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[Entertainment] Jessica Simpson's Baby Shower Revealed the Baby's Name In the Cutest Way Jessica Simpson, Pregnancy Style Jessica Simpson's baby name has taken our breath away. At her floral and fabulous baby shower, the pregnant star revealed her daughter's name by making the theme "Birdie's...
Published:1/21/2019 10:43:59 PM
[Right Column] Ocasio-Cortez on Millennials: ‘We’re Like the World Is Going to End in 12 Years if We Don’t Address Climate Change’
Published:1/21/2019 10:43:59 PM
[worldNews] No public details on crashed Lion Air voice recorder until final report: Indonesian official Indonesian authorities do not plan to provide a public update on the contents of a cockpit voice recorder from a Lion Air jet that crashed, killing 189 people, until a final report is released in August or September, an official said on Tuesday.
Published:1/21/2019 10:43:59 PM
[Syndicated Posts] President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Tuesday, January 22, 2019

By R. Mitchell -

President Donald Trump will receive his daily briefing as prepared by the intelligence community then have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence. Keep up with Trump on President Trump’s Schedule Page. President Trump’s schedule for 1/22/19 All Times EST 12:00 PM Receive intelligence briefing – Oval Office 12:30 PM Lunch with the Vice ...

President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Tuesday, January 22, 2019 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:1/21/2019 10:43:59 PM
[US News] ‘So much sciencing’! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives entire world an exact expiration date ‘if we don’t address climate change’

"This is just pure comedy."

The post ‘So much sciencing’! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives entire world an exact expiration date ‘if we don’t address climate change’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 10:43:59 PM
[Markets] Death Of Russiagate? Mueller Team Tied To Mifsud's Network

Via Disobedient Media,

In April last year, Disobedient Media broke coverage of the British involvement in the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, asking why All Russiagate Roads Lead To London, via the quasi-scholar Joseph Mifsud and others.

The issue was also raised by WikiLeaks's Julian Assange, just days before the Ecuadorian government silenced him last March. Assange's Twitter thread cited research by Chris Blackburn, who spoke with Disobedient Media on multiple occasions covering Joseph Mifsud's ties to British intelligence figures and organizations, as well as his links to Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign, the FBI, CIA and the private cyber-security firm Crowdstrike.

We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. What we are left with is an indication of collusion between factions of the US and UK intelligence community in fabricating evidence of Trump-Russia collusion: a scandal that would have rocked the legacy press to its core, if Western establishment-backed media had a spine.

In Disobedient Media's previous coverage of Blackburn's work, he described his experience in intelligence:

“I’ve been involved in numerous investigations that involve counter-intelligence techniques in the past. I used to work for the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism, one of the biggest tort actions in American history. I helped build a profile of Osama bin Laden’s financial and political network, which was slightly different to the one that had been built by the CIA’s Alec Station, a dedicated task force which was focused on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Alec Station designed its profile to hunt Osama bin Laden and disrupt his network. I thought it was flawed. It had failed to take into account Osama’s historical links to Pakistan’s main political parties or that he was the figurehead for a couple of organizations, not just Al-Qaeda.”

“I also ran a few conferences for US intelligence leaders during the Bush administration. After the 9/11 Commission published its report into the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it created a public outreach program. The US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition (Intelcon) was one of the avenues it used. I was responsible for creating the ‘View from Abroad’ track. We had guidance from former Senator Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick, who both sat on the 9/11 Commission. We got leaders such as Sir John Chilcot and Baroness Pauline Neville Jones to come and help share their experiences on how the US would be able to heal the rifts after 9/11.”

“The US intelligence community was suffering from severe turf wars and firewalls, which were hampering counter-terrorism efforts. They were concentrating on undermining each other rather than tackling terrorism. I had mainly concentrated on the Middle East, but in 2003 I switched my focus to terrorism in South Asia.”

Counter Terrorism, Not Counter Intelligence, Sparked Probe

In an article published by The Telegraph last November, the paper acknowledged the following:

"It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI's investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin... Mr. Trump’s allies and former advisers are raising questions about the UK’s role in the start of the probe, given many of the key figures and meetings were located in Britain... One former top White House adviser to Mr. Trump made similar insinuations, telling this newspaper: “You know the Brits are up to their neck." The source added on the Page wiretap application: “I think that stuff is going to implicate MI5 and MI6 in a bunch of activities they don't want to be implicated in, along with FBI, counter-terrorism and the CIA." [Emphasis Added]

The article cites George Papadopoulos, who asked why the "British intelligence apparatus was weaponized against Trump and his advisers." Papadopoulos has also addressed the issue at length via Twitter. In response to the Telegraph's coverage of the issue, Chris Blackburn wrote via Twitter:

"The Telegraph story on Trump Russia acknowledges that activities involving counter-terrorism are at the heart of the scandal...not counter-intelligence. If the [London Centre for International Law Practice] was British state, not private, some Commonwealth countries are going to be seriously pissed off."

Blackburn spoke with Disobedient Media, saying:

"If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice. A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." [Emphasis Added]

Blackburn discussed this differentiation with Disobedient Media:

"Counter-terrorism is obviously involved in more kinetic, violent political actions-concerning mass casualty events, bombings, assassinations, poisonings, and hacking. But, the lines are blurring between them. Counter-intelligence cases have been known to stretch for decades- often relying on nothing more than paranoia and suspicion to fuel investigations. Counter-terrorism is also a broader discipline as it involves tactical elements like hostage rescue, crime scene investigations, and explosive specialists. Counter-Terrorism is a collaborative effort with counter-terrorism officers working closely with local and regional police forces and civic organizations. There is also a wider academic field around countering violent, and radical ideology which promotes terrorism and insurgencies. Cybersecurity has become the third major discipline in intelligence. The London Center of International Law Practice, the mysterious intelligence company that employed both Papadopoulos and Mifsud, had also been working in that area."

Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else. As counter-terrorism and counterintelligence are close in tactics and methods, it would seem that they were used because they share the same skill sets - covert evidence gathering and deception. It's basically sleight of hand. A piece of theatre would be more precise. However, we don't know if the FBI knew it was real or make-believe. It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency."

Mueller's Team And Joseph Mifsud

Zainab Ahmad, a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn, Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017. In recent days, Blackburn wrote via Twitter:

"Zainab Ahmad is a major player in the Russiagate scandal at the DOJ. Does she work for SC Mueller? She was at a GCCS event in May 2017. Arvinder Sambei, a co-director of the [London Centre of International Law Practice], worked with Joseph Mifsud, [George Papadopoulos] and [Simona Mangiante]. She's a GCCS consultant."

Blackburn told this author:

"Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."

Zainab Ahmad (AHMAD). Image via the Combatting Terrorism Center, West Point

"Richard Barrett, the Former Chief of Counter-Terrorism at MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence department traveled with Mifsud to Saudi Arabia to give a talk on terrorism in 2017. Ex-CIA officers, US Defense, and US Treasury officials were also there. The London Centre of International Law Practice's relationship to the Global Center had been established in 2014. The Global Center on Cooperative Security made Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei consultants, they then became directors at the London Centre of International Law Practice."

"The Global Center on Cooperative Security's first major UK conference was at Joseph Mifsud's London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD). Mifsud then followed Arvinder Sambei and Nagi Idris over to the London Centre of International Law Practice. Sources have told me that Mifsud was moonlighting as a specialist on counter-terrorism and Islamism while working at LAD which explains why he went to work in counter-terrorism after LAD folded."

"I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling."

Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons. Critically, The Hill writes:

"Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor. Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe." [Emphasis Added]

This point is essential, as it not only describes Ahmad's role in Mueller's team but places her at a crucial pre-investigation meeting.

Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei, writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too."

Sambei has been described elsewhere as a "Former practising barrister, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service of England & Wales, and Legal Adviser at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), Ministry of Defence." [British spelling has been retained]

Arvinder Sambei. Image via the Public International Law Advisory Group

That Sambei has been so thoroughly linked to organizations where Mifsud was a central figure is yet another cause of suspicion regarding allegations that Joseph Mifsud was a shadowy, unknown Russian agent until the summer of 2016. She is also a direct link between Robert Mueller and Mifsud.

Blackburn wrote via Twitter: "Arvinder Sambei helped to organize LCILP's counter-terrorism and corruption events. She used her contacts in the US to bring in Middle Eastern government officials that were seen to be vulnerable to graft. Lisa Osofsky, former FBI Deputy General Counsel, was working with her." Below, Arvinder is pictured at a London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) event.

Arvinder Sambei, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

As Chris Blackburn told this author:

"Mifsud and Papadopoulos's co-director Arvinder Sambei was also the former FBI British counsel working 9/11 cases for Robert Mueller. She also runs a consultancy which deals with Special Investigative Measure (SIMs) which is just a posh description for covert espionage and evidence gathering. She has worked for major intelligence and national law agencies in the past. She wore two hats as a director of London Centre and a consultant for the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), a counter-terrorism think tank which is sponsored by the Australia, Canada, UK and US governments. Alexander Downer's former Chief of Staff while at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now works for the Global Center. Mifsud was also due to meet with Australian private intelligence figures in Adelaide in March 2016. So. Australia is certainly a major focus for the investigation." [Emphasis Added]

Below, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Lisa Osofsky is pictured at a London Centre for International Law Practice event. Osofsky also served as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer with Goldman Sachs International. Since 2018, she has served as the Director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Lisa Osofsky, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

An Embarrassment For John Brennan?

Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share ‘director-to-director’ level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that "The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017. Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing “deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level” is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner."

Blackburn told Disobedient Media:

"Former Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has seen most of the information gathered by Congress from the intelligence community concerning the Russia investigation, said that if President Trump were to declassify files and present the truth to the American public, it would "embarrass John Brennan." I think that is pretty concrete for me, but it's not definitive. I know the polarization and spin in Washington has become perverse, but that statement is pretty specific for me. If Brennan is involved, it is most probably through Papadopoulos who sparked off the 'official' investigation at the FBI. He also made sure the Steele dossier was spread through the US government."

Blackburn added: "Chris Steele was also working on FIFA projects, and a source has told me that he was working to investigate the Russian and Qatari World Cup bids. The London Centre of International Law Practice has been working with Majed Garoub, the former Saudi legal representative of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer. He's also been working against the Qatari bid. Steele likes to get paid twice for his investigations."

"Mifsud has also been associated with Prince Turki the former Saudi intelligence chief, Mifsud and the London Academy of Diplomacy used to train Saudi diplomats and intelligence figures while Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to London. Turki is a close friend of Bill Clinton and John Brennan. Nawaf Obaid was also courting Mifsud and tried to get him a cushy job working with CNN's Freedom Project at Link Campus in Rome. He also knows John Brennan. Intelligence agencies like to give out professional gifts like this plum academic position for completing missions. In the US, it is widely known that intelligence agencies gift the children of assets to get them into prestigious Ivy League schools."

At minimum, we can surmise that Mifsud was not a Russian agent, but was an asset of Western intelligence agencies. We are left with the impression that the Mifsud saga served as a ploy, whether he participated knowingly or not. It seems reasonable to conclude that the gambit was initially developed with participation of John Brennan and UK intelligence. Following this, Mueller inherited and developed the Mifsud narrative thread into the collusion soap opera we know today.

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power.

Published:1/21/2019 10:43:59 PM
[Politics] Sen. Harris Platform: Medicare-for-All, Middle Class Tax Credit Sen. Kamala Harris' 2020 campaign platform includes a monthly tax credit for middle-class families, a Medicare-for-all healthcare system, pursuing a reduction in mortality rates and changes in immigration and bail overhauls to reduce the federal prison population. Published:1/21/2019 10:13:47 PM
[Entertainment] Bebe Rexha says designers won't dress her for the Grammys 'because I'm too big' Add Bebe Rexha to the list of celebs dissed by designers. Rexha, who's up for two Grammys, says she's having trouble getting ready for her big night.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 10:13:46 PM
[worldNews] U.S. to formally seek extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou: Globe And Mail The United States has informed the Canadian government that it plans to proceed with a formal request to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on allegations violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the Globe and Mail reported on Monday.
Published:1/21/2019 10:13:46 PM
[Markets] Is America About To Officially Dump Pakistan As An "Ally"?

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,

Republican Congressman Andy Biggs just put forth House Resolution 73 seeking to remove Pakistan’s designation as a “major non-NATO ally”, which would eliminate its privileged military cooperation with the US that’s already been put under strain over the past year since Trump decided to suspend various sorts of aid to the country and decried it for supposedly not doing enough to fight terrorism. Biggs wants to make any reclassification of Pakistan as a “major non-NATO ally” contingent on the President proving to Congress that the country is fighting the so-called “Haqqani Network” that’s bedeviled the US for years, suggesting that this initiative might have something to do with once again scapegoating Pakistan for the latest setback to the incipient US-Taliban peace process.

In addition, the move itself is highly symbolic because it comes over two years after the US designated Pakistan’s rival India as its first-ever “Major Defense Partner” after entering into a military-strategic partnership with the country to tacitly “contain” China. It’s very likely that the US might be toying with the idea of replacing Pakistan with India as its newest “major non-NATO ally”, though that would provocatively push Pakistan even closer to the US’ Russian and Chinese rivals, something that could have serious implications for Afghanistan if Islamabad refuses to broker any more talks between Washington and the Taliban, for example. Altogether, however, the suggestion to strip Pakistan of its “major non-NATO ally” designation is predicable because the US was never Pakistan’s “ally” to begin with.

It never mattered how much Pakistan assisted the US with its War on Terror, nor how many tens of thousands of Pakistanis died as the country’s military fought its own version of this conflict on its home soil, the US always condescendingly treated Pakistan as a “junior partner” and criticized it to “do more”. Over the past couple of years, Pakistan finally decided to say “no more” and began pursuing an independent foreign policy that strives to achieve a “balance” between the world’s Great Powers instead of indefinitely perpetuating its erstwhile strategic dependence on a single one like the US, which has actually revolutionized regional and global affairs by virtue of the geostrategic importance of the CPEC megaproject.

NATO trucks crossing Pakistan’s border

For as much as some in the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (or “deep state”) might want to “punish” Pakistan for this through various means such as symbolically stripping away its “major non-NATO ally” status, others also understand that many Pakistanis would be happy to see their faux “alliance” with the US finally end and know that their country could potentially make matters difficult for the US in Afghanistan, which is why it remains to be seen whether this measure will pass into law. Even so, it nevertheless sends a very strong signal to Islamabad that some in Washington harbor very hostile intentions against their country and don’t appreciate its many sacrifices that were made on their behalf in the War on Terror.

Published:1/21/2019 10:13:46 PM
[topics:places/canada] Open letter to Xi demands China to release detained Canadians  Published:1/21/2019 10:13:46 PM
[Markets] Asia Markets: Asian markets slip on global growth worries Asian markets were lower on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund trimmed its global outlook for 2019 and 2020.
Published:1/21/2019 10:13:46 PM
[World] American Held In Syria Family Calls on Donald Trump to Help Release Majd Kamalmaz

The son of a man who is presumed to be held in captivity by the Syrian government publicly asked President Trump to help free him, in an exclusive interview on "The Story."

Published:1/21/2019 9:45:08 PM
[Politics] Trump voters now blame him for the government shutdown In Michigan, which helped deliver Trump the presidency, many of his supporters find his stand for a border wall too disruptive, even for him. Published:1/21/2019 9:45:07 PM
[The Blog] Huckabee: If Ann Coulter thinks she could do better than Trump, maybe she should run

"She's never had to be in the position of having to sit down and work through something to a solution."

The post Huckabee: If Ann Coulter thinks she could do better than Trump, maybe she should run appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 9:45:06 PM
[worldNews] North Korean base serves as missile headquarters: think tank One of 20 undeclared ballistic missile operating bases in North Korea serves as a missile headquarters, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published on Monday.
Published:1/21/2019 9:45:05 PM
[Markets] "Drink Good Wine, Hide Cash": $364 Million Ponzi Scheme Mastermind Told Wife To Hide Assets

Federal officials announced in September the indictment and arrest of a Baltimore man, involved in the most massive Ponzi scheme ever in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area.

With his accounts frozen, Kevin B. Merrill, the mastermind behind the fraud, allegedly wrote a prison note to his wife telling her to hide their assets.

The note was found in Merrill's sock by prison guards as he faces charges of defrauding investors of $364 million.

“Have your dad take my golf clubs,” he allegedly wrote. “Hide cash or checks … drink good wine in sub zero’s, replace with sh-- wine in basement.”

“F--- them. They have taken enough! Get stuff out,” he allegedly wrote.

Federal prosecutors revealed the note in criminal charges filed last month against Amanda Merrill, the young wife of the mastermind fraudster. She was charged with conspiracy, obstruction, disobeying a court order and removing property to prevent its seizure.

US Attorney Robert Hur said Merrill swindled family offices and investors around the country. He called it the largest Ponzi scheme in Maryland's history.

Federal agents arrested Merrill in September and raided his multi-million dollar home in Ruxton-Riderwood, Maryland.

He and his business partner, Jay Ledford, 54, of Texas, have been indicted on federal charges of wire fraud, identity theft, and money laundering.

Investors in the scheme believed they were buying “consumer debt portfolios,” tranches of credit card debt, car loans, and student loans. Instead, Merrill shifted the money from new investors to old investors, prosecutors say.

Merrill spent investors' money on dozens of luxury cars, including a million dollar Bugatti Veyron. Prosecutors say he spent $37,500 on designer watches and jewelry, $50,000 on private flights and $100,000 at Las Vegas casinos. They even say he decorated his mansions with the fine art of the mustached Monopoly character Rich Uncle Pennybags.

A federal judge issued a restraining order stopping Merrill and Ledford from selling their assets. 

Federal officials have filed documents with the courts to instruct Sotheby’s International Realty to sell a dozen mansions the men owned in Maryland, Florida, Texas and Nevada, collectively worth $20 million or more.

Officials are also ready to sell off the fleet of 34 exotic cars, motorcycles and boats.

Both individuals have pleaded not guilty. Their trials have not yet been scheduled.

Published:1/21/2019 9:45:05 PM
[Entertainment] 90 Day Fiancé's Larissa Dos Santos Lima Denies Threatening Suicide During Argument With Colt Johnson Larissa Dos Santos Lima, Colt Johnson, 90 Day FianceLarissa Dos Santos Lima is setting the record straight on claims that she threatened to commit suicide in her fight with husband Colt Johnson. The reality star shared a note to her...
Published:1/21/2019 9:45:05 PM
[Europe] What’s in a name (Paul Mirengoff) There’s a longstanding controversy over what to call the Balkan nation just north of Greece. It calls itself Macedonia. However, Greece, which also includes a chunk of what historically was called Macedonia, has objected to assigning that name to another country, and a Slavic one at that. The dispute came to the fore following the breakup of Yugoslavia, of which “Macedonia” had been a part. An interim agreement in the Published:1/21/2019 9:45:03 PM
[Entertainment] Hooray for feminism! SNL writer offers oral sex to anyone who punches Covington student in the face

This is where feminism meets toxic masculinity on the intersectionality spectrum, right?

The post Hooray for feminism! SNL writer offers oral sex to anyone who punches Covington student in the face appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 9:45:03 PM
[World] Anthony Scaramucci defends 11-day White House stint on 'Celebrity Big Brother' Ex-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci wasted no time defending his job and attacking Steve Bannon during Monday's "Celebrity Big Brother" premiere.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 9:45:03 PM
[Politics] Roger Stone to Newsmax TV: Mueller Wants Hillary in WH The Russia investigation is intended to put Democrat Hillary Clinton in the White House, political consultant Roger Stone told Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Now" on Monday. Published:1/21/2019 9:15:28 PM
[World] A sad day for the gentlemen of the press

The New York Times thinks ours is "a golden age for journalism." The press, the Old Gray Lady says, "has come through with some investigative work that can stand with the finest Watergate-era reporting."

There's a new appreciation for shoe-leather reporting. "Clicks and subscriptions are up, welcome news for an ... Published:1/21/2019 9:15:28 PM

[Entertainment] Actor Vincent D’Onofrio says take off the MAGA hat, silly, if you want to be trusted by the majority

Let's just ban all MAGA hats so no one has to be triggered at the sight of one.

The post Actor Vincent D’Onofrio says take off the MAGA hat, silly, if you want to be trusted by the majority appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 9:15:28 PM
[0763634b-6473-5bdd-8c92-550eafed385a] Razzies target Donald and Melania Trump, Kellyanne Conway with nominations The Razzies, known across America as the Oscars for bad movies, targeted President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway with nominations on Monday. Published:1/21/2019 9:15:28 PM
[Markets] The Fetishization Of The Corporate Media

Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,

So the corporate media have gone and done it again. As they have, repeatedly, for the last two and half years, they shook the earth with a “bombshell” story proving beyond any reasonable doubt that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, or at least committed an impeachable felony in connection with something to do with the Russians, or Ukrainians, or other Slavic persons … which story turned out to be inaccurate, or not entirely accurate, or a bunch of horseshit.

This time it was BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold, “a reporter with a checkered past” (i.e., a history of inventing his sources) who broke the “bombshell” Russiagate story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit. Leopold, and his colleague Anthony Cormier, reported that Trump had directed his attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about plans to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, thus suborning perjury and obstructing justice. Their sources for this “bombshell” story were allegedly “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.”

Approximately twenty-four hours later, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office (i.e., the office “involved in an investigation of the matter”) stated that the BuzzFeed story was “not accurate,” which is a legal term meaning “a bunch of horseshit.” BuzzFeed is standing by its story, and is working to determine what, exactly, Mueller’s office meant by “not accurate.” Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief, has called on Mueller “to make clear what he’s disputing.”

Liberals and other Trump-obsessives have joined in the effort to interpret the Special Counsel’s office’s cryptic utterance. French hermeneuticists have been reportedly called in to deconstruct the meaning of “accurate.” Professional Twitter semioticians are explaining that “not accurate” doesn’t mean “wrong,” but, rather, refers to something that is “accurate,” but which the user of the word doesn’t want to disclose publicly, or that legal terms don’t mean what they mean … or something more or less along those lines.

Glenn Greenwald, in August 2018, reporting on another “bombshell” story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit, compiled a partial list of Russiagate stories that the corporate media had published and promoted over the course of the previous eighteen months which turned out to be a bunch of horseshit (i.e., the stories did, not Greenwald’s list). In the wake of this latest horseshit story, Greenwald revised and renamed this list “The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump/Russia Story.

But Greenwald’s list is just a small sample of the Russiagate stories that have turned out to be horseshit. For the record, here are several more:

My personal favorite remains the one about how Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned by Putinist operatives back in 2016. And then there’s the pot-smoking, prostitute-banging, incompetent Novichok perfume assassins, the African American-brainwashing memes, the Putin-orchestrated Yellow Vest rebellion, the brain-eating Russian-Cubano crickets, and various other bunches of horseshit.

I am using the terms “horseshit” and “a bunch of horseshit” (as opposed to terms like “failures” and “errors”), not just to be gratuitously vulgar, but, also, to try to make a point. One is not supposed to use these terms in connection with “serious,” “respected” news outlets. Which is why journalists like Greenwald and Aaron Maté (who have extensively reported on the corporate media’s ongoing production and dissemination of horseshit) do not use such terms in the course of their reporting, and instead use less inflammatory terms like “false,” “inaccurate,” “mistake,” and “error.” Principled journalists like Greenwald and Maté are constrained by (a) their journalistic ethics, (b) their integrity, and (c) their belief in the idea of a “free and independent press,” which is one of the pillars of Western democracy.

Being neither a respected journalist nor a believer in the existence of an “independent press,” I am under no such constraints. Because I’m not trying to get or keep a job, or maintain a “respectable” reputation, I’m free to call a spade a spade and a bunch of horseshit a bunch of horseshit. I am also free to describe “journalists” like Leopold, Luke HardingCraig TimbergFranklin Foer, and many of their corporate media colleagues (not to mention TV clowns like Rachel Maddow) as the liars and rank propagandists they are. I don’t need to pretend their fabricated stories are simply the result of “shoddy journalism,” or “over-reliance on official sources,” or any other type of “error” or “failure.” These people know exactly what they are doing, and are being extremely well paid to do it. They went to school to learn how to do it. Then they butt-sucked and back-stabbed their way up the ladder of establishment power to be able to do it.

Yes, of course, there are still principled journalists working for the corporate media, but they are doing so by walking a very fine line. No one has to tell them where it is. Every professional journalist knows precisely where it is, and what it is there for. Though they are permitted to walk right up to it, occasionally (to keep them from feeling like abject whores), one step over it and they will be cast into the Outer Darkness of the Blogosphere and excommunicated from the Church of Respectable Journalism. If you don’t believe me, just ask Seymour Hersh, or John Pilger, or any other journalistic heretic.

If Russiagate serves no other useful purpose, it is at least exposing the corporate media as the propaganda factories that they are. Given the amount of obviously fabricated horseshit they have disseminated during the last two years, you’d have to be a total moron or a diehard neoliberal cultist not to recognize the function they perform within the global capitalist ruling establishment (which is essentially no different than the function the establishment media perform in any other society, namely, to disseminate, maintain, and reify the official narrative of its ruling classes).

Sadly, there’s no shortage of morons and cultists. I don’t blame the morons, because … well, they’re morons. The cultists are another species entirely. These are people who, no matter how often the corporate media feed them another “explosive,” “bombshell” Russiagate story that turns out to be a bunch of horseshit, will defend the concept of the “independent media” like head-shaven, bug-eyed Manson followers. Confront them with facts contradicting their beliefs and they close their eyes and start chanting and humming and repetitiously babbling banishing spells. The notion that the Western corporate media may serve the interests of the ruling establishment (just like the media in every other society serve that society’s ruling classes) is unimaginable and tantamount to heresy.

This fetishization of “the independent press” is a phenomenon unique to Western capitalism. Basically, it’s a childish fairy tale, like believing that Santa Claus is an actual person or that voting in elections in a corporate oligarchy has anything to do with actual democracy. Think about it dispassionately for a minute. Why would any ruling establishment permit a genuinely “independent” press to disseminate ideas and information willy-nilly throughout society? If it did, it wouldn’t last very long.

Most people understand this intuitively, which is why the corporate media relentlessly repeat the mantra-like phrase, “free and independent press,” over, and over, and over again. Seriously, switch on NPR, or have a look at The Guardian or the Washington Post, or any of the other corporate media repeatedly reminding you how “independent,” “free” and “democratic” they are. It’s essentially Neuro-linguistic programming.

So let’s not be shocked when the corporate media continue to bombard us with “bombshell” stories about Trump and Russia that turn out to be horseshit. Personally, I welcome these stories. The more corporate media horseshit the better! Who knows, if they dish out enough blatant horseshit, more people might lose their “trust in the media,” and begin to investigate matters themselves. I know, that makes me a Nazi, right? Or at least a Russian propagandist? I mean, encouraging folks to distrust the corporate media? Isn’t there some kind of law against that? Or have they not quite gotten around to that yet?

Published:1/21/2019 9:15:27 PM
[Entertainment] 'The Bachelor': Tensions rise among pageant-queen contestants; four more women head home Colton Underwood's season of "The Bachelor" is in full swing, which means one thing: The drama is starting to errupt.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 9:15:27 PM
[Politics] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could probe banks’ earnings Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees the nation’s banks and financial institutions. And California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is chairing that committee. And I think it’s going to be a hoot. Ocasio-Cortez has already proposed taxing very rich people at a 70 percent rate. And bankers... Published:1/21/2019 9:15:27 PM
[] Monday Overnight Open Thread (1/21/19) *** The Quotes of The Day Quote I "It doesn’t matter what the problem is, the solution is always for us to give the government more money and power, while we eat less meat." Glenn ReynoldsH/T Maetenloch Quote II... Published:1/21/2019 9:15:27 PM
[World] How a Foreign Reporter Got Jaded Over the United Nations And other relief organizations too. In places like eastern Africa, they come off as listless and are widely disliked. Published:1/21/2019 9:15:27 PM
[World] Tomi Lahren Final Thoughts Cardi B Attacks on Twitter, Responds to Threats

Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren responded to critics on Twitter -- including a few famous ones -- who have made threats or made derogatory statements about her.

Published:1/21/2019 8:43:32 PM
[Politics] Joe Biden Regrets Support of Crime Legislation in '90s Explaining his past policy gaffes before a potential 2020 presidential campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden regretted the "big mistake" to support tough-on-crime drug legislation three decades ago that disproportionately affected black Americans. Published:1/21/2019 8:43:31 PM
[Entertainment] Dior turned the runway into a circus ring for Spring/Summer 2019 Christian Dior turned fashion into a circus, setting up a tent in Paris to launch its 2019 Spring/Summer Haute Couture line on Sunday.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 8:43:31 PM
[The Blog] Women’s March protesters express concern over anti-Semitism among leadership

"I feel like it's a little selfish of her to sort of overshadow the movement."

The post Women’s March protesters express concern over anti-Semitism among leadership appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 8:43:31 PM
[Food] After raising $125M, Munchery fails to deliver On-demand food delivery startup Munchery is shutting down, the startup announced in an e-mail to customers on Monday. Published:1/21/2019 8:43:31 PM
[24776628-4897-502d-a732-a888b9ac1c81] Lauren Alaina calls off engagement to high school boyfriend Alex Hopkins Lauren Alaina has ended her engagement to high school sweetheart Alex Hopkins. Published:1/21/2019 8:43:31 PM
[World] Mark Steyn Blasts Critics of MAGA Hat Student in Native American Confrontation

Mark Steyn reacted to the weekend controversy over the interaction between a student in a Trump campaign hat, an activist who is a member of a Native American tribe, and a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites.

Published:1/21/2019 8:16:33 PM
[Politics] Dem Rep Calls for Campaign Finance Reform After Benefitting From Super PACs, Special Interests

With Monday marking the ninth anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, first-term Rep. Gil Cisneros (D., Calif.) called on Congress to support campaign finance reform, despite his campaign benefitting from Democratic super PACs, special interest groups, and tens of thousands of dollars from the financial services industry.

The post Dem Rep Calls for Campaign Finance Reform After Benefitting From Super PACs, Special Interests appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[Entertainment] Lauren Alaina Calls Off Engagement to High School Boyfriend Lauren Alaina, Alex Hopkins Lauren Alaina has called off her engagement to longtime boyfriend Alex Hopkins. On Monday evening, the American Idol alum informed her hundreds of thousands of followers that she and her...
Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[The Blog] It may not be the GOP wanting to block the release of the Mueller report

Once you open the bag you don't know what will come out

The post It may not be the GOP wanting to block the release of the Mueller report appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[Politics] JUST IN: Twitter suspends account that helped IGNITE fury over Covington Catholic MAGA students Twitter says they’ve suspended an account they believe was one of the main actors in igniting the fury over the Covington Catholic students going on social media. Via CNN: Twitter suspended an . . . Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[Politics] JUST IN: Twitter suspends account that helped IGNITE fury over Covington Catholic MAGA students Twitter says they’ve suspended an account they believe was one of the main actors in igniting the fury over the Covington Catholic students going on social media. Via CNN: Twitter suspended an . . . Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[worldNews] Northern Ireland police respond to three security alerts, days after car bomb Northern Ireland police carried out a controlled explosion on a vehicle that was hijacked by masked men in Londonderry on Monday and were examining two other abandoned vans, two days after a car bomb exploded in the city.
Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[Entertainment] Country Music Hall of Famer Maxine Brown Russell of The Browns dead at 87 Maxine Brown Russell, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015 as part of sibling trio The Browns, died in Little Rock, Arkansas, Monday
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[General] Scott Adams: The media giants have already picked Sen. Kamala Harris as the 2020 nominee

So, is big media already grooming Kamala Harris for the 2020 nomination? Have they gotten over their Beto crush?

The post Scott Adams: The media giants have already picked Sen. Kamala Harris as the 2020 nominee appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[News] Pelosi Charged The Air Force Nearly $200k To Fly Her Family And Other Lawmakers

Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Italy and Ukraine from July 30 to Aug. 6, 2015, cost the Air Force $184,587.81, according to newly released documents under a 2015 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch. Shut it all down so no member of Congress can abuse our system any longer. They are mostly millionaires that can afford to ...

The post Pelosi Charged The Air Force Nearly $200k To Fly Her Family And Other Lawmakers appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[News] Pelosi Charged The Air Force Nearly $200k To Fly Her Family And Other Lawmakers

Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Italy and Ukraine from July 30 to Aug. 6, 2015, cost the Air Force $184,587.81, according to newly released documents under a 2015 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch. Shut it all down so no member of Congress can abuse our system any longer. They are mostly millionaires that can afford to ...

The post Pelosi Charged The Air Force Nearly $200k To Fly Her Family And Other Lawmakers appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[Markets] BuzzFeed CEO Spoofed Prominent Gun Rights Activist To Spread Disinformation

Long before BuzzFeed was publishing unverified dossiers and anti-Trump claims refuted by Robert Mueller, founder and CEO Jonah Peretti created a fake website and email address in the name of prominent gun rights advocate John Lott in order to spread disinformation.

Peretti, then-director at Brooklyn-based technology nonprofit Eyebeam, used Lott's name in 2003 to trick people into thinking that Lott had changed his mind on a key piece of gun-rights legislation that protected gun makers from abusive lawsuits designed to put them out of business. 

I was already relatively well-known in 2003 to those who care about the gun control debate because of my book “More Guns, Less Crime.” Peretti sent emails under my name to convince people that I had changed my mind and come out against the Act.  The emails then urged people to ask their congressmen and Senators to oppose the bill. -John Lott via Fox News

Lott explains Peretti's deception in a Monday Op-Ed which you can read below. 

***

John Lott Via Fox News 

BuzzFeed, a popular “news” website, has once again been shamed for publishing fake allegations against Donald Trump. BuzzFeed’s anonymously sourced report claimed that President Trump ordered his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a proposed business deal in Moscow. Supposedly, two unnamed federal law enforcement officials claimed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office had the goods. They were purported to have collected emails, texts, and testimony proving the explosive claim.

The story dominated the news on Friday, with Democrats calling for Trump to be impeached. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” opened with the announcement that this revelation was “a big one.” CNN’s “New Day” host John Berman claimed the disclosure was so dramatic he almost spilled his coffee.

But by late Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office issued a very rare rebuke saying that BuzzFeed’s account was “not accurate.” This was hardly BuzzFeed’s first embarrassment. As Trump reminded people, “it was BuzzFeed that released the totally discredited 'Dossier,' paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats . . .”

BuzzFeed’s culture of fake news starts at the top with founder and CEO Jonah Peretti, who has a history of knowingly spreading false information. He has used fraudulent websites and email accounts to pose as people he wished to defame. I was one of his victims.

Peretti’s first victim was MBA student Jeff Goldblatt, who had set up a dating service called the Rejection Hotline. This was inadvertently in competition with Peretti’s newly created rejectionline.com. Peretti’s sister and co-founder, Chelsea, contacted Goldblatt to gain information on his business. She “interviewed” him, under the false identity of New York-based reporter Vanessa Holmes.

Then Jonah Peretti set up the website JeffGoldblatt.com, under the pretense that it was Goldblatt’s personal website. Peretti sent out emails from me@JeffGoldblatt.com that, according to Goldblatt, “contained multiple lies about me and portrayed me as an arrogant jerk who was bragging about how I stole the idea of the New York City Rejection Line.”

Goldblatt contacted me after Peretti did the same thing to me in 2003.  In my case, Peretti set up AskJohnLott.org and used the email address john@AskJohnLott.org. Peretti’s expropriation of my name wasn’t for financial gain, but to support gun control.

Pretending to be me, Peretti sent out hundreds of thousands of emails lobbying against the proposed “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.” This bill, which was being debated at the time (it ultimately passed in 2005), protected gun makers from abusive lawsuits that were solely designed to put them out of business with overwhelming legal fees. Peretti even purchased advertising for his fake website on Google, and the advertising promoting "my“ appeared at the very beginning of any search results on my name.

I was already relatively well-known in 2003 to those who care about the gun control debate because of my book “More Guns, Less Crime.” Peretti sent emails under my name to convince people that I had changed my mind and come out against the Act.  The emails then urged people to ask their congressmen and Senators to oppose the bill.

A number of the recipients were people I knew, and some wrote back using the John@AskJohnLott.org email address and questioned why I would have changed my mind. But Peretti continued the charade of being me in multiple email chains.

I first learned about the website from James K. Glassman, a former Washington Post columnist, who later served as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. He shared the email exchange with me that he had with Peretti's fake John Lott.

Peretti also used my name and picture to advise people on how to violate gun control laws. Soon, I received hundreds of angry phone calls from people who were upset that I was supposedly advising them to break the law.

My emails to john@AskJohnLott.org asking who was behind the effort were ignored. The website’s registration didn’t help, as it was supposedly registered to me.

I spent money to find out who was behind these efforts.  When I contacted Peretti, he denied any involvement.  After I hired lawyers, Peretti finally included a disclaimer on the website, stating that he intended to parody me. But he still refused to take down the website down or stop sending emails.

Goldblatt didn’t have the money for a legal battle, so I included him in my case.

After a year-and-a-half, we finally reach a legal settlement. Peretti, who worked for a company called Eyebeam, publicly acknowledged: “The AskJohnLott.org site was created by The Eyebeam Atelier, Inc. This site was never associated, endorsed or otherwise affiliated with John R. Lott, Jr. E-mail sent from the AskJohnLott.org domain that was identified as coming from Lott was also never associated, endorsed or otherwise affiliated with John R. Lott, Jr. Eyebeam deeply regrets any confusion and offers a formal apology to John R. Lott, Jr. The terms of the settlement are confidential.”

Peretti also apologized to Goldblatt and took down JeffGoldblatt.com. I received an undisclosed monetary settlement.

People are again asking how BuzzFeed could possibly publish such “fake” news against Trump. They need look no further than BuzzFeed’s CEO and founder Jonah Peretti.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for FoxNews.com. He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and op-eds on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of nine books including "More Guns, Less Crime." His latest book is "The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies (August 1, 2016). Follow him on Twitter @johnrlottjr.

Published:1/21/2019 8:16:32 PM
[The Blog] Are you ready for the *Democratic* mega-billionaire populists of 2020?

"Bloomberg’s kind of money buys a lot of loyalty — or at least silence. Anyone else would be toast."

The post Are you ready for the *Democratic* mega-billionaire populists of 2020? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 7:44:12 PM
[Entertainment] Kylie Jenner Denies Second Pregnancy as She Teases ''Exciting'' New Project Kylie JennerKylie Jenner has us all on the edge of our seats with a secret project that's in the works. On Monday afternoon, the reality star tweeted, "I have something really exciting i get...
Published:1/21/2019 7:44:12 PM
[worldNews] Death toll from Mexico pipeline blast reaches 91, Pemex defends response The death toll from a fuel pipeline explosion in central Mexico last week rose to 91 on Monday as Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) defended its response to one of the deadliest incidents to hit the state-run oil company in years.
Published:1/21/2019 7:44:12 PM
[Markets] The Disturbing Rise Of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)

Authored by Mark Jeftovic via Guerilla-Capitalism.com,

Lately, we’ve suddenly been hearing a lot about Modern Monetary Theory (“MMT”) in the mainstream media. It could be that with the election of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to congress, MMT’s star will rise with hers as she is reportedly an adherent and possibly views MMT as a means to fund her Green New Deal.

As we see below, MMT has been around for some time, having come out of the Chartalism school in the first half of the 1900’s and was made into MMT in the early 90’s by Warren Mosler, apparently after a “long steam” with Donny Rumsfeld, who then referred him to Art Laffer (creator of the Laffer Curve). MMT mostly flew under the radar until around the time of the Global Financial Crisis and is now clearly spiking into public awareness.

To the casual onlooker, MMT may sound a lot like standard-issue Keynesianism, the idea that the Government can and should run deficits to smooth out the business cycle.

The big difference is this: Keynesians believe that the deficits should be run to stimulate our way out of a recession or financial crisis, after which there will be some kind of return to normalcy, when deficits will matter again .

To MMT-ers there is no return to normalcy, this is the The New Normal. Deficits don’t matter, the Government can’t go broke because they can issue money in any amount required. We’ll look at how they rationalize this below, but suffice it to say now that Keynesians and MMT-ers are not synonymous and even Paul Krugman has had his criticisms of it:

it would be quite likely that the money-financed deficit would lead to hyperinflation.

The point is that there are limits to the amount of real resources that you can extract through seigniorage. When people expect inflation, they become reluctant to hold cash, which drive prices up and means that the government has to print more money to extract a given amount of real resources, which means higher inflation, etc.. Do the math, and it becomes clear that any attempt to extract too much from seigniorage — more than a few percent of GDP, probably — leads to an infinite upward spiral in inflation. In effect, the currency is destroyed. This would not happen, even with the same deficit, if the government can still sell bonds.

We’ll revisit his point that if the government attempts to extract too much from seigniorage that it will ignite an inflationary spiral. For now let’s make sure we know what we are dealing with when it comes to Modern Monetary Theory…

How to Understand Modern Monetary Theory

When I was in high school I had a physics teacher once told me how when he was a kid he thought he should be able to hook up the outputs of a generator and a motor to each other and have himself a perpetual motion machine. For some reason it didn’t work and trying to understand why was what got him into physics.

The more I learned about MMT the more it seemed to be the same thing, in an economic sense and I have frequently made this quip expecrting MMT-ers to call it a strawman or point out some fundamental element that I’m missing but instead they usually confirm that I have it correct in broad strokes.

MMT-ers believe that currency is nothing more than an economic scoreboard or tally, and any government that denominates it’s own currency can never go broke because they can always create more currency. Of course, as Weimar Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia and more recently Zimbabwe and Venezuela have all found out, you have to watch out for hyperinflation.

The MMT magic bullet for this is… taxation. Through taxation the government can drain excess liquidity from the system while printing as much currency as it needs to fund its projects and as long as the total value of currency printed doesn’t exceed the productive capacity of the economy as a whole. Thus:

This diagram is from “Diagrams and Dollars: Modern Money Illustrated” by J.D. Alt. After methodically taking the reader through how the old monetary system works, where the government has this HUGE untenable debt burden and is constrained by budgetary limitations, we arrive here.

The national debt is still present, but it has, through philosophical transmutation, been transformed by Alt into a “Net Spending Achievement” as measured by the “National Savings Clock” (formerly known as the “national debt clock”, or “Doomsday Clock”):

“the difference between what the FG plans to spend in a given budget-year, and what it plans to drain away in taxes, is “Net Spending Achievement”….imagine, for a moment, how our political discourse might change if everyone understood the discussion was no longer about the size of our national “budget deficit” but, instead, was about the concrete goals of our annual “Net Spending Achievement”….

We do NOT want a “balanced” budget—or, even worse, a budget “surplus”! What we want (as long as price inflation is under control) is the largest and most effective “Net Spending Achievement” we can envision.

“Entitlement” and “Discretionary” budgets do NOT have to compete with each other for a fixed pot of Dollars. As long as price inflation is under control, whatever Dollars are necessary can be allocated to the “Net Spending Achievement.”

MMT-ers believe that since our currency is actually comprised of debt obligations that government deficit is required to form net private savings:

Therefore:

  • government spending creates private goods and services

  • taxation drains excess liquidity and controls inflation

  • the government can never go broke

For this to work, it would posit a pretty powerful central planning government that knows all (and if so, why can’t the government control inflation via price controls and eliminate taxes altogether?) and has the inhuman self-discipline not to overissue currency in a crisis (I guess, under MMT, there will be no further financial crises).

Oh, I almost forgot, under MMT there is also the jobs guarantee. So anybody who wants a job would be guaranteed to have one, at a living wage, by the government.

That’s MMT in a nutshell.

It’s ascent into its newfound economic fashionability is simply the latest episode of a long history of the pursuit of alchemy.

The Holy Grail of Government: Unlimited Spending With No Restraint

Government being overwhelmed by debt and constrained as a result is as old as history itself. In the 14th century King Philip of France was so indebted to the Knights Templar, and absent some clever rationalization that would transform his debts to them into money itself; he did the next best thing. He suppressed the order and had their leaders burned them at the stake. His debts were thus cleared but he had also disincentivized future borrowing. Another way would have to be found…

What governments really want is a way to either A) bribe the populace to keep voting for them or B) as this Epsilon Theory article laments, fund one or another of their incessant wars from an inexhaustible supply of credit or funding:

Modern Monetary Theory – which is neither modern nor a theory – is a post hoc rationalization of political expediency and power-expanding action.

It makes us feel better about all the bad stuff we’ve done with money and debt for the political efficacy of Team Elite.

And all the bad stuff we’re going to do.

At its core, Modern Monetary Theory is an argument that would be wonderfully familiar to every sovereign since the invention of debt. It is essentially the argument that significant sovereign debt is a good thing, not a bad thing, and that budget balancing efforts on a national scale do much more harm than good. Why? Because there’s so much to do and so little time for the right-minded sovereign. Because it is fundamentally unjust for the demands of private lenders to thwart the necessary ends of the sovereign, and it is politically difficult to finance those ends through tax levies on a fickle citizenry.

MMT is the sovereign-friendly justification for deficit spending without end.

Historically, this argument has been used by sovereigns to support wars without end.

(emphasis in original)

When you take a step back and comb through financial and economic history, amongst the wreckage of worthless fiat currencies from our past (note that 100% of all previous fiat currencies became worthless), we find hints and precursors of what is being rebooted as Modern Monetary Theory

Bear in mind that “Net Spending Achievement” neologism as we follow the rise and fall of the Austrian fiat regime in the 1700’s…

Unlimited National Debt?

A new phenomenon was occurring throughout Europe. Royal debt was being transformed into national debt. What had been the personal debt of the monarch was becoming the burden of the nation, payable by the people. And many central banks were created to administer this debt through paper money.

Austria provides one of the best examples of this new way of thinking. The First Bank of Austria was founded in 1703, with the express purpose of funding public debt by issuing paper money in exchange for deposits. With too few deposits, and too many notes, the bank and its currency failed.

In 1759, Count Sinzendorff, a prominent Austrian official and renowned financier, went a step further and suggested that government debt be brought to all the people, not just the depositors. He issued Austria’s first paper notes for general circulation, as a loan instrument with interest coupons attached. The new money was well received. Impressed by the expansion of commerce when more credit was made available, the government authorized a second issue of paper bills in 1769, and a third in 1771. Yet this prosperity did not last long. As excessive new issues were printed, they provoked a panic in 1797. The next decade was no better. Austria became embroiled in wars, spent heavily and ended up with a currency that lost over 90% of its value.

— (from Fiat Paper Money by Ralph T. Foster, emphasis added)

The idea that money is nothing more than an economic scoreboard or tally was advanced by John Law when he was trying to devise a method for Scotland to stave off bankruptcy, which he expounded upon in his book “Money and Trade” (“Money is the Measure by which Goods are Valued, the Value by which goods are Exchanged, and in which Contracts are made payable” – quoted in Fiat Paper Money).

Scotland never adopted Law’s ideas, and in their own currency machinations went bankrupt and ceased to be an independent country 1707 (ibid). Law moved onto France, continuing to promote his monetary theories, at one point declaring to an astonished room of aristocrats that he had discovered the secret of alchemy: “I can tell you my secret. It is to make gold out of paper” (ibid).

Even the MMT proposal to use taxation to control inflation is nothing new and was tried in New York in the late 1700’s, stability seemingly achieved by the New York Assembly having strict laws on their books limiting the amount of paper notes that could be issued. It’s not really clear what happened to this currency as it overlaps with the period when British laws were barring the colonies from issuing their own paper currencies and the subsequent segue into the revolutionary war, and the advent of the Continental (which eventually collapsed in a hyperinflation).

The Ascent of the MMT Narrative Today

I first became of aware of MMT when I used to read Business Insider back around 2010 or so and Joe Weisenthal, one of the most vigorous proponents of Cullen Roche’s “Pragmatic Capitalist” site, and he would unfailingly repackage anything Roche wrote on BI. Fast forward to today, and Roche seems to have backed off his MMT evangelism, or is at least a lot more nuanced and rigorous in his examination of it. 

The next time I came across MMT was in David Golumbia’s book “The Politics of Bitcoin”, wherein he seemed to think that what we have today is MMT. I can see why people would make that mistake, and Roche notes that as well in the article I just linked. Golumbia’s book (which I deconstructed in detail here) also criticizes the economic truism that inflation erodes purchasing power as wrong, and an example of right-wing conspiracy theory.

I mention that here because that is an idea that  Weisenthal also glommed onto back in his BI days, and while it isn’t yet, I fully expect this notion to be embraced by MMT adherents as this ideology is relentlessly pushed mainstream (the TL,DR of this idea is that a dollar doesn’t lose purchasing power when you issue more dollars if you put it into a bank account and earn interest on it. I debunked this thoroughly in my review of PoB. It’s one of those “not even wrong” notions in that  it’s economically incoherent).

Now that Modern Monetary Theory and Democratic Socialism have found each other, we have to look at why it’s such a dangerous combination.

The Problems with Modern Monetary Theory

Most of the articles I’ve seen decrying MMT hone in on it being inflationary, full stop. Which is true. No government has the discipline to not bribe the populous with either other people’s moneyor “made up” pixie dust that they convince everybody to pretend is money.

Beyond that, there are numerous failings with MMT including the fact that calling debt something else, like “national spending achievement” doesn’t make it not debt,  but does lose sight of what debt actually is. 

When you think about it, all debt is the pulling of future value into the present. If it wasn’t, if you had present value on hand and the willingness to trade it for what was desired, there would be no debt incurred.

As I observed recently, when you rack up debt you are either borrowing or stealing from the future. The difference is whether you plan to pay off the debt (borrowing) or if you plan to perpetually roll it over (stealing). MMT is structurally and by design, the latter.

MMT says debt  (err, sorry, National Spending Achievement) can expand perpetually and inflation will not occur provided it doesn’t expand faster than the value in the private economy (which assumes central planners can actually measure that accurately ) and any excess liquidity is drained off via taxation.

Like all fiat monetary schemes, you can make a theoretical case for it working. I once called MMT the elevation of circular reasoning to an art form, and Austrian economist Bob Murphyemphasizes that MMT relies upon “accounting tautologies”.

In practice, governments will always promise entitlements today at the expense of consequences tomorrow, so the monetary base will always expand and as each crisis is postponed, over time this dynamic will accelerate. If the monetary base happens to be credit (read: “debt as money”) then remember what we said debt is: future value, consumed today.

Under MMT however, when things go bad, they will get very bad. Here’s why:

Money started as hard currency, so it was near impossible to lose faith in it, and it would only happen as coinage was debased or replaced with fractionally backed paper notes.

After Bretton Woods, money, or the worlds reserve currency was “backed by the full faith and credit of the US government” and for a few decades at least, that seemed “good enough”. Although there have been panics and the overall trend is toward less confidence in the current monetary regime and the USD as world reserve currency is openly acknowledged to be in its waning days. It’s a matter of “when” not “if” even in polite company.

Under MMT there is no more pretence that the currency has any intrinsic value – it’s an economic scorecard and nothing more. The system would work as long as confidence held for the system itself, not any faith in the currency. If any cracks appeared in the system, i.e. inflation accelerated or taxation crept too high, I submit that any speed-wobble in confidence would lead to a dramatic and sudden, disorderly reassessment. A panic. It would be a genuine “life imitates The Onion” moment.

Were an MMT system inevitably go awry, the outward manifestation would be of course manifest as inflation, so central planners would of course try to get ahead of it by draining more liquidity, faster, by increasing taxes. As this fed on itself and accelerated, the populace, as if being swept up in a hyperinflation isn’t bad enough, would be sandwiched between hyperinflation and hypertaxation!.

Think of an MMT crisis as an economic black hole sucking all value from further and further future generations into a gravitational vortex of the present moment, where all value collapses in on itself and disappears forever.

People seem on board with OAC’s 70% marginal tax rate on highest earners but in a failing MMT regime the hypertaxation effect would occur through the highest marginal tax rate threshold coming down.

People don’t mind Dwayne Johnson paying 70% on his income over 10M, but how will they feel when they’re paying 70% on any income over 300,000? 100,000? 40,000? How about an 80% tax rate on income over $20,000/year and a loaf of bread costs $250 today and $3,500 in a week? (When your marginal tax rate is then 92% on all income over $1,000/minute?)

That’s what a nightmare MMT scenario looks like. At least in Venezuela they’re only getting squeezed on one side of the vice, and their central planners are trying to go the other direction than MMT-ers, attempting to tie their currency to something tangible (failure of execution however, is hampering this).

Compared to what I see as the inevitable “dual death spirals of MMT”, letting all those banksters fry in 2008 looks a lot more palatable in retrospect. David Stockman’s Great Deformation shows how the economy would have fully recovered by 2010 or 2011 instead of being where we are now: trapped at the Zero bound and headed toward democratic socialism and MMT.

Published:1/21/2019 7:44:12 PM
[US News] Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: It’s ‘immoral’ that the American system allows billionaires to exist (video)

So a $14 an hour minimum wage is immoral, but a $15 minimum wage is moral?

The post Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: It’s ‘immoral’ that the American system allows billionaires to exist (video) appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 7:44:12 PM
[Uncategorized] Leftist Activism 101: Get in someone’s face and then play victim for the cameras This tactic was used against me and pro-Israel students at Cornell, and appears to have been used by an activist against a high school student in D.C. Published:1/21/2019 7:44:12 PM
[] CNN Republican Ana Navaro: The Full Video Is Ambiguous. If CNN ever fires her, hey, maybe Jonah can put in a word to hire her as an editor. I?ve read this is full, unedited video of Covington HS students/Native-American elder interaction. Among those who watched it, some hear ?Yanni?,... Published:1/21/2019 7:44:12 PM
[Entertainment] Peter Jackson's record-setting WWI epic ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ returns to theaters Director Peter Jackson's record-setting World War I documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" is returning to theaters Monday.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 7:12:44 PM
[US News] Whoa, check out these Covington Catholic basketball players shooting the white power sign for no reason

Some people are really determined to prove that Catholic school boys are racists.

The post Whoa, check out these Covington Catholic basketball players shooting the white power sign for no reason appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[Markets] What Happens When The Fed Stops Hiking

As we explained last weekend, it's not the Fed tightening - and curve flattening - that is the recession catalyst: it is when the Fed begins cutting rates, sending the yield curve sharply higher, that one should be worried as all three prior recessions followed within 3 months of the first rate cut after a hiking cycle:

This is a critical distinction at a time when the Fed is contemplating not only ending its rate hike cycle - and thus curve flattening impulse - but potentially cutting rates, at least if it agrees with the market, so soon as late 2019, which in turn would prompt a sharp spike in the yield curve and, as we argued in our post explaining why the Fed is trapped, catalyze the next recession.

To be sure, nothing is set in stone, and as Goldman strategist Ian Wright writes, much focus remains on the state of US growth, the ongoing US-China trader war, the US government shutdown, and Brexit, each of which could tip the Fed's hand. And yet, amid this uncertain backdrop, recent weeks have been good for risky assets. Oil has risen sharply, with GSCI Energy now up 16% on the year. Credit has also rallied - especially on a risk-adjusted basis - and undone almost all of its December spread widening, in both IG and HY, and USD and EUR markets. Last but not least, the S&P 500 is up 14% since the Steve Mnuchin called the Plunge Protection team on December 24 (and since the government shutdown).

Sarcasm aside, the recent risk was largely the result of Powell's abrupt dovish reversal and has been supported by the abatement  of concerns about central banks hiking rates. In the past month, markets have priced both the Fed and ECB more dovishly in the coming year, with no hikes priced for the Fed in 2019 and a first ECB hike priced only in 2020 (notably, 10-year yields have risen amid the recent risk-on, as the correlation between stocks and bonds which recently shocked market watchers when it inverted, appears to be normalizing somewhat).

Meanwhile, as the Goldman strategist writes, even as the bank's economists’ view remains that the Fed will hike again in June, followed by December, the bank's clients have asked "if the Fed is done with its hiking cycle"... and, if so, what the implications for asset prices would be.

And while we know that the first rate cut following a hiking cycle has been a clear signal for an imminent recession in the last three contractions, the question is what happens to risk assets once the Fed stops hiking. Here the answer is a little more nebulous.

Looking at the end of the past four Fed hiking cycles (1989, 1995, 2000 and 2006), Goldman finds US equities have tended to do relatively well in the year following the Fed’s last hike (Exhibit 1).

The exception to this was in 2000, when the tech bubble burst, while equities did exceptionally well in 1995, which however was the only time the last hike was not followed by a recession in the coming years. It is also worth noting that while there was no immediate bear market in the year following the last rate hike in June 2006, everyone knows what happened shortly thereafter.

The average result, Goldman notes, may be surprising because growth expectations (measured by the ISM manufacturing) also tend to fall into and after the Fed’s last hike in a cycle (Exhibit 2).

What about rates? Here Goldman finds that 10-year Treasuries tend to rally strongly following the last Fed hike (Exhibit 3) hence the sharp steepening in the yield curve noted above just before a recession.

The fact that the Fed has not cut rates soon after ending hikes, but rather held rates high, could explain these findings.

In other words, equities may benefit from the reprieve in rates rising further, without recession concerns rising immediately (which would drive cuts). However, the bond market prices the end of hikes and future rate cuts over a long window, creating an interplay whereby the Fed's actions force a sharp curve steepening, which in turn is interpreted by the market as a recession onset and in turn results in a bear market for equities.

Finally, Goldman notes that these results could be different from what happens should the Fed pause in its hiking cycle, something Powell may be actively considering as he decides whether to keep hiking or capitulate, and cut rates, catalyzing the next recession.

Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[a27fbede-f915-583c-9e3e-6647598b1e72] Jamie Lee Curtis admits jumping the gun about Kentucky student in viral confrontation with Native American Hollywood actress Jamie Lee Curtis apologized on Twitter for rushing to judge the viral video showing high school student Nick Sandmann wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and appearing to smirk while a crowd of other teens laughed derisively behind him as a 64-year-old Native American, Nathan Phillips, played a traditional chant on a drum. Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[source:wirecopy] Fourteen dead after fire engulfs two gas tankers off Crimea Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[Immigration] 30 Unaccompanied Children Were Among 376 Migrants Who Tunneled Under Border Wall

30 unaccompanied children were among 376 migrants who tunneled under the border wall near San Luis, Arizona. Why are the Democrats, Schumer, and Pelosi, allowing these children to be put in harm’s way by coyotes and other human traffickers?  The majority of Americans are with Trump and want an effective border wall with proper security. ...

The post 30 Unaccompanied Children Were Among 376 Migrants Who Tunneled Under Border Wall appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[Immigration] 30 Unaccompanied Children Were Among 376 Migrants Who Tunneled Under Border Wall

30 unaccompanied children were among 376 migrants who tunneled under the border wall near San Luis, Arizona. Why are the Democrats, Schumer, and Pelosi, allowing these children to be put in harm’s way by coyotes and other human traffickers?  The majority of Americans are with Trump and want an effective border wall with proper security. ...

The post 30 Unaccompanied Children Were Among 376 Migrants Who Tunneled Under Border Wall appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[Politics] Longer video casts new light on Native American taunting controversy A group of high school students wearing “Make America Great Again” caps went from vilified to vindicated in the course of a weekend after a video of them apparently facing off with Native American activists in the nation’s capital went viral. “The honorable and tolerant students of Covington Catholic School came to DC to advocate... Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[Liberals] Sue the Bastards! (John Hinderaker) Not all liberals are evil, but it is becoming increasingly clear that 21st-century liberalism is an evil ideology. It incites race hatred for political advantage. It tries to keep disadvantaged people down, so they will stay on the Democratic Party plantation. It lies about pretty much everything–for example, “police violence.” And liberals almost never debate public policy issues in time-honored fashion; rather, they try to destroy anyone who disagrees with Published:1/21/2019 7:12:43 PM
[Uncategorized] Giuliani: Trump team reached out to Mueller office after BuzzFeed article, both “agreed a significant portion of it was false” "We commend them for standing up for the truth." Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Issues] Biden Laments the Country’s Health-Care System Harming the Working Class

The post Biden Laments the Country’s Health-Care System Harming the Working Class appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Entertainment] Dog the Bounty Hunter's Wife Beth Chapman's Cancer Treatment Is ''Going Well'' Beth Chapman, Duane Chapman, Dog the Bounty Hunter, 2014 CMT AwardsDog the Bounty Hunter's wife Beth Chapman is continuing her fight against cancer. Andrew Brettler, the Chapman's family attorney, tells E! News that Beth started chemotherapy in...
Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Climate] Global Warming: The Big Picture (John Hinderaker) Regular readers know that we have been debunking global warming (aka “climate change”) hysteria for a long time. As data accumulate the realist position that we have espoused becomes ever stronger. While it is often useful to take a deep dive into the data, it is also helpful to step back and see the big picture. That is what Ken Haapala, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, did Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Politics] George Papadopoulos is ready to party in Hollywood The former Trump foreign policy adviser and his new wife have RSVP’d to attend the glittering Oscar-viewing party Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Covington Catholic students RESPOND to death threats and slander in new video! — ALSO Lawsuit rumors… Covington Catholic high school students have been inundated death threats after an incredible amount of negative press. They, Sam and Grant, are now speaking out in conjunction with CJ Pearson, who just . . . Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Covington Catholic students RESPOND to death threats and slander in new video! — ALSO Lawsuit rumors… Covington Catholic high school students have been inundated death threats after an incredible amount of negative press. They, Sam and Grant, are now speaking out in conjunction with CJ Pearson, who just . . . Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[23f4e77c-f2ac-5c7e-bed5-fa5b9cf271e6] Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend Lauren Sanchez once struck out with Mets legend Mike Piazza: report It was a swing and a miss. Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[The Blog] Question for Gillibrand: Was it “racist” when you held all of the same immigration positions as Trump?

"I did not think about suffering in other people's lives."

The post Question for Gillibrand: Was it “racist” when you held all of the same immigration positions as Trump? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Society] The Smearing of Teens in MAGA Hats Shows Identity Politics’ Danger

A-ha! You could almost hear the collective glee of social justice warriors and identity politics aficionados this weekend when a video emerged that appeared to... Read More

The post The Smearing of Teens in MAGA Hats Shows Identity Politics’ Danger appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Markets] "We Come Not To Praise Indexing, But To..."

Via DataTrekResearch.com,

Jack Bogle’s passing is a timely reason to spend a moment considering the growth of index-based investing, an approach he spent much of his professional life promoting with great success. Like many of you, we have watched indexing go from curiosity (in the 1980s) to limited acceptance (the 1990s) to widespread adoption (now). In terms of his impact on capital markets, Mr. Bogle has few peers in this or any century.

As far as what we can add to a discussion of index-based investing, we have three points to share with you today:

#1. Indexing’s rise – especially in US equity markets - over the past 20 years was not just a function of its low cost structure or notional simplicity.Rather, long run returns declined precipitously over the period. This left asset owners scrambling for ways to maintain equity exposure without paying active manager fees.

Some data to back this up:

  • Over the 20 years from 1980 to 1999, the S&P 500 compounded at an annual rate of 17.7%. If you had invested $100 at the start of this period, you would have come out the other end with $2,600.

    Now, if you paid an active manager 1-2%/year to invest in US equities over this period and they kept pace with the S&P, your returns would have been 5-11% lower than simply buying the index.
  • Over the 20 years from 1999 to 2018, the S&P only compounded at an annual rate of 5.6%. Instead of seeing $2,600 from a starting $100 investment (as with the prior point), at the end of 2018 you would only have $296. 

    Paying an active manager 1-2%/year over the last 2 decades would have cut your returns by 18 – 36%. A good deal more than 5-11%, in other words.

The upshot here is that indexing didn’t damage the active management business (as critics often claim) as much as structurally lower US equity returns pushed asset owners to lower cost solutions like index funds. Mr. Bogle and other indexers caughtthis wave beautifully, but they did not create it.

#2. While the rise of “passive” indexing has caused increasing concern that it makes societal asset allocation less efficient, other “active” approaches to capital investment have grown dramatically as well. Consider:

  • McKinsey estimates the size of the global private equity business at +$5 trillion. Twenty years ago, of course, this was a cottage industry in comparison to now.
  • Buyout funds represent the largest slice of this pie, at $1.6 trillion, followed by real estate ($810 billion) and private debt ($637 billion).
  • The fastest growing piece of private equity is venture capital, which on a global basis put over $300 billion to work in over 30,000 companies just last year according to industry source Crunchbase.

This point has a tie to the prior one: as equity returns declined over the last 2 decades asset owners shifted capital to higher risk/higher return investments even as they embraced public equity indexing. If you’ve ever worked in a firm owned by private equity or venture capital, you know how “active” those owners can be.

The upshot: even with the rise of indexing, there is still a growing business for active management – it just isn’t in public equity markets.

#3. Future returns for US stocks will not be tied to how much capital is indexed, but rather the sorts of companies that come public in the coming years. Just look at the returns from the 2007 peak to now for the S&P 500 versus either the MSCI Emerging Markets or EAFE (Europe and Japan) indices to see why. US stocks are 69% higher, but Emerging Markets are down 26% and EAFE stocks are 28% lower.

The reason why US stocks have been wealth creators and foreign stocks have floundered: Amazon, Facebook, Apple and other tech names play a large role here, but so does the entire Health Care sector. Innovation at global scale drives returns, and not much else. Even the Chinese Tech giants have not been able to drive the Shanghai/Hong Kong markets to fresh post-2007 highs.

Summing up: to really understand how indexing has changed capitalism you need to look at the big picture. Its rise was a function of larger capital market trends, namely lower structural equity returns. Those in turn pushed capital to other, more profitable asset classes that solidly check the “active” management box even if indexing does not. As far as what the future brings, that is in the hands of the IPO calendar.

Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[worldNews] Quake of magnitude 6 strikes south of Indonesia's Sumbawa: USGS An earthquake of magnitude 6 struck south of the city of Raba on Indonesia's central island of Sumbawa on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[Entertainment] Original Content podcast: We conquer clutter with Marie Kondo’s new show On the surface, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” sounds like a simple show: Over the course of eight episodes, organizing guru Marie Kondo helps a variety Los Angeles residents sort through their belongings and clean up their homes. But for some, following Kondo’s KonMari method can be a surprisingly difficult or emotional experience — after […] Published:1/21/2019 6:45:33 PM
[World] Todd Starnes Fox Nation Starnes Country on MAGA Hat Protest with Indian, Racist Group

In the latest episode of "Starnes Country," -- available now on FoxNation -- Todd Starnes reacted to the media's apparently misguided eagerness to condemn a group of Northern Kentucky high school students who were involved in a confrontation with a Native American man in Washington over the weekend.

Published:1/21/2019 6:13:17 PM
[T] AT&T Is Offering An Almost 10-Year High Dividend Yield At A 10-Year Low P/E Ratio Published:1/21/2019 6:13:16 PM
[Entertainment] Watch Mike ''The Situation'' Sorrentino's ''Final Moments'' Before Prison Mike 'The Situation' SorrentinoMike "The Situation" Sorrentino is revealing his last moments before entering prison. The reality star's wife, Lauren Sorrentino, surprised fans with a touching video of their...
Published:1/21/2019 6:13:16 PM
[660cbe60-df08-575e-9378-fc5e143cc3ea] Tomi Lahren: Maybe Facebook's '10 year challenge' is not so innocent after all Unless you live under a rock or have sworn off social media, you’ve likely seen the “10 year Challenge.”  Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[TC] Politiscope, an app to track Congressional voting records and bills, launches on android devices Last September, two former National Football League players launched an app called Politiscope to track the voting records of members of Congress and the bills that they were introducing — and provide non-partisan information about what those bills and votes would mean to voters. The pro-football-playing brothers, Walter Powell Jr. and Brandon Williams, launched the […] Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[The Blog] Democrat on House Judiciary Committee says they will likely investigate Justice Kavanaugh for perjury

"There's no question that he committed perjury, right?"

The post Democrat on House Judiciary Committee says they will likely investigate Justice Kavanaugh for perjury appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[dabde671-0a4e-5bca-911c-59e5665d7d02] 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' star Beth Chapman undergoing chemotherapy for throat cancer, lawyer says Beth Chapman is currently undergoing treatments for throat cancer in Los Angeles, Calif., Fox News can confirm. Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[News] Pelosi Appoints Anti-Israel Rep. Omar To House Foreign Affairs Committee

Speaker of the House Pelosi appointed anti-Israel radical Rep. Ilhan Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee despite her previous anti-Israel comments. In a strongly-worded letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, called the appointment of Representative Ilhan Omar to the House Foreign ...

The post Pelosi Appoints Anti-Israel Rep. Omar To House Foreign Affairs Committee appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[News] Pelosi Appoints Anti-Israel Rep. Omar To House Foreign Affairs Committee

Speaker of the House Pelosi appointed anti-Israel radical Rep. Ilhan Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee despite her previous anti-Israel comments. In a strongly-worded letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, called the appointment of Representative Ilhan Omar to the House Foreign ...

The post Pelosi Appoints Anti-Israel Rep. Omar To House Foreign Affairs Committee appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[Uncategorized] Giuliani: Trump Legal team reached out to Mueller office after BuzzFeed article, both “agreed a significant portion of it was false” "We commend them for standing up for the truth." Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[Markets] Feds Prepare To Bail Out "Vast Majority" Of 90,000 Sears Pensions

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC) said in a Friday press release that it believes Sears Holdings Corp's "continuation of the plans is no longer possible" following the Company's October bankruptcy, after it was revealed in a Friday filing that Chairman Eddie Lampert's $5.2 billion rescue package does not include pension plans

PBGC, a government agency, covers individuals' pensions in the event a pension plan shuts down without sufficient funding to meet its obligations. The Sears pension system, meanwhile, is underfunded to the tune of approximately $1.4 billion, which the agency could attempt to recover through the bankruptcy, according to MSN.

It should be noted that the PBGC is not supported by general tax revenues, rather, funding comes from four sources; insurance premiums paid by sponsors of defined benefit pension plans; assets held within the pension that PBGC takes control of; recoveries of unfunded pension liabilities from the bankruptcy estates of plan sponsors, and investment income. Sears entered into a five-year protection plan with the PBGC in 2016. 

Ron Olbrysh, chairman of the National Association of Retired Sears Employees, said the guarantee means retirees aren't worried about losing pensions, but they do have concerns about other benefits.

"The pensions are secure through Sears or through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.," he said. "The big impact if Sears does liquidate is that retirees will lose life insurance."

The PBGC said it expects its guarantee will cover the "vast majority" of pension benefits earned under Sears' plans. Retirees who have questions about what the takeover would mean for their pensions can visit www.pbgc.gov/Sears-QA. ;-MSN

Until Sears agrees to terminate the pensions or the court orders them to do so, the Hoffman Estates-based retail giant will remain responsible for the plans, which the agency is looking to assume control of as of January 31. 

Lampert - then the company's CEO, wrote in a September blog post that the company's pension obligations had become a major sticking point. 

In addition to the very difficult retail environment, Sears has also been significantly impacted by its long-term pension obligations. In the last five years, we contributed almost $2 billion, and since 2005 we have contributed over $4.5 billion, to fund our Pension Plans.

...

The reality is that, while we strongly believe in our vision and our strategy for the Company, we also have had to address the pressures that result from the unsatisfactory operating performance as well as the ongoing burden of our legacy pension liabilities. -Eddie Lampert

Sears confirmed on Thursday that Lampert's $5.2 billion rescue package had been accepted, preserving 45,000 jobs - but not the roughly 90,000 pensions the company is on the hook for. Lampert's offer will still require approval from US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York - while the company's creditors are already beginning to complain. 

Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[US News] Oh, great: Indiana Women’s March to help ‘protest racism against American Indians’ at Covington

So there's going to be a protest at Covington of Catholic racism against Native Americans.

The post Oh, great: Indiana Women’s March to help ‘protest racism against American Indians’ at Covington appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 6:13:15 PM
[Politics] George Conway Mocks Giuliani for Trump-Cohen Comments Rudy Giuliani is "making sh**t up" amid a changing narrative on President Donald Trump's contact with Michael Cohen before his congressional testimony, according to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's husband, a constant critic of President Donald Trump. Published:1/21/2019 5:42:27 PM
[The Blog] When doctors ignore a living will and prolong suffering

Terminal pain and suffering

The post When doctors ignore a living will and prolong suffering appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 5:42:27 PM
[Media] ‘Keep reaching’: Soledad O’Brien now spreading ‘blatant lies’ about Covington students

"Why do you keep lying?"

The post ‘Keep reaching’: Soledad O’Brien now spreading ‘blatant lies’ about Covington students appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 5:42:27 PM
[Markets] Demographic Catastrophe: China's Birth Rate Falls To Historic Low

Over the weekend, China's statistics bureau announced a significant dip in the country's birth rate with the number of babies born in China last year falling by 2 million to the lowest annual rate since the country was founded in 1949, despite Beijing's recent attempts to encourage couples to have more children.

In 2016, China partially ended its one-child policy to allow couples to have two children, but as we warned repeatedly since then, the policy has done done little to spur population growth as rising living costs weigh on couples considering a child.

In numbers (via DW):

  • The birth rate in 2018 dropped to 10.94 per thousand, down from 12.43 the previous year.
  • The number of babies born in 2018 dropped by 2 million compared to the previous year to 15.23 million.
  • The birth rate is the lowest since 1949.
  • China's population is nearly 1.4 billion.

Commenting on China's demographic collapse, Wang Feng, a sociology professor at the University of California, Irving, said: "Decades of social and economic transformations have prepared an entirely new generation in China, for whom marriage and childbearing no longer have the importance they once did for their parents' generation."

Cited by DW, Beijing officer worker Mina Cai said: "Many of us grew up as only children and we're a little selfish about putting our own satisfaction above having kids."

Independent Chinese demographer He Yahu echoed these concerns when he said: "The low birth rate has led to a seriously ageing population. On one hand, families are getting smaller, reducing support for the elderly; on the other hand, the elderly population to workforce is growing, which increases the burden on the working population."

As we reported at the time, China surprised the world three years ago when it announced the end of its one-child policy, which limited many families from having more than one child. The policy was criticized for giving rise to forced abortions and sterilizations, for encouraging couples to try to have boys rather than girls and for catalyzing China's sharp decline in births.

China's new civil code is set to be unveiled in 2020, with all mentions of "family planning" removed from the text, according to media reports. Observers suggest it could mean Beijing will be lifting limitations on family sizes introduced in 1979 to control population growth.

Besides demographics, China's transformation into the next Japan has major, and potentially dire, consequences for the local economy.

As we reported back in October via Econimica, the 0-to-24 year old Chinese population swelled by over 300 million from 1950 to it's ultimate peak in 1991.  Since that peak, the total population of young in China has fallen by 176 million, or a 30% decline in the number of children across China.  Moving forward, the UN has expressed hopes the formal elimination of the one child policy would simply slow the rate of decline in the population...but by no means will China's fast declining childbearing population (those aged 15-44) nor disproportionately young male population potentially be offset by a slightly less negative birth rate.  Contrast that with the quantity of debt being forcibly injected into a nation that faces a massive imminent population decline.

To put that debt into perspective, the chart below shows that total debt and annual GDP each divided by the 0 to 24 year old Chinese population.  As of 2018, every child and young adult in China under the age of 25 is presently responsible for over $100 thousand dollars in debt while the annual economic activity (GDP) created by all this debt continues to lag ever faster

And the coming decade only worsens as the young population continues its unabated fall and debt creation (absent concomitant economic growth) continues soaring... building more capacity all for a population that is set to collapse.

China's predicament and reaction to it are not particularly unique...but given China's size, the ultimate global impact of China's slow motion train wreck will be unprecedented... particularly as their 15 to 64 year old population is now in indefinite decline.  Chart below shows annual change in Chinese 15 to 64 year old population, in both millions (green columns) and percentage (blue line).

Simply said, without a dramatic rebound in China's birth rate, massive overcapacity (thanks to over a decade of government mandated malinvestment) versus an ever swifter declining base of consumption does not add up to a burgeoning middle class or a happy ending.

Of course, it's not just China: for context, here is a chart showing US federal debt per capita of the 0 to 24 year old US population...

... confirming that the next generation, whether in China or the US, is set for a painful collision course with debt bubble dynamics.

Published:1/21/2019 5:42:27 PM
[worldNews] Ten sailors dead, 14 saved after two ships catch fire near Crimea Ten crew members have been found dead and 14 have been rescued after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Russia's transport ministry said on Monday, with a rescue operation still underway.
Published:1/21/2019 5:42:27 PM
[1cf7fc5a-8cb5-5218-b656-f84cb38007c0] Gutfeld on the MAGA teen video The media embraced this story because it provided the media's favorite villain: that red cap. Published:1/21/2019 5:42:26 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Greg Gutfeld issues big mea culpa on catholic MAGA teens video… It’s amazing how many people have egg on their faces after the Covington Catholic School MAGA teens vs Native Americans vs Black Hebrew Israeli maniacs controversy from this weekend. Wow, that’s a . . . Published:1/21/2019 5:42:26 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Greg Gutfeld issues big mea culpa on catholic MAGA teens video… It’s amazing how many people have egg on their faces after the Covington Catholic School MAGA teens vs Native Americans vs Black Hebrew Israeli maniacs controversy from this weekend. Wow, that’s a . . . Published:1/21/2019 5:42:26 PM
[] National Review Managing Editor "Apologizes" For His Post Slanderously Accusing Covington Boys of "Bullying" and "Evil"; Does Not Say the Boys Were Innocent, Merely That His Tone Was Too "High-Handed" and "Preachy" I'm going to print both his original slander here, as well as his "sorry if you were offended by my too-clear statement of the truth" nonpology. I feel I am permitted to print both in full, because Jonah Goldberg plagiarized... Published:1/21/2019 5:42:26 PM
[World] Jesse Watters: The Government Shutdown Would End If Media Was Fair to Trump

Jesse Watters said the partial government shutdown would be over if the media coverage of President Trump's and the Democrats' political differences was fair.

Published:1/21/2019 5:13:00 PM
[Politics] Report: Trump Lawyers Contacted Mueller After BuzzFeed Report After BuzzFeed News claimed President Donald Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a Moscow tower project, Rudy Giuliani said the president's lawyers reached out to special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Published:1/21/2019 5:12:58 PM
[topics:organisations/school-of-oriental-and-africa] Extremism and hate preachers on the rise at campuses, universities warned Published:1/21/2019 5:12:58 PM
[Media] Reza Aslan complains about violent tweets — after pointing out Covington student’s ‘punchable face’

"LOL sorry is punching not cool anymore?"

The post Reza Aslan complains about violent tweets — after pointing out Covington student’s ‘punchable face’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 5:12:58 PM
[Markets] GMO Warns "...Own As Little US Equity As Your Career Risk Allows"

Authored by Martin Tarlie via GMO,

Key Points

  • A new model suggests that from early 2017 through much of 2018, the U.S. stock market was a bubble.

  • Driven by negative changes in sentiment, the bubble started to deflate in the fourth quarter of 2018, in spite of strong fundamentals.

  • Our advice, consistent with our portfolio positions established in Q1 2018 – as usual, we were early – is to own as little U.S. equity as your career risk allows.

Introduction

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the S&P 500 fell almost 14%. This large price drop occurred in spite of a strong fundamental backdrop. Earnings per share (EPS) for 2018, much of it already locked in, is expected to be about $140, a 28% increase over 2017. And expectations for 2019 are for EPS of about $156, a 12% annual increase. With fundamentals so good, what explains the recent price action?

A new model – the Bubble Model – explains this dichotomy between price action and fundamentals by suggesting that a bubble in the U.S. stock market started inflating in early 2017, and continued to inflate through the third quarter of 2018. In the fourth quarter, however, indications were that the bubble had started to deflate.

And when bubbles deflate, they generally do so with a volatility bang. In this new model, bubbles are prone to form when times are good and expected to get even better. Good times today and even better times ahead are reflected in high valuations and solid fundamentals that continue to improve. Improving fundamentals lead to positive changes in sentiment, and these positive changes in sentiment fuel the bubble.

However, sentiment cannot increase forever. When change in sentiment – not level – inevitably turns negative as hopes of even better times ahead are dashed, there is nothing left to fuel the bubble...

While there are indications that the bubble started to deflate in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the magnitude of both price action and the change in the quantitative measure of euphoria that defines the Bubble Model suggest that the odds are now tilted in favor of the view that this is the beginning of the end of the bubble, we would be well-advised to remember Yogi Berra’s counsel that “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Past bubbles do exhibit “head fakes” in which bubble deflation is interrupted by a secondary growth event. For example, in the third quarter of 1998, the time of the LTCM crisis, the Bubble Model suggested the bursting of the bubble that had started inflating in early 1997. However, the 1998 reading was a head fake, and the bubble continued to grow for another 18 months before finally popping in early 2000.

... The Bubble Model, which focuses on the dynamics of valuation, captures both the quantitative and anecdotal euphoric elements of a bubble. Euphoria manifests as explosive dynamics, expressed quantitatively as a negative mean reversion speed. Because the model is quantitative, it does not suffer from the subjective uncertainties inherent in anecdotal stories. While most of the time valuation is mean reverting, on rare occasions valuation is temporarily explosive, or mean averting. This mean aversion goes hand in hand with expensive valuation and is the defining characteristic of a bubble...

Exhibit 1: Valuation in 2018 Matched the Peak of 1929

Mean aversion, or explosive dynamics, arises when speculators dominate the market. Speculators are subject to fads and fashion and have a tendency to follow the herd. Their demand for stocks is ephemeral. Fundamental investors, on the other hand, assess value based on fundamentals and expected return considerations. Their demand for stocks is relatively stable. To the extent that fundamental investors dominate the market, fundamental value provides an anchor around which market prices vary. This is standard mean reversion.

However, when speculators dominate, i.e., the percentage change in speculative value exceeds that of fundamental value, then price tends to move away from fundamental value because deviations of price from fundamental value get relatively bigger. This is mean aversion.

...

The anatomy of 2017-18 A bubble…and initial stages of a pop

The fifth period of explosive dynamics, shown as a close-up in Exhibit 3, begins in 2017 and extends into late 2018. The mean aversion from early 2017 through the third quarter of 2018 is a quantitative measure of euphoria and suggests that during this period a bubble is inflating in the U.S. stock market, even though this period lacks the conventional anecdotes of euphoria, such as barbers and shoe shiners turned stockbrokers. And while such anecdotes appear lacking, the optimism and enthusiasm surrounding Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Bitcoin, among other technological advances, are typical of bubble-like animal spirits.

Exhibit 3: Slowing Mean Reversion, a “Melt Up”…and a Bursting?

The data point for the fourth quarter of 2018 shows a dramatic change in the mean reversion speed, from an explosive, mean averting phase to a strongly mean reverting phase. The scale and duration of this move is consistent with the moves associated with the bursting of the 1929 and 1999 bubbles, and the reflation of the anti-bubbles of the late 1910s and the early 1980s.

...

Prior to the fourth quarter of 2018, the most extreme change in the mean reversion speed is the one from the third to the fourth quarters of 1929. Here, the mean reversion speed goes from slightly negative to strongly positive over the period of three months. However, the change in the mean reversion speed from the third to the fourth quarters of 2018 eclipses that of 1929, highlighting just how dramatic the last few months have been. The magnitude of this move also tilts the odds in favor of the view that we may currently be experiencing the initial stages of the bursting of the bubble of 2017-18.

Exhibit 4: Valuation and Euphoria, the Two Elements of a Bubble

So, what do we learn?

Own as little U.S. equity today as your career risk allows

The Bubble Model teaches us that bubbles form when times are good – high valuation – and expected to get even better – changes in sentiment are positive. Bubbles burst when changes in sentiment – not level – turn negative. This dynamic helps us understand how it is that during the fourth quarter of 2018 the market fell dramatically, even though fundamentals, both past and expected, looked solid. While as of December, 2018 expected EPS growth for 2019 is 12%, this is substantially below the 28% growth of 2018. Furthermore, since August, 2018 estimated EPS for 2019 has been revised downward by more than 4%. These changes, together with concerns about Federal Reserve tightening and trade tensions with China, point to negative changes in sentiment, a catalyst for popping a bubble.

The key role played by changes in sentiment also highlights why it is so difficult to time a bubble. While the benefit of successfully riding a bubble and getting out in time is obvious, there are two reasons why this is a challenge.

  • First, when the bubble pops, the reversal tends to be wicked, which is to say that mean reversion comes back with a vengeance. Mistiming can therefore be costly.

  • Second, the odds of mistiming are high because the catalyst for the pop is a change in sentiment. It is not the level of sentiment that we need to predict, but rather the change, which is much more difficult.

There is another subtle, but important point. I have been deliberately vague about what sentiment means. In Tarlie et al. (2018) the catalyst for both bubble formation and destruction is expected change in profitability. But more broadly we expect that change in sentiment is the catalyst, which is to say that there are myriad factors that can ignite animal spirits as the bubble forms, and then snuff them out as hopes for even better times ahead are dashed. Effectively, this vague definition reflects model risk. So even though we have a model that helps us understand how bubbles are created and destroyed, unfortunately it does not help us predict the timing of their demise. It does, however, give us insight into why timing is so challenging.

Our advice when the bubble is inflating is to avoid the siren song of buying into rising prices, thus avoiding the bubble altogether. While career risk can make this course of action difficult (hence giving further life to the bubble, of course), we believe the challenge of successfully timing the exit is such that bearing the career risk is the wiser and more prudent course for those with a sufficiently long time horizon.

Currently, we are faced with a volatile market that, through the end of 2018 at least, is down double digits from the September, 2018 peak. The volatility is consistent with a bubble bursting, though we caution that it is possible that the fourth quarter move in the mean reversion speed could be a head fake. While the dramatic nature of the move in the mean reversion speed to such strong mean reversion suggests that the odds are tilted toward this being the beginning of the end of the bubble of 2017-18, we cannot rule out reflation of the bubble, analogous to the event of late 1998-2000. Given that valuation is still high, our advice, consistent with our portfolio positions, is to continue to own as little U.S. equity as career risk allows.

*  *  *

Read the full paper here.

Published:1/21/2019 5:12:58 PM
[Right Column] Judge: California Wildfires Caused By Uninsulated Power Conductors NOT Climate
Published:1/21/2019 5:12:58 PM
[Uncategorized] Facebook Rejects Ads From Producers Of Pro-Life Film Starring Jon Voight

Facebook has banned pro-life ‘Roe v. Wade’ film starring Jon Voight from advertising the movie on the social network because it considers it a ‘political ad.’ Filmmakers Nick Loeb and Cathy Allyn produced and directed the movie Roe v. Wade but when they tried to promote the movie through an ad on Facebook they were denied ...

The post Facebook Rejects Ads From Producers Of Pro-Life Film Starring Jon Voight appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 5:12:58 PM
[Uncategorized] Facebook Rejects Ads From Producers Of Pro-Life Film Starring Jon Voight

Facebook has banned pro-life ‘Roe v. Wade’ film starring Jon Voight from advertising the movie on the social network because it considers it a ‘political ad.’ Filmmakers Nick Loeb and Cathy Allyn produced and directed the movie Roe v. Wade but when they tried to promote the movie through an ad on Facebook they were denied ...

The post Facebook Rejects Ads From Producers Of Pro-Life Film Starring Jon Voight appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 5:12:58 PM
[37e8105a-e86d-593b-9d9e-db19efaf9af6] 'The Favourite' star Emma Stone ditches the red, debuts new darker look Emma Stone is shaking things up. Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[231418bd-ab8a-557b-a8cc-17c67bc167d2] Five reasons Kamala Harris is the brand-new 2020 Democratic Party frontrunner It may seem presumptuous to declare that freshman Senator Kamala Harris of California, who has been in office for only two years, is the most likely Democrat to be nominated for president next year. Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[The Blog] Unreal: 25% of all deaths in Netherlands by forms of euthanasia and suicide

"We have put in motion something that we have now discovered has more consequences than we ever imagined.”

The post Unreal: 25% of all deaths in Netherlands by forms of euthanasia and suicide appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[Markets] Native American "Harassed" By MAGA Kids Exposed As Outrage-Culture Grifter

Just when you thought your blue-pilled perception of the world couldn't take another red-pilling reality check - after Buzzfeed's lies and mainstream media's Covington Catholics chaos - it turns out that the man wondering quietly across the concourse before 'not being accosted' by young MAGA-hat-wearing teens is not some hapless native American...

It turns out that Nathan Phillips is raising money with the help of a major big-money left-wing operation, and has a history of appearing in the press claiming to be a victim of anti-Native racism.

In 2015, Phillips claimed that he was “bombarded by racial slurs” by students at Eastern Michigan University.

As Fox 2 Detroit reported, an Ypsilanti man says he was trying to teach a few students dressed in American Indian theme party about respecting Native Americans. Not long afterward, Nathan Phillips said that an interaction with party-goers and students turned ugly.

Nathan Phillips says he was out for a noon walk on a Saturday in mid-April.

He walked by a home where he saw Eastern Michigan University students dressed as Native Americans.

"They had little feathers on, I was just going to walk by," Phillips said. "A group of them said 'Come on over, come here.'"

He says he walked over to the fence and saw roughly 30 to 40 students involved in a theme party.

"They had their face painted," Phillips said. "I said what the heck is going on here. 'Oh we are honoring you.' I said no you are not honoring me."

It was a statement he says they took offense to.

"Then started whooping and hollering," he said. "I said that wasn't honoring, that was racist. Then at that time, it really got ugly."

Phillips says he was bombarded with racial slurs.

"(They said) 'Go back to the reservation, you blank indian,'" he said.

One student, he says, threw a beer can at him.

"If I would have stayed where I was at, it would have hit me in the head," he said. "I backed up and it hit me in the chest."

He had seen enough at that point and says he called the police.

"By the time police got there, it was like there was no party there at all," he said.

Phillips filed a report with campus police who tell FOX 2 they are investigating the matter.

"Whoever would sit judgement on them, the university the law, society, that is their job," Phillips said. "I will pray for them that they will see a better way."

Rings a bell?

Additionally, Phillips starred in a 2012 Skrillex video called “Make It Bun Dem,” in which Phillips does some spiritual warfare connected to a violent attack on a police officer. 

The point is this, as BigLeaguePolitics so eloquently summarizes:

Phillips is not simply a random Native man who was accosted by “racist” MAGA-hat wearing teens, as the mainstream press has reported. He is connected to leftist activists who donate large sums to leftist causes.

“[Phillips] is a Vietnam Veteran and former director of the Native Youth Alliance,” according to Heavy.

The Native Youth Alliance appears to be a standalone entity. However, as BigLeaguePolitics' Patrick Howley points out, the larger well-funded Native Youth Leadership Alliance - which told us that it is not associated with Phillips - is currently promoting Phillips’ fundraising campaign stemming from the incident with the Catholic teens. The Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA) is a non-profit organization that is funded by the same far-left power players who are often involved in bankrolling leftist causes. The organization’s funding partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Social Justice Fund Northwest.

And now, he is personally fundraising off the mainstream media's misdeeds...

Stay skeptical, question everything... appears to be the best way to handle the currently reality that we are fed every day. The oligarchs know, divide-and-conquer works and don't care about the inevitable blood on their hands.

Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[Uncategorized] Report: Pompeo Discussing Running for Kansas Senate Seat in 2020 “He hasn’t closed the door." Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[Entertainment] Ben Higgins Says He's ''Not Hiding'' His New Girlfriend But Isn't Ready to Go Public Ben HigginsBen Higgins is navigating his latest relationship on his own terms. Last week, the reality TV star sent shock waves through Bachelor Nation when he admitted to dating someone new...
Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[US News] Tech journo Kara Swisher says she was ‘a complete dolt’ to post tweet about Gillette and Covington kids

Kara Swisher has offered up one of the most sincere apologies we've seen to the Covington students.

The post Tech journo Kara Swisher says she was ‘a complete dolt’ to post tweet about Gillette and Covington kids appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[Accelerator] Roger Dickey ditches $32M-funded Gigster to start Untitled Labs Most founders don’t walk away from their startup after raising $32 million and reaching 1000 clients. But Roger Dickey’s heart is in consumer tech, and his company Gigster had pivoted to doing outsourced app development for enterprises instead of scrappy entrepreneurs. So today Dickey announced that he’d left his role as Gigster CEO, with former […] Published:1/21/2019 4:42:19 PM
[World] [David Kopel] Federal Circuits and the Second Amendment in 2018

Good decisions in some cases, judicial nullification in some others.

Federal circuit courts of appeal continue to have an uneven record in enforcing Second Amendment rights. Last week, Lincoln Memorial University's Duncan School of Law (in Knoxville, Tenn.) held a Second Amendment symposium. My article Federal Circuit Second Amendment Developments 2018, will be published later this year in the school's law review.

In 2018, the federal circuits delivered mixed decisions on magazine confiscation. The Third Circuit denied a preliminary injunction against New Jersey's new confiscation law, while the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court's injunction against California's older confiscation statute. Both decisions were 2-1.

The circuits also split on whether there is a meaningful right to "bear arms." In Massachusetts, the normal practice is that a license to own a handgun also functions as a license to carry concealed for lawful protection. But Boston and its suburb Brookline often deny carry permits to qualified citizens. The First Circuit upheld the negation of the right to bear arms. In order to do so, the First Circuit abandoned its established test in Second Amendment cases, which looked at text, history, and tradition. Now, the First Circuit uses the Two-Part Test applicable in most other circuits. Switching tests gave the First Circuit the opportunity to apply an unusually weak form intermediate scrutiny in order to upheld the negation of a textual right. Meanwhile, the Ninth Circuit ruled against the County of Hawaii (the Big Island) issuing open carry permits only to security guards. I analyzed the Young v. Hawaii decision in a previous post.

Separately, the Ninth Circuit upheld California's ban on all new models of handguns, which went into effect in 2013. As the article explains, the California statute is part of an effort by gun ban groups to prevent advances in firearms or even to roll back firearms technology by decades or centuries. This includes

  • Confiscating magazines and guns that can fire more than 5 or 10 rounds (invented in the 1400s, and common in America by 1866),
  • Categorizing all semiautomatic rifles as "assault rifles"--even the Winchester 1903, a .22 caliber rifle with 10-round capacity. The first actual "assault rifle" was the German Sturmgewehr, from 1943.
  • Banning modern synthetic or metal stocks that can be adjusted to fit the user's size.
  • Banning muzzle brakes, which stabilize a rifle, and make it more accurate.

In the Second Circuit, judicial treatment of the Second Amendment as a second-class right would be an improvement from current practice. The circuit upheld New York City's unique administrative prohibition on taking handguns out of the city. The empirical basis for the ruling was an affidavit from a police official who was unable to cite a single example of misconduct by New York City licensees who were engaging in formerly-lawful activities, such as taking a handgun from a Staten Island residence to a target range in New Jersey, or transporting a handgun from a residence in Manhattan to a second home elsewhere in the state. The case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n, Inc. v. City of New York is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court in a cert. petition.

The Fifth Circuit upheld the federal ban on purchasing handguns outside one's state of residence as long as both states consent and the buyer complies with the laws of both states. That case too has a pending cert. petition, following an 8-7 denial of a petition for rehearing en banc. I've previously posted about my amicus brief in that case.

As in previous years, all challenges to the various categories of persons statutorily prohibited from exercising Second Amendment rights were rejected. Although the ban on gun possession by persons convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors has strong support from social science, there is no such support for a continuing prohibition for persons whose conviction was in the distant past. Dissenting in a 2-1 Sixth Circuit case, Judge Danny Boggs raised concerns about the lifetime prohibition of a constitutional right for a long-ago misdemeanor.

After Texas became one of ten states that now provides for licensed concealed carry at state college campuses, three Texas professors sued. One of the professors worried that "religiously conservative students" and "openly libertarian students" would "initiate gun violence" against leftist professors. Of course the professor could not cite a single incident where such a scenario has taken place. The Fifth Circuit rejected her claim that the Texas statute specifying the conditions for where adults may carry arms--after passing a fingerprint background check and safety training--violated the Second Amendment by not being "well-regulated."

The Tenth Circuit held in United States v. Cox that a state statute purporting to exempt an activity from federal law is no defense to a federal prosecution for violating a federal statute. In particular, the Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act authorized, inter alia, the production and sale of short-barreled rifles as long as the rifles never leave Kansas. But this was no defense to the manufacturer and buyer failing to comply with the tax and registration requirements of the federal National Firearms Act of 1934. I will write separately about a separate part of the Cox decision: a thinly-reasoned argument that firearms accessories are not covered by the Second Amendment.

Finally, the Ninth Circuit ended a long-standing case involving arms and self-defense bans in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Previously, a district court had ruled unconstitutional the following provisions of CNMI gun laws:

  • A law prohibiting lawful permanent CNMI residents who are not of native blood from being issued gun permits.
  • A ban on issuing gun permits for home defense.
  • A handgun possession ban.
  • A handgun import ban.

The CNMI legislature complied with the court's decision and enacted reform legislation. When the Commonwealth declined to appeal, a parent-teacher association sought to intervene in the case and file an appeal. The intervention was rejected by the district court, and then by the Ninth Circuit in 2018, based on lack of standing.

The United States extends from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, in the Atlantic Time Zone, to Guam and the CNMI in the Chamorro Time Zone--a span of twelve time zones. Thus, it may be accurate to say that the sun never sets on the Second Amendment. But it must also be said that the right is sometimes occluded, and that some federal judges seem eager to do their part to extinguish it.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:06 PM
[Politics] Celebrities, Journalists Delete Tweets Shaming MAGA Kids After new evidence surfaced that appeared to debunk the entire story, celebrities, journalists, and other public figures have been deleting their tweets about the reported taunting of a Native American by a group of Catholic schoolboys. Published:1/21/2019 4:12:06 PM
[174bf688-1621-595d-af77-a8ff9358770e] The left couldn't prevent Kavanaugh's confirmation -- Here's their latest Supreme Court strategy Since their failure to prevent the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a justice of the Supreme Court, strategists on the left have been debating ways to take back control of the high court. Published:1/21/2019 4:12:06 PM
[The Blog] Watch company ad counters Gillette on “toxic masculinity”: “We see the good in men”

Sympathy.

The post Watch company ad counters Gillette on “toxic masculinity”: “We see the good in men” appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:06 PM
[Politics] DC restaurant fined THOUSANDS for not allowing “transgender female” to use ladies restroom A restaurant in DC had to pay 7,000 as a fine because last year employees refused to allow a dude, dressed up as a lady, to use the ladies restroom — otherwise . . . Published:1/21/2019 4:12:06 PM
[Politics] DC restaurant fined THOUSANDS for not allowing “transgender female” to use ladies restroom A restaurant in DC had to pay 7,000 as a fine because last year employees refused to allow a dude, dressed up as a lady, to use the ladies restroom — otherwise . . . Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Entertainment] Prince Philip crash victim says he hasn't apologized; parts of wrecked car briefly on sale A woman who broke her wrist in a car crash with Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's 97-year-old husband, says the royal family has yet to apologize.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[worldNews] Israel strikes in Syria in more open assault on Iran Israel struck in Syria early on Monday, the latest salvo in its increasingly open assault on Iran's presence there, shaking the night sky over Damascus with an hour of loud explosions in a second consecutive night of military action.
Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Science and Technology] Another Headline-Grabbing Ocean Warming Study Is Full Of ‘Factual Errors And Misleading Statements,’ Scientist Says

By Michael Bastasch -

is-climate-change-really-so-alarming

Another major headline-grabbing climate study suggesting oceans have warmed faster than previously thought is full of “factual errors and misleading statements,” according to independent scientist Nic Lewis. Lewis challenged the climate paper’s central arguments that more recent estimates of ocean heat content (OHC) are higher than those cited in the ...

Another Headline-Grabbing Ocean Warming Study Is Full Of ‘Factual Errors And Misleading Statements,’ Scientist Says is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[storytype:standard] Second Scout volunteer suspended and more groups referred to police amid extremism concerns Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Markets] There Will Be Blood: The Future Of Asset Management

Submitted by Three Body Capital,

TL;DR

The rise of passive and ETF investing is turning up the heat on active managers. Change is coming to our industry, and those that fail to adapt will fade into obscurity.

The old business was highly intermediated and lucrative, while the tokenised future is likely to be far less commercially attractive and unable to support the behemoths in their current form.

Despite the doom and gloom, we believe active management can generate compelling returns for investors and survive the impending upheaval that looks set to turn our entire industry upside down.

The elephant in the room

Asset management in its current form still looks much like it did back in the 80s, or even earlier. Asset managers aggregate investor funds and deploy capital in search of investment returns, seeking to identify mispricing in the market. The ascent of passive and ETF investing has turned the table on active managers, especially in terms of fees. Here at Three Body Capital, we're still in this line of business because we believe it can generate compelling returns for investors. And we believe it will survive the impending upheaval that looks set to disrupt our entire industry.

While other industries have experienced profound structural disruption, financial services have stayed largely the same. Asset managers still employ complex fund/manager structures (e.g. Cayman domicile with a Delaware feeder, Malta, BVI, Bermuda, Jersey etc), with a large chunk of active management fees effectively diverted to the likes of fund administrators, custodians, exchanges, brokers and service providers fulfilling a range of regulatory and administrative functions.

The hurdles to entry into the asset management industry are high, which is why large managers get bigger and small upstart managers struggle to gain traction. Case in point: BNY Mellon, one of the largest custodian banks and asset managers in the world, has about US$1.8tn of assets under management and US$35.4tn of assets under custody. Asset management is profitable at around 28% pre-tax margin, but its custodial/services business generates almost 35% pre-tax margin, represents almost 55% of its US$13bn of non-interest income, and 44% of US$17bn of total revenues.

Custody, clearing, settlement and other issuer services are big business. Add to that expansive regulation and the need for more compliance and supervisory oversight in the years since the crisis of 2008, and the regulatory cost of managing external capital is rising. This is inadvertently being passed to investors via lower net investment returns.

At the same time, a narrative has been constructed to defend super-normal profits, with investors barking up the wrong tree in search of better returns. Management fees have been paraded as the cause of poor returns, leading to the rise of passive managers offering low fees (or even zero/negative fee ETFs, as we are seeing from the likes of Fidelity and Vanguard, on the basis that less trading leads to lower costs. The end result is an investment environment that’s increasingly passive, with many “active” managers largely hugging their benchmarks, providing little outperformance against their passive counterparts and inadvertently perpetuating the story that alpha is dead.

The reality, however poorly understood, is that the high expense ratios generated by smaller active managers are not so much a function of trading commissions, but more a result of rising fixed costs relating to operations being distributed over a smaller net asset value. The end result? Investors in small funds are penalised more than those in larger funds.

As the “active versus passive” battle rages on, the market seems to have missed the elephant in the room. And it’s a very large, very aggressive elephant.

Light at the end of the tunnel

As the old joke goes, the light of the end of the tunnel might well be an oncoming train. In the case of asset management, we think this could well be true.

Our train started its journey in the heart of the 2008 crisis, with a little experiment called Bitcoin. For many years, Bitcoin was seen as a hobby for nerds and millennials who were either idealistic, impractical or naïve. Who needs a decentralised money transfer system that’s censorship proof, unless they're engaged in drug trafficking or other illicit behaviour? Well, it turns out, lots of people do. The Bitcoin bubble of the past 3 years has captured the imagination of the retail investor, and it all came to a head last year when Bitcoin spiked towards $20k, taking with it a plethora of "utility tokens" that raised an estimated US$20bn of capital through (now-infamous) Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Unfortunately for many of these investors, the vast majority of these ICOs will turn out to be worthless as far as the tokens are concerned. But this process, however painful for its participants, drew a huge pool of capital into an industry run by lots of highly intelligent and innovative people. The most fortunate unintended side effect of boom/bust cycles is the establishment of infrastructure that eventually develops compelling use cases. This was the case with the dot com bubble of 2000. Many dot com companies evaporated in the ensuing market malaise, but the bubble turned out to be an overzealous extrapolation of future developments, far too early in the life-cycle of internet infrastructure to sustain themselves.

Almost 20 years after the dot com boom, we can hardly imagine a day without being connected to the internet and big tech. Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix and Spotify are just a few examples of what we can scarcely afford to live without. And to think that back in the day it was normal to ask, “Now why on earth would you want to read a book on a computer screen when you can just go to the library?” Not forgetting the fact that dial-up connections used to drive our parents nuts, hogging the phone line whilst we checked our emails or chatted on ICQ and MSN Messenger.

With hindsight, we see how the dot com boom catalysed a 20 year process of infrastructure rollout which effectively made the dreams of the its original founders a reality, albeit in a different form. We now have a dot com for everything. The ensuing disruption from the rise of the internet was also far-reaching - everything from retail to recreation to communications infrastructure has been turned on its head. Skype took down IDD calling and the traditional telco; Amazon took down the shopping mall (it’s now working on the high street); Netflix took down PayTV media behemoths - the list goes on.

It’s our view that the cryptocurrency boom (and bust) have set the stage for a new age for investment management by giving form to the concept of digital assets. The beneficiaries of a high fixed-cost structure under the status quo face immense disruptive pressure. Many asset managers are going to find it impossible to change, and will fold.

Have we learnt our lesson? Can we read the signs and predict the next technological paradigm shift? It doesn’t look like it. Most industry observers are aware that asset management is evolving thanks to technology, but they’re too busy talking about black boxes and robo-advisors to recognise the paradigm-shifting implications of security tokens.

A quick word on Bitcoin

This is not an evangelical pamphlet on the benefits of Bitcoin. In a separate note co-authored with Coinshares we have provided a rebuttal to the overarching negative narrative around Bitcoin and its impact on the environment, because we believe that particular claim to be misinformed. However, whether Bitcoin replaces everything as a global currency is very much open to debate.

Where we do see Bitcoin playing a role in this new age is as an attestation chain. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it confers characteristics of information security to the Bitcoin blockchain. As the longest blockchain in existence, almost 10 years old since the first block was generated and with more than 9,800 active nodes around the world continually authenticating distributed copies of the Bitcoin blockchain, the network is practically unhackable. A hacker attempting to falsify records on the Bitcoin chain would need to launch a simultaneous attack on the chain with another 9,800++ nodes to break the 51% consensus requirement, get a false majority to agree to a falsified increment to the chain and beat the processing power of all incumbents. Amending a prior record on the record would be exponentially more difficult.

Sounds complicated? It is. And it's very expensive too. The bottom line here is that everything that’s encrypted and posted on the public Bitcoin blockchain is effectively immutable. A permanent, constantly updated publicly-accessible record. That is what Bitcoin offers the new world. And this has huge implications for asset management.

The root of the problem: bridging physical to digital

The future we see revolves around security tokens: digital versions of physical assets, whether a share certificate, a title deed to a property, or even Michaelangelo's Pieta. The thought experiment that became real with the advent of ICOs and “utility tokens” was that physical assets, often indivisible, could be converted into a digital, legally binding claim of ownership that in turn could be infinitely divisible.

For traditional stock market investors, this would be analogous to a stock split: when the nominal price of a stock became too expensive, to improve liquidity in the market, one approach would be to split the stock into pieces, with each piece corresponding to its pro-rata value. As a result, investors who couldn't afford even a single stock at the old price could now buy, for example, a third of the original stock at a third of the price. There’s no change in valuation, but the asset is distributed to a much larger market, improving overall liquidity and price discovery. Security tokens take this divisibility to multiple decimal places, with no requirement for the issuer to engage in a change in capital structure. One simply decides to buy 0.00001 shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class A at an affordable $3, rather than the $300k+ at which it currently trades. Whether this still entitles the shareholder to attend Mr. Buffett's AGM will, of course, remain at the company's discretion.

Consider this concept applied to prime Mayfair property in London, or a portion of Banksy's half-shredded art piece, and the possibilities are endless (or at least they approach infinity). Non-financial assets will be another topic for exploration in the future, and we are definitely of the view that lots more can be done in this space.

This development opens the door to significant transformation, specifically with regard to financial assets that represent legal claims on ownership and profits of companies. It has the potential to change public perceptions around the concept of ownership. By rendering assets truly divisible, tokens make ownership possible for everyone everywhere and can transform capital markets, making them broader, deeper, more liquid, less vulnerable to catastrophic shocks.

Couple this with another innovation of the crypto bubble - the token wallet - and you get broad and deep disruption across the asset management industry. Like the wallets we currently carry in our pockets, token wallets are built to contain the assets we own, from a cash equivalent (e.g. Winklevoss Gemini dollar) to an actual claim on a company (e.g. digitally securitised Tesla shares). The key differences are the near-infinite divisibility of the assets in the wallet, and our ability to hold programmable money and assets, with permissions granted and revoked via wallet software.

A thought experiment for asset managers (and wine lovers)

Jacques is a winemaker living in the south of France, and thanks to a series of good harvests, has built up a nest egg of €2m in cash. He invests most of this in money market funds via securitised fixed income instruments, but has about €200k set aside for more speculative investments in the equities market. He is particularly interested in two themes:

  1. Robotics, because he sees the impact robotics has had on his vineyards and improvements in efficiency.

  2. Electric cars, because he feels passionately about climate change and believes he must support efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

His security token wallet sits on his iPhone and is activated by his interactions with Siri. As he sits down to ponder his investment strategy, he opens his wallet app and gives the following instructions:

“Siri, please allocate €1m to a high quality bond issuer that is not only socially responsible, but also is supporting a project that will make a difference in people’s lives around the world.”

Siri: “Confirmed. €1m allocated to Symmitree Foundation social impact bonds, maturing in 2028.”

“Thank you Siri. Can you also buy me €100k of Tesla shares, but only when Elon Musk tweets something silly and the stock falls more than average.”

Siri: “Confirmed. Allocation set up, buy up to €100k of Tesla shares when Elon Musk tweets and the stock reacts negatively.”

“I want €100k in a bunch of robotics companies around the world, but I don't know what to own. Can you locate some stocks with big robotics businesses and are growing earnings at least 10% a year and relatively low risk and invest my €100k there please?”

Siri: “Confirmed. €100k has been invested in the following names: Fanuc and Yaskawa Electric in Japan, ABB in Switzerland, Google in the US, Estun Automation in China, Hiwin and Airtac in Taiwan. Would you like to enable dynamic rebalancing algorithms to manage the risk on some of the Emerging Market companies?”

“Yes please. How much more do I have left to allocate?”

Siri: “You have €800k more available.”

“I'd like to authorise my old friend David to manage €400k of that balance on my behalf, I like his investing style and he has a solid track record, please send him a notification that I've given him permissions. For the balance €400k, please buy me something that gives me a decent return but will leave the cash available for me to use anytime I need it.”

Siri: “Confirmed. €400k allocated to money market funds yielding 1.2% per year. I will send David a notification that he is now authorised to trade that allocation for you and set the required permissions to facilitate money laundering and other checks.”

“Merci Siri.”

Spot the difference

Right now, highly educated asset managers seem to view security tokens (at best) as an asset class, rather than a foundational technology and catalyst for wholesale change in the financial services industry. Considering the practical effects of asset digitisation enables us to glimpse the future of our industry. And it’s unrecognisable.

Custodian banks: gone.

Under a self-custody model, money never leaves the investor. Even if trading authority is handed over to an external manager, funds are managed while sitting within the investor's wallet. No third party is needed to guarantee that the manager hasn’t run away with the investor's cash, removing the need for an independent mediator to establish trust. Custodian fees subsequently become redundant - the investor is his own custodian, so there is nobody to pay for the privilege.

ETFs: gone.

ETFs solved the problem of imperfect divisibility of assets and gave investors a cost-efficient way to express an investment view on a specific theme e.g. robotics. However, ETFs are by nature passively managed and often track indices that end up having reverse correlation and causality with the ETFs themselves. While fees are falling and expense ratios are even negative in some cases (since the ETF provider lends out stock for interest to short sellers), the ability for software augmented with AI to dynamically tailor specific portfolios for individual investors renders ETFs obsolete. Moreover, if major indices like the S&P 500 get tokenised to an infinitely divisible level, investors can hold 500 tokens in their wallets sized to the correct weights, without having to own any ETF units. Furthermore, by not having to trade in the market with subscription and redemption flows, investment, custodian and administrative expenses can be reduced. Security tokens could spell the end of ETFs’ supposed cost advantage in the passive investment space.

Complicated compliance and identity checks: gone.

At the heart of cryptographic authentication is the idea of zero-knowledge proofs, which can generate mathematically certain yes/no answers to questions that are fully verifiable. Where a Know Your Client (KYC) check currently involves an investor disclosing personal information (e.g. passport scan) and a fund administrator checking that against a database of names known for money laundering/political exposure, a zero-knowledge proof system would see an investor holding custody of all his or her personal information, and an external party sending a yes/no query to the wallet (e.g. “Is Jacques old enough to drink?”). The wallet could respond, “Yes”, without divulging Jacques' date of birth.

Stock exchanges and clearinghouses: gone.

Exchange fees that currently constitute a sizeable chunk of asset management costs have little role in the future. After all, what does an exchange provide but a novation mechanism which serves as a central counterparty to two sides of a trade, with the exchange being the counterparty to both buyer and seller and guaranteeing a completed trade? Nobody wants to hand over stock and not receive payment. With programmable transactions on a blockchain, not only can transactions complete simultaneously and instantaneously (as opposed to T+2 settlement), a central counterparty is no longer needed and no transactions are reversible. They are of course offsetable, by entering into a reverse transaction. Moreover, trading digital assets can happen 24/7 - gone are the days where an exchange is only open for 6 hours a day with a 2 hour lunch break and no trading on weekends, avoiding violent gaps in opening and closing auctions when news hits exchanges that are closed.

Active management: back to basics.

With these changes comes a return to active management that focuses on identifying opportunities that are unknown or mispriced by the market. With passive investing streamlined into a mechanism that’s dynamic and adaptive, index-hugging “active” management with the aim of generating some alpha while minimising costs is unlikely to be sustainable. More likely is that passive strategies evolve into algorithms for rent, which investors can tap on (call it “Beta-as-a-Service”). Active management becomes a purely alpha-generating enterprise, since partial market beta from a strategy can be replicated in tandem with a passive algorithm at a lower fee. For the active investor, this heralds a return to the basics of stock picking. Active management evolves into an industry built on discretionary mandates, in other words, “pure alpha”.

The future is closer than you think

This vision of Asset Management might sound like something out of a science fiction novel. But change is happening, and it’s accelerating.

The announcement that NYSE will launch its fully regulated clearing and settlement security token exchange, Bakkt, in January 2019 suggests the regulatory environment is moving quickly to make this a reality. Starbucks, Microsoft and BCG are among the key partners, delivering the infrastructure and use cases for what we believe is the first step towards a regulated security token ecosystem. Even Fidelity, one of the most established “traditional” asset managers, is rolling out solutions for digital asset custody. We’re reaching a tipping point, with the backing of tokens by established financial market names set to precipitate mass adoption.

All this means that asset managers can no longer lounge in their high castles. Change is coming to our industry, and those that adapt will thrive in the new age. Those that don’t confront change with change will fade into obscurity, or explode into flames live on CNBC.

The old business was highly intermediated and lucrative, while the tokenised future is likely to be far less commercially attractive and unable to support behemoths in their current bloated form. The magnitude of the change that’s coming could be bigger than the industry can handle in its current state. The hard truth is that most incumbents won't be needed in future.

And what of investors? To take our argument to its eventual conclusion, consider this: all active management is eradicated and every fund in the world is passively run, leading to every algorithm converging towards the passive mean as a result of backtesting. Alpha becomes extinct, only beta remains, and excess returns move to zero. What happens then?

Two alternatives:

  • Give up investing.

  • Try and be different. Beat the crowd.

To us, Option 2 seems like the better choice. And it looks an awful lot like active management.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Markets] A $3.5 billion money manager makes a bullish market case for DC's partisan gridlock In the case of the government shutdown, money manager Larry Glazer believes it's favorable for Wall Street — at least in the short term. "The shutdown rally has been driven in part because investors realize gridlock isn't necessarily a bad thing for the stock market," said Glazer. Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Markets] NewsWatch: These 3 leading economic indicators show no recession is coming Watch the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officers’ Survey as well as the yield curve and jobless claims.
Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Liberalism] Leftists Are After You and Your Children and There’s No Place to Hide

Don’t think the Constitution will protect you and your children. It won’t. Don’t think the courts will defend you. They won’t.

The post Leftists Are After You and Your Children and There’s No Place to Hide appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Liberalism] Leftists Are After You and Your Children and There’s No Place to Hide

Don’t think the Constitution will protect you and your children. It won’t. Don’t think the courts will defend you. They won’t.

The post Leftists Are After You and Your Children and There’s No Place to Hide appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Open Threads] Heading home open thread

I’m at the airport ready to head home from my Midwestern sojourn, where I helped my daughter move into her apartment. I experienced a few firsts: I drove through falling snow for the first time. Fortunately, although it was dark, it was a medium snowfall and the flakes were small and dry. Still, I found […]

The post Heading home open thread appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[Media] Breitbart correspondent promises piece on #VerifiedBullies whom Twitter completely overlooks

There sure seem to be a lot of Twitter-verified bullies on the platform who get away with a lot.

The post Breitbart correspondent promises piece on #VerifiedBullies whom Twitter completely overlooks appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[World] Tesla gets green light to sell Model 3 in Europe On Monday, the Netherlands Vehicles Authority, which has regulatory authority on behalf of the EU, said the Model 3 met requirements for European roads.
Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[] Some Super-Funny Stuff Nathan For You is a stunt/prank show which disguises itself as a business rescue show. Nathan finds a business each week to "help." The advice he gives usually involves dubious interpretations of the law, unethical manipulation, and tricking the stupid,... Published:1/21/2019 4:12:05 PM
[World] Security forces in Zimbabwe kill 12 people in broadest crackdown on unrest in years Once hailed as a hero, Zimbabwe’s new president has unleashed house-to-house searches and is filling the southern African country’s prisons. Published:1/21/2019 3:42:19 PM
[Politics] MLK III Hits Pence for Comparing Trump to Civil Rights Leader Vice President Mike Pence's use of Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech to champion President Donald Trump's demand for a border wall was denounced by King's son Monday. Published:1/21/2019 3:42:19 PM
[Middle Column] Analysis: ‘Climate Hysterics Skyrocket’ – Warmists trying to ‘outdo previous climate chaos rhetoric’
Published:1/21/2019 3:42:17 PM
[Entertainment] Lady Gaga calls Mike Pence 'worst representation' of Christian At her Las Vegas show, "Enigma," Lady Gaga said, "I am a Christian woman" and Vice President Mike Pence is "wrong."
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 3:42:17 PM
[77c36f60-3d14-5322-8f49-b460d84de884] Aaron Sorkin responds after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls him out for advice to Dems Liberal Hollywood writer-director Aaron Sorkin clarified his statements Monday after he caught fire Sunday from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for claiming that the new Democrats in Congress should “stop acting like young people.” Published:1/21/2019 3:42:17 PM
[Entertainment] ‘The damage is incalculable’: Patricia Heaton delivers stinging rebuke of media’s Covington carelessness

"As always, Patricia Heaton is smarter than most people in the public eye."

The post ‘The damage is incalculable’: Patricia Heaton delivers stinging rebuke of media’s Covington carelessness appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 3:42:17 PM
[Markets] Morgan Stanley: "A Retest Of The December Lows Is Coming On Scary Fundamental News"

Last week, Morgan Stanley's chief US equity strategist, Michael Wilson, doubled down on his reputation as one of Wall Street's biggest bears, when having predicted much of the market turbulence in 2018 - which most of his peers missed - he again warned that with (1) valuations still too high and (2) earnings downside even greater than what has been priced, he expects some further deterioration in US economic data, and thinks "the S&P 500 will suffer a re-test of the lows we experienced in December, but on less negative momentum and better breadth."

Fast forward to this weekend, when in Morgan Stanley's "Sunday Start" note, Wilson triples down on his warning, and urges clients to cash out of stocks ahead of an imminent retest of the 2018 lows.

We republish his note "Wait for the Retest" below, with highlights.

2019 has begun as strongly as 2018 ended badly. After the worst December since 1931, we’re on track for one of the best Januarys ever, with the MSCI All Country World Index up 4.5% and every region participating. Unfortunately, we don’t think this will hold up because the things we, and the market, have been worrying about for the past six months are now taking shape and turning out to be worse than we expected in some cases.

Specifically, economic growth is decelerating sharply and corporate earnings are being revised lower at a rate we haven’t seen since the global recession in 2015-16. Speaking of earnings, 4Q reporting season began last week. While it’s way too early to draw any conclusions, the EPS beat rate so far for the S&P 500 is only +0.75% – the lowest since 2016. As usual, financials have dominated the first week of reporting season, and this quarter the results are essentially coming in line with expectations which, in today’s world of managed earnings, amounts to a miss. Despite these weak results, financials were the best-performing sector on the week, both in the US and globally.

After a stretch of terrible performance in a stock or an index, positive price action on bad news can often be a strong buy signal, as it suggests the bad news is already in the price. In fact, it’s something I’ve been waiting for to get more constructive and blow the all-clear whistle for US equities more broadly. However, I can’t help but think that from this perspective, the strength in financials might be a bit of a trap. First, US financials were one of the worst performers last year, reaching their lowest valuations since 2011, a time when it wasn’t clear whether many of these companies would survive. In short, more was “in the price” for financials by the end of 2018 than perhaps any other sector. Second, earnings revisions have not yet troughed, in our view, and many companies have yet to report whose stocks are not pricing in bad results. Finally, the deterioration in the economic data is accelerating, thanks to the US government shutdown, ongoing trade uncertainty, unsuccessful Brexit negotiations and continued Fed balance sheet reduction.

Back in September, our call for a 2019 earnings recession in the US was out of consensus. But now that stocks have corrected and earnings are being revised lower, others are beginning to embrace our view and clients are starting to ask what the chances are that this turns into an economic recession. Our response has been that it doesn’t really matter to us because an earnings recession is the same thing to the market and it essentially got priced in this past December. I don’t know of a single prognosticator calling for an economic recession, but if that view gains traction, it’s likely to be a buying opportunity, not a time to sell.

The moment of recognition by the consensus of either bad or good news is typically the time for investors to go the other way. As an example, think about last year’s euphoria around tax cuts. The consensus got excessively bullish in January, precisely the wrong time. I think we could be setting up for the exact opposite situation this year as the negative news flow reaches a peak.

December’s sell-off was scary, with a large majority of stocks pricing in a recession and breaking support on very high volume. Some of this was due to poor Fed communication and tight year-end liquidity, but we also think the market was coming around to our view on earnings recession risk. In technical terms, this was a momentum low. Typically, the market needs to revisit that low on price but with less momentum to mark a definitive buying opportunity. We call that a retest, and it usually happens when the bad things the market has been worrying about become so glaring that they’re in every headline.

We think this time is no different and expect to see a retest as economic and earnings data deteriorate while concerns linger around the trade deadline and the Fed’s balance sheet reduction. Our advice is to lighten up here as the market rallies and wait for a retest of the December lows on what may seem like scary fundamental news, mixed in with more political theatre. In addition, we think the stocks that have been hit the hardest will prove to be the best buys as the rolling bear market turns into a rolling bottom. Think of it as a First-In, FirstOut (FIFO) process. Indeed, the recent strength in higher-beta stocks like financials, homebuilders and energy means they fit the bill.

We just think you’ll get a better chance to buy them lower, along with most other stocks.

Published:1/21/2019 3:42:17 PM
[structure:news] Computers fail in courts across England as judges and CPS struggle to access vital case information Published:1/21/2019 3:42:17 PM
[World] Adam Schiff Blasts Trump and Pence for Government Shutdown, Border Wall Promise

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California said that "people have suffered enough" because of President Trump and that a real leader would re-open the part of the government that has been shuttered since December.

Published:1/21/2019 3:15:33 PM
[Homeless Persons] Shutdown’s Pain Cuts Deep for the Homeless and Other Vulnerable Americans With the Department of Housing and Urban Development hit hard, subsidies for low-income renters have stopped and nonprofits are scrambling to avoid layoffs and cuts to support services. Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Politics] Decade of Secret Talks Paved Way for Trump-Kim Summit Almost a decade's worth of discussions between the two countries preceded the 2018 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to The Wall Street Journal. Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Politics] Gillibrand 2020: My Bad

The post Gillibrand 2020: My Bad appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[d7b43cb9-91c9-541c-b189-13ae9c75611a] The bogus BuzzFeed story and the feeding frenzy it launched is dangerous -- Here's why The level of animosity aimed at President Trump by the liberal media reached new heights with the publication of BuzzFeed’s bogus report alleging, per unnamed soures, that the president told his attorney Michael Cohen to lie in congressional testimony about his business dealings with Russia. Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Politics] DOJ: Majority of guns used in crimes were obtained ILLEGALLY The DOJ has released a new report indicating how guns were obtained by criminals who used them. The data comes from a 2016 survey of both state and federal prisons. One big . . . Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Politics] DOJ: Majority of guns used in crimes were obtained ILLEGALLY The DOJ has released a new report indicating how guns were obtained by criminals who used them. The data comes from a 2016 survey of both state and federal prisons. One big . . . Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Markets] The Wall Street Journal: Apollo may buy U.K. packaging company RPC for more than $3.8 billion Private-equity giant Apollo Global Management LLC (TICKER:APO)  is in advanced talks to acquire RPC Group PLC, one of Europe’s biggest packaging companies, for more than $3.8 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Middle Column] Climate skeptics want more permanent U.S. exit from UN Paris climate accord – Future president could easily rejoin…Senate should defeat it as treaty

"They fear that if Mr. Trump was able to withdraw based on his signature, a future president could easily rejoin with another signature. Their solution: have the Senate take a vote to ratify the deal as a treaty, and defeat it. Yet withdrawal takes more than three years and full withdrawal won’t be finalized until after the 2020 election, according to the treaty’s terms, meaning if Mr. Trump were defeated, a future administration could reimpose it.

“President Trump made the least satisfactory choice among three alternatives when he announced he would keep his campaign promise to get the United States out of Paris,” Mr. Ebell said. “He accepted that President Obama’s mere signature accepting the treaty was valid, and that all he needed to do was send another signed letter of withdrawal.”

Some scientists who are skeptical of extreme climate change scenarios embraced the idea of forcing a Senate vote now. Dr. Richard Lindzen said the Senate should go even further and revoke any consent it has given to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, launched in 1992, whose semi-regular reports help propel the debate and provided the framework for Paris negotiations.

“Bush 41 signed this to lay claim to being our ‘environment president.’ Unfortunately, he committed us to the global warming alarm narrative,” Mr. Lindzen said.

Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Entertainment] Sundance: Powerhouse documentaries address fallen titans Weinstein, MJ, Theranos and more Documentaries delve into topics ranging from Harvey Weinstein to Theranos, Michael Jackson sex-abuse accusers, Cambridge Analytica and more.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Entertainment] See Every Incredible Look From Lady Gaga's Dual Las Vegas Shows Lady Gaga, Jazz & PianoSin City looks good on Lady Gaga. On Sunday evening, the pop superstar took the stage inside the Park Theater at the Park MGM resort for opening night of Lady Gaga Jazz and Piano, the...
Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Abortion] Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece Says Planned Parenthood is ‘Inhuman,’ ‘Inhumane’

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Niece, Alveda King, slammed abortion mill operator Planned Parenthood for linking itself to her famous uncle's civil rights cause.

The post Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece Says Planned Parenthood is ‘Inhuman,’ ‘Inhumane’ appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Abortion] Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece Says Planned Parenthood is ‘Inhuman,’ ‘Inhumane’

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Niece, Alveda King, slammed abortion mill operator Planned Parenthood for linking itself to her famous uncle's civil rights cause.

The post Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece Says Planned Parenthood is ‘Inhuman,’ ‘Inhumane’ appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[The Blog] California may ban paper receipts next, but it won’t make much of a difference

"In reality, the 'Skip the Slip' measure would have almost no impact"

The post California may ban paper receipts next, but it won’t make much of a difference appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[US News] YIKES: Kamala Harris’ 2020 campaign has ALREADY made hypocrisy detectors explode

"She's literally one of those people she describes."

The post YIKES: Kamala Harris’ 2020 campaign has ALREADY made hypocrisy detectors explode appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[Markets] Shocking Admission By FBI Veteran Shows Why The FBI Shouldn't Exist

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

On the 18th of November, 1964, the FBI’s appallingly corrupt boss J. Edgar Hoover denounced Martin Luther King Jr. as “the most notorious liar in the country.” A few days later, a Hoover deputy named William Sullivan wrote King a letter posing as a disillusioned follower and using powerful, manipulative language to urge the civil rights leader to commit suicide before evidence of his extramarital affair became public. Enclosed was an FBI recording containing evidence of the affair.

Whenever America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day we should remind ourselves that it is a known, undisputed fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation engineered a psyop to manipulate one of the world’s greatest minds into committing suicide. It is also worth reviewing the compelling argument for the case that the FBI was behind King’s assassination as well.

Hoover, who headed the FBI for decades, obsessively despised King on a deeply personal level. He kept files on the civil rights leader in which he’d scribble hateful comments on memos he received about King, apparently for no purpose other than his own gratification and catharsis. On a memo about King receiving the St. Francis peace medal from the Catholic Church, he wrote “This is disgusting.” On the news of King’s meeting with the pope, he scribbled, “I am amazed that the Pope gave an audience to such a degenerate.”

FBI headquarters still wears the name of this childish pig, a brazen admission by the Bureau that it remains very much the same institution which tried to end Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, the same institution which assassinatedBlack Panthers leader Fred Hampton, the same institution which for years ran the unconstitutional COINTELPRO campaign to infiltrate and sabotage dissident political groups, and which has continued to infiltrate dissident political groups, including Black civil rights groups, to this very day.

We received yet another reminder of the FBI’s true face the other day in an interview with its former Deputy Assistant Director Terry Turchie on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight. In a passing tangent largely unrelated to the rest of the interview, Turchie made the following shocking statement in relation to the ongoing Russiagate saga:

“And I think we can expect more of this, because quite honestly the electorate in some places is putting more and more progressives and self-described socialists in positions. And ironically, years ago, when I first got into the FBI, one of the missions of the FBI in its counterintelligence efforts was to try and keep these people out of government. Why? Because we would end up with massive dysfunction and massive disinformation and massive misinformation, and it seems to me that’s where we’re at today.”

Wow.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Turchie joined the FBI in July of 1972. COINTELPRO, the program in which leftist groups were actively infiltrated and undermined, officially ended in 1971, and Hoover had died in May of 1972. This was after “Hoover’s FBI” stopped being Hoover’s FBI, yet a “counterintelligence effort” was still very much alive and thriving to undermine the will of the electorate and prevent them from electing leftists to office.

This one admission, by itself, is in my opinion more than enough to justify the FBI’s total dissolution. Leaving aside any of their other malfeasance that I mentioned earlier, leaving aside the rest of their other documented malfeasance that I haven’t mentioned, this one admission by Turchie shows clearly that America’s secret police should cease to exist.

Think about it. How can anyone justify the FBI’s continued existence after such an admission? There is an extremely powerful branch of the US government which is known to have been actively undermining the democratic will of the electorate through covert means. Even if you very trustingly subscribe to the belief that the FBI no longer engages in any such practices to any extent (and that would be extremely naive), how can you justify keeping it in power knowing that it did? Where precisely in the FBI’s history is a clear, clean, unequivocal break from what it was doing then declared, documented and evidenced? For what reason was it not razed to the ground decades ago and any of its actual necessary functions transferred elsewhere?

Imagine if the Ku Klux Klan had successfully cleaned up its image in the ’90s or something. Now you’re seeing members of the KKK interviewed on CNN and MSNBC as respectable members of society, holding powerful political positions, treated like heroes, all under the same banner it held when it was lynching people of color a few decades prior. Would that not seem weird? Would you not say something like “Wait, why are we keeping that organization around? At best they’re probably just putting a nicer face on their previous toxic agendas, especially since any good intentions existing within it could simply be taken somewhere with a less horrific history.”

The only reason the FBI is being treated any differently is because it’s got such good PR, namely the entire political/media class.

Journalist Mark Ames documents a short-lived push by the Carter administration to “transform the FBI from an extralegal secret police agency to something legal and defined.” This feeble proposition to give the Bureau an actual charter to clearly define what it is, what it does, and where the confines of its operations are was the closest America ever came to putting any kind of limitations on the powers of its secret police force, and by the time Reagan rolled around it was long forgotten.

And now you’ve got this same evil institution essentially criminalizing the act of the executive branch pursuing good relations with a nuclear superpower, launching a secret counterintelligence investigation into whether a sitting president is a national security threat for his Russia policy. This cannot be leading anywhere good.

The FBI has too much power and far too unforgivable a history to be permitted to control the reigns of the nation with the most powerful military force in the history of civilization. Get rid of it and move in a healthy direction.

*  *  *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet new merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[] Fox Accidentally Puts Up Graphic Announcing Ginsburg's Death and Left Just Can't Even Fox & Friends Apologizes for Accidental Graphic Saying Ruth Bader Ginsburg is Dead https://t.co/mR2CxtLbKJ pic.twitter.com/mVZFSbbygQ— Mediaite (@Mediaite) January 21, 2019 Probably like CBS had one showing Barbara Bush had died...Before she died.— marcus blake johnson (@blakejohnso) January 21, 2019... Published:1/21/2019 3:15:32 PM
[World] Dan Kildee on Border Funding Battle, Government Shutdown, Furloughed Workers

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) said Democrats are willing to negotiate with President Trump on border security, but they are demanding the government is re-opened first.

Published:1/21/2019 2:42:42 PM
[Politics] Rep. Walker: Pelosi, Schumer Border Wall Terms 'Preposterous' The terminology House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are using to define President Donald Trump's insistence of a border wall is "preposterous," Rep. Mark Walker, said Monday. Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[Politics] Reducing Recidivism with Commonsense Licensing Reform in NJ Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[Markets] Federal Reserve Confesses Sole Responsibility For All Recessions

Authored by David Haggith via The Great Recession blog,

In a surprisingly candid admission, two former Federal Reserve chairs have stated that the Federal Reserve alone is responsible for creating all recessions in the United States.

First, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said that

Expansions don’t die of old age. They get murdered.
MarketWatch

To clarify this statement, former Chair Janet Yellen placed the murder weapon in the Fed’s hands:

Two things usually end them... One is financial imbalances, and the other is the Fed.

Think that through, and you quickly realize that both of those things are the Fed. Is there anyone left standing who would not say the Fed’s quantitative easing in the past decade was the biggest cause of financial imbalances all over the world in history? Moreover, whose profligate monetary policies led to the Great Financial Crisis that gave us the Great Recession?

So, the Fed loads the gun with financial causes and then pulls the trigger. In fact, I think it would be hard to find a major financial imbalance in the US that the Fed did not have a hand in creating or, at least, enabling. Therefore, if those are the only two causes, then it is always the Federal Reserve that causes recessions by its own admission.

And, yet, those Fed dons look so pleased with themselves.

Yellen went on to say that when the Fed is the culprit, it is generally because the central bank is forced to tighten policy to curtail inflation and ends up overplaying its hand. (She didn’t mention that the Fed’s monetary policy may have a hand in creating financial imbalances.)

Exactly, nor did she mention that the inflation they were “forced” to curtail always happens because of financial imbalances the Fed created or enabled. That is why I call our expansion-recession cycles, rinse-and-repeat cycles. Therefore, the Fed is only forced by its own ill-conceived actions. First you have to create the imbalance, which causes the economy and stocks to inflate, then you have to pull the trigger to shoot that down by tightening into a recession, which the Fed always does:

Bernanke elaborated on Yellen’s point, accusing the central bank of, in essence, murder. It takes an aggressive act on the part of the monetary authority to bring an expanding economy to a halt and cause it to shift into reverse.

Yellen and Bernanke were speaking at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Atlanta earlier this month in the company of current Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

As I demonstrated in my two earlier articles this week (“Does Inverted Yield Curve Indicate Recession?” and “What is an inverted yield curve and what does it mean?“), the Fed carries out this act of econocide by getting the yield curve to invert via its forced interest changes. As shown in those articles, every recession has been immediately preceded by a Fed-created inversion of the yield curve — the Fed’s smoking gun.

The Fed Fix Is Almost In

As noted in those articles, today’s yield curve has already slipped into its penultimate inversion. First (on December third), three-year notes started paying more interest than five-year notes. (The five-year was at 2.83% interest, while the three-year hit just over that at 2.84%.) In essence, investors were betting the economy would be a tad better in five years than it would in three.

Within a matter of weeks, the three-year notes were paying more than seven-year notes. Then, just about Christmastime, they started paying more than eight-year notes, inverting the yield curve even further out. The orange recession indicator light comes on when they take the next step of paying more than ten-year notes; and above that we go full recessionary red! The first three came all within in a month, so the rest may come just as quickly.

In fact, we’re so close that one more rate increase by the Fed could pull the trigger. This is why Powell can be so reassuring about pulling back soon on targeted interest-rate increases. He knows he’s already operating with a hair trigger because of the Fed’s other tightening action in rolling bonds off of its balance sheet.

Like a skilled sharp-shooter, Powell recently said the Fed is “watching and waiting” before it pulls the trigger with its next rate increase. At the same time, he suggested his balance-sheet reduction won’t end for awhile (and, of course, the Fed knows that its balance sheet reduction is skewing the yield curve faster than the Fed’s targeted interest-rate increases.

I’ve said before that those interest-rate increases are now just playing verbal catch-up to what the balance sheet reduction is doing in the open market. In other words, the balance sheet reduction is pulling the Fed’s targeted interest rates up, regardless of what is says, so it is pressed to state it intends an increase just to keep up with the effects of balance-sheet reduction. Last summer the Fed tactic admitted this when…

The Fed raised the target range for its benchmark rate by a quarter point to 1.75 percent to 2 percent, but only increased the rate it pays banks on cash held with it overnight to 1.95 percent. The step was designed to keep the federal funds rate from rising above the target range. Previously, the Fed set the rate of interest on reserves at the top of the target range. -Bloomberg

In other words, the Fed had to change the way it calibrates some interest rates because other factors than their change in their stated target rate were driving rates up. In order to keep bank demand for Fed funds from pushing the rate above 2%, the Fed set its stated rate at 1.95% to create some headroom. That’s explained as…

Officials have said that, as they drain cash from the system by shrinking the balance sheet, a rise in the federal funds rate within their target range would be an important sign that liquidity is becoming scarce…. The increase appears to be mainly driven by another factor: the U.S. Treasury ramped up issuance of short-term U.S. government bills, which drove up yields on those and other competing assets, including in the overnight market.

And that is what is now happening, but they are still planning to keep tightening by reducing their balance sheet. What is not said there is that the major reason the US Treasury is ramping up its issuance of government bills is that the Fed’s unwind is forcing them to refinance maturing bills on the open market as the Fed now refuses to refi those bills. I’ve maintained for a couple of years that the unwind will drive up other interest rates, causing problems throughout the economy.

Gunsmoke And Mirrors

So, the Fed’s recent talk about reducing the number of rate increases in the Fed’s interest target is slight of hand because the Fed’s unwind is doing the heavy lifting here, driving up rates faster than the Fed changes its stated target rate. Powell assures everyone the Fed will slow down its interest-rate increases, even as the Fed pushes right ahead with its balance-sheet unwind, which is doing the most to invert the yield curve.

Powells only defense against concerns expressed about balance-sheet reduction was…

“We are looking carefully at that, and the truth is, we don’t know with any precision,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the increase. “Really, no one does. You can’t run experiments with one effect and not the other.”

Not too reassuring to hear the Fed Head say no one really has any idea what impact its balance-sheet unwind will have on other interest rates. Does the Fed not know, or does the Fed just not want to say what it does know?

For additional cover as to whether the yield-curve inversions the Fed creates will cause a recession this time as they did in all previous times, Yellen, protested, as I noted in an earlier article this week, that this time is different:

Now there is a strong correlation historically between yield curve inversions and recessions, but let me emphasize that correlation is not causation, and I think that there are good reasons to think that the relationship between the slope of the yield curve and the business cycle may have changed.

It’s not every day that the Fed admits total culpability for the death of every expansionary period. Nor that it admits that the inflation its expansionist monetary policies create force it to become the culprit. Nor that it routinely overplays its hand.

Apparently, the Fed Heads are so comfortable with all of this (hence the smarmy looks in their photos above) that the economic murderers can confess in broad daylight every murder they are responsible for with complete impunity, even as they tell you where the bodies are buried. However, because they still have their next economic massacre to commit right before your eyes and don’t want you to stop them, they wish to assure you that “we can’t possibly know what will happen” now or “this time is different. Things have changed.”

The words “I can’t know what will happen” when a gunslinger is twirling his cocked and loaded pistol with his finger on the trigger, should not give you comfort.

Perhaps all these confession now will enable them to smile even bigger when the slaughter is over, and they know they did it this time in broad daylight.

Of course, there is one major difference this time. In all previous times, the Fed didn’t have the most massive balance-sheet unwind pushing interest rates all around so it had to rely more on its conventional tool of incremental changes in the its targeted interest rate. The new existence of that big gun mean it can who you it is putting away the little gun to disarm you because it has a cannon pointing at you from just inside the woods to your left. Thus, Powell said disarmingly,

More rate hikes wasn’t a pre-set plan and the forecast of two moves was conditional on a “very strong outlook for 2019.” - MarketWatch

In other words, keep your eye on the rate hikes I keep talking about (the little gun), not on the big balance sheet reductions that we put on autopilot so we don’t have to talk about them. Like a great hunter, Powell said the Fed can be patient.

Some analysts believe the Fed’s runoff of its balance sheet is hurting financial markets and want the central bank to end the program.

Gee, ya think? A runoff that intends to force the US government to refinance an additional $2 trillion over the next 3-4 years on the open market might be hurting financial markets more than a quarter-point increase in the Fed’s interest target every few months?

One analyst who disagrees with Powell is Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group:

“It’s no coincidence that accidents begin to pick-up the deeper you get into tightening … QE inflated markets to very high valuations. It’s wishful thinking to believe QT isn’t going to have an impact.”

By shrinking its balance sheet, the Fed is draining the liquidity that sent stocks booming. - CNN

Some of the Fed’s colleagues at other central banks also agree and express concern about what this will do to them:

Last month, Irjit Patel, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, pleaded with the Fed to slow plans to shrink its balance sheet. If the Fed doesn’t shift course, “a crisis in the rest of the dollar bond markets is inevitable,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Financial Times.

Other Fed members are just as aware of the Fed’s institutional murder rates as Bernanke and Yellen. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told the Wall Street Journal this month that a recessionary risk is being telegraphed by what is now happening in the yield curve and that the Fed is causing the flattening of the curve toward inversion. So, these guys all appear to be well aware of what they are doing.

However, to maintain the distraction, Bullard also said,

In separate remarks to reporters …. he was open to a revisiting the balance sheet runoff but doesn’t think it is damaging markets as some argue. Bullard [said] that if the balance sheet runoff was impacting bond market as some suggest, then yields would be moving higher instead of the steady decline seen since November.

The latter would be happening, except that money has been pouring rapidly out of stocks and into bonds due to the rate increases the unwind created in September and October. What he ignores is the fact that rate increases were so substantial they sucked massive amounts of money out of the stock market in a flood of capital flight because all of a sudden treasury interest looked quite enticing. That, of course, pushed those rates down some in November.

So, “Nothing to see there, folks. Keep your eye on the little gun; and, oh, did we tell you that we have murdered every economic expansion in history?”

Who’s your daddy?

Now that we’ve heard the confessions from the murderers and have experienced the diversions that will allow the next murder to happen as much in plain sight as the confessions just happened, let’s look at the case from another angle: What has been keeping the stock market alive and hopping over the past decade?

Let me lay out evidence that it is clearly the Fed.

Exhibit A: What turned around the market’s major crash in 2009? The Fed’s QE1. Does anyone think the market would have turned around without that massive intervention? Was that intervention with hundreds of billions of dollars mere window-dressing, or was it the greatest financial intervention to a financial crisis the world had ever seen?

Exhibit B: What turned the market around the next time it “corrected” as soon as QE1 ended? Was it not instant QE2? More hundreds of billions of dollars?

Exhibit C: What saved the market when Republicans played roulette with the nation’s credit rating in the summer of 2011 and shot themselves in the foot politically when Standard & Poor’s gave the nation its first credit downgrade before Republicans even had the chance to let the nation default? Was it not the immediate promise of an ever bigger, indefinitely ongoing new kind of QE called Operation Twist, which morphed into QE3?

Exhibit D: Then, when markets tumbled in 2015 and 2016, because the Fed was backing off from monetary stimulus, their colleagues in other countries jumped in with their own QE. More than $5 trillion worth in 2016! All told, the world’s central banks have pumped in $15 trillion since then.

But now they are all stopping!

Exhibit E: The prosecution presents a full picture of all central-bank stock salvation:

The Fed may claim that it does not attempt to rescue markets and that it looks only at economic indicators, yet somehow every time the market took a major plunge in the graph above, the Fed was instantly on the scene with a new invention of monetary stimulus in massive doses. Of course, “correlation is not causation.” Correlation is pretty interesting, though, especially when it happens at every plunge, except the one at the top that is plunging much further than any other time on this graph … because one thing IS different: No one is stepping in with salvation this time.

If the Fed has been the salvation of the market again and again, lifting it higher and higher, what happens if the Fed and other CBs let the stock market drop? Do you think they won’t do that? The highest authorities in the Fed just told you they did it every other time. First, they create massive “financial instability,” as Yellen said, otherwise known as “bubbles,” which grow due to the Fed’s infinite capacity to create monetary stimulus. They let these grow until inflation finally “forces” them to tighten until they crash them.

The prosecution presents Exhibit F:

This one is the Fed and all its major partners in crime. When did stock markets start to plunge all over the world? Wasn’t it as soon as global QT started to reverse at the end of that graph in 2018? Ah, but “correlation is not causation.” Except that it kind of is when you keep finding correlation everywhere you turn.

If the defense wants to argue the US market is not utterly dependent on the Fed’s constant protection, let me ask, “What did the market do in September of 2018 when the Fed removed one little word from its market-soothing speeches? Accommodative. Just as it watched its balance sheet-reduction up to full rewind speed.” It took its biggest plunge by far in the entire ten-year recovery period. As nearly everyone was saying, nothing bad suddenly emerged in the economy. All that changed was the Fed to merely implying it would be less accommodative to market concerns as it moved to full unwind.

If you still think the Fed isn’t going to kill the economy this time, I have one more question for you: When was the last time the Fed raised rates in the middle of a major market “correction?” How about never. Yet, now it is raising rates and reducing money supply via balance-sheet reduction at the same time that it hints it is removing accommodation.

But balance-sheet reduction doesn’t matter, right?

“We don’t believe that our issuance [new bond to replace those rolling off the balance sheet] is an important part of the story of the market turbulence that began in the fourth quarter of last year. But, I’ll say again, if we reached a different conclusion, we wouldn’t hesitate to make a change,” Powell said. “If we came to the view that the balance sheet normalization plan — or any other aspect of normalization — was part of the problem, we wouldn’t hesitate to make a change.” - MarketWatch

In other words, “Don’t look at the big gun. Nothing to see there.” Said the people who have just told you that none of their expansions ever ended until they murdered it!

Does the Fed have motive?

Don’t ask me why the Fed will kill its own recovery. It is enough that it admits it always does. So, I’ll leave determining which of the many possible “why’s” up to you. Maybe the Fed will cop an insanity plea and say that even it doesn’t know why it does the things it does. Whatever their actual motive, this sure has the Fed’s unswerving M.O. all over it. It has their fingerprints and their multiple confessions of guilt.

Still, let me lay out a couple of motives that are popular among those many people attribute to the Fed just to show there are plenty of possible motives out there:

Maybe the Fed’s member banks, who own and run the Fed (as its only shareholders and as governing board members who have huge influence over who the additional government-appointed board members are), like to repossess things. That would be a motive.

Or maybe they want to create a new cashless, digital, global monetary system. That would be a motive.

Or maybe, if they can crash things as perennially as Japan has done for score or more of years, they can get permission to start buying stocks directly, and use their infinite money supply, as Japan, has done to take major ownership in all the stocks of the nation.

Numerous conspiracy theories spend entire books making a strong case for different motives. I won’t land on one, but will note that all that matters is that there are plenty of motives to choose from.

Sure, Yellen protested that “correlation isn’t causation,” but, on the other, she admitted causation by saying that, when the Fed is the culprit, it is generally because the central bank is forced to tighten policy to curtail inflation — inflation that only the Fed causes by creating trillions of dollars monetary stimulus. There only struggle this time to stay within their M.O. is that they have failed to create inflation in the general economy that they are supposed to govern. Maybe that is why they have pushed the expansion into the longest in history because they are obsessed with following their usual M.O., and inflation didn’t cooperate this time to “force” them to tighten into recession (their cover story).

So, we have multiple confessions of murder by known Fed ringleaders. We have numerous pieces of circumstantial evidence that support their confessions. We have many possible motives. And, even the fact that the Fed continued pushing expansion longer than it has with more and more rounds of QE can be explained by its M.O. How many times has the Fed said they don’t understand why they couldn’t get inflation to rise to their 2% target for years. They could hardly claim inflation concerns when everyone knew CPI was under the target they’ve always said they want. Now it’s there. So, everything is in place.

I rest my case.

Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[Entertainment] Here's Why Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron Might Actually Be Dating Charlize Theron, Brad PittHas Hollywood found its next power couple? Certain tabloids have fans shipping the possibility of a romance between Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron, especially after People reported the...
Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[The Blog] Looks like #MeToo and “Ban the Box” aren’t a very good fit

Not in their back yard

The post Looks like #MeToo and “Ban the Box” aren’t a very good fit appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[Markets] The Wall Street Journal: Facebook’s WhatsApp limits ability to forward messages in fake-news crackdown Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp is limiting users’ ability to forward messages across the platform, after criticism it has been used to spread misinformation and rumors, and sometimes stoke violence.
Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[Entertainment] Celebrities who have a twin From the Olsen twins to Scarlett Johansson and her fraternal twin brother, these celebrities have a twin that you may or may not have known about.
     
 
 
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[Entertainment] YAAAS! If you think what Ana Navarro, Bill Kristol, and others tweet is bad Screenshot Bot shows you what they DELETE and WOW

There is a new fabulous account on Twitter called Screenshot Bot which we think will make our jobs much easier and a heckuva lot funnier. Basically what this account does is it somehow keeps track of what political accounts tweet and then delete … which is a big part of what we do. Luckily they […]

The post YAAAS! If you think what Ana Navarro, Bill Kristol, and others tweet is bad Screenshot Bot shows you what they DELETE and WOW appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[Uncategorized] Germany Bans Iran’s Terror-Linked Mahan Air German Foreign Office: The ban necessary for "safeguarding security interests of Germany." Published:1/21/2019 2:42:41 PM
[topics:things/celebrity-news] Egyptian TV presenter sentenced to year in jail for interviewing gay prostitute Published:1/21/2019 2:42:40 PM
[worldNews] Report reveals an undeclared North Korean missile base headquarters One of 20 undeclared ballistic missile operating bases in North Korea serves as a missile headquarters, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published on Monday.
Published:1/21/2019 2:42:40 PM
[2019 News] Meet the Bigs Meet the Bigs, personification of liberal insanity. The Bigs are white people who identify as black, to the point where they have undergone melanin injections and hormone treatments to darken their skin, and Mrs. Big even traveled to Kenya to have a religious leader “baptize her as a real African woman.” Now they firmly believe […] Published:1/21/2019 2:42:40 PM
[Left Column] New Study: Modern Warming Was Driven By ‘Primarily Natural’ Factors – Global Cooling Has Now Begun

An analysis published in the journal Atmospheric and Climate Sciences reveals the 1880-2013 temperature changes fit “perfectly” (0.9 correlation) into a calculation utilizing 15,295 periodic functions of natural variation...The authors claim this affirms that the non-anthropogenic “major climate factors” (i.e., solar-cloud and ENSO forcing) can still be considered the “main reason” driving modern warming.

Four climate scientists assert (1) the last ~130 years of temperature changes fit “perfectly” into statistical indices of natural variation, and (2) a long-term deep cooling of the Earth system has recently commenced.

Published:1/21/2019 2:42:40 PM
[Politics] Trump Slams Dems Over Shutdown President Donald Trump took another swipe at Democrats on Monday on Twitter for refusing his proposal to end the government shutdown, now in its 31st day, and urged voters to put Republicans back in the majority in the House in the next election. Published:1/21/2019 2:11:34 PM
[The Blog] Gillibrand: That debunked Buzzfeed report sure does show that the president obstructed justice

"Even though the special counsel disputes it?"

The post Gillibrand: That debunked Buzzfeed report sure does show that the president obstructed justice appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[worldNews] Venezuela arrests rogue officers after military revolt in Caracas Venezuela's government said on Monday it had suppressed a military revolt after a group of officers stole weapons and kidnapped several officials, as a video posted online showed a sergeant demanding the removal of President Nicolas Maduro.
Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Civil Liberties] Orwellianism, privatized (Paul Mirengoff) This post by Jim Geraghty at NRO is so timely and so well-put that I’m taking the liberty of quoting it in its entirety and without comment: There is no sinister, government-run mass-surveillance system watching our every move. The vast majority of us chose to carry around smartphones with cameras, and some of us chose to livestream so much of what we see, whether it’s dramatic or not. Big Brother Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Entertainment] Celebrities who have twins From the Olsen twins to Scarlett Johansson and her fraternal twin brother, these celebrities have a twin that you may or may not have known about.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Markets] Iran Ready To "Eliminate Israel From The Earth"; IDF Trolls Tehran Over Twitter

The head of Iran's air force said on Monday that the Islamic Republic's pilots are looking forward to facing Israel, and will "eliminate it from earth" after Israeli airstrikes on alleged Iranian targets inside Syria killed 11 people, including four Syrian soldiers. 

Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh, commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) made the comments to the Young Journalist Club news agency following Israel's strike on munition storage facilities within Damascus International Airport, a military training camp and an Iranian intelligence site, according to The Independent

"The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth," said Nasirzadeh.

Israel claims it launched the strikes in retaliation for a surface-to-surface rocket fired on Sunday by Iran's Quds Force from within Syria at a ski resort in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which was intercepted by Israeli air defenses. 

"That’s a civilian site and there were civilians there," said Israeli army spokesman Lt. General Jonathan Conricus Monday morning, adding "We saw that as an unacceptable attack by Iranian troops, not proxies in Syria." 

"In addition to that, the area from which the Iranians fired their missile is an area we have been promised that the Iranians would not be present in. We know it was not done in the spur of the moment, it was a premeditated attack."

The Israeli military said the sorties hit Iran’s “main storage hub in Syria” used to transport Iranian weapons to allies in Syria including Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Israel recently acknowledged carrying out hundreds of strikes in Syria over the last few years but has previously refrained from commenting for fear of triggering a reaction and being drawn into the deadly fighting in Syria, which is in the grips of an eight-year civil war. 

Monday’s announcement marked the first time they had reported strikes in real time and released detailed information since last May 2018, when Israel claimed to have struck almost all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria, following another rocket attack on its positions in the Golan. -The Independent

Israel said on Monday that Syria had ignored its warning over the upcoming strikes, so they were forced to target Syria's aerial defense batteries which fired "dozens" of surface-to-air missiles at Israel's planes. 

Israeli military release graphic of the targets in Syria their warplanes struck on Monday (Israeli army / handout )

"The [army] holds the Syrian regime responsible for everything taking place within Syria and warns the Syrian regime against targeting Israel or permitting it to be targeted," read a statement by the Israeli army. 

"Israel is determined to continue to prevent Iranians from building an independent war machine in Syria and is ready to take the risk of exchange of fire,” he told reporters in a briefing," said retired Israeli Maj. Gen Yaakov Amidror, who was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's national security adviser until 2013 - calling the airstrikes a signal to Iran about har far Israel is willing to go. 

"The more Iranians try to launch rockets into Israel the more severe will be the attack in response," he added. "It is about a strong signal to Iranians. We’re ready to escalate if you don’t stop."

The Israel Defense Force, meanwhile, trolled Iran over Twitter with a map of the Middle East showing an arrow to Syria labeled "where Iran is," and arrows over Iran which read "where Iran belongs." 

Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Politics] Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Advances in New Jersey Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[topics:things/migrants] Border Force ships ordered to patrol channel for migrants are still in the Mediterranean and won't be deployed until February Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Crime] Undocumented Immigrant is Suspected Serial Killer of 4 in Nevada

A nineteen-year-old illegal alien was arrested in Nevada and is suspected of being a serial killer who murdered four people, three of them women.

The post Undocumented Immigrant is Suspected Serial Killer of 4 in Nevada appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Crime] Undocumented Immigrant is Suspected Serial Killer of 4 in Nevada

A nineteen-year-old illegal alien was arrested in Nevada and is suspected of being a serial killer who murdered four people, three of them women.

The post Undocumented Immigrant is Suspected Serial Killer of 4 in Nevada appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Quick Takes] Student Loan Debt Contributing to Declining Home Ownership "Outstanding student loan debt surpassed $1.5 trillion in 2018 – second only to mortgage debt" Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[bb1e8cea-16d8-50f1-96dc-25ee69f5abed] The Patriots head to the Super Bowl -- As a fan, all I can say is they hate us 'cause they ain't us Never has the sports world seen a confluence of ownership, head coach, and star athlete that’s lasted anything close to the nearly two decades of Kraft, Belichick and Brady. Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Media] Grrl, WUT?! Blue check rage-harpy uses Covington school’s Nick Sandmann’s statement to prove being pro-life is about HATE

Nobody ever claimed pro-aborts are the brightest crayons in the box. Ok, so even though we’re seeing more and more information that proves Nick Sandmann and the other students from Covington Catholic High School were not in the wrong, our friendly neighborhood SJWs are front and center trying to exploit the situation to push their […]

The post Grrl, WUT?! Blue check rage-harpy uses Covington school’s Nick Sandmann’s statement to prove being pro-life is about HATE appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 2:11:33 PM
[Comedy] @Kristen_Arnett good morning to everyone but especially the woman in 7-eleven who whispered “fill ‘er up” as she poured coke AND coffee into the same big gulp cup Published:1/21/2019 1:42:04 PM
[World] David Webb Accuses Democrats of Playing Stupid Games in Border Security Negotiations

Fox Nation host David Webb said Monday that Democrats are trying to win their battle with President Trump on border security without actually negotiating with him.

Published:1/21/2019 1:42:04 PM
[Politics] Stop-and-Frisk May Pose a Problem for Bloomberg in 2020 Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg could have a problem should he decide to run for president in 2020 over the “stop-and-frisk” policy he supported, CNN reports. Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[The Blog] Let’s talk about that garbage non-call at the end of the Saints/Rams game

What.

The post Let’s talk about that garbage non-call at the end of the Saints/Rams game appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[fe3fbf8c-aa94-587d-b3b1-30f103eaa1b0] Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Wasley says fat-shaming comment made her diet for years Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kate Wasley lamented on Instagram that a rude comment from a teacher drove her to years of "hard dieting." Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[worldNews] Germany bans Iranian airline from its airspace after U.S. pressure Germany has revoked the license of an Iranian airline because it has been transporting military equipment and personnel to Syria and other Middle East war zones, the foreign ministry said on Monday, after heavy U.S. pressure on Berlin to act.
Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[topics:things/classical-concerts] Simon Mayo announces new classical radio station becoming the latest presenter to defect from the BBC Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[Entertainment] Remnants reportedly from Prince Philip's car crash listed on eBay Prince Philip had a car accident, and now someone is selling what they say is the wreckage on eBay for charity. Keri Lumm reports.
     
 
 
Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[Politics] Inspector Warner, Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Doesn’t Know

The post Inspector Warner, Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Doesn’t Know appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[Markets] We Need A Martin Luther King Day Of Truth

Authored by Edward Curtin via OffGuardian.com,

As Martin Luther King’s birthday is celebrated with a national holiday, his death day disappears down the memory hole. Across the country – in response to the King Holiday and Service Act passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1994 – people will be encouraged to make the day one of service. Such service does not include King’s commitment to protest a decadent system of racial and economic injustice or non-violently resist the U.S. warfare state that he called “the greatest purveyor of violence on earth.”

Government sponsored service is cultural neo-liberalism at its finest, the promotion of individualism at the expense of a mass movement for radical institutional change.

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous,” warned Dr. King, “than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

How true those words. For the government that honors Dr. King with a national holiday killed him. This is the suppressed truth behind the highly promoted day of service. It is what you are not supposed to know. It is what Thomas Merton, as quoted by James W. Douglass, called The Unspeakable:

It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said; the void that gets into the language of public and officials declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his service.”

The word service is a loaded word; it has become a smiley face and vogue word over the past 35 years. Its use for MLK Day is clear: individuals are encouraged to volunteer for activities such as tutoring children, painting senior centers, or delivering meals to the elderly, activities that are good in themselves but far less good when used to conceal an American prophet’s radical message. After all, Martin Luther King’s work was not volunteering at the local food pantry with Oprah Winfrey cheering him on.

THE ASSASSINATION

King was not murdered because he had spent his heroic life promoting individual volunteerism. To understand his life and death – to celebrate the man – “it is essential to realize although he is popularly depicted and perceived as a civil rights leader, he was much more than that. A non-violent revolutionary, he personified the most powerful force for a long overdue social, political, and economic reconstruction of the nation.” Those are the words of William Pepper, the King family lawyer, from his comprehensive and definitive study of the King assassination, The Plot to Kill King, a book that should be read by anyone concerned with truth and justice.

Revolutionaries are, of course, anathema to the power elites who, with all their might, resist such rebels’ efforts to transform society. If they can’t buy them off, they knock them off. Fifty one years after King’s assassination, the causes he fought for – civil rights, the end to U.S. wars of aggression, and economic justice for all – remain not only unfulfilled, but have worsened in so many respects. And King’s message has been enervated by the sly trick of giving him a national holiday and then urging Americans to make it “a day of service.” The vast majority of those who innocently participate in these activities have no idea who killed King, or why. If they did, they might pause in their tracks, and combine their “service” activities with a teach-in on the truth of his assassination.

Because MLK repeatedly called the United States the “greatest purveyor of violence on earth,” he was universally condemned by the mass media and government that later – once he was long and safely dead and no longer a threat – praised him to the heavens. This has continued to the present day of historical amnesia.

Educating people about the fact that U.S. government forces conspired to kill Dr. King, and why, and why it matters today, is the greatest service we can render to his memory.

William Pepper’s decades-long investigation not only refutes the flimsy case against the alleged assassin James Earl Ray, but definitively proves that King was killed by a government conspiracy led by J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI, Army Intelligence, and the Memphis Police, assisted by southern Mafia figures.

THE TRIAL

This shocking truth is accentuated when one is reminded (or told for the first time) that in 1999 a Memphis jury, after a thirty day civil trial with over seventy witnesses, found the U.S. government guilty in the killing of MLK. The King family had brought the suit and Pepper represented them. They were grateful that the truth was confirmed, but saddened by the way the findings were buried by the media in cahoots with the government.

Pepper not only demolishes the government’s self-serving case with a plethora of evidence, but shows how the mainstream media, academia, and government flacks have spent years covering up the truth of MLK’s murder through lies and disinformation. Another way they have accomplished this is by convincing a gullible public that “service” is a substitute for truth.

But service without truth is a disservice to the life, legacy, and radical witness of this great American hero. It is propaganda aimed at convincing decent people that they are serving the essence of MLK’s message while they are obeying their masters, the very government that murdered him.

It is time to rebel against the mind manipulation served by the MLK Day of Service. Let us offer service, but let us also learn and speak the truth.

“He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery,” King told us, “Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth.”

Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[Media] ‘What a joke’: Soledad O’Brien’s attempt to own Laura Ingraham on March for Life blows up in her face [pics]

Embarrassing.

The post ‘What a joke’: Soledad O’Brien’s attempt to own Laura Ingraham on March for Life blows up in her face [pics] appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:1/21/2019 1:42:03 PM
[World] Kirsten Gillibrand Has Changed Views on Immigration, Guns, LGBT Rights: 'Outnumbered' Reacts

The "Outnumbered" panel on Monday reacted to the backlash facing 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand over her past statements and stances.

Published:1/21/2019 1:15:15 PM
[structure:news] World leaders shun Davos amid crises at home Published:1/21/2019 1:15:14 PM
[Politics] WOOPS! Fox News accidently displays graphic of a DEAD Ruth Bader Ginsburg! [VIDEO] Fox News mistakenly aired a graphic this morning showing that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died…even though she hasn’t. Here’s the video: Here’s a screenshot in case you missed it: Yikes! That should . . . Published:1/21/2019 1:15:14 PM
[Politics] WOOPS! Fox News accidently displays graphic of a DEAD Ruth Bader Ginsburg! [VIDEO] Fox News mistakenly aired a graphic this morning showing that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died…even though she hasn’t. Here’s the video: Here’s a screenshot in case you missed it: Yikes! That should . . . Published:1/21/2019 1:15:14 PM
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