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The Dow Has Fallen Nearly 1,500 Points From The Peak Of The Market, And Many Believe This “October Panic” Is Just Beginning…

The Dow Has Fallen Nearly 1,500 Points From The Peak Of The Market, And Many Believe This “October Panic” Is Just Beginning…

We haven’t had an October like this in a very long time.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down another 327 points on Thursday, and overall the Dow is now down close to 1,500 points from the peak of the market.  Unlike much of the rest of the world, it is still too early to say that the U.S. is facing a new “financial crisis”, but if stocks continue to plunge like this one won’t be too far away.  And as you will see below, many believe that what we have seen so far is just the start of a huge wave of selling.  Of course it would be extremely convenient for Democrats if stocks did crash, because it would give them a much better chance of doing well in the midterm elections.  This is the most heated midterm election season that I can ever remember, and what U.S. voters choose to do at the polls in November is going to have very serious implications for the immediate future of our country.

After a very brief rally earlier in the week, stocks have been getting hammered again.  The S&P 500 has now fallen for 9 out of the last 11 trading sessions, and homebuilder stocks have now fallen for 19 of the last 22 trading sessions.  It was a “sea of red” on Thursday, and some of the stocks that are widely considered to be “economic bellwethers” were among those that got hit the hardest

Several stocks seen as economic bellwethers fell sharply in the U.S., including United Rentals and Textron, which dropped at least 11 percent each. Snap-on and Caterpillar, meanwhile, fell 9.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Opportunities Abound After Khashoggi-Gate

Opportunities Abound After Khashoggi-Gate

Opportunities Abound After Khashoggi-Gate

Every crisis is also an opportunity.  Don’t worry I’m not about to go all Rahm Emmanuel, Mr. Realpolitik, on you today.  The disappearance/death/dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi is both a crisis and an opportunity for the worst people in the world.

And all of them are seizing the day, as it were.

Frankly, most of it makes me sick to my stomach. Because where were these virtue-signaling champions of human rights like Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan or Lindsay Graham (R – AIPAC) for the past three years as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) prosecuted a starvation campaign in Yemen with U.S. complicity?

Does Lindsay not know that MbS is funding the U.S. occupation in eastern Syria he’s so in love with?

Now all of a sudden, every war-monger in Washington and Wall St. wants to cut ties with him because killing a political opponent is “beyond the pale?”  Even Christine LaGarde of the IMF will be a no-show at MbS’s big “Davos in the Desert” conference.

This is a political hit job.

If this faux outrage wasn’t so transparent it would be pathetic.  On second thought, it is pathetic.

The truth is MbS is a monster.  But, he’s our monster, unfortunately.  We’ve known this since the moment he entered the scene.

Since getting Trump’s stamp of approval in early 2017 MbS has used that to go too far a number of times which the U.S. has had to clean up behind him.  His blockade of Qatar didn’t have Washington’s approval.

I’m sure killing Khashoggi in the Saudi Turkish consulate didn’t either.

His consolidation of power was swift and brutal.

It’s only just now dawning on American media companies that the Saudis are a bunch of brutal thugs that make the Lannisters look like Quakers?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Big Oil Cheers Trump’s ‘New NAFTA’ But Mexico Could Complicate Things

Big Oil Cheers Trump’s ‘New NAFTA’ But Mexico Could Complicate Things

While the oil and gas industry has lauded the new trade deal that may soon replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a provision added by Mexico, along with its new president’s plan to ban fracking, could complicate the industry’s rising ambitions there.

The new agreement, known as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), has faced criticism as being tantamount to NAFTA 2.0 — more of a minor reboot that primarily benefits Wall Street investors and large corporations, including oil and gas companies.

Mercilessly critiqued by then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, NAFTA is now the second major trade deal kicked to the curb by now-President Trump. The other, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was canceled days intoTrump’s presidency.

After the most recent deal’s announcement, the oil and gas industry offered praise for USMCA. The White House even pointed this out in a press release, highlighting a quote given by the U.S. industry’s major trade group, the American Petroleum Institute (API).

“We urge Congress to approve the USMCA. Having Canada as a trading partner and a party to this agreement is critical for North American energy security and U.S. consumers,” said Mike Sommers, President and CEO of API. “Retaining a trade agreement for North America will help ensure the U.S. energy revolution continues into the future.”

In its own press release declaring its support for USMCA, API further spelled out the parts of the deal it supports.

Those include “continued market access for U.S. natural gas and oil products, and investments in Canada and Mexico; continued zero tariffs on natural gas and oil products; investment protections to which all countries commit and the eligibility for Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) for U.S. natural gas and oil companies investing in Mexico…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Elections ever be Valid Any More?

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; You have stated that you believe Kennedy was assassinated by the US Intelligence community. Given all this stuff with Comey, FBI, CIA, and NSA all conspiring against Trump, do you think that the real risk of interfering with our elections is not the Russians but closer to home? Is this a practice that always takes place that we are just suddenly becoming aware of these days?

Thank you

see you in Orlando

LD

ANSWER: Absolutely. It is being called Spygate and it is very disturbing. The Democrats did absolutely everything to put Hillary in office. They thought they won. They had the press in their pocket like CNN, New York Times, and the Washington Post leading a host of others. We have to realize that Democracy is dead. I really do fear that Trump will be the LAST democratically elected president. What comes after Trump is not going to be warm and endearing.

Politicians have been rigging elections since ancient times. There can be no greater example of political corruption that required desperate reform than the calendar. Cato or the more moderate Cicero both criticized Julius Caesar who became pontifex max (high priest) taking charge of the calendar. The Romans used the moon calendar but knew it was incorrect and thus it required adjustments by inserting days. The corruption degenerated to such a point that elections could be postponed by the insertion of days. This realization led to bribing the high priest to even insert months to affect the political elections. This is why Julius Caesar revised the calendar to eliminate the political corruption. Moreover, interest rates would rise during elections because of the amount of money being paid out in bribing votes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?

DOES SAUDI ARABIA OWN DONALD TRUMP?

ON TUESDAY MORNING, President Donald Trump tweeted: “For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”


For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!


Is this yet another barefaced lie from the commander-in-chief?

In this video essay, I examine Trump’s long history of doing deals with Saudi royals and look back at how the former reality TV star even bragged about his financial ties to the kingdom during the election campaign. I also highlight the controversial payments made by the Saudi government to Trump-owned properties since the Republican businessman entered the White House.

With the president refusing to take a strong stance against the Saudi government’s alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, I ask: “Does Saudi Arabia own Donald Trump?”

How the FBI Silences Whistleblowers

How the FBI Silences Whistleblowers

Speaking truth to power has ruined Darin Jones, a former FBI contract specialist who reported evidence of serious procurement improprieties. He should be the last federal whistleblower victimized, writes John Kiriakou.


The idea of “whistleblowing” has been in the news a great deal.

Is the anonymous author of a recent New York Times op-ed eviscerating the president a whistleblower?

Is the victim of an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a whistleblower?

I’m fortunate to have access to the media to talk about torture after blowing the whistle on the CIA’s program. I think Ed Snowden, Tom Drake and others would say the same thing about the aftermath of their own whistleblowing.

Cost of Doing the Right Thing

The problem is that we are the exception to the rule. Most whistleblowers either suffer in anonymity or are personally, professionally, socially and financially ruined for speaking truth to power. Darin Jones is one of those people. He’s one of the people silenced in Barack Obama’s war on whistleblowers. And he continues to suffer under Donald Trump.

Jones was an FBI supervisory contract specialist who in 2012 reported evidence of serious procurement improprieties to his superior. Jones maintained that Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) had been awarded a $40 million contract improperly because a former FBI official with responsibility for granting the contract then was hired as a consultant at CSC. Jones said, rightly, that this was a violation of the Procurement Integrity Act. He made seven other disclosures alleging financial improprieties in the FBI, and he was promptly fired for his troubles.

Remember, the United States has a Whistleblower Protection Act.  Any federal employee who brings to light evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the public health or public safety is protected under federal statute.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump vs. The Fed: When Markets Crash, Who Is To Blame?

Trump vs. The Fed: When Markets Crash, Who Is To Blame?

After a certain length of time examining history in-depth, anyone who is honest and relatively objective comes to understand that most of what we are told about our past in the mainstream is completely fabricated. We learn that much of “history” is not about posterity or heritage and more about a continuous set of false narratives peppered with half-truths. That is to say, what we thought we knew is actually lies.

Unfortunately, these lies can be complex, to the point that even many alternative researchers get caught up in their own biases to the point that they lose track of reality. Of course, this is what propaganda and 4th generation warfare is meant to accomplish; it creates a series of filters that thin out the crowd of truth seekers a little at a time. Those few who make it through to the other side might discover the bigger picture, but when they turn around to explain what they have seen there’s hardly anyone left to listen.

Intricate propaganda narratives are actually rooted in simple archetypal memes that resonate with the average person’s sense of story. Think of mainstream historical events as more of a screenplay with a well-practiced set of beats, and the people who draft this screenplay intend we the public to act as an audience with limited participation. Our jobs are merely to continue providing fuel for the machine with our labor until the machine no longer needs us, and to continue perpetuating the fantasies that the machine conjures up as news feed fodder.

There are many actors that read lines from the historic screenplay and act out elaborate scenes meant to emotionally manipulate the masses. These actors play the roles of politicians and leaders of state.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson

Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson

Photo Source Eli Christman | CC BY 2.0

“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.”

– President Andrew Jackson, Washington, July 10, 1832

They are three players, all problematic in their own way.  They are the creatures of inconvenient chaos.  Donald Trump was born into the role, a misfit of misrule who found his baffling way to the White House on a grievance.  Wall Street, with its various agglomerations of vice and ambition constitute the spear of global instability while the US Federal Reserve, long seen as a gentlemanly symbol of stability, has done its fair share to avoid its remit to right unstable ships, a power in its own right.

The Federal Reserve, despite assuming the role of Apollonian stabiliser, remained blind and indifferent through the Clinton era under the stewardship of Alan Greenspan.  The creatures of Dionysus played, and Greenspan was happy to watch. While he is credited with having contained the shock of the 1987 stock-market crash, he proceeded to push a period of manically low interest rates and minimal financial regulation through the hot growth of the 1990s and early 2000s. Rather than condemning “Ninja loans” and other such bank exotica, he celebrated them as creations of speculative genius.

The mood at the Fed these days might seems chastened.  They are the monkish wowsers and party poopers, those who lock down the bar and tell the merrily sauced to head home.  The sense there is that the market, boosted and inflated, needs correction after years of keeping interest rates at floor levels. Unemployment levels are at 3.7 percent; inflation levels are close to 2 percent.  “If the strong growth in income and jobs continues,” reasoned Federal Reserve chairman Jerome H. Powell in August, “further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Welcome to the G-20 from Hell

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, chats with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He during 'trade dispute' talks in Beijing earlier this year. Some sort of agreement could be reached at the G20 summit. Photo: AFP / Andy Wong

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, chats with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He during ‘trade dispute’ talks in Beijing earlier this year. Some sort of agreement could be reached at the G20 summit. Photo: AFP / Andy Wong

Welcome to the G-20 from Hell

World leaders wrestle with a maelstrom of complex, burning issues as they prepare for November 30 summit

The G-20 in Buenos Aires on November 30 could set the world on fire – perhaps literally. Let’s start with the US-China trade war. Washington won’t even start discussing trade with China at the G-20 unless Beijing comes up with a quite detailed list of potential concessions.

The word from Chinese negotiators is not at all bleak. Some sort of agreement could be reached on about a third of US demands. Debate on another third could ensue. But the last third is absolutely off-limits – due to Chinese national security imperatives, such as refusing to allow the opening of the domestic cloud computing market to foreign competition.

Beijing has appointed Vice-Premier Liu He and Vice-President Wang Qishan to supervise all negotiations with Washington. They face an uphill task: to pierce through President Donald Trump’s limited attention span.

On top of it, Beijing demands a “point person” with the authority to negotiate on behalf of Trump – considering the mixed-message traffic jam out of Washington.

Now compare this with the message coming from the research institute fabulously named Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era under the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC): the US has started the “trade friction” essentially “to hinder China’s industrial upgrading.”

That’s the consensus at the top.

And the clash is bound to get worse. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of “meddling in American democracy,” “debt diplomacy,” “currency manipulation,” and “IP theft.” The Foreign Ministry in Beijing dismissed it all as “ridiculous.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudi Arabia Considers Itself Untouchable Due to Oil and Money

Saudi Arabia Considers Itself Untouchable Due to Oil and Money

The roots of that lobby’s rise to prominence in Washington lie in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As you may remember, with 15 of those 19 suicidal hijackers being citizens of Saudi Arabia, it was hardly surprising that American public opinion had soured on the Kingdom. In response, the worried Saudi royals spent around $100 million over the next decade to improve such public perceptions and retain their influence in the U.S. capital. That lobbying facelift proved a success until, in 2015, relations soured with the Obama administration over the Iran nuclear deal. Once Donald Trump won the presidency, however, the Saudis saw an unparalleled opportunity and launched the equivalent of a full-court press, an aggressive campaign to woo the newly elected president and the Republican-led Congress, which, of course, cost real money.

As a result, the growth of Saudi lobbying operations would prove extraordinary. In 2016, according to FARA records, they reported spending just under $10 million on lobbying firms; in 2017, that number had nearly tripled to $27.3 million. And that’s just a baseline figure for a far larger operation to buy influence in Washington, since it doesn’t include considerable sums given to elite universities or think tanks like the Arab Gulf States Institute, the Middle East Institute, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (to mention just a few of them).

– From the must read piece: The Saudi Lobby Juggernaut

It appears Saudi Arabia’s preparing to spin a tale about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi for the purpose of providing Donald Trump with cover to pretend nothing happened and get back to business as usual. Apparently, the Saudis plan to claim he was killed by rogue agents in a botched interrogation. No word about why it took them two weeks to admit this, why they blatantly lied about him leaving consulate and whether or not the body was hacked into pieces with a bone saw.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Should US-Saudi Alliance be Saved?

Over the weekend Donald Trump warned of “severe punishment” if an investigation concludes that a Saudi hit team murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Riyadh then counter-threatened, reminding us that, as the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia “plays an impactful and active role in the global economy.”

Message: Sanction us, and we may just sanction you.

Some of us yet recall how President Nixon’s rescue of Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War triggered a Saudi oil embargo that led to months of long gas lines in the United States, and contributed to Nixon’s fall.

Yesterday, a week after Jared Kushner had been assured by his friend Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that Khashoggi walked out of the consulate, Trump put through a call to King Salman himself.

According to a Trump tweet, the king denied “any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen.’”

Trump said he was “immediately” sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh to meet with the king on the crisis. The confrontation is escalating. Crown Prince Mohammed and King Salman have both now put their nation’s honor and credibility on the line.

Both are saying that what the Turks claim they can prove — Khashoggi was tortured and murdered in the consulate, cut up, and his body parts flown to Saudi Arabia — is a lie.

For Trump and the U.S., this appears a classic case of the claims of international morality clashing with the claims of national interest.

The archetype occurred in the mid-1870s when Ottoman Turks perpetrated a slaughter of Bulgarian Christians under their rule.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Forget Oil, Here’s Saudi Arabia’s Other ‘Weapons’

There are not one, not two, but three ‘weapons’ on the “nuclear option” menu for Saudi Arabia to strike back at any US sanctions stemming from its alleged murder and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in what is now being reported as a “botched interrogation.”

The first is simple and well known – “oil” – cutting off its own supply “nose” to send prices to $100, $200, or $400 may end up spiting its own face however.

So let’s take a look at some other options.

The second, and relatively well known, potential course for retaliation is in its choice of who to buy its weapons from…

President Trump has so far stated his unwillingness to impose any kind of punishment on Saudi Arabia, and as Statista’s Martin Armstrong notes, this could be why – the U.S. is the world’s biggest exporter of arms and according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the biggest importer from the country in 2017 was Saudi Arabia.

Infographic: The USA's Biggest Arms Export Partners | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

This infographic uses the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s “trend-indicator values” (TIV). These are based on the known unit production costs of weapons and represent the transfer of military resources rather than the financial value of the transfer.

As Trump himself warned, there are plenty more “sellers” of deadly weapons in the world.

However, there is a third potentially most existentially challenging option that the Saudis could unleash would be ‘dumping its Treasury Holdings’.

Since the start of 2014, with only one small blip in 2014/15 as oil prices collapsed, the Saudis have been generous buyers of US Treasurys – recycling their petrodollars in this virtuous relationship…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Peter Schiff: The Next Economic Crash Will Be “Far More Painful” Than The 2008 Recession

Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff is sounding the alarm after this week’s market selloff, saying Wall Street and the U.S. economy are on the verge of a recession.

“I think as Americans lose their jobs, they are going to see the cost of living going up rather dramatically, and so this is going to make it particularly painful,” Schiff said.

“This is a bubble not just in the stock market, but the entire economy,” he told Fox News Business.

Schiff is predicting a recession, accompanied by rising consumer prices, that will be far more painful than the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

As SHTFplan.com’s Mac Slavo notes, President Donald Trump blamed the recent stock market woes on the Federal Reserve and the rising of interest rates.

“I think the Fed is making a mistake. They’re so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy,” Trump told reporters on his way to a rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

Trump said that the United States’ central bank is solely responsible for the worst stock market selloff since February, saying the Federal Reserve “has gone crazy.”

Schiff said it isn’t entirely the Fed’s fault, however, because they have been acting “irrationally” for a very long time while slowly adding nails to the economy’s coffin.

What is crazy is for the Fed to believe that they can raise interest rates without pricking their own bubble,” he said.

“All bear markets start off as corrections. I think this one is probably a bear market. It’s long overdue,” Schiff said on FOX News Business.

Schiff said investors are on the edge of a precipice that foresees a bear market far worse than the stock market crash of 2008.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudi Stocks Crash Most Since 2016 As Riyadh Threatens US With “Very Strong” Retaliation

Saudi Arabia warned on Sunday it would respond to any “threats” against it as its stock market crashed the most since 2016 after President Trump’s warning of “severe punishment” over the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

On Saturday, Trump said the U.S. could take “very, very powerful, very strong, strong measures” against the country if its leaders are found responsible for the Saudi citizen’s fate. The kingdom, which denies its involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, announced it would retaliate against any punitive measures with an even “stronger” response, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an official it didn’t identify.

“The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether through economic sanctions, political pressure or repeating false accusations,” the kingdom’s statement said. “The kingdom also affirms that if it is (targeted by) any action, it will respond with greater action.”

Saudi Arabia has traditionally been one of Trump’s closest foreign allies, the US president made a point of visiting the kingdom on his first overseas trip as president and has touted arms sales to Saudi Arabia. But both the White House and the kingdom are under mounting pressure as concern grows over the fate of the veteran journalist, who hasn’t been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

The Saudi response came after Saudi Arabian stocks slumped the most since 2016 amid a broad selloff over collapsing relations with the US, with the Tadawul All Share Index, or TASI, plunging by 7% at one point during the week’s first day of trading, the most since December 2014, with all but seven of the gauge’s 186 members fell, led by Saudi Telecom, which declined 6.2%, Jabal Omar lost 6% and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. retreated 1.9%. Selling volume soared, with the number of shares traded more than double the 30-day average.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Summer of No Return

The Summer of No Return

Photo Source NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | CC BY 2.0

The forecast for August 8th was ominous. The temperature in Portland was predicted to breach 100 hundred degrees for the second time in a couple weeks. In the end, the mercury stalled at 96 degrees because the sun was blotted out for most of the day by a thick pall of pinkish smoke from the Mendocino fires 500 miles to the south. Two days later the undulating jet stream carried traces of the smoke another 3000 miles east to New York City and beyond.

In just two weeks, the Mendocino Fire complex had scorched 340,000 acres, making it the largest wildfire in California history. The Mendo fire started four days after the Carr Fire ignited, which destroyed more than 1000 homes and killed eight people near the city of Redding in northern California. The Carr Fire, still burning in mid-August, has seared more than 210,000 acres. In the Sierras, the 100,000 Ferguson Fire closed the Yosemite National Park and killed two firefighters. In southern California, the Holy Jack Fire erupted in a mushroom cloud of smoke on Hiroshima Day. California was burning from border to border.

Clarence Sibsey is a fire refugee. For the second time in two years, he was forced to evacuate his home near Clear Lake.  “We’ve never had fires like this before,” Sibsey told the Los Angeles Times. “Why now?”

In one of his most mystical Tweets, Donald Trump tried to give Sibsey an answer. The president blamed the California fires on the state’s policy of allowing some of the waters from its much-molested rivers to empty into the Pacific Ocean, instead of being totally diverted into the irrigation ditches of the Central Valley and the Klamath Basin. It may have escaped the President’s keen grasp of California geography that the two biggest fires are burning adjacent to several of the state’s largest lakes, including Lake Shasta, Trinity Lake and Clear Lake.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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