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In A Battle Between Trump And The Federal Reserve, Who Really Wins?

Zerohedge - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 00:20

Submitted by Brandon Smith via,

As a part of the increasingly obvious set-up of conservative movements by international banking interests and globalist think-tanks, I have noticed an expanding disinformation campaign which appears to be designed to wash the Federal Reserve of culpability for the crash of 2008 that has continued to fester to this day despite the many claims of economic “recovery.”  I believe this program is meant to set the stage for a coming conflict between the Trump Administration and the Fed, but what would be the ultimate consequences of such an event?

In my article 'The False Economic Recovery Narrative Will Die In 2017', I outlined the propaganda trap being established by globalist owned and operated media outlets like Bloomberg, in which they consistently claim that Donald Trump has “inherited” an economy in recovery and ascendancy from the Obama administration.  I thoroughly debunked their positions and “evidence” by showing how each of their fundamental indicators has actually been in steady decline since 2008, even in the face of massive monetary intervention and fiat printing by the Fed.

My greatest concern leading up to the 2016 election was that Trump would be allowed to win because he represents the perfect scapegoat for an economic crisis that central banks have been brewing for years. Whether or not Trump is aware of this plan cannot yet be proven, but as I have mentioned in the past, his cabinet of Goldman Sachs alumni and neo-con veterans hardly gives me confidence.  In the best case scenario, Trump is surrounded by enemies; in the worst case scenario, he is surrounded by friends.

Trump’s loyalties, though, are a secondary issue for now.  The primary focus of this article is to discern whether or not a battle between Trump and the Fed will result in a net positive or a net negative for the public.  My position is that any action against the Fed should have happened years ago, and that today, the Fed is nothing more than a sacrificial appendage of a greater globalist agenda.  Meaning, conservative groups should be aware that a victory over the Fed is not actually a victory over the globalists.  In fact, the globalists may very well WANT a war between the Fed and the White House at this time.

First, some facts need to be established to counter the propaganda claims that the Fed is some kind of  innocent victim of a rampaging President Trump or “misguided” conservative rhetoric.

The Scapegoat Setup Continues

The latest extension of the Fed’s propaganda has been initiated, of course, by the mainstream media and liberals in general; you know, the same people that were applauding the (in some cases misguided) efforts of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  With Trump’s negation of the Dodd-Frank Act, the media has been looking for any opportunity to assert that Trump is either acting to enrich his corporate friends or that he is an idiot man-child when it comes to matters of business and economics.

This led to some sniping by Elizabeth Warren and Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen‘s testimony before congress last week.  The argument?  That Trump was wrong or “lying” when he said that Dodd-Frank had frozen loans from major banks.  You can see the glee in media outlets over the stab; a recent article by Vanity Fair, which seemed to focus more on snide ankle biting of Trump than concrete evidence, is a perfect example.

Now, in Trump’s defense (or at least, in defense of his position), Yellen is actually the one lying, here.  While it is true that commercial lending has expanded, her claim that small business loans have improved is simply false.  Even Bloomberg begrudgingly acknowledges that small business loans have fallen by at least 6% since the passage of Dodd-Frank.  In Obama’s favorite liberal home-base, Chicago, loans to small neighborhood businesses declined by 49% between 2008 and 2014.

In 2015, Yellen herself argued that small business loans were in decline because small business owners “don’t want loans anymore.”   This is a bit like the Bureau of Labor Statistics arguing that over 95 million unemployed working age Americans should not be counted as unemployed in their stats because they really “don’t want a job.”  It is an attempt to muddy the waters on the greater issue, which is that the U.S. economy is in considerable danger.

You see, I don’t think Trump was debating that major corporations and banks were not receiving ample loans, I think he was primarily pointing out the disparity in small business loans and personal loans.  Yellen and the mainstream media attempted to use one data point — commercial loans, to dismiss the entire debate over loan stagnation.

The Fed Is Culpable For Our Bubble Economy And Trying To Shift Blame Before A Collapse

The fact is, we all KNOW that major corporations and banks have been flooded with ample loans, and much of this capital was conjured out of thin air by the Fed itself through fiat creation and near zero interest rates.  We know this because of the $16 trillion in loans made to companies around the world exposed by the revealing (but limited) TARP audit.  We also know this because much of these loans have been used to inflate the stock market bubble for the past few years through endless stock buybacks that most companies never would have been able to afford otherwise. We also know that the mainstream investment world is aware of the importance of these loans because they started to panic as the Fed announced its ongoing program of interest rate hikes.

Beyond that, we know that the Fed’s low interest loans and culture of circular inbred lending between corporations and banks have been instrumental in keeping stocks hyperinflated, because Fed officials have OPENLY ADMITTED that this is the case.  As Richard Fisher of the Dallas Fed stated in an interview with CNBC:

“What the Fed did — and I was part of that group — is we front-loaded a tremendous market rally, starting in 2009.It’s sort of what I call the “reverse Whimpy factor” — give me two hamburgers today for one tomorrow. I’m not surprised that almost every index you can look at … was down significantly.” [Referring to the results in the stock market after the Fed raised rates in December 2015.]


“…I was warning my colleagues, “Don’t go wobbly if we have a 10-20 percent correction at some point. … Everybody you talk to … has been warning that these markets are heavily priced.”

So, again, the issue is not whether or not banks are lending, we know they are lending, they just aren’t lending to the people that need it most.

I think Fisher was dishonest in his evaluation of the extent of the consequences of the Fed bubble and that a 10% to 20% drop in equities is an absurd underestimation.  But setting aside the "little white lies", it is at least widely available knowledge that the Federal Reserve initiated a corporate loan free-for-all, knowing that the supposed benefits were limited in scope as well as in duration.  They know that a crash is coming, and they have been stalling until they can find the right scapegoat to divert blame.  That scapegoat is Trump, and by association, all conservatives.

As far as Dodd-Frank is concerned, the act was supposed to be a primer for stopping destructive behavior in the financial sector, more specifically in derivatives.  Yet, in spite of Dodd-Frank, banks like Citigroup are STILL bloated with derivatives after receiving at least $476 billion in taxpayer funds to stop them from going bankrupt for the very same irresponsibility.

Dodd-Frank accomplished absolutely nothing in terms of what it was mandated to do.  I believe the only true purpose of Dodd-Frank was to distract everyone from Ron Paul’s Fed audit bill, which was gaining major traction at the time.

Liberals And The Fed Become Bedfellows?

So, why does Trump’s undercutting of Dodd-Frank even matter?  As outlined above, it is a propaganda point for the establishment to perpetuate the narrative that Trump is incompetent, that the people who support him are incompetent, and that when the economy does shift into greater crisis it will be his fault and the fault of conservatives.  It is also a springboard for the Federal Reserve to “attack” Trump, as shown in Yellen’s congressional testimony.

I also find it interesting that through the Dodd-Frank issue as well as others, leftists are being galvanized in support around the Federal Reserve, something that they probably would not have done a couple of years ago.  This is all culminating in what I believe will become a titanic battle not only between Trump and Leftists, but also between Donald Trump and the Fed.  But why would the establishment want to incite a conflict between the president and the central bank?

This is something conservatives and liberty activists have wanted for decades — a president that would be willing to take on the Federal Reserve and expose its innards.  The problem is, the time for the effectiveness of such an action is long gone.  Auditing the Fed under Obama (an openly pro-globalist president) would have been a disaster for the powers that be.  It would have thrown their entire agenda into disarray and killed any chance that they could complete what they call the “great global economic reset.”  Auditing or shutting down the Fed under Trump is another matter.

As I examined in detail with evidence in my article 'The Economic End Game Explained', the Federal Reserve has a shelf life.  It has already served its purpose, which was to undermine the American economy and our currency system.  The Fed will now begin deflating the bubbles it has engineered in stocks, Treasuries and the dollar through continued interest rate hikes and rolling out the over $4 trillion (official amount) on its balance sheet.  The goal?  Sinking America and reducing it to third world status over the course of the next several years to make way for total global centralization of economic administration, eventually leading to global fiscal management under the IMF and perhaps the BIS, and a global currency system; all while making conservative movements look like the monster behind the crisis.

To summarize, the U.S. economy and the dollar are slated for a controlled demolition.  The Fed will do everything in its power to prod Trump and conservatives into war with the central bank, because the Fed is now ready to sacrifice itself and the dollar’s world reserve status in order to clear a path for a new global system and ideology. The Federal Reserve is a suicide bomber.

If this takes place as I predict then the international banks and the establishment elites will be able to lay the blame for the death of king dollar squarely at the feet of Trump and conservatives, and at least a third of the country (leftists) will buy into the narrative lock, stock and barrel because they desperately WANT to believe it.  Remember, the tale being scripted here is that Trump is a rampaging maniac that does not know what he is doing.

To be clear, I am not supporting the continuing dominance of the Fed, or the existence of the fiat dollar.  What I am saying is that conservatives may just get what we have been wishing for all these years but not in the manner we had hoped.

To counter this threat our list of targets must expand to meet reality.  The delusion that the core problem is the Federal Reserve must stop.  The Fed is a box store, a franchise in a chain of franchises, nothing more.  If we do not also turn our scrutiny and aggression towards root globalist institutions like the IMF and the BIS as well as international banks, then our efforts will only serve to bolster the enemy we are trying to fight.

In a battle limited to Trump versus the Fed, only the bankers will win.

AGM Inquiries From Registered Shareholders

JS Mineset - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 00:10

Dear CIGAs, Registered stockholders of Tanzanian Royalty Exploration wishing to discuss the annual general meeting are requested to send your respective contact information to Please include the best time to contact you in your email so I can personally answer any questions you may have. Respectfully yours, Jim Sinclair

The post AGM Inquiries From Registered Shareholders appeared first on Jim Sinclair's Mineset.

Think Tank Admits Automation Could Replace 250,000 Government Jobs in the UK

SHTF Plan - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 00:09

The unelected and unfireable pencil pushers and bureaucrats that man the levers of every Western government, are only notorious for one thing: They are society’s heaviest dead weight; much more so than our perpetual class of welfare users. At least most of them probably want to work, and are only guilty of living in a society that disincentivizes hard work. At least they don’t get rich off of welfare.

The bureaucrats however are different. They are paid handsomely for work that doesn’t benefit society. Sometimes they are paid well to do no work at all. Oftentimes, they line their pockets doing work that oppresses their fellow citizens. Every sane human being who lives under these bureaucrats, has imagined a world where their jobs (if you can call them that) have been ruthlessly replaced or eliminated.

Well, it turns out that many of these positions are redundant. A recent study has found that many of Britain’s public service jobs are mindless enough that they can be replaced by computers and robots. Though to be fair, a few highly technical jobs in the medical sector could be replaced as well. According to the Guardian:

Almost 250,000 public sector workers could lose their jobs to robots over the next 15 years, according to a new report which claims machines would be more efficient and save billions of pounds.

Reform, a right-of-centre thinktank, says websites and artificial intelligence “chat bots” could replace up to 90% of Whitehall’s administrators, as well as tens of thousands in the NHS and GPs’ surgeries, by 2030 – saving as much as £4bn a year.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whats most stunning, is that the study found that only “Twenty percent of public-sector workers hold strategic, ‘cognitive’ roles.” In other words, only a fifth of Britain’s public sector jobs are intellectually sophisticated enough to outmatch the computers of the future.

And for those of you who enjoy a bit of schadenfreude from time to time, you’ll appreciate what the authors of this study suggested the government should do to adapt the next wave of automation that is sure to wipe out hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs:

The report argues that public services should become more flexible by embracing a gig economy where workers support themselves through a variety of flexible jobs acquired through online platforms.

In remarks that seem set to infuriate unions, a Reform press release says: “Public services can become the next Uber, using the gig economy to employ locum doctors and supply teachers.”

In case you forgot, the “gig economy” is what ordinary people have had to rely on to pay the bills, after the policies of Western governments hollowed out the well paying and stable jobs of our old economy, before shipping them overseas. Now it appears that perhaps, the pencil pushers are about to get a taste of their own medicine.

The $74 Trillion Global Economy In One Chart

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 23:55

The latest GDP numbers from the World Bank were released earlier this month, and today’s visualization from breaks them down to show the relative share of the global economy for each country.

As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins explains, the full circle, known as a Voronoi Diagram, represents the entirety of the $74 trillion global economy in nominal terms. Meanwhile, each country’s segment is sized accordingly to their percentage of global GDP output. Continents are also grouped together and sorted by color.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist


Here is the data for the Top 20 Countries in table form:

Calexit - Beat The Crowd

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 23:30

Submitted by Dennis Miller via,

Our country has become bitterly divided. No matter who won the election, I predicted we would soon be reading about states wanting to secede from the union.

Even before President Trump was sworn in, the California movement, known as Calexit, began. The first step is to ask voters to adopt a state Constitutional Amendment revoking the U. S. Constitution as the supreme law. makes this appeal:

“As the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states.

Since 1987, California has been subsidizing the other states at a loss of tens and sometimes hundreds of billions of dollars in a single fiscal year.

…In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children.”

They outline reasons why citizens should vote for secession. Point 9 is a bit different, “California has some of the best universities but in various ways, our schools are among the worst in the country.”

I’m unable to determine if the claim “hundreds of billions of dollars” is accurate. How is it calculated? Is a post office or military base returning money back to the state? indicates California receives $.78 back for every $1.00 is sends to the federal government. Maybe they have a point.

Different values causes divorce

Our founding fathers felt the values of the King of England conflicted with the values of the colonies. Many Americans cheered the British on when they opted out of the European Union. For both situations, oppressive taxation, different values and cost and control of the central government was a motivating factor.

Be careful what you wish for

Things are not all sunny in the land of milk and honey. Currently the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is woefully underfunded. The Mercury News editorial, “CalPERS again falls short of addressing deficit” reports the fund has lowered the projected earnings estimates from 7.5% down to 7% in 2019. They add one inconvenient truth:

“To understand how far short this move falls, consider that CalPERS announced Wednesday that it hadn’t hit a 7 percent average over the last 20 years and, going forward, it estimates that there’s only roughly a 1-in-4 chance that it will meet that target.

… CalPERS consultant warns that the pension system should anticipate only an average 6.2 percent in each of the next 10 years.

… That places the system’s shortfall at about $170 billion, which averages more than $13,000 of debt for each California household.”

The optimistic vision of the secessionist movement overlook a major factor. The California political class is predominantly socialists, redistributing wealth through progressive taxation and free programs to voters to maintain their power. If secession brings an economic windfall it would quickly be spent. As Margaret Thatcher warned, “The problem with socialism is you run out of other people’s money.”

Beat the Crowd

George Bernard Shaw said, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” In many cases Peter quietly moved away and took his money with him.

Remember when top professional golfer, Phil Michelson created quite a stir complaining about California taxes, while putting his home up for sale? He would have been better off staying quiet about his reasons. California Political Review reports:

“Tiger Woods moved from Orange County, California to Orange County, Florida. In the first year of that move, he saved $13 million in taxes. Is it worth $13 million a year taken by government to live in California? Woods said no. Now it looks like Phil Michelson is about to make the same decision. He earns $60 million a year-he would save north of $5 million a year to move to a free State, like Florida or Texas.”

The New York Post reports:

“Billionaire David Tepper has moved from New Jersey to Florida, and the loss of his income tax could leave a $140 million hole. … Forty percent of the state’s revenue comes from personal-income tax – a third of which is collected from less than 1 percent of taxpayers. Tepper was New Jersey’s wealthiest resident.”

It’s not just the heavy hitters

When we moved to Phoenix we joined a local club in order to meet people. Each month new members stand up and introduce themselves. We noticed a large number of Californians. While my survey is unscientific, I’ve asked many why they moved. Every one mentioned how expensive California is to live. One former Californian remarked, “There are a lot of California refugees in Arizona and Nevada.”

We lived in Georgia when they passed a state income tax. While it’s progressive, the top rate (6%) kicks in at $7,000. At the time I was in my peak earning years and could live anywhere.

I was an early immigrant. The first time I paid GA income tax, I realized our other taxes did not go down. What did I get back from the government for confiscating an additional 6% of my earnings? We quickly moved to Florida, with no state income taxes. Florida is full of refugees fleeing other high tax states.

The migration continues. In 2013 the Tax Foundation published a State Migration Calculator and great graphic:

The high tax socialist states are losing billions in adjusted gross income, while states like Texas and Florida are growing. The Washington Examiner reports the trend is continuing and concludes, “The growth in no-income-tax and right-to-work states was fueled largely by net domestic migration rather than international migration (Emphasis mine), according to the 2016 Census estimates.”

The landscape is changing

The election of President Trump sent shock waves through much of the political class. Many public union pensions are woefully underfunded. They donated millions to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and expected federal bailouts. They knew they could count on Mrs. Clinton; she has a great track record of rewarding her political donors. Today no one knows what the new administration will do.

In the meantime, the scramble is on. The politicians in states that have been heavily supporting Paul have a huge base, not because they have won over the hearts and minds of Peter; but rather because the working class got tired of being fleeced and left. The politicos have to find ways to make good on all their free programs. Cutting benefits will cause citizens to storm the palace. They must find ways to generate more revenue.

Brian Daniels warns us, The Growing Specter of State “Exit Taxes” as Residents Abandon High-Tax States:

“To be clear, it is not legal for states to charge a true exit tax on citizens changing their residency from one state to another (this is not the case for the federal government, which does charge a large exit tax).

So what do high-tax states do to try and prevent their residents from moving their legal residence to low- or no-tax states? In a word, they audit them.”

When a taxpayer is audited, the agency issues an assessment for unpaid taxes. It’s not “innocent until proven guilty.” You must prove they are wrong or the assessment stands.

Once you intend to leave you are of no value to the politicos. Most people do not have the means to go to court. For some, it becomes a government shakedown to extract as much wealth as they can on your way out the door.

What about Calexit?

With the mindset of California voters, who knows what will happen?

I don’t recommend holding any California government debt, including holdings in bond funds. While the probability of secession may be small, might they establish their own currency and try to renegotiate their debt? Holding California debt is an unnecessary risk to take with retirement money.

Should they vote to secede, Californians would face a choice of leaving or staying. If you choose to leave, expect a hefty exit tax. If you are thinking about leaving, why wait? Walk quietly and beat the rush!

Banned HuffPo Contributor: Trump "Must Go Through Hell Every Day If This Is How The Press Is Behaving"

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 23:22

What happens when a prolific progressive Huffington Post contributor deviates from the narrative and publishes an article admitting Donald Trump was correct about something?

HuffPo deletes the article and bans the guy, of course!

Norwegian journalist, author, and world traveler René Zografos had the audacity to suggest that Donald Trump was telling the truth about Sweden's ongoing nightmare related to the violent tidal wave of predominantly North African refugees. Zografos wrote:

It’s well known for Scandinavians and other Europeans that liberal immigration comes with drugs, rapes, gang wars, robbery and violence. Additional to that we see the respective nations cultures fading away, for good and for bad.

Hours after publication, the article was gone - and Zografos' access to the Huffington Post was revoked:

When a @HuffingtonPost contributor tells the truth about Trump: Now you see it, now you don't!

— ZeroPointNow (@ZeroPointNow) February 24, 2017


When reached for comment, Zografos' told iBankCoin:

I just think this it’s a silly behavior, and actually a bit scary, because free press is crucial in our world. I don’t always agree with Trump, but he must go through hell everyday if this is how the press is behaving.

For the liberal media to actively ignore, suppress, and lie about what's going on in Sweden (which now has a grenade problem of all things, which did not exist prior to 2012) is beyond the pale. Between no-go zones, riots, news crews being assaulted, and a recently earned reputation as the "rape capital of Europe" - all of which have been vehemently denied by the MSM and the hypocritical Swedish government, the level of propaganda and cover-up is astounding.

@CachDPT @HuffingtonPost have asked them, but I'm still waiting for answer. I have given them a lot of sources so it shouldn't be that

— René Zografos (@zokrates) February 23, 2017

@DrJhopheon Well, where I come from we try to tell the truth, I also hope Huff thinks that a good thing, let's see if it comes back. ;-)

— René Zografos (@zokrates) February 23, 2017


— René Zografos (@zokrates) February 23, 2017

In the meantime, Mr. Zografos granted iBankCoin permission to republish his now-deleted article in it's entirety:


Sweden has huge problems because of liberal immigration policy

Many journalists around the world are eager to condemn Donald Trump no matter what. When he tweeted about immigration in Sweden few days ago, the social media exploded. Most of the opponent said that Trump had made up the immigration problem Sweden are having. They are wrong.

Only hours later there was a riot of violence and destructions by immigrants in the capitol of Sweden, Stockholm. The police was forced to shoot with ammunition to put and end to it. In Malmö, another city south in Sweden they have struggle with gang violence and lawlessness for years. So when Trump talk about that Sweden have an immigration problem he is actually spot on.

It’s well known for Scandinavians and other Europeans that liberal immigration comes with drugs, rapes, gang wars, robbery and violence. Additional to that we see the respective nations cultures fading away, for good and for bad.

But the immigration problem is not only a Swedish predicament. The truth is, that several European cities have huge immigration problems where even the police force is afraid to interfere in some locations in these cities. UK, France and several other European countries are changing rapidly with extreme quantity of immigration. I’m not saying immigration is only bad, but a lot of problems come with poor immigration policy, as consequences we get violence, terror and gangs. The fact is that the press here in Europe hasn’t doing their job properly. There is this fear for journalists to not report the basic truth - which is that Europe has enormous problems that comes from liberal immigration politics, and as we also now can see in Sweden, but also here in Norway. But it’s not political correct for journalists to say or write that immigration in Europe is unsuccessful. When that said, most of the people that come from other countries are behaving flawless and are a gift to our society, but then again to report that everything is all good is simply wrong and these journalists should find another job, because they do not have enough integrity that requires to be decent journalist.


Content originally generated at * Follow on Twitter @ZeroPointNow

Meanwhile, In Every News Editor's Office Across America

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 23:05

Speaking the unspeakable...



7 Murders In Chicago's Deadliest Day Of 2017 As Trump Tweets "Totally Out Of Control"

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 22:40

Yesterday marked the most violent day of 2017 for folks living in Chicago as the city recorded at least 13 shootings and 7 homicides.  According to the Chicago Tribune, five of the victims were killed over just a two hour period, including a woman who was eight months pregnant.  Meanwhile, the violent Wednesday night brought total shootings for the year to 495 with 99 homicides.

Of course, Trump has been persistent in his threats to "send in the feds" if Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanual fails to "fix the horrible 'carnage' going on" in his streets.  Earlier this evening Trump commented on the latest spike of violence, saying:

"Seven people shot and killed yesterday in Chicago. What is going on there - totally out of control. Chicago needs help!"

Seven people shot and killed yesterday in Chicago. What is going on there - totally out of control. Chicago needs help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017


Of course, this latest Trump tweet mimics similar messages sent last month:

If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017

Chicago murder rate is record setting - 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can't do it he must ask for Federal help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2017


Per data from HeyJackAss!, Wednesday marked the deadliest day in Chicago since Christmas Day last year when the city recorded 8 homicides.


And, for the first time in 2017, YTD homicides have officially exceeded the violent 2016 pace and looks set to surpass 100 for just the first two months of the year. 


Finally, just like 2016, the violence continues to be heavily concentrated in just a handful of neighborhoods on Chicago's South and West Side.

Like last year, the Harrison police district on the West Side has seen the most homicides: 16 this year compared to 12 this time last year, according to Tribune data.


The Austin district, also on the West Side, is close behind with 11 homicides.  Last year, it wasn't even among the top five at this time, Tribune data shows.


The next three districts are Ogden on the Near West Side, 10, Englewood on the South Side, 9, and Calumet on the South Side, 6.  The Near North district had no homicides this time last year but has recorded two this year, according to Tribune data.

"Mystery Poison" Used To Murder Kim Jong Nam Revealed As VX Nerve Agent

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 22:20

What was until recently was a real-life reincarnation of the move "The International", just got a double dose of "The Rock" thrown in for good measure.

When yesterday we shared the most recent update in the bizarre assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korea's ruler, who was murdered in broad daylight inside Kuala Lumpur's budget airline terminal, we reported that while the two women suspected in the fatal poisoning attack had coated their hands with "mystery" toxic chemicals which they then wiped on Nam's face, a key question remained unanswered, namely what was the poison used to by the woman with the "LOL" shirt used to murder the North Korean scion.

As CBS reported previously, experts routinely tasked with finding answers in poisoning cases were stumped: what substance could have been used to kill the victim so quickly without sickening the women who apparently deployed it, along with anyone else nearby? Difficult, they said, but doable.

“It’s not an agent that could be cooked up in a hotel room. It’s going to take a lot of knowledge regarding the chemical in order to facilitate an attack like this,” said Bruce Goldberger, a leading toxicologist who heads the forensic medicine division at the University of Florida. He said a nerve gas or ricin, a deadly substance found in castor beans, could be possible. A strong opioid compound could also have been used, though that would likely have incapacitated the victim immediately.

“It would have to be cleverly designed in order to be applied in this fashion without hurting anyone else,” Goldberger said.

“The more unusual, the more potent, the more volatile a poison is, the less likely it is to be detected,” said Olif Drummer, a toxicologist at Australia’s Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine who has spent 40 years in the field. Khalid said the women knew they were handling poisonous materials and "were warned to take precautions." Surveillance footage showed both keeping their hands away from their bodies after the attack, he said, then going to restrooms to wash. Such details are unclear in video footage that has been released to media.

Well, moments ago the Malaysian police provided the answer, when it reported that the chemical substance used to kill Kim Jong Nam last week was the nerve agent right out of the movei "The Rock" called VX, which happens to be listed as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia’s inspector general of police, said Friday in a statement that identification of the substance came from a preliminary report. He said swabs were taken from the eye and face of the victim.

VX is described by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “the most potent of all nerve agents”, with a large dose leading to loss of consciousness, paralysis and respiratory failure. Its only known use is as a chemical warfare agent. 

VX is banned under the UN Chemical Weapons Convention, to which North Korea is not a party.

The nerve agent, also known as ethyl N-2-Diisopropylaminoethyl Methylphosphonothiolate, was developed in the UK in the 1950s.

As the FT further adds, Malaysian police are seeking at least four North Korean suspects in connection with the murder, who are now believed to be back in Pyongyang. Two other North Korean nationals, including a diplomat in Malaysia, are wanted for questioning.

Police have detained a Vietnamese woman, an Indonesian woman and a North Korean man in connection with Kim’s death.

The murder has frayed relations between North Korea and Malaysia, which this week recalled its ambassador from Pyongyang.

In the aftermath of the fallout from North Korea's ballistic missile launch and alleged orchestration of Kim Jong Nam's murder, we reported earlier today that China, which last weekend announced it would ban all coal imports from North Korea, was preparing for "regime collapse" in North Korea, and would "take the necessary measures to safeguard national security in the event of the collapse of the neighbouring North Korean regime", a defence official said on Thursday. 

The Road To Hell Was Paved With Obama Cronyism

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 21:55

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

President Donald Trump’s naïve (or willfully blind) notion that Wall Street will work better at raising capital if it is unleashed from strident Federal regulation is unhinged from the facts on the ground. Those facts, as illustrated above, are that the Boards of two of the largest banks in the U.S. are utterly spineless when it comes to holding their CEOs and employees accountable in the face of a tsunami of crimes.


– From the Wall Street on Parade article: What JPMorgan and Citigroup Have in Common When It Comes to Crime

Opposition to Trump is extremely important, particularly when it comes to someone like me who sees his Wall Street love affair and disregard for civil liberties as serious threats to the nation. That said, it is absolutely imperative to see Trump as a symptom of a sick and broken system as opposed to the root cause of anything. The corporate media and legions of mourning Hillary cultists continue to present the Trump threat in extraordinarily simplistic and unhelpful terms. They act as if he’s the head of some evil snake, and that disposing of him as an individual will get America back on track. This couldn’t be more wrong.

I spent most of the Obama years warning about the dangers of his policies. I didn’t do this for kicks, or because I thought he would try to stay in power forever, but because I knew his monumental cronyism would only pave the way for major problems down the road. Well the backlash to Obama came quick, and we the people won’t do the country any good if we focus on Trump the man, as opposed to the entirely corrupt, billionaire/special interest-controlled cesspool of a society we inhabit. We need to focus on Trump’s policies, not Trump the man.

We also need to be under no illusions when it comes to the disaster that was the Obama administration, and the key role his failures played in providing the fertile ground for Trump to believe he can do whatever he wants — because Obama largely did.

As such, today’s article by Trevor Timm at the Freedom of the Press Foundation is extremely important. It provides new documentation demonstrating how the Obama administration worked tirelessly behind the scenes to prevent Congress from expanding government transparency. 

Here are a few excerpts from the article, New Documents Show the Obama Admin Aggressively Lobbied to Kill Transparency Reform in Congress”:

New documents obtained through Freedom of the Press Foundation’s lawsuit against the Justice Department reveal that the Obama administration – the self described “most transparent administration ever” – aggressively lobbied behind the scenes in 2014 to kill modest Freedom of Information Act reform that had virtually unanimous support in Congress.


Three months ago, we sued the Justice Department (DOJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for communications between the DOJ and Congress, since there were vague reports that the DOJ may have opposed the bill – despite much of it being based word-for-word based on the Justice Department’s own policies.


Today, we are publishing a detailed memo authored by the Justice Department that strongly objected to almost every aspect of FOIA reform put forth by the House of Representatives at the time.


The bill in question – known as the FOIA Act – was unanimously passed by the House in early 2014. The Senate passed a similar bill – known as the FOIA Improvement Act – in December of 2014, but a final vote in the House to merge the two bills was held up at the last minute by then-Speaker of the House John Boehner and the session of Congress ended before it could become law. It was unclear at the time why the bill did not come up for a final vote, but the Washington Post later reported that a few federal agencies—including the Justice Department—had “warned” lawmakers about some provisions in the bill.


But these new documents show it went well beyond that: the Justice Department vehemently objected to both House and Senate members on nearly all aspects of the bill from the very start, and made clear: “The Administration strongly opposes passage of [the FOIA Act].”Notably, the Justice Department indicates that this policy memo (published in full below) is not just the agency’s individual opinion, but that it is speaking for the entire Obama administration.


The Obama administration’s specious objections to FOIA reform were manifold. They were against codifying the Obama administration’s “presumption of openness” policy that Obama declared upon his first month in office, they were against Congress mandating that the federal government create a unified online portal to process FOIA requests, they were against mandating discipline for FOIA redactors who break any of rules or regulations for processing FOIA requests, and they were against providing more reporting and oversight to Congress to make sure FOIA was being complied with.


The administration tried to couch some of its opposition in concern that the bill would “cause delays” in the FOIA process, despite the fact that many of the provisions were written to speed up the process, modernize the system with an online portal, and encourage proactive disclosure by making more information available to the public without even having to file a request. Concerning other provisions, the DOJ claimed the administration is not opposed in principle, but its is against seeing them codified into law — which allows the Executive Branch to delay implementation indefinitely and gives the next administration carte blanche power to rescind any good policies the Obama administration did put in place.


While the Freedom of Information Act remains a valuable tool (this lawsuit can attest to that), any reporter who has filed a FOIA request can corroborate the fact that the law is badly broken. Multiple investigations have shown that the Obama administration has been the most secretive ever when it comes to FOIA. Requests can often take years to be fulfilled if at all, and the only way to get results is to sue, like we were forced to. (We did not receive any documents for over a year from our first requests, and only received these documents after filing a lawsuit).


This summer is the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, and Congress is yet again debating a FOIA reform bill, this time with even more holes in it than last time. We hope that Congress will amend the proposed reform in the strongest possible way and send it to the president’s desk with the same message they did fifty years ago when the Johnson administration opposed it, yet was forced to sign it anyways: transparency is vital to democracy.

If I had to pick the most pernicious aspect of Obama’s entire presidency, it unquestionably would be the Department of Justice. By failing to prosecute a single bank executive, the DOJ made it clear to anyone paying attention that crime pays if you’re wealthy and powerful. With that incentive structure in place, financial crime flourished during the Obama administration, as was perfectly described in today’s article in Wall Street on ParadeWhat JPMorgan and Citigroup Have in Common When It Comes to Crime.

Here’s some of what we learned:

Jamie Dimon became the CEO of JPMorgan Chase on January 1, 2006. At that point, the bank was more than a century old and had never been charged with a criminal felony. In 2014, the Justice Department charged JPMorgan Chase with two felony counts in connection with their role in facilitating the Madoff Ponzi scheme. The bank was given a two-year deferred prosecution agreement.


The very next year, in May 2015, JPMorgan Chase was hit with a new felony count for its role in rigging foreign currency markets as part of a banking cartel. That’s three felony counts in two years and yet Jamie Dimon kept his job. Before the felony counts there was a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and Federal and State regulators in 2013 for JPMorgan Chase’s role in selling toxic mortgage investments to investors as worthwhile products when the bank had good reason to believe they would blow up.


Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations at the time, said that the bank “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.”  And, unbelievably, Jamie Dimon continued his tenure as Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase.


The crime spree at JPMorgan Chase became so surreal that two trial lawyers, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, published a breathtaking book on the subject, comparing the bank to the Gambino crime family. In addition to the settlements noted above, the authors add more details as to what has occurred on Dimon’s watch, such as:


“In April 2011, JPMC agreed to pay $35 million to settle claims that it overcharged members of the military service on their mortgages in violation of the Service Members Civil Relief Act and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.


“In March 2012, JPMC paid the government $659 million to settle charges that it charged veterans hidden fees in mortgage refinancing transactions.


“In October 2012, JPMC paid $1.2 billion to settle claims that it, along with other banks, conspired to set the price of credit and debit card interchange fees.


“On January 7, 2013, JPMC announced that it had agreed to a settlement with the Office of the Controller of the Currency (‘OCC’) and the Federal Reserve Bank of charges that it had engaged in improper foreclosure practices.


“In September 2013, JPMC agreed to pay $80 million in fines and $309 million in refunds to customers whom the bank billed for credit monitoring services that the bank never provided.


“On December 13, 2013, JPMC agreed to pay 79.9 million Euros to settle claims of the European Commission relating to illegal rigging of benchmark interest rates.


“In February 2012, JPMC agreed to pay $110 million to settle claims that it overcharged customers for overdraft fees.


“In November 2012, JPMC paid $296,900,000 to the SEC to settle claims that it misstated information about the delinquency status of its mortgage portfolio.


“In July 2013, JPMC paid $410 million to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to settle claims of bidding manipulation of California and Midwest electricity makets.


“In December 2013, JPMC paid $22.1 million to settle claims that the bank imposed expensive and unnecessary flood insurance on homeowners whose mortgages the bank serviced.”

Interesting how Jamie Dimon seemed to think being crowned “Obama’s favorite banker” entitled him to a multi-year crime spree.

Let’s now turn to Citigroup.

Michael Corbat has been CEO of Citigroup since October 2012. Below is just a sampling of the regulatory charges against the bank under Corbat’s reign, including a guilty plea to a felony count in May 2015 which covered conduct that continued after Corbat took the helm.


July 1, 2013: Citigroup agrees to pay Fannie Mae $968 million for selling it toxic mortgage loans.


September 25, 2013: Citigroup agrees to pay Freddie Mac $395 million to settle claims it sold it toxic mortgages.


December 4, 2013: Citigroup admits to participating in the Yen Libor financial derivatives cartel to the European Commission and accepts a fine of $95 million.


July 14, 2014: The U.S. Department of Justice announces a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup for selling toxic mortgages to investors. Attorney General Eric Holder called the bank’s conduct “egregious,” adding, “As a result of their assurances that toxic financial products were sound, Citigroup was able to expand its market share and increase profits.”


November 2014: Citigroup pays more than $1 billion to settle civil allegations with regulators that it manipulated foreign currency markets. Other global banks settled at the same time.


May 20, 2015: Citicorp, a unit of Citigroup becomes an admitted felon by pleading guilty to a felony charge in the matter of rigging foreign currency trading, paying a fine of $925 million to the Justice Department and $342 million to the Federal Reserve for a total of $1.267 billion.


May 25, 2016: Citigroup agrees to pay $425 million to resolve claims brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that it had rigged interest-rate benchmarks, including ISDAfix, from 2007 to 2012.


July 12, 2016: The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Citigroup Global Markets Inc. $7 million for failure to provide accurate trading records over a period of 15 years.


President Donald Trump’s naïve (or willfully blind) notion that Wall Street will work better at raising capital if it is unleashed from strident Federal regulation is unhinged from the facts on the ground. Those facts, as illustrated above, are that the Boards of two of the largest banks in the U.S. are utterly spineless when it comes to holding their CEOs and employees accountable in the face of a tsunami of crimes.

While it’s unquestionably true that Donald Trump is a gigantic Wall Street-coddler, so was Obama. When it comes to the real power running this country, no one dares take on the financial criminals. Not even Trump, despite all his big talk.



Giant Japanese Conglomerate Flash-Crashes 20% At Open

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 21:32

Tosoh Corporation, the giant Japanese petrochemical conglomerate, collapsed over 20% to below JPY800 shortly after the Japanese open, on volume eleven times average as traders scrambled to find out the catalyst. There was no news of course - just another flash-crash in a world of limited liquidity at the margin (where a small options-arb fund can drive the US equity market for a week).

Share trading was halted for 25 minutes and re-opened unchanged...


Bloomberg notes Tosoh was not available for comment but:

“Fat finger,” says Mikey Hsia, trader at Sunrise Brokers in Hong Kong. “I think someone just put in the wrong order on the stock and is now having to cover. It’s a technical error.”


“That’s what we’re hearing,” says Andrew Clarke, director of trading at Mirabaud Asia. “Very nasty for them.”

However, one glance at the trading and ticks suggest maybe a large order started the ball rolling but the algos took over very quickly and ran billions in market cap off the company...


The drop erased the year's gains...

Boehner: Full Repeal And Replace Of Obamacare "Is Not Going To Happen"

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 21:30

Back on January 12th, 8 days before Trump even officially moved into the White House, the prospects of a quick repeal and replacement of Obamacare were looking really good when the Senate voted 51-48 to instruct key committees to start drafting legislation to do away with Obama's crowning "achievement".  In fact, that early January budget resolution required lawmakers to submit repeal proposals for consideration by January 27th, a lofty goal, but welcome news to conservative voters around the country that were eager for a quick unwind of the controversial legislation.

Alas, today, nearly a full month after the original deadline of January 27th, no replacement plan has been officially introduced and even Trump admits "maybe it will take till sometime into next year, but we are certainly going to be in the's very complicated."

But, at least according to comments made by John Boehner at a healthcare conference earlier today, the reason for the delay in the repeal and replacement of Obamacare isn't that complicated at all and revolves around the GOP's inability to reach a consensus on the key components of a replacement bill.  Per Politico:

On Thursday, Boehner said the talk in November about lightning-fast passage of a new health care framework was wildly optimistic.


Boehner, who resigned in 2015 amid unrest among conservatives, said at an Orlando health care conference that the idea that a repeal-and-replace plan would blitz through Congress is just “happy talk.”


“[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix Obamacare – I shouldn’t call it repeal-and-replace, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.


“I started laughing,” he said. “Republicans never ever agree on health care.”

Meanwhile, for those hoping for a full repeal no matter the timeline, Boehner warns that several key components of Obamacare, including insurance coverage for 'kids' up to age 26, required coverage for people with preexisting conditions and subsidies for low-income families are unlikely to go away under a Republican plan.

"Most of the Affordable Care Act, the framework, is going to stay there."


"Coverage for kids up to age 26, covering those with preexisting conditions, all of that's going to be there.  Subsidies for those who can't afford it, who aren't on Medicaid, who I call the working poor, subsidies for them will be there."

"But what will be different is that CMS will not dictate to every state exactly how the plan is going to run.  And if the state wants to run an exchange, the state can run an exchange.  The states will control the policies that are offered like they control every other insurance product offered in their state."

But while the ultimate high-level terms of an Obamacare replacement plan shouldn't be too difficult to predict, Boehner says that in his 25 years in Washington D.C. "Republicans never, ever, not one time agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like."

"So this is not all that hard to figure out.  Except this, in the 25 years I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, not one time agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like.  Not once."


"And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal...if you pass repeal without replace, you'll never pass replace because they will never agree on what the bill should be.  The perfect always becomes the enemy of the good."

Perhaps Trump is now learning why politicians are "all talk"...even the guys playing for the same team can't seem to reach consensus on pretty much anything.

Treasury eyeing issuance of 100-year U.S. government debt

GATA - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 21:15

By Joe Rennison
Financial Times, London
Thursday, February 23, 2017

NEW YORK -- Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, said today that his staff have begun to look into issuing U.S. government debt with maturities of as long as 50 or 100 years.

Mr. Mnuchin said he was not making any "formal announcement" on whether the Treasury would issue longer-dated bonds but he had "already begun to talk to staff" about it. This builds on earlier comments made before he took office that he was open to the idea.

The move would mark a historic shift in policy for the world's largest and most actively traded government bond market, which has avoided issuing debt of longer than 30 years even as other countries such as Belgium, Austria, and Mexico have sold longer bonds. ...

... For the remainder of the report:


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Dramatic Drone Footage Shows Extent Of San Jose Flooding

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 21:09

While the series of major storms hitting California have begun to subside, residents of San Jose are being warned to keep away from affected homes until water levels decrease to a safe level. Flash floods along the west coast of the US have seen thousands of people forced to leave their homes and a state of emergency declared by California governor Jerry Brown. The majority of mandatory evacuation orders have now been downgraded for areas including Sutter County around the Oroville Dam Spillway, which sparked panic one week ago when it threatened to collapse during the floods.

However, San Jose, the 10th largest city in the US, remains one of the most substantial urban regions affected, with 14,000 resident evacuated and more than 36,000 homes estimated to be hit by floodwater, reports the San Francisco Gate.

To get a sense of the water damage, the following drone footage shows the extent of the flooding in San Jose.

Drone video captures the extensive flooding in San Jose, California

— CNN (@CNN) February 23, 2017

City Mayor Sam Liccardo has admitted failures in the official response to the storm crisis. “If the first time that a resident is aware that they need to get out of a home is when they see a firefighter in a boat, then clearly something went wrong,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said, report KQED News. “We are assessing what it is that led to that failure.”

The reason for the city's dire predicament is that over the last two weeks, heavy rains pushed water levels at Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir into the danger zone. That happened over the weekend, sending massive amounts of water into the Coyote Creek, which runs through the heart of San Jose. By Tuesday, the creek was overflowing at numerous locations, inundating neighborhoods, flooding hundreds of homes and forcing the frantic evacuations of more than 14,000 residents, who remained out of their homes Wednesday, the LA Times reported.

The worst flooding to hit Silicon Valley in a century left San Jose reeling and residents angry about why they were not given more warning that a disaster was imminent. Even city officials on Wednesday conceded they were caught off guard by the severity of the flooding and vowed a full investigation into what went wrong.

Floodwater surrounds homes in San Jose on Wednesday

Late Wednesday, Assistant City Manager Dave Sykes said officials had learned that the information they had on the capacity of Coyote Creek channel was not accurate. He also said the city was working with the Santa Clara Valley Water District to determine whether debris caused blockages that contributed to flooding.

Neighbors talk in front of their homes, which were inundated after Coyote Creek overflowed

“The creek spilled over the banks faster and higher than anybody expected,” said city spokesman David Vossbrink.

Ricardo Juarez, who has lived in this house for six years, works to free his van Wednesday

Officials said that on Thursday they would focus on assessing the damage and getting residents back home.

Homes and cars are swamped on Wednesday in San Jose

The approximately 14,000 people under mandatory evacuations hailed mostly from central San Jose. Evacuation advisories were also issued to 36,000 residents in a zone that covered a business and industrial area along a roughly seven-mile stretch of Coyote Creek.

Floodwaters surround a play structure in San Jose

By Wednesday evening, city officials had lifted some mandatory evacuations for homes north of Interstate 280. They also revised the number of residents impacted by evacuation advisories down to 22,000.

Cars are covered by floodwater on Wednesday. The Coyote Creek crested to 13.6 feet at a river gauge point on Tuesday

“We haven’t really had anything quite like this before,” Vossbrink said.

Rescuers in chest-deep water steer boats carrying dozens of people, some with babies and pets

Meanwhile, the local government of San Jose has issued an emergency alert declaring that while flood water is creeping back, residents should not return to their homes until authorities deem it safe to do so. The notice informs people to be wary of live electrical units in flooded buildings and structurally unsound walls.

Rescuers travel by boat through a flooded neighborhood looking for stranded residents in San Jose.

The good news, according to a San Jose emergency alert, is that the “water is beginning to subside, however, levels are still high. Many areas are still unsafe to access. The City continues to send in teams to assess damage and determine when it is safe for residents to return to their homes.”

Cars are submerged in a flooded neighborhood in San Jose.

“Flood water and homes, cars, and belongings that have been flooded should be treated as contaminated.” Evacuation notices are still in place in the Oakland and Rock Springs Area of San Jose. A map of the areas still out of bounds for people has been listed on the San Jose government website.  Meanwhile, homes to the south of the city near Lexington Reservoir and Anderson Lake remain in flood danger zones.

For the next few days, California will be dry. But according to weather reports by the United States Geological Survey the rain respite will last until Sunday, when another “storm system is predicted to bring 1-3 inches of rain to the regions on Sunday.”

Trump suggests he wants a weak dollar to help U.S. exporters

GATA - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 21:05

By Jacob Pramuk
CNBC, New York
Thursday, February 23, 2017

President Donald Trump signaled today that he wants to keep the U.S. dollar's value lower to aid American companies selling products abroad.

In a candid exchange with Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar's chairman and former CEO, Trump said that when the dollar rises "and we let other people manipulate their currencies, that's the one thing that stops you."

"We have to let other countries give you a level playing field," Trump told Oberhelman at a meeting of manufacturing executives at the White House. ...

... For the remainder of the report:


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Jim’s Mailbox

JS Mineset - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 20:02

Compliments of GG. This speaks for itself.

The post Jim’s Mailbox appeared first on Jim Sinclair's Mineset.

In The News Today

JS Mineset - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 19:08

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary Question of the day to readers is what rights under the constitution do illegal aliens have? The answer is simple. It is none.

The post In The News Today appeared first on Jim Sinclair's Mineset.

Soros-Linked Former Clinton Staffer Behind 'Organized' Townhall Protests

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 18:10

Confirming the Republican Chair of the House Committee on Oversight, Jason Chaffetz's comments last week, that protesters were an organized mob:

Chaffetz shot back, and told KSL that the raucous reception he received at Thursday evening's town hall meeting was "bullying and an attempt at intimidation" from a crowd opposed to President Donald Trump's election. More importantly, the republican accused paid interests (here the name of George Soros has been heard frequently in recent months) of orchestrating the rising protests and violence at Republican townhalls. Chaffets said the crowd that filled the auditorium at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights and spilled over into a protest outside, included people brought in from other states to disrupt the meeting.


"Absolutely. I know there were," he said, suggesting it was "more of a paid attempt to bully and intimidate" than a reflection of the feelings of his 3rd District constituents.


"You could see it online a couple days before, a concerted effort in part to just cause chaos," the Utah Republican said Friday.



"Democrats are in disbelief that they have nothing but flailing and screaming to deal with this."

Democrats have insisted that recent town hall outbursts against Republican politicians occurred organically, likening them to the Tea Party.

President Donald Trump yesterday tweeted that the "so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous occasions, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!"

The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2017

It is now clear that Trump is correct and this so-called 'Townhall Project' is organized and centralized, not organic...

FreeBeacon's Joe Schoffstall reports that a group serving as a central hub of information for congressional town halls was founded by a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer and its parent company is located at the same address as an organization funded by liberal billionaire George Soros.

The Town Hall Project, a group that serves as a one-stop shop of information for town hall protests across the country, is connected to a former Clinton staffer and is also closely affiliated with a number of liberal groups.

The group, which has been referenced by media outlets on numerous occasions, bills itself as a "volunteer-powered, grassroots effort that empowers constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives."

Jimmy Dahman, a former field organizer for the Clinton campaign in Iowa, founded the Town Hall Project. Dahman claimed on CNN that the town hall events are "all organic and happening at the grassroots level."

Dahman's group is closely involved with, a major progressive activist group that recently launched a website, called, to encourage activists to attend town hall events.

The Town Hall Project's parent company is The Action Network, which was involved in demonstrations against Walmart and the protests in Ferguson.

Finally, we note the projects potential links to billionaire George Soros...

The Action Network is located at the same Washington, D.C., address as United We Dream, the "largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation." United We Dream has received funding from liberal billionaire George Soros. It began organizing "sanctuary campus" anti-Trump protests shortly after the election.


The Action Network also shares the same address as Change to Win, the labor organizing group.

Read more here...

Rick Rule – I’ve Only Seen This Bullish Setup Twice In My 52 Year Career

King World News - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 18:00

On the heels of a rally in gold and silver, today one of the wealthiest and most street-smart pros in the business spoke with King World News about what they are doing at Sprott Asset Management with their money right now.

The post Rick Rule – I’ve Only Seen This Bullish Setup Twice In My 52 Year Career appeared first on King World News.

DOJ Reverses Obama-Era Decision To Phase Out Private Prisons

Zerohedge - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 17:46

Another day, another reversal of a legacy Obama policy.

Moments ago, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era memo to phase out the use of private prisons, signalling his support for federal use of such facilities and advising that the Bureau of Prisons will "return to its previous approach to the use of private prisons."

Sessions issued a new memo Thursday replacing one issued last August by Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general at the time, in which he said the Obama decision "impaired" the ability to meet the needs of the correctional system.

That Yates memo told the Bureau of Prisons to begin reducing and ultimately end its use of privately run prisons. She said the facilities were less well run than those managed by the Bureau of Prisons, and were less necessary given declines in the overall prison population.

But Sessions says in his memo Thursday that Yates' directive contradicted longstanding Justice Department policy and "impaired the Bureau's ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system."

In light of Trump's aggressive push to round up as many as 11 million illegal aliens currently residing in the US, we can venture the reason behind this expansion of US incarceration facilities.

Meanwhile, the market reaction was quick, with the private prison REITs jumping following the DOJ announcement. Among individual stocks, CoreCivic rose 2.9% post-market while GEO Group was up 0.7%.


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