia’s invasion: To beat them to the punch and scuttle Ukraine’s imminent invasion—which they did.

Also, by attacking from the north and south, the Russians disrupted weapons supply chain from NATO. Had the RF only attacked in the east to prevent the AFU invasion of Donbas, there would have been an open corridor for resupply from the West. Threatening Kiev stopped that. So the main AFU army was left stranded in east Ukraine, with the rest of the Ukr. forces isolated and pinned down—with no easy resupply from the West. The RF then went about hitting AFU command/control and resupply links, further isolating and immobilizing Ukrainian forces. The Russians soon nominally controlled land the size of the UK in Ukraine—but it was a tenuous control. The south of Ukraine was more fully in Russia’s grip. The AFU around Kherson simply scattered. Mariupol became a clear battleground, as did the Donbas proper.

What the Russians initially wanted was to: • Short-circuit the imminent Donbas invasion – which they did. • Scare the Zelensky regime into negotiating a political settlement – which they failed to do. Kiev had no intention of negotiating a ceasefire because of orders given to them from Washington: “Fight Russia to the last Ukrainian!” Also, the Neo-Nazi goons around Zelensky threatened him if he negotiated and surrendered because they are terrified of the Russians. So Zelensky launched a massive PR and propaganda campaign, primarily to motivate AFU forces to fight to the death. Myths were created (Ghost of Kiev), false flags were carried out (Bucha, Kramatorsk) and relentless media stories were flogged relentlessly.

The Russians kept negotiating and trying to NOT destroy Ukraine infrastructure. In fact at first they were even trying to minimize AFU casualties. The evidence for this is overwhelming: The RF did not hit civilian infrastructure – water, electric, phone, transportation. They did not hit AFU barracks, command centers, government buildings, etc. The Russians’ initial priority was for a *negotiated settlement*. But by late March, they realized this was impossible. This is why the RF withdrew from Kiev. There was no sense putting men near the city when they were not doing what they were supposed to do – putting political pressure on the Zelensky regime to negotiate. This withdrawal was claimed as a “victory” in the “Battle of Kiev”! lmao

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A Telegram entry. Transnistria is “pro-Russian”. Romania is a NATO member.

Possible Romanian-Ukrainian Joint Offensive On Transnistria (T.)

I’ve already posted the translation of Igor Strelkov’s message on the possible Romanian-Ukrainian joint offensive on Transnistrian (“Pridnestrovian”) Moldavian Republic here – https://t.me/ZradaXXII/1898
Yesterday he posted additional info: Information about the joint preparation of the Romanian-Ukrainian coalition for the “cleansing” of Transnistria received additional confirmation. In addition to the units of the Moldovan army that are equipped with Romanian personnel as mentioned in my previous report on this topic, there is information about the training of entire military units on the territory of Romania proper and already disguised as Moldovan military. There is also information about the concentration of Ukrainian units on the border with Transnistria.

The “interest” of the Ukrainian military command is not only to give Kremlin a “political click on the nose”, but also has quite applied goals: the capture of the ammunition depots in Kolbasnaya, where a fairly large amount of ammunition for Soviet-made artillery systems is still being stored. The Moldovan authorities and military are openly afraid of war and do not even really hide their fears. But if (or rather, when) the order is given, absolutely no one will ask them. The Transnistrian army has zero chance to counter the offensive for any significant period of time without external support in the event of an attack from both sides (and this is exactly what is being planned, as the Nazi governor of the Odessa region Marchenko has already hinted).

And the Russian Armed Forces are currently unable to help Transnistria with anything but a certain number of missile strikes at infrastructure facilities. Our sources estimate the probability of the enemy attack on Tiraspol in April-early May already as “high”. https://t.me/strelkovii/2481

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“..deliveries through the Yamal-Europe pipeline would stop Wednesday morning. The Yamal pipeline carries natural gas from Russia to Poland and Germany through Belarus.”

Gas prices in Europe are rising fast as we speak.

Gazprom Cutting Off Gas Supplies To Poland, Bulgaria (Fox)

Polish and Bulgarian officials said Tuesday that Russian energy company Gazprom informed them it was suspending natural gas supplies to the two countries for their refusal to pay in Russian rubles. The suspensions, which would take effect Wednesday, would be the first since Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that “unfriendly” foreign buyers would have to pay the state-owned Gazprom in rubles instead of dollars and euros. European leaders said they would not comply with the rubles requirement, arguing that it violated the terms of contracts and their sanctions against Russia over its military aggression against Ukraine. Only Hungary has agreed to Putin’s demands.


Around 60% of imports are paid in euros, and the rest in dollars. Putin’s demand was apparently intended to help bolster the Russian currency amid the Western sanctions imposed over the war. Poland’s state gas company, PGNiG, said it was informed by Gazprom that its deliveries through the Yamal-Europe pipeline would stop Wednesday morning. The Yamal pipeline carries natural gas from Russia to Poland and Germany through Belarus. Poland has been receiving some 9 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually, fulfilling some 45% of the country’s needs. The Bulgarian Energy Ministry said it was also notified that Bulgaria’s supplies of Russian gas via the TurkStream pipeline would cease on Wednesday.

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Unintended consequences?

Ukraine Is Using Elon Musk’s Starlink For Drone Strikes (DW)

Just after Russia’s invasion began in late February, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov took to Twitter to ask US billionaire Elon Musk to activate his Starlink satellites for use in Ukraine. Musk swiftly tweeted his response: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.” Soon after, a number of terminals and powerful batteries arrived in Ukraine. Others soon followed. Fedorov took to Twitter again to express his gratitude: “Starlink — here. Thanks, @elonmusk.” No secret dispatches, no long debates, no governmental or parliamentary controls: just a very public deal between a politician whose country has been attacked and an enigmatic billionaire who went on to challenge the aggressor, Russian President Vladimir Putin, to “single combat.”

What at first looked like a PR coup now seems to be playing a significant role in Ukraine’s defense. British media have reported that Ukraine’s army is making very successful use of Starlink for drone attacks on Russian tanks and positions. The Telegraph reported that Starlink is of particular military significance in areas where the infrastructure is weak and there is no internet connection. According to The Telegraph, the aerial reconnaissance unit Aerorozvidka is using Starlink to monitor and coordinate unmanned aerial vehicles, enabling soldiers to fire anti-tank weapons with targeted precision.

Only the system’s high data rates can provide the stable communication required, The Telegraph reported. An officer with the Aerorozvidka unit described the system to The Times: “We use Starlink equipment and connect the drone team with our artillery team,” he said. “If we use a drone with thermal vision at night, the drone must connect through Starlink to the artillery guy and create target acquisition.” The Times reported that the Aerorozvidka team runs about 300 information-gathering missions each day. Attacks are then carried out at night, according to the newspaper, because the drones, some of which are equipped with thermal cameras, are almost impossible to see in the dark.

Starlink satellites are intended to provide internet to undersupplied regions far from urban centers. The potential for using satellites to get information to people in regions where the internet is censored had been discussed. Few, however, had imagined that its initial use would be in a European war zone in which one of the aggressor’s first acts at the start of the invasion was to target and destroy power supplies and internet connections. Ukrainians have — or have regained — access to information. According to The Telegraph, Starlink is one of the most popular app downloads in Ukraine, enabling more than 100,000 people to stay updated about what is happening in the war, and to keep in touch with the outside world.

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There’s a story here, or actually more than one. Vijaya Gadde is Twitter’s top lawyer, “Trust & Safety lead”, and ‘moral authority’. But deputy counsel is…. (see below)

Elon Musk Slams Twitter’s Top Lawyer (DM)

Elon Musk has taken aim at Twitter’s top lawyer for censoring stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop after it was reported she’d sobbed at news he’d bought the firm. The tycoon – whose $44bn purchase of Twitter was confirmed Monday – issued a scathing tweet in response to reports Vijaya Gadde, 48, had been crying at news of the deal. He wrote: ‘Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate.’ Musk was referring to the suspension of the New York Post’s account for its exclusive about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the run-up to the 2020 election. Initially dismissed as ‘misinformation’ by liberal outlets and social media networks, the laptop and its contents have since been verified by many of the same publications.

Gadde – who’s described as Twitter’s ‘moral authority’ – broke down in tears on Monday, Politico reported. She did so while briefing her team via videolink on the future of the company under Musk, following his $44 billion deal to takeover the company. Her future at the firm now looks shaky after her latest behavior was brought to the attention of the notoriously ruthless Musk. He is likely to slash Twitter’s policies on hate speech and misinformation, having previously branded himself a free-speech absolutist. Twitter staff have been told their jobs are safe for the six months the transfer of ownership is expected to take. But after that, workers like Gadde are likely to be among the first to get the boot.

She was pivotal in the decision to ban Donald Trump from the platform for inciting unrest, and also played a key role in the decision to remove The New York Post’s account when they tweeted their reporting into Hunter Biden’s laptop. Twitter initially froze the New York Post’s main account after it published the story and demanded it delete tweets linking to the Biden articles. It justified the ban by citing a prohibition of distributing hacked material, before backing down when the story was proven to be legitimate.

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What a culture.

“Twitter locked down the ability of its employees to make changes to the platform after it was revealed that @elonmusk has reached a deal to buy the company. The lockdown is to prevent activist employees from sabotaging the platform as revenge for the deal”

Audio From Internal Twitter Meeting Leaked By Project Veritas (PM)

Internal audio of Monday’s Twitter meeting leaked to Project Veritas reveals that leadership is fully cognizant of the free speech agenda that new owner Elon Musk wants to bring to the table. Project Veritas obtained a 45 minute recording of a company-wide call during which Twitter employees questioned board member, Bret Taylor, and CEO, Parag Agrawal, about the company’s direction following Elon Musk’s purchase of the social media platform. Taylor began by saying, “I also just want to acknowledge all the emotions of today. It is an emotional day. I want to acknowledge it. By law, we are required to act in the best interest of our shareholders.”

Agrawal echoed the sentiments and said, “It’s important to acknowledge that all of you have many different feelings about what is happening. He continued, “Many of you are concerned, some of you excited, many people here are waiting to understand how this goes and have an open mind.” Agrawal added that the company’s current “content moderation” policies are “fundamental to keeping Twitter safe and growing.” “We’ll be finding a way to have Elon talk with all of you at the soonest possible opportunity…As you’ve heard from all of us, we don’t have all the answers.”

[..] Elsewhere Tuesday, it was reported that Twitter Trust & Safety lead Vijaya Gadde got emotional with company staff in a reaction speech where she said the future of policies on the platform are currently unclear given the change in ownership. It’s unclear which insiders at the company leaked the audio to Project Veritas. But when it comes to company culture, according to a new New York Times piece, that some “employees have argued in internal messages seen by The Times that their co-workers have shifted too far to the left side of the political spectrum, making employees who support Mr. Musk’s plans too uncomfortable to speak up.”

All hands Twitter call

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Yes, Twitter deputy counsel, behind Vijaya Gadde, is James Baker…

The story goes that Sussmann “lied” to Baker. Who would then be whitewashed. Bit covenient? Baker had NO IDEA that Sussman was lying?

Durham To Call Former FBI General Counsel James Baker (Fox)

Special Counsel John Durham plans to call former FBI General Counsel James Baker to testify in the case against former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, who was recently indicted for making false statements to the FBI. During a virtual status hearing Tuesday, government prosecutors on Durham’s team signaled their intention to call Baker to testify as part of the Sussmann case. Sussmann has pleaded not guilty to one count of making a false statement to a federal agent. Durham’s indictment alleges that Sussmann told then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016 that he was not doing work “for any client” when he requested and held a meeting in which he presented data and evidence of a purported secret communications channel between then-candidate Donald Trump and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.

The indictment against Sussmann says he lied to Baker when he presented data linking the Trump Organization to a secret server that communicated with Alfa Bank. The indictment indicates Durham may be expanding his investigation to bring separate charges again Sussmann or additional defendants. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Tuesday asked both the government and Sussmann’s defense to continue moving forward in their discovery process, which could take months, due to the thousands of pages of classified material involved. During the hearing, government prosecutors said, at this point, that they had provided Sussmann’s attorneys with 6,000 documents – amounting to up to some 80,000 pages.

Earlier this month, in a court filing dated Oct. 20, Durham and his team outlined its first production of discovery to the defense, which included the thousands of documents, and documents received “in response to grand jury subpoenas issued to fifteen separate individuals, entities and organizations–including, among others, political organizations, a university, university researchers, an investigative firm, and numerous companies.” Cooper said he understood that the process would be cumbersome but urged both the prosecution and the defense to come up with a target date for a trial later this year or early next. Both the prosecution and the defense signaled they are aiming for a trial to begin in the spring of 2022. The next court date in the matter is set for a status hearing on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. Baker, who serves as deputy counsel at Twitter, left the FBI in May 2018 after serving as a top lawyer at the FBI. Baker was also a confidante of former FBI Director James Comey.

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3 weeks ago.

Text Message Makes Case ‘Materially’ Worse For Michael Sussmann (Hill)

On a Sunday night just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, top Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann allegedly texted his old friend, the FBI’s then-general counsel James Baker, to say that he urgently needed to convey “sensitive” information to the Bureau — “not on behalf of a client or company,” but just because he was a good citizen who wanted to help the government. The information, it turns out, was sculpted to portray Donald Trump, then the Republican nominee for president, as if he were in cahoots with the Kremlin. I say “sculpted” advisedly. In reality, according to the false-statements indictment against him, Sussmann was actually representing two clients: Rodney Joffe, an information technology expert, and the Democratic campaign of Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Joffe, to whom the Sussmann indictment refers as “Tech Executive-1” and describes as angling for a job in the anticipated Clinton administration, was then working with a team of IT pros to curate records of internet communications. His objective, according to the indictment, was to project the appearance of a communications back-channel between Trump Tower in New York City and Alfa Bank, an important Russian financial institution with ties to Vladimir Putin’s regime. The Clinton campaign reportedly wanted to depict the allegation as so serious that the FBI was investigating it. Sussmann, the Washington insider who was billing his time on the Trump/Russia matter to the Clinton campaign, was the perfect messenger to get the FBI’s attention.

The existence of the critical text message was revealed [3 weeks ago] by prosecutor John Durham, the Justice Department special counsel who is investigating the origins of “Russiagate” — as the FBI’s probe of former President Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia is popularly known. Russiagate appears to have been ignited by bogus opposition research manufactured by the Clinton campaign, whose operatives hyped it to media outlets and government officials.

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Sort of what I said yesterday: he can’t make it any worse.

Glenn Greenwald on Elon Musk Motives and Purchase of Twitter (CTH)

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson previewed a discussion with Glenn Greenwald that will appear in full tomorrow on Fox Nation. In this segment {Direct Rumble Link Here} Greenwald gives his perspective on the motives of Elon Musk purchasing Twitter. Greenwald does a good job encapsulating the essential support most feel for the Musk effort. There are many people still uncertain about how this will all roll out, and Musk has been favorable to Big Govt in his two most famous endeavors, Tesla and SpaceX. Elon Musk’s phase of pushing back against speech and internet control is more recent, and as a result has left many people wondering about it.


As Greenwald notes, there really isn’t a downside for people who are trying to break the totalitarian and monopoly control systems on the internet. The upside benefits to on-line freedom, debate, discussion and the first real effort to stop internet censorship are well worth supporting. Greenwald eloquently puts an appropriate context to the battle.

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May many follow…

Denmark Suspends Covid Vaccination Campaign (IP)

Denmark, which in February lifted all curbs related to the coronavirus pandemic, said Tuesday it was suspending its widespread Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Noting that the epidemic was under control and that vaccination levels were high, the Danish Health Authority said the country was in a “good position.” “Therefore, we are winding down the mass vaccination program against Covid-19,” said Bolette Soborg, director of the authority’s department of infectious diseases. Around 81 percent of Denmark’s 5.8 million inhabitants have received two doses of the vaccine and 61.6 percent have also received a booster.


Denmark noted a drop in the number of new infections and stable hospitalization rates. While invitations for vaccinations would no longer be issued after May 15, health officials anticipate that vaccinations would resume after the summer. “We plan to reopen the vaccination program in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines,” Soberg said. As a wave of the omicron variant hit the country last November, Denmark intensified its immunization campaign, accelerating access to booster shots and offering a fourth dose from mid-January to the most vulnerable.

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Criminal.

Pfizer Seeks Authorization of COVID-19 Booster Shot for Ages 5 to 11 (R.)

Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech SE said on Tuesday that they had submitted an application to the U.S. health regulator for the authorization of a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years. The companies earlier this month reported data from a mid-to-late stage study showing a third dose of their shot increased protection against the original coronavirus version and the omicron variant among children in the age group. It is unclear how much demand there is for a third vaccine dose in the age group. Just 28% of children aged 5 to 11 years – around 8.2 million – are fully vaccinated, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There has also been some skepticism on the need for boosters in younger children given the reduced risk of severe infection and hospitalization in the age group. Pfizer and BioNTech have filed for the clearance of a 10-microgram booster dose for children 5 to 11 years. Adults receive a 30-microgram dose of the vaccine. The primary two-dose COVID-19 shot from Pfizer and BioNTech was authorized in the United States for children 5 to 11 years in October. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January authorized the use of a third dose of the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. The agency has also authorized a booster shot for children aged 5 through 11 years who are immunocompromised.

Rival Moderna Inc is still waiting for a decision from U.S. regulators on the use of its primary COVID-19 series among age groups under 18 years. It plans to submit an application to the FDA for the authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine among kids six months to five years by the end of April.

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You don’t count anymore if you don’t ban some people.

Wimbledon Will Allow Unvaccinated Players To Compete – But Not Russians (GBN)

Tennis players who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to participate at this year’s Wimbledon Championships, organisers have said. This clears the way for Novak Djokovic to compete, after the Serb was denied entry to the Australian Open earlier in the year due to his vaccination status. Djokovic said earlier this year he would be willing to skip tournaments if he requires vaccination, however officials have confirmed that he will not need to do so in order to compete at the grand slam. The UK Government left Wimbledon with “no viable alternative” but to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Championships, chairman Ian Hewitt told the All England Club’s spring briefing.

Expanding on last week’s announcement that Wimbledon and the preceding grass-court events would be the first individual tennis tournaments to bar players from the two countries, Hewitt said the club was left with only two options – an outright ban or forcing players to sign declarations condemning the invasion of Ukraine. He said: “The UK Government has set out directional guidance for sporting bodies and events in the UK with the specific aim of limiting Russia’s influence. “After lengthy and careful consideration, we came to two firm conclusions. First, even if we were to accept entries from Russian and Belarusian players with written declarations, we would risk their success or participation being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which we could not accept.

“Second, we have a duty to ensure no actions we take should put players or their families at risk. We understand and deeply regret the impact this decision will have on all the people affected. “But we believe we have made the most responsible decision possible in the circumstances, and there is no viable alternative within the framework of the government’s position to the decision we have taken in this truly exceptional and tragic situation”.

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What a cesspool.

Alfa Bank Hoax Researchers Also Worked For Robert Mueller (Fed.)

The U.S. Department of Defense and private individuals pumping the Alfa Bank hoax also assisted former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump for supposed collusion with Russia, newly discovered documents suggest. The Georgia Tech researchers embroiled in the Alfa Bank hoax prepared white papers for the U.S. Department of Defense about the Democratic National Committee hack and created a “Mueller List” on the Russian intelligence agency hackers, the newly obtained documents indicate. The white papers were prepared for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a section of the U.S. Department of Defense. A recent dump of documents from Georgia Tech reveals that explosive detail and several other facts connected to the continuing special counsel investigation into Spygate. Here’s a rundown.

Last month, The Federalist first reported that Special Counsel John Durham’s team asked lead Georgia Tech researcher Manos Antonakakis: “‘Do you believe that DARPA should be instructing you to investigate the origins of a hacker (Guccifer_2.0) that hacked a political entity (DNC)?’” Antonakakis responded that that was a question for the DARPA director, an implied acknowledgment that yes, DARPA had asked him to investigate the hack. In response, DARPA’s chief of communications denied any involvement “in efforts to attribute the DNC hack.” “Dr. Antonakakis worked on DARPA’s Enhanced Attribution program, which did not involve analysis of the DNC hack,” DARPA spokesman Jared Adams told the Washington Examiner.

Adams further told the Washington Examiner that “DARPA was not involved in efforts to attribute the Guccifer 2.0 persona, nor any involvement in efforts to attribute the origin of leaked emails provided to Wikileaks.” But now an email obtained by The Federalist indicates Georgia Tech researchers drafted a series of white papers for DARPA, including on the “DNC attack attribution,” and on what they called a “Mueller List” of “domains and indicators related” to DNC hackers. The email dated July 23, 2021 followed Durham dropping a second subpoena on Georgia Tech for more documents related to its investigation of the Alfa Bank hoax and other related issues. (More on that subpoena below). In that email, a lawyer representing David Dagon, the second Georgia Tech researcher involved in the Alfa Bank hoax who also worked on the DARPA Enhanced Attribution program, shared a list of “documents/data sources” Dagon believed would be responsive to the subpoena of Georgia Tech documents.

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Soros keeps shaping the world he’ll never live in.

Soros-funded Group Works Behind The Scenes With Biden Admin On Policy (Fox)

A secretive group backed by millions of dollars from liberal billionaire George Soros is working behind the scenes with President Biden’s administration to shape policy, documents reviewed by Fox News show. Governing for Impact (GFI), the veiled group, boasts in internal memos of implementing more than 20 of its regulatory agenda items as it works to reverse Trump-era deregulations by zeroing in on education, environmental, health care, housing and labor issues. “Open Society is proud to support Governing for Impact’s efforts to protect American workers, consumers, patients, students and the environment through policy reform,” Tom Perriello, executive director of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, told Fox News Digital.

“Their work gives voice to people often overlooked in a regulatory environment too often dominated by corporate interests,” he continued. “Our support for Governing for Impact’s work is publicly available on our website and we are transparent about our enthusiasm for their victories for American workers and families.” GFI, however, works to remain secretive. It is invisible to internet search engines like Google (an unrelated “Govern for Impact” is the only group that appears in a search). No news reports or press releases appear on its existence outside of a mention of its related action fund in a previous Fox News article on the $1.6 billion Arabella Advisors-managed dark money network, to which it is attached. But as the group attempted to conceal its operations, it sought talent on Harvard Law School’s website, which was discoverable. The posting, which no longer appears on the site, was for legal policy internships.

The Harvard advert said the group was established to prepare the Biden administration for a “transformative governance” and that it had produced “more than 60 in-depth, shovel-ready regulatory recommendations” for dozens of federal agencies. The listing also contained an email address ending in “@governingforimpact.org,” which is the group’s website that can only be accessed by those who know the URL. According to its website, Rachael Klarman, a Harvard Law School grad, steers the group. Her father, Michael Klarman, is a professor at Harvard Law and also has ties to progressive advocacy groups. He is an advisory board member of the left-wing dark money judicial group Take Back the Court. Last year, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, invited him to testify before Congress on dark money’s “assault” on the judiciary system.

“Governing for Impact is the perfect example of the Left’s fake outrage over ‘dark money’ in politics,” said the Capital Research Center’s Parker Thayer, who discovered the group and alerted Fox News. “As a ‘fiscally sponsored’ dark money project that writes and pushes regulations from the shadows, hidden from the public and funded by one billionaire foundation, GFI embodies everything the Left pretends to abhor.” “Governing for Impact conducts and shares research designed to help ensure that the federal government works more effectively for everyday working Americans, not just for members of industry groups that have long devoted vast resources to pursuing their own policy agendas,” Rachael Klarman told Fox News. “We were founded in 2019 and have developed detailed regulatory recommendations for multiple federal agencies, which are published on our website,” she said.

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“Joe Biden agreed to pay son Hunter’s legal fees for his deal with a Chinese government-controlled company..”

Financial Records Reveal Joe Biden Had $5.2 Million In Unexplained Income (DM)

Joe Biden agreed to pay son Hunter’s legal fees for his deal with a Chinese government-controlled company, emails reveal. The revelation ties the president even closer to Hunter’s overseas business dealings – and makes his previous claims that he never discussed them with his son, even less plausible. Joe was able to pay the bills after earning millions of dollars through his and his wife’s companies after he left office as vice president. Some of the wave of cash came from their book deals and speaking engagements. But the president’s financial filings reveal that he declared almost $7million more income on his tax returns than he did on his government transparency reports, an analysis by DailyMail.com of the president’s financial records shows.

Some of that difference can be accounted for with salaries earned by First Lady Jill Biden and other sums not required on his reports – but still leaves $5.2million earned by Joe’s company and not listed on his transparency reports. The ‘missing millions’ – combined with emails on Hunter’s abandoned laptop suggesting Joe would have a 10% share in Hunter’s blockbuster deal with the Chinese – raise a troubling question: did Joe Biden receive money from the foreign venture? In January 2019, Hunter’s assistant Katie Dodge wrote an email to book-keeper Linda Shapero and Biden aide Richard Ruffner, saying Joe had agreed to pay his hundreds of thousands of dollars of bills. ‘I spoke with Hunter today regarding his bills. It is my understanding that Hunt’s dad will cover these bills in the short-term as Hunter transitions in his career,’ Dodge said.

The assistant attached a spreadsheet of bills with the email, totaling $737,130.61. One of the last items was $28,000 in legal fees for the ‘restructuring’ of Hunter’s joint venture with the government-controlled Bank of China. The spreadsheet listed the bill as ‘Faegre Baker Daniels: BHR Restructuring’ costing $28,382 and due ‘ASAP’. BHR (‘Bohai Harvest RST’) is a private equity firm and one of Hunter’s two major Chinese business ventures. The joint venture was co-owned by the state-controlled Bank of China. Hunter’s personal attorney, George Mesires, is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels, now called Faegre Drinker. A separate October 2018 invoice from the law firm shows Hunter spent a total $68,933.41 on the ‘restructuring’ beginning in September 2016.

The same year Joe took on these bills from Hunter, he promised that ‘No one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country.’ Yet not only did Hunter hold on to his 10% share of BHR through 2021, confirmed by White House press secretary Jen Psaki last February, the emails also indicate Joe knew about it, and even agreed to pay Hunter’s legal fees for the firm. The bills also include $412,309.23 in unpaid taxes dating back to 2015.

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Getting paid to destroy crops

 

 

 

 

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Feb 022022
 


Jan van Eyck Madonna and Child at the Fountain 1439 (height: 7.4“, 19cm)

 

Truckers Are Lighting “Brushfires of Freedom” In Millions of Minds (Rossini)
Ottawa City Councillor Wants To Seize Freedom Convoy GoFundMe Funds (RTN)
COVID Affects Your Memory (Gutentag)
Covid Vaccine Hesitancy Could Be Linked To Childhood Trauma (G.)
Lockdowns Had Little Or No Impact On Covid-19 Deaths (WT)
Big Tech Purges Anti-lockdown Scientists (JTN)
Scientists Speak Out On Being Silenced On Lab Leak Theory (Fox)
Watch The Diversion! (Denninger)
Top Doctor Calls for Reinstatement of People Fired Over Vaccine Mandates (TH)
Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Injuring Record Number of Young People (CHD)
47 Million Americans Quit Their Jobs Last Year: ‘Uncharted Territory’ (CNBC)
It’s a Mitzvah, Not Anti-Semitism, To Attack Soros’ DA campaigns (Dov Fischer)
Soros Calls For Regime Change In China (RT)
New York Times Sues To Get Hunter Biden Information (Turley)
El Salvador Angrily Rejects IMF Call To Drop Bitcoin Use (AP)

 

 

A lot of farmers will not grow wheat at present fertilizer prices. In the US, many will switch to soy beans.

“Retail fertilizer is ripping in the Midwest as growers begin to put on purchases for spring product. Anhydrous has set a new record at $1492/ton, which is 200% more than this time last year. With harvest delivered corn in the low $5/bu range right now, it doesn’t pencil.”

 

 

Trucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1488672963801104385

 

 

Urso

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..it’s impossible to centrally plan human life. Yet, there’s never a shortage of misguided individuals who are willing to give it a try.”

Truckers Are Lighting “Brushfires of Freedom” In Millions of Minds (Rossini)

Tyranny is nothing new. People who embrace it, and who lust after power, tend to follow a similar pattern. There are no brakes. They always push it too far. They always overplay their hand. They can’t seem to stop themselves once they have a grip on the population. Canada experienced a shocking amount of tyranny over the last several years. And yet, under the extreme pressure that the Canadian people were forced to endure, it appears that a diamond has been formed. Out came a force for liberty that has caught the attention of the entire world! We are born free, and meant to always stay free. Authoritarians, no matter how much data they chase after, can never know or anticipate everything.

Who could have predicted that a major spark would emerge in Canada? Yet, that is how the history of Liberty vs. power has always been. Who could have predicted that 13 colonies would secede from the biggest empire on earth back in 1776? In our world of perpetual uncertainty, it’s impossible to centrally plan human life. Yet, there’s never a shortage of misguided individuals who are willing to give it a try….and create mass human suffering in doing so. It’s hard enough to plan one’s own life, let alone venturing out and foolishly sticking your nose into someone else’s business. But this fact never seems to dawn on authoritarians, no matter how much logic, theory, and history backs it up.

The desire for freedom is innate. It can be suppressed, but not abolished. Life and Liberty are two sides of the same coin. Without Life, there is no Liberty. Without Liberty, there is no Life. When backed into an impossible corner, Life and Liberty always finds a crack to burst through. After 2 years of hardcore tyranny around the world, the ideas of freedom are bursting forth, first in Canada…

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Justin’s not the only Little Napoleon in town…

Ottawa City Councillor Wants To Seize Freedom Convoy GoFundMe Funds (RTN)

The public participation in online crowdfunding for public protests related to the Freedom Convoy taking place in Canada continues to be hit with roadblocks and is becoming a further threat to free expression and the right to protest. After first having GoFundMe temporarily block the release of some of the funds that Canadians have donated to help support the livelihoods of the truckers taking place in the demonstration, GoFundMe began to pay out the funds, with the first payment of $1M in Canadian dollars being released, the campaign organizer tweeted on Friday. However, the campaign has raised more than $7.3 million in Canadian dollars and those funds could now be at risk of being seized by the local government if some politicians get their way.

Mathieu Fleury, the Ottawa City Councillor of Rideau-Vanier Ward, has today announced his support for the government to launch a legal challenge to seize the remaining GoFundMe donations that had been collected online. “This morning, I have asked the city manager and city solicitor to immediately launch court proceedings targeting the millions of dollars in funds frozen by @GoFundMe so Ottawa taxpayers are not left holding the bag for these protests,” Fleury tweeted, before locking his account after facing backlash.

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“While COVID testing may be clinically valuable for people with symptoms, testing millions of asymptomatic people can lead to large-scale, unnecessary quarantines and disruptions (as Fauci has now admitted).”

COVID Affects Your Memory (Gutentag)

In December 2021, the CDC announced a change in quarantine guidelines from 10 days to five, with Fauci confessing that the purpose of the change was to “get people back to jobs” and Walensky stating that the guidelines were based on “what we thought people would be able to tolerate.” These statements came after months and years of restrictions based on the idea that no concern superseded the mitigation of COVID risks—that COVID policies were, by definition, above cost-benefit analysis. In 2020, Fauci and Francis Collins (then director of the National Institutes of Health) had orchestrated a media-assisted smear campaign to this effect against the scientists behind the Great Barrington Declaration, who argued for more focused protection of the elderly and immunocompromised instead of blanket lockdowns.

This effort to quash dissenting viewpoints lasted well past the point when vaccines became available for any adult who wanted them. Now, having attempted to damage the reputations of these scientists, Fauci believes that COVID mitigation policies must be balanced by other priorities. The CDC has also determined that Americans no longer have to test themselves at the end of the new quarantine period because they can stay positive for up to 12 weeks after infection. But this change in testing protocol only confirms that detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has never meant that someone is ill or contagious. A clinical case of a disease almost always involves symptoms, but for COVID, the definition of a “case” for the past two years has been a positive PCR test, symptoms or no symptoms.

In other words, while major news outlets presented rates of “cases” as synonymous with rates of illness, the number of positive PCR tests has never necessarily reflected the number of people sick with COVID (because the SARS-CoV-2 material detected by PCR may not be intact, abundant, or infectious). This was a problem in 2007 when the use of PCR tests to detect pertussis led scientists to believe they were observing an epidemic, only to discover that the tests had been generating false positives and patients most likely had other respiratory infections like the common cold. While COVID testing may be clinically valuable for people with symptoms, testing millions of asymptomatic people can lead to large-scale, unnecessary quarantines and disruptions (as Fauci has now admitted).

Nevertheless, state and city governments used “rising cases” to rationalize shutdowns, school closures, and mask mandates. Public health officials and the media portrayed these raw case numbers as a meaningful metric and presented testing as an infallible tool. In the past month, this approach has abruptly changed. When questioned about child hospitalization rates, Fauci recently cited broken bones and appendicitis as among the reasons for high hospitalization numbers, telling MSNBC, “It’s over-counting the number of children who are, quote ‘hospitalized with COVID,’ as opposed to because of COVID.” By the first week of January, data released by New York state showed that about half of all COVID patients in New York City hospitals were admitted for reasons other than COVID; in Los Angeles, the same was true for about two-thirds of COVID patients. The Los Angeles Times argued that the number of incidental hospitalizations during omicron means “this surge is different.” But how different is it, really?

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The craziest thing in quite some time. Those involved in its research and publishing should either get a big Stupidity Award, or be prosecuted.

Covid Vaccine Hesitancy Could Be Linked To Childhood Trauma (G.)

Refusal or reluctance to have a Covid-19 vaccine may be linked to traumatic events in childhood, such as parents separating, neglect, or physical, verbal and sexual abuse, new research suggests. Those who suffer in childhood are also least likely to trust official NHS coronavirus information, follow the rules of restrictions or wear masks during the pandemic, public health experts found. Two years after the virus first reached the UK and a year after vaccines to protect against it were made available for free on the NHS, millions of people have yet to be vaccinated. Almost one in 10 people in the UK – 9% – have still not had a single dose. Health experts and policymakers are urgently trying to figure out why.

Now the findings of a new study funded by Public Health Wales and published in the journal BMJ Open suggests that Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy may be linked to childhood trauma. Researchers surveyed 2,285 people aged 18 and over in Wales during lockdown restrictions between 2020 and 2021. They were asked about nine different adverse childhood experiences (Aces) as well as low trust in NHS Covid-19 information, whether they backed the removal of social distancing and mandatory face coverings, and breaking Covid rules and vaccine hesitancy. Aces include neglect, physical, psychological or sexual mistreatment, and growing up in a household affected by domestic violence, substance or alcohol abuse and other criminal justice problems.

Parents separating or divorcing, abandonment, or having a parent with a mental health condition are other examples of Aces. The nine Aces included in the study were: physical, verbal and sexual abuse, parental separation, exposure to domestic violence, living with a household member with mental illness, alcohol and/or drug misuse, or a family member in prison. Half of those in the study had not experienced any childhood trauma, one in five had suffered one type, about one in six reported two or three, and one in 10 reported four or more. The results showed that the more trauma people had experienced in childhood, the more likely they were to mistrust NHS Covid-19 information, to feel unfairly restricted by the government and to support the end of mandatory face masks.

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“..lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument..”

Lockdowns Had Little Or No Impact On Covid-19 Deaths (WT)

Lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe had little or no impact in reducing deaths from COVID-19, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The lockdowns during the early phase of the pandemic in 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by about 0.2%, said the broad review of multiple scientific studies. “We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,” the researchers wrote. But the research paper said lockdowns did have “devastating effects” on the economy and contributed to numerous social ills. “They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy,” the report said.


“Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument,” the paper concluded. Early on, many states and 186 countries imposed bans on work, socialization, in-person schooling, travel and other restrictions to limit the spread of the disease, citing recommendations by top health care experts. Researchers at the Imperial College London, for example, predicted that such steps could reduce death rates by up to 98%. That never happened, according to the new study by researchers Steve Hanke, Jonas Herby, and Lars Jonung at Johns Hopkins. “Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote.

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“the whole history of the pandemic and the response are being rewritten in real time by Big Tech to cover up what happened..”

Big Tech Purges Anti-lockdown Scientists (JTN)

The campaign to get Joe Rogan booted from Spotify may have failed for now, but Big Tech appears to be ramping up its COVID-19 “misinformation” crackdown on medical and other figures. Two permanent social media bans bookended Rogan’s interview with mRNA vaccine pioneer-turned-critic Robert Malone, which birthed the trending phrase “mass formation psychosis.” Twitter cited Malone for COVID misinformation shortly before the interview, while LinkedIn “flushed my 30,000 connections and de-platformed me” days after, Malone wrote in his newsletter. “No explanations, no warnings were given.” The last complete archive of his page was Jan. 3.

Malone said he had rarely posted anything “controversial” on the Microsoft-owned professional social network due to his brief suspension last summer, which a LinkedIn “senior executive” blamed on the platform’s purported difficulty in “detangling complicated, subtle scientific claims.” YouTube reportedly removed uploads of the Rogan episode as well, and Malone and others claimed Google was manipulating search results for “mass formation psychosis” to hide the episode, contrasting the search engine’s results with competitor DuckDuckGo. The censorship has not chastened Malone, who has since claimed he “almost died” following his second Moderna vaccine dose, likely due to a “bad batch.”

LinkedIn shut down former Harvard Medical School epidemiologist and lockdown critic Martin Kulldorff’s account last week, allegedly reinstating it without explanation several hours after his affiliated Brownstone Institute noted the removal. It was also Kulldorff’s second brush with LinkedIn, which censored two of his posts for purported misinformation last summer. Twitter suspended his account for a month last spring for disputing the protective powers of commonly worn masks — a position that is now mainstream. The actions suggest “the whole history of the pandemic and the response are being rewritten in real time by Big Tech to cover up what happened, who wrote what and when, and how the thing fleshed itself out in real time,” wrote Brownstone Institute founder Jeffrey Tucker.

Malone Big Tech
https://twitter.com/i/status/1488548271505170433

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I bet most people still don’t believe the lab leak theory. Propaganda is sticky.

Scientists Speak Out On Being Silenced On Lab Leak Theory (Fox)

Some scientists have begun speaking out about efforts to silence researchers who raised concerns about the possibility that COVID-19 could have originated in a Chinese lab. “It shot from every direction from people who we now know were actually thinking exactly the same thing but have chosen to say the opposite, which is extraordinary,” Australian Dr. Nikolai Petrovsky, a Flinders University Medicine professor, told Fox News of the backlash he received for voicing concerns that the pandemic may have originated in a lab. Petrovsky was not alone, according to reporting from Fox News’ Benjamin Hall, who spoke with scientists from Israel, the U.S., Australia, Germany, the U.K., Australia and Germany. The scientists told Fox News that they received backlash and resistance to getting their work published, even from those who quietly believed in the possibility of the “lab-leak theory.”


“It’s taken two years for that to finally come out and be exposed,” Petrovsky said. The scientists say that there was a top-down effort aimed at protecting the scientific community from negative public attention, with fears spreading among scientists that a public realization that the pandemic may have spread due to gain-of-function research in a lab could hamper future experiments. Many in the scientific community who attempted to speak out about COVID-19’s origins were labeled conspiracy theorists in the media and by fellow scientists early on in the pandemic, even though the possibility of human error has now gained renewed attention from experts. The scientists expressed fear to Fox News that the silencing of such voices has led to little change, with gain-of-function research continuing both in the U.S. and abroad despite growing calls for international regulation.

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DARPA.

Watch The Diversion! (Denninger)

Let’s cut the crap eh? It’s established that DARPA was handed a proposal from Ecohealth, Duke, UNC and Palo Alto Labs that intended for work to be done at the WIV and then intentionally released into bat caves in China related to coronaviruses. It’s also established that DARPA told them to pound sand, because, as I’ve pointed out, it not only violated gain-of-function but also raised grave concerns about being dual use (that is, bioweapon use) and that Ecohealth was apparently claiming the right to do same on a foreign land where they neither owned the cave or the people around there that might get screwed. As it turns out people did get screwed and it appears to have initiated right there. There is evidence NIH funded this after DARPA told them to go to Hell. The evidence points to that how Covid-19 occurred.

Proved? Not yet. But if not… it’s a hell of a coincidence, isn’t it — both on what was being done and the timing. But note well that Trump, and Fox, are all over the Wuhan Institute only. Oddly silent is that institutions right here in the United States appear to have been part of it. They most-certainly were in the original proposal which has surfaced, I remind you. Exactly nobody has called for a full and open investigation into that, and there is evidence that they were involved after DARPA rejected the work too in the form of transfer agreements in late 2019, just before everything went to Hell. Where be the subpoenas out of Congress, may I ask? Where be anything other than the focus on China? Yeah, China was involved and covered it up. That’s clear.

But what’s also clear is that China has also not released the information including exactly what was transferred back, to whom and when. So yeah, let’s bag on China because they deserve it. But at the same time where’s the big fat wrecking ball and even criminal charges for those in the so-called “public health” and “research” community right here in the United States that got involved in this crap and, it appears, may well be equally responsible for what happened? Oh, you want to know why not? Here you go: The scientists expressed fear to Fox News that the silencing of such voices has led to little change, with gain-of-function research continuing both in the U.S. and abroad despite growing calls for international regulation. There you are. They’re still doing it.

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Very obvious. But who’s first?

Top Doctor Calls for Reinstatement of People Fired Over Vaccine Mandates (TH)

After instruction from President Joe Biden and federal government regulators, a number of corporations fired workers who refused the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine. They did so before the Supreme Court ruled Biden’s vaccine mandate for large companies was unconstitutional. Now, with worker shortages and long delayed scientific evidence from the Centers for Disease Control that the vaccine does not prevent the transmission of the virus, a number of companies are hiring back previously fired workers. Dr. Marty Makary, a top doctor for John’s Hopkins University, has been calling on companies to rehire fired employees for weeks. Now, he’s calling for workers to not only give people their jobs back but to issue an apology.


“Public-health officials ruined many lives by insisting that workers with natural immunity to Covid-19 be fired if they weren’t fully vaccinated. But after two years of accruing data, the superiority of natural immunity over vaccinated immunity is clear. By firing staff with natural immunity, employers got rid of those least likely to infect others. It’s time to reinstate those employees with an apology,” Dr. Makary writes in the Wall Street Journal. “None of this should surprise us. For years, studies have shown that infection with the other coronaviruses that cause severe illness, SARS and MERS, confers lasting immunity. In a study published in May 2020, Covid-recovered monkeys that were rechallenged with the virus didn’t get sick. Public-health officials have a lot of explaining to do.”

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Medical debt.

Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Injuring Record Number of Young People (CHD)

In one-fourth (or more) of consumer bankruptcies, medical debt is the predominant causal factor, often triggered by “sudden adverse events.” As of 2022, vaccine adverse event reporting of heart disease following COVID vaccines had increased 15,600% in young people under the age of 30, compared to the previous 31 years of heart injuries reported following receipt of FDA-approved vaccines. Autism, linked to vaccines as well as other toxic exposures, furnishes a cautionary tale, potentially saddling families with lifetime care costs of $1.4 to $2.4 million. In 2010, a government study estimated 1 in every 38 vaccine doses (2.6%) produced an adverse reaction. However, the sluggish and adversarial vaccine injury compensation process and a sky-high burden of proof leave two-thirds of claims dismissed or in limbo.

Emergency Use Authorization COVID shots are even less likely to garner vaccine injury compensation. Attorneys caution, “If you have suffered a serious injury from a Covid-19 vaccine, you are basically on your own.” With over a million COVID-vaccine-related adverse events reported since December 2020, households are racking up extraordinary debt and turning to crowdfunding for help. Heart conditions, among the 20 most expensive conditions treated in American hospitals, pack a financial wallop. According to CDC, 96% of those under age 30 who experience heart injuries following COVID vaccination are hospitalized. Children tend to have a more sudden and severe myocarditis presentation than adults, with an estimated 7% to 15% mortality rate. Children hospitalized with myocarditis are more likely to die than children admitted with other diagnoses.

Studies of children and adolescents who developed myocarditis following COVID vaccination show a “potentially poor prognosis despite the heart seeming to have returned to normal.” According to Mayo Clinic, “the greatest burden of myocarditis may not be apparent for 6-12 years after diagnosis when children die or need to undergo cardiac transplantation.” Cardiac injuries triggered by dangerous COVID injections appear to be good for business. A July 2021 BusinessWire report forecast a booming market for cardiac assist devices, noting “increasing incidence of heart failure is driving growth.” Families, however, are left holding the bag not just emotionally, but financially, blindsided by financial impacts they surely never anticipated.

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Great Migration.

47 Million Americans Quit Their Jobs Last Year: ‘Uncharted Territory’ (CNBC)

Another historically high 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in December, according to the Labor Department’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, closing out a record-shattering year when roughly 47.4 million people voluntarily left their jobs for better work during the pandemic and Great Resignation. For comparison, 42.1 million people quit in 2019, at the time considered the tightest labor market on record. “All of this is uncharted territory,” says Rucha Vankudre, a senior economist at Emsi Burning Glass, a labor market analytics firm. The U.S. saw record-breaking months of turnover throughout 2021, with early signs of trouble kicking off in April as vaccination efforts improved, consumer activity rebounded and businesses scrambled to re-staff to meet demand.

Workers, especially in low-wage service roles, quit their jobs for higher pay and better work conditions. Employers responded to record turnover by “trying to get employees in the door” with signing bonuses, higher salaries, the option to work remotely and expanding their geographic hiring boundaries for teleworkers, Vankudre tells CNBC Make It. They’ve increased retention efforts by offering more employee training and development opportunities. “Employers are doing what they can at this point,” Vankudre says. She expects pay increases to continue unabated as a means of attracting new hires, retaining workers and pulling people back into the workforce. “What else can they do? We’ll have to see. They’ve done the things we’ve expected them to do at increasing rates, but what’s next?”

Even still, rising wages may not be enough to keep pace with the rate of inflation. Though wages rose 4.7% from a year prior, according to the Labor Department, consumer prices reached a 40-year high in December, when the consumer price index (which measures the cost of goods and services) showed a 7% jump year-over-year.

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Rabbi Dov Fischer is western regional vice president of Coalition for Jewish Values.

It’s a Mitzvah, Not Anti-Semitism, To Attack Soros’ DA campaigns (Dov Fischer)

Ever since Jonathan Greenblatt, a woke former Obama White House official, took over the Anti-Defamation League, it reflexively screams “Anti-Semitism!” when critics fault Soros’ political work — and the left loyally follows suit. It therefore falls upon established rabbis with authentic Jewish lifetime bona fides, like yours truly, to assert unequivocally that it’s a mitzvah (a righteous act) — not “anti-Semitism” — to castigate George Soros for his radical attempts to undermine public safety and the American republic. I’ll be clear: Political pundits, ranging from columnists to cartoonists to on-air talent, should not hesitate to condemn Soros as perhaps the most despicable person in public affairs.

Disbursing tens of millions of dollars, Soros has funded local campaigns across America to elect progressive district attorneys who agitate for the lethal cocktail of defunding police and decriminalization. These prosecutors tend not to prosecute property crimes or severe misdemeanors. Instead, they purposefully undercharge felonies as misdemeanors, then plead them down to disorderly-conduct violations. The result? A new term, “smash and grab,” has entered the crime lexicon. Soros just poured a whopping $125 million into a super PAC called Democracy PAC, noting the donation is a “long-term investment.” Prior to this, between 2015 and 2019, he and his affiliated PACs spent more than $17 million on local DA races. That number is believed to have topped $20 million from just 2020 to 2021.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner received $1.7 million from a Soros PAC for the 2017 campaign that put him into office, an unheard-of sum for such a race. Last year, 559 people were murdered in his city, the most in history. Cook County, Ill., State’s Attorney Kim Foxx received $2 million from a Soros PAC. In 2021, 797 people were murdered in Chicago, 25 more than in 2020. Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was one of the first individuals Soros supported by when in 2014 he decided to fund progressive prosecutors’ election efforts. Despite progressive Mayor Brandon Scott’s attempt at “violence reduction” strategies, Baltimore’s homicide rate rose for a second year in a row, climbing to 337 in 2021.

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The damage one old man can do…

Soros Calls For Regime Change In China (RT)

Liberal billionaire George Soros called for the replacement of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, comparing the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. In a speech delivered at the conservative Hoover Institution, Soros called China the “world’s most powerful authoritarian state” and “the greatest threat that open societies face today.” Soros claimed that China, “like Germany in 1936,” will “attempt to use the spectacle” of the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games “to score a propaganda victory for its system of strict controls.” He also called Xi “a true believer in communism,” unlike former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who introduced free market reforms, and warned that “Mao Zedong and Vladimir Lenin are his idols.”


Soros concluded his speech with a call for regime change in China – echoing the current line of many American conservatives, who also oppose Xi’s leadership. It is to be hoped that Xi Jinping may be replaced by someone less repressive at home and more peaceful abroad “This would remove the greatest threat that open societies face today and they should do everything within their power to encourage China to move in the desired direction,” the billionaire declared. Soros is the founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundation, which backs liberal and left-wing causes in the US and around the globe, including Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood and immigration reforms. He has also taken an interest in US district attorney races, pouring millions into these contests, with some of these Soros-backed candidates now overseeing prosecution in America’s major cities.

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But only on “Romanian dealings”?

New York Times Sues To Get Hunter Biden Information (Turley)

We have repeatedly discussed the virtual new blackout on the influence peddling by the Biden family, particularly Hunter Biden. Despite overwhelming evidence of millions given by foreign companies and officials, the media has preferred to cover literal scoops over a story of breathtaking levels of self-dealing and corruption by the Bidens. Now, however, the New York Times has sued to force the Biden Administration to turn over information on Hunter Biden’s Romanian dealings. The lawsuit comes after another report that, in 2019, the FBI subpoenaed JP Morgan for records on Hunter Biden’s Chinese dealings.

In a new lawsuit on Monday, the Times sued the State Department to obtain emails from Romanian embassy officials sent between 2015 and 2019 mentioning a number of international business figures, including the president’s son and his former business associate Tony Bobulinski. While the request was sent in December 2021, the Biden Administration told the Times that the soonest that it could possibly turn over the information is April 15, 2023. That is after the mid-term elections. This story could be a bit awkward for the White House staff. When the New York Times Ken Vogel wrote about Hunter Biden’s dealings as a potential “significant liability,” Biden officials viciously attacked him while others suggested that he was a pawn of Russian or Trump disinformation. Of course, the allegations proved to be true and the infamous laptop is now considered authentic.

One of the most outspoken aides denying the entire story was Kate Bedingfield, who is now the director of White House Communications. She denounced the story as an “egregious act of journalistic malpractice.” Andrew Bates, who is now deputy director, tweeted “SCOOP from Philadelphia: KEN VOGEL (@kenvogel ) is a COWARD.” They will now handle questions on this story as White House officials. That includes why President Biden repeatedly said that no one had accused Hunter or his family of “doing anything wrong” when he was presumably aware of the FBI subpoena and the seizure of the laptop. Given these investigations, there is also the question of why a special counsel has not been appointed given President Biden’s past comments that have been contradicted by witnesses (as well as references to his own financial accounts in these emails).

The media and FBI investigations now cover transactions ranging from China, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, and other countries. Millions flowed to the Biden family while Joe Biden was Vice President and later as he prepared for a presidential run. Biden is still running out for ice cream and the media is dutifully covering it. The question however remains whether this will remain just desserts . . . or whether Hunter and others will receive their just deserts for influencing peddling.

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How hard will the IMF and World Bank come after El Salvador?

El Salvador Angrily Rejects IMF Call To Drop Bitcoin Use (AP)

The government of El Salvador on Monday rejected a recommendation by the International Monetary Fund to drop Bitcoin as legal tender in the Central American country. Treasury Minister Alejandro Zelaya angrily said that “no international organization is going to make us do anything, anything at all.” Zelaya told a local television station that Bitcoin is an issue of “sovereignty.” “Countries are sovereign nations and they take sovereign decisions about public policy,” he said. The IMF recommended last week that El Salvador dissolve the $150 million trust fund it created when it made the cryptocurrency legal tender and return any of those unused funds to its treasury.

The agency cited concerns about the volatility of Bitcoin prices, and the possibility of criminals using the cryptocurrency. After nearly doubling in value late last year, Bitcoin has plunged in value. Zelaya said El Salvador has complied with all financial transaction and money laundering rules. The trust fund was intended to allow the automatic conversion of Bitcoin to U.S. dollars — El Salvador’s other currency — to encourage people wary of adopting the highly volatile digital currency. The IMF also recommended eliminating the offer of $30 as an incentive for people to start using the digital wallet “Chivo” and increasing regulation of the digital wallet to protect consumers. It suggested there could be benefits to the use of Chivo, but only using dollars, not Bitcoin.

“In the near-term the actual costs of implementing Chivo and operationalizing the Bitcoin law exceed potential benefits,” the report said. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele had been dismissive of the IMF’s recommendation’s concerning Bitcoin. Government officials told the IMF that the launch of “Chivo” had significantly increased financial inclusion, drawing millions of people who previously lacked bank accounts into the financial system. They also spoke of the parallel tourism promotion targeting Bitcoin enthusiasts.

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Western Australia

 

 

 

 

Healthy child

 

 

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Nov 082020
 


David Hockney The Pond in Autumn 1 November 2020

 

Winner of Trump-Biden Race Will Be Determined By Courts (Jenna Ellis)
Nov. 7 – Biden Hasn’t Won Yet; Trump Has A Path(s) (McCann)
Life Under Biden (Jim Rickards)
Another Election Computer Glitch In Michigan Reversed (JTN)
The GOP Did Not Carry 71,000,000+ Votes, President Trump Did (sundance)
The Kafka Election: Finding a Way Out of the Maze (Miele)
Speedy COVID19 Healers Keep Producing Antibodies After Infection (F.)
The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test (Sacré)
The Narrative Problem After Peak Oil (Watkins)

 

 

Since the US had no official institution to call an election soon after the polls have closed, and people want a result fast, it has befallen on the media to make the announcement. And by and large, this hasn’t been that big a deal. But when those same media have for 4 years relentlessly hounded one of the two candidates, it should be obvious that this “system” should not be applied. If only because it has no legal status whatsoever.

However, people both in the US and abroad don’t appear to be aware of this. So when the New York Times et al declare a winner, this is seen as an “official” announcement. It is not. That won’t come until the Electoral College gathers in December (8-14th?!). And at least until then, Trump will have every right to contest the election in court. Still, “world leaders” are congratulating the “next president”. Do they really not know how this works?

The idea behind it all is obvious, of course: to make Trump look like a sore loser, and Biden the president-elect, a title the media claim they can bestow upon him. Do remember that both Biden’s and Kamala’s campaign were considered dead in the water at one point, before they were magically resurrected by the party machine, which ensured that two people very unpopular in their own party now lead the ticket. Be careful what you wish for.

In that light. I found this intriguing. Twitter adds a warning to this Trump tweet: “Official sources may not have called the race when this was Tweeted”. I haven’t seen one instance where they attached the same warning to tweets about Biden winning and being President Elect. But wouldn’t that be the same thing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

From one of Trump‘s lawyers.

Winner of Trump-Biden Race Will Be Determined By Courts (Jenna Ellis)

Despite projections by many news organizations Saturday that former Vice President Joe Biden has won the presidential election and defeated President Trump, the media don’t have the power to decide the outcome of American elections. Legal challenges by the Trump reelection campaign, where I serve as a legal adviser, are still before the courts and we await judicial rulings on our challenges. In other words, as the late baseball great Yogi Berra said in 1973, referring to the National League pennant race: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” We all want to know who will be president for the next four years. But all Americans should want accurate results above all, no matter who they supported in the race.

So it’s important for everyone to realize that Trump campaign legal challenges must be resolved in the courts before we have an official and legally binding decision on who won the 2020 presidential election. President Trump will continue fighting to ensure a fair and accurate election result. He is right to do this, because it’s vital that we keep our elections free and fair. As Americans, we should all be able to recognize that our rule of law governs and our election process works accurately. For President Trump, the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee, the rule of law, fundamental fairness and accuracy in election results are the goals. None of the legal fights we are waging are novel arguments or anything more than an effort to ensure a fair and accurate election outcome.


Our nation went through a legal challenge to the results in Florida during the 2000 presidential election between then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush and then-Vice President Al Gore, for example. Twenty years ago, some news organizations prematurely said Gore won that very close election and would become the next president of the United States. Those news organizations later pulled back their projections. Legal challenges by the Bush campaign went all the way to the Supreme Court. The nation’s highest court determined that George W. Bush won the election. Imagine how different history would have turned out if Bush has simply thrown in the towel as soon as he heard someone on TV say Gore won the race.

Bill Binney

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Molly McCann is on Sidney Powell’s team.

Nov. 7 – Biden Hasn’t Won Yet; Trump Has A Path(s) (McCann)

The media called the election today, as many predicted would happen. As noted yesterday, the media and the Democrats were desperate to call it. They want to shift momentum to Biden and frame Trump as a sore loser, and worse, a despot attempting a coup. This election is still in play. Arizona is not fully in yet, and Trump continues to close his margin there. The latest results were still breaking for Trump with the margins he needs to close the gap and take the state. We’ll see. Georgia is going to go to a recount no matter what. Pennsylvania is a disaster zone…for the Democrats. I’m not sure if the 100,000 provisional ballots have been counted yet, but they hadn’t been counted when they called the election for Biden. Those could swing Trump back into the lead in PA. There is still so much at play. Are we looking at razor-thin margins? Yes. Has Biden won yet? No. If we could hold Georgia and Arizona outright, I think we could knock out Pennsylvania at SCOTUS. This is the actual electoral map right now:

So, does Trump have a path forward? Yes. First of all, Trump could still win in a relatively traditional manner. Because remember, even though the media is demanding Trump concede, recounts in elections happen with relative regularity. People contest results and we go through processes to make sure everything is above board. 2020 is election insanity on an unprecedented scale (I think), but procedurally, this is not some crazy aberration in politics or elections. So, Trump might still be able to win traditionally, and I pray he does. But it might take more than that.


If we lose Arizona and Georgia and Pennsylvania, then Trump will have to kick it up a notch. He’ll need to block certification and pursue more aggressive measures to win. It should go without saying that I am advocating legal aggressive measures, but given the present circumstances, perhaps best to clarify. I hope he pursues some of those options sooner rather than later.

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“Biden is running for president in name only. He has never been that bright. He has accomplished little in his almost fifty years in public service. He is physically frail and clearly suffering acute cognitive decline.”

Life Under Biden (Jim Rickards)

This was a historic, turning-point election. Turning-point elections are the most historic because they put the country on a different path: Party Politics in 1800, Populism in 1828, Civil War in 1860, Liberalism in 1932, and Conservatism in 1980. Every 100 years, America gets a president who shakes the establishment and cleans out the Washington sewers. In the 1800s it was Andrew Jackson. In the 1900s it was Teddy Roosevelt. In the 2000s, it’s Donald Trump. There is no doubt that Trump and Biden would lead America in almost opposite directions with profound consequences for the future of the country and for future elections. If Trump had won, we would have gotten more of the same, which is saying a lot.

Trump would offer more tax cuts (or at least preserve the tax cuts we’ve received). He’d offer less regulation, a major accomplishment of his first term. Trump would continue the trade war with China and expand it in ways that would move jobs back to the United States (or at least get them out of China into friendlier countries such as Vietnam and India). He would also curtail Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property and cut off Chinese tech investment in the United States. Trump has also stopped foreign installation of sensitive 5G telecommunications systems from Huawei and ZTE, which are hidden arms of the Chinese military. Trump built alliances to constrain Chinese expansion efforts. His main breakthrough was the Quad Alliance of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India that effectively surrounds and can interdict China’s sea lanes to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Trump also made great strides toward Middle East peace with the first two Israeli-Arab peace treaties in twenty-five years – one with the UAE and one with Bahrain. Other peace treaties with Israel may have followed. Finally, Trump was imposing crippling sanctions on Iran that would have forced it to negotiate in good faith on its nuclear program or crush its economy in ways that would also impede its efforts at terrorism and nuclear weapons. With Trump, what you see is what you get: Lower taxes, less regulation, more jobs, no new wars, peace in the Middle East, and peace through strength in confronting Iran and China. With four more years, Trump could have accomplished his goals and perhaps be ranked among the ten most significant presidents of all time.

Biden is another matter entirely. First of all, Biden is running for president in name only. He has never been that bright. He has accomplished little in his almost fifty years in public service. He is physically frail and clearly suffering acute cognitive decline. If Joe Biden does win, he’ll be 78 years old when sworn in and 82 years old at the end of his first term. Both marks are the oldest in U.S. history for a president. Some individuals are still sharp in their late 70s. Biden is not one of them. The result is that Biden will never be president de facto. With Trump out of the picture, Democrats wouldn’t need him anymore. Steps would be taken at some point to remove him from office on the grounds of mental incapacity under the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Nancy Pelosi recently proposed legislation to set up a commission to do just that as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

But while he remains in office, who will be the real president in a Biden administration? There are three camps contending for power: The first camp is the Biden family led by Joe Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden’s brothers Jim Biden and Frank Biden. These are the individuals who have been enriched through association with Joe Biden by using or selling access to Biden’s power to win lucrative investment management roles, consulting engagements, construction contracts and other remunerative pursuits. The Biden family will want to keep Joe in power (with Jill Biden pulling the strings) in order to keep their shakedown operation intact and avoid scrutiny.

The second camp is led by Kamala Harris and those who control her, including the Obama crew and the Resistance. If Biden is removed under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Harris becomes Acting President. If Biden resigns under threat of removal, Harris becomes the president. She would be a front for the Obamas and Valerie Jarrett who would operate through a cabinet consisting of Obama family retainers including Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Sally Yates and Eric Holder.

The third camp is led by the extreme left wing of the party including Bernie Sanders, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (and The Squad), Elizabeth Warren and radical organizations such as BLM. This group is already embedded in the Biden campaign as part of a deal whereby Bernie Sanders agreed to end his primary campaign and endorse Joe Biden in exchange for Biden adopting most of the Sanders platform. The most likely outcome is that the Obama crew and the Bernie Bros will join forces and run the Biden family off the road. The Bidens will be allowed to keep their Chinese and Russian money and will not face any scrutiny or prosecution in exchange for going away quietly.

Healing- “burn down the Republican Party” – Jennifer Rubin

Read more …

“County Worker Reportedly Submitted Two Sets Of Absentee Ballots Twice”

Another Election Computer Glitch In Michigan Reversed (JTN)

A Michigan Republican received a welcome shock when his apparent loss at the polls was reversed due to the county’s fix of a “technical glitch” that originally had him losing the election. Adam Kochenderfer was originally declared the loser in his race against Democrat Melanie Hartman for a position on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. The narrow race appeared to end with Hartman the winner by just 104 votes. Yet the county clerk soon discovered that a set of absentee ballots had actually been reported in the voter totals twice. Once the duplicate set was removed, Kochenderfer came out ahead by 1,127 votes.


“This is proof that our process of checks and balances works,” County Clerk Lisa Brown said after the discovery. “A methodical canvass is an essential tool to ensure an accurate count and precise results.” Kochenderfer’s was the second race in Michigan so far in which a glitch was revealed to have displayed the incorrect outcome of a race. An alleged software glitch in Antrim County, Michigan earlier this week incorrectly awarded thousands of winning votes to Joe Biden; a recount of ballots subsequently revealed Trump was the county winner.

Soros voting machines

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Can Trump set up that long-awaited third party?

The GOP Did Not Carry 71,000,000+ Votes, President Trump Did (sundance)

As the republican establishment contemplates positioning themselves amid President Trump’s resolute intent to highlight a 2020 election filled with with demonstrable fraud, they would be prudent to check their political ego. President Trump has created a movement and collected the largest factual constituency of voters in the nation. This is the hill we stand upon, there is no other fallback position. As of this writing the indefatigable leader of the MAGA movement gathered 71 million votes for his re-election, and still climbing. Subtract the fraudulent and manipulated ‘mail-in’ ballots from the Biden operation and you have a reality of 71 million MAGA army members staring toward an opposition front containing battalions of cardboard cutouts.

No amount of media spin is going to change the reality of that political landscape. Regardless of whether Donald Trump’s legal arsenal is able to overcome the entrenched media operations drum-beating a deafening noise to distract from the 2020 fraud, that MAGA army is solidly behind our leader…. so consider this: If President Trump takes that army into a new political party of his choosing, that new party is structurally set to lay waste to any candidate within both wings of the Democrat and Republican assembly. A Trump inspired new political party can wipe out the illusion of the Democrat/Republican two-party system; specifically because much of the Trump movement consists of former democrats and brand new voters.


The MAGA coalition is the most diverse, widest and deepest part of the entire American electorate. President Trump’s army consists of every creed, color, race, gender, ethnicity and orientation. It is a truly color-blind coalition of middle America patriots and middle-class voters that cuts through the political special interest groups. Quite simply Trump’s MAGA army is the ultimate political splitter party. No Republican will ever hold office in the next decade without the blessing of President Trump; and there is absolutely no current confidence that President Trump will not lay waste to the system if the GOP acquiesces to the transparent fraud that exists behind the Biden-Harris sham.

Read more …

“News channels don’t count a damn thing. They just report numbers shipped out by election offices in various counties across the country, and if CNN or any other news outfit were actually doing their jobs, they would be alert for patterns suggesting fraud in the numbers..”

The Kafka Election: Finding a Way Out of the Maze (Miele)

The 2020 election is a nightmare from which I — along with millions of others — am trying to awake. Like many dark dreams, it is uncertain exactly what is happening. Phantasmic ballots come and go. Seemingly insurmountable Republican victories disappear into the mouth of a vote-munching machine and come out the other side as excremental — oops, I mean incremental — Democratic leads just beyond the reach of a recount. And as in any nightmare worth its salt, just when you think it’s about to end, a new trap door opens and you fall into yet one more level of confusion and chaos in a maze with no exit in sight. But this is America. It’s not supposed to be a Kafka novel.

So how did we get to a place where, days after the election was held, despite many proclamations by news organizations to the contrary, we still don’t know who won, we don’t know who voted, and we don’t know for sure whether the rules were followed in either voting or counting? Various irregularities have been reported in five big cities, all in strategic states, and particularly in Detroit, Mich.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Atlanta, Ga.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Las Vegas, Nev. The allegations range from mysterious ballot drops that seem to show tens of thousands of votes for Joe Biden and zero votes for President Trump, inexplicable record turnouts in late-counting counties (all Democrat-dominated) that far surpass turnouts in counties in other states where the votes were counted on a timely basis; and of course the illegal banning of election observers in those very counties where the most outrageous anomalies are reported.

Democrats tell us that there is nothing to see here, and the compliant media dutifully moves along, unwilling to investigate on its own or even express any concern about potential wrongdoing. Even Fox News has turned into a lapdog for the Democrat Party, calling Arizona for Joe Biden long before anyone could know for sure which way the state would turn. On Thursday night, as Fulton County was just about to swing Georgia into the Biden column, CNN’s John King arrogantly lectured Donald Trump: “Guess what, Mr. President? We’re gonna count the votes, and if they favor you, we’re gonna show that. And if they don’t, we’re gonna show that. That’s how democracy works. We’re just counting the votes.”


Um, no, that’s not the way it works. News channels don’t count a damn thing. They just report numbers shipped out by election offices in various counties across the country, and if CNN or any other news outfit were actually doing their jobs, they would be alert for patterns suggesting fraud in the numbers they report. If “just counting the votes” were all that it took to have a democracy, then Vladimir Putin’s Russia would be a glorious example of democracy, as would the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Read more …

We’re 11 months into a pandemic. And still we know so little.

Speedy COVID19 Healers Keep Producing Antibodies After Infection (F.)

New research has identified a group of Covid-19 patients who are capable of speedy recoveries and can produce protective antibodies for months after their initial infection, a finding that runs counter to a lot of recent research showing that antibody levels — and, potentially, immunity — rapidly decline following infection and points to the possibility that some people have immune systems that are better able to fight the virus. Researchers, led by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that almost one in five coronavirus patients sustained antibody production for several months after infection, in contrast with other patients who experienced a rapid decline in antibody levels.

These patients also tended to recover faster than other Covid-19 patients, cutting their recovery time by about a third, as well as showing differences in two types of immune cell that play key roles in the immune system, the researchers wrote in Cell, a top scientific journal. It is unclear whether the findings are representative of the population as a whole, and the researchers themselves stressed that future investigations must look beyond the limited demographic they studied, with most volunteers being adult white women with mild Covid-19. Dr. Duane Wesemann, one of the researchers and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said the immune response of these quick healers was like an insurance policy — “it’s the immune system’s way of adding a potential layer of protection against future encounters with the virus,” he said.

Wesemann added that it was possible the findings “point to a type of immune response” that is better at dealing with Covid-19, which could be important in the fight to control the virus. Understanding how the immune system responds to Covid-19 over time is a vital component in controlling the pandemic, underpinning public health measures, treatments, and how vaccines are developed and administered. A lot of early attention has focused on antibodies, proteins produced by the immune system that can lock onto the virus, with research generally showing sharp declines following infection. These are relatively easy to study, but do not give a complete picture of the body’s immune system.


There is a lot that remains unknown about how immunity to Covid-19 works and how that changes over time. To date, many studies show sharp declines in antibody levels in the months following infection, though antibodies, or the lack thereof, do not necessarily indicate immunity to infection. Reinfections, though rare, have been reported, with some reports suggesting that the second infection is worse than the first.

Read more …

This is good. A bit long and opinionated and all over the place, but a lot of useful information.

The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test (Sacré)

All current propaganda on the COVID-19 pandemic is based on an assumption that is considered obvious, true and no longer questioned: Positive RT-PCR test means being sick with COVID. This assumption is misleading. Very few people, including doctors, understand how a PCR test works. RT-PCR means Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction. In French, it means: Réaction de Polymérisation en Chaîne en Temps Réel. In medicine, we use this tool mainly to diagnose a viral infection. Starting from a clinical situation with the presence or absence of particular symptoms in a patient, we consider different diagnoses based on tests.

In the case of certain infections, particularly viral infections, we use the RT-PCR technique to confirm a diagnostic hypothesis suggested by a clinical picture. We do not routinely perform RT-PCR on any patient who is overheated, coughing or has an inflammatory syndrome! It is a laboratory, molecular biology technique of gene amplification because it looks for gene traces (DNA or RNA) by amplifying them. In addition to medicine, other fields of application are genetics, research, industry and forensics. The technique is carried out in a specialized laboratory, it cannot be done in any laboratory, even a hospital. This entails a certain cost, and a delay sometimes of several days between the sample and the result.

Today, since the emergence of the new disease called COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease-2019), the RT-PCR diagnostic technique is used to define positive cases, confirmed as SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus responsible for the new acute respiratory distress syndrome called COVID-19). These positive cases are assimilated to COVID-19 cases, some of whom are hospitalized or even admitted to intensive care units. Official postulate of our managers: positive RT-PCR cases = COVID-19 patients. This is the starting postulate, the premise of all official propaganda, which justifies all restrictive government measures: isolation, confinement, quarantine, mandatory masks, color codes by country and travel bans, tracking, social distances in companies, stores and even, even more importantly, in schools.


This misuse of RT-PCR technique is used as a relentless and intentional strategy by some governments, supported by scientific safety councils and by the dominant media, to justify excessive measures such as the violation of a large number of constitutional rights, the destruction of the economy with the bankruptcy of entire active sectors of society, the degradation of living conditions for a large number of ordinary citizens, under the pretext of a pandemic based on a number of positive RT-PCR tests, and not on a real number of patients.

Read more …

A long review of an old topic.

The Narrative Problem After Peak Oil (Watkins)

For most of the last decade, we have been sold a techno-utopian fairy tale about “peak oil demand.” Instead of “running out” of oil, the problem for the oil industry, we were told, was that the switch to “clean energy” and to technologies like electric cars and hydrogen-powered buses meant that demand for oil was declining. Within a decade or so, they claimed, our need for oil would disappear entirely as we ushered in a “fourth industrial revolution” based around digital products and services powered by renewable energy.


As with all narratives, there is just enough truth in this story to give it a veneer of credibility. Per capita demand for oil – and, indeed, for fossil fuels generally – has been declining. So that is you are a middle class metropolitan liberal – the kind of people who edit and write for the establishment media – you look around and notice your friends driving electric cars; you uncritically swallow the press statements of the windfarm owners; and you observe the declining per capita consumption of oil; and you tell yourself that this is peak oil demand in action. The data says something very different:

Despite a Herculean effort to bring non-renewable renewable energy-harvesting technologies online, they still account for less than five percent of global primary energy consumption. Worse still, they have not replaced fossil fuels; they have just been added to the global mix. And while developed states like Germany and the UK have gone a long way toward decarbonising their domestic electricity generation, a large part of their true pollution has been offshored to Asia. Only if they are prepared to forego all of the fossil-fuel powered goods they import can they truly claim to be embarking upon a new industrial revolution. Until then, the “green new deal” is just another name for the same old imperialism that they have always practiced.

Peak oil – including from fracking and tar sands – finally occurred in 2018. Hardly anyone noticed because – as happened in the USA in 1970 – everyone assumed that it would be a temporary blip. Oil extraction in 2019 was not substantially lower than 2018; but there was no month in 2019 when extraction was higher than it had been in November 2018. And, of course, in 2020 the world discovered more urgent issues to worry about. Nevertheless, oil extraction – and oil demand – plummeted as a result of the various state responses to the pandemic. Some wells will be shut permanently as the cost of reopening them is too high. Others will reopen, but only if the price of oil rises considerably. Pipelines and refineries will also have to be repaired. On the demand side, even the most optimistic economists and politicians have ceased talking about “V-shaped recoveries.” With Europe and parts of the USA embarking on pre-Christmas lockdowns, demand across the global economy is expected to be crushed. This spells lower rather than higher oil prices in the next couple of years.


It is in this that we glimpse the part of the peak oil story that was often overlooked by the first peak oilers. The simple assumption that falling oil production would lead to higher oil prices failed to examine the impact of oil prices on the wider economy. Nevertheless, the economy is primarily an energy system upon which the secondary financial economy is merely a claim. Rather than examining the price of oil, we have to understand its energy cost. If we begin with a certain amount of energy, then a fraction must be devoted to securing future energy. Another fraction must be set aside for maintaining the infrastructure required to keep the system running. A third fraction must be set aside to invest in the future energy supply. These, though, will only account for a small part of the energy available to us. The remainder will power the much larger, non-energy economy

Read more …

 

 

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Michelle Malkin

 

 

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Aug 142020
 
 August 14, 2020  Posted by at 12:35 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  11 Responses »


Egon Schiele Self-Portrait with Lowered Head 1912

 

 

Regular Automatic Earth guest writer Alexander Aston this time comes not from Zimbabwe, Cambridge or Greece, but from South Carolina, where he is on family business. And that’s where he’s venting his anger about. I’m pretty sure we would all benefit from doing more of that, get it all off our chests. I think maybe the main issue with it in the present day circumstances is you have to make sure it’s your anger, and not somebody else’s that you’re merely parroting.

I personally like Alexander’s notion of: “America, a Country For Old Men”.

 

 

 

Alexander Aston: Is there any more perfect metaphor for a society in terminal decline than the senescent Joe Biden? The U.S. election has boiled down to a choice between the authoritarian versions of Mr. Magoo and P.T. Barnum. Truly, “there’s a sucker born every minute” is a far more apropos motto for the country than E. Pluribus Unum. The Republicans have adopted a Christian Nationalism that identifies with a New York shyster that says all the shitty things they’ve been feeling for decades while blaming the least powerful. It’s always easier to kick down than punch up and moral courage is not a common trait.

Likewise, the Democrats smug self-satisfied conviction of ethical superiority and sense of entitlement to the votes of every women, brown person and leftist makes them not only insufferable but delusional. The DNC managed to crush the momentum and energy of one of the most significant left- wing grassroots movements in US history. They have demoralised a huge swath of the under-45 crowd and subverted an actual political vision (regardless of whether you agree with it or not) in favour of a man with an abysmal record and signs of growing cognitive impairment. The DNC platform offers zero substantive policy other than “not Trump” (a policy that’s going to have a very short honeymoon in the face of cascading systems failure).

The Democrats have made no concessions on even one important progressive/left issue. Now they have picked a morally bankrupt prosecutor who’s deeply entangled with the prison industrial complex at a time in which “defund the police” has coalesced into a key feature of American discourse. Yet, liberals seem completely shocked and aghast by the fact that there are large numbers of young folks, minorities and women that are unwilling to shut up and put up. The level of enthusiasm beyond the party faithful, for those still willing to vote Democrat, amounts to the ever inspiring “I’ll grit my teeth.”

 

Meanwhile, I know middle aged folks that have never voted in their lives who have signed up just to support Trump. In other words, they are motivated. Like it or lump it, that’s some of the real political complexity behind the vacuous narrative management of the MSM. On a national level, the American sense of reality is becoming more unhinged than a schizophrenic dropping acid after a weeklong meth binge. George Soros funded Antifa and Putin’s army of trolls are all monsters of the same fevered social imagination. On its current trajectory, the American Right will soon believe anyone to the left of Attila the Hun is a “far-left radical.”

Likewise, U.S. liberals will be left haunted and terrified by the spectre of Russian agents stealing their precious bodily fluids. Meanwhile, the virus will continue to rage, and corporate feudalism will further entrench itself as the benefits of imperial citizenship rapidly fade. The only thing that’s certain is that huge swaths of Americans still won’t actually understand what is happening to them and continue to blame the opposing factions of management, figments of their propaganda, the dispossessed and the marginalised. I don’t believe the specific outcome of the American election is all that relevant anymore.

The sad truth is that the United States is collapsing under the weight of a microscopic entity and its own systemic contradictions. The various narratives of what is happening and what it means to be an American have become so wildly divergent that there are multiple parallel realities operating in the United States. What’s frightening is how few realise the diversity and complexity of these various perspectives, fears and aspirations. Regardless of who wins the election, trust in the political legitimacy of the American system is being fatally undermined. If the margin of the election is close, it is guaranteed that one side will not accept the results.

 

If the election is swept, then the winning party will be saddled with a crisis of unparalleled proportions in the history of the country. Furthermore, neither party has the political vision nor competence to actually address the challenges that beset them. The U.S. would need leadership on par with a Lincoln or Aurelius to rescue the political system. Whoever is in power will rapidly face multiple and intersecting forms of systemic breakdown, resistance and noncompliance as the extent of the economic devastation becomes truly apparent.

The first part of the 2020’s will consist of material deprivation, civil unrest and increasingly robust challenges to the United States’ geostrategic position. The more that authoritarians try to exert control in a high entropy environment (robbing Peter to pay Paul), the faster the system will fall apart. Ultimately, I believe that the break-up of the United States is all but inevitable at present. What I hope is that it will be a relatively peaceful dissolution and reorganisation. What should terrify us all is the prospect of real violence as the various factions and coalitions jockey for power in the new reality. A few truly smooth brained idiots think that they just need to tool up and go mow down a few “liberal snowflakes” so that they can return to the 1950’s by Christmas.

 

A conflict in North America would be a clusterfuck that would make Syria’s civil war look like a game of checkers. Forget electoralism and eschew romantic notions of purification through violence. Build solidarity networks, figure out how to make your communities economically, socially and psychologically resilient. My suggestion would be that Mutualism, Libertarian Municipalism and Democratic Confederalism offer some good starting points for thinking about these things. I would recommend setting up a micro- factory in your community so that you can start manufacturing necessary tools and goods on a local level. Here are some freely available schematics: Civilization Starter Kit.

Try to appreciate the limitations of your own understanding so that you might be more compassionate towards others. Don’t blame people for having problems they don’t know how to fix, try helping them instead. Some things, once broken, cannot be mended. This is very true for societies. I sincerely wish you all the best of luck. Please be good to one another and defend those less powerful and fortunate than yourself.

P.S. If you are in a swing state you should follow your conscience, but it should be beneath any person’s dignity to vote for either party in their safe states. If you don’t understand how the American electoral system works at this point then shame on you, stop berating people for voting Green in Montana or Libertarian in California, they’re actually displaying some political acumen.

 

 

 

 

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Feb 012020
 


Russell Lee Street scene. Spencer, Iowa 1936

 

Coronavirus “HIV Insertions”: Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon (ZH)
Chinese Furious At Officials Who Lied About Human Transmission (ZH)
China Voices Anger At US Travel Ban (G.)
Australia Bars Entry To Foreign Nationals Traveling From Mainland China (R.)
What Trump Acquittal Would Mean For 2020 Election (BBC)
Is Bernie’s Hour of Power at Hand? (Buchanan)
Hillary Clinton Blames Bernie Sanders For Disunity In Democratic Party (WE)
DNC Members Discuss Rules Change To Stop Sanders At Convention (Pol.)
Democrats Announce New Debate Rules Likely To Allow Bloomberg To Join (R.)
The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich (Craig Murray)
Flynn Prosecution Exposed As Massive FBI and DOJ Abuse Of Power (NYP)
Soros: Facebook, Zuckerberg In Cahoots With Trump To Win 2020 Election (USAT)
Zuckerberg: Facebook’s New Approach ‘Is Going To Piss Off A Lot Of People’ (CNN)
Tales From the Crypt (Jim Kunstler)

 

Apparently because of an article it wrote Wednesday about Chinese virologist Peng Zhou, which was noted by someone at BuzzFeed, a site without an identity, read exclusively be people who have none either, Twitter banned the Zero Hedge site that @Jack follows:

Long live the thought police. Tyler suspects this has something to do with publishing Peng Zhou’s phone# and email, but also points out these are freely available on his employer’s website.

 

Today’s 2019nCoV numbers may show a little leveling off, but there’s no way we can be sure.

• Confirmed cases: 11,821 in China, 124 abroad. Total 11,945 (yesterday: 9.821)

• Deaths: 259 (up 46 from yesterday)

• Discharged from hospitals on the Chinese mainland: 243

• Hubei province: 1347 new cases and 45 deaths on Jan 31 compared with 2102 new cases and 46 deaths nationwide.

What I found interesting to see is this: “Xinyu, a city in Jiangxi province – adjacent to Hubei – said 17 new cases had been confirmed in the city, and that 15 of the afflicted patients were infected by a single person.” That may say something else -again- about the R-naught (R0) infection rate. About which -just like the mortality rate- there are a lot of different ideas still.

 

 

From a new study by Gabriel Leung et al, published by the Lancet, comes this graphic:

 

 

Make from it what you want. Looks scary. Majority of Wuhan infections are now without a link to the fish/meat market.

Coronavirus “HIV Insertions”: Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon (ZH)

Over the past few days, the mainstream press has vigorously pushed back against a theory about the origins of the coronavirus that has now infected as many as 70,000+ people in Wuhan alone (depending on whom you believe). The theory is that China obtained the coronavirus via a Canadian research program, and started molding it into a bioweapon at the Institute of Virology in Wuhan. Politifact pointed the finger at Zero Hedge, in particular, though the story was widely shared across independent-leaning media. The theory is that the virus, which was developed by infectious disease experts may have originated in the Wuhan-based lab of Dr. Peng Zhou, China’s preeminent researcher of bat immune systems, specifically in how their immune systems adapt to the presence of viruses like coronavirus and other destructive viruses.


Somehow, the virus escaped from the lab, and the Hunan fish market where the virus supposedly originated is merely a ruse. Now, a respected epidemiologist who recently caught flack for claiming in a twitter thread that the virus appeared to be much more contagious than initially believed is pointing out irregularities in the virus’s genome that suggests it might have been genetically engineered for the purposes of a weapon, and not just any weapon but the deadliest one of all. In “Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag”, Indian researchers are baffled by segments of the virus’s RNA that have no relation to other coronaviruses like SARS, and instead appear to be closer to HIV. The virus even responds to treatment by HIV medications.

“3D modelling of the protein structure displayed that these insertions are present at the binding site of 2019-nCoV. Due to the presence of gp120 motifs in 2019-nCoV spike glycoprotein at its binding domain, we propose that these motif insertions could have provided an enhanced affinity towards host cell receptors. Further, this structural change might have also increased the range of host cells that 2019-nCoV can infect. To the best of our knowledge, the function of these motifs is still not clear in HIV and need to be explored. The exchange of genetic material among the viruses is well known and such critical exchange highlights the risk and the need to investigate the relations between seemingly unrelated virus families.”

Read more …

Xi is being praised now, but Beijing sat on his hands for a full month in December.

Chinese Furious At Officials Who Lied About Human Transmission (ZH)

For reasons that haven’t been shared with the public, the WHO has chosen to lavish praise on Beijing, insisting that travel to China isn’t dangerous even as more governments impose restrictions, and claiming that Beijing has been completely transparent and a ‘model’ for how countries should handle outbreaks like this. When pressed by a reporter, Dr. Tedros, the director general of the WHO, replied that local authorities in Wuhan had been “very transparent” with the Chinese people by publishing up-to-date notices about new cases and deaths. First of all, many suspect that Beijing hasn’t been entirely truthful as far as these tallies are concerned.

Second, it’s not so much about what Beijing told the Chinese people. Everybody knows the government censors anything that might reflect badly upon the Communist Party. So to claim that the government has been completely transparent with the people is almost disingenuous. Of course that’s not true. But the real issue is what they did and didn’t tell the international news media, and their international partners. Now, a new study has exposed the Communist Party’s lies. The research has once again moved back the timeline of when senior Chinese leaders knew about the outbreak in Wuhan, suggesting that they waited longer to act, and longer to inform the international community, than they had led the world to believe. The claim appeared in a top American medical journal. From Nikkei Asian Review:

“The deadly new coronavirus from Wuhan was spreading from person to person as early as mid-December, weeks before China officially confirmed such transmission, government-funded Chinese researchers report in a top American medical journal. The paper in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzes data on the first 425 confirmed cases in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated. “On the basis of this information, there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019,” it reads. The paper notes that seven health care workers contracted the virus between Jan. 1 and Jan. 11 – significant evidence of human-to-human transmission. The findings sharply contrast with the accounts of Wuhan health authorities who had maintained until mid-January that there was “no clear evidence” that the virus could be passed among humans. Officials also claimed Jan. 11 that no health care workers had been infected.”

But…but…but…the local authorities in Wuhan said they didn’t have evidence of person to person transmission until mid-January! That’s increasingly difficult to believe, seeing as the signs were clearly there after the first wave of patients was diagnosed and examined and interrogated. Research suggests fewer than 60% of the early virus-carriers had been directly linked to the seafood market. The rest were associates, friends and relatives of the people who had. That, right there, is evidence of human-to-human transmission – and this was known as early as mid-December.

Some frustrated Chinese have chosen to defy censors and lash out on Chinese social media networks like Weibo. “Many of the paper’s authors work for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and local counterparts. Many were among the first batch of medical experts to have entered Wuhan for on-the-ground inspections, developing “a tailored surveillance protocol to identify potential cases” on Jan. 3. “They all knew,” a user on the Weibo microblogging platform said. “They just didn’t say, but lied to us.” “If only they could have told people earlier, we could have taken better preventive measures, and the virus would not have spread this fast,” another wrote.”

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China know very well there is no other solution than isloation.

China Voices Anger At US Travel Ban (G.)

China has reacted angrily to a US entry ban on foreign nationals who have visited the country in the past two weeks, as countries around the world raced to contain the coronavirus outbreak amid a rising death toll. The US administration on Friday declared the virus a public health emergency, although it insisted the risk to Americans remained low. Foreign nationals who have recently been to China, where the death toll from the virus rose by 46 overnight to 259, will be barred from entering the US from Sunday. American citizens who have travelled within the past two weeks to Hubei province – where the outbreak is thought to have begun – will be placed in quarantine for 14 days, the longest incubation period for the virus. Those who visited other parts of mainland China will undergo health checks and 14 days of “monitored self-quarantine”.


The Chinese government criticised the measures, saying it contradicted the World Health Organization’s (WHO) appeal to avoid travel bans and implied that Beijing was not doing enough to contain the virus’s spread beyond China’s borders. “Just as the WHO recommended against travel restrictions, the US rushed in the opposite direction,” said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. “[It is] certainly not a gesture of goodwill.” The row came as another airline, Qantas, suspend direct flights to China and the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were forced to respond to unfounded online rumours that the Games had been cancelled due to the outbreak. They insisted they were “not considering” cancelling the Olympics and Paralympics. “We will work closely with the IOC and other concerned bodies to draw any countermeasures whenever necessary,” they said.

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Et tu, Qantas?

Australia Bars Entry To Foreign Nationals Traveling From Mainland China (R.)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will deny entry to all foreign nationals traveling from mainland China from Saturday due to the increasing threat from the coronavirus epidemic. Morrison also announced that Australia was raising its travel guidance for China to the highest level, advising people against visiting the country at all. “We’re in fact operating with an abundance of caution in these circumstances,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney. “So Australians can go about their daily lives with confidence.” The new incoming travel ban includes anybody who has been in China from Feb. 1, whether they have traveled directly from the country or through another port.


It extends an existing ban on travel from the province of Hubei, the center of the epidemic, to the entire country. Australian citizens and permanent residents returning home are exempt from the ban but are required to isolate themselves for 14 days after their arrival. Australian authorities have identified 10 coronavirus cases in Australia, but no deaths. The Australian travel restrictions came just hours after the United States announced border curbs on foreign nationals who have been in China amid fears that the virus could spread further overseas. Around two dozen countries have reported confirmed cases of the virus, but the vast majority of those infected remain in China, where the number of deaths stood at 259 on Saturday.

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Hunter Biden was kicked out of the Navy on Feb 14 2014. Burisma hired him, with his lack of skills in oil and Ukraine and all, at $85k a month in April 2014. Not suspect at all.

Still would like to know who debunked the theory though.

And some proof that Trump is “scared to death” Biden will be the nominee. I still see no reason he would be.

What Trump Acquittal Would Mean For 2020 Election (BBC)

Barring an unforeseen and unexpected blockbuster development, a largely party-line vote will acquit him of the two charges brought by the House of Representatives, which itself approved those articles of impeachment on a nearly party-line vote. Both sides will soon be left to sift through the political rubble just nine months before a national election that has the entire House, more than a third of the Senate and the presidency itself on the ballot. According to polls, the nation’s political disposition is much as it was before the impeachment process began. The US is sharply divided along partisan lines. The president’s approval ratings hover in the low to mid-40s, roughly where they’ve been the entirety of his term in office. His re-election chances are dicey but far from slim.

The decision not to seek witnesses – which polls show Americans overwhelming wanted – may be forgotten before long. After all, Democrats and Republicans had very different views about what “witnesses” means. The former wanted to hear from Trump administration officials like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, who they think could corroborate the charges against the president. The latter sought to call Joe Biden’s son Hunter, head impeachment manager Adam Schiff and the whistleblower – and will be just as happy to see the whole matter put to rest. Impeachment didn’t change the existing political disposition in the US; instead, it was subsumed by it.

[..] There is no evidence indicating that Biden engaged in any kind of misconduct in Ukraine, but in politics such technicalities don’t always matter. True or not, if hurts, it hurts. And during the opening arguments for the president’s defence team, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi did her best to make it hurt. In her remarks, she sounded more like a prosecutor – laying out what she saw as the case against Hunter Biden and, by connection, his father, former Vice-President Joe Biden. She said the Ukrainian energy company Burisma gave a board position to the Biden son in to attempt to influence US policy.

She questioned whether Joe Biden did anything as point-man for the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy that may have helped protect his son from investigation. That suspicion alone, she continued, should justify the president’s decision to ask the Ukrainian government to look into the Bidens. “All we are saying is that there was a basis to talk about this, to raise this issue, and that is enough,” she said. [..] Biden has tried to turn Republican interest in damaging his political prospects into a strength, tweeting last week that [Iowa Republican Senator Jodi]Ernst and Trump are “scared to death I’ll be the nominee”. An October poll, however, showed that 40% of Democrats and majorities of Republicans and independents think Hunter Biden’s Ukraine dealings are a valid campaign issue.

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Bernie gets attacked from the right, not just his own party. Pat Buchanan legitimizes his candidacy.

Is Bernie’s Hour of Power at Hand? (Buchanan)

Can a septuagenarian socialist who just survived a heart attack and would be 80 years old in his first year in office be elected president of the United States? It’s hard to believe but not impossible. As of today, Bernie Sanders looks like one of the better, if not best, bets for the nomination. Polls have him running first or second in the first three contests: Iowa on Monday, and then New Hampshire and Nevada. If Bernie can best main rival Joe Biden in Iowa, he will likely thump Joe in New Hampshire. Biden’s campaign, built around “electability,” could suffer a credibility collapse before he reaches South Carolina, where Joe is banking on his African American base to rescue him if necessary and give him a send-off victory straight into Super Tuesday.

If Sanders can beat Biden two or three times in the first four primaries in February, the last remaining roadblock on Sanders’ path to the nomination could be Mike Bloomberg’s billions. Hillary Clinton may sneer, “Nobody likes him,” but Bernie has a large, dedicated, loyal following, especially among millennials, and tens of thousands more small-dollar donors than any other Democratic candidate. He is flush with cash. He has a radical agenda that appeals to the ideological left and the idealistic young. The rising star of the party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is campaigning alongside him. And, say what you will, Sanders is no trimmer or time-server. He has consistently voted his values and views. He voted no to Bush 41’s Gulf War, no to Bush 43’s Iraq War, no to NAFTA, no to GATT.

In the ’80s, when President Reagan battled the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Sanders was on the other side. But what makes Sanders an appealing candidate for the Democratic nomination may prove poisonous to him as a party nominee in the fall.

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The Democratic Patry’s wrecking ball strikes again. Hillary won’t share that title with Schiff.

Hillary Clinton Blames Bernie Sanders For Disunity In Democratic Party (WE)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Sen. Bernie Sanders and his support network of being responsible for disunity within the Democratic Party. In a Friday podcast, Clinton called the behavior of Sanders supporters “distressing,” assigning blame to them for the outcome of the 2016 election. Clinton beat Sanders for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, but not after a bitter primary contest in which the Vermont independent ran a surprisingly competitive campaign. “All the way up until the end, a lot of people highly identified with his campaign were urging people to vote third-party, urging people not to vote,” Clinton, 72, told Emily Tisch Sussman on her podcast Your Primary Playlist. “It had an impact.”


Clinton lauded former President Barack Obama’s behavior during the 2008 election, when he defeated her for the party’s nomination, claiming he helped unify the Democratic Party in a way Sanders did not eight years later. “That cannot happen again,” she said, alluding to the 2020 election. “I don’t care who the nominee is. I don’t care. As long as it’s somebody who can win, and as long as it’s somebody who understands politics is the art of addition, not subtraction.”

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The DNC aims to make sure the Dems have no chance in the election. For their track record, see 2016.

DNC Members Discuss Rules Change To Stop Sanders At Convention (Pol.)

A small group of Democratic National Committee members has privately begun gauging support for a plan to potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention. In conversations on the sidelines of a DNC executive committee meeting and in telephone calls and texts in recent days, about a half-dozen members have discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention. Such a move would increase the influence of DNC members, members of Congress and other top party officials, who now must wait until the second ballot to have their say if the convention is contested.

“I do believe we should re-open the rules. I hear it from others as well,” one DNC member said in a text message last week to William Owen, a DNC member from Tennessee who does not support re-opening the rules. Owen, who declined to identify the member, said the member added in a text that “It would be hard though. We could force a meeting or on the floor.” Even proponents of the change acknowledge it is all but certain not to gain enough support to move past these initial conversations. But the talks reveal the extent of angst that many establishment Democrats are feeling on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

Sanders is surging and Joe Biden has maintained his lead nationally, but at least three other candidates are widely seen as viable. The cluster raises the specter of a convention requiring a second ballot. If Sanders wins the Iowa caucuses on Monday and continues to gain momentum, it is possible he could arrive at the convention with the most delegates — but without enough to win the nomination on the first ballot. It is also possible that he and Elizabeth Warren, a fellow progressive, could arrive at the convention in second and third place, but with more delegates combined than the frontrunner.

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1223356793805398018

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Little Mike to save the nation. Not tainted by failed impeachment: ideal.

Democrats Announce New Debate Rules Likely To Allow Bloomberg To Join (R.)

The Democratic Party on Friday announced new rules around how presidential hopefuls can qualify to take part in debates, changes likely to allow billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg to join the stage in February. Starting with the debate on Feb. 19 in Nevada, candidates who want to participate will no longer have to demonstrate grassroots support by collecting donations from thousands of donors, according to a press release from the party. Bloomberg is funding his campaign entirely with his own money, estimated at $60 billion, meaning that while he has climbed in the polls, he could not qualify for debates under the old rules.


“We are thrilled that voters could soon have the chance to see Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage, hear his vision for the country, and see why he is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump and bring our country together,” Bloomberg campaign Manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement. A late entry to the competition to take on Republican President Donald Trump in November, Bloomberg contributed more than $200 million from his own fortune to his bid as of the end of 2019, according to disclosures his campaign filed on Friday with the Federal Election Commission. [..] “To now change the rules in the middle of the game to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination, is wrong. That’s the definition of a rigged system,” Jeff Weaver, a senior advisor for Sanders’ campaign, said in an emailed statement.

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Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Sound familiar?

The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich (Craig Murray)

A persistent American lawyer has uncovered the undeniable fact that the FBI has been continuously lying, including giving false testimony in court, in response to Freedom of Information requests for its records on Seth Rich. The FBI has previously given affidavits that it has no records regarding Seth Rich. A Freedom of Information request to the FBI which did not mention Seth Rich, but asked for all email correspondence between FBI Head of Counterterrorism Peter Strzok, who headed the investigation into the DNC leaks and Wikileaks, and FBI attorney Lisa Page, has revealed two pages of emails which do not merely mention Seth Rich but have “Seth Rich” as their heading. The emails were provided in, to say the least, heavily redacted form.

The major point is that the FBI claimed it had no records mentioning Seth Rich, and these have come to light in response to a different FOIA request that was not about him. What other falsely denied documents does the FBI hold about Rich, that were not fortuitously picked up by a search for correspondence between two named individuals? To look at the documents themselves, they have to be read from the bottom up, and they consist of a series of emails between members of the Washington Field Office of the FBI (WF in the telegrams) into which Strzok was copied in, and which he ultimately forwarded on to the lawyer Lisa Page.


The opening email, at the bottom, dated 10 August 2016 at 10.32am, precisely just one month after the murder of Seth Rich, is from the media handling department of the Washington Field Office. It references Wikileaks’ offer of a reward for information on the murder of Seth Rich, and that Assange seemed to imply Rich was the source of the DNC leaks. The media handlers are asking the operations side of the FBI field office for any information on the case. The unredacted part of the reply fits with the official narrative. The redacted individual officer is “not aware of any specific involvement” by the FBI in the Seth Rich case. But his next sentence is completely redacted. Why?

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Wait, what did I just say: “Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Sound familiar?”

Flynn Prosecution Exposed As Massive FBI and DOJ Abuse Of Power (NYP)

Here’s another black eye for the Justice Department’s Obama-era leadership: The case against Gen. Michael Flynn is in full collapse. Federal prosecutors just backed down from their demand that Flynn — President Trump’s first, short-lived national security adviser — serve jail time for lying to FBI investigators, telling a court Wednesday that probation would be a “reasonable” sentence. In fact, Justice had long wanted leniency, since Flynn cooperated fully with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations. But last month it started seeking up to six months of confinement — mainly because he’s no longer taking responsibility for his crime.

“I am innocent,” he writes in a new filing, explaining that he pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI because he felt helpless to fight the charges: He’d already had to sell his home to pay legal costs and was told his son could be indicted, too. The “crime” came days after the inauguration, when FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka questioned Flynn at the White House about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Yet the FBI had already reviewed transcripts of the calls and found nothing illicit. The visit was a fishing expedition: The agents even skipped the customary heads-up to the president’s Office of Legal Counsel — aiming to avoid having a lawyer present for the talk.

Even so, Strzok and Pientka wound up finding “no indication” that Flynn had lied to them. But then FBI lawyer Lisa Page (Strzok’s mistress at the time) instructed them to alter their official writeup of the conversation to say otherwise. And that’s the entire basis of the charges against him.

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George is 89 and afraid global dominance will escape him.

Soros: Facebook, Zuckerberg In Cahoots With Trump To Win 2020 Election (USAT)

George Soros blasted Facebook at Davos, accusing the company of conspiring to help President Trump win re-election. “I think there is a kind of informal mutual assistance operation or agreement developing between Trump and Facebook,” Soros said at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. “Facebook will work together to reelect Trump, and Trump will work to protect Facebook so that this situation cannot be changed and it makes me very concerned for 2020.” The liberal billionaire did not offer any proof, and Facebook denied it, but Soros doubled down on his anti-Facebook talk Friday in an opinion piece published in The New York Times.

“I believe that Mr. Trump and Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, realize that their interests are aligned – the president’s in winning elections, Mr. Zuckerberg’s in making money,” Soros wrote. Soros also said neither Zuckerberg nor Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, should be left in charge of Facebook. “They follow only one guiding principle: maximize profits irrespective of the consequences,” Soros wrote. Facebook pushed back in a statement. “While we respect Mr. Soros’ right to voice his opinion, he’s wrong. The notion that we are aligned with any one political figure or party runs counter to our values and the facts.” Last week in Davos Trump was asked about Zuckerberg. “I heard he’s gonna run for president,” Trump told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “That wouldn’t be too frightening I don’t think.”

There’s no evidence that Zuckerberg and Trump have any kind of pact. But it’s true that Facebook gave Trump a big boost in 2016. Just ask Facebook. In January, a leaked internal post from longtime Facebook executive Andrew “Boz” Bosworth credited Trump’s 2016 win to the president’s digital advertising campaign. In 2020, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is focused again on Facebook. “Was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?” Bosworth wrote in the Dec. 30 post. “I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser.”

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Posing as controversial. Most people will buy it too.

Zuckerberg: Facebook’s New Approach ‘Is Going To Piss Off A Lot Of People’ (CNN)

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will stand up for principles like free expression and encryption, even if it means facing a backlash. “This is the new approach, and I think it’s going to piss off a lot of people. But frankly, the old approach was pissing off a lot of people too, so let’s try something different,” Zuckerberg said at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Utah on Friday. The Facebook (FB) cofounder and CEO said his company’s aim for a long time was to not do anything that would be deemed as “too offensive,” but he is now changing that approach in the face of what he deems as excessive censorship.

“Increasingly we’re getting called to censor a lot of different kinds of content that makes me really uncomfortable,” Zuckerberg said, while acknowledging Facebook’s responsibility to purge its platforms of content related to terrorism, child exploitation and incitement to violence. “We’re going to take down the content that’s really harmful, but the line needs to be held at some point,” he added. Zuckerberg also said Facebook would continue to fight for encryption, another stance that has sparked controversy in recent months. The company has come under fire for allowing politicians to lie in ads, at a time when Twitter has decided to ban political advertising altogether.

Zuckerberg has been increasingly vocal about Facebook’s determination to stick to its positions even when they prove unpopular. His comments in Utah came days after he said on the company’s latest earnings call that his goal for the next decade “isn’t to be liked, but to be understood.” The 35-year-old tech billionaire reiterated that sentiment on Friday. “If you’re not out there standing for things that people care about then it’s not possible for people to feel that strongly about what you’re doing,” he said.

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“It’s hard to think of a more loathsome figure in US political history than Adam Schiff.”

Tales From the Crypt (Jim Kunstler)

What a fatal mistake, allowing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to make himself the face of the Democratic Party. They would have been better off with another scion of Hollywood: the Phantom of the Opera. This grubby seditionist has marched the party into a wilderness of deceit and knavery that taints them all, and when this grotesque impeachment episode is over, a new chapter of consequences will open that should leave the party for dead. It’s hard to think of a more loathsome figure in US political history than Adam Schiff.

[..] The impeachment he led was crippled from the start with violations of process and errors of logic of exactly the kind that drives his party’s Woke hysteria with its assaults on free speech, its vicious “cancel” culture, its reckless race-hatred, its depraved Transsexual Reading Hours, and its neurotic obsession with Russian phantoms — a matrix of beliefs that would embarrass a conclave of medieval necromancers. Of course, the impeachment was just the latest sortie in a three-year campaign to confound and conceal the arrant misdeeds of a network of government employees in the Departments of State and Justice, the FBI, the CIA, and the remnants of Barack Obama’s White House, who are all connected and all liable for prosecution, not to mention characters in congress such as the co-seditionist Mark Warner (D-VA), who trafficked the Steele dossier around official Washington.

The “Whistleblower” in the current impeachment fiasco was a CIA agent and John Brennan protégé who had worked for Joe Biden both in the US and on trips to Ukraine when he was detailed to the Obama White House. Hunter Biden was known to be a dangerous abscess of grift years before Mr. Trump ever rode down that fabled golden escalator, and the “WB” was present for White House meetings with Ukrainian officials when embarrassing questions about Burisma and the Bidens came up. His supposed right to anonymity is fairytale and the time is not far off when he’ll have to answer for his deeds, whether it’s in a Senate committee or a grand jury.

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Nov 222019
 
 November 22, 2019  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Dorothea Lange We’ll be in California yet. We’re not going back to Arkansas 1938

 

Ex-FBI Lawyer Investigated For Altering FISA Documents in Russia Probe (CNN)
FBIs Vetting Of Informants Like Christopher Steele Slammed By IG (Solomon)
Ken Starr: We’re ‘Nowhere Close’ To Impeachable Offenses (Fox)
Giuliani: “Massive Pay-For-Play” Soros-Ukraine Scheme Facilitated By US (ZH)
Trump Welcomes Senate Impeachment Trial, Wants Bidens, Schiff To Testify (R.)
The Civilian Government Doesn’t Owe Deference to Military Officers (McMaken)
Democratic Establishment Reaches Boiling Point With Tulsi Gabbard (Pol.)
Corbyn Declares War On ‘Rich And Powerful’ With Radical Manifesto (Ind.)
Greek Coast Guard Says 400 Refugees, Migrants Rescued From Sea In Past Day (K.)
Economics For The Future – Beyond The Superorganism (Nate Hagens)

 

 

Horowitz and Durham stir.

Comment I picked up: “It’s important to note the media source aspect because normally this type of leak would go to the Washington Post or New York Times first; ergo, it likely stems as a personal leak to one of the former allied FBI officials now working for CNN.

FBI officials are now working for the media outlet, CNN, that is providing the leaks; ie. former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe; the spokesman for James Comey, Josh Campbell; a former FBI agent, Asha Rangappa; or the former FBI chief legal counsel, James Baker. All now work for CNN.”

Ex-FBI Lawyer Investigated For Altering FISA Documents in Russia Probe (CNN)

An FBI official is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to 2016 surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, several people briefed on the matter told CNN. The possibility of a substantive change to an investigative document is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign. […] Horowitz turned over evidence on the allegedly altered document to John Durham.


[…] It’s unknown how significant a role the altered document played in the FBI’s investigation of Page and whether the FISA warrant would have been approved without the document. The alterations were significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified, according to the sources. […] The identity or rank of the FBI employee under investigation isn’t yet known, and it’s not clear whether the employee still works in the federal government. No charges that could reflect the situation have been filed publicly in court.

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And there’s more FBI…

Also John Solomon, on Twitter, about the Dems’ latest hero of the day: “Fiona Hill suggested my Ukraine stories were Russian propaganda. If she’s such an expert she would know my main character Yuriy Lutsenko was a political prisoner of the Russian backed Yanukovych regime and the US pleaded for his release and applauded his appointment as prosecutor”

FBIs Vetting Of Informants Like Christopher Steele Slammed By IG (Solomon)

The most troubling revelation in the report, however, may be that some of the FBI analysts used to vet informants complained they were “discouraged from documenting conclusions and recommendations” about an informant’s credibility or reliability. One analyst, for instance, reported being told not to document a request to polygraph a suspect informant. And multiple FBI officials admitted efforts to keep the validation reports of informants void of derogatory information because FBI “field office do not want negative information documented” that could aid defense lawyers or stop informants from becoming government witnesses at trial. Such behavior “may have increased the likelihood that red flags or anomalies were omitted” about long-term informants, the 63-page report warned. Such concerns were widely held.

For instance, one member of a joint Justice Department-FBI committee known as the HSRC that approved long-term informants’ service reported being “deeply concerned that the limited scope of the long-term validation review may potentially be omitting important information or critical red flags.” The report also included one very important piece on the FBI’s reliance on informants: it showed the bureau spends an average of about $42 million a year on them. This IG report did not mention Steele, arguably the FBI’s most famous informant of recent years. But Horowitz is expected to release a massive report next month on possible failures and abuses by the FBI in the Russia collusion investigation, including efforts to use Steele’s dossier to help secure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser.

The FBI’s reliance on Steele has raised significant public concerns, including that he was being paid to do his work to find dirt on Trump by the opposition research firm for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, had expressed a bias against Trump and had been leaking to the news media while working for the FBI. His source relationship was ended because of the latter concern. In addition, an FBI spreadsheet created to validate Steele’s allegations against Trump found most of the information in the dossier to be unconfirmed, debunked or simply open source information found on the Internet, sources have told me.

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That seems obvious.

Ken Starr: We’re ‘Nowhere Close’ To Impeachable Offenses (Fox)

The testimony from witnesses in the House Democrats’ impeachment hearings has come “nowhere close” to laying out impeachable offenses, former Independent Counsel Ken Starr said Thursday. Appearing on “America’s Newsroom” with host Bill Hemmer, Starr said that the witness testimony does not “reach the level of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” “My assessment of the evidence [thus] far? Nowhere close. The evidence is conflicting and ambiguous,” he told Hemmer. Starr said that European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s testimony Wednesday falls into the same category since Sondland gave conflicting information about whether President Trump sought a quid pro quo with Ukraine involving military aid and an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

“Clearly in his opening statement, a quid pro quo. And then, he says later, ‘Well, the president said, ‘I don’t want anything. Right? President Zelensky should just do the right thing.’ [Those are] the words from the president himself,” he continued. “So, the record at the end of the day is likely to be ambiguous at best, conflicting at best … and you shouldn’t charge and you cannot convict a sitting president on the basis of conflicting and ambiguous evidence and destabilize the American government,” Starr argued. [..] “So, at least, I hope the Democrats will have that conversation about we don’t like the way foreign policy was conducted here, the delay [in providing aid] and so forth.

That’s debatable, but it is not the stuff of impeachment,” he told Hemmer. Later in the morning, after hearing testimony from David Holmes, a U.S. State Department official in Ukraine, and former National Security Council aide Fiona Hill, Starr said he does not believe a “corrupt bargain” by Trump is being proven. Starr said Hill’s testimony about Russian interference in the 2016 election was “eloquent,” particularly about the Kremlin trying to “sow seeds of discord” on both sides. He said it’s “willful blindness” for the president’s critics to dismiss allegations that Ukrainian officials were supporting Hillary Clinton.

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What came out again in yesterday’s hearing is the neverending RussiaRussia topic. Which is still presented as gospel, though its was debunked by Mueller, while at the same time the role of Ukraine, never investigated, is called a conspiracy theory.

Giuliani: “Massive Pay-For-Play” Soros-Ukraine Scheme Facilitated By US (ZH)

Rudy Giuliani claims that US diplomats have been acting to further the interests of billionaire George Soros in Ukraine in what he described as a “massive pay-for-play” scheme which included falsifying evidence against President Trump. “The anti-corruption bureau is a contradiction,” Giuliani told Glenn Beck, regarding Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), which Joe Biden helped establish when he was the Obama administration’s point-man on Ukraine. As a bit of background, in December of 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that NABU director Artem Sytnyk “acted illegally” when he revealed the existence of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s name to Journalist and politician Serhiy Leschenko in a “black ledger” containing off-book payments to Manafort by Ukraine’s previous administration.

The ruling against Sytnyk and Leshchenko was later overturned on a technicality. In December, The Blaze obtained audio of Sytnyk bragging about helping Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US election. “They took all the corruption cases away from the prosecutor general, they gave it to the anti-corruption bureau, and they got rid of all the cases that offended Soros, and they included all the cases against Soros’ enemies,” Giuliani told Beck. “One of the first cases they dismissed was a case in which his [Soros’s] NGO, AntAC, was supposed to have embezzled a lot of money, but not only that, collected dirty information on Republicans to be transmitted, gotten by Ukrainians, to be transmitted to this woman Alexandra Chalupa and other people who worked for the Democratic National Committee,” Giuliani continued.

[..] Giuliani described his reaction when he discovered the Ukrainian collusion that undermined the accusations of the Democrats made against the president. “Hallelujah! I now have what a defense lawyer always wants: I can go prove somebody else committed this crime!” Giuliani said. Giuliani explained to Beck that he had gone to Ukraine seeking exculpatory evidence, that which would exonerate his client, the president, in the special counsel Robert Mueller investigation. When Giuliani was asked directly about the identity of the whistleblower, he said that he could not speak about the matter publicly, and could not indicate if he knew the identity or not.

He also claimed that there were several prosecutors in Ukraine currently who were willing to testify about the collusion, but they were being blocked by the U.S. State Department. When prompted by Beck, he said he would provide for him the names of those individuals off air.

Read more …

And Ciaramella the whistleblower.

Trump Welcomes Senate Impeachment Trial, Wants Bidens, Schiff To Testify (R.)

President Donald Trump wants an impeachment trial to go forward in the U.S. Senate because he would receive due process there and he expects Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would be among the witnesses, a White House spokesman said on Thursday. “President Trump wants to have a trial in the Senate because it’s clearly the only chamber where he can expect fairness and receive due process under the Constitution,” spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement. “We would expect to finally hear from witnesses who actually witnessed, and possibly participated in corruption – like Adam Schiff, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the so-called Whistleblower, to name a few,” Gidley said, referring to House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff, who is leading an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

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Major point. All the way back to the Founders.

The Civilian Government Doesn’t Owe Deference to Military Officers (McMaken)

On Tuesday, Congressional impeachment hearings exposed an interesting facet of the current battle between Donald Trump and the so-called deep state: namely, that many government bureaucrats now fancy themselves as superior to the elected civilian government. In an exchange between Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Alexander Vindman, a US Army Lt. Colonel, Vindman insisted that Nunes address him by his rank. After being addressed as “Mr. Vindman,” Vindman retorted “Ranking Member, it’s Lt. Col. Vindman, please.” Throughout social media, anti-Trump forces, who have apparently now become pro-military partisans, sang Vindman’s praises, applauding him for putting Nunes in his place.

In a properly functioning government — with a proper view of military power — however, no one would tolerate a military officer lecturing a civilian on how to address him “correctly.” It is not even clear that Nunes was trying to “dis” Vindman, given that junior officers have historically been referred to as “Mister” in a wide variety of times and place. It is true that higher-ranking offers like Vindman are rarely referred to as “Mister,” but even if Nunes was trying to insult Vindman, the question remains: so what? Military modes of address are for the use of military personnel, and no one else. Indeed, Vindman was forced to retreat on this point when later asked by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) if he always insists on civilians calling him by his rank.

Vindman blubbered that since he was wearing his uniform (for no good reason, mind you) he figured civilians ought to refer to him by his rank. Of course, my position on this should not be construed as a demand that people give greater respect to members of Congress. If a private citizen wants to go before Congress and refer to Nunes or any other member as “hey you,” that’s perfectly fine with me. But the important issue here is we’re talking about private citizens — i.e., the people who pay the bills — and not military officers who must be held as subordinate to the civilian government at all times. After all, there’s a reason that the framers of the US Constitution went to great pains to ensure the military powers remained subject to the will of the civilian government. Eighteenth and nineteenth century Americans regarded a standing army as a threat to their freedoms. Federal military personnel were treated accordingly.

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Michael Tracey: “Democratic senators anonymously trashing Tulsi because she has the audacity to debate other candidates… at a debate. “

Democratic Establishment Reaches Boiling Point With Tulsi Gabbard (Pol.)

Tulsi Gabbard trashed the Democratic Party as “not the party that is of, by and for the people,” accused Kamala Harris of trafficking in “lies and smears and innuendo” and attacked Pete Buttigieg as naive. Her performance at Wednesday’s debate earned an attaboy from the Trump War Room. And some rank-and-file Democrats are at wit’s end with the congresswoman who Hillary Clinton called “the favorite of the Russians.” “The question is whether she seriously hopes to be the nominee or if she has another agenda … her attacks on other candidates and her positions on issues seem very personal, not so much about a set of policies or worldview,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). Bernie Sanders has “a coherent set of principles. Elizabeth Warren’s the same. I don’t perceive a fixed set of principles or worldview on her part.”


Demonstrating how divisive her campaign has become, the Trump War Room tweeted out a video clip of Gabbard attacking her own party with a “100” emoji. It received 4,500 retweets and 15,000 likes. “She sort of seems to be filling a pretty strange lane. Is there a part of the party that hates the party?” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “It’s a little hard to figure out what itch she’s trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.” The Hawaii congresswoman’s presence on the debate stage is becoming a headache for the party as she uses the platform to appeal to isolationists, dissatisfied liberals and even conservatives. She has managed to secure a spot on the debate stage as more mainstream candidates like Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) failed to meet polling and donor thresholds to participate.

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I think something like this is inevitable, but I also think the timing is not quite there. Nice graph that shows it’s not really extravagant spending as is claimed.

Corbyn Declares War On ‘Rich And Powerful’ With Radical Manifesto (Ind.)

Jeremy Corbyn declared war on the “rich and powerful” with a general election manifesto that raises £83bn in new taxes on corporations and the wealthy to fund free broadband, the abolition of university tuition fees and a 5 per cent pay rise for public-sector workers. In a surprise move, the Labour leader announced an £11bn one-off windfall tax on oil and gas companies to pay for a “green industrial revolution” which he said would create a million environmental jobs and put the UK on track to achieve “the substantial majority” of necessary carbon emission reductions by 2030.


In a pugnacious address in Birmingham designed to breathe new life into Labour’s challenge for power and turn round its current deficit in the polls, Mr Corbyn said he was ready to accept “the hostility of the billionaires” in order to deliver what he termed “a manifesto of hope” for the bulk of the British people. He said Labour’s programme would bring an end to a system “rigged” in favour of big corporations and the super-rich. But Tories accused him of planning a “reckless spending spree”, while energy trade body OGUK warned that any additional taxes would “drive investors away and damage the long-term competitiveness of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry”.

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Not pretty.

Greek Coast Guard Says 400 Refugees, Migrants Rescued From Sea In Past Day (K.)

Greece’s Coast Guard said Friday it rescued 400 refugees and migrants in the last 24 hours in 10 different incidents in the sea area near the city Alexandroupolis and the islands of Lesvos and Chios. Authorities also arrested three people believed to be migrant traffickers. Meanwhile, two ferries carrying 96 refugees and migrants from the islands of Chios, zeros and Kos arrived at the port of Piraeus on Friday morning, as part of the government’s efforts to decongest migrant camps. The new arrivals will be sent to different accommodation facilities in the mainland.

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New study by my friend Nate Hagens. I haven’t been able to read the whole thing yet.

Economics For The Future – Beyond The Superorganism (Nate Hagens)

“The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.”– E.O. Wilson

Despite decades of warnings, agreements, and activism, human energy consumption, emissions, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations all hit new records in 2018. If the global economy continues to grow at about 3.0% per year, we will consume as much energy and materials in the next ±30 years as we did cumulatively in the past 10,000. Is such a scenario inevitable? Is such a scenario possible? Simultaneously, we get daily reminders the global economy isn’t working as it used to such as rising wealth and income inequality, heavy reliance on debt and government guarantees, populist political movements, increasing apathy, tension and violence, and ecological decay. To avoid facing the consequences of our biophysical reality, we’re now obtaining growth in increasingly unsustainable ways.

The developed world is using finance to enable the extraction of things we couldn’t otherwise afford to extract to produce things we otherwise couldn’t afford to consume. With this backdrop, what sort of future economic systems are now feasible? What choreography would allow them to come about? In the fullness of the Anthropocene, what does a hard look at the relationships between ecosystems and economic systems in the broadest sense suggest about our collective future? Ecological economics was ahead of its time in recognizing the fundamental importance of nature’s services and the biophysical underpinnings of human economies. Can it now assemble a blueprint for a ‘reconstruction’ to guide a way forward?

Before articulating prescriptions, we first need a comprehensive diagnosis of the patient. In 2019, we are beyond a piecemeal listing of what’s wrong. A coherent description of the global economy requires a systems view: describing the parts, the processes, how the parts and processes interact, and what these interactions imply about future possibilities. This paper provides a brief overview of the relationships between human behavior, the economy and Earth’s environment. It articulates how a social species self-organizing around surplus has metabolically morphed into a single, mindless, energy-hungry “Superorganism.” Lastly, it provides an assessment of our constraints and opportunities, and suggests how a more sapient economic system might develop.

Read more …

 

Today is the 56th anniversary of the murder of JFK.

 

 

 

 

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Nov 222018
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Study of the Head and Clasped Hands of a Young Man as Christ in Prayer 1655

 

Mortgage Rates Slide May Be Too Late For The Housing Market (MW)
A $9 Trillion Corporate Debt Bomb Is ‘Bubbling’ In The US Economy (CNBC)
Multiple Risks Are Converging on Markets (Rickards)
May In Brussels Dash As Merkel Threatens To Pull The Plug On Brexit Summit (G.)
Salvini Ready To ‘Confront EU’ After Italy’s Budget Rejected Again (G.)
Facebook Admits Targeting George Soros After He Criticized Company (MW)
House GOP To Hold Hearing Into DOJ Probe Of Clinton Foundation (Hill)
Clinton Foundation Donations Plummet 90% (ZH)
Tyres And Synthetic Clothes ‘Biggest Causes Of Microplastic Pollution’ (G.)
Former New York Times Chief Lawyer: Rally to Support Julian Assange (Timm)

 

 

Despite Fed rate hikes, mortgage rates fall. An ominous sign. Maybe we should even say: mortgage rates fall because of Fed rate hikes. Is the pond getting smaller, or are there fewer fish?

Mortgage Rates Slide May Be Too Late For The Housing Market (MW)

Rates for home loans tumbled as turmoil rocked global financial markets, but any reprieve in rates may come too late for would-be home buyers or refinancers. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81% in the November 21 week, down 13 basis points, mortgage liquidity provider Freddie Mac said Wednesday. That’s the biggest weekly decline since January 2015 and the lowest level for the popular product since early October. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.24%, down 12 basis points during the week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.09%, down from 4.15%. Those rates don’t include fees associated with obtaining mortgage loans.

Fixed-rate mortgages follow the U.S. 10-year Treasury note, although with a slight delay. As a global stock sell-off has raged over the past week, bonds have been the best house in a bad neighborhood. The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond touched a six-week low Monday. Bond yields decline as prices rise, and vice versa. Meanwhile, this week has brought a raft of fresh information on the housing market, little of it cheery. Sales of already-owned homes perked up in October, but are still lower than the year-ago selling pace by more than 5%. Home builders broke ground on more — but not enough — homes. And one fresh data point bears watching: mortgage applications for newly-constructed houses are plunging, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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Forgive me for presuming there are several such debt bombs.

A $9 Trillion Corporate Debt Bomb Is ‘Bubbling’ In The US Economy (CNBC)

At first glance, it looks like a $9 trillion time bomb is ready to detonate, a corporate debt load that has escalated thanks to easy borrowing terms and a seemingly endless thirst from investors. On Wall Street, though, hopes are fairly high that it’s a manageable problem, at least for the next year or two. The resolution is critical for financial markets under fire. Stocks are floundering, credit spreads are blowing out and concern is building that a combination of higher interest rates on all that debt will begin to weigh meaningfully on corporate profit margins. “There is angst in the marketplace. It’s not misplaced at all,” said Michael Temple, director of credit research at asset manager Amundi Pioneer.

“But are we at that moment where this thing blows sky high? I would think that we’re not there yet. That’s not to say that we don’t get there at some point over the next 12 to 18 months as rates continue to move higher.” [..] Over the past decade, companies have taken advantage of low rates both to grow their businesses and reward shareholders. Total corporate debt has swelled from nearly $4.9 trillion in 2007 as the Great Recession was just starting to break out to nearly $9.1 trillion halfway through 2018, quietly surging 86 percent, according to Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association data. Other than a few hiccups and some fairly substantial turbulence in the energy sector in late-2015 and 2016, the market has performed well.

In fact, Fitch Ratings forecasts bond defaults for 2019 at the lowest since 2013, with leveraged loans at the lowest since 2011. Such high debt levels are “certainly something to take notice of,” said Eric Rosenthal, Fitch’s senior director of U.S. leveraged finance. “In terms of the systemic risk, at the moment it’s not there.” One reason markets worry about debt is that there’s not as much cash around to cover it. The cash-to-debt ratio for corporate borrowers fell to 12 percent in 2017, the lowest ever.

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It’s starting to feel like a siege.

Multiple Risks Are Converging on Markets (Rickards)

Warnings of economic collapse are no longer confined to the fringes of economic analysis but are now coming from major financial institutions and prominent economists, academics and wealth managers. Leading financial elites have been warning of coming collapses and dangers. These warnings range from the IMF’s Christine Lagarde, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio, the Bank for International Settlements and many other highly regarded sources. Just when we think we’ve seen enough of these, another one arrives. This time it’s the legendary Paul Tudor Jones, who manages Tudor Investment. I’ve met Jones; he’s a cerebral yet polite and mild-mannered manager from Tennessee who has not lost his Southern accent despite decades in Connecticut and an estate on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

What gives Jones’ voice added authority is his longevity in the fund investment world. He’s managed through the 1987 stock crash, the 1994 Mexican crisis, the 1998 Long Term Capital meltdown, the 2000 dot-com crash and, of course, the 2008 financial panic. Jones knows that panics happen, but he also knows they don’t happen all the time. Panics take years to build and usually have specific triggers (even though endpoints can spin wildly out of control). Jones does not treat the possibility of a financial crisis lightly, so his warning deserves close consideration. Jones warns that the next crisis is likely to be triggered by excessive debt, specifically corporate debt, which can be more difficult to manage or bail out than sovereign debt.

At the same time, other gurus are warning that the next panic will emerge from the foreign exchange market, overvalued equities or commercial real estate. Perhaps the real message is that all of these areas are vulnerable and the next crisis will seem to come from everywhere at once. That’s the danger. We’re looking at another debt crisis and global financial panic. Only this time it won’t come from mortgages alone but from all directions at once.

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The original headline talked of 24 hours.

May In Brussels Dash As Merkel Threatens To Pull The Plug On Brexit Summit (G.)

Theresa May is to make an emergency dash to Brussels on Saturday to complete the Brexit negotiations after the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, threatened to pull the plug on the Sunday leaders’ summit. As she emerged from talks in Brussels lasting nearly two hours with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, the British prime minister admitted that there were some major issues to resolve. Merkel had let it be known through her diplomats in Brussels that she was unwilling to negotiate with May on Sunday at the extraordinary Brexit summit. She had demanded a finalised agreement to emerge in good time before the leaders’ meeting.

The development threatened to disrupt Downing Street’s plans for agreement among leaders this month in time for a meaningful vote in parliament in early December. After meeting the European commission president on Wednesday, May said: “We have had a very good meeting this evening. We have made further progress and as a result, we have given sufficient direction to our negotiators. “I hope for them to be able to resolve the remaining issues and that work will start immediately. I now plan to return for further meetings, including with President Junker, on Saturday to discuss how we can bring to a conclusion this process and bring it to a conclusion in the interests of all our people.”

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Salvini and Di Maio said again this morning that they won’t change a letter in their budget.

Salvini Ready To ‘Confront EU’ After Italy’s Budget Rejected Again (G.)

Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has said he is prepared to confront EU leaders after the European commission rejected his country’s draft 2019 budget for a second time, while calling on them to “respect the Italian people”. Italy is facing sanctions after the commission said in a report that the government of the far-right League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement had seriously violated fiscal rules. Both parties’ leaders have refused to succumb to pressure to change their deficit target of 2.4% of GDP as they endeavour to push through campaign promises, such as introducing a universal basic income, cutting taxes and lowering the retirement age.

Italy has about €2.3tn (£2tn) of public debt and the Bank of Italy warned this month that the cost of servicing the debt could rise to €5bn in 2019 and €9bn in 2020. The government is convinced that the budget would help the Italian economy grow by 1.5% over the next year. However, the economy stagnated in the third quarter. On Wednesday Italy’s national statistics agency, Istat, revised down its growth forecast for the year to 1.1%; in May it predicted 1.4% for 2018. Salvini, who leads the League, responded sarcastically to news of the commission’s report. “A letter from the EU? I’m also waiting for one from Father Christmas,” he told reporters.

Referring to the commission president and economics commissioner, Salvini said he was ready to “confront [Jean-Claude] Juncker, [Pierre] Moscovici or whoever” over a budget he said responded to the needs of Italians.

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But Zuckerberg and Sandberg plead innocent.

Facebook Admits Targeting George Soros After He Criticized Company (MW)

Facebook Inc. admitted Wednesday that it asked an opposition-research company to investigate billionaire George Soros over his criticism of the social network. In an internal memo released publicly late Wednesday, Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s outgoing head of communications and policy, said he was responsible for hiring the company, Definers Public Affairs, to investigate who was behind the “Freedom From Facebook” campaign. “In January 2018, investor and philanthropist George Soros attacked Facebook in a speech at Davos, calling us a ‘menace to society,’” Schrage wrote in the memo. “We had not heard such criticism from him before and wanted to determine if he had any financial motivation. Definers researched this using public information.

“Later, when the ‘Freedom from Facebook’ campaign emerged as a so-called grassroots coalition, the team asked Definers to help understand the groups behind them. They learned that George Soros was funding several of the coalition members. They prepared documents and distributed these to the press to show that this was not simply a spontaneous grassroots movement.” Definers later distributed a document suggesting Soros, a major donor to liberal causes, bankrolled the anti-Facebook campaign, playing into anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Soros. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg have denied knowledge of the Definers efforts until after it was revealed by a New York Times report last week. Facebook has since cut ties with Definers.

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A long running but secretive investigation, running concurrently with Mueller’s.

House GOP To Hold Hearing Into DOJ Probe Of Clinton Foundation (Hill)

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Tuesday that House Republicans plan to hear testimony on Dec. 5 from the prosecutor appointed by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to probe alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation. [..] Meadows, who is also the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said the committee plans to delve into a number of Republicans concerns surrounding the foundation, including whether any tax-exempt proceeds were used for personal gain and whether the foundation complied with IRS laws. Sessions appointed Huber last year to work in tandem with the Justice Department to look into conservative claims of misconduct at the FBI and review several issues surrounding the Clintons.

This includes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ties to a Russian nuclear agency and concerns about the Clinton Foundation. Huber’s work has remained shrouded in mystery. The White House has released little information about Huber’s assignment other than Sessions’s address to Congress saying his appointed successor should address concerns raised by Republicans. But Meadows said the committee thinks it’s time Huber gives an update to Congress about his findings and expects him to be one of the witnesses at the hearing. Meadows also added that his committee is also trying to secure testimonies from whistleblowers who could have more information about potential improprieties surrounding the Clinton Foundation. “We’re just now starting to work with a couple of whistleblowers that would indicate that there is a great probability of significant improper activity that’s happening in and around the Clinton Foundation,” he said.

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They must have thought for quite a while that there would never be any scrutiny.

Clinton Foundation Donations Plummet 90% (ZH)

The Clinton Foundation saw contributions dry up approximately 90% over a three-year period between 2014 and 2017, according to financial statements. The global charity is currently under investigation by the DOJ, FBI and IRS for a variety of allegations – including whether favors were handed out while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, also known as “pay for play.” The Clinton-led State Department authorized $151 billion in Pentagon-brokered deals to 16 countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation – a 145% increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration, according to IBTimes.

2014

2017

“American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.” -IBTimes. Then there was that $1 million check Qatar reportedly gave Bill Clinton for his birthday in 2012, which the charity confirmed it accepted. Coincidentally, we’re sure, Qatar was one of the countries which gained State Department clearance to buy US weapons while Clinton was Secretary of State, “even as the department signaled them out ofr a range of alleged ills,” according to IBTimes.

Then there was the surely unrelated $145 million donated to the Foundation from parties linked to the Uranium One deal prior to its approval through a rubber-stamp committee. “The committee almost never met, and when it deliberated it was usually at a fairly low bureaucratic level,” Richard Perle said. Perle, who has worked for the Reagan, Clinton and both Bush administrations added, “I think it’s a bit of a joke.” –CBS. Meanwhile, according to a November 2016 report by the Dallas Observer, the Clinton Foundation has been under investigation by the IRS since July, 2016, while the Arkansas FBI field office has been investigating allegations of pay-for-play and tax code violations, according to The Hill.

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Like that fleece sweater?

Tyres And Synthetic Clothes ‘Biggest Causes Of Microplastic Pollution’ (G.)

Vehicle tyres and synthetic clothing are the two leading contributors to microplastic pollution from UK households, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth. The report estimates that between 9,000 and 32,000 tonnes of microplastic pollution enter British waterways each year from just four sources. The two leading sources are tyre abrasion, with between 7,000 and 19,000 tonnes entering surface waters each year, and clothing. In the UK an estimated two-thirds of clothing is made from synthetic plastic material, according to analysts from Eunomia, who wrote the report for FoE.

Up to 2,900 tonnes of microplastics from the washing of synthetic clothing such as fleeces could be passing through wastewater treatment into our rivers and estuaries. The scale of plastic pollution from household plastics is of the same magnitude as that from large plastic waste such as bottles and takeaway containers – about 26,000 tonnes of which enters UK waterways each year. The environmental campaign group is calling on the government’s resources and waste strategy – expected next month – to include measures for tackling microplastics as part of a comprehensive action plan. The four key contributors to microplastic pollution in the oceans from UK sources, according to the report, are:

• Vehicle tyres: 68,000 tonnes of microplastics from tyre tread abrasion are generated in the UK every year, with between 7,000 and 19,000 tonnes entering surface waters;

• Clothing: the washing of synthetic clothing could result in the generation of 2,300-5,900 tonnes of fibres annually in the UK – up to 2,900 tonnes of this could be passing through wastewater treatment into our rivers and estuaries;

• Plastic pellets used to manufacture plastic items. Up to 5,900 tonnes are lost to surface waters in the UK every year;

• Paints on buildings and road markings – weather and flake-off results in between 1,400 and 3,700 tonnes ending up in surface water every year.

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There’s a disturbing trend emerging that people are fully blind to. In this piece, and I’ve seen it a lot more recently, the topic is the 1st amendment. To make their well-meaning arguments, writers then pose questions like “What if Assange DID get his info from Russia?” or “What if Assange really DOES hate America?” The response of course is that this would make no difference as far as the 1st amendment is concerned.

But in the meantime the possibility that Assange is indeed a Russian agent who hates all Americans has been introduced into the narrative. That makes these articles effectively part of the smear campaign. There is no indication that either allegation is true, but they are posited by those ostensibly defending him. They don’t help. Or rather, they help smear.

Former New York Times Chief Lawyer: Rally to Support Julian Assange (Timm)

I recently spoke to James Goodale, the famed First Amendment lawyer and former general counsel the New York Times, who led the paper’s legal team in the famed Pentagon Papers case about the dire impact the Justice Department’s move may have on press freedom, regardless of whether people consider Assange himself a “journalist”.

There’s speculation on what Assange could be charged with. There’s a possibility that he could be outright charged under the Espionage Act for the act of publishing classified information. Then there’s the “conspiracy theory” that Assange was engaged in a conspiracy with his sources by asking them or soliciting more information from them that the sources may have gathered illegally. Do you find that type of charge would be just as dangerous as a charge for publishing information?

I do find that that charge would be just as dangerous. As a matter of fact, a charge against Assange for “conspiring” with a source is the most dangerous charge that I can think of with respect to the First Amendment in almost all my years representing media organizations. The reason is that one who is gathering/writing/distributing the news, as the law stands now, is free and clear under the First Amendment. If the government is able to say a person who is exempt under the First Amendment then loses that exemption because that person has “conspired” with a source who is subject to the Espionage Act or other law, then the government has succeeded in applying the standard to all news-gathering.

That will mean that the press ability to get newsworthy classified information from government sources will be severely curtailed, because every story that is based on leaked info will theoretically be subject to legal action by the government. It will be up to the person with the information to prove that they got it without violating the Espionage Act. This would be, in my view, the worst thing to happen to the First Amendment-almost ever.

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May 302018
 
 May 30, 2018  Posted by at 9:07 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  3 Responses »


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow II 1916

 

Italy: No Easy Fixes For The European Central Bank (G.)
Investors Ask If ECB Has Will And Means To Save Euro From Italian Turmoil (R.)
Blanchard: Europe Should Be OK – But ‘I’m Very Worried About Italy’ (CNBC)
NIRP’s Revenge: Italian Bonds Plunge, Worst Day in Decades (WS)
Italy Could Be The Next Greece – Only Much Worse (CNBC)
“Everything Has Gone Wrong”: Soros Warns “Major” Financial Crisis Is Coming (ZH)
Soros-Backed Campaign To Push For New Brexit Vote Within A Year (G.)
Pace Of Greek Credit Contraction Increases In April (K.)
EU Plans To Boost Spending In South, Cut Funds For Eastern Europe (RT)
It’s Hard To Be An Empire (Jim Kunstler)
China Slams Surprise US Trade Announcement, Says Ready To Fight (R.)
High Number Of Workers With No Pay Raise Says Inflation Worries Overblown (MW)
industrial-Scale Beef Farming Comes To The UK (G.)
Meat And Fish Multinationals ‘Jeopardising Paris Climate Goals’ (G.)

 

 

“Under the Target2 system, which is the way eurozone central banks keep account of liabilities to each other, Italy already owes £442bn.”

Italy: No Easy Fixes For The European Central Bank (G.)

The last eurozone crisis was solved – or deferred – when the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, declared in July 2012 that the institution was ready to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro. Bond markets calmed down, weak banks got access to funding again and an economic recovery of sorts materialised. In terms of central bank rescue acts, it was a textbook operation. Unfortunately, there are no easy ECB fixes for the new Italian crisis. The ECB’s first problem is its own powers. Even if it were minded to try to reverse the dramatic sell-off in Italian bonds, the rules say it is only supposed to respond to emergency calls from countries that have agreed to budget conditions.

With new elections now likely in Italy in the autumn, it’s hard to see how a deal could be done. Even if a technical fudge could be found, the second problem is that the eurozone’s big powers might prefer the ECB to do nothing. Günther Oettinger, the EU’s budget commissioner, seems to believe a bout of market turmoil “might become a signal to [Italian] voters after all to not vote for populists on the right and left”. In practice, the experience might provoke a bigger vote for anti-euro parties, but the strategy seems set.

The third problem for the ECB will come if capital drains from Italian banks. In that case the ECB could in theory claim a clear need to intervene to prevent damage to eurozone banks outside Italy. But, again, there could be pressure to stay on the sidelines. Under the Target2 system, which is the way eurozone central banks keep account of liabilities to each other, Italy already owes £442bn. Any ECB-backed support for its banks would see that figure rise further, provoking fears over repayment. Note that Target2 imbalances are already a hot topic in Germany, where the Bundesbank is the single biggest creditor.

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I’m sure it has the will. Draghi’s Plunge Protection Team is working hard today, euro’s up 0.5%. The problem is that everyone knows whatever the ECB does is only a temp stopgap.

Investors Ask If ECB Has Will And Means To Save Euro From Italian Turmoil (R.)

Investors are again speculating what the ECB could do to solve the problem of a surge in Italy’s debt yields that is causing stress for Italian banks and reviving questions about a euro break up. The stakes will be huge if a repeat election in the euro zone’s third-largest economy become a de facto referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro and its role in the European Union. Italy’s economy is at least 10 times bigger than that of Greece, which needed 250 billion euros ($289 billion) of euro zone and IMF money to bail it out. If Italy needed a similar level of support, the numbers involved would be eyewatering.

Total IMF firepower would only add up to around 500 billion euros and even with the 400 billion euros that the European Stability Mechanism could conceivably get together, it still wouldn’t completely cover Italy. Perhaps it’s no wonder then that Italy’s bond markets saw their worst sell-off in 26 years on Tuesday and investors are starting to look inquisitively at the ECB. “If this continues for another couple of sessions, I think you will have to see some official (European) response,” said Saxo Bank’s head of foreign exchange strategy John Hardy. “It becomes a ‘whatever it takes’ kind of moment,” he added, recalling the promise made in 2012 by ECB President Mario Draghi to keep the euro intact.

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Inflexibility killed the cat.

Blanchard: Europe Should Be OK – But ‘I’m Very Worried About Italy’ (CNBC)

Political chaos in the euro zone’s third-biggest economy won’t be going away anytime soon, according to IMF former chief economist Olivier Blanchard, who on Tuesday issued an ominous assessment of the country. Panic roiled markets Tuesday as a political fight in Italy prompted one of its worst market sell-offs in years. Underlying investor fear was the prospect of Italy leaving the euro and others following suit, which Blanchard, now an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, described as more of a psychological fear than a realistic threat.

The potential concern, rather, involves Italy’s creditors, who would have to “move carefully,” the economist told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche in Paris. The rest of Europe may avoid a domino effect, but Italy looks to remain mired in a quagmire. “I suspect in this case the EU will do whatever is needed to prevent contagion, so I’m not terribly worried about contagion,” Blanchard said. “I’m very worried about Italy. Not worried about the rest of Europe. It will be tough, but the rest of Europe, the rest of (the) euro will be OK.” [..] “The writing was on the wall,” Blanchard said. “When you have capital mobility, and you give signals that you might not stay in the euro … then you expect investors to move, and I think that’s what we are seeing.”

Markets were already nervous about M5S and Lega’s economic plans for Italy. Though the parties did not in fact pledge to leave the euro, they signaled a disregard for the EU’s fiscal rules, such as those limiting states’ deficit levels. [..] Asked if there may be positives to the standoff in the form of EU concessions for Italy in order to prevent a pull-out, Blanchard responded, “No. I am not optimistic.” Unsurprisingly, he described himself as very bearish on the country. The best-case scenario, the economist said, would be for the winners of the next elections to provide a program that satisfies the voter base — victory is predicted for the populist parties again — but remains fiscally responsible.

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Wolf Richter is dead on: “..Italian bonds – no matter what maturity – should never ever have traded with a negative yield..”

NIRP’s Revenge: Italian Bonds Plunge, Worst Day in Decades (WS)

On Tuesday, Italian bonds had their worst day in Eurozone existence, even worse than any day during the worst periods of the 2011 debt crisis. And this comes after they’d already gotten crushed on Monday, and after they’d gotten crushed last week. And this happened even as the ECB is carrying on its QE program, including the purchase of Italian government bonds; and even as it pursues its negative-interest-rate policy (NIRP). As bond prices plunge, yields spike by definition, and the spike in the two-year yield was spectacular, going from 0.3% on Monday morning to 2.73% on Tuesday end of day:

But note that until May 26, the two-year yield was still negative as part of the ECB’s interest rate repression. On that fateful day, the two-year yield finally crossed the red line into positive territory. To this day, it remains inexplicable why the ECB decided that Italian yields with maturities of two years or less should be negative – that investors, or rather pension beneficiaries, etc., who own these misbegotten bonds, would need to pay the Italian government, one of the most indebted in the world, for the privilege of lending it money. But that scheme came totally unhinged just now. The 10-year Italian government bond yield preformed a similar if not quite as spectacular a feat. Over Monday and Tuesday, it went from 2.37% to 3.18%:

But here’s the thing: Italian bonds – no matter what maturity – should never ever have traded with a negative yield. Their yields should always have been higher than US yields, given that the Italian government is in even worse financial shape than the US government. Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 131%, and more importantly, it doesn’t even control its own currency and cannot on its own slough off a debt crisis by converting it into a classic currency crisis, which is how Argentina is dealing with its government spending. The central bank of Argentina recently jacked up its 30-day policy rate to 40% to keep the peso from collapsing further. That’s the neighborhood where Italy would be if it had its own currency. But the ECB’s QE shenanigans and NIRP drove even Italian yields below zero, and so now here is NIRP’s revenge.

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Oettinger takes the prize for the biggest fool so far.

Italy Could Be The Next Greece – Only Much Worse (CNBC)

Nearly a decade after a protracted Greek debt crisis spooked global markets, a fresh round of political turmoil in Italy has revived fears about the fate of the European financial system and its common currency. This time, the numbers are a lot bigger. “Italy’s economy is 10 times larger than that of Greece, whose debt crisis shook the euro area’s foundations,” wrote Desmond Lachman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, in a recent blog post. “The single currency is unlikely to survive in its present form if Italy were forced to exit that monetary arrangement.”

Italy’s economy has been struggling since the Great Recession years with a debt load that rivals the heavy Greek borrowing that forced massive cuts in public services there and drove Greece into a deep recession. That Italian debt crisis has become central to the ongoing political instability, as multiple governments have failed to resolve it. [..] Even if the populist parties stop short of a clear call for exiting the euro, their strength has widened the political gap with EU officials in Brussels. In an echo of the Greek debt crisis, the latest turmoil has reopened a political rift between Germany and the “peripheral” economies of Greece, Italy and Spain. That political divide will further complicate ongoing efforts to resolve Italy’s crushing debt burden.

On Tuesday, EU officials promised to respect Italian voters’ right to choose their own government, after Germany’s European commissioner said Italians should not vote for the populists. “My worry, my expectation, is that the coming weeks will show that the markets, government bonds, Italy’s economy, could be so badly hit that these could send a signal to voters not to elect populists from the left or right,” Guenther Oettinger, a German commissioner who oversees the EU budget committee, said in a German television interview.

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“..a relationship that was neither voluntary nor equal – the very opposite of the credo on which the EU was based.”

“Everything Has Gone Wrong”: Soros Warns “Major” Financial Crisis Is Coming (ZH)

Until recently, it could have been argued that austerity is working: the European economy is slowly improving, and Europe must simply persevere. But, looking ahead, Europe now faces the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal and the destruction of the transatlantic alliance, which is bound to have a negative effect on its economy and cause other dislocations. The strength of the dollar is already precipitating a flight from emerging-market currencies. We may be heading for another major financial crisis. The economic stimulus of a Marshall Plan for Africa and other parts of the developing world should kick in just at the right time. That is what has led me to put forward an out-of-the-box proposal for financing it.

“The EU is in an existential crisis. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,” he said. To escape the crisis, “it needs to reinvent itself.” “The United States, for its part, has exacerbated the EU’s problems. By unilaterally withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump has effectively destroyed the transatlantic alliance. This has put additional pressure on an already beleaguered Europe. It is no longer a figure of speech to say that Europe is in existential danger; it is the harsh reality.” “We may be heading for another major financial crisis,” Soros said explicitly.

“I personally regarded the EU as the embodiment of the idea of the open society. It was a voluntary association of equal states that banded together and sacrificed part of their sovereignty for the common good. The idea of Europe as an open society continues to inspire me. But since the financial crisis of 2008, the EU seems to have lost its way. It adopted a program of fiscal retrenchment, which led to the euro crisis and transformed the eurozone into a relationship between creditors and debtors. The creditors set the conditions that the debtors had to meet, yet could not meet. This created a relationship that was neither voluntary nor equal – the very opposite of the credo on which the EU was based.”

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Interference in a country’s politics. Hmm.

Soros-Backed Campaign To Push For New Brexit Vote Within A Year (G.)

A campaign to secure a second Brexit referendum within a year and save the UK from “immense damage” is to be launched in days, the philanthropist and financier George Soros has announced. The billionaire founder of the Open Society Foundation said the prospect of the UK’s prolonged divorce from Brussels could help persuade the British public by a “convincing margin” that EU membership was in their interests. In a speech on Tuesday ahead of the launch of the Best for Britain campaign – said to have already attracted millions of pounds in donations – Soros suggested to an audience in Paris that changing the minds of Britons would be in keeping with “revolutionary times”.

Best for Britain had already helped to convince parliamentarians to extract from Theresa May a meaningful vote on the final withdrawal deal, he said, and it was time to engage with voters, and Brussels, to pave the way for the UK to stay in the bloc. It is expected to publish its campaign manifesto on 8 June. Soros, 87, said: “Brexit is an immensely damaging process, harmful to both sides … Divorce will be a long process, probably taking more than five years. Five years is an eternity in politics, especially in revolutionary times like the present. “Ultimately, it’s up to the British people to decide what they want to do. It would be better however if they came to a decision sooner rather than later. That’s the goal of an initiative called the Best for Britain, which I support.

“Best for Britain fought for, and helped to win, a meaningful parliamentary vote which includes the option of not leaving at all. This would be good for Britain but would also render Europe a great service by rescinding Brexit and not creating a hard-to-fill hole in the European budget. “But the British public must express its support by a convincing margin in order to be taken seriously by Europe. That’s what Best for Britain is aiming for by engaging the electorate. It will publish its manifesto in the next few days.”

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Recovery.

Pace Of Greek Credit Contraction Increases In April (K.)

The funding deficit is growing in the Greek economy, as there was a sharper credit contraction in April, data from the Bank of Greece showed on Tuesday. The pace of financing Greek households and enterprises stood at -1.9% last month, from -1% in March and -0.9% in February. The flow of credit turned negative by 1.2 billion euros in April from the positive amount of 217 million euros in March. The negative flow means that loans repaid outweighed those issued, after factoring in loan write-offs and sales of nonperforming loans by banks.

In practice the fresh credit issued is offset by the burden of the increased write-offs and payments mostly by enterprises. Data analysis showed that the funding flow to the economy’s basic domains last month was negative by 2.4% for industry and by 1.7% for construction. At the same time the financing rate for tourism was marginally positive at 1%, while in commerce the rate was zero, against a positive 1% in March. The sector with the lowest funding rate in comparison with last year was electricity and water, which declined 12.6%.

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Who blinked first?

EU Plans To Boost Spending In South, Cut Funds For Eastern Europe (RT)

The European Commission proposed on Tuesday increased spending of EU money on Italy and other southern member states hit by the economic and migrant crises, while reducing funds for regions in the former communist eastern countries, Reuters reports. The proposal on the 2021-2027 budget comes as Italy is facing the prospect of snap elections after the summer. The commission proposed a new methodology to distribute funds that takes into account unemployment levels and the reception of migrants, and not just economic output as previously done. This will result in a reduction of regional funds for eastern countries because they have grown faster in recent years. The budget would increase to €1.1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) from €1 trillion in the current seven-year period. A third of spending would be allocated to help reduce the gap between rich and poor regions of the bloc.

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Jim on Memorial Day.

It’s Hard To Be An Empire (Jim Kunstler)

I suppose that military prowess is all we’ve got left in the national pride bag in these times of foundering empire. Few are fooled these days by the “land of opportunity” trope when so many young people are lucky to get a part-time gig on the WalMart loading dock along with three nights a week of slinging Seaside Shrimp Trios for the local Red Lobster. Of course, there are a few choice perches in venture capital out in Silicon Valley, or concocting collateralized loan obligations in the aeries of Wall Street — but nobody is playing Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man to celebrate these endeavors.

There’s a macabre equivalency between our various overseas war operations and the school shootings that are now a routine feature of American daily life. The purposes are equally obscure and the damage is just as impressive — many lives ruined for no good reason. But consider more lives are lost every year in highway crashes than in the Mexican War of the 1840s and more Americans are dying each year lately of opioid overdoses than the entire death toll of the Vietnam War. America’s soul is at war with its vaunted way-of-life.

It’s hard to be an empire, for sure, but it’s even harder, apparently, to be a truly virtuous society. First, I suppose, you have to be not insane. It’s hard to think of one facet of American life that’s not insane now. Our politics are insane. Our ideologies are insane. The universities are insane. Medicine is insane. Show biz is insane. Sexual relations are insane. The arts are insane. The news media is utterly insane. And what passes for business enterprise in the USA these days is something beyond insane, like unto the swarms of serpents and bats issuing from some mouth of hell in the medieval triptychs. How do you memorialize all that?

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“..the trade renege could leave Washington dancing with itself..”

China Slams Surprise US Trade Announcement, Says Ready To Fight (R.)

China on Wednesday lashed out at Washington’s unexpected statement that it will press ahead with tariffs and restrictions on investments by Chinese companies, saying Beijing was ready to fight back if Washington was looking to ignite a trade war. The United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China and would use it unless Beijing addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property. The declaration came after the two sides had agreed earlier this month to look at steps to narrow China’s $375 billion trade surplus with America, and days ahead of a visit to Beijing by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for further negotiations.

William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said Washington’s threat of tariffs appeared to have been “somewhat effective” thus far. “I don’t think it is only a tactic, personally,” he told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the group does not view tariffs as the best way to address the trade frictions. “The thinking became that if the U.S. doesn’t have any leverage and there is no pressure on our Chinese friends, then we will not have serious negotiations.” [..] The Global Times said the United States was suffering from a “delusion” and warned that the “trade renege could leave Washington dancing with itself”.

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What you get with bogus claims of full employment.

High Number Of Workers With No Pay Raise Says Inflation Worries Overblown (MW)

An unusually high percentage of American workers still aren’t getting pay raises nine years after the end of the Great Recession — and that suggests the threat of inflation is still quite low. Some senior Federal Reserve officials, including Kansas City Fed President Esther George, want to raise U.S. interest rates more rapidly to head off the potential for higher wages to stoke inflation. The specter of higher rates has pushed up interest rates and acted as a drag on stocks. Yet a new report by researchers at the regional central bank George leads to suggest there’s little cause for alarm.

The Kansas City Fed researchers found that an abnormally high share of employees still in the same jobs haven’t received a pay raise in the last 12 months despite a 3.9% unemployment rate that is the lowest in almost two decades. Economists refer to the phenomenon as “wage rigidity.” [..] The rate of future wage growth in the U.S. also tends to rise more slowly than usual when a high number of people aren’t getting any raises at all, the research suggests. In the most recent 12-month period ended in April, hourly U.S. wages increased at a 2.6% rate. Normally when the unemployment rate is as low as it is now, wages tend to rise 3.5% to 4.5% year.

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What they claimed would never happen.

industrial-Scale Beef Farming Comes To The UK (G.)

Thousands of British cattle reared for supermarket beef are being fattened in industrial-scale units where livestock have little or no access to pasture. Research by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has established that the UK is now home to a number of industrial-scale fattening units with herds of up to 3,000 cattle at a time being held in grassless pens for extended periods rather than being grazed or barn-reared. Intensive beef farms, known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are commonplace in the US. But the practice of intensive beef farming in the UK has not previously been widely acknowledged – and the findings have sparked the latest clash over the future of British farming.

The beef industry says that the scale of operations involved enables farmers to rear cattle efficiently and profitably, and ensure high welfare standards. But critics say there are welfare and environmental concerns around this style of farming, and believe that the farms are evidence of a wider intensification of the UK’s livestock sector which is not being sufficiently debated, and which may have an impact on small farmers. In contrast to large intensive pig and poultry farms, industrial beef units do not require a government permit, and there are no official records held by DEFRA on how many intensive beef units are in operation. But the Guardian and the Bureau has identified nearly a dozen operating across England. [..] The largest farms fatten up to 6,000 cattle a year.

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Stop the madness!

Meat And Fish Multinationals ‘Jeopardising Paris Climate Goals’ (G.)

Meat and fish companies may be “putting the implementation of the Paris agreement in jeopardy” by failing to properly report their climate emissions, according to a groundbreaking index launched today. Three out of four (72%) of the world’s biggest meat and fish companies provided little or no evidence to show that they were measuring or reporting their emissions, despite the fact that, as the report points out, livestock production represents 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. “It is clear that the meat and dairy industries have remained out of public scrutiny in terms of their significant climate impact.

For this to change, these companies must be held accountable for the emissions and they must have credible, independently verifiable emissions reductions strategy,” said Shefali Sharma, director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy European office. The new Coller FAIRR Protein Producers Index has examined the environmental and social commitments of 60 of the world’s largest meat and fish producers and found that more than half are failing to properly document their impact, despite their central role in our lives and societies.

Many of the names in the index will be unfamiliar, but their consolidated revenues of $300bn cover around one-fifth of the global livestock and aquaculture market – roughly one in every five burgers, steaks or fish. The companies looked at by the index include giants like the Australian Agricultural Company, which has the biggest cattle herd in the world; the Chinese WH Group, the largest global pork company; or the US’s Sandersons, which processes more than 10 million chickens a week.

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Oct 182017
 
 October 18, 2017  Posted by at 2:26 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  4 Responses »


Salvator Rosa Heroic battle 1652

 

A point BOE Governor Mark Carney made recently may be the biggest cog in the European Union’s wheel (or is it second biggest? Read on). That is, derivatives clearing. It’s one of the few areas where Brussels stands to lose much more than London, but it’s a big one. And Carney puts a giant question mark behind the EU’s preparedness.

Carney Reveals Europe’s Potential Achilles Heel in Brexit Talks

Carney explained why Europe’s financial sector is more at risk than the UK from a “hard” or “no-deal” Brexit. [..] When asked does the European Council “get it” in terms of potential shocks to financial stability, Carney diplomatically commented that “a learning process is underway.” Having sounded alarm bells about clearing in his last Mansion House speech, he noted “These costs of fragmenting clearing, particularly clearing of interest rate swaps, would be born principally by the European real economy and they are considerable.”

Calling into question the continuity of tens of thousands of derivative contracts , he stated that it was “pretty clear they will no longer be valid”, that this “could only be solved by both sides” and has been “underappreciated” by Europe . Carney had a snipe at Europe for its lack of preparation “We are prepared as we should be for the possibility of a hard exit without any transition…there has been much less of that done in the European Union.”

In Carneys view “It’s in the interest of the EU 27 to have a transition agreement. Also, in my judgement given the scale of the issues as they affect the EU 27, that there will ultimately be a transition agreement. There is a very limited amount of time between now and the end of March 2019 to transition large, complex institutions and activities…

If one thinks about the implementation of Basel III, we are alone in the current members of the EU in having extensive experience of managing the transition for individual firms of various derivative and risk activities from one jurisdiction back into the UK. That tends to take 2-4 years. Depending on the agreement, we are talking about a substantial amount of activity.” [..] “I wouldn’t want to use financial stability issues as leverage. I wouldn’t want them to be addressed in a bloodless technocratic way in the interests of all the citizens.”

Sounds like Carney knows a thing or two that Juncker et al haven’t sufficiently thought through. The EU plans to move all – or most- derivatives clearing to the continent, but such a thing is anything but easy. That’s another very tangled web, and an expensive one to boot. Brussels probably wants to use the issue to put pressure on London in some way, but a hard Brexit might make that unlikely if not worse. Bloomberg from June this year:

EU Targets Derivative-Clearing Giants With Relocation Threat

“Today, a significant amount of financial instruments denominated in the currencies of the member states are cleared by recognized third-country CCPs,” according to the proposal. “For example, the notional amount outstanding at Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the U.S. is €1.8 trillion for euro-denominated interest-rate derivatives,” the commission said. “This also raises a series of concerns.”

The financial industry has lobbied hard against a location policy. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association said requiring euro-denominated interest-rate derivatives to be cleared by an EU-based clearinghouse would boost initial margin requirements by as much as 20% . The FIA, a trade organization for the futures, options and centrally cleared derivatives markets, has said forced relocation “could nearly double margin requirements from $83 billion to $160 billion.”

According to that Bloomberg piece, the notional amount outstanding of euro-denominated OTC interest-rate derivatives is some $90 trillion, 97% of which goes through the London Clearing House (LCH) based in .. well, you guessed it. Wikipedia:

LCH is a European-based independent clearing house that serves major international exchanges, as well as a range of OTC markets. Based on 2012 figures LCH cleared approximately 50% of the global interest rate swap market, and is the second largest clearer of bonds and repos in the world , providing services across 13 government debt markets.

In addition, LCH clears a broad range of asset classes including: commodities, securities, exchange traded derivatives, credit default swaps, energy contracts, freight derivatives, interest rate swaps, foreign exchange and Euro and Sterling denominated bonds and repos. LCH’s members comprise a large number of the major financial groups including almost all of the major investment banks, broker dealers and international commodity houses.

More details from Reuters, also in June:

Derivatives Body Warns EU Against Moving Euro Clearing From London

Shifting clearing of euro-denominated derivatives from London to the European continent would require banks to set aside far more cash to insure trades against defaults, a cost that would be passed on to companies, a global derivatives industry body says. [..]The London Stock Exchange’s subsidiary LCH currently clears the bulk of euro-denominated swaps, a derivative contract that helps companies guard against unexpected moves in interest rates or currencies.

Britain, however, is due to leave the bloc in 2019, putting it out of the EU’s regulatory reach. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), one of the world’s top derivatives industry bodies, said on Monday that a “relocation” in euro clearing to continental Europe would split liquidity in markets and reduce the ability of banks to save on margin by offsetting positions in the same liquidity pool.

Deutsche Bank has the world’s largest derivatives portfolio. Not all of it will be euro-denominated, but still. And I know it’s just notional amounts, but derivatives are not things one plays fast and loose with, lest the clearing becomes opaque and trouble starts.

Juncker better solve this thing. Oh, and this one too (yes, it’s quite fun to report on this):

Money Will Divide Europe After Brexit

As part of the transition period of around two years that she called for in her emollient Florence speech last month, Britain would continue to pay in to the EU budget to ensure that none of the member states was out of pocket owing to the decision to leave. These net payments of around €10 billion a year would fix the immediate problem facing the EU, the hole that would otherwise open up in its finances during the final two years of its current budgetary framework, which runs from 2014 to 2020.

[..] through its accounting procedures, the EU can and does commit it to spending that will be paid for by future receipts from the member states. What this means is that even after 2020 there will still be payments due on commitments made under the current seven-year spending plan. That pile of unpaid bills, eloquently called the “reste à liquider” (the amount yet to be settled), is forecast to be €254 billion at the end of 2020.

Estimates of what Britain might owe towards this vary, but taking into account what might have been spent on British projects it could be around €20 billion. On top of that – and the second main reason why the EU is holding out for more – the EU has liabilities, notably arising from the unfunded retirement benefits of European staff estimated at €67 billion at the end of 2016, which it is expecting Britain to share. Even taking into account some potential offsets from its share of assets, Britain may face a bill of between €30 billion and €40 billion on top of the €20 billion paid during the transition period.

The EU finances itself on the fly. It’ll have a €254 pile of unpaid bills in 3 years time. That is scary. Not for Brussels, but for its member countries. A hard Brexit, in which Britain may refuse to pay, is perhaps even scarier.

Anyway, once Juncker’s done with all that, he’ll have to move on to the next problem. Derivatives is a big cloud hanging over Europe, but this one is potentially shattering.

Ray Dalio, manager of the world’s biggest hedge fund, is shorting, placing large bets against, anything Italian, and given Italy’s size and hence importance to the EU, his bets are effectively bets against Brussels.

Dalio’s Fund Opens $300 Million Bet Against Italian Energy Firm

Bridgewater Associates is adding to its billion-dollar short against the Italian economy. The world’s largest hedge fund disclosed a $300 million bet against Eni SpA, Italy’s oil and gas giant, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Bloomberg previously reported that Ray Dalio’s firm had wagered more than $1.1 billion against shares of six Italian financial institutions and two other companies.

This latest bet is the hedge fund’s second-largest against an Italian company, trailing only the $310 million against Enel SpA, the country’s largest utility. Eni’s majority holder is the Italian government via state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA and the Ministry of Economy. The public involvement also is reflected in the government’s role in appointing the chief executive officer. Current CEO Claudio Descalzi has been at the helm since 2014 and was reconfirmed this year.

$1.1 billion against the banking system, $310 million against the main utility, $140 million vs pan-European insurer Generali and now $300 million vs the national oil and gas company, That adds up to quite a bit more than the Bloomberg graph says, but I’ll include it anyway.

 

 

Dalio doesn’t call the bluff of Italy, and this is not just like George Soros’ shorting the British pound in 1992, he’s calling out the entire EU and its financial system. He’s saying I don’t believe you can keep up the charade. He’s making a mockery of Mario Draghi’s “whatever it takes”.

So what are Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt going to do? They can’t ignore the no. 1 hedge fund forever. They will have to pump money into Italy, in large amounts. Merkel won’t like that, neither will her new coalition partner FDP, and the Bundesbank may start legal action.

Dalio’s located the Union’s achilles heel, which is not just that Italy’s insolvent (it’s not alone in that), but that there’s a gigantic theater production being performed to give everyone the impression that things are going just swimmingly, thank you. So Dalio’s said: how much for a ticket to the show?, and paid it. And now he’s inside.

Bridgewater didn’t enter that theater for nothing. $1.85 billion is not chump change for them. Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina may have said that Dalio will lose his bets, but according to the IMF Italy’s non-performing loans levels were €356 billion at the end of June 2016, which is 18% of total loans for Italian banks, 20% of Italy’s GDP and one-third of total Eurozone NPLs. Intesa Sanpaolo holds a nice chunk of that.

‘Whatever it takes’ may well be too much to take for the EU, and Draghi looks outsmarted, as do Juncker and Merkel. How many billions will it take for Dalio to go away? And then, who’s next, which hedge fund, which politician, which ECB chief? Coming soon to a theater near you.