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[Markets] NewsWatch: Here’s how the Mueller report could roil the stock market The president endorsed the public release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling. Here’s what it would take for investors to take notice.
3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[Markets] 3 Things to Watch in the Stock Market This Week Investors will be following highly-anticipated earnings reports from Blackberry, McCormick, and Winnebago this week. 3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[Ilhan Omar] Omar CAIRies on in LA (Scott Johnson) Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar appeared as the featured fundraiser for the CAIR Los Angeles chapter in Woodland Hills last night. CAIR is of course the fake civil rights organization and Muslim Brotherhood front/Hamas affiliate. Omar did not disappoint. She CAIRied on in her accustomed fashion. Omar, incidentally, told a mythical CAIR founding story in her remarks last night. I have posted the video below. Toward the end of 3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[b8ce5903-b810-5d25-920b-e872075db49f] Alyssa Milano urges Hollywood to boycott Georgia over ‘heartbeat bill’ Alyssa Milano urged Hollywood film companies to boycott Georgia after the state Senate passed the bill that would ban abortions once a doctor detects a heartbeat in a fetus. 3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[worldNews] Air strikes kill a dozen Afghans, battle intensifies in Taliban strongholds Air strikes in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz killed about a dozen civilians on Saturday, local officials said, as battle intensified there and in southern Helmand province.
3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[Markets] Record 4 Million Sign "Cancel Brexit" Petition: It Won't Change a Damn Thing

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Demonstrators clog the streets of London seeking a "peoples vote". Excuse me for pointing out, the people already voted.

Please consider ‘Cancel Brexit’ Petition Tops Record 4 Million Signatures, Crashing Website at Least Twice.

The call for Prime Minister Theresa May to revoke Article 50 is now one of the most popular petitions ever on Parliament’s site, surpassing 2016’s petition calling for a second referendum on Brexit and crashing the site early Thursday morning as traffic spiked. In order for Parliament to take it up for debate, a petition has to collect more than 100,000 signatures.

Cancel Brexit Petition Tops 4.5 Million

?

I took that snapshot on the Petition Parliament Site Saturday at 1535ET.

The voting page looks like this.

?

I got a valid postal code from London Postal Code.

You don't need to enter your address, all you need is a made up name, a valid postal code, and a valid email address. The final step asks you to reply to an email sent to you.

If you click on that Email you are signed.

Multiple or Invalid Entries

  • Nothing stops one from doing this 10 or even 100 times.

  • Nothing stops someone who is not a citizen

  • Nothing stops someone who is 10 years old from signing the petition

I don't know how many petitions are fraudulent, but I I suspect a high percentage of them. But I also suspect that at least 500,000 of them are legitimate. That's way more than enough to trigger debate in Parliament. So there will be debate, useless time-wasting debate at that.

Ironically, long debate in Parliament helps the Brexit cause. Those supporting Brexit should hope the pony show discussion lasts a week.

Won't Change a Damn Thing

The bottom line is the people already had a "Peoples Vote". There won't be another.

Neither Labour nor the Tories want another referendum. Theresa May does not want one.

A new election could change that but by the time there is an election and a referendum, Brexit will already have happened unless the UK agrees in advance to hold European Parliament elections and the EU is willing to grant an extension on that basis.

The petition is amusing but it will not change a damn thing.

3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[topics:things/catholicism] Lourdes locked in row over privatisation of lucrative gift shop trade 3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[] Sunday Morning Book Thread 03-24-2019 Oxford University Library Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, and everybody who's holding your beer. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, a weekly... 3/24/2019 8:24:27 AM
[worldNews] Finnish minister threatened at election rally, escapes unhurt: police A Finnish cabinet minister was approached by "an agressive and threatening man" during an election rally on Sunday, but escaped unhurt, police said in a statement.
3/24/2019 7:54:22 AM
[Politics] Sen. Kristen Gillibrand: Trump Is a 'Coward,' Greedy, Divisive In the first major speech of her presidential campaign Sunday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.., is set to deliver a rebuke of the U.S. president as a "coward," according to notes obtained by AP and Reuters.The speech is set at the front of Manhattan's Trump International... 3/24/2019 7:54:22 AM
[Markets] Watch: Sikorsky-Boeing Conduct First Flight Of This Very Unusual Helicopter 

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter completed its first round of flight tests early Thursday morning (March 21) at Sikorsky's West Palm Beach, Florida location. This advanced aircraft, developed by Sikorsky and Boeing, will be submitted to the U.S. Army's Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program.

"Defiant is designed to fly at nearly twice the speed and has twice the range of conventional helicopters while retaining the very best, if not better low-speed and hover performance of conventional helicopters," said Dan Spoor, vice president, Sikorsky Future Vertical Lift."

"This design provides for exceptional performance in the objective area, where potential enemy activity places a premium on maneuverability, survivability and flexibility. We are thrilled with the results of today's flight and look forward to an exciting flight test program," Spoor added.

With its two coaxial main rotors and rear-mounted pusher propulsion system, Defiant is a new bread of aircraft that could replace the Army's convention helicopters.

The Sikorsky-Boeing team has encountered several delays related to manufacturing difficulties of the aircraft's blades. The original test flight was scheduled for 4Q18 but engineers discovered a series of issues while testing the power-train system.

Before Defiant could fly, the team was required to rigorously test the aircraft for 15 hours on the ground.

The helicopter took off at 7:47 a.m. and flew for more than 30 minutes on Thursday. Defense News said the aircraft performed low-speed maneuvers and hovered around Sikorsky's West Palm Beach location.

"Today’s flight was a tremendous success and a culmination of a lot of work by the men and women of the Sikorsky-Boeing team DEFIANT team," the Sikorsky-Boeing team told Defense News. "So much credit goes to their tireless efforts to get us to where we are today."

The team also said they were "very pleased" with the first test flight and will further examine the flight data next week and prepare for more tests in the near term.

Data from Defiant will allow the Sikorsky-Boeing team to tweak the aircraft to meet the Army's requirements for a new utility helicopter expected to enter service in the next ten years.

Video: Defiant Completes First Flight

 

3/24/2019 7:54:22 AM
[Entertainment] TANTRUM continues: Rep. Eric Swalwell makes an even bigger A*S of himself over the Mueller Report on Bill Maher (watch)

Rep. Eric Swalwell is officially in denial. That or he’s just so wrapped up in his own conspiracies and realizes he’s made a gigantic a*s of himself over the past two years pretending that Mueller was going to end Trump’s presidency that he just can’t help himself. As Twitchy reported, his reaction on Friday was something […]

The post TANTRUM continues: Rep. Eric Swalwell makes an even bigger A*S of himself over the Mueller Report on Bill Maher (watch) appeared first on twitchy.com.

3/24/2019 7:54:22 AM
[Uncategorized] Democrats and Crop Circles Week at Legal Insurrection All the news you may have missed. 3/24/2019 7:26:25 AM
[The Blog] Sunday morning talking heads

Endgame.

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

3/24/2019 7:26:25 AM
[Markets] France Is The Socialist Future We Should Dread

Authored by Veronique de Rugy via The American Institute for Economic Research,

A lot of attention and ink are being poured these days in trying to explain to a generation of voters why socialism always fails. Not only does socialism always fail to deliver the economic goods; it is also a source of massive oppression and pain.

I get why so many are devoting such amounts of energy to this task. First, the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and few others have made the notion of socialism acceptable in some circles and even hip. Also, according to a poll from August, for the first time since Gallup has asked the question, more Democrats approve of socialism than of capitalism.

However, if all we do is talk about how Venezuela is a hellhole and Cuba is a terrible place, I fear that we might end up being the modern equivalent of Don Quixote fighting the windmill.

The Cuban Model

There is a ton of work still to do to help younger Americans understand how Venezuela and Cuba ended up being such horrible places (in some cases, we even have to explain that yes, indeed, these are horrible places). Until Venezuela was in the news on a regular basis because of the approach of its people toward starvation, as well as the expropriation and daily tyranny from Chavez-Maduro regime, there were plenty of intellectuals praising the system. And let’s not forget the praises or lack of condemnation for the oppressive regime that is Cuba coming from many world leaders after Fidel Castro finally died.

So yes, there is a lot of work to be done. However, if that’s all we do in response to AOC and Sanders promising Americans that a socialist regime will produce a world where everyone works less, earns more, gets free healthcare and schooling, and receives generous subsidies from the government even when one decides not to work, no one tempted by socialism will listen.

The Swedish Model

That’s because when Sanders and his ilk talk about socialism, they aren’t talking about expropriating property rights, nationalizing all businesses, or eliminating all but one - the state’s - television channel. They aren’t talking about Venezuela or Cuba. Instead, they are talking about Denmark and Sweden.

It is true that Sanders and his people fail apparently don’t to understand that socialism exists on a spectrum. On one side you have the dictatorships, while on the other side you have the social democracies. Both sides of the spectrum use oppression and compulsory taxation to achieve their goals. But the degree to which they do so varies a great deal.

This variation in socialist methods gives rise also to variation in the legitimacy of different degrees of socialism. No one seriously ever thinks of French president Emmanuel Macron as a despot (even though his own people happen to call him tyrannical on a regular basis) in spite of the gigantic size of the French state and the enormous amount of taxes extracted by the regime. One side allows elections, the other side either forbids them or makes a mockery of the concept.

Yet, it is also true that all varieties of socialism fail to achieve their goals for the same reason: all varieties attempt, to one degree or another, to substitute the decisions of government planners for those of private citizens interacting in competitive markets.

And in doing so, all varieties of socialism suffer from the insurmountable knowledge problem, as beautifully demonstrated by the late economist Don Lavoie in his book 1985 book, National Economic Planning: What is Left?

That said, there is still a vast difference between Venezuela and Denmark in term of how much of the economy planners try to control and, as a result, how much of the economy planners destroy. I worry that if we keep talking as if today’s American Democrats envision controls as extensive as exist in Venezuela, those of us who warn of the dangers that lurk in the schemes of Sanders and AOC won’t get through.

The French Model

In addition to this difficulty is the fact that while they claim that they are talking about Nordic countries, what Sanders and AOC actually have in mind is a regime more like that of France. When Sweden and Denmark each had in place a regime closer to what Sanders is talking about, the results were so bad that each of these countries put in place pretty dramatic free-marketreforms. These two countries are by no means libertarian paradises, but thanks large spending cuts and lower taxes, they aren’t the hot mess that they once were.

France is, though, such a mess. That’s because there is one aspect in particular that the AOCs and Sanderses of the world fail to mention to their followers when they talk about their socialist dream: all of the goodies that they believe the American people are entitled to receive in fact come at a great cost -–and so the only way to pay for these goodies is with oppressive and regressive taxes (i.e., taxes heaped on to the backs of the middle class and the poor).

France was once a role model for what big government can do for its people. But it has become an embarrassing example since “The Gilets Jaunes” took to the streets to demonstrate against the insane amount of taxes they pay. These guys aren’t upper class. They are the people who have until now supported the policies that are inevitable when you have the government providing so many services and involved so deeply in so much of the economy.

Talking about taxes, the WSJ had a good summary of the situation:

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its annual Revenue Statistics report this week, and France topped the charts, with a tax take equal to 46.2% of GDP in 2017. That’s more than Denmark (46%), Sweden (44%) and Germany (37.5%), and far more than the OECD average (34.2%) or the U.S. (27.1%, which includes all levels of government).

France doesn’t collect that revenue in the ways you might think. Despite the stereotype of heavy European income taxes on the rich, Paris relies disproportionately on social-insurance, payroll and property taxes. Social taxes account for 37% of French revenue; the OECD average is 26%. Payroll and property taxes contribute 3% and 9%, compared to the OECD averages of 1% and 6%.

As a reminder, the payroll tax is very regressive; it consumes a larger share of low and middle class earners than rich people. In addition:

Then Europe adds a regressive consumption tax, the value-added tax. In France, VAT and other consumption taxes make up 24% of revenue, and that’s on the low side compared to an OECD average of 33%. Consumption taxes often fall hardest on the poor and middle class, who devote a greater proportion of their income to consumption.

To be sure, the spending is also more regressive in France in that the biggest share goes to the middle and low-income earners. But it is a stupid system in which you tax one group to redistribute to that same group.

Add one more increase to an already high (and regressive) gas tax in France to the existing 214 taxes and duties and the people went nuts. They have been protesting continuously since November 17th, 2018. I don’t condone the violence, but I understand why the protestors are so furious.

Regimentation in Labor

Their anger is further fueled by the very rigid labor market. France has all sorts of labor regulations on the books: some preventing firms from firing workers and, hence, creating a disincentive to hire workers in the first place. Other regulations, such as the minimum wage, that make the cost of employing people so high that employers don’t employ people. It is also not surprising that so many fast food restaurants in France have replaced employees with robots.

Like other countries, the French also have all sorts of “generous” family friendly laws that end up backfiring and penalizing female employment. The French government is also very generous to those people who don’t work. All of these policies make the lives of lower and middle-class people harder, unemployment is high (24.5 percent for young French people) and economic growth has been anemic for decades.

The bottom line is this. All those people in America who currently fall for the socialism soup that AOC and Sanders are selling need to realize that if their dream came to pass, they, not the rich – not the bankers and politicians – will be ones suffering the most from the high taxes, high unemployment, and slow growth that go hand in hand with the level of public spending they want.

Everyone would suffer, of course. But those who will be screwed the most are definitely those at the bottom.

3/24/2019 7:26:25 AM
[worldNews] Brexit up in the air as May faces possible plot, parliament tries to grab control The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union was in disarray on Sunday as Prime Minister Theresa May faced a possible plot by ministers to topple her and parliament prepared to grab control of Brexit from the government.
3/24/2019 7:26:25 AM
[worldNews] Thousands of motorbikers protest at Philippines' new plate regulation More than 10,000 motorcycle riders staged a motorcade on Sunday in the main highways of the Philippine capital Manila to protest at new regulations forcing them to display bigger license plates, saying the measure would not solve the problem.
3/24/2019 6:56:39 AM
[Markets] Italy Defies West As It Officially Joins China's "Neocolonial Project"

With Brussels and Washington helplessly looking on, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister signed a historic memorandum of understanding Saturday morning in Rome that made Italy the first founding EU  member, and the first G-7 nation, to officially sign on to Beijing's "One Belt, One Road" economic development initiative - one of President Xi Jinping's signature ventures which many have called China's shadow project to re-colonize the world's poorer nations.

Along with the MoU, the two leaders signed development deals covering everything from port management, to science and technology, to e-commerce to soccer that were reportedly worth up to $20 billion.

Though OBOR (or BRI) has promised to strengthen trade links between the West and East, it has been derided in Washington and Europe as "debt trap diplomacy" and a neocolonial project by Vice President Mike Pence, and others.

Xi

Xi's trip to Italy, the first leg on a six-day European tour, coincided with Brussels' decision to take a more hard-line stance against the Chinese. During a review of its China policy last week, the European Union proposed "10 actions" to member states, including requiring "reciprocity" for market access, and highlighting purported national security risks stemming from Chinese investment in "critical assets, technologies and infrastructure."

Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission and Brussels' unelected bureaucrat-in-chief, described China as a "competitor, a partner, a rival," during remarks on Friday. 

In what appears to be a bid to assuage the growing trepidation in Brussels over China's strengthening ties with Italy, and several eastern and central European states, Xi has reportedly asked Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to join him during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron planned for Tuesday.

Meanwhile, to commemorate China's first colonial anchor in continental Europe, during a press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Friday, Xi said "both countries should strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, ports and logistics, maritime transportation and other areas, so that the great potential can be realized."

Among the 30 or so agreements signed were two port management deals between China Communications Construction and the ports of Trieste, situated in the northern Adriatic Sea, and Genoa, Italy’s biggest seaport. While Genoa is a long-established port, Trieste has the most potential for China, Italian government sources earlier told the South China Morning Post.

The port is strategically important for China because it offers a link from the Mediterranean to landlocked countries such as Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Serbia, all of which are markets Beijing hopes to reach through its belt and road programme.

The Adriatic Sea port of Trieste is strategically critical for China.

According to SCMP, other deals signed cover areas including satellites, e-commerce, agriculture, beef and pork imports, media, culture, banking, natural gas and steel. The two countries also agreed to boost cooperation on innovation and science, increase bilateral trade and set up a finance ministers’ dialogue mechanism.

After the signing, Chinese media celebrated Italy's "pragmatic" decision, and predicted that it wouldn't be the last western power to side with Beijing.

Though Italy is directly defying Washington's warnings about the 'national security threat' endemic to doing business with Chinese state-backed companies, with Italy's economy mired in recession, and the outlook for growth dim, Beijing has offered Rome's ruling populists something that Brussels and the West haven't been willing, or able, to offer: An unprecedented economic boon, as we explained earlier today. Now, the question is, just how hard the US and Brussels will recoil at Italy's ruling populists for allowing Beijing to claim a critical stake in the heart of Europe's continent.

3/24/2019 6:56:39 AM
[SPY] What The Fed Really Said 3/24/2019 6:25:06 AM
[worldNews] Exit poll has Thai opposition winning most seats but not enough for government Thai voters flocked to the polls on Sunday for the first election since a 2014 coup, and an exit poll indicated the populist party linked to exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra would win the most seats, but not enough to form a government.
3/24/2019 6:25:05 AM
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