The Senate health care bill was unveiled on Thursday, and it appears to be dead on arrival. At least four conservative senators say that they can’t vote for the current version because it doesn’t go far enough, while several moderate Republicans are expressing concerns that it goes too far in repealing popular Obamacare provisions. You can read the full text of the bill here. Since Democrats are going to be united in voting against any bill that the Republicans put forward, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two Republican votes if he wants something to pass. I don’t know how that is going to be possible, and so in the end we may be stuck with Obamacare for the foreseeable future and that would be a total disaster.
It is astounding to me that Republicans don’t want to pass the exact same clean Obamacare repeal bill that they got to Obama’s desk in 2016. If they got that same bill to Trump’s desk, he would sign it. Instead of trying to do everything at once, just repeal Obamacare and then start working on various pieces of the health care system one at a time.
According to Real Clear Politics, Congress currently has an average approval rating of just 17.6 percent. It is an institution that has failed the American people over and over again, and we are never going to move things in a positive direction in this country until we do something to clean up that cesspool of filth and corruption.
If we truly want to fix health care in this country, we need to rebuild the entire system from the ground up based on free market principles. But of course the bill that was just unveiled in the Senate simply tries to patch up the system we already have, and that ultimately won’t work…
This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on June 22nd, 2017.
U. S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently admitted that America’s official foreign policy includes a regime-change operation in Iran. The CIA has created an office for this sole purpose, tasking Michael D’Andrea – also known as the Dark Prince or Ayatollah Mike – with leading this operation.
Iran just had an election in May, and voter turnout was as high as 70 percent. Even prisoners were allowed to vote, something so-called moderate democratic countries like New Zealand disallow.
In contrast, voter turnout in the 2016 U. S. elections was around 58 percent, and support for Donald Trump’s impeachment is now higher than support for his presidency.
Though Iran is hardly democratic by Western standards given the stringent requirements for becoming a political candidate in the first place, it is still vastly more democratic than most of America’s closest allies in the region. According to a U. S. State Department document:
‘The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by the Al Saud family… The following significant human rights problems were reported: no right to change the government peacefully; torture and physical abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention; denial of fair and public trials and lack of due process in the judicial system; political prisoners; restrictions on civil liberties such as freedoms of speech (including the Internet), assembly, association, movement, and severe restrictions on religious freedom; and corruption and lack of government transparency. Violence against women and a lack of equal rights for women, violations of the rights of children, trafficking in persons, and discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sect, and ethnicity were common. The lack of workers’ rights, including the employment sponsorship system, remained a severe problem.’ [emphasis added]
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.
Last fall, we spent a fair amount of time reading through John Podesta’s emails, courtesy of Wikileaks, and grew increasingly astonished with each passing day at the number of apparent conflicts of interest created by the Clinton Foundation which seemed to be nothing more than a front created for the Clintons to peddle their influence around the world in return for staggering “charitable” donations.
Take, for example, our posts which questioned whether the CEO of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris, made very sizable contributions to the Clinton Foundation just so he could get an audience with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss his failed $9 billion joint venture with Kuwait. Here are a couple of posts which provide some background:
New Hillary Emails Expose Bill Pushing Meetings With Foundation Donors, Requests For “Diplomatic Passports” Did Foundation Donor Dow Chemical Seek Hillary “Favor” To Settle $9 Billion Lawsuit With Kuwait? Or, there was that time that Hillary was offered $12 million from Moroccan King Mohammed VI just to host her annual “Clinton Global Initiative” meeting in his country.
And don’t even get us started on Doug Band who spent years with the Clintons before starting his own “consulting” practice called Teneo (see: Doug Band Exposes Foundation’s “For-Profit Activity Of President Clinton (i.e., Bill Clinton, Inc.)“)
Now, an exclusive report on the “McCain Institute” published earlier today from the Daily Caller (DC) has us wondering who else in Congress might just be running miniature Clinton Foundation-ish organizations and enriching their personal families in the process.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn’s interactions with Turkish officials has expanded to include Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Kian, Reuters reported Tuesday. However, the news agency said it’s unclear whether Kian is suspected of criminal activity, or if investigators are just trying to understand the role he played in a transaction involving their old company, Flynn Intel Group, and a Netherlands-based company owned by a Turkish businessman who’s believed to have connections with the Turkish government.
The announcement also has implications for the Trump administration. Kian had a hand in picking intelligence agency personnel and was privy to high-level conversations regarding US intelligence as a member of President Donald Trump’s national security transition team. He also led most of the Flynn Intel Group’s research and lobbying for the Turkish businessman in question, the Associated Press reported.
‘Investigators are also looking at whether payments from foreign clients to Flynn and his company…were lawful, according to two separate sources with knowledge of the broad inquiry into Flynn’s business activities. That includes payments by three Russian companies and a Netherlands-based company, Inovo, controlled by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, they said.
The FBI’s interest in Kian has not been previously reported. Kian played a central role in securing and overseeing the Inovo contract, two people with knowledge of that project said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.
As with all other highly manipulated data, the financial media has a blind bias toward the ‘bullish’ story attached to the housing market. Understandable, as the National Association of Realtors spends more on special interest interest lobbying in Congress than any other financial sector lobby interest, including Wall Street banks.
New home sales were down last month, according to the Census Bureau, 11.3% and missed Wall Street’s soothsayer estimates by a rural mile. Strange, that report, given that new homebuilder sentiment is bubbling along a record highs. Existing home sales were down 2.3%. You’ll note that the numbers reported by the Census Bureau and NAR are ‘SAAR’ – seasonally adjusted annualized rates. There is considerable room for data manipulation and regression model bias when a monthly data sample is ‘seasonally adjusted/manipulated’ and then annualized. You’ll also note that mortgage rates have dropped considerably from their December highs and May is one of the seasonally strongest months for home sales.
It’s becoming pretty clear to me that the housing market’s ‘Roman candle’ has lost its upward thrust and is poised to fall back to earth. I believe it could happen shockingly fast. Fannie Mae released its home purchase sentiment index, which FNM says is the most detailed of its kind.
This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on June 20, 2017.
At least 58 people are feared to have died in the fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower this past week. Prime Minister Theresa May admitted that the government response was appalling. There is mounting anger growing that many are saying that people were told to stay in their apartments and died as a result. They are also exposing the fact that there were no sprinklers to combat the fire. On top of that, many see this as a plot to get them out of a rich neighborhood.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 18, 2017.
The public-private corruption is both systematic and far-reaching. After reviewing the evidence, a number of disturbing items have emerged indicating poor practice in the installation of flammable cosmetic panels on the exterior of Grenfell Tower in West London. Looking further into the matter, it’s also clear of the an elite bureaucracy presiding over the UK government’s own cynical, profit-driven ‘regeneration’ programs, and more specifically the ‘New Deal for Communities’ backed-up by the shadowy political charity known as Common Purpose – a program pushed through by both New Labour and Lib-Con Conservative governments since the late 1990’s.
The following independent news program was broadcast the day after the Grenfell Tower disaster, as UK Column co-anchors Brian Gerrish and Mike Robinson, joined by 21WIRE’sPatrick Henningsen and David Scott delivering a full breakdown and analysis of the tragic events in London. Watch:
21st CENTURY WIRE
This post was published at 21st Century Wire
on JUNE 17, 2017.
This post was published at H. A. Goodman
David Stockman joined Bloomberg Markets to discuss President Donald Trump’s latest budget projections. After the White House and current Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney released various statements on the budget proposal viability conversations already began within the GOP and Congress.
When prompted by host David Gura over his thoughts, even reflecting on former Treasury Secretary Summers comments that the budget is ludicrously optimistic, David Stockman did not mince words speaking on Washington.
This post was published at Zero Hedge
on Jun 15, 2017.
The next leg of the insatiable Wall Street heist has begun under the new U. S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Under the guise of empowering Americans ‘to make independent financial decisions,’ the Treasury released its set of recommendations for financial reform on Monday. Far from empowering Americans, the new recommendations would effectively place a bigger blindfold on consumers, blocking further their ability to differentiate between serially corrupt financial institutions on Wall Street and those that make an effort at playing by the rules. (The latter being an almost extinct species.)
Wall Street’s fingerprints are all over the Treasury recommendations. The report has singled out for particular scalpel treatment the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which Wall Street loathes because of its independence. The acronym ‘CFPB’ appears 315 times in the 147-page report. One passage reads as follows:
‘A significant restructuring in the authority and execution of regulatory responsibilities by the CFPB is necessary. The CFPB was created to pursue an important mission, but its unaccountable structure and unduly broad regulatory powers have led to predictable regulatory abuses and excesses. The CFPB’s approach to rulemaking and enforcement has hindered consumer access to credit, limited innovation, and imposed unduly high compliance burdens, particularly on small institutions. Treasury’s recommendations include: making the Director of the CFPB removable at will by the President or, alternatively, restructuring the CFPB as an independent multi-member commission or board; funding the CFPB through the annual appropriations process; adopting reforms to ensure that regulated entities have adequate notice of CFPB interpretations of law before subjecting them to enforcement actions; and curbing abuses in investigations and enforcement actions.’
This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on June 14, 2017.
The Chicago police department continues to march toward what it calls ‘policing in the 21st century.’ If their conduct is any indication, that police work would include systemic corruption, unlawful detention, torture, racial profiling and mass surveillance.
However, activists and journalists continue to work hard to expose even more abuses that might still lurk in the shadows. Some progress has been made. Derrick Broze reported in January of last year about Chicago activist, Freddy Martinez, who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the CPD in 2014. Martinez was seeking details regarding the much-maligned use of Stingray cell phone surveillance. Despite the Chicago PD refusing to answer the request, a Cook County, Illinois judge ordered the Chicago Police Department to allow her to review documents related to cell phone surveillance tools. This case is illustrative of the pressure that needs to be exerted if we are to get answers about what our public servants are truly doing on our behalf.
But Stingray surveillance is merely one component of a much larger surveillance network that Chicago has set up and continues to expand, which even includes an explicit mission to embrace ‘predictive policing’ – essentially, the concept of pre-crime that most people hoped was relegated purely to science fiction.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JUNE 13, 2017.
In a development that will likely grab media attention in the US, Russian police detained Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny, according to his Twitter feed on Monday, hours before he called on supporters to mount an unsanctioned protest against corruption near the Kremlin. Navalny’s wife wrote on his Twitter account that he had been detained near the entrance of his home but that plans for the protest in central Moscow hadn’t changed.
Earlier in the day, the presidential hopeful had announced rallies against official corruption Monday, the Russia Day holiday, and protesters gathered in numerous other cities. Similar protests led by Navalny drew thousands in March in Moscow and several other cities across Russia, in what the WSJ dubbed “a rare challenge to the rule of President Vladimir Putin.” Photos from cities around the country on Monday, an official holiday known as Russia Day, showed thousands of protesters at fresh rallies. Vladimir Putin vowed to punish people who broke the law after the March protests at anti-corruption rallies organized by Navalny that were mostly unsanctioned in 80 cities across Russia, the biggest unrest in five years. Police arrested 1,500 people nationwide, including more than 1,000 in Moscow, and a handful are being prosecuted for attacking police.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 12, 2017.
Not much has come out of the James Comey testimony, except that the most egregious violation of federal law was the incident which took place between Comey and Loretta Lynch regarding Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Now, top Democrat Diane Feinstein is calling for an investigation into possible illegal activities.
It’s actually a little surprising that this investigation demand is coming from a Democrat. Normally, the party members tow the line and balk those who look at corruption by their own. The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee called for a congressional investigation into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe on Sunday. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) said she’s concerned by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday that Lynch asked him to downplay his ‘investigation’ into the Democratic presidential nominee as merely a ‘matter.’
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JUNE 12, 2017.
If you weren’t outraged before you certainly have reason to be now — both at Amazon and the press.
First, Amazon. They’re now “offering” to anyone on welfare reduced-price “Prime” memberships.
Let’s cut this down to size: There is utterly nothing that “Prime” offers that one can today, or should be able to now or in the future, buy with “food stamps” (electronic or not.) Prime’s “pantry” items are all, by definition (sorry folks, truly fresh food that is not laden with sugars and hydrogenated oils doesn’t ship well!) high carb trash.
A big part of the reason we have a monstrous obesity epidemic in this country, especially among poor people, is that we stopped handing out literal government cheese (and eggs, meats, etc) as “food assistance” and went first to coupons and then to what are effectively prepaid debit cards. Yes, there are “some” restrictions (e.g. no booze purchases, etc) but if you look at what’s in a typical EBT shopper’s cart you will find things that will both make you fat and diabetic.
True “government cheese”, when it was how food assistance was distributed, was both nutritious and did not promote obesity and metabolic dysfunction.
Amazon today cannot take an EBT card. But they are lobbying to be allowed to, and if they are permitted to do so that will simply make the obesity and diabetes problem worse among the poor. Unless you support abusing poor people that standing alone is enough to cancel your PRIME membership and tell Amazon to **** off.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-06-12.
President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Christopher Wray to take over James Comey’s job as Director of the FBI in a Tweet on June 7, the day before Comey’s much anticipated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the Tweet, Trump called Wray a ‘man of impeccable credentials,’ which, undoubtedly, he is. He is also a man with a maze of conflicts of interests.
It appears that someone has tried to scrub some of those conflicts from the official web site of the Justice Department. For example, try this Justice Department press release link, which now turns up a dead page.
Fortunately for our readers, Google has cached the press release which is dated February 19, 2004. The opening sentence includes all three names making headlines today – Comey, Wray and Robert Mueller, the newly appointed Special Counsel who will investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and the firing by President Trump of James Comey as FBI Director. At the time of this press release, the three men were attached at the hip as part of George W. Bush’s Corporate Fraud Taskforce. All three men are quoted in this press release, as follows:
‘This indictment marks an important milestone in the life of the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force,’ said Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who heads the Task Force. ‘The indictment alleges that Jeffrey Skilling and other Enron executives concocted a massive, complex scheme to give shareholders and the investing public the false appearance of financial strength and security at a time when Enron was, in fact, failing. Our investigators were able to cut through the maze of paperwork and financial trickery to get to the bottom of the scheme and charge Skilling, once the top executive at Enron, with fraud and other crimes that contributed to Enron’s collapse.’
This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.
It’s not just the mainstream media that’s been quiet about the murder of Seth Rich. Members of Congress are remaining tight-lipped as well, leading more to believe that his death is not the bold conspiracy the left is painting it as.
WND reported that they recently asked 125 members of Congress to weigh in about the murder of DNC staffer, Seth Rich. All the while, the media is largely silent about his death while at the same time labeling anyone concerned as a ‘conspiracy theorist.’ But those slinging around the term should remember that it’s only a conspiracy until it’s proven as fact, and things will unravel sooner or later. Out of 125, only five members of Congress even replied to WND’s request for an interview and all five declined to participate. In fact, the only member of Congress who has even gone on the record about the slain DNC staffer is Representative Blake Farenthold, a Republican from Texas. Farenthold was then attacked by the mainstream media for speaking out.
That is a large group of powerful people remaining silent about the murder of one of their own. Yet those who question this whole narrative are the conspiracy theorists? Things are beginning to go south quickly for the DNC and democrats all over the country. The lies and corruption are finally coming to a head, and people are taking notice. Silence speaks often just as much as words do. Wouldn’t one think that the left-leaning media would want answers to the murder of one of their own? No wonder so many people are questioning Rich’s murder. Those who even mention it are attacked and those who try to cover it are those who should be on the murdered man’s side.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JUNE 5, 2017.
While tense trade negotiations between the US and Mexico over the price and quota for U. S. imports of Mexican sugar continue (a happy ending appears unlikely, especially after a Mexican sugar company on Friday called on the government to take action against American fructose producers and protect the local industry from US deals), a new protectionist measure involving sugar half way around the globe was unveiled on Monday when China – the world’s biggest importer of the sweet substance – said it will impose significant penalties on sugar imports following lobbying by domestic mills.
According to the ruling first described by Reuters, up to a third of China’s annual sugar imports will be impacted by an extra tariff for the next three years on shipments that the government said had “seriously damaged” the domestic industry.
The details: China currently allows just over 1.9 million tonnes of imports at a tariff of 15% as part of its commitment to the World Trade Organization. All imports above this amount are slapped with a 50% levy. After Monday’s ruling, the total sugar duty will nearly double, with Beijing imposing an additional 45% tax to these imports in the current fiscal year taking the total to 95%. This will fall to 90% next year and 85% a year later, China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement. The ruling exempted 190 smaller countries and regions from the new duty, including smaller producers such as the Philippines, Pakistan and Myanmar.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 22, 2017.
Last week, Fox News dropped a bombshell report officially confirming, via anonymous FBI sources, what many had suspected for quite some time, that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the WikiLeaks source for leaks which proved that the DNC was intentionally undermining the campaign of Bernie Sanders. In addition to exposing the corruption of the DNC, the leaks cost Debbie Wasserman Shcultz her job as Chairwoman.
Of course, if it’s true that WikiLeaks’ emails came from a DNC insider it would end the “Russian hacking” narrative that has been perpetuated by Democrats and the mainstream media for the past several months. Moreover, it would corroborate the one confirmation that Julian Assange has offered regarding his source, namely that it was “not a state actor.”
Meanwhile, the plot thickened a little more over the weekend when Kim Dotcom confirmed via Twitter that he was working with Seth Rich to get leaked emails to WikiLeaks.
I knew Seth Rich. I know he was the @Wikileaks source. I was involved. — Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 22, 2017.
Amid the chaos of James Comey’s firing, new questions about the timeline of his fateful investigation
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared on This Week Sunday, and said some head-scratching things.
Clapper back in March told Meet the Press that when he issued a January 6th multiagency intelligence community assessment about Russian interference in the election, the report didn’t include evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, essentially saying he hadn’t been aware of any such evidence up through January 20th, his last day in office.
On Sunday, he said that didn’t necessarily mean there was no such evidence, because sometimes he left it up to agency chiefs like former FBI Director James Comey to inform him about certain things.
“I left it to the judgment [of] Director Comey,” Clapper said, “to decide whether, when and what to tell me about counterintelligence investigations.”
Clapper said something similar when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Monday. In prepared remarks, he essentially said that there was nothing odd about his not being informed about the existence of an FBI counterintelligence investigation involving Donald Trump’s campaign.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 21, 2017.
In a move that will surely light the proverbial lightbulb over Donald Trump’s head, Brazilian President Michel Temer, having been officially dragged into Brazil’s massive corruption scandal after a record emerged in which he urged the payment of “hush money”, said on Saturday he would ask the Supreme Court to suspend its investigation into allegations he was also involved in the carwash corruption scheme, vowing to remain in power.
Speaking during a televised address on Saturday afternoon, Brazil’s deeply unpopular president, who replaced a just as deeply unpopular president last year when Dilma Rouseff was impeached, claimed the recording that implicated him in the scandal was doctored and said he would file a petition with the Supreme Court to suspend the investigation until it could be verified, the WSJ reported.
In the recording cited by Temer, which unleashed a historic crash of the Brazilian stock market and currency on Thursday when news of Temer’s involvement broke, the president can be heard chatting with Joesley Batista, chairman and heir of the beef-and-chicken JBS empire, apparently him his approval to pay the jailed former speaker of the House Eduardo Cunha – the man responsible for Dilma Rouseff’s ouster last year – to buy his silence. Batista, who made the recording and gave it to prosecutors in hopes for prosecutorial leniency against JBS, said the recording wasn’t edited.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 20, 2017.