ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ECONOMY

Dec 03 15:14

Silicon Valley giants accused of avoiding over $100 billion in taxes over the last decade

Six of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies had a combined “tax gap” of more than $100 billion this decade, according to a new analysis.

Fair Tax Mark, a British organization that certifies businesses for good tax conduct, assessed global tax payments from Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft between 2010 and 2019. The companies are sometimes collectively referred to as the “Silicon Six.”

The research, published Monday, analyzed their 10-K filings, which are financial forms submitted by businesses to the U.S. government.

It looked at tax provisions — the amount companies set aside in their financial reports to pay taxes — and compared those to the amounts that were actually handed over to the government, referred to as cash taxes. Over the decade, the gap between the Silicon Six’s provisions and the taxes they actually paid reached $100.2 billion, researchers found.

Dec 03 13:15

Corporate Buybacks Are the Stock Market

Dec 03 12:52

‘Dangerous’: UK’s six richest people have as much wealth as poorest 13m, study shows, prompting outrage online

The study, conducted by the Equality Trust, reveals that the nation’s six billionaires who sit at the top of the wealth league have hoarded a combined fortune of £39.4 billion which is equal to the assets of around 13.2 million people in the UK.

Dr Wanda Wyporska, the executive director of the Equality Trust claimed the report should “shock anyone who cares about the state of the UK,” and that such a huge gap between the very rich and the rest of the country is “dangerous.”

Dec 03 11:36

New Lawyers Are Swimming in Debt.

Dec 03 10:32

Iran’s Barter Trade Deals with China, By-Passing the US-Dollar, “Dedollarizing” Her Economy

According to a PressTV Report of 24 November, 2019, Iran and China are working on a trade or barter deal that would circumvent US sanctions. It would bypass US-dollar denominated transactions, exchanging Iranian oil for Chinese goods and services and investments. The head of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), Masoud Khansari told Teheran’s Tasnim news agency, on 19 November 2019 that “The mechanism, aiming to increase economic exchanges between Iran and China, is in the process of being finalized and implemented.” He meant indeed, a barter deal between the two countries, avoiding a monetary exchange, is being worked out.

Dec 03 09:32

In 2019, almost every investment worked

Dec 03 03:37

Heavy Gunfire Erupts as DR Congo's Anti-UN Protests Continue

TEHRAN (FNA)- Gunfire rang out in the DR Congo town of Beni on Monday as protesters demanding the United Nations' withdrawal from the city again marched towards the UN headquarters.
Security forces blocked hundreds of demonstrators attempting to get close to the UN compound housed inside the airport near Beni, one of two UN bases in the area, Al-Jazeera reported.

"We still have heavy gunfire here and local sources are confirming the deaths of two people, including a young boy and a woman," said Al-Jazeera's Alain Uaykani, reporting from Beni, quoting officials from the hospital where the bodies were taken.

"They are saying they don't feel safe and the UN has to leave. They say they will not stop protesting until the UN leaves this area," Uaykani added.

Anger erupted last week over the perceived failure of UN peacekeepers to protect civilians from deadly rebel attacks with several mass demonstrations targeting UN facilities in Northeastern f(DRC).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF the UN peacekeepers are unable to keep the peace, why are they there?!?

IF we take a look at DNC's natural resources, we will get information on why it is such a prize, and worth much blood and money, to those who could control it:

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Natural Resources

The article goes on to state: "Natural resources: cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber

Definition: This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance, such as rare earth elements (REEs). In general, products appear only if they make a significant contribution to the economy, or are likely to do so in the future."

Dec 03 03:25

Tehran Wants to Sue US $130bln for Civil Unrest in Iran - Court Authorities

Protests erupted in several of Iran's provinces in November, following the government’s decision to increase the price of gasoline, with some of the rallies turning violent.

Tehran wants to sue the US for $130bln for civil unrest in the country, according to Iranian judicial spokesman Golyamkhosein Esmaily.

Golyamkhosein Esmaily said that the lawsuits and complaints were filed by Iranian citizens who directly suffered damage from "US actions."

"To date, more than 360 cases and claims of citizens against the US government have been considered," Esmaily said, noting that one court had demanded $130 billion from the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Frankly, I would not hold my breath, were I an Iranian solicitor, about collecting on such claims.

Dec 03 03:13

Data on your spending habits could be a gold mine for banks

NEW YORK - There’s a powerful new player watching what you buy so it can tailor product offerings for you: the bank behind your credit or debit card.

For years, Google and Facebook have been showing ads based on your online behavior. Retailers from Amazon to Walgreens also regularly suction up your transaction history to steer future spending and hold your loyalty.

Now banks, too, want to turn data they already have on your spending habits into extra revenue by identifying likely customers for retailers. Banks are increasingly aware that they could be sitting on a gold mine of information that can be used to predict — or sway — where you spend. Historically, such data has been used mostly for fraud protection.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF there are no privacy laws on the books, nationally, against this, there should be.

I know, for example, if I look at a website which features some items I might buy in the future, those ads start appearing in other blogs in a very invasive way, disruptive way, which I dislike intensely.

Dec 03 03:04

North Korea warns US will choose its 'Christmas gift' if Trump fails to meet looming nuclear deadline

The North Korean foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Washington would decide what “Christmas gift” it would receive if the United States fails to change its “hostile policies” on denuclearization before the end of the year, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea has been ramping up missile tests and other military demonstrations in recent months in an apparent pressure tactic over the talks. Negotiations have faltered since a February summit between Kim Jong-un and Trump in Vietnam which broke down after the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

Kim later issued his end-of-year deadline and has also said the North would seek a “new path” if the U.S. persists with sanctions and pressure. Working-level talks last month in Sweden broke down over what the North Koreans described as the Americans’ “old stance and attitude.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem here is, zero "quid pro quo", which translates as "Let me give a little, then you give a little, toward creating a win/win situation."

But none of that has been displayed by those in the bowels of power in DC, and the never-ending, clanging leitmotif of "Give us everything we want now, and perhaps, MAYBE, down the road, we will do something you would like us to do!!", is what the US government characterizes as "good faith negotiations."

That complete absence of "quid pro quo" in the US's dealings with North Korea, unfortunately, has brought us to this very nasty, and potentially militarily, volatile chapter in US/North Korean relations.

Dec 03 02:50

The War against Syria: In the Name of the Father the Son, the Holy Spirit … and the Truth.

So,why is the Truth not known and accepted by broad-based Western populations?

Renowned author Michel Collon demonstrates the characteristics of war propaganda that deny us the right to know.

First, the real interests that push for war must be hidden. Privileged access to and control of resources, including oil pipelines, must not be mentioned.

Second, history must be erased. People musn’t be aware of the longstanding imperial efforts to divide, weaken, and colonize Syria. They must not know that the war on Syria was planned well in advance by imperial powers.

Third, the leader of the country must be demonized. People must never know that elected President Assad has always been popular, even according to a NATO poll,(2) and that the invading terrorists were never accepted nor welcomed by the vast majority of Syrians.

Dec 03 02:42

Gorbachev warns of 'hot war' between US, Russia

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned in a new interview that tensions between the U.S. and Russia could lead to a “hot war” between the two nations.

Asked whether the tensions threatened to lead to a new era akin to the Cold War, Gorbachev told CNN, “I think this should be avoided.”

"It's good that already all over the world there is a conversation and people are talking, people are reacting, and this is the most important thing,” Gorbachev said.

"Speakers and politicians, people understand that this, the New Cold War, must not be allowed. This might turn out to be a hot war that could mean the destruction of our entire civilization," he added.

"This must not be allowed.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The man is entirely correct in his assessment; a shooting war with Russia would be one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing this government could do.

And unfortunately, the above is utterly no guarantee that it will not do just that.

Dec 03 00:31

The Superpowers Battling Over Iraq's Giant Oil Field

For Russia, the Middle East offers a key military pivot from which it can project influence West and East and that it can use to capture and control massive oil and gas flows in both directions as well.

For China, the Middle East – and, absolutely vitally, Iran and Iraq – are irreplaceable stepping stones towards Europe for its era-defining ‘One Belt, One Road’ project.

Earlier this week an announcement was made by Iraq’s Oil Ministry that highlights each of these factors at play, through a relatively innocuous-sounding contract award to a relatively unknown Chinese firm.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, it appears that the real "winners" of the US's invasion and occupation of Iraq, will be either China or Russia, or China and Russia, possibly working together in some deal with which to benefit both countries, when this project is completed?!?

Dec 03 00:26

Welcome To The Potemkin Village Of Washington Power

That ominous challenge to constitutionalism was on full display with the recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by retired Admiral William McRaven, in which he brashly warned that unless Trump jumped aboard the Forever War bandwagon, he must be removed, and “the sooner the better.” The U.S. must have a policy, McRaven said, that protects “the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny.”

Dec 03 00:24

Krieger: "This Entire Century Has Been An Unmitigated March In The Direction Of Stupidity"

Two Paths Forward with China – The Good and The Bad

Since a few things became clear to me last year, I’ve consistently forecasted a significant worsening in U.S.-China relations and remained adamant that all the happy talk of trade deals and breakthroughs is just a lot of hot air.

Since a few things became clear to me last year, I’ve consistently forecasted a significant worsening in U.S.-China relations and remained adamant that all the happy talk of trade deals and breakthroughs is just a lot of hot air.

What first appeared to be a unique quirk of Donald Trump has morphed into bipartisan consensus in Congress, and clear signs have emerged that the general public has likewise become alarmed at China’s growing global clout.

Three major crisis events have rocked the U.S. this century, and much of the public has embraced, or at least accepted, the worst possible response in all cases.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US tensions with China, rather than seeming to being any closer to getting resolved, have absolutely gotten worse, during President Trump's reign, between the signing of the Hong Kong Act; US Navy continued patrolling of the South China Seas and the monumental trade imbalance, which has yet to be resolved.

Trade wars happen to have a nasty habit of morphing into shooting wars; I hope this is not going to happen, but I cannot discount the possibility, that certain individuals in the Bowels of Power in DC, see the destruction of the current regime in Beijing as "the only answer", to the "China Question", as the US cannot manage to compete economically.

President Xi's "Belt and Road" project, using trade to bind Europe and Asia into a formidable manufacturing/distribution hub in Eurasia, will be unstoppable, and there is very little the US can do to stop it, except prevent its evolution from continuing, and that prevention may very well be a war, for which the US government doesn't have the troops; the manufacturing; the money; or the weaponry.

Dec 02 09:19

And now we know why the Fed launched QE4...

Dec 02 09:18

What happens next with Deutsche Bank?

Dec 02 06:40

Recession ... China Business edition

Dec 01 18:51

Why Are Oil Markets Suddenly So Volatile?

Dec 01 18:00

WeWork - The $47 Billion Disaster

Dec 01 09:08

Dollars, Debt, & Risk Go Vertical | Rob Kirby

Dec 01 09:05

Pentagon ‘Pretending’ to Fight Daesh in New Op to Justify US’ Continued Syria Occupation

With this renewed effort to combat Daesh forces in Syria, it’s understandable that some observers are scratching their heads, considering the fact that the commander-in-chief has declared ad nauseum that those same Daesh forces have been eliminated over the past year.

Despite US President Donald Trump’s repeated declarations of victory over Daesh, the US has - once again - announced a resumption in operations against the group. While the tug-of-war between the commander-in-chief and the Pentagon is apparent, one expert points out that there is one thing both parties can agree on: oil.

In a Saturday press conference, US Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill announced that, following operations on November 22, a US-led coalition was able to not only capture a “significant amount” of small arms, ammunition and explosives, but also detained over a dozen Daesh soldiers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As a creation of the US government, which funded/trained/armed Daesh (read: Isis), Daesh/ISIS is being used wherever the US government believes it needs a "distraction"; the current looting of Syrian oil creates a marvelous need for some consistent "misdirection".

Dec 01 08:51

US Becomes Net Exporter Of Crude + Product

Dec 01 08:45

US Primes NATO To Confront Russia, China

Authored by M.K.Bhadrakumar via The Indian Punchline blog,

The December 3-4 summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in London resembles a family reunion after the acrimony over the issue of military spending by America’s European allies.

The trend is up for defence spending across European Allies and Canada. Over $100 billion is expected to be added to the member states’ defence budgets by end-2020.

More importantly, the trend at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting at Brussels on November 19-20, in the run-up to the London summit, showed that despite growing differences within the alliance, member states closed ranks around three priority items in the US global agenda — escalation of the aggressive policy toward Russia, militarisation of space and countering China’s rise.

The NATO will follow Washington’s lead to establish a space command by officially regarding space as “a new operational domain”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My big question here, other than the obvious tweaking of resources and NATO's readiness for war against China and Russia, is this; Will NATO do any better in space than it has done on earth?!?

Unfortunately, the short answer here, is no.

Dec 01 08:40

US Enraged After 6 More EU Nations Join INSTEX To Bypass Iran Sanctions

On Friday six European countries issued a bombshell joint statement declaring their intent to join INSTEX, or the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, a European special-purpose vehicle serving as a 'SWIFT alternative' to bypass US sanctions on Iran.

Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden released a joint statement asserting it's of "the utmost importance to the preservation and full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) on Iran’s nuclear program by all parties involved."

"In light of the continuous European support for the agreement and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex) subject to completion of national procedures," the statement reads.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That none of President Trump's people saw this coming, or saw it, but didn't let President Trump know it could very probably be a European response to Iran not being able to use SWIFT, demonstrates a catastrophic failure of imagination.

And I am sorry, but the US pulling out of the P5+1 treaty, was one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid things the US government could have done, particularly because it was done at the behest of both Israeli Premier (at the moment) Bibi Netanyahu and Trump Bankroller, Sheldon Adelson.

I would like to hope for some modicum of adult response by the White House to this move by Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden; but if Richard Grenell is saying "Terrible timing - why fund the Iranian regime while its killing the Iranian people and shutting off the internet? You should be standing for human rights not funding the abusers.", I doubt that we will see any improvement in US/Iranian relations for a very long time, if ever.

That the US government doesn't see itself as the culprit here, demonstrates a terrible disconnect from global realities. I have to wonder what President Trump's people are going to conjure up to "punish" those European countries which are now going with INSTEX, rather than stay with "SWIFT"?!?

Dec 01 08:15

China Braces For December D-Day: The "Unprecedented" Default Of A Massive State-Owned Enterprise

omething is seriously starting to break in China's financial system.

Three days after we described the self-destructive doom loop that is tearing apart China's smaller banks, where a second bank run took place in just two weeks - an unprecedented event for a country where until earlier this year not a single bank was allowed to fail publicly and has now had no less than five bank high profile nationalizations/bailouts/runs so far this year - the Chinese bond market is bracing itself for an unprecedented shock: a major, Fortune 500 Chinese commodity trader is poised to become the biggest and highest profile state-owned enterprise to default in the dollar bond market in over two decades.

Dec 01 07:43

Syrian Army Bombs Kurdish Tankers Smuggling Oil to Turkey, A Message to Trump

Oil tankers and oil makeshift refineries in northeast Syria were bombed by ‘mysterious’ planes yesterday morning, SANA later stated it was done by the Syrian Army regional command.

The statement conveyed Syrian Arab News Agency SANA was brief but very meaningful:

“SANA’s correspondent in al-Hasakah quoted a field source as saying: after verifying that some Kurdish organizations in the Syrian Jazira region smuggle Syrian oil through tanks through Jarablus and Erbil region in northern Iraq to the Turkish regime, which they claim to be their main enemy, Groups of these tanks and oil refining centers were destroyed this morning.

The source stressed that strict measures will be taken against any smuggling of stolen oil from Syrian territory outside Syria.”

Syrian Jazira region refers to the Syrian territories east and northeast of the Euphrates.

That’s it!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US government, has been at its most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid, in this totally illegal occupation of Syrian oil fields, and the looting of its products.

I would like to hope, that SOMEONE in Moscow, is talking to SOMEONE in Washington, about avoiding military conflict between the US and Russia in Syria, but right now, it appears that this is a question of "when", not "if".

I would like to politely remind President Trump that what he has done here, is totally and completely illegal, under international law. The question here is, when, and how, will Putin respond to this behaviour?

Mr. President, please; I would calmly and seriously suggest that the US getting out of Syria would be a very reasonable thing to do, if you don't want the US military enmeshed in a war with Russia in Syria.

And we have a companion piece, also at globalresearch.ca, by Phillip
Giraldi, The Path to War in the Middle East heats up, while viewers watch the impeachment hearings

Dec 01 07:33

Trump Claims that Nicaragua Is a “National Security Threat” to Legitimize U.S. Economic Aggression

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday extended a national emergency declaration for Nicaragua for a year due to the “dismantling and undermining of democratic institutions” by the Government of the Central American country and the alleged repression of activists.

The notice extends for one year the emergency declared on November 27, 2018. The national emergency is intended to broaden the presidential powers to invoke a dozen relevant U.S. laws, however, it is not clear how the declaration would apply to Nicaragua. Trump used a similar emergency statement regarding the U.S.-Mexico border to invoke existing laws that, according to the administration, allow the diversion of money from government programs to build a border wall.

But why has Trump decided to do this?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Nicaragua, a "national security threat"?!? Mr. President, are you flipping kidding us?!?

So let's talk reality here, by looking at the following article:

World's Largest lithium resources op for grabs, due to political upheaval in Bolivia

The article goes on to state: "One of the most prominent conspiracy theories surrounding the recent overthrow of Bolivian President Evo Morales is that the military’s intervention was a coup to ensure US control of lithium.

Considered a critical resource, lithium is a key component of new technologies including car batteries, phones, electronic devices and sophisticated weapons systems – and recent reports suggest Bolivia could host around 30% of the world’s total of the raw material.

In media interviews, Morales has claimed his ousting is the result of a US-backed movement to establish a right-wing leader who will expose the South American nation’s lithium reserves to exploitation by industry."

US companies want to get their hands on Nicaraguan lithium, so a coup was instituted by American interests, and Morales got overthrown: this is not a "conspiracy theory", but is premised on hard, logical fact.

Also, we have documentation from commondreams.org of the following:

After Morales Ousted in Coup, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia

The article goes on to state: "Tesla (United States) and Pure Energy Minerals (Canada) both showed great interest in having a direct stake in Bolivian lithium. But they could not make a deal that would take into consideration the parameters set by the Morales government. Morales himself was a direct impediment to the takeover of the lithium fields by the non-Chinese transnational firms. He had to go.

After the coup, Tesla’s stock rose astronomically."

Regime change coupled with a color revolution of dubious origins; this has become the US government's "recipe" for the expropriation of natural resources to which the US government, or corporations, have utterly no moral right; but the US government, had to beat out China's potential claim to the stuff, no matter the cost in Nicaraguan blood or money, right?!?

Dec 01 07:08

Reality on Thanksgiving Weekend

According to Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week:

“Hunger and homelessness don’t stop for the holidays.”

Tens of millions of Americans “liv(e) on the edge, forced to choose between basic necessities like purchasing food, paying rent, or going to the doctor” when ill.

Poverty is the nation’s leading growth industry. Most US households face a daily struggle to get by.

On average, 550,000 Americans are homeless each night.

I see it firsthand whenever outside in downtown Chicago. The city’s Magnificent Mile reveals a reality check.

Countless numbers of homeless, hungry, desperate people line both sides of the avenue, hoping passers-by will offer loose change to help them make it through another day.

Many are combat veterans, treated with disdain by the nation they served. Others have families with children. Some have part-time work when able to find it – paying poverty or sub-poverty wages and no benefits.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I knew that the numbers here were bad, but I wasn't aware of just quite how bad they were, until looking at this article.

The numbers here are not only horrific, but terrifying, in their future implications for this country.

Dec 01 07:04

US Vows to ‘Reinforce’ Sanctions, Accuses Venezuela and Cuba of Stirring Regional ‘Strife’Elliott Abrams reiterated support for Guaido and denied that sanctions are damaging the Venezuelan economy.

Guaido proclaimed himself head of state in January and has gone on to lead several unsuccessful efforts to topple Maduro, including a failed military putsch in April.

Trump immediately backed Guaido’s “interim presidency,” handing the Venezuela file to Abrams, a veteran cold warrior infamous for his role in the Iran/Contra scandal, the Reagan administration’s Central America policy, and the Iraq War.

Asked about the efficacy of US sanctions, Abrams assured reporters that the measures are cutting off vital funds for the Venezuelan government. However, he acknowledged that he “would like to see, obviously, the sanctions work better,” adding that “there are plans to reinforce the effort.” He did not offer further details.

What’s the Deal with Sanctions in Venezuela, and Why’s It So Hard for Media to Understand?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, our bovine excrement detector just re-kitted, on Abram's last statement here.

Dec 01 06:59

Ukraine: Land Privatization Demanded by IMF, Links to Biden Graft Scandal. Engineered Bankruptcy of National Economy

The point here is that the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine Nikolay Zlochevsky, an owner of “Burisma” gas company, in 2014 introduced a number of Western politicians to the board of directors of his company, which helped him to avoid accusations of corruption. Hunter Biden, son of former US Vice President Joe Biden, received monthly large payments for his “consultancy services”. As a result Ukraine’s General prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the corruption schemes of the company, was forced – under pressure – to resign by Joe Biden, who even boasted about it in the US media.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope that someone in the DNC is connecting these dots to get Biden out of the running for President; Tom Perez, DNC Chair; people are reading this... and it will destroy Biden, and potentially the Democratic Party itself, if you allow his candidacy to move forward.

Dec 01 05:55

Tulsi Gabbard: Wake Up And Smell Our $6.4 Trillion Wars; Meanwhile, her fellow Democrats appear abysmally unconcerned about the human and financial toll.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in August 2019. (Flickr/Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore)
NOVEMBER 29, 2019|12:01 AM
DOUG BANDOW
The Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the “deeply destructive” policy of “regime change wars.” Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”

Senator Chris Murphy complained: “It’s a little hard to figure out what itch she’s trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.” Some conservatives seem equally confused. The Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry asked: “where is Tulsi distinguishing herself when it really matters?”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Gabbard has this issue by the "short and curlies", and I respect her for taking no prisoners, when it comes to these horrific wars.

Tom Perez, please; at the end of the day, you are going to need a Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidate who appeal to the American "middle", to the centrists, if you will.

IF you actually run Biden (with Ukrainegate already bursting out at the seams); Clinton, (who has more baggage than does Kim Kardashian on a photo shoot); Warren or Sanders (both socialists with no real "middle appeal"), you will, just as you did in 2016, The Democrats will lose this election to President Trump, and it will be your own damned fault.

We both know that Buttegeig and Gabbard may be considered "long shots"; but at the end of the day, we both know that Presidential candidates are created, and do not come out of the ether (Remember the propaganda for the first Clinton campaign, "A Town called Hope"?!?) But I think, if your PR team has any sense, they will do a decent pairing of these two, as reasonable, intelligent human beings, whose domestic and foreign policies will make sense to the American people.

That could work really well, and you just might not lose out on the Presidential election twice in a row.

With any other candidates you have to put forward, the Dems will lose again, to Trump; and I don't believe, for a moment, that you want to see that happen.

Dec 01 05:41

Time Is Running Out For Trump’s North Korea Diplomacy; Year's end an artificial deadline, but lack of progress is causing problems

orth Korea has said the US has until the end of the year to come up with a new proposal to revive stalled diplomatic engagement between the two nations. US officials have similarly warned North Korea that time is running out, albeit without specific deadlines.

As a practical matter, these deadlines are all artificial and arbitrary, and the nations could engage whenever they want to. At the same time, many months have gone by without any progress, and the process is plainly growing stale for it.

It isn’t even that there are a slew of disagreements holding things up. Rather, there is a very specific issue: North Korea wants something in return for denuclearization, and the US just keeps demanding they denuclearize unconditionally, with hints they might get something in return eventually.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is not any kind of negotiation, if one side demands XYZ from the other, and there is no Quid Pro Quo from the side doing the demanding; this is precisely what we have in the US position regarding North Korea.

Dec 01 05:26

"BLACK FRIDAY IS DYING" - SHOPPING MALLS TURN TO "GHOST TOWNS" AMID ONLINE SHIFT

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
Black Friday is undergoing a transformative period where consumers are ditching brick-and-mortar stores for online shopping.

Reuters noted Friday, that traffic volumes at stores across the country on Thanksgiving eve were soft — and it’s likely the trend will continue through the weekend.

Another report via KeyBanc Capital Markets found traffic “somewhat muted at malls” during Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

KeyBanc’s analyst Edward Yruma attributed the decline to more online sales.

KeyBanc’s note said Gap, Banana Republic, Express and Zara offered 50% discounts, but that still wasn’t enough to attract shoppers.

Though traffic was steady at Walmart, Target, and Lululemon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Given the trend for Black Friday kerfuffles, with actual broken bones, and some deaths resulting from those injuries, I will do anything which keeps me out of a major shopping area, and that does mean going on line to identify gifts for the family.

Dec 01 05:16

SENIOR EX-DEUTSCHE BANK EXEC CONNECTED TO UNORTHODOX TRUMP LOANS, COMMITS SUICIDE

Broeksmit's death appeared to set off an unprecedented series of banker suicides throughout the year which included former Fed officials and numerous JPMorgan traders. A few months later, in October, another Deutsche Bank veteran committed suicide when the bank's associate general counsel and former SEC enforcement attorney, 41 year old Calogero "Charlie" Gambino, who was found on the morning of Oct. 20, having also hung himself by the neck from a stairway banister.

Fast forward to this week when Thomas Bowers, a former Deutsche Bank executive and head of the bank's US private wealth-management division (i.e., the group catering to ultra wealthy clients), killed himself by hanging in his Malibu residence last Tuesday, November 19th, according to the coroner’s initial report. Bowers was 55.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that having "assassins on speed dial" may have become a very practical matter for some in power in the banking industry, who fear that disclosure of their actual practices might have landed them a long time in jail.

Dec 01 00:54

The Fed Detests Free Markets

Nov 30 18:57

Study: Artificial Intelligence Could Affect “Virtually Every Occupational Group”

By B.N. Frank

Most disruption predicted in San Jose, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Boulder, Detroit, Huntsville, Louisville, and more…

82% of Americans think Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more harmful than helpful. Reports indicate there are many good reasons for this and it’s not just about massive job loss.

Proponents insist we’ll all be okay though – we just need UBI (Universal Basic Income). $1000/month might be okay for some, but not everyone could live off that. For those who manage to keep their jobs – they’ll still be more “exposed” to AI. They also may be forced to “merge” with it...

Nov 30 09:34

Real Estate Warnings for 2020

Nov 30 08:34

Turkey refusing to sign NATO defense plan for the Baltics, pressing alliance to label Syria’s Kurds as ‘terrorists’ – report

Ankara has reportedly been blackmailing NATO, refusing to sign the proposed defense plan for the Baltics and Poland unless the alliance officially recognizes Kurdish-led militia in northern Syria as a “terrorist group.”
Agreeing on a new NATO defense plan for the eastern European countries has escalated from a formality into a true diplomatic battle, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing four senior sources within the bloc.

“[The Turks) are taking eastern Europeans hostage, blocking approval of this military planning until they get concessions,” one of the sources said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is about to get awkward, in the extreme.

Because of its geography, NATO needs Turkey; however, Turkey is beginning to move more and more toward the orbit of the Russian Federation.

This argument may not end well for NATO.

Nov 30 08:00

Repo Crisis – Best Kept Secret Ever!

Nov 30 06:49

IRAQ PM ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION AFTER 40 PROTESTERS KILLED ON SINGLE DEADLIEST DAY

After two months of anti-corruption and anti-government protests have rocked Iraq, resulting in a death toll into the hundreds as the unrest turns increasingly sectarian and which has included the burning of two Iranian consulates, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi says he will resign.

He announced in an official statement put out by his office that he will submit his resignation to parliament after the country’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, suddenly pulled support, telling the nation in a Friday sermon that parliament should “reconsider its options” after putting Mahdi in power in the first place.

The subsequent statement signed by Abdul Mahdi indicated the following:

In response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to parliament a demand (to accept) my resignation from the leadership of the current government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Perhaps with this development, Iraqis will feel that they have at least a modicum of control over their government, but it has come at a great cost, with a terrible loss of life.

One has to wonder who the next US-Centric "bag man" will be put in place by the US government, or to what degree this may be possible, after Mahdi's resignation.

Nov 29 07:29

Audi to Cut 9,500 Jobs to Boost Profit

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