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[World] Migrant Family Separation: Greg Gutfeld Says Left Overplayed the Hand in Border Crisis

The panel on Saturday night's "Greg Gutfeld Show" discussed the tumultuous week the Trump administration had regarding migrant family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Published:6/24/2018 1:07:38 PM
[2699b5a6-79c9-45db-90c4-3607353f976c] Here's how to solve the immigration crisis Compromise and common sense are a good place to start. Published:6/24/2018 1:07:37 PM
[Politics] No, former Trump official, don’t say that to a black guy EVER EVER… The new outrage moment of today is when a former Trump official said to a black guy, “are you out of your cotton-picking mind?!?!” And that’s when the fight started. Watch below: . . . Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[Entertainment] World's Ugliest Dog 2018 Is English Bulldog Zsa Zsa Zsa Zsa, The World's Ugliest Dog CompetitionWhat a good girl! Zsa Zsa, a 9-year-old English bulldog, won the annual World's Ugliest Dog contest on Saturday at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds and Event Center in Petaluma,...
Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[Politics] Corker: Trump Abusing Authority With Tariffs Against Allies President Donald Trump is committing an "abuse of his authority" by justifying tariffs against European allies, Canada and other countries with his use of a section of the Federal Trade Act dealing with national security to justify his acts, Sen. Bob Corker said Sunday."It... Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[worldNews] Erdogan, ruling AK Party build comfortable lead in Turkish elections ANKARA (Reuters) - Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party took a comfortable lead in Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, according to preliminary partial results, boosting the president's hopes of extending his 15-year rule.
Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[Entertainment] Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent open up about surrogacy and their 'beautiful' family journey Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent talk surrogacy. The advice they share about making kids feel special is something every parent should hear.
     
 
 
Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[US News] In one tweet, David Axelrod makes a good point about Trump and proves he does NOT know the Left

Axelrod on Huckabee Sanders being thrown out of a restaurant.

The post In one tweet, David Axelrod makes a good point about Trump and proves he does NOT know the Left appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[Uncategorized] Poster-sized signs of change appear in North Korea "All the anti-American posters . . . they've all just gone" Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[topics:people/donald-trump] Donald Trump demands immediate return of undocumented arrivals as divisions roil America Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[Markets] "Hate-Speech"-Policing Big Tech Face Dozens Of Defamation Lawsuits After Settlement By SPLC

Over 60 organizations and 47 nonprofit leaders are mulling lawsuits against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after the organization settled with and apologized to a former Islamic radical, Maajid Nawaz, for $3.375 million because the organization included him in its bogus "Field Giude to Anti-Muslim Extremists." 

Nawaz, a practing Muslim who is specifically fighting Islamic extremism, was included in the "field guide" for criticizing the fringe elements of his own religion.

The SPLC "has lost all credibility," as explained by WaPo columnist Marc Thiessen:

The SPLC is a once-storied organization that did important work filing civil rights lawsuits against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. But it has become a caricature of itself, labeling virtually anyone who does not fall in line with its left-wing ideology an “extremist” or “hate group.”

Nawaz is a case in point. Since abandoning Islamic radicalism, he has advised three British prime ministers and created the Quilliam Foundation, to fight extremism. He is not anti-Muslim. He is a Muslim and has argued that “Islam is a religion of peace.”

So how did he end up in the SPLC’s pseudo-guide to anti-Muslim bigots? His crime, apparently, is that he has become a leading critic of the radical Islamist ideology he once embraced. Thanks to his courage, the SPLC has been forced to pay a multimillion-dollar penalty and acknowledge in a statement that it was “wrong” and that Nawaz has “made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”

And now, PJ Media reports that no fewer than 60 organizations and 47 nonprofit leaders are considering lawsuits against the SPLC for similar smears by the radical left-wing organization. 

"We, the undersigned, are among the organizations, groups and individuals that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has maligned, defamed and otherwise harmed by falsely describing as 'haters,' 'bigots,' 'Islamophobes' and/or other groundless epithets," the signatories declared. "We are gratified that the SPLC has today formally acknowledged that it has engaged in such misrepresentations."

"Journalists who uncritically parrot or cite the SPLC's unfounded characterizations of those it reviles do a profound disservice to their audiences," the signatories added.

"We haven't filed anything against the SPLC, but I think a number of organizations have been considering filing lawsuits against the SPLC because they have been doing to a lot of organizations exactly what they did to Maajid Nawaz," Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told PJ Media on Tuesday.

Paging Mike Cernovich...

Where does Silicon Valley fit in?

Contained within the Wednesday letter is a warning to companies such as Facebook, Amaaon, Google and Twitter - all of whom rely on the SPLC for guidance on "hate groups":

Editors, CEOs, shareholders and consumers alike are on notice: anyone relying upon and repeating its misrepresentations is complicit in the SPLC’s harmful defamation of large numbers of American citizens who, like the undersigned, have been vilified simply for working to protect our country and freedoms

And as the Daily Caller's Peter Hassan pointed out two weeks ago, Silicon Valley relies on the SPLC to police "hate speech":

Four of the world’s biggest tech platforms have working partnerships with a left-wing nonprofit that has a track record of inaccuracies and routinely labels conservative organizations as “hate groups.”

Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter all work with or consult the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in policing their platforms for “hate speech” or “hate groups,” a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

The SPLC is on a list of “external experts and organizations” that Facebook works with “to inform our hate speech policies,” Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja told TheDCNF in an interview.

...

Of the four companies, Amazon gives the SPLC the most direct authority over its platform, TheDCNF found.

While Facebook emphasizes its independence from the SPLC, Amazon does the opposite: Jeff Bezos’ company grants the SPLC broad policing power over the Amazon Smile charitable program, while claiming to remain unbiased.

“We remove organizations that the SPLC deems as ineligible,” an Amazon spokeswoman told TheDCNF.

Amazon grants the SPLC that power “because we don’t want to be biased whatsoever,” said the spokeswoman, who could not say whether Amazon considers the SPLC to be unbiased. -Daily Caller

In fact, Apple pledged $1 million to the organization, while J.P. Morgan has given the group $500,000. "Companies like Lyft and MGM Resorts have partnered with the group, while Pfizer, Bank of America, and Newman's Own have each contributed over $8,900 to the SPLC in recent years," reports PJ Media.

While some have argued that the SPLC is protected under the First Amendment, Dr. James Kennedy Ministries - a group suing the SPLC over their hate map, says that no longer applies to the SPLC, as they have "supplied government and law enforcement with their information," adding "it's no longer a free speech issue, there's a substantive issue with these false and slanderous claims that the SPLC makes."

"Slander and malice are never protected," and such factors loom large in litigation. Rabe argued that DJKM and other organizations suing the SPLC should win partially because the left-wing group has a documented malice against these groups.

The threat to journalists should be taken particularly seriously, as CNN uncritically shared the SPLC "hate map" last year, and outlets like ABC News and NBC News uncritically marked ADF a "hate group" using the SPLC label. -PJ Media

Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[] Harmatia Definition photo:... Published:6/24/2018 1:07:36 PM
[worldNews] Erdogan, ruling AK Party build early lead in Turkish elections ANKARA (Reuters) - Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party took the lead in Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, according to preliminary partial results, boosting the president's hopes of extending his 15-year rule.
Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[Politics] Trump: Evangelicals Appreciate Moving Jerusalem Embassy 'More Than the Jews' President Donald Trump has been appreciative, if not surprised, evangelical Christians have been even more supportive of the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem than the Jewish people, he told TBN Christian network."I tell you what, I get more calls of 'thank you' from... Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[Middle Column] Winter refuses to die in Europe as kids’ ‘summer’ camp evacuated due to snow

Summer snow falls in summer…in Poland/Ukraine!
Yesterday, on the second day of summer, snow fell in Poland! according to Severe Weather Europe at Facebook.
In Ukraine in the Karpaten 27 children had to be rescued from summer camp by emergency crews as “several centimeters of snow fell and temperatures dropped near freeing,” the German Weser Kurier herereports.

Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[Markets] "Saudi Arabia Has Entered The 21st Century" - Women Take Victory Lap As Driving Ban Ends

Women in Saudi Arabia flocked to the roads Sunday immediately after midnight to celebrate the end of the country's ban on female drivers, which King Salman ordered in September at the behest of his chosen heir, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. MbS, as he's widely known, is pushing to modernize the Kingdom in a bid to help diversify its economy away from the oil industry.

"It is our right and finally we took it. It is only a matter of time for the society to accept it, generally," said Samira al-Ghamdi, a 47-year-old psychologist from Jeddah, as she drove herself to work. She was one of a small group of women who had managed to secure a license beforehand.

While some pro-Saudi media outlets have argued that the lifting of the driving ban is part of a broader shift away from human rights abuses, as Reuters points out, it has also been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including against some of the activists who had campaigned for it. Meanwhile, concerns that women drivers might face harassment prompted the passage of a new anti-harassment law last month. The police reported no incidents during the first hours after the ban ended. In the coming months, the Interior Ministry plans to hire female traffic police.

Saudi

In the meantime, MbS will be able to take credit for the economic windfall, as women are expected to drive up demand for cars and auto insurance, while the economy benefits from an increase in productivity as more women enter the workforce. Saudi families are also expected to save billions of dollars on chauffers, though some women have said they don't plan to drive and prefer to be chauffered from place to place.

Saudi

Women posted videos of them driving, many of which included western pop music playing in the background.

Some traffic police handed out flowers to female drivers.

One video circulating on social media showed Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the country's richest men who was one of the princes rounded up in MbS's "corruption crackdown", sitting in the passenger seat while his wife drove in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Their children sat in the back. "Saudi Arabia has just entered the 21st century," the Prince can be heard saying.

But even with the lifting of the ban, Saudi Arabia remains a deeply repressive state as it continues to silence female activists, and restrictions remain on interactions between women and men in public. Though we imagine that won't stop the country's allies from hailing MbS as a reform-minded young ruler - a reformer who will help modernize the country for the sake of its economy - regardless of how inaccurate these claims might be.

Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[Entertainment] Roseanne Barr Sobs on Podcast Over Tweet That Got Her Fired: "I'm Not a Racist, I'm an Idiot" Roseanne BarrRoseanne Barr broke down in tears while giving her first interview about the controversial tweet she posted that spurred scores of people to call her a racist and ABC to cancel her rebooted...
Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[Opinion] Democrats, Who Attack Traditional America At Every Opportunity, Suddenly Defend American Tradition

By Dave King -

Media Bias - NY Times - NBC News - CNN - Washington Post - Huffington Post

Patriotic Americans watch in awe at the negative twist that American liberals put on anything the American constitution or existing law dictate be done. Liberals place an equally negative twist on anything and everything President Trump does and says. Here are a few recent complaints that liberals have registered as ...

Democrats, Who Attack Traditional America At Every Opportunity, Suddenly Defend American Tradition is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[Politics] No, former Trump official, don’t say that to a black guy EVER EVER… The new outrage moment of today is when a former Trump official said to a black guy, “are you out of your cotton-picking mind?!?!” And that’s when the fight started. Watch below: . . . Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[Quick Takes] Minnesota State Will Offer Counseling for Student Leaders After Mandatory Diversity Training "two new 90-minute workshops on social justice and diversity" Published:6/24/2018 12:37:29 PM
[US News] SIREN: New poll numbers AFTER family separation crisis are a warning for …….. DEMS!

And after all the images and anti-Trump news coverage of the past few weeks, the Dem advantaged on the generic congressional ballot is down to 4%: CBS News poll June 21-22 AFTER peak of family separation crisis: Dem advantage *down* to four points on generic ballot.https://t.co/vcPX043YgC — Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) June 24, 2018 It’s almost […]

The post SIREN: New poll numbers AFTER family separation crisis are a warning for …….. DEMS! appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 12:09:55 PM
[Markets] Ron Paul: Here's 21 Trillion Reasons To Question The Role Of Government In America

Via Ron Paul's Facebook page,

The U.S. military budget dwarfs every other country on the planet combined.

Do you know how much the Pentagon spent between 1998 and 2015 that is "unaccounted for"?

TWENTY-ONE TRILLION DOLLARS

$21,000,000,000,000

Where did it go?

No one knows...it's "unaccounted for".

The role of government must SERIOUSLY be reconsidered in America.

Without being technically at war with anyone in particular, the U.S. is dropping a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes, around the clock.

The U.S. has 1,000 military bases scattered across the planet.

Congress, not only doesn't declare war, as they're required to by the U.S. Constitution, but they're surprised to find out that American troops are peppered throughout Africa too.

The role of government must SERIOUSLY be reconsidered in America.

Peace ... Non-intervention in the affairs of foreign nations ... Free Trade ... Travel.

These principles have long been gone.

It's time to revive them.

*  *  *

Just in case you were unclear on the details of the missing $21 trillion... here is Lee Camp, via TruthDig.com...

Twenty-one trillion dollars.

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything.

But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).

But when we get into the millions, we lose it. It becomes a fog of nonsense. Visualizing it feels like trying to hug a memory. We may know what $1 million can buy (and we may want that thing), but you probably don’t know how tall a stack of a million $1 bills is. You probably don’t know how long it takes a minimum-wage employee to make $1 million.

That’s why trying to understand—truly understand—that the Pentagon spent 21 trillion unaccounted-for dollars between 1998 and 2015 washes over us like your mother telling you that your third cousin you met twice is getting divorced. It seems vaguely upsetting, but you forget about it 15 seconds later because … what else is there to do?

Twenty-one trillion.

But let’s get back to the beginning. A couple of years ago, Mark Skidmore, an economics professor, heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, say that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General had found $6.5 trillion worth of unaccounted-for spending in 2015. Skidmore, being an economics professor, thought something like, “She means $6.5 billion. Not trillion. Because trillion would mean the Pentagon couldn’t account for more money than the gross domestic product of the whole United Kingdom. But still, $6.5 billion of unaccounted-for money is a crazy amount.”

So he went and looked at the inspector general’s report, and he found something interesting: It was trillion! It was fucking $6.5 trillion in 2015 of unaccounted-for spending! And I’m sorry for the cursing, but the word “trillion” is legally obligated to be prefaced with “fucking.” It is indeed way more than the U.K.’s GDP.

Skidmore did a little more digging. As Forbes reported in December 2017, “[He] and Catherine Austin Fitts … conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.”

Let’s stop and take a second to conceive how much $21 trillion is (which you can’t because our brains short-circuit, but we’ll try anyway).

1. The amount of money supposedly in the stock market is $30 trillion.

2. The GDP of the United States is $18.6 trillion.

3. Picture a stack of money. Now imagine that that stack of dollars is all $1,000 bills. Each bill says “$1,000” on it. How high do you imagine that stack of dollars would be if it were $1 trillion. It would be 63 miles high.

4. Imagine you make $40,000 a year. How long would it take you to make $1 trillion? Well, don’t sign up for this task, because it would take you 25 million years (which sounds like a long time, but I hear that the last 10 million really fly by because you already know your way around the office, where the coffee machine is, etc.).

The human brain is not meant to think about a trillion dollars.

And it’s definitely not meant to think about the $21 trillion our Department of Defense can’t account for. These numbers sound bananas. They sound like something Alex Jones found tattooed on his backside by extraterrestrials.

But the 21 trillion number comes from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General—the OIG. Although, as Forbes pointed out, “after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about OIG-reported unsubstantiated adjustments, the OIG’s webpage, which documented, albeit in a highly incomplete manner, these unsupported “accounting adjustments,” was mysteriously taken down.”

Luckily, people had already grabbed copies of the report, which—for now—you can view here.

Here’s something else important from that Forbes article—which is one of the only mainstream media articles you can find on the largest theft in American history:

Given that the entire Army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $120 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress.

That’s right. The expenses with no explanation were 54 times the actual budget allotted by Congress. Well, it’s good to see Congress is doing 1/54th of its job of overseeing military spending (that’s actually more than I thought Congress was doing). This would seem to mean that 98 percent of every dollar spent by the Army in 2015 was unconstitutional.

So, pray tell, what did the OIG say caused all this unaccounted-for spending that makes Jeff Bezos’ net worth look like that of a guy jingling a tin can on the street corner?

“[The July 2016 inspector general] report indicates that unsupported adjustments are the result of the Defense Department’s ‘failure to correct system deficiencies.’ 

They blame trillions of dollars of mysterious spending on a “failure to correct system deficiencies”? That’s like me saying I had sex with 100,000 wild hairless aardvarks because I wasn’t looking where I was walking.

Twenty-one trillion.

Say it slowly to yourself.

At the end of the day, there are no justifiable explanations for this amount of unaccounted-for, unconstitutional spending. Right now, the Pentagon is being audited for the first time ever, and it’s taking 2,400 auditors to do it. I’m not holding my breath that they’ll actually be allowed to get to the bottom of this.

But if the American people truly understood this number, it would change both the country and the world. It means that the dollar is sprinting down a path toward worthless. If the Pentagon is hiding spending that dwarfs the amount of tax dollars coming in to the federal government, then it’s clear the government is printing however much it wants and thinking there are no consequences. Once these trillions are considered, our fiat currency has even less meaning than it already does, and it’s only a matter of time before inflation runs wild.

It also means that any time our government says it “doesn’t have money” for a project, it’s laughable. It can clearly “create” as much as it wants for bombing and death. This would explain how Donald Trump’s military can drop well over 100 bombs a day that cost well north of $1 million each.

So why can’t our government also “create” endless money for health care, education, the homeless, veterans benefits and the elderly, to make all parking free and to pay the Rolling Stones to play stoop-front shows in my neighborhood? (I’m sure the Rolling Stones are expensive, but surely a trillion dollars could cover a couple of songs.)

Obviously, our government could do those things, but it chooses not to. Earlier this month, Louisiana sent eviction notices to 30,000 elderly peopleon Medicaid to kick them out of their nursing homes. Yes, a country that can vomit trillions of dollars down a black hole marked “Military” can’t find the money to take care of our poor elderly. It’s a repulsive joke.

Twenty-one trillion.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke about how no one knows where the money is flying in the Pentagon. In a barely reported speech in 2011, he said, “My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as, ‘How much money did you spend?’ and ‘How many people do you have?’ ”

They can’t even find out how many people work for a specific department?

Note for anyone looking for a job: Just show up at the Pentagon and tell them you work there. It doesn’t seem like they’d have much luck proving you don’t.

For more on this story, check out David DeGraw’s excellent reporting at ChangeMaker.media, because the mainstream corporate media are mouthpieces for the weapons industry. They are friends with benefits of the military-industrial complex. I have seen basically nothing from the mainstream corporate media concerning this mysterious $21 trillion. I missed the time when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said that the money we dump into war and death—either the accounted-for money or the secretive trillions—could end world hunger and poverty many times over. There’s no reason anybody needs to be starving or hungry or unsheltered on this planet, but our government seems hellbent on proving that it stands for nothing but profiting off death and misery. And our media desperately want to show they stand for nothing but propping up our morally bankrupt empire.

When the media aren’t actively promoting war, they’re filling the airwaves with shit, so the entire country can’t even hear itself think. Our whole mindscape is filled to the brim with nonsense and vacant celebrity idiocy. Then, while no one is looking, the largest theft humankind has ever seen is going on behind our backs—covered up under the guise of “national security.”

Twenty-one trillion.

Don’t forget.

Published:6/24/2018 12:09:54 PM
[Politics] Corker: 'Large Mistake' Made with Trump's 'Ready, Fire, Aim' Border Policy The Trump administration "obviously made a large mistake" with its zero-tolerance policy on immigration that left thousands of children being separated from their families, but now it's up to Congress to work with the White House on a longer-term solution, Sen. Bob Corker... Published:6/24/2018 12:09:54 PM
[storytype:standard] New head of Pakistan Taliban appointed as movement finally admits Mullah Fazlullah was killed Published:6/24/2018 12:09:54 PM
[Issues] Trump: We Can’t ‘Allow These People to Invade Our Country,’ Must Be Immediately Sent Back

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the United States can't allow migrants to "invade" the country and must be immediately sent back where they came from without due process.

The post Trump: We Can’t ‘Allow These People to Invade Our Country,’ Must Be Immediately Sent Back appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:6/24/2018 11:37:02 AM
[worldNews] Erdogan, ruling AK Party take early lead in Turkish elections ANKARA (Reuters) - Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party took an early lead in presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, according to preliminary partial results, boosting the president's hopes of extending his 15-year rule.
Published:6/24/2018 11:37:02 AM
[Media] TALK to the hand! Brian Stelter acts like an ASS while interviewing Glenn Beck, so he walks OUT (video)

Brian Stelter proves once again that he’s nothing more than a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie, which is really just a funny way of saying he’s an insensitive, trolling, ass. This morning he invited Glenn Beck on his show to discuss immigration and proceeded to try and make a fool of him for his viewers. At which point Glenn […]

The post TALK to the hand! Brian Stelter acts like an ASS while interviewing Glenn Beck, so he walks OUT (video) appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 11:37:02 AM
[Markets] State-Run Media Show Erdogan With Commanding Lead In Turkish Elections, Opposition Refutes

It's normal at this point in the counting for Erdogan's lead to look large as his strongholds typically announce results earlier, and sure enough he does...

With 27% of the ballot boxes opened in the presidential election, according to state-run news agency Anadolu, Erdogan has a commanding 58.33% of the vote (Ince at 27.28%, Aksener at 7.58%, and Demirtas at 5.69%) which means no second round of voting (since Erdogan's count is greater than 50% (which is considerably better than expected).

And with 11.9% of votes counted in parliamentary election, according to Anadolou, Erdogan's AKP has 51.9% of the vote (MHP at 13.1%, , CHP at 15.6%, IYI at 8.50%, and HDP at 7.33%).

So it looks like a done deal...right?

Maybe not - Opposition party CHP's co-head Bulent Tezcan in live press conference in Ankara, says state-run news agency Anadolu is completely making up numbers.

"We're chasing them closely. They are caught red-handed,"Tezcan says.

"Erdogan's vote in the presidency has so far not exceeded 48 percent even once," CHP's Tezcan says. Some 9,638 ballot boxes have reported results so far. Erdogan's share is 46.6 percent and Ince is trailing him with just above 40 percent, Tezcan says.

So, to sum up, as expected, there is a huge discrepancy in vote tallies.

Anadolu Agency currently shows Erdogan at 57% with 38% of ballot boxes reporting.

The opposition CHP is saying in a press conference now that its parallel vote tally has never had Erdogan at above 48%.

CHP has Erdogan at 46.6% now -- and they say the opposition's going to win this one.

AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Republican People's Party (CHP) challenger Muharrem Ince.  Image via Hurriyet

Furthermore, such discrepancies are not unusual, as Bloomberg's Constantine Courcoulas notes, here's something to put the results reported so far by the state-run Anadolu Agency into perspective.

In the 2017 referendum, with 31 percent of ballots opened, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ``yes'' camp'' had secured 61.77 percent of the vote.

By the time 97.09 percent had been opened a few hours later, that had dropped to 51.42 percent.

Developing...

*  *  *
As a reminder, for financial markets, each of the likely outcomes comes with associated risks.

In the past, Turkish assets have responded positively to political events that were perceived as increasing political stability, while responding negatively to political instability (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2: Asset prices tend to react positively to the perception of political stability in the short run

Turkish asset prices one day/week after political events

Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research

Viewed from this perspective, a win for the AKP in both the presidential and parliamentary elections would be the most stable outcome. However, President Erdogan’s comments on monetary policy during the election campaign – advocating lower interest rates and indicating that he would play a more active role in monetary policy – have raised concerns over the future direction of monetary policy in the event of this outcome.

Though one glance at the current state of Turkish stocks, debt, and FX signals this is a considerable concern...

A split government (with Mr. Erdogan as President and the opposition obtaining a majority in parliament) would likely represent the most negative outcome for Turkish assets, in our view, as it would imply political instability and high levels of uncertainty over the future direction of monetary policy.

An opposition victory in both elections would also bring significant challenges, not least the task of forming a new government and agreeing on a cohesive legislative programme. However, under the assumption that these challenges can be overcome, we would expect it to be the most market-friendly scenario in the medium term.

 

 

Published:6/24/2018 11:37:02 AM
[Entertainment] Box office: 'Jurassic World' sequel stomps its way to $150 million debut "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" surpassed expectations but didn't approach the record-breaking debut of 2015's "Jurassic" reboot.
     
 
 
Published:6/24/2018 11:37:02 AM
[Markets] GE's Fall, Walgreens' Rise, And Tech's Total Takeover It’s a very American story: a laser-focused entrepreneur invents a game-changing technology and platform for its use, then attracts major funding for development, before ultimately listing on the stock exchange. Edison not only invented the long-lasting incandescent light bulb, but also a complete electric lighting system which made it practical, safe and affordable to roll out the new technology, thus creating an industry. This formed the foundation of Edison General Electric, which became GE. UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 15: Edison Swan light bulb. Published:6/24/2018 11:37:02 AM
[The Blog] Russia and South Korea are cutting a deal with Kim Jong-un

Now it's the Everybody Loves Kim show

The post Russia and South Korea are cutting a deal with Kim Jong-un appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/24/2018 11:37:01 AM
[World] Michael Loftus: Hollywood Left Trying to See Who Can Be the Most Rude

Comedian Michael Loftus said Sunday that he believes liberal celebrities are competing to see who can be the most rude to conservatives.

Published:6/24/2018 11:07:26 AM
[Issues] Sen. King on Abolishing ICE: ‘I Don’t Think That Makes a Lot of Sense’

The post Sen. King on Abolishing ICE: ‘I Don’t Think That Makes a Lot of Sense’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[2018 News] As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In Deeper As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In Deeper. Let them keep on acting like morons. It increases support for Trump and the GOP. Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[topics:people/prince-william] Prince William arrives in Jordan for Middle East tour Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[The Blog] What’s in a name? Sunday reflection

Luke 1:57–66, 80.

The post What’s in a name? Sunday reflection appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Entertainment] Radio Disney Music Awards: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson on carpet
     
 
 
Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Markets] Amid Record Approval Ratings, Trump Set To Roll The Dice With Putin Summit In July

With President Trump riding high on near-record-high approval ratings...

In what is sure to incense Adam Schiff, The Democrats, and all establishment media, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports that a Trump-Putin summit is expected to take place on July 15th in Vienna "according to the latest information"...

"For several days diplomatic envoys from Washington and Moscow have been in Vienna, to clarify the details of the discussions between the two presidents."

For now, however, no confirmation has been received from either side, as Tass reported, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Kremlin isn't yet ready to give information, but will provide it when available.

But, as M K Bhadrakumar, via The Asia Times, reports, an announcement is expected soon that the meeting will occur after the NATO summit.

If the Trump White House had let it be known a couple of months ago that it was working with the Kremlin to schedule a summit meeting between the two presidents, all hell would have broken loose in the Washington Beltway. But that isn’t happening. There is an eerie calm in Washington, as if Trump’s detractors have run out of ammunition.

What explains it? First, the fizz seems to have gone out of the Russia collusion theory. Robert Mueller could keep uncovering crimes in American public life (of which there is no dearth) forever but he has not been able to say he has actually substantiated the Russia collusion theory. The latest Pew Research Center analysis on June 20 reveals that only 28% Americans remain any longer “very confident” of the fairness of Mueller’s investigation, while four-in-10 say they are not too sure (19%) or are at all confident (21%) in his ability to do this.

Pew admits:

“Republicans and Democrats offer starkly different assessments of Mueller’s conduct of the investigation and Trump’s ability to deal with it, and these partisan differences extend to views of the importance of the investigation itself.”

This partly explains why the cascade of criticism that could have been expected over Trump’s plan for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin hasn’t materialized – although a lavish, televised lovefest is sure to make a mockery of the Mueller inquest.

Fundamentally, Trump has had remarkable success in boosting his political standing among members of his own party. As Susan Glasser wrote in the New Yorker recently:

“Increasingly, few Republicans are willing to stand in Trump’s way, even when the President’s policies clash with their own deeply held views.”

The recent lamentation by John Boehner, the former Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives – “There is no Republican Party. There is a Trump Party” – may be an exaggeration that he made while sipping a Bloody Mary on stage at a recent conference in Michigan. Nonetheless, as Glasser writes: “The political reality is simply this: President Trump is now too popular with the Republican base to challenge, even when he appears to be upending policies the party of Reagan has embraced for decades.”

Thus, when Trump presses ahead with a meeting with Putin (which he wanted all along), there is now an air of resignation about it. To be sure, Trump’s dramatic, showy one-one-one meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently has rewritten America’s contemporary diplomatic history. And he rewrote it all by himself while no one back home was even sure whether he should do it.

Trump-Putin summit: perfect next act?

Russia, of course, is different. But the analogy of the Art of the Deal is still relevant and why should Trump give up on his campaign vision of closer ties with the Russian president without ever testing it? The Russophobes are hard-pressed to find an answer. Thus, it is a fait accompli that as a US president who embraces personal diplomacy with America’s adversaries as his trademark in foreign policy, Trump’s forthcoming summit with Putin becomes a perfect next act.

Did Trump work towards this? The point is, he’s an inscrutable politician. It wasn’t mere coincidence that just before leaving for the recent G-7 summit in Canada, he would think up the unthinkable – Russia’s return to the grouping. The seemingly stray thought actually gets bracketed with his move to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the vital underpinning of President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot-to-Asia’ strategy (without which a containment strategy against China lacks gravitas).

The common thread is that Trump’s Art of the Deal means putting the focus on America’s interests rather than on the negating of adversaries’ legitimate interests or concerns – be it North Korea or Russia. Of course, if there is an uncomfortable overlap, a deal becomes necessary and Trump believes in his ability to negotiate it.

So, Trump essentially took at a pot shot at the West’s containment strategy against Russia by raising the G7 petard. Meanwhile, on a parallel track, the spadework began for a successful summit between Trump and Putin. Of course, there are so many fault lines in the overall relationship and anything can go wrong between now and the summit. The Kremlin can ensure that there is no “sabotage” from the Russian side, but that cannot be said for the Trump White House.

An announcement on the Trump-Putin summit in the second week of July is due any moment. From available indications, the meet will come after Trump’s participation in the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11-12. Trump is also facing resistance from the US’ European allies who fear “exclusion” from a potential US-Russia rapprochement. And the resistance to detente in the US and in Europe coalesces. Yet, Trump’s strategic asset is that with a high popularity rating of 45% he is at his strongest position today politically and could do things pretty much as he always wanted.

The best sign so far is that a three-member group of Republican senators comprising Richard Shelby (Alabama), John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana) and John Hoeven (North Dakota) is visiting Russia in early July on a “reconnaissance mission.” Historically, Moscow preferred to talk with America’s “hawks”. And the good part is that the Trump administration is sponsoring the lawmakers’ visit.

Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Uncategorized] France’s Macron Wants Sanctions on EU States Refusing to Accept Migrants 'Arrogant' Macron risks becoming 'No.1 enemy' on migration, says Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Markets] NewsWatch: Stock-market leaders yet to be undercut by trade-war fears The threat of a full-blown trade war isn’t having the impact on investor sentiment and stock prices that might be expected judging by double-digit gains for the Nasdaq and modest but positive returns for the S&P 500 so far this year.
Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Media] The HUME-ANITY! Brit Hume takes WaPo to the SHED for falsely claiming Trump attacked Hispanic immigrants

Don’t make Brit Hume angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. Ok, as long as you’re not a weepy progressive you probably would like him when he’s angry … we do. Check this out: By falsely claiming he attacked Hispanic immigrants. Doesn’t the Washington Post have editors? https://t.co/1UhGnFqavE — Brit Hume (@brithume) June 23, […]

The post The HUME-ANITY! Brit Hume takes WaPo to the SHED for falsely claiming Trump attacked Hispanic immigrants appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Politics] Lankford: Officials Know Where 'Every Single' Separated Child Is Federal officials know where "every single" child that's been detained at the border is, and they know how to connect them with the parent or adult who brought them into the United States. Sen. James Lankford said Sunday. Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[] The Great Divide In America Shows No Signs Of Shrinking -- Part 812: Guns Imagine the ruckus a sign that says, "We Welcome Free Speech," would cause. Or, "We Support Your Right To Be Free Of Government Spying." Yeah...nobody would bat an eye. But a simple sign supporting the 2nd Amendment? Wichita Restaurant... Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Entertainment] Selena Gomez Meets Fans at Children's Hospital of Orange County Prom Selena Gomez, Children's Hospital Orange County Prom 2018Surprise! Selena Gomez spent part of her Saturday making a special guest appearance at Children's Hospital Orange County's oncology prom event, marking her first celebrity...
Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[worldNews] Erdogan facing major test as voting ends in Turkey elections ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turks voted on Sunday in presidential and parliamentary elections that pose the biggest ballot box challenge to Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party since they swept to power more than a decade and a half ago.
Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Media] SHAME SHAME SHAME! Shaun King targets the WRONG reporter with bully mob, has YET to apologize

Shaun King screwed up again. In other news, water is still wet. This time, Shaun sent his bully mob after Haley Hinds after viewing this video: There was only one problem (well, other than he’s a jacka$$ who thinks bullying people is activism), it wasn’t Haley. But seems he didn’t care about finding out who […]

The post SHAME SHAME SHAME! Shaun King targets the WRONG reporter with bully mob, has YET to apologize appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Politics] Ex-WH Aide Tom Bossert: 'Terrible Optics' in Kid Separation The Trump administration's border separation policy backfired and has provided "terrible optics," according to President Donald Trump's former Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert." Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Politics] OOPS! Former Obama official says THEY HAD TO detain illegal alien children… Jeh Johnson screwed up the liberal narrative that nobody was Hitlering before Trump Hitlered all those children into cages by admitting that yes, Obama Hitlered them too!! Watch the Hitler video below: . . . Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Politics] OOPS! Former Obama official says THEY HAD TO detain illegal alien children… Jeh Johnson screwed up the liberal narrative that nobody was Hitlering before Trump Hitlered all those children into cages by admitting that yes, Obama Hitlered them too!! Watch the Hitler video below: . . . Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[topics:places/ethiopia] Two dead, over 150 hurt in Ethiopia after grenade attack at massive rally for new reformist leader Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Markets] Bitcoin Tumbles To $5k Handle But "By No Means A Funeral For Crypto"

Crytpocurrencies have taken another ugly leg lower overnight - on no new news-driven catalyst - extending the losses from Japan's FSA crackdown and sending Bitcoin back below $6,000 for the first time since Feb 6th.

This is the lowest intraday print for Bitcoin since Nov 2017 (breaking the lows of 2018)...

But Bitcoin is actually the best performer since Japan's FSA headlines while Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are down 20% since Friday morning...

But while it is clear that many are throwing in the towel on the crypto space, CoinTelegraph's Helen Partz reports that the current bear market is not a funeral for Bitcoin “whatsoever,” CEO of BKCM LLC investment firm Brian Kelly said on CNBC's Fast Money segment June 22.

To back up his statement, Kelly provided three key factors.

First, he pointed out that the market sentiment is “approaching lows,” implying that a trend reversal is likely to follow.

Kelly called attention to the fact that Bitcoin is still trading at the same level as back in November 2017, whereas a year ago its value was 60 percent lower - around $2,500.

Next, Kelly mentioned the recent news that Japan’s Financial Services Agency has sent out business improvement orders to 6 domestic exchanges. He pointed out that while in the short run it’s going to be “a little tough,” in the long run it will help make the exchanges more “robust.”

Third, Kelly brought up the announcement by Mt. Gox to reimburse its customers and begin civil rehabilitation proceedings, following the $473 million hack in late 2013 and the resulting bankruptcy. Mt. Gox was considered to be the largest hack in the history of crypto, until this year’s $534 million Coincheck hack.

On June 5, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin has been declared “dead” for the 300th time, according to the 99Bitcoins “obituary list.” By press time, the cryptocurrency has “died” 315 times, with 69 “deaths” taking place this year alone.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Additionally, CoinTelegraph  notes that Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of altcoin Cardano (ADA), tweeted June 20 that the entry of Wall Street into the crypto sector will bring in “tens of trillions of dollars:”

Cardano, which is currently ranked 8th on Coinmarketcap, has a market cap of around $3.5 billion. Charles Hoskinson was also one of the founding members of Ethereum (ETH), crypto startup Invictus Innovations, and crypto tech company IOHK.

When asked by a commentator what exactly the crypto community is building, Hoskinson answered “an entirely new world:”

The intersection of cryptocurrency and Wall Street has been welcomed by those who also see a potential influx in capital. In mid-May, cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase released a new suite of products designed to attract institutional investors by relieving security and regulatory compliance concerns. Speaking about the product release, the VP of Coinbase referred to “$10 billion” of Wall Street money that now had the potential to enter the market.

The “trillion” value has also been bandied around before, as Dan Morehead, CEO of $1 billion crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital said in April that a $40 trillion crypto market is possible, in part due to Wall Street’s increasing interest in clearing crypto trades.

Finally we note that while Bitcoin is down 70% from its record highs in Dec 2017, it is still up 136% YoY...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[2018 News] Four years after Michael Brown was shot by police, the neighborhood where he was killed still feels left behind   Four years after Michael Brown was shot by police, the neighborhood where he was killed still feels left behind. Yeah, when you riot, look and burn your town about to the ground and then wonder why businesses aren’t jumping for joy about investing there. SMH. Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Quick Takes] Students and University Employees Vandalize Students’ Pro-Life Messages "Students and maintenance employees washed away the chalkings" Published:6/24/2018 10:36:35 AM
[topics:events/royal-ascot] Suits you Sir! How Thomas Markle's royal wedding outfit was put to good use after he cancelled on Meghan Published:6/24/2018 10:06:35 AM
[PAID] Online Shopping Is About to Get More Expensive The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling enables states to collect sales tax from all online purchases, eliminating the advantage of buying some big-ticket items from websites like Amazon.com. Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[US News] Take a SEAT! ‘Proud Resister’ brags about week of so-called ‘resisting,’ gets a serious DOSE of #MERICA

This guy can’t even spell ‘Resistor’ right … But blue wave or some other happy horse crap. They seriously think this is how they’re going to beat Trump which would be so pathetic if we weren’t busy laughing our a$$es off at them. See for yourself. THIS WEEK: — Stephen Miller heckled & called a […]

The post Take a SEAT! ‘Proud Resister’ brags about week of so-called ‘resisting,’ gets a serious DOSE of #MERICA appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[2018 News] Hillary Clinton uses ‘humanitarian crisis’ at border to fundraise. Here’s how much money she hauled. Hillary Clinton uses ‘humanitarian crisis’ at border to fundraise. Here’s how much money she hauled. A cool million. The Democrats are hypocrites. Example. Dianne Feinstain and Kamala Harpass are on Twitter all the time accusing the Republicans of using these children. So what the hell are they doing? Oh yeah. Using these children to score […] Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[Politics] Trump: 'Fake News Media' Bias on Summit Is 'Almost Treasonous' President Donald Trump ripped the "fake news media" as "almost treasonous" in its reportage of his denuclearization agreements with North Korea, saying he is seen as a "world hero in Japan," as the U.K.'s Independent reported." Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[Entertainment] Actress Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child It's the first girl for the model, reality star and "Rocky IV" actress.
     
 
 
Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[Robert Mueller] Mueller mulls it over (Scott Johnson) The Mueller Switch Project has turned into a tedious farce. Thomas Lifson puts it this way: “The Mueller special counsel investigation purportedly was instigated to discover possible illicit Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election but now is backing away from the only indictments aimed at Russian entities, leaving only alleged process crimes (such as General Flynn’s alleged false statement to the FBI) and alleged crimes that occurred long before Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[Markets] Trump Promises "Things That Will Shock You" On Trade, Slams "Wacky Jacky" Rosen

By the looks of it, President Trump gave one hell of a performance at the Nevada State GOP convention Saturday night, where he was fundraising on behalf of Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who is running in what Real Clear Politics describes as a "tossup" against Congresswoman Jacky Rosen. And after last night, Heller definitely owes Trump a debt of gratitude for this gem.

In the middle of Saturday night's rally, Trump announced that he had devised a "great nickname" for Heller's opponent. Ever the showman, Trump hemmed and hawed for a few minutes as the crowd egged him on, before continuing with the big reveal:

"Wacky Jacky, you don't want her as your senator!"

Trump slammed "Wacky Jacky" for campaigning with "Pocahontas" - Trump's favorite nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The crowd exploded in wild applause, reminding us all why Trump's approval rating is at its highest level since his inauguration, despite the outrage over his  "zero-tolerance border policy" and concerns that he might be leading the US into a damaging trade war.

Speaking of trade wars, Trump offered a few teasers on that subject as well, telling the crowd that "you will see things happen over the coming months that are going to really shock you."

"And we have so many things that we've done and so many things that we're going to do...nobody had any idea that we'd be able to do so much, so soon. A lot of them have had great starts, and I can tell you that on trade, you're going to see things coming over the coming months that will really shock you. Because for so many years we felt so badly, our jobs have been taken, our companies have been taken like we are a bunch of babies...Let's take the company, let's close the company and fire everybody, let's sell those cars back to America - we won't pay tax. Those days are gone."

Trump also urged the crowd to blame Democrats if their health-care costs go up (and also threw some shade at the ailing John McCain, who represents neighboring Arizona)...

...He also threw a few jabs at the media, calling them "the most dishonest people on Earth" and claimed that his administration had "already started building the wall in San Diego" (his administration is using $147 million from the omnibus spending bill to build a 14-mile section of the border wall).

Expect more performances like these, as Trump travels to states where Republicans are facing stiff mid-term challenges from Democrats, as the Republicans midterm strategy has essentially boiled down to using Trump to rally the base.

Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[The Blog] Leading Mexican presidential candidate promises radical revolution

Is Mexico the next Venezuela?

The post Leading Mexican presidential candidate promises radical revolution appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[World] Craig Morgan Honored by U.S. Army With Civilian Service Medal

Country music star and Army veteran Craig Morgan was honored Saturday with one of the force’s highest civilian awards.

Published:6/24/2018 9:36:21 AM
[GLD] Sentiment Speaks: This Is It For Gold Published:6/24/2018 9:36:20 AM
[Politics] Leftist protesters DRIVE OUT Pam Bondi from Mr. Rogers movie screening!! [Video] Last night liberal scumbags also targeted Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general, because she was pushing futher dismantling of Obamacare. More from Tampa Bay Times: A group of protesters accosted Florida Attorney General . . . Published:6/24/2018 9:36:20 AM
[Entertainment] BET Awards 2018 Winners: The Complete List Jamie Foxx, DJ KhaledThe 2018 BET Awards are almost here! In just a few hours, Jamie Foxx will take the stage to host the award show. DJ Khaled and Kendrick Lamar are among the top nominees for tonight's...
Published:6/24/2018 9:36:20 AM
[2018 News] Trump-Friendly Florida AG Pam Bondi driven out of movie theater: ‘Shame on you.’ Trump-Friendly Florida AG Pam Bondi driven out of movie theater: ‘Shame on you.’ The commie spoiled brats are out and about doing their best to stifle free speech. Published:6/24/2018 9:36:20 AM
[topics:organisations/metropolitan-police-service] 15-year-old boy stabbed to death after birthday party in Romford Published:6/24/2018 9:06:15 AM
[da645d47-a615-4463-9d2d-b45a13db7e5e] Michelle Obama says her memoir is a 're-humanization' effort Former first lady Michelle Obama said Friday her upcoming memoir “Becoming” is a “re-humanization effort” that she hopes will give voice to people who feel voiceless. Published:6/24/2018 9:06:15 AM
[Markets] 3 Things to Watch in the Stock Market This Week Nike is one of several big-name stocks set to post earnings results over the next few trading days. Published:6/24/2018 9:06:15 AM
[Politics] 25 States Move to Keep Trump Off 2020 Ballot The latest resistance plan against President Donald Trump's 2020 election campaign includes attempts in at least 25 states to pass a law that requires presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the ballot, Axios reported. Published:6/24/2018 9:06:14 AM
[Markets] China Cuts Reserve Ratio, Unlocks 700BN Yuan Amid Rising Trade War, Mass Defaults And Margin Calls

As widely expected, China's central bank announced it would cut the Required Reserve Ratio (RRR) for some banks by 0.5% effective July 5, just over two months after the PBOC did a similar cut on April 17, the first such easing since the start of 2016.

The move is expected to unlock 700 billion yuan ($108 billion) in liquidity amid growing trade war tensions, a sharp slowdown in the Chinese economy, a tumbling stock market, rising forced margin call, and a spike in corporate defaults.

According to the central bank, the aim of the cut is" to support small and micro enterprises, and to further promote the debt-to-equity swap program." The cut will apply to major state-run commercial banks, joint-stock commercial lenders, postal banks, city commercial lenders, rural banks and foreign banks, in other words: virtually everyone.

“The size of the liquidity being unleashed has beat expectations and it’s larger than the previous two cuts this year”, said Citic fixed income research head Ming Ming. “It’s almost a universal cut as it covers almost all lenders.”

The RRR cut was also widely expected following the publication of a central bank working paper on Tuesday calling for such a cut.

According to Bloomberg, the cut is designed to achieve two things:

  • The 500 billion yuan unlocked for the nation’s five biggest state-run banks and 12 joint-stock commercial lenders will be channeled to debt-to-equity swaps, which can reduce companies’ debt burdens and help cleaning up banks’ balance sheets. It comes following no less than 20 corporate bond defaults in 2018, and ahead of a wave of corporate repayments that has prompted analysts to express fears about a default avalanche. Chinese companies have to repay a total of 2.7 trillion yuan of bonds in the onshore and offshore market in the second half of this year, and together with another 3.3 trillion yuan of trust products set to mature in the second half. The pressure on China's corporate has manifested itself in the spike in the yield premium of three-year AA- rated bonds over similar-maturity AAA notes, which has blown out 72 bps since March to 225 basis points, the highest level since August 2016, an indication of the recent pressures on weaker firms.

  • Separately, the 200 billion yuan freed for smaller lenders such as the postal bank and city commercial lenders will be used to support funding for smaller businesses. It comes amid concerns that the growing trade war between the US and China could further impair the already sharply slowing down Chinese economy which earlier this month reported "shockingly weak" economic data...

... amid a plunge in China credit creation and a record drop in Chinese off-balance sheet financing, and is meant to provide an economic spark to offset the risk of further economic contraction.


In a separate statement, the PBOC said that the move will "help push forward the steady progress of structural deleveraging, and strengthen support to the weak links of small-and-micro businesses. It is a targeted and precise fine-tuning. The PBOC will keep implementing prudent and neutral monetary policy, and create a favorable monetary and financial environment for high-quality development and supply-side reform."

However, countering speculation that the RRR cut may indicate a shift in China's deleveraging posture, Wen Bin, a researcher at China Minsheng Banking Corp. told Bloomberg that "the RRR cut this time doesn’t change the PBOC’s prudent policy stance. The decision fits the current economic and liquidity situation. It is also an innovative move and addresses structural problems, as the central bank ordered the lenders to use the money unleashed to push forward debt-to-equity swaps and support small-and-micro-sized businesses. This can help relieve financial burdens for some companies while reducing leverage."

In other words, China is spinning the RRR as a move meant to fund mass deleveraging through debt for equity swaps, not as the start of an easing cycle which would send the Yuan sliding and could potentially be perceived as a stealth devaluation by the US, resulting in even more aggressive trade retaliation.

The move will ease liquidity shortages currently seen in the implementation of debt-to-equity programs, and it shows that policy makers still don’t want to send a signal of across-the-board easing, Ming said. "The central bank may have predicted rising debt risks in the near future, so it decided to set up such an arrangement," he said.

That said, the PBOC explicitly said that the funds unlocked from the reserve ratio cut shouldn’t be used to support so-called zombie companies, of which China has many as even the IMF noted in December. It remains to be seen if this is just a smokescreen, considering that the companies most in need of deleveraging are precisely China's "walking dead" companies.

Finally, there is the market, which many have suggested is the real reason for the much anticipated cut. As a reminder, the Shanghai Composite recently slumped below 3,000 for the first time since the summer of 2016.

The risk here, however, is not just to China's wealth effect, but to a wave of margin calls resulting in forced selling of stocks pledged as collateral for loans. About $1 trillion worth of stocks listed in Shanghai or Shenzhen, China’s two main market, are being pledged as collateral for loans, according to data from the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corp., or ChinaClear. The staggering number is equivalent to about 12% of the market.

Plenty of Chinese stocks are also used as collateral in margin financing, whereby investors borrow to plow more money into stocks. In all, some 23% of all market positions were leveraged in some way by the end of last year in China, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

As the WSJ explained recently, the pledging of shares as loan collateral is particularly prevalent among smaller private companies. Unlike in the U.S., where institutional shareholders are a big market presence, private Chinese firms are often controlled by a major shareholders, who often own more than half of company. These big stakes are the most convenient tool for such big shareholders to raise their own funds.

Here the risk for other shareholders is that when major investors take out such share-backed loans is that stocks can plunge sharply when the borrowers run into trouble. Hong Kong-listed China Huishan Dairy fell 85% in one day in March 2017: It is unclear what triggered the selloff in the first place, but the fact that Huishan’s chairman had pledged almost all of his majority shareholding in the company to creditors likely made the crash worse.

And, as a result of the recent market rout, last week UBS said that it sees a growing risk in China's stock pledges; the bank calculated that the market cap of pledged stocks that have fallen below levels triggering liquidation amounts to 440 billion yuan with some 500 billion yuan below warning line, which translates to ~1% and 1.1% of China’s entire market value of $6.8 trillion. A separate analysis by TF Securities, as of Jun 19th, stock prices of 619 companies were close to levels where margin calls will be triggered.

It is unclear whether the relatively modest $100BN in released liquidity will be able to hit all of China's desired targets of assisting corporate deleveraging, slowing the mass default wave, preventing the economic slowdown and arresting the stock market rout and surging margin calls. It is, however, unlikely especially if Trump persists in imposing further tariffs on Chinese goods, suggesting that as much as the PBOC denies it, today's RRR cut is just the start of China's easing process.

Published:6/24/2018 9:06:14 AM
[Social Media] OMG LOL! Stop whatever you’re doing and READ THIS THREAD mocking blue-check ‘explaining’ govt. cuts

It is our sworn DUTY here at Twitchy to bring you the best, the worst, the smartest, the dumbest, and the funniest that we can find on Twitter. No seriously, they make us take an oath and everything … It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. And on that note, we present […]

The post OMG LOL! Stop whatever you’re doing and READ THIS THREAD mocking blue-check ‘explaining’ govt. cuts appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 9:06:14 AM
[Politics] Leftist protesters DRIVE OUT Pam Bondi from Mr. Rogers movie screening!! [Video] Last night liberal scumbags also targeted Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general, because she was pushing futher dismantling of Obamacare. More from Tampa Bay Times: A group of protesters accosted Florida Attorney General . . . Published:6/24/2018 9:06:14 AM
[Uncategorized] Tom Arnold: Proof That Any Loon With Anti-Trump Angle Gets Airtime on CNN and MSNBC "I’m spending the weekend hanging out with Michael Cohen. And there’s a lot going on." Published:6/24/2018 9:06:14 AM
[World] Candace Owens Says Left Has Lost Control After Heckling Kirstjen Nielsen, Sarah Sanders

Candace Owens said Saturday that the left has "lost control" after recent incidents involving Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Published:6/24/2018 8:36:57 AM
[Media] Chutzpah ALERT! Michelle Malkin DROPS New Yorker fact-checker for ‘apology’ to ICE agent /disabled vet

Sounds like Talia Lavin apologized to the ICE agent/disabled vet she accused of being a Nazi because of his tattoo. The “l am sorry for destroying a double amputee Marine hero who tracks down child predators but ICE is bad donate here” apology. pic.twitter.com/SNBGK2yYQm — Ryan B. Leslie (@RyanBLeslie) June 23, 2018 Note, she was […]

The post Chutzpah ALERT! Michelle Malkin DROPS New Yorker fact-checker for ‘apology’ to ICE agent /disabled vet appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 8:36:56 AM
[Quick Takes] Princeton Course Will Teach Students How to ‘Read Queerly’ "will examine how gender, desire and sexuality interact and overlap from a queer perspective" Published:6/24/2018 8:36:56 AM
[The Blog] New NYC Regents exam requirements are, um… a bit low

Take a guess. You'll probably pass

The post New NYC Regents exam requirements are, um… a bit low appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/24/2018 8:36:56 AM
[Uncategorized] Unhinged Resistance Week at Legal Insurrection All the news you may have missed. Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[Media] Bless his HEART! Jeet Heer gets WHOOPED debating Conservatives about ‘tearing babies from parents’

If there was an actual gold medal in virtue signaling, Jeet Heer would definitely give Alyssa Milano a run for her money. Look at this nonsense. No, Jeet. We’re not having a debate on whether or not we have to be civil to people who supposedly ‘rip’ children from their parents. If that was the […]

The post Bless his HEART! Jeet Heer gets WHOOPED debating Conservatives about ‘tearing babies from parents’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[Politics] US Says Still Working to Reunite 2,053 Children with Families The U.S. government said it still had 2,053 children in its custody who were separated from their parents under President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, and set out its most detailed plans yet on how it would reunite families. The Department of Homeland... Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[Democrats] Ilhan Omar: Why I hate Israel (Scott Johnson) State representative Ilhan Omar has yet to complete her first term in the Minnesota legislature, where she has accomplished approximately nothing of substance, though she has now secured the DFL endorsement to succeed Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison in Congress. In the brief Weekly Standard article “The anti-Israel seat,” I conclude with observations related to Omar’s frank hatred of Israel. She doesn’t sugarcoat it. She calls Israel an “apartheid Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[Markets] US Lawmakers Want Iran Blacklisted From International Financial System

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) have penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin urging him to pressure world leaders to ban Iran from accessing international financial systems, after it was revealed that the Obama administration covertly helped Tehran sidestep international sanctions and potentially tap into billions in hard currency.

Iran was taken off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist as part of an incentive package provided by Obama in the runup to the landmark nuclear deal killed by President Trump in early May. 

"In the push to save its deeply flawed nuclear deal, the Obama administration unwisely backed a wide range of economic relief for Iran - including through the FATF. In June 2016 the administration supported the FATF's decision to suspend "counter-measures" against Iran for one year, following Tehran's submission of an Action Plan to the FATF to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing policies." 

For the last two years, the FATF has continued to suspend these countermeasures at six-month intervals, despite the continued dangerous and belligerent actions of the Iranian regime. Many reports have indicated the regime in Tehran actually increased financial support for its terror proxies in the wake of the nuclear deal. 

Portman and Royce - chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, say that new revelations uncovered through Congressional investigations in to the Obama administration's secret diplomacy with Iran make it all the more important for the Trump administration to take concrete steps against Iran's terror support networks. 

The FATF will meet next week in Paris, where Portman and Royce hope to see substantive action against Iran. 

"This upcoming FATF session is particularly important following the recent release of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations' report exposing new details about the previous administration's efforts to give Iran access to the U.S. financial system, including through consideration of a general license for the ëconversion of two non-USD currencies through the limited use of the USD as an intermediate currency,'" wrote the lawmakers.

"It's time to recognize that Iran has failed to take the necessary stepsódespite its pledges two years agoóto be removed from the list of FATFís high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions," the letter states. "The United States should now utilize its influence within the FATF to reimpose countermeasures against Iran and protect the international financial system."

Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[Markets] NewsWatch: Stock-market leaders yet to be undercut by trade-war fears The threat of a full-blown trade war isn’t having the impact on investor sentiment and stock prices that might be expected judging by double-digit gains for the Nasdaq and modest but positive returns for the S&P 500 so far this year.
Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[] Sunday Morning Book Thread 06-24-2018 Unseen University Library, Ankh-Morpork, Discworld Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes. Oh, and we've got a new category of readers, escaped oafs and oafettes ('escaped oafs' is an anagram of 'Ace of Spades'). Welcome once again... Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[The Blog] Sunday morning talking heads

Border lines.

The post Sunday morning talking heads appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/24/2018 7:39:09 AM
[storytype:standard] US tells Syria rebels 'not to expect help against expected army assault' on provinces of Daraa and Sweida Published:6/24/2018 7:39:09 AM
[topics:people/recep-tayyip-erdogan] Turkish voters head to the polls to decide whether to keep Erdogan in power Published:6/24/2018 7:06:22 AM
[Markets] Germany's Migrant Policy: Why Trump Was Right

Authored by Vijeta Uniyal via The Gatestone Institute,

US President Donald Trump attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel's migrant policy this week. The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition," he tweeted on June 18. "Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!" he added.

President Trump's comments come at a time when Merkel is facing the biggest crisis of her career. She is struggling to hold her government together, with the Bavarian Catholic party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), threatening to leave the governing coalition over immigration. The CSU wants the police to have the authority to turn away illegal migrants at the border, a move bitterly opposed by Merkel.

While Trump slammed Merkel's handling of the migrant crisis during his presidential campaign, until now, he has refrained from publicly criticizing her over the issue.

US President Donald Trump attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel's migrant policy on June 18, writing, "Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!" Pictured: Trump and Merkel meet in Washington, DC, on April 27, 2018. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Predictably, the mainstream media were quick to criticize President Trump for his remarks.

"Trump falsely claimed that crime in Germany is on the rise," wrote The New York Times.

The Washington Post ran a "fact-checking" story entitled, "Trump says crime in Germany is way up. German statistics show the opposite."

"Statistics contradict Trump's remarks," German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

"Trump's comments are certain to irk German ministers, especially as Europe's largest economy recently reported the lowest crime figures in more than 25 years. The number of crimes fell almost 10 percent in 2017 over the previous year."

CNNBBCVox and even the youth fashion magazine Teen Vogue published similar reports.

With major media outlets on both side of the Atlantic reciting the same talking points in unison, millions of viewers and readers across the globe could come to believe that the Trump had made a false claim while attacking Merkel's open borders policy that let millions of migrants into Europe since the autumn of 2015.

According to the narrative peddled by the mainstream media, after a series of horrendous migrant crimes and string of deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated by newly arrived Muslim migrants, towns and cities across Germany were reverting to some sort of idyllic harmony.

All the media reports were based on the 2017 police crime statistics that registered a drop of almost 10% in the crime rate over the previous year. Speaking to reporters in May 2018, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer cited the report to assert that "the number of crimes committed in Germany is the lowest since 1992."

Let us examine that report closely.

On April 22, 2018, writing for the German newspaper Die Welt, Ansgar Graw challenged the much-quoted crime report in an article entitled, "The Reality Behind the New Statistics on Crime":

"When all [categories of] crimes are taken into consideration, then the crime has certainly gone down (by 9.6%) over the previous year. In case of violent crimes -- that particularly lead to fear -- the picture is nuanced. There was, however, a slight improvement compared to 2016 (and as well as to 2011 or 2012). But in general terms, violent crimes subjected to high fluctuation are above the levels [recorded] between 2013 and 2015."

Cases of murder. manslaughter, rape and sexual assault have risen measurably. In 2014, for example, a total of 180,955 acts of violence were reported, in previous year they were 188,946.

As Graw concludes, "the crime statistics drop only when compared to 2016, but have risen in comparison to the period before the refugee crisis." Addressing the issue of migrant crime, he wrote that "the proportion of non-German suspects across the board, and particularly when it came to violent crimes, was disproportionately high."

According to the 2017 crime statistics, more than 1,100 foreigners were charged with murder or manslaughter, as opposed to around 1,500 suspects holding German passports. The previous year's statistics showed a similar correlation: 1,137 foreigners were charged with homicide-related crime, compared to 1,638 German suspects. These are staggering numbers given the fact that Germany was home to roughly 10 million foreigners as opposed to 70 million German nationals.

In an article meant as a rebuttal to President Trump's tweets, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on June 19, 2018 admitted that the police crime report of 2017 showed a rise in homicide and sexual assault across the country. The Süddeutsche Zeitung, while correctly maintaining that the crime report showed an overall drop of 9.6%, disclosed that, "The number of homicides rose by 3.2%" and "the number of sexual assaults had risen as well."

On June 8, 2018, German public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk (SWR) admittedthat there was a "correlation between refugee influx and rising crime."

Concerning violent crimes, the 2017 government crime report found that the police charged 69,163 foreigners for such crimes compared to 112,346 Germans. In 2016, the report showed a ratio of 67,869 non-German, compared to 110,494 for German suspects.

There is nothing new about the mainstream media seizing an opportunity to ridicule and discredit the US President. However, the issue of mass migration into Europe is bigger than a fresh round of Trump-bashing or finding delicacies for the next news cycle.

By shielding Merkel's migrant policy from legitimate scrutiny and criticism, and hushing up a public debate, the mainstream media have become an accessory to the seriously flawed open-door migrant policy pushed by Merkel and the rest of European political elite.

Published:6/24/2018 7:06:22 AM
[Entertainment] Memorial set at Florida arena for slain rapper XXXTentacion The family of the 20-year-old rapper whose real name is Dedrick Devonshay Williams announced Saturday that a memorial will be held next Wednesday at BB&T Center, a 20,000 seat arena that is home to hockey's Florida Panthers.
     
 
 
Published:6/24/2018 7:06:22 AM
[AAPL] Redfin: The 'Everything' Of Real Estate Published:6/24/2018 6:35:32 AM
[Entertainment] 10 Reasons Why Jennifer Garner Is Total Mom Goals on Instagram Jennifer GarnerJennifer Garner is the definition of a cool mom. The award-winning actress is remembered for iconic roles in movies such as Alias and 13 Going On 30. Her most important role, however, is...
Published:6/24/2018 5:35:29 AM
[World] Immigration, Turkey, World Cup: Your Weekend Briefing Here’s what you need to know about the week’s top stories. Published:6/24/2018 5:35:29 AM
[Entertainment] 5 new books you won't want to miss this week, including the new Emily Giffin Look for new fiction from Emily Giffin and Amber Tamblyn, plus nonfiction about Arthur Conan Doyle and the Romanovs.
     
 
 
Published:6/24/2018 5:35:29 AM
[Free Speech] We Hear You: LGBT ‘Pride,’ the FBI’s Clinton Probe, the Singapore Summit, and Tucker on Trump

Editor’s note: Our audience had some things to say about Rachel del Guidice’s account of what she saw at the recent LGBT pride parade in... Read More

The post We Hear You: LGBT ‘Pride,’ the FBI’s Clinton Probe, the Singapore Summit, and Tucker on Trump appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:6/24/2018 5:35:29 AM
[Markets] California’s emigrants aren’t all moving to cheaper housing markets People are leaving California in droves — and this is where they are going.
Published:6/24/2018 5:35:29 AM
[worldNews] Erdogan faces major test as Turks vote for president, parliament ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turks voted on Sunday in presidential and parliamentary elections that pose the biggest ballot box challenge to Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party since they swept to power more than a decade and a half ago.
Published:6/24/2018 5:05:10 AM
[] EMT 06/24/18 EMT: Fortified with Victamins.... Published:6/24/2018 5:05:10 AM
[Comedy] wantaway

Used to describe a player in soccer who no longer wishes to play for his current club.

Nottingham Forest are in talks with Southampton over their wantaway defender.

Published:6/24/2018 4:35:12 AM
[Events] Snag your super early-bird passes for Disrupt Berlin 2018 Der frühe vogel fängt den wurm! Yikes, if we’re trotting out our tortured German to say “the early bird catches the worm,” it can mean only one thing, folks. It’s time for all you European startup fans to go catch super early-bird tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2018 on November 29-30. Our pricing tiers start at €595 […] Published:6/24/2018 4:35:12 AM
[844b9679-0c56-4aa0-ad49-4b1794bf987a] How to find peace when you’re feeling under pressure Why are people so stressed these days? Published:6/24/2018 4:04:58 AM
[Issues] State AFL-CIO Explains GOP Endorsement

Pennsylvania's largest labor group threw its weight behind a moderate Republican congressman one year after its president warned that union officials may have grown too complacent with the Democratic Party.

The post State AFL-CIO Explains GOP Endorsement appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:6/24/2018 4:04:58 AM
[TBT] The Mystery Of John Williams At The New York Fed Published:6/24/2018 3:34:48 AM
[worldNews] U.S. says still working to reunite 2,053 children with families WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government said it still had 2,053 children in its custody who were separated from their parents under President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, and set out its most detailed plans yet on how it would reunite families.
Published:6/24/2018 3:34:48 AM
[topics:places/jeddah] Roses and selfies as women take to the roads in Saudi Arabia for first time  Published:6/24/2018 3:04:39 AM
[topics:things/obesity] Compulsory calorie counts in restaurants and mile-long runs for primary pupils as Government plans to halve childhood obesity Published:6/24/2018 2:04:30 AM
[In The News] President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Sunday, June 24, 2018

By R. Mitchell -

President Donald Trump has no public events on his public schedule, but he will typically venture out on Sundays for golf and/or dinner so check back often for updates. President Trump’s schedule for 6/24/18 All Times EDT: No Public events   White House Briefing Schedule None See all of the president’s ...

President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Sunday, June 24, 2018 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:6/24/2018 2:04:29 AM
[structure:cars] New hope in mystery of James Bond's missing Aston Martin Published:6/24/2018 1:35:38 AM
[Bits and Pieces] Things So Asinine I Had To Click On Them

Using Siri makes you a tool of the patriarchy  Not yet.  Not until  I can order Siri to make me a sandwich and have her ask “Would you like mustard on that?” Bill Kristol Falls For Trump Parody Account  This guy has so lost touch with reality.  Of course, he does have company in George […]

The post Things So Asinine I Had To Click On Them appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:6/24/2018 1:04:21 AM
[structure:regwall-content] Revealed: The NHS working mother-of-two in Freud painting set to break record Published:6/24/2018 12:36:44 AM
[Entertainment] Woman dubbed '#PermitPatty' appears to call cops on 8-year-old girl selling water in viral video A mom's Instagram video has accumulated more than 600,000 views after it shows a woman calling the cops on her child, who was selling water bottles.
     
 
 
Published:6/24/2018 12:36:44 AM
[2018 News] Camp Hope PTSD Combat Support Line Camp Hope PTSD Combat Support Line. I saw this on Twitter and thought I would post this in case anyone has a need. Published:6/24/2018 12:04:17 AM
[Entertainment] Janet Jackson Thanks ''Incredible Father'' Joe Jackson After Terminal Cancer Report Janet Jackson, 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards, StageJanet Jackson's got nothing but love for her father Joe Jackson... While accepting the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards' first-ever Impact Award on Friday night, Janet praised her...
Published:6/23/2018 11:33:48 PM
[Free Speech] ACLU secretly demotes free speech (Paul Mirengoff) The left bailed on free speech a while back. Everyone who has been paying attention knows this. Less widely known is the fact that the ACLU is bailing too. That’s clear from this column in the Wall Street Journal by Wendy Kaminer, a former ACLU board member. Kaminer reports on new ACLU guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.” According to Kaminer, the guidelines are contained Published:6/23/2018 11:04:17 PM
[Entertainment] Josh Duhamel And Eiza González Get Cozy During Shopping Date Josh Duhamel, Eiza GonzalezThe summer is heating up and it appears that so is Josh Duhamel and Eiza González's rumored romance. The rumored new couple was spotted on their way to Bloomingdale's in Los...
Published:6/23/2018 10:34:41 PM
[Politics] Report: House GOP Planning 'Narrower' Immigration Bill House Republicans are planning a new immigration bill that would allow illegal immigrants to remain in detention centers with their parents for more than 20 days, correcting an issue in the executive order President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday.The current order... Published:6/23/2018 10:34:41 PM
[topics:things/children] New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern introduces baby Neve te Aroha to the world Published:6/23/2018 10:34:41 PM
[worldNews] U.S. government reunites 522 children removed under 'zero tolerance' WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Homeland Security Department said late Saturday the government has reunited 522 children separated from adults as part of a "Zero Tolerance" initiative and plans to reunite another 16 children over the next 24 hours.
Published:6/23/2018 10:34:41 PM
[Markets] Atrocity Porn And Hitler Memes Target Trump For Regime Change

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

American and global audiences have been bombarded with media images of wailing children in holding facilities, having been separated from adults (maybe their parents, maybe not) detained for illegal entry into the United States. The images have been accompanied by “gut-wrenching” audio of distraught toddlers screaming the Spanish equivalents of “Mommy!” and “Daddy!” – since, as any parent knows, small children never cry or call for their parents except in the most horrifying, life-threatening circumstances.

American and world media have provided helpful color commentary, condemning the caging of children as openly racist atrocities and state terrorism comparable to Nazi concentration camps and worse than FDR’s internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans. Indeed, just having voted for Trump is now reason enough for Americans to be labeled as Nazis.

Finally, the presumptive Hitler himself, also known as President Donald Trump, citing the pleas of First Lady Melania and First Daughter Ivanka, signed an Executive Order to provide for adults and (their?) children to be detained together. However, the order is unlikely to hold up in court, with sanctuary-minded states aiming to obstruct border enforcement the way Trump’s earlier order on vetting arrivals from terrorism-prone countries has been crippled by the federal judiciary. His media and bipartisan political opposition will be happy only when all border violation detentions cease and America has gone full Merkel, starting with ending Trump’s declared zero tolerance for illegal crossings and restoration of Barack Obama’s catch-and-release policy.

Even then, Trump will be vilified for taking so long to do it. Whether or how Trump may yield further is not clear, but rather than slaking the hate campaign against him, his attempted effort at appeasement has put the smell of political blood in the water with the November 2018 Congressional midterm elections looming.

Some images of small children have become veritable icons of Trumpian brutality. One photo, reportedly of a two-year-old Honduran girl (who in fact had not been separated from her mother), graced the cover of Time magazine, confronting the black-hearted tyrant himself. Another, of a little boy in a cage, went viral before it was revealed that this kid had nothing to do with the border but rather was briefly inside a staged pen as part of a protest in Dallas.

The reality behind the pictures doesn’t matter, though. More important are the images themselves and their power, along with dishonest media spin, to produce an emotional response that short-circuits critical thinking.

Never mind what the facts are! Children are suffering! Trump is guilty! We need to “do something”!

On point of comparison, let’s remember the  saturation media distribution given in 2016 to a picture of a little boyOmran Daqneesh, said to have been pulled from the rubble of Aleppo after what was dubiously reported as a Russian airstrike. Promptly dubbed “Aleppo Boy,” his pathetic dusty image immediately went viral in every prestige outlet in the United States and Europe. The underlying message: we – the “international community,” “the Free World,” the United States, you and I – must “do something” to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his main backer and fellow Hitler clone Vladimir Putin.

(Not long before, another little boy, also in the area of Aleppo, was beheaded on video by the “moderate” US-supported jihad terror group Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki. The images of his grisly demise received far less media attention than those of official Aleppo Boy. This other youngster received no catchy moniker. No one called for anyone in power to “do something.” In fact, western support for the al-Zenki murderers – which the Obama administration refused to disavow even after the beheading and allegations of chlorine gas use by al-Zenki – can itself be seen as part of “doing something” about the evil, evil Assad. (Reportedly Trump’s viewing the beheading video led to a cutoff of CIA aid to some jihad groups.) Another small detail readily available in alternative media but almost invisible in the major outlets: Mahmoud Raslan, the photographer who took the picture of Aleppo Boy and disseminated it to world acclaim, also took a smiling selfie with the beaming al-Zenki beheaders of the other kid. But, hey, says Raslan, I barely know those guys. Now let’s move on . . . )

For those who have been paying attention for the past couple of decades, the Trump border crisis kids, like Aleppo Boy before them, are human props in what is known as 'atrocity porn' designed to titillate the viewers through horror and incite them to hatred of the presumed perpetrators. Atrocity propaganda has long been a part of warfare – think World War I claims of Belgian babies impaled on German bayonets – but with modern digital technology and social media the impact is immediate and universal.

It’s irrelevant whether what is identified in images corresponds to reality. What matters is their ability to evoke mindless, maudlin emotionalism, like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow choking up in tears over the border children or the similar weepy display in 2016 by CNN’s Kate Bolduan over Aleppo Boy.  

Now being deployed in an American domestic context over whether or not the US should be allowed to control its borders, for decades atrocity porn has been essential for selling military action in wars of choice unconnected to the actual defense of the US: incubator babies (Kuwait/Iraq); the Racak massacre (Kosovo); the Markale marketplace bombings, Omarska “living skeletons,” and the Srebrenica massacre (Bosnia); rape as calculated instrument of war (Bosnia, Libya); and false flag poison gas attacks in Ghouta  and Douma (Syria). Never mind that the facts, to the extent they eventually become known, may later turn out to be very different from the categorical black-and-white accusations on the lips of western officials and given banner exposure within hours if not minutes of the event in question.

Atrocity porn dovetails closely with another key meme, that of Hitler-of-the-month. In painting Trump as der Führer on the border, we see coming home to America a ploy that has been an essential element to justify foreign regime change operation, each of which has been spelled out in terms of black-and-white, good-versus-evil Manichaean imperatives, with the side targeted for destruction or replacement having absolutely no redeeming qualities. This entails first of all absolute demonization of the evil leader in what is called reductio ad Hitlerum, a concept attributed to philosopher Leo Strauss in 1951. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been characterized by name as another Hitler by Hillary Clinton and others. Among the prominent “Hitlers” since 1991 have been Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia/Serbia), Radovan Karadzic (Republika Srpska), Moammar Qaddafi (Libya), and Bashar al-Assad (Syria), with less imposing Führer figures to be found in Mohamed Farrah Aidid (Somalia), Manuel Noriega (Panama), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), and Omar al-Bashir (Sudan).

With apologies to Voltaire, if Hitler had not existed it would be necessary for the US-UK Deep State to invent him . . .

Today the atrocity porn and Hitler memes that have been so useful in justifying regime change in other countries are being directed with increasing intensity against America’s own duly elected president. This is at a time when the original conspiracy to discredit and unseat him, the phony “Russian collusion” story, is in the process of unraveling and being turned back on its originators. Horror of horrors, Trump is now feeling free enough to move forward on a meeting with Putin.

Keep in mind that Putin is, according to Hillary Clinton, leader of the worldwide “authoritarian, white-supremacist, and xenophobic movement” who is “emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists, and even neo-Nazis.” So he and Hitler-Trump should get on famously! The prospect of any warming of ties between Washington and Moscow has elements of the US intelligence agencies, together with their British coconspirators in MI6 and GCHQin an absolute panic.

That’s why desperate measures are in order. As noted earlier, when confronted with a reincarnation of the most evil personage in history, even the most extreme actions cannot be ruled out. Demonizing the intended target neutralizes objections to his removal – by any means necessary.

After all, how can any decent person oppose getting rid of Hitler?

Published:6/23/2018 10:34:41 PM
[Politics] Trump, stumping in Nevada, makes immigration a central midterms issue for GOP Democrats “just want to use this issue — and I like the issue for [the] election, too,” the president says. Published:6/23/2018 10:03:36 PM
[Entertainment] Joanna Gaines Shares First Photo of Newborn Son and Reveals His Name Joanna GainesThe Gaines crew just added a Crew! Hours after her husband Chip Gaines announced that they'd welcomed the couple's fifth child, Joanna Gaines took to Instagram to give the world a...
Published:6/23/2018 10:03:34 PM
[topics:things/iguana] Plague of green iguanas wreaks havoc in Florida Published:6/23/2018 10:03:34 PM
[Markets] Bill Maher Defends "Wish" For "A Recession" That Will "Erode Trump's Popularity"

Bill Maher, the host of HBO's long-running late night talk show "Real Time", took a few minutes out of his show Friday night to respond to the backlash to a segment from last week's show where he voiced his hope that the US economy takes a nosedive into recession in the relatively near future, because - as Maher argued - a recession is the only thing that will help get rid of Trump by "eroding his popularity."

Maher started the segment by repeating his now infamous line: "A recession is a survivable event. What Trump is doing to this country...is not" before lobbing a few criticisms of his own at the "right-wing nut-o-sphere" that took umbrage with his remarks. Responding to Laura Ingraham's claim that Maher has been rooting for an "economic collapse", Maher called her claims "laughable", arguing that he never said anything about wishing for an "economic collapse." "All I did was make a wish!," Maher joked. Anybody who doesn't understand this, he said, could use a "course in perspective."

"And finally, new rule, anyone who went apeshit over the last two weeks because I said going through a recession would be worth it if it undermined Trump's popularity has to enroll in college and take a course in perspective," Maher told his audience.

Maher believes his economic commentary is important, given that the American left is seemingly fixated on children being separated from their parents at the border, gun control and "intersectional" issues like transgender Americans' rights to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, while ignoring the fact that Democracy in America is "going the way of the DoDo bird"..

"Democracy is about to go the way of the dinosaurs because we've been taken over by a dodo bird," he added, to laughs. "So let me repeat: Recessions are survivable events. We survive one every time a Republican is in the White House. It's true. Every Republican president since Teddy Roosevelt has presided over a recession."

But criticisms of Maher's comments weren't exclusively made by the right: Dean Obeidallah, a CNN contributor, wrote that "Bill Maher is wrong to root for a recession - and it hurts progressives that a so called progressive like millionaire Bill Maher is rooting for Americans to suffer." And while Maher scoffed at the notion that Alex Jones' accused him of being worth $100 million, he does collect an annual salary of $10 million. The controversy began when Maher suggested during his show last week that only an economic recession would be enough to dislodge Trump from office - and that an economic downturn would be well-worth it to spare Americans from Trump's policies like his tax reform bill which handed money back to corporations and the wealthy (ignoring the fact that many working Americans - particularly those living in states that voted for Trump - have also benefited).

"I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point," Maher said.

Of course, Maher is right about one thing: The US economy has survived, on average, one recession every ten years. And with  the current business cycle - already the second-longest on record for the US - drawing inevitably closer to its end, the odds that Trump ends up presiding over a recession are increasing with each passing day.

Expansion

Published:6/23/2018 10:03:34 PM
[Politics] Immigration Key Issue in rough GOP Race for Kansas Governor Kris Kobach's top Republican rivals are trying to sound the right notes on illegal immigration to appeal to business and agriculture leaders without conceding too many conservative votes to a hardliner who's made tougher state policies a key theme in an increasingly... Published:6/23/2018 9:33:25 PM
[Entertainment] Radio Disney Music Awards 2018 Winners: The Complete List Carrie Underwood, 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards, StageIt's time to find out who took home the top honors at the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards! Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, BTS, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes,...
Published:6/23/2018 9:33:25 PM
[Media] Republicans pounce! Chuck Todd, CNN agree it’s not a good look to ‘weaponize’ TIME’s bogus report

So if you point out that TIME made a mistake in its reporting, you're obviously pro-Trump and you're just "weaponizing" their error.

The post Republicans pounce! Chuck Todd, CNN agree it’s not a good look to ‘weaponize’ TIME’s bogus report appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/23/2018 9:33:25 PM
[Markets] Johnstone: "Anyone Promoting Regime Change In Iran Is An Evil Piece Of Shit"

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

I have been saying all year that the 8chan phenomenon known as “QAnon” is bogus, and as time has gone on the evidence has become overwhelming that it is an establishment psyop designed to herd the populist right into accepting the narratives and agendas of the establishment orthodoxy. Whether they’re claiming that every capitulation the Trump administration makes to longstanding neoconservative agendas is actually brilliant 4-D chess strategy, or saying that Julian Assange isn’t really trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy, QAnon enthusiasts are constantly regurgitating talking points which just so happen to fit in very conveniently with the interests of America’s defense and intelligence agencies.

A recent “Q drop” (a fancy name for an anonymous user posting text onto a popular internet troll message board with zero accountability) makes this more abundantly clear than ever, with text reading as follows:

Free Iran!!!
Fight
Fight
Fight
Regime change.
People have the power.
We stand with you.
Q

Once you’re cheering for a longtime neoconservative agenda to be accomplished in one of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” countries, you are cheering for the establishment. Or, to put it more clearly to Q followers, you are cheering for the deep state.

So now you have conspiracy-minded populist right wingers being manipulated into supporting the same standard Bush administration globalist agendas that Alex Jones built his career on attacking. The support for regime change interventionism in Iran isn’t limited to the QAnon crowd, having now gone fully mainstream throughout Trump’s base, and I’d like to address a few of the arguments here that they have been bringing to me:

“Iran is nowhere near the same thing as Iraq, Libya or Syria!”

Please go look at a globe and think a little harder about your position here. Iran is a target for regime change for the exact same reasons its neighbors Iraq and Syria have been; it occupies and extremely strategically significant location in an oil-rich region that the US-centralized empire wants full control of. Thinking this one is different because its government isn’t secular is the product of many years of Islamophobic propaganda; the plutocrats and their allied intelligence and defense agencies don’t care what religion sits on top of their oil, and Saudi Arabia proves it. Any argument made against Iranian theocracy could be made even more strongly against KSA theocracy, but you don’t see Sean Hannity advocating the overthrow of the Saudi royals, do you?

“But this regime change intervention would be completely different!”

No it wouldn’t. There has never been a US-led regime change intervention in the Middle East that wasn’t disastrous. Cheering for regime change interventionism in Iran is cheering for all the destabilization, chaos, terror, death, rape and slavery that always necessarily comes with such interventions. Wanting to inflict that upon the world is monstrous.

“This is different, though! This one is led by Trump! Look at all that he’s accomplished in North Korea!”

Okay, three things:

1. All that Trump has done with North Korea is take the very first step in the most rudimentary beginnings of peace talks. I fully support him in taking that step, but you can’t legitimately treat it as an “accomplishment” which proves that he is a strategic genius capable of facilitating the impossible task of non-disastrous regime change in Iran.

2. Even if Trump does help bring abiding peace to the Korean Peninsula, it won’t legitimize regime change interventionism in Iran. Hell, even if Trump gets North Korea to denuclearize (and he won’t), it still wouldn’t legitimize regime change interventionism in Iran. US-led regime change interventionism is always disastrous, especially in the easily destabilized geopolitical region of the Middle East.

3. Neocons are always wrong about foreign policy. Always. There’s no reason to believe Trump spearheading a longstanding neocon agenda would work out any better than Bush or any other neocon.

“Well what about the Iranians in Iran who want regime change?”

What about them? The fact that some Iranians want their government changed has nothing to do with you or your government. The Fox News and Washington Post pundits who keep pointing out the fact that Iran, like America, contains people who are unhappy with its current system of government are only ever trying to galvanize the west against Tehran. There’s no good reason for you to be acting as a pro bono CIA propagandist running around telling westerners how great it would be if the Mullahs were gone.

“Well I don’t want the US to intervene, I just want the Iranians to free themselves!”

Two things:

1. This administration is already currently engaged in regime change interventionism in Iran in the form of escalated CIA covert operations and harsh economic sanctions, and its involvement with Iranian terror cult MEKsuggests it may run far deeper than that in a similar way to US involvement with extremist groups in Syria, Libya and Ukraine.

2. Why say anything, then? Ever stop to ask yourself why you’re always cheering for Iranians to overthrow their government? Why constantly cheerlead for something which requires zero western involvement? Whom does that help? Do you think Iranians don’t already know that America hates their government?

All you’re doing is helping to signal boost the pro-regime change propaganda that US defense and intelligence agencies have been seeding into American public consciousness for many years. Your “Yay, free Iran!” sentiments aren’t helping Iranians, they’re helping the western propagandists target western audiences. You’re just helping the public get more okay with any actions taken against the Iranian government, in exactly the same way Russiagaters help manufacture support for escalations against Russia.

Come on, people. Think harder. This one isn’t difficult. It’s not a random coincidence that you’re all being paced into supporting regime change in the final target named seventeen years ago in General Wesley Clark’s famous “seven countries in five years” list of neocon regime change agendas. The only thing that has changed is the face on the agenda.

Iran is not different from the other regime change targets of Iraq, Libya or Syria. Barack Obama served George W Bush’s third and fourth terms, and Donald Trump is serving his fifth. They were strong-armed in different ways by America’s unelected power establishment into advancing different regime change agendas depending on where their political support came from and public sentiment at the time, but it’s all been pointed at the exact same region for the exact same reasons.

Leave Iran alone. Leave the Iranian people alone. There is no legitimate reason for you to be cheering for regime change in Iran, and anyone who tells you otherwise is an evil piece of shit. Reject them.

*  *  *

Internet censorship is getting pretty bad, so best way to keep seeing the stuff I publish is to get on the mailing list for my website, so you’ll get an email notification for everything I publish. My articles and podcasts are entirely reader and listener-funded, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying my book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

Published:6/23/2018 9:33:25 PM
[Politics] DOJ turns over docs to Republicans (finally)… but Mark Meadows is STILL ANGRY!! The Department of Justice has finally coughed up those docs that the House Republicans have been demanding about how the Russian investigation began. Well.. kinda. They partially fulfilled the request. And Mark . . . Published:6/23/2018 9:03:21 PM
[Markets] TV Blackout For Erdogan Opposition As Turkey Vote Looms; Goldman On What To Expect Tomorrow

Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held concurrently in Turkey on Sunday, with the results likely to start emerging on Sunday evening. In the presidential election, opinion polls suggest that President Erdogan is likely to fall just short of the 50% required to win in the first round (implying a second round run-off on July 8). In the parliamentary elections, opinion polls also point to a close result, with a high probability that the incumbent AKP-led Cumhur Alliance could lose its majority.

While victory is likely for Erdogan (as we detailed here), as Live Oak Capital's Brad Hoff notes below, Erdogan is utilizing all his state powers to ensure his own success...

AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Republican People's Party (CHP) challenger Muharrem Ince.  Image via Hurriyet

Bloomberg reports "State TV TRT gives no air time to opposition's Istanbul rally" while multiple sources confirm a television blackout for the Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem Ince as Erdogan's rival continues to reportedly draw immense crowds. 

Screenshot of CHP candidate Muharrem Ince Saturday rally on the Asian side of Istanbul. 

Both are in Istanbul a day ahead of Sunday's vote widely considered the most important in recent Turkish political history — a crossing the Rubicon moment for Erdogan as he stands to inherit an unprecedented and likely irreversible level of sweeping executive authority

We noted previously that Muharrem Ince's political rallies in major cities this week have drawn shockingly large crowds, a worrisome sign for incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called for Sunday's snap election at a time when the economy was stronger and as he likely felt unbeatable. 

But multiple international outlets are noting that while Erdogan is still favored to win, a noticeable surge in popular discontent at runaway inflation and a tanking economy, as well as the conservative AKP party leader's enabling of nepotism and corruption on a mass scale, is bringing a cross-section of Turks to the streets in support of secularist CHP contender Ince. 

For example, Ince's Wednesday rally in Izmir included a crowd size estimating in range from 300,000 up to several million, depending on the media source commenting.

Bloomberg describes the scene in Istanbul on Saturday:

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's biggest rival appealed to a massive rally in Istanbul in the campaign's final hours. You just wouldn't know it watching state television.

Muharrem Ince, a 54-year-ld former physics teacher, addressed what his CHP party claimed was a crowd of 4 million in the Maltepe district on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. But the government's TRT Haber stayed with its regular programming, interrupting it only when Erdogan addressed smaller groups in his travels around Istanbul.

Bloomberg explains further of early polling that:

Erdogan remains the clear frontrunner in Sunday’s presidential election. But most polls show him short of the 50 percent needed for a first-round win -- opening the way for a runoff in which an ‘anyone-but-Erdogan’ candidate stands a chance. The president’s AK Party also risks losing its majority in the parliamentary vote the same day.

But Sunday's vote is one Erdogan can't afford to lose and as we noted previously he has carefully put the architecture in place for this moment

The Supreme Electoral Council, the judicial system, and the military — until recently Erdogan’s most dedicated nemesis — are all now under Erdogan’s control. The military was completely denuded of its higher ranks following the July 2016 failed coup attempt...

...The national press, meanwhile, is completely dominated by Erdogan’s acolytes. The results are unsurprising: In the last two weeks of May, a study demonstrated that the president and his party received far more coverage on three government-owned television stations, including a Kurdish-language one. — Foreign Policy

The opposition has increasingly relied on social media channels on platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Google to overcome the media blackout. However, state censors have had these blocked in the past as well. 

So what will happen tomorrow?

via Goldman Sachs,

Turkey’s elections: Opinion polls point to a close result

Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, June 24. Voting will close at 5:00pm local time (3:00pm London time) and preliminary results will be announced on Monday. However, unofficial results are likely to be available on Sunday evening on media outlets. In the event that no presidential candidate achieves more than 50% of the vote in the first round, the two candidates with the largest number of votes will face a run-off on Sunday, July 8.

The election will complete the transition to the new presidential system, with extensive new powers vested in the executive. Unlike previous Turkish elections, this time parties have been able to form alliances, with the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation applying to the alliance as a whole rather than to individual parties. In Exhibit 1, we summarise the policy positions of the government (Cumhur) and opposition (Millet) alliances on key issues.

Exhibit 1: A summary of the government (Cumhur) and opposition (Millet) key policy positions

Note: Not all parties in each alliance subscribe to all of these policies, but they represent our best summary of the alliances' overall views

Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research

The latest polling data point to a close outcome in both the parliamentary and – potentially – the presidential elections. In the presidential elections, President Erdogan has a clear lead over his rivals but most polls indicate that he will fall short of the 50% required to win in the first round.

If the presidential election goes to a second round, polling data point to a close run-off, but a likely Erdogan victory against Muharrem Ince, of the centre-left/secular CHP (Republican People’s Party).

In the parliamentary elections, polling data suggest that the incumbent AKP-led Cumhur Alliance stands a significant chance of losing its parliamentary majority and the key to the outcome appears to be whether the pro-Kurdish HDP party – the only major party not running as part of an alliance – passes the 10% threshold required for parliamentary representation.

For financial markets, each of the likely outcomes comes with associated risks.

In the past, Turkish assets have responded positively to political events that were perceived as increasing political stability, while responding negatively to political instability (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2: Asset prices tend to react positively to the perception of political stability in the short run

Turkish asset prices one day/week after political events

Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research

Viewed from this perspective, a win for the AKP in both the presidential and parliamentary elections would be the most stable outcome. However, President Erdogan’s comments on monetary policy during the election campaign – advocating lower interest rates and indicating that he would play a more active role in monetary policy – have raised concerns over the future direction of monetary policy in the event of this outcome.

Though one glance at the current state of Turkish stocks, debt, and FX signals this is a considerable concern...

A split government (with Mr. Erdogan as President and the opposition obtaining a majority in parliament) would likely represent the most negative outcome for Turkish assets, in our view, as it would imply political instability and high levels of uncertainty over the future direction of monetary policy.

An opposition victory in both elections would also bring significant challenges, not least the task of forming a new government and agreeing on a cohesive legislative programme. However, under the assumption that these challenges can be overcome, we would expect it to be the most market-friendly scenario in the medium term.

 

Published:6/23/2018 9:03:21 PM
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[Media] Let’s go to the video: John Harwood finds it ‘disgraceful’ to suggest Nancy Pelosi defended MS-13

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[Politics] DOJ turns over docs to Republicans (finally)… but Mark Meadows is STILL ANGRY!! The Department of Justice has finally coughed up those docs that the House Republicans have been demanding about how the Russian investigation began. Well.. kinda. They partially fulfilled the request. And Mark . . . Published:6/23/2018 8:35:11 PM
[Markets] Debunking The Persistent Myth Of U.S. Precision Bombing

Authored by Nicholas Davies via ConsortiumNews.com,

U.S. media routinely repeat Pentagon talking points about the accuracy of U.S. bombing, but how precise are these attacks?

Opinion polls in the United States and the United Kingdom have found that a majority of the public in both countries has a remarkably consistent belief that only about 10,000 Iraqis were killed as a result of the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Estimates of deaths in Iraq actually range from 150,000 to 1.2 million. Part of the reason for the seriously misguided public perception may come from a serious belief in guided weapons, according to what the government tells people about “precision” bombing.  But one must ask how so many people can be killed if these weapons are so “precise,” for instance in one of “the most precise air campaigns in military history,” as a Pentagon spokesman characterized the total destruction last year of Raqqa in Syria.

The dreadful paradox of “precision weapons” is that the more the media and the public are wrongly persuaded of the near-magical qualities of these weapons, the easier it is for U.S. military and civilian leaders to justify using them to destroy entire villages, towns and cities in country after country: Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul in Iraq; Sangin and Musa Qala in Afghanistan; Sirte in Libya; Kobane and Raqqa in Syria.

An Imprecise History

The skillful use of disinformation about “precision” bombing has been essential to the development of aerial bombardment as a strategic weapon. In a World War II propaganda pamphlet titled the “Ultimate Weapon of Victory”, the U.S. government hailed the B-17 bomber as “… the mightiest bomber ever built… equipped with the incredibly accurate Norden bomb sight, which hits a 25-foot circle from 20,000 feet.“

However, according to the website WW2Weapons, “With less than 50 per-cent cloud coverage an average B-17 Fortress Group could be expected to place 32.4% of its bombs within 1000 feet of the aiming point when aiming visually.”  That could rise to 60 percent if flying at the dangerously low altitude of 11,000 feet in daylight.

The inaccurate B17 “Flying Fortress”

The U.K.’s 1941 Butt Report found that only five percent of British bombers were dropping their bombs within five miles of their targets, and that 49 percent of their bombs were falling in “open country.”

In the “Dehousing Paper,” the U.K. government’s chief scientific adviser argued that mass aerial bombardment of German cities to “dehouse” and break the morale of the civilian population would be more effective than “precision” bombing aimed at military targets.  British leaders agreed, and adopted this new approach: “area” or “carpet” bombing, with the explicit strategic purpose of “dehousing” Germany’s civilian population.

The U.S. soon adopted the same strategy against both Germany and Japan, and a U.S. airman quoted in the post-war U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey lampooned efforts at “precision” bombing as a “major assault on German agriculture.”

The destruction of North Korea by U.S.-led bombing and shelling in the Korean War was so total that U.S. military leaders estimated that they’d killed 20 percent of its population.

In the American bombing of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the U.S. dropped more bombs than all sides combined in the Second World War, with full scale use of horrific napalm and cluster bombs.  The whole world recoiled from this mass slaughter, and even the U.S. was chastened into scaling back its military ambitions for at least a decade.

The American War in Vietnam saw the introduction of the “laser-guided smart bomb,” but the Vietnamese soon learned that the smoke from a small fire or a burning tire was enough to confuse its guidance system.  “They’d go up, down, sideways, all over the place,” a GI told Douglas Valentine, the author of The Phoenix Program. “And people would smile and say, ‘There goes another smart bomb!’  So smart a gook with a match and an old tire can fuck it up.”

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

President Bush Senior hailed the First Gulf War as the moment that America “kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all.”  Deceptive information about “precision” bombing played a critical role in revitalizing U.S. militarism after defeat in Vietnam.

The U.S. and its allies ruthlessly carpet-bombed Iraq, reducing it from what a UN report later called “a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society” to “a pre-industrial age nation.”  But the Western media enthusiastically swallowed Pentagon briefings and broadcast round-the-clock bomb-sight footage of a handful of successful “precision” strikes as if they were representative of the entire campaign.  Later reports revealed that only seven percent of the 88,500 tons of bombs and missiles devastating Iraq were “precision” weapons.

The U.S. turned the bombing of Iraq into a marketing exercise for the U.S. war industry, dispatching pilots and planes straight from Kuwait to the Paris Air Show.  The next three years saw record U.S. weapons exports, offsetting small reductions in U.S. arms procurement after the end of the Cold War.

The myth of “precision” bombing that helped Bush and the Pentagon “kick the Vietnam syndrome” was so successful that it has become a template for the Pentagon’s management of news in subsequent U.S. bombing campaigns. It also gave us the disturbing euphemism “collateral damage” to indicate civilians killed by errant bombs.

The devastating aerial assault on Baghdad in 2003, known as “shock and awe.”

‘Shock and Awe’

As the U.S. and U.K. launched their “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq in 2003, Rob Hewson, the editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weaponsestimated about 20-25 percent of the U.S. and U.K.’s “precision” weapons were missing their targets in Iraq, noting that this was a significant improvement over the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, when 30-40 percent were off-target. “There’s a significant gap between 100 percent and reality,” Hewson said. “And the more you drop, the greater your chances of a catastrophic failure.”

Since World War II, the U.S. Air Force has loosened its definition of “accuracy” from 25 feet to 10 meters (39 feet), but that is still less than the blast radius of even its smallest 500 lb. bombs.  So the impression that these weapons can be used to surgically “zap” a single house or small building in an urban area without inflicting casualties and deaths throughout the surrounding area is certainly contrived.

“Precision” weapons comprised about two thirds of the 29,200 weapons aimed at the armed forces, people and infrastructure of Iraq in 2003.  But the combination of 10,000 “dumb” bombs and 4,000 to 5,000 “smart” bombs and missiles missing their targets meant that about half of “Shock and Awe’s” weapons were as indiscriminate as the carpet bombing of previous wars.  Saudi Arabia and Turkey asked the U.S. to stop firing cruise missiles through their territory after some went so far off-target that they struck their territory. Three also hit Iran.

“In a war that’s being fought for the benefit of the Iraqi people, you can’t afford to kill any of them,” a puzzled Hewson said. “But you can’t drop bombs and not kill people.  There’s a real dichotomy in all of this.”

‘Precision’ Bombing Today

Since Barack Obama started the bombing of Iraq and Syria in 2014 more than 107,000 bombs and missiles have been launched. U.S. officials claim only a few hundred civilians have been killed. The British government persists in the utterly fantastic claim that none of its 3,700 bombs have killed any civilians at all.

Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd from Mosul, told Patrick Cockburn of Britain’s  Independent newspaper that he’d seen Kurdish military intelligence reports that U.S. airstrikes and U.S., French and Iraqi artillery had killed at least 40,000 civilians in his hometown, with many more bodies still buried in the rubble.  Almost a year later, this remains the only remotely realistic official estimate of the civilian death toll in Mosul. But no other mainstream Western media have followed up on it.

The consequences of U.S. air wars are hidden in plain sight, in endless photos and videos. The Pentagon and the corporate media may suppress the evidence, but the mass death and destruction of American aerial bombardment are only too real to the millions of people who have survived it.

Published:6/23/2018 8:35:11 PM
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[Markets] Facebook, Twitter Deactivate Hezbollah Accounts After Kidnapping Video Published

Hezbollah's television and news network Al Manar has confirmed that on Friday the Lebanese paramilitary group's "War Media" accounts on Twitter and Facebook were closed without notice. Hezbollah is now accusing the social media giants of taking part in an American "anti-media campaign" against the group which has already long been designated a terror organization by the US government. 

Image via Behind the News

Al-Manar English explains:

In a post on the Telegram messaging application, Hezbollah’s Central War Media accused the US-based websites of running an anti-media campaign against the Lebanese resistance movement.

Facebook and Twitter closed the accounts as part of their efforts to harm the resistance since the social media accounts of the Central War Media play a major role in Hezbollah’s activities, according to the post on Telegram.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter have yet to give official comment.

Though it's not the first time Hezbollah's Facebook page has been blocked (it occurred in 2017, but later went active again), the move by Facebook and Twitter could be in relation to the current Syrian Army and allied forces major offensive in Syria's southwest, where a major campaign is underway to liberate Daraa.

Both the US and Israel have issued repeat warnings against Iran-backed or Hezbollah forces being present in the south and near the Israeli occupied Golan; however, some sources on the ground have reported that Damascus is ignoring those warnings, allowing Hezbollah fighters to enter the battle. Pro-rebel social media accounts have also in recent days uploaded what they claim is proof of Hezbollah's presence in Daraa and Quneitra governates.

But as Newsweek suggests the social media shutdown could be related to a newly published Hezbollah video showing the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers from along the Israel-Lebanon border over a decade ago, which precipitated 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War

The alleged shutdown comes a day after a Hezbollah social media account published a new video showing the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in 2006, according to Israeli news outlet Ynet News. The Twitter page which published the video is still active, casting doubt over whether the clip played a direct part in the clampdown of the group’s social media presence.

Controversial footage of the kidnapping was first published in 2012 on the Hezbollah affiliated news channel Al Mayadeen and aired on stations throughout the region, including in Israeli media where it was analyzed on news panels. That particular footage was filmed from a distance. 

However, the newly released video which may have resulted in Facebook taking action shows a close-up angle of the kidnapping, focusing in on the captured soldiers lying prone just before their vehicle explodes. Hezbollah militants are seen dressed up as IDF soldiers as they ambush the Israeli Humvee and plant explosives.

Still frame of the 2006 ambush from the newly published Hezbollah video, showing one of the IDF soldiers on the ground (in the blurred section).

Hezbollah immediately announced on Friday that backup pages and accounts have been established, which the group encouraged followers to utilize. 

American military analysts and advisers have in the past frequently complained that a US-designated terror group has long been allowed broad usage of US-based social media platforms. 

In 2006 a New York man was arrested and charged for providing US residents with access to Hezbollah's satellite channel, al-Manar. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for material support of a terrorist organization.

Published:6/23/2018 8:04:42 PM
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Published:6/23/2018 7:34:48 PM
[Markets] The Indian Crossroads: Will Modi Choose Putin Or Trump?

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,

India just imposed reciprocal tariffs against the US in response to the ones that Trump just applied against steel and aluminum imports.

According to a filing that the Indian government made to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the tariffs on almonds, apples, certain motorcycles, and walnuts are intended to compensate for the estimated $240 million a year that India is expected to lose because of Trump’s tariffs, which represents a stunningly independent move from the Great Power that’s hitherto been doing everything that it could to remain in the US’ “good graces”.

India’s 2016 LEMOA logistics deal with the US unprecedentedly made the two countries military-strategic partners, and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson even spoke about plans for them to remain so all throughout the 21st century. That said, the economic relationship between them has lagged far behind their military-strategic one, with India failing to attract US investors to its so-called “Make In India” domestic development program.

New Delhi may have thought that it could woo American factories from neighboring China amidst the deteriorating trade ties between Beijing and Washington, but much to its surprise, Trump remained true to his campaign pledge that he wants US companies returning back to the homeland and not to simply “re-offshore” elsewhere.

As a result, India no longer considers itself to be as indispensable to the US’ 21st-century plans to “contain” China like it previously thought that it was, seeing as how the economic dimension of this grand partnership is being deliberately neglected in favor of focusing solely on its military-strategic aspects. India’s plans for becoming a world power are unsustainable without the strong growth that would be afforded by a 1990s China-like economic partnership with the US, and its decision makers are now beginning to fear the consequences of indefinitely remaining the US’ “junior partner” for the rest of the century.

It’s with these worries in mind – as well as the ever-present threat of CAATSA sanctions should it go forward with its planned S-400 missile deal with Russia – that Prime Minister Modi paid informal visits to his Chinese and Russian counterparts in providing India with the option of a Eurasian “rebalancing” in the event that its pro-Atlantic pivot of recent years fails to yield the expected comprehensive – and especially economic – dividends.

There’s still a lot of lingering distrust between India and China that probably won’t ever fully go away, which is why India’s new strategy might be to rely on Russia as a means for “balancing” its relations between the US and China in a bid to clinch better deals from each.

Unfortunately for India, the US will inevitably force New Delhi to choose between it and Russia.

The 'best-case' scenario of siding with the US over Russia is that India will remain among the most privileged of Washington’s 'junior partners', while the worst-case eventuality is that it will be provoked into a border conflict with China.

As for the Russian angle of this equation, the most advantageous outcome is that Moscow brokers a deal between India and China to combine their competing “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” and Silk Road megaprojects into a single hemisphere-wide multipolar connectivity network, while the “worst” that can happen in this scenario is that Russia remains the “balancing” fulcrum for managing India and China’s continued competition in Afro-Eurasia.

India is therefore at an historic crossroads that will determine its strategic trajectory across the coming century, and it’ll probably have to make an irreversible decision by the end of this year.

Published:6/23/2018 7:34:48 PM
[The Blog] Press Secretary kicked out of VA restaurant, social media responds

Owner claims "moral grounds".

The post Press Secretary kicked out of VA restaurant, social media responds appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/23/2018 7:34:48 PM
[Entertainment] Luis D. Ortiz Opens Up About His Struggle With Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Luis D. OrtizFollowing the recent suicides Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, Million Dollar Listing: New York star Luis D. Ortiz is opening up about "struggling" with suicidal thoughts in hopes of...
Published:6/23/2018 7:03:27 PM
[Politics] Restaurant Owner Defends Kicking Out Trump Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders A Virginia restaurant was inundated with reviews from both ends of the political spectrum Saturday after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said its owner asked her to leave because of her job.On Friday, a Facebook user claiming to be a waiter at The Red Hen in... Published:6/23/2018 7:03:27 PM
[Democrats] She Should Have Asked Them To Bake Her a Cake (John Hinderaker) There is not much point in trying to keep up with the Liberal Outrages of the Day. They come too fast and furiously; it would be a full-time job, and more. But yesterday’s peak outrage is one you probably already know about: the manager of a Red Hen restaurant kicked Sarah Sanders and her family out of her establishment last night. Sanders tweeted about it: Last night I was told Published:6/23/2018 7:03:27 PM
[Markets] Restaurant Owner Who Booted Sanders Says Gay Employees Too Triggered By WH Press Secretary

The owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia says that she booted White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders because her gay employees were triggered over the Trump administration's transgender military ban, according to an interview she gave to the Washington Post.

In a nutshell, Sanders was joining a party of eight booked under her husband's name. The owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, was at home when her chef called to let her know that the staff was highly offended at Sanders's presence: 

Sarah Huckabee Sanders had just walked in and sat down, the chef informed her.

He said the staff is a little concerned. What should we do?” Wilkinson told The Washington Post. “I said I’d be down to see if it’s true.

...

Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson told her staff, she said. “They said yes.

...

Several Red Hen employees were gay, she said. They knew Sanders had defended Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from the military. This month, they had all watched her evade questions and defend a Trump policy that caused migrant children to be separated from their parents.

At the end of the night, staff members wrote on their employee whiteboard "86 Sara Huckabee Sanders" - a code for throwing someone out of an establishment. One of the servers photographed the whiteboard and posted it to his public Facebook wall. 

After the story went viral, Sanders posted to Twitter: "Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so"

People are already comparing the incident to the Christian bakery who was recently granted the right to refuse service to a gay couple over their religious beliefs. Liberals have suggested that conservatives have no right to have a problem with Sanders' ejection, while conservatives are noting that liberals who had been fighting against exclusionary business practices are suddenly OK with Sanders being excluded. 

Either way, the Red Hen now gets to deal with the fallout over a few offended employees who couldn't put their personal feelings aside to do their job. 

Published:6/23/2018 7:03:27 PM
[Uncategorized] Pallywood Payola: Hamas paid Gaza family to lie about baby being killed by Israeli tear gas And the international media was all too willing to play along. Published:6/23/2018 7:03:27 PM
[The Blog] Katie Arrington injured in fatal car crash, faces surgery

She faces hospitalization for at least two weeks.

The post Katie Arrington injured in fatal car crash, faces surgery appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/23/2018 6:32:49 PM
[Politics] David Axelrod Rips Tom Steyer for Using Border Audio in Anti-Trump Ad Former Obama adviser David Axelrod on Saturday slammed billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer for incorporating audio of crying illegal immigrant children being separated from their parents in Texas into his "latest ad for his vanity project/impeachment campaign." Published:6/23/2018 6:32:49 PM
[Politics] Shaun King’s online MOB targets racist woman in video – and harasses the WRONG PERSON You know what happens with mobs, online or otherwise? Eventually they lose control and target innocent people, because that’s what happens with mobs. And especially if their witless social justice warrior mobs, . . . Published:6/23/2018 6:32:49 PM
[Politics] Shaun King’s online MOB targets racist woman in video – and harasses the WRONG PERSON You know what happens with mobs, online or otherwise? Eventually they lose control and target innocent people, because that’s what happens with mobs. And especially if their witless social justice warrior mobs, . . . Published:6/23/2018 6:32:49 PM
[worldNews] Turks vote for president, parliament in crucial test for Erdogan ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turks vote for a new president and parliament on Sunday in elections that pose the biggest challenge to Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party since they swept to power more than a decade and a half ago.
Published:6/23/2018 6:32:49 PM
[Media] Brian Stelter affirms that Tom Arnold knows how to get attention, then gives him more attention

CNN takes a critical look at CNN's promotion of Tom Arnold and his crackpot theories.

The post Brian Stelter affirms that Tom Arnold knows how to get attention, then gives him more attention appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/23/2018 6:32:49 PM
[Markets] The Final Assault In The War On Cash

Authored by Dan Denning via Bonner & Partners,

Bill has long warned of the Deep State – the loose collection of special interests, government insiders, and financial elite that quietly chart the course of America’s future.

Today, Dan Denning, Bill’s coauthor on The Bill Bonner Letter, shares why the Deep State’s next target could be the money in your bank account… and reveals how the War on Cash finally ends.

*  *  *

Before I show you what I’ve learned about a plan to seize control of America’s money, let me make one point clear…

If you value sound money and political freedom… if you value limited government and taxation with representation… and if you value enterprise and privacy… then you’re going to hate the future I’m about to describe.

There is no philosophical or monetary middle ground on the issue.

You’re either with it or against it.

The Chicago Plan

In March 1933, Henry Morgenthau Jr., chairman of the Federal Farm Board, was sent a short memo titled, “Memorandum on Banking Reform.”

It was signed by Frank Knight (the acknowledged author of the memo), Garfield Cox, Aaron Director, Paul Douglas, Lloyd Mints, Henry Schultz, and Henry Simons. All of them were professors at the University of Chicago.

The memorandum advocated for full-reserve banking (FRB) in the U.S. monetary system. U.S. currency would be backed only by government debt, not bank debt (loans issued by commercial banks to private citizens and companies).

It wouldn’t nationalize the U.S. banking system. But it would nationalize the nation’s money supply.

Under this kind of system, banks could no longer “create” money by lending it into existence. Money creation would be the exclusive territory of the government of the United States.

In this system, the key government agencies could not create money through new lending. They would do so through new spending (on priorities determined by elected politicians).

They called it “The Chicago Plan.”

The most radical elements of the plan – which we’ll discuss shortly – were left on the shelf nearly a century ago.

But I believe it’s about to find a resurgence in modern America…

The End of Fractional Reserve

Before I show you what the implications of a modern Chicago Plan would be, it’s important you understand how money creation works today.

Despite what you may think, the central bank (the Federal Reserve) doesn’t print that much money. The vast majority of the money supply in the U.S. economy is grown by banks lending money into existence.

Commercial banks issue a loan, it appears in your account, and just like that… it’s money. From nothing, something! And then there was cash!

But here’s the other part of that process that most people don’t realize. When the banks issue a loan, they don’t have to have a dollar in cash in their vaults for every dollar in cash they lend. If they DID, then every loan to a new customer would be matched with an equal amount of savings already in the bank from another customer. That’s “full reserve” banking.

What we have today is called “fractional-reserve” banking. Why? The amount of cash savings actually held by the bank is only a fraction of the money lent by the bank. And for each dollar in saving deposits held by the bank (your money), the bank can lend up to $10 in new money (this is the secret magic of money creation).

It’s also what some people call “debt-based” money, because money is created when a new debt is born (in the form of a bank loan).

Proponents of the Chicago Plan contend that allowing banks to create credit in a fractional reserve system leads to credit cycles. And the credit cycle has booms and busts. The busts damage everyone, not just those who have borrowed and spent too much.

That’s a problem, they say.

To circumvent it, there are those in power actively trying to end the banking system as we know it. They want to go back to the original idea of the Chicago Plan. And then they want to go one step further and replace America’s money with something else entirely.

America’s New Money

The main feature of the Chicago Plan is that it moves credit creation from private hands to public (government) hands, with the average American unaware of who is really moving the government hands.

Money isn’t lent into existence. It’s spent into existence.

You can imagine that he who does the spending in this system has great power. That’s exactly the idea!

Under the plan, instead of stimulating growth by changing the price of money for commercial banks (which is how monetary policy currently works with the Federal Reserve and interest rates), the government would “spend” money into circulation – on public works and infrastructure projects, for example.

The quantity of money in the economy would be determined by the government, not the commercial banks. And, at least in theory, the government would enjoy vastly lower levels of debt (both absolutely, and relative to GDP) in this kind of money system. Why?

In the current system, the US Treasury raises money by selling bonds to commercial banks or the Fed, paying interest to both. Money is created by borrowing. But again, it’s debt-based money. That wouldn’t happen in the new system. But what would the new money be backed by?

Er… government debt!

The term “full-reserve banking” implies every unit of currency is backed by an actual reserve. Some advocates of full-reserve banking (including a handful of Austrian economists) believe you could back the money with gold. Thus gold would be restored as the most important reserve asset in the world.

But if your agenda is to spend money into existence in unlimited quantities, you can also use government debt as a reserve asset. There’s a lot of it already. And you can always make more!

In fact, this is a key feature of the Chicago Plan. It’s full-reserve banking where the government does all the money creation, “backed” by government debt. The commercial banks merely provide payment services or pay interest on deposits. They are forced out of the debt-based money creation business (where all the profit is, of course).

According to the theory, this new American money system would accomplish three things…

  1. End the booms and busts of the credit cycle.

  2. Do away with bank runs (no need to get your money out of the bank if it’s fully backed).

  3. Eliminate the government’s debt problem. If money can be spent into existence, government borrowing and government debts are a thing of the past. If it needs more money, the government just spends it and “backs” it by issuing new bonds held by the central bank. The government could never be insolvent.

Does that sound like an improvement on the current system to you? To some people, it all sounds somewhat appealing, until you look closer…

Monetary Sovereignty

Under the Chicago Plan, the government has “monetary sovereignty.” What is monetary sovereignty? It is the complete decoupling of money from anything real.

Let me explain what I mean and why that’s so important for the value of your savings and investments today.

Under the Chicago Plan, money doesn’t have to have its roots in real value-added labor. Money doesn’t come into existence because a tradesman has created something useful and sold it to someone else, requiring money to make the transaction.

And under the new system, money certainly doesn’t have to be anything physical and scarce, like gold.

Under the new system, money can be whatever the government wants it to be.

With a monetarily sovereign government calling the shots, money is literally no object. A monetarily sovereign government wouldn’t have to borrow anymore, or pay interest. To create money, it would simply spend it into existence. Voilà!

Think of all the jobs and incomes created when a monetarily sovereign government decides to spend trillions on new infrastructure and “nation building” projects.

This is Richard Duncan’s “creditism” without the need to borrow. It is economic growth without effort, wealth without labor, riches without risk.

If you think it sounds absurd, you’re not alone. But remember what’s at stake here: total control of American money, and through it, of the economy, and of you. And it’ll be accomplished by controlling the quantity of money through a central authority.

For an idea of what that might look like – and why it’s so dangerous to your cash and savings today – consider this quote from the innocuously titled “The Case for Unencumbering Interest Rate Policy at the Zero Bound.”

It was delivered by Marvin Goodfriend of Carnegie Mellon University at the Fed’s annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 2016 (emphasis added is mine):

The most straightforward way to unencumber interest rate policy completely at the zero bound is to abolish paper currency. In principle, abolishing paper currency would be effective, would not need new technology, and would not need institutional modifications. However, the public would be deprived of the widely used bundle of services that paper currency uniquely provides.

[…] Hence, the public is likely to resist the abolition of paper currency at least until mobile access to bank deposits becomes cheaper and more easily available.

First, we have a proposal for a new system in which only the government can create money. Next, the “experts” think the most logical way to “unencumber” ineffective monetary policy is to abolish cash.

Goodfriend, by the way, was nominated by President Trump to serve on the Federal Reserve’s seven-member Board of Governors. His nomination is currently awaiting action by the U.S. Senate.

Taken together, there is a real effort underway to do away with your individual economic liberty and your preference to hold cash in the face of interest rate uncertainty. “If that could be overcome,” Goodfriend seems to be saying, “then we could make you act the way we want you to.”

Am I exaggerating? Would Wall Street allow such a fundamental change to America’s banking system? Would the Fed really abolish cash? Is there a possibility of all of this becoming a reality?

It’s happening faster than you think.

For example, the Swiss recently voted on implementing a version of the Chicago Plan earlier this month. They ultimately voted it down, but the fact that such a plan was considered in the first place shows that this idea is coming back into the mainstream.

Also, keep in mind that the Swiss, due to their constitution, get to vote on these kinds of things. It’s a direct democracy, controlled at the local level. Top-down change – the kind of change which tends to benefit the elites and those in the shadows of power – is very hard to achieve in Switzerland. But in the United States…?

What would it take for elected officials, and the American voters, to decide that the banks can no longer be trusted? What would it take for politicians and voters to agree that it’s time to end “too big to fail” banks and change the financial system so “the people” (through their elected officials, of course) can be in charge of the money system?

A stock market crash?

Another “systemically important bank” collapse?

A sovereign debt crisis?

The catalyst could come from anywhere, or nowhere. And if you think it’s out of the realm of possibility, then you lack imagination, or an understanding of history.

In Defense of Economic Liberty

In a world where government has unrestricted control of the money, and hiding in physical cash is no longer an option (because cash has been abolished), there’s no end to what a monetary sovereign could force you to do.

Control of money is a massive political power. What would happen next?

Outlawing cryptos?

Forcing negative interest rates (effectively a tax on your savings)?

Banning the purchase of items that the government deems undesirable, like weapons, alcohol, or cigarettes?

These may seem far-fetched scenarios. But they are well within the realm of possibility for a government in complete control of the money in your account.

This was the plan in 1933. It almost happened. I believe it is the plan today. And I believe it WILL happen. Much sooner than you think. Which is why you must plan for it NOW.

This is not a theoretical debate. What, exactly, is at stake for you right now?

This idea of sovereign money appeals to central planners because with it, they have absolute authority and permission to try and solve any “problem” they deem a threat.

You are that threat, because you won’t do what you’re told. You won’t spend when you’re supposed to spend, borrow when you’re supposed to borrow. And you’re likely to hoard cash and real money (precious metals) in the face of low (or negative) interest rates. That makes you an uncompliant problem for the State to solve.

When you pair it with banning cash and going all-digital, you have nothing less than the complete loss of economic liberty and freedom of action in America. THAT’s what’s at stake here. Right now.

If you’re in a situation where you can only spend money when you’re allowed to spend money, or you can only spend money that they say is money, and you can only spend money when they think it’s okay, then you’re not free.

And to some people, freedom still matters in America.

Published:6/23/2018 6:32:48 PM
[] Saturday Evening Movie Thread 06-23-2018 [Hosted By: TheJamesMadison] It was Terrible, Except… I've stopped watching a movie part of the way through once. It was Sicko, the Michael Moore documentary about healthcare. It infuriated me to no end, not because it was an apologia for Cuban healthcare, but... Published:6/23/2018 6:32:48 PM
[In The News] Border Agents rescue 57 illegal aliens

By R. Mitchell -

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a large group of illegal aliens during a heatwave, some in distress, including a pregnant female, west of Lukeville, AZ Friday afternoon. Agents were alerted to the group’s location after receiving a call from the Sonora, Mexico’s 9-1-1 ...

Border Agents rescue 57 illegal aliens is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:6/23/2018 6:02:26 PM
[Media] Must-read thread: Kyle Becker shreds TIME and the rest of the US media over manipulation campaign

It's been another banner week for the media in using images to gin up public outrage against the administration.

The post Must-read thread: Kyle Becker shreds TIME and the rest of the US media over manipulation campaign appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/23/2018 6:02:26 PM
[Markets] This Is What A Global Trade War Could Look Like

President Trump opened a new front in the global trade war on Friday when he threatened a 20% tariff on cars imported from the European Union unless Europe removes import duties and other barriers to U.S. goods, potentially endangering as much as $300 billion in commerce. Trump's comments sent the European Autos Stocks Index sliding on Friday while shares of Ford Motor and General Motors also dropped.

“Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!” Trump tweeted on Friday.

As a reference, the US currently imposes a 2.5% tariff on imported passenger cars from the EU and a 25% tariff on imported pickup trucks, while the EU imposes a 10% tariff on all imported U.S. cars. Furthermore, in 2017, the US trade deficit with the EU on cars was about $40BN per year.

As Reuters adds, the U.S. Commerce Department has a deadline of February 2019 to investigate whether imports of automobiles and auto parts pose a risk to U.S. national security, while Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday the department aimed to wrap up the probe by late July or August with the Commerce Department planning to hold two days of public comments in July on its investigation of auto imports.

Not long after Trump's tweet, the European Union vowed it was prepared to retaliate immediately should the tariffs be imposed, saying it would continue tit-for-tat escalation in its trade dispute with the U.S. while countering Trump’s assertion that the U.S. is being treated unfairly by the 28-nation bloc.

Speaking to the French Le Monde, Jyrki Katainen, the EU commissioner in charge of jobs and growth, said that "If they decide to raise their import tariffs, we’ll have no choice, again, but to react. We don’t want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter. We should end the escalation."

Earlier in the week, the EU imposed retaliatory tariffs on €2.8 billion ($3.3 billion) of American products in response to duties on its metals exports deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security. According to Bloomberg, the commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said that the €1 trillion euros in commerce between the EU and U.S. is equitable, and it disputed Trump’s assertion that the EU needs to be punished because of unfair trade practices.

The U.S. had a surplus in services trade with the EU of $45 billion in 2017, according to the memo, citing U.S. statistics. The memo also said the EU is the largest investor in the U.S., accounting for 72 percent of inward foreign direct investment and that EU-headquartered firms employed 3.2 million people in the states.

All in, between trade in goods, services and primary income from investments, the U.S. runs a €12 billion surplus with the EU, according to the memo.

But beyond appealing to numbers, Europe is convinced that Trump would have no choice but to reverse direction once there is sufficient outcry from either politicians, business or if the market itself were to crash: “Members of U.S. Congress, from both parties, don’t necessarily share the views of the president, nor does the private sector,” Katainen told Le Monde. “Once the measures start making an impact, the pressure will mount.”

And speaking of the market reaction, on Friday Bloomberg macro commentator Ye Xie echoed the thoughts of Goldman Sachs from several weeks ago, according to which the market would have to slide for tariffs to become a "credible negotiating tactic", to wit:

If tariffs are going to be used as a credible negotiating tactic to coerce concessions, then it requires a bigger financial markets selloff to make it an effective tool. After all, if investors don't think it's credible, how can you convince your counterparts at the negotiating table to believe it?, Goldman Sachs' analysts argued.

That suggests that some of the tariffs may indeed have to take effect (they can always be rescinded afterwords). All that means is that there's a greater risk for escalation in the trade dispute and a more severe market selloff.

In other words, Trump may be "in too deep" to pull back now without some significant market reaction first, which would by definition imply that one or more rounds of tariffs are likely to be imposed, which beyond merely slamming European car trade with the US, could quickly spiral into an out of control global trade war .

What does that mean for the global economy?

The answer to that question comes from Bank of America, which in turn looked at the growing trade tensions between the US and China, and wrote that "while the actual amount of tariffs that have been imposed by the US to date remain modest at just over $100bn worth of goods imports (only 4.2% of total goods imports), the latest announcement shows that trade tensions are likely to get worse before it gets better."

While BofA's economists caveat that the the likelihood of a full blown global trade war still remains low - although rising fast - it has modeled how a major trade confrontation could potentially impact the US economy.

Following in the footsteps of Barclays, which as we discussed last week modeled a market scenario in which the US raises a 10% uniform tariff on all good and services resulting in a 11% hit to global EPS, BofA used the Fed's FRB/US large-scale general equilibrium macroeconomic model to quantify a global 10% tariff on all goods and services.

For simplicity, we assume a full pass-through of tariffs onto trade prices and impose 3 shocks to the model: 1) 10% import price shock 2) 10% export price shock 3) 10% appreciation in the real trade-weighted exchange rate.(*) The results are as follows:

This is what the model returned in terms of key variables including GDP growth, inflation, and monetary policy.

GDP Growth: The simulation results show a notable drag on growth (Chart 1). Annualized growth rate of real GDP declines by 0.3-0.4pp relative to baseline in the first year and shaves an additional 0.5-0.6pp in the second year before the negative impact slowly fades. This suggests that the boost to growth expected from fiscal stimulus (e.g. tax cuts and greater federal government spending) will essentially be offset by the negative trade shock. The negative growth shock leads to a 0.5pp cumulative decline in the unemployment rate relative to baseline. All told, the level of GDP at its nadir is roughly 1.2% lower than the baseline model.

Inflation: The 10% import price shock leads to a transitory pickup in core inflation. According to FRB/US, core PCE inflation accelerates modestly by about 0.1pp in the first two years before it starts to converge back to baseline. Note that the impact of higher import prices are somewhat offset by our assumption that the dollar would likely appreciate in a trade war. In a scenario where there is less response from the dollar, we would expect a greater pass-through of higher import prices to consumer prices. Nevertheless, these results are broadly consistent with our partial equilibrium inflation model based on former-Chair Yellen's inflation model.(*) Based on this model, core PCE inflation is about 0.2pp higher in the first year of the shock before readjusting back to baseline (Chart 2).

Monetary Policy: Results from FRB/US show that, initially, the Fed would likely stay on course, maintaining its current path of policy. However, starting in year 2, the material weakening of aggregate demand should ultimately force the Fed to slow the pace of hikes by getting in roughly 2.5 fewer hikes relative to baseline, implying that the terminal rate would end up approximately 50-75bps lower at around 2.50-2.75%. The decline in the path of the fed funds rate is greater than the response in 10yr Treasuries leading to a steepening of the curve as expected by our rates strategy team.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the above, is BofA's claim that the lagged response in monetary policy to a the potential start of a trade war is unlikely to deter the Fed from its plans to raise rates this year. As such, contrary to expectations that a trade war could spike import costs, BofA's argument is that anything, trade wars provide a potential catalyst for the next slowdown in the economy, which incidentally would hit just as the fiscal stimulus fades.

There is one other potential unknown: how will potential uncertainty shock the system? Already we have seen the New Orders print of the Philly Fed tumble recently, a slide which was attributed to concerns about protectionism, and one which can quickly spread to both capital markets and the economy.

To better understand the propagation of uncertainty shocks through the economy, BofA claculates that a temporary, one-standard deviation uncertainty shock results in a quick, albeit modest, drop in industrial production (Chart 3).

However, a full blown trade war would result in a larger increase in uncertainty which would lead to a more substantial fall in IP. For example, a three-standard deviation shock would lead to IP falling by nearly 1% in the near term. The impact could be even greater if the uncertainty shock is sustained which would likely lead to an abrupt slowdown in business activity. Combined with a tariff shock, we see a high probability that a major trade war would push the economy towards a full blown recession.

Which brings us to BofA's summary assessment on the growing threat of a trade war, which unlike several weeks ago, the bank now finds far more pressing:

So far, the trade actions taken by the Trump White House and trading partners have been relatively modest and in turn have had a limited impact on the economy and financial markets. The next round of $100-$200bn of tariff between US and China may prove more substantial. Further escalation like auto tariffs would lead us to reassess the US economic outlook. In the meantime, we will be keeping a close eye on financial markets and confidence data as they will likely give an early indication on the potential impact to the economy.


In conclusion, the Bank writes that whereas the good news is that we are still many steps away from a full blown global trade war, "the bad news is that the tail risks are rising and our work and the literature suggest a major global trade confrontation would likely push the US and the rest of the world to the brink of a recession" as shown in the chart below.

Published:6/23/2018 6:02:26 PM
[Entertainment] Catfish to Resume Filming After Nev Schulman Sexual Misconduct Claims Found Not Credible, MTV Says Nev SchulmanMTV says it will resume production on its hit show Catfish after an investigation found sexual misconduct claims against its host and executive producer Nev Schulman to be not...
Published:6/23/2018 5:32:09 PM
[Media] Fake news: CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains why TIME’s (debunked) cover is so powerful

TIME is sticking by its "powerful" cover depicting a little girl crying after her mother put her down for one minute to be searched.

The post Fake news: CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains why TIME’s (debunked) cover is so powerful appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/23/2018 5:32:07 PM
[Markets] Star Wars Redux: Trump's Space Force

Authored by Karl Grossman via Counterpunch.org,

If Donald Trump gets his way on formation of a Space Force, the heavens would become a war zone. Inevitably, there would be military conflict in space.

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which designates space as the global commons to be used for peaceful purposes—and of which Russia and China, as well as the United States, are parties—and the years of work facilitating the treaty since would be wasted.

If the U.S. goes up into space with weapons, Russia and China, and then India and Pakistan and other countries, will follow.

Moreover space weaponry, as I have detailed through the years in my writings and TV programs, would be nuclear-powered—as Reagan’s Star Wars scheme was to be with nuclear reactors and plutonium systems on orbiting battle platforms providing the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons.

This is what would be above our heads.

Amid the many horrible things being done by the Trump administration, this would be the most terribly destructive.

“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council this week.

“Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon,” he went on Monday, “to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces; that is a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal, it is going to be something.”

The notion of the U.S. moving into space with weaponry isn’t new.

It goes back to the post-World War II years when the U.S. government brought former Nazi rocket scientists from Germany to the U.S.—mainly to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama—to use “their technological expertise to help create the U.S. space and weapons program,” writes Jack Manno, who retired last year as a professor at the State University of New York/Environmental Science and Forestry College, in his book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, 1945-1995.

 “Many of the early space war schemes were dreamt up by scientists working for the German military, scientists who brought their rockets and their ideas to America after the war,” he relates. “It was like a professional sports draft.”

Nearly 1,000 of these scientists were brought to the U.S., “many of whom later rose to positions of power in the U.S. military, NASA, and the aerospace industry.” Among them were “Wernher von Braun and his V-2 colleagues” who began “working on rockets for the U.S. Army,” and at the Redstone Arsenal “were given the task of producing an intermediate range ballistic range missile to carry battlefield atomic weapons up to 200 miles. The Germans produced a modified V-2 renamed the Redstone….Huntsville became a major center of U.S. space military activities.”

Manno writes about former German Major General Walter Dornberger, who had been in charge of the entire Nazi rocket program who, “in  1947, as a consultant to the U.S Air Force and adviser to the Department of Defense…wrote a planning paper for his new employers. He proposed a system of hundreds of nuclear-armed satellites all orbiting at different altitudes and angles, each capable or reentering the atmosphere on command from Earth to proceed to its target. The Air Force began early work on Dornberger’s idea under the acronym NABS (Nuclear Armed Bombardment Satellites).”

For my 2001 book, Weapons in Space, Manno told me that “control over the Earth” was what those who have wanted to weaponize space seek. He said the Nazi scientists are an important “historical and technical link, and also an ideological link….The aim is to…have the capacity to carry out global warfare, including weapons systems that reside in space.”

But then came the Outer Space Treaty put together by the U.S., Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. In the 2001 TV documentary I wrote and narrate, “Star Wars Returns.”

Craig Eisendrath, who had been a U.S. State Department officer involved in its creation, notes that the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite, Sputnik, in 1957 and “we sought to de-weaponize space before it got weaponized…to keep war out of space.”

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966, it entered into force in 1967.  It has been ratified or signed by 123 nations.

It provides that nations “undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in space in any other manner.”

Atomic physicist Edward Teller, the main figure in developing the hydrogen bomb and instrumental in founding Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, pitched to Ronald Reagan, when he was governor of California visiting the lab, a plan of orbiting hydrogen bombs which became the initial basis for Reagan’s “Star Wars.” The bombs were to energize X-ray lasers. “As the bomb at the core of an X-ray battle station exploded, multiple beams would flash out to strike multiple targets before the entire station consumed itself in in a ball of nuclear fire,” explained New York Times journalist William Broad in his 1986 book Star Warriors.

Subsequently there was a shift in “Star Wars” to orbiting battle platforms with nuclear reactors or “super” plutonium-fueled radioisotope thermoelectric generators on board that would provide the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons.

The rapid boil of “Star Wars” under Reagan picked up again under the administrations George H. W. Bush and son George W. Bush. And all along the U.S. military has been gung-ho on space warfare.

A U.S. Space Command was formed in 1982.

“US Space Command—dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into war-fighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict,” it trumpeted in its 1998 report Vision for 2020. It laid out these words to resemble the crawl at the start of the Star Warsmovies. The U.S. Space Command was set up by the Pentagon to “help institutionalize the use of space.” Or, as the motto of one of its units declares, to be “Master of Space.”

Vision for 2020states, “Historically, military forces have evolved to protect national interests and investments-both military and economic.” Nations built navies “to protect and enhance their commercial interests” and during “the westward expansion of the United States, military outposts and the cavalry emerged to protect our wagon trains, settlements and railroads. The emergence of space power follows both of these models. During the early portion of the 2lst Century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare.”

“It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen,” remarked U.S. Space Command Commander-in-Chief Joseph W. Ashy in Aviation Week and Space Technology (8/9/96):

“Some people don’t want to hear this, and it sure isn’t in vogue, but—absolutely—we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space…. We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space.”

Or as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Keith R. Hall told the National Space Club in 1997: “With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it and we’re going to keep it.”

The basic concept of the Pentagon’s approach to space is contained in The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 2lst Century. Written by “arms experts” George and Meredith Friedman, the 1996 book concludes: “Just as by the year 1500 it was apparent that the European experience of power would be its domination of the global seas, it does not take much to see that the American experience of power will rest on the domination of space. Just as Europe expanded war and its power to the global oceans, the United States is expanding war and its power into space and to the planets. Just as Europe shaped the world for a half a millennium [by dominating the oceans with fleets], so too the United States will shape the world for at least that length of time.”

Or as a 2001 report of the U.S. Space Commission led by then U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asserted:

“In the coming period the U.S. will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on the earth and in space.”

Nuclear power and space weaponry are intimately linked.

“In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict,” stated New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century, a 1996 US Air Force board report. “These advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills.” However, “power limitations impose restrictions” on such space weaponry making them “relatively unfeasible,” but “a natural technology to enable high power is nuclear power in space.” Says the report: “Setting the emotional issues of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space.”

Or as General James Abrahamson, director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, put it at a Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion, “without reactors in orbit [there is] going to be a long, long light [extension] cord that goes down to the surface of the Earth” to power space weaponry.

Thus nuclear power would be needed for weapons in space.

Since 1985 there have been attempts at the UN to expand the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 to prohibit not only nuclear weapons but all weapons from space. This is called the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) treaty and leading in urging its passage have been Canada, Russia and China. There has been virtually universal backing from nations around the world for it. But by balking, U.S. administration after administration has prevented its passage.

Although waging war in space was hotly promoted by the Reagan and Bush administrations and ostensibly discouraged by the Obama administration and Clinton administration, all U.S. administrations have refused to sign on to the PAROS treaty.

In my book Weapons in Space, I relate a presentation I gave at a conference at the UN in Geneva in 1999 on the eve of a vote the next day on PAROS. I spoke about the “military use of space being planned by the U.S.” being “in total contradiction of the principles of peaceful international cooperation that the U.S. likes to espouse” and “pushes us—all of us—to war in the heavens.”

I was followed by Wang Xiaoyu, first secretary of the Delegation of China, who declared: “Outer space is he common heritage of human beings. It should be used for peaceful purposes…It must not be weaponized and become another arena of the arms race.”

The next day, on my way to observe the vote, I saw a U.S. diplomat who had been at my presentation. We approached each other and he said he would like to talk to me, anonymously. He said, on the street in front of the UN buildings, that the U.S has trouble with its citizenry in fielding a large number of troops on the ground. But the U.S military believes “we can project power from space” and that was why the military was moving in this direction. I questioned him on whether, if the U.S. moved ahead with weapons in space, other nations would meet the U.S. in kind, igniting an arms race in space. He replied that the U.S. military had done analyses and determined that China was “30 years behind” in competing with the U.S. militarily in space and Russia “doesn’t have the money.” Then he went to vote and I watched as again there was overwhelming international support for the PAROS treaty—but the U.S. balked. And because a consensus was needed for the passage of the treaty, it was blocked once more.

And this was during the Clinton administration.

With the Trump administration, there is more than non-support of the PAROS treaty but now a drive by the U.S. to weaponize space.

It could be seen—and read about—coming.

“Under Trump, GOP to Give Space Weapons Close Look,” was the headline of an article in 2016 in Washington-based Roll CallIt said “Trump’s thinking on missile defense and military space programs have gotten next to no attention, as compared to the president-elect’s other defense proposals….But experts expect such programs to account for a significant share of what is likely to be a defense budget boost, potentially amounting to $500 billion or more in the coming decade.”

Intense support for the plan was anticipated from the GOP-dominated Congress. Roll Call mentionedthat Representative Trent Franks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and an Arizona Republican, “said the GOP’s newly strengthened hand in Washington means a big payday is coming for programs aimed at developing weapons that can be deployed in space.”

In a speech in March at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego, Trump declared:

“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea. We may even have a Space Force—develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force; we’ll have the Space Force.”

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, notes that Trump cannot establish a Space Force on his own—that Congressional authorization and approval is needed.  And last year, Gagnon points out, an attempt to establish what was called a Space Corps within the Air Force passed in the House but “stalled in the Senate.”

“Thus at this point it is only a suggestion,” said Gagnon of the Maine-based Global Network.

“I think though,” Gagnon went on, “his proposal indicates that the aerospace industry has taken full control of the White House and we can be sure that Trump will use all his ‘Twitter powers’ to push this hard in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, relates Gagnon, there is the “steadily mounting” U.S. “fiscal crisis…Some years ago one aerospace industry publication editorialized that they needed a ‘dedicated funding source’ to pay for space plans and indicated that it had come up with it—the entitlement programs. That means the industry is now working to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what little is left of the welfare program. You want to help stop Star Wars and Trump’s new Space Force. Fight for Social Security and social progress in America. Trump and the aerospace industry can’t have it both ways—it’s going to be social progress or war in space.”

As Robert Anderson of New Mexico, a board member of the Global Network, puts it:

“There is no money for water in Flint, Michigan or a power grid in Puerto Rico, but there is money to wage war in space.”

Or as another Global Network director, J. Narayana Rao of India, comments: “President Donald Trump has formally inaugurated weaponization of space in announcing that the U.S. should establish a Space Force which will lead to an arms race in outer space.”

Russian officials are protesting the Trump Space Force plan, “Militarization of space is a way to disaster,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, told the RIA news agency the day after the announcement. This Space Force would be operating in “forbidden skies.” He said Moscow is ready to “strongly retaliate” if the US violates the Outer Space Treaty by putting weapons of mass destruction in space.

And opposition among legislators in Washington has begun. “Thankfully the president cannot do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart,” tweeted Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.

“Space as a warfighting domain is the latest obscenity in a long list of vile actions by a vile administration,” writes Linda Pentz Gunter, who specializes in international nuclear issues for the organization Beyond Nuclear, this week. “Space is for wonder. It’s where we live. We are a small dot in the midst of enormity, floating in a dark vastness about which we know a surprising amount, and yet with so much more still mysteriously unknown.”

“A Space Force is not an aspiration unique to the Trump administration, of course,” she continued on the Beyond Nuclear International website of the Takoma Park, Maryland group, “but it feels worse in his reckless hands.”

Published:6/23/2018 5:32:06 PM
[The Blog] Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom loses the tone, confuses the theme (spoiler-filled review)

I’m a big fan of the original Jurassic Park. It’s a classic Spielberg piece which melds an entertaining science fiction ...

The post Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom loses the tone, confuses the theme (spoiler-filled review) appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/23/2018 5:03:21 PM
[Entertainment] Sarah Hyland shares photo from hospital Sarah Hyland has been hospitalized.
     
 
 
Published:6/23/2018 5:03:21 PM
[Entertainment] Lena Dunham and Ex Jack Antonoff Get Cozy in Photo: "Best Friends 4ever" Lena Dunham, Jack Antonoff, InstagramLena Dunham and Jack Antonoff remain friendly exes, six months after their split. The 32-year-old Girls creator and star and the 34-year-old Bleachers singer and fun. guitarist broke up...
Published:6/23/2018 5:03:21 PM
[topics:people/donald-trump] Chaos at US border as illegal immigrant parents plead to be reunited with their children Published:6/23/2018 5:03:21 PM
[Markets] China Hides Real Trade War Retaliation In Plain Sight - Stealth Devaluation

While headlines distract the world's investors with headlines of Trump and Xi exchanging trade-war shots - with Trump going big with tariff threats ($450bn) and China trying to play 'good cop' - something notable has been happening in the FX markets that few are paying attention to.

As we previously noted, there are 6 possible things that China can do at this time, in order of escalating severity:

  1. China could de-escalate tensions by presenting a list of actions it will follow to reduce its significant trade deficits in services with the US. This could affect education service institutions, the local tourist industry, and entertainment. However, as the CFR's Brad Setser writes, it increasingly looks like the Administration is putting China in a position where China cannot make concessions without appearing to cave - which most think China won't do. Setser, not alone, has trouble seeing a de-escalation option if Trump goes through with the $200b

  2. China will likely launch an economic subsidy for its economy in the form of further easing in financial conditions to offset any potential trade-drag. Some, such as Deutsche Bank have proposed that in order to offset the negative hit to its consumers, China will loosen policy such as tolerating the property and land market boom in tier 3 cities and cutting the RRR twice over the rest of this year to partly offset the potential drags. This would also involve a modest devaluation of the Yuan.

  3. China could unleash differential treatment of local enterprises: as some have suggested, Beijing could simply opt not apply its "market access liberalization" policy recently announced. This could greatly disadvantage US firms greatly. Beijing could also engage in an aggressive crackdown on US firms operating in China (Apple), hinder border passage of US products (automotive), or pursue antitrust and monopoly allegations against US tech names (Micron).

  4. China could also choose a diplomatic retaliation, and order Kim Jong Un to scuttle the recent agreement North Korea signed with the US, humiliating Trump by showing that it was Beijing all along who made the US-N. Korea summit possible and successful.

  5. China could pick an aggressive route, and instead of a mild depreciation, it could aggressively pursue a weaker Yuan to boost trade competitiveness: which, ironically, is the catalyst behind much of the Trump administration's animosity toward China. To achieve this, China would relaxing some of the capital control measures that have helped strengthen the renminbi in the past 2 years. That said, such a move would unleash sizable outflow demand, while boosting precious metals and cryptos. The US would also brand China a currency manipulator.

  6. China, finally, could pick the nuclear option, and gradually or suddenly liquidate its Treasury holdings. This is a long-running worry by markets given China’s $1.2 trillion in Treasury holdings. In January, Bloomberg reported this was a possibility which was at the time denied by China State Administration of Foreign Exchange; however the recent liquidation of half of Russia's Treasurys was seen by some as a rehearsal for what would happen if Beijing decides to pursue this approach.

Having continued its tit-for-tat tariff threats (which implicitly China would lose), this week saw China, perhaps, take a step towards Scenario 1 - de-escalation - with Chinese trade officials have "quietly" approached the US to find a way to minimize punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.

But, as always, this appears to be a distraction as Scenario 5 - devaluation, seems to be accelerating quickly...

Offshore Yuan - having reached its strongest since August 2015's sudden devaluation - has tumbled almost 5% in the last few weeks, breaking below its 200-day moving-average as PBOC 'allows' its currency to depreciate against the greenback.

So far, President Trump seems to have not noticed this devaluation, but the world's speculators certainly have as the last week saw FX Speculators dramatically shift to a net bullish position (the most bullish since April 2017) with the greatest swing in positioning in history...

As Bloomberg notes, the net stance changed to a long of 134,925 contracts in the week through June 19, from a short of 22,084 the previous week. The move to a long position, the first this year, comes after a rally that’s seen the greenback climb by more than 5 percent since around the middle of April.

Meanwhile, as specs swing violently dollar bullish, they are also reverting to the old playbook of selling volatility - with the largest short VIX net position since the Feb XIV collapse...

As traders appear to be chasing momentum and the re-collapse of realized volatility...

The S&P 500 Index is flirting with its 11th straight day with a move of less than 0.5 percent in either direction. The streak is already the longest since November and is an indication that the calm of last year may be returning to equities after a bout of volatility back in February.

And piling-on to that apparently risk-on positioning in VIX, bond speculators remain in aggregate near record short across the Treasury market - undeterred by the ongoing collapse in the yield curve.

One thing of significant note is the dramatic unwind of the $4 trillion net short Eurodollar futures position as traders give up on their rate-hike bets en masse (now less than $3 trillion net notional short).

*  *  *

So to sum up - amid all the threats of trade tariffs and retaliations, Russia dumped half its Treasury holdings and China is now devaluing its currency - and speculators appear to be betting on that continuing (record spike in USD spec longs). However, while the last time a China devaluation sparked global chaos in every asset class (vol explodes, stocks plunge, Treasury yields tumble), it appears the same speculators think it's different this time - being aggressively net short vol and massively net short Treasuries.

Published:6/23/2018 5:03:20 PM
[Uncategorized] Op-ed: de Blasio’s Race-based School Admissions Policy Is “Anti-racist.” Or something. "Asian-Americans must build cross-racial, intra-racial and cross-class solidarities with other groups" Published:6/23/2018 5:03:20 PM
[World] The biblical case for closed borders

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a huge public relations hit for daring to quote scripture while explaining why borders should be secure, even if it means separating children from the adults who've carted them into the nation illegally in the first place.

But let's get this straight, and straight-away: ... Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM

[Politics] Trump likes DICTATORS because he wants to run the US like a DICTATOR, says crazy lady A clearly mentally disturbed homeless lady wandered onto the set of MSNBC and for some reason the anchor started asking her to comment on politics. What happened next was wonderfully wacky!! The . . . Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM
[Entertainment] Brigitte Nielsen Gives Birth to Baby No. 5 Brigitte Nielsen, Baby, PregnancyBrigitte Nielsen is officially a mom of five at the age of 54! The model, actress and reality TV star has given birth to her fifth child and first daughter, a baby girl named Frida, on...
Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM
[Entertainment] Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent talk second baby, new partnership with Huggies Interior designers and stars of TLC's "Nate & Jeremiah by Design" have partnered with Huggies Made by You, a line of customizable diapers for infants.
     
 
 
Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM
[US News] Former Hillary flack swings and misses comparing Sarah Sanders’ restaurant incident to Colorado bakery

Are you kidding? Conservatives are the ones arguing that private businesses can do what they want.

The post Former Hillary flack swings and misses comparing Sarah Sanders’ restaurant incident to Colorado bakery appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM
[Politics] Kasich: Crisis at the Border 'Got to the Heart' of Division Issues Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Saturday there have been many things that he thought would lead Republicans to question the Trump administration, but the policy resulting in children being separated from their parents at the border "gets kind of to the heart of things." Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM
[Markets] Will Disney's Epic Buyout Of Fox Mark The End Of The Everything-Bubble?

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,

As bubbles expand and hot money starts burning holes in corporate pockets, merger and acquisition deal terms begin to leave reality behind. Often one deal of such breathtaking size, scope and hubris is struck that - in retrospect – it heralds the end of the era.

The junk bond bubble of the 1980s, for instance, hit its apex with the December 1988 leveraged buyout of processed food conglomerate RJR Nabisco, which featured a prolonged bidding war by a Who’s Who of the corporate raider/LBO community. At $25 billion, it was seen as “staggering” at the time.

It was also the end of the bubble. In 1989 junk bonds began to default, junk powerhouse Drexel Burnham Lambert collapsed and its “junk bond king” CEO Michael Milken was imprisoned. In the recession that followed most of the bubble’s big players either retired in disgrace or found other ways to make money.

During the late 1990s dot.com bubble everyone became convinced that “new economy” companies (i.e., those related to the Internet) were orders of magnitude cooler and more valuable than old economy companies that made and managed physical things. The media variant of this idea held that content carried online was by definition better than that which was delivered via TV, radio or the printed page. America Online was the pioneer in digital media, and therefore preternaturally valuable. So it decided to use its “supermoney” shares to buy the old-school content of Time Warner for an astounding (even by today’s standards) $182 billion.

The timing couldn’t have been worse (or more on-point for this discussion). Within a couple of months the dot-com bubble burst, sending AOL stock down by a quick 70 or so percent. The NASDAQ, home to most of the previous decade’s tech icons, eventually fell by 80% (a huge drop for a stock index) and didn’t recover for another 15 years.

The 2000s didn’t have a single monster deal that defined its peak. But they made up for it with sheer quantity. The following chart shows 2007’s aggregate global M&A activity exceeding the 2000 peak — and then plunging by about two-thirds in the next two years as the banking system that had financed all those delusional deals nearly died.

Which brings us to the present, in which Disney and Comcast are throwing money at Fox:

Disney raises its bid for Fox to $71 billion

(CNN) – Disney just raised the stakes in the fight for 21st Century Fox.

The company sweetened its offer Wednesday — $71.3 billion for Fox’s movie studio, along with Fox’s regional sports networks and cable channels like FX and National Geographic.

That’s more than the $65 billion Comcast offered a week ago. Disney had initially bid $52.4 billion for Fox in December.

Fox described the Disney offer as superior, and the two companies entered into a merger agreement. But that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s executive chairman, said Fox is open to better offers.

21st Century Fox is the next big prize as the media industry consolidates to survive against competitors such as Netflix and Facebook. Last week, a judge signed off on AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

That court decision paved the way for Comcast’s attempt to swipe Fox from Disney. Like AT&T, Comcast is a content distributor that wants to buy a content creator. AT&T’s win was seen by some as a green light for a Comcast-Fox partnership.

Disney CEO Bob Iger thinks otherwise. During a call with investors Wednesday, he pointed out that Disney has already been working with regulators for months.

“We believe that we have a much better opportunity — both in terms of approval, and the timing of that approval — than Comcast does in this case,” he said.

Iger added that Comcast may still have significant regulatory hurdles. The company isn’t just a cable provider, he said, but a broadband provider, too. That kind of ownership wasn’t addressed in the AT&T case.

Disney’s new offer is essentially the same as the first — just with a higher valuation for the Fox assets. But it comes with one key change designed to stave off Comcast’s all-cash offer: a provision that allows Fox shareholders to decide whether to accept their payment in cash or stock. The cash option shows that Disney, like Comcast, is willing to take on debt for Fox, one sign of how badly the company wants to win. “We’ve always indicated that our balance sheet was not only a financial asset, but we viewed it as a strategic asset,” Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy told investors Wednesday morning. “If there were a compelling acquisition that we determined was worthy of us taking our leverage up, we would certainly consider that.”

Right now it looks like Disney will prevail, though here at “peak bubble” nothing is guaranteed and anything is possible. However it shakes out, the deal, immense though it is, won’t stand apart from the current crowd. Below are the top 10 M&A transactions of the 2010s prior to Disney/Fox. Note that Disney’s latest offer of $71 billion barely makes the list.

Which means? The size and scope of the recent M&A binge are so vast that, as in the 2000s, it’s hard for any one deal to define the era’s peak hubris. So this time around it might once again be aggregate numbers that matter. And they’re plenty big enough to ring the bell.

Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM
[] Chess Thread 06-23-2018 GM Ju Wenjun As always, the chess/dress pr0n thread is an open thread, so there is no such thing as an off-topic comment. Easier Problem - Black To Play (694) Hint: Black must prepare before taking advantage of the open... Published:6/23/2018 4:32:00 PM
[Politics] ‘Every man and woman for themselves’: White House offers discordant messages on migrant separation policy The conflicting comments reflected the individual brands honed by President Trump and those around him. Published:6/23/2018 4:02:03 PM
[Media] Bloomberg writer explains why it’s important to compare administration to Nazis BEFORE genocide starts

Here's why it's not too early to start comparing the Trump administration to the Holocaust.

The post Bloomberg writer explains why it’s important to compare administration to Nazis BEFORE genocide starts appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/23/2018 4:02:01 PM
[Politics] Trump likes DICTATORS because he wants to run the US like a DICTATOR, says crazy lady A clearly mentally disturbed homeless lady wandered onto the set of MSNBC and for some reason the anchor started asking her to comment on politics. What happened next was wonderfully wacky!! The . . . Published:6/23/2018 4:02:01 PM
[Markets] NewsWatch: Here’s what could happen to Apple’s average selling prices in the next iPhone cycle Apple Inc. has struggled to meet Wall Street’s expectations for iPhone units sales in recent quarters, but the company has surprised investors by getting consumers to pay ever more for its phones.
Published:6/23/2018 4:02:01 PM
[Politics] Latino Leaders Question Census Head Over Citizenship Query Latino elected officials from around the nation questioned the head of the U.S. Census Bureau on Saturday over the proposed addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 survey, denouncing it as a purely political move. Published:6/23/2018 3:32:17 PM
[Entertainment] Kourtney Kardashian and Younes Bendjima Kiss While Swimming in Sea Near Capri Kourtney Kardashian, Younes BendjimaPDA alert! On Friday, Kourtney Kardashian and Younes Bendjima were photographed making out while swimming in the ocean off the coast of the Italian island of Capri. The two also spent...
Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[Uncategorized] Germany’s Largest Auto Makers Support Abolishing EU-U.S. Car Import Tariffs American media is also ignoring other Trump wins, as oil is flows out so fast it can't be processed quickly enough and millennials are now moving out . Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[2018 News] Parkland survivor and anti-gun campaigner David Hogg is spotted with ‘armed security guards and publicists’ as he promotes his book Parkland survivor and anti-gun campaigner David Hogg is spotted with ‘armed security guards and publicists’ as he promotes his book. But, but, NYC gun-control has made it so safe you don’t need armed guards. Really NYPD should just turn all their guns in because their gun laws are so effective. Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[The Blog] Brexit heading to the barricades?

No movement after two years?

The post Brexit heading to the barricades? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[US News] ‘He’s gone full Alyssa Milano’! Is there an exception to David Hogg’s ‘guns don’t make us safer’ rule?

"Oh the irony."

The post ‘He’s gone full Alyssa Milano’! Is there an exception to David Hogg’s ‘guns don’t make us safer’ rule? appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[Entertainment] 'Sex and the City' star Cynthia Nixon says son has come out as transgender The former "Sex and the City" star posted the announcement on her Instagram account on Friday to mark the 14th annual Trans Day of Action.
     
 
 
Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[structure:news/uk-news] Murder investigation launched after middle-aged woman found dead in garden Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[In The News] President Trump talks illegal immigration in this week’s address 6/23/18 [video + transcript

By R. Mitchell -

President Donald Trump spoke about illegal immigration, loopholes, and Congressional failure to act in this week’s Presidential Address. “Democrat-supported loopholes in our federal laws have enabled roughly half a million illegal immigrant family members and minors from Central America to be released into the United States since 2014, at unbelievably ...

President Trump talks illegal immigration in this week’s address 6/23/18 [video + transcript is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[Markets] "Obama Kept Them In Cages" - The Pedophrasty Of Politicians Exposed

President Trump started off his day in attack mode (as is almost ubiquitous these days), exclaiming that "The Russian Witch Hunt is Rigged," and how poll number show Americans rapidly losing faith in the 'Russia collusion' narrative. All of which explains their sudden shift to a new narrative - hitler-like separation (and caging) of poor desperate illegal immigrant children from their loving caring illegal immigrant parents.

While the media has been loathed to admit it - the separation policy is not a hitler-confirming Trump decision, it has been in place for many years and, as Trump tweeted, Obama faced similar headlines (though somehow was not compared to Hitler and lambasted in the media)...

Then took direct aim at The Democrats lack of a solution...

But as The Automatic Earth's Raul Ilargi Meijer explains so eloquently below, the pedophastry and bigoteering of politicians everywhere (ably assisted by a subservient liberal media) has enabled 'fake news' to become fact in an ever-increasing divergence from reality.

The two most viral photographs of the ‘Trump Separation Scandal’ have now been debunked, or at the very least been proven to have been used ‘out of context’. This is a dangerous development, as are the reasons to use them the way they have been. Both pictures are of children who had not been separated from their mothers at all. But both were used to depict just that: a child being taken away from its mother.

What’s dangerous about this is, first, that those who spread the narrative regardless of the truth may next permit themselves to use images from entirely different locations or times to make their point. Yes, children have been taken from parents at US borders. And attention for that is warranted, very much so. But playing loose with the facts turns those facts into a mere narrative in which nobody can tell fact from fiction anymore.

First, a week ago already, I saw this on RT: Debunked: Viral Image Of Crying, Caged Toddler ‘Detained By ICE’ Not What It Seems

A distressing image of a crying toddler locked in a barred cage after purportedly being detained by US immigration officials has gone viral – but despite online claims, it does not actually depict what has been alleged. The image, which shows a little boy crying in a cage as he looks out between its bars, was shared by activist journalist and undocumented migrant Jose Antonio Vargas as a comment on the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown on families.

In the same thread, Vargas admitted that he came across the photo on a friend’s timeline and was still looking for the original source. Nevertheless, the snap quickly went viral with Vargas’ post garnering more than 23,000 retweets and many others sharing the image across their own social media accounts.

Vargas explained that he shared the photo because when he was detained by ICE in McAllen, Texas in 2014, he encountered children who were locked up there. “It wasn’t okay then; it’s not okay now,” he wrote, adding that he’s been outraged about the incident for years.

It has since emerged that the picture was in fact not from a detention facility at all, and instead was taken at a protest against Trump’s immigration policies held on June 10 outside Dallas City Hall. The demonstration organized by Brown Berets de Cemanahuac was held to call out the policy of family separation and confining undocumented children.

Ergo: an activist journalist and undocumented immigrant makes it look as if a picture depicts something that in reality it did not. Note also that the article says he wanted to comment on the Trump immigration crackdown, because he has memories of the Obama immigration crackdown, when he saw children locked up. But then, hey, that’s social media, right? Anyone can say anything.

It’s different, though, when TIME Magazine uses such politics. And its editor-in-chief defends the use of the picture by saying it was the most visible symbol of something, even though he knew full well that the photo didn’t depict that something. That’s a mighty slippery scale. If they could have achieved the same effect with a picture of a overripe banana taken in the Pacific in the 1950’s, they probably would have used it. It’s the effect that counts, not the facts.

Fact-Check: Was Migrant Girl On US Border Taken From Mother? Unfounded

Two photos that went viral on social media depict scenes that are not directly related to the family separations taking place on the US-Mexico border since early May. The most prominent, of Honduran two-year-old Yanela Varela crying inconsolably, has become a global symbol of the separations – helping to attract more than $18 million in donations for a Texas non-profit called RAICES. The photograph was taken on June 12 in McAllen, Texas by John Moore, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for Getty Images.

An online article about the picture, published by Time Magazine, initially reported the girl was taken from her mother, but was subsequently corrected to make clear that: “The girl was not carried away screaming by US Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.” Time Magazine nonetheless used the image of the sobbing child on its cover, next to an image of President Trump looming over her, with the caption “Welcome to America”. The head of Honduras’ Migrant Protection Office Lisa Medrano confirmed to AFP that the little girl, just two years old, “was not separated” from her family.

The child’s father also said as much. Denis Varela told the Washington Post that his wife Sandra Sanchez, 32, had not been separated from their daughter, and that both were being detained together in an immigration center in McAllen. Under fire for its cover – which was widely decried as misleading including by the White House – the magazine said it was standing by its decision. “The June 12 photograph of the 2-year-old Honduran girl became the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America for a reason,” Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said.

[ZH: And here's the corrected version:]

Nassim Nicolas Taleb, of black swans and Fragility, has found the appropriate term for this ‘phenomenon’, and explains why it works so well that TIME apparently doesn’t care about the damage to its reputation caused by using photographs for such purposes.

Pedophrasty, Bigoteering, and Other Modern Scams

Pedophrasty Definition: Argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an asshole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures. [..] Pedophrasty is effective as it provides arguments to strike before the evidence is formed. People are moved into “doing something” Pedophrasts prey on our maternal (and paternal) instincts.

Pedophrasty has its most effects on actors, journalists and similar types who are intellectually insecure, deprived of critical judgment, and afraid of being classified as violators of some norm of political correctness. For instance, pedophrasty has been commonly used in the Syrian war by such propagandists as Julian Roepke continuously supplying the German public with pictures of dead children. Or the various lobbies hired by Saudi Barbaria (and allies), such as the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, to promote Sunni Islamist policies under the cover of “think tanks”.

The Nayirah testimony: a false congressional testimony by 15-year-old girl who provided only her first name, Nayirah (she turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S.) was a bit responsible into tipping the US into the war. Nayirah claimed that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators a Kuwaiti hospital, and leave the babies to die. Nobody dared to question the veracity of her claims.

That’s what is dangerous: seeing a photo of a child in distress makes people halt their critical thinking. That’s also why such photos are used. They help build a narrative that doesn’t have to be factual to shock people. But at that point TIME becomes a fiction magazine; it’s where it leaves journalism behind.

The narrative also depends to a large extent on the singularity of Trump’s brutality compared to other presidents and nations’ leaders. It seeks to single him out as being extremely cruel. That narrative will fall to pieces going forward, and not only because the stories behind the photos have now been exposed.

First, here’s a look at what happened under earlier US presidents, in this case Obama, published by the ACLU in May 2018:

ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Widespread Abuse Of Child Immigrants In US Custody

Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union featured in a new report released today show the pervasive abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The report was produced in conjunction with the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.

“These documents provide a glimpse into a federal immigration enforcement system marked by brutality and lawlessness,” said Mitra Ebadolahi, ACLU Border Litigation Project staff attorney. “All human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their immigration status — and children, in particular, deserve special protection. The misconduct demonstrated in these records is breathtaking, as is the government’s complete failure to hold officials who abuse their power accountable. The abuse that takes place by government officials is reprehensible and un-American.”

The report is based on over 30,000 pages of documents dated between 2009 and 2014.

Then, what other ‘leaders’, who express their ‘disgust’ and worries at the Trump separation policies do at home. The Guardian yesterday:

Theresa May’s Brutal Family Separations Would Make Trump Blush

[..] as a British citizen I cannot, in good faith, reassure myself with that time-old mantra that we are somehow more civilised and less cruel or brutal than our cousins across the pond. Nor do I think that condemnation from our government can carry any real currency. Since long before anybody had heard the words “Make America great again”, splitting up families has been official policy in Theresa May’s Home Office – and it has been carried out with a brutality and on a scale that would make even President Trump blush.

The Children’s Commissioner has found that at least 15,000 children growing up in the UK live without a parent because the right of British citizens to reunite with a foreign spouse is limited by an unreasonable income threshold, an impossible complicated application system fraught with Home Office errors, and no legal aid for families to challenge incorrect decisions.

And the Sydney Morning Herald from December 2017:

Australia Is Wilfully Damaging The Health Of Children On Nauru To Make A Point – And It Is Appalling

When we visited Nauru as paediatric specialists three years ago, we were asked to see 30 of the 100 children being detained on the island. Among them was a six-year-old girl who had tried to kill herself and a two-year-old boy with such severe behaviour problems a doctor had prescribed anti-psychotic medicines. Their parents were in despair. They had fled persecution, trying to save their children from harm, but had ended up imprisoned on a remote island, without hope.

We left with the view that these were the most traumatised children we had ever consulted on, far worse than children we had seen in Australia, Africa, Asia or Europe. Three years later, 43 of those children remain on the island. Officially they are now free to move around, but reports of attacks by locals show Nauru is not safe and so they remain in the “Regional Processing Centre”.

In 2014, the Australian Human Rights Commission reported that children at this centre were deeply traumatised psychologically, and had even been abused. Their detention was harming them. When Australia introduced mandatory detention in 1992, it took 10 weeks on average to process an application for refugee status. Now it takes years. As the numbers of children in detention fall, the length of time in detention rises. This is deliberate: wilfully damaging children’s health to deter others from seeking asylum.

See, what TIME Magazine and others do, using pictures of crying children regardless of their actual context, may make for an initially appealing narrative, but in the end their approach only distracts from what really matters. Which is that children need to be with their mothers (and preferably fathers).

Just reporting the facts on this is not only enough, it’s the only way to report on it. Once you start making up stuff, you’re done, and the truth is done.

US immigration laws are clearly not working; so change them. ICE is a terrible organization that has attracted far too many sociopaths. Close it down. Child abuse as a tool to instill fear has been an international political tool for a very long time. Those are the things that should be making headlines. Turning this into yet another anti-Trump narrative, using crying children as shortcuts to people’s emotions, doesn’t work, or not for long.

This is not about Trump. Trying to make it about him is not going to help those children. And that’s what you want, right? Right?

Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[Markets] Trump’s trade war threatens the U.S. newspaper industry His policy to protect U.S. paper mills is squeezing budgets at every paper in the country. Published:6/23/2018 3:01:28 PM
[World] Judd: Democrats are Trying to Scare People About Immigration Ahead of Midterms

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said Friday that Democrats are trying to scare the public on issues at the border ahead of the midterm elections.

Published:6/23/2018 3:01:28 PM
[topics:people/kim-jong-un] Kim Jong-un 'erases his father and grandfather' from new mandatory national oath text Published:6/23/2018 3:01:27 PM
[Politics] Seth Rogan is REALLY proud that he was able to disappoint Paul Ryan’s KIDS… Seth Rogan is patting himself on the back and seeking applause for the heroic act of… disappointing Paul Ryan’s kids. They had the video of Rogan’s idiotic comments on CNN, then they . . . Published:6/23/2018 3:01:26 PM
[Quick Takes] Trump Gives His “Full Endorsement” to DeSantis for Florida Governor "strong on Borders, tough on Crime" Published:6/23/2018 3:01:26 PM
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