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My eyes... my eyes!

I know... makes one shudder...  :)
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My eyes... my eyes!
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Hillary Calls to 'Counter Trump's Lies' on Border Wall, Gets Roasted Online

20:15 09.01.2019(updated 20:20 09.01.2019)
source: https://sputniknews.com/us/201901091071340840-hillary-migrant-fundraiser-reaction/


© AP Photo / Charles Krupa

Describing Trump’s televised speech on Tuesday about the situation on the US-Mexico border as a “TV stunt”, Clinton urged her audience to “keep counteracting his lies about migrants and refugees with positive action”, though many users opted to criticise Hillary instead of heeding her advice.

Former US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has announced that a fundraiser she promoted managed to gather around $100,000 ”to support groups doing critical work to protect kids and families at the border”, since Trump’s TV speech on Tuesday about the situation on the US-Mexican border.

Describing the president’s address as a “TV stunt”, Clinton urged her audience to “keep counteracting his lies about migrants and refugees with positive action”.

However, a large number of netizens took a dim view of Hillary’s statement, opting to give a piece of their mind to her instead.

Several people were quick to point out that merely a few years ago, Hillary herself apparently advocated doing the same thing she now criticises Trump for.

Others questioned the sources of the former Democratic presidential nominee’s personal wealth, bringing forth allegations of embezzlement and corruption.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office, describing the situation at the United States’ southern border as a "humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul".

He also called to secure the funds necessary to build his long-promised wall along the border with Mexico, and blamed the Democrats for the current government shutdown.

R ~ Look hard at that picture. It is the demonic face of a mad woman.
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Money & Markets / How The Federal Reserve Quietly Bankrupted The US Pension System
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 07, 2019, 05:30:36 PM »
How The Federal Reserve Quietly Bankrupted The US Pension System

by Tyler Durden
Mon, 01/07/2019 - 20:35

source: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-07/how-federal-reserve-quietly-bankrupted-us-pension-system

Actions have consequences.  Even for the Fed.

That’s not a reference to the market’s grumpy reaction to the central bank’s continued rate hikes and quantitative tightening.  No.  The impact of both on financial assets were as obvious as they were inexorable.  To be sure, Wall Street’s resident soothsayers had a good run spinning tales that ‘this time’ was different. A tightening Fed, we were assured, was a good thing—a ringing endorsement of the economy’s indefatigable strength. But, in the end, there was simply no way around the basic fact: Just as rate cuts and QE were designed to expand the pool of credit and incent the embrace of risk, so would rate hikes and QT necessarily beget the reverse. And so they have.

But while the impact of receding liquidity and the reduced reward for reckless speculation and risk-taking have finally begun to play out on Bloomberg screens everywhere, the real devastation has yet to be revealed.  In the ensuing weeks and months the full and lugubrious legacy of the Fed’s great monetary experiment of the last decade will finally come into view.

Beyond inflating and bursting a bubble in corporate debt (with leveraged loans acting as posterchild), the Fed’s decade-long financial repression has had a far larger and more sinister impact: It has silently bankrupted the US pension system. 



Sound overly dramatic??

Here are the numbers from no lesser authority than the institution responsible for this destruction itself: the Federal Reserve.   By their calculations, at the end of the 3rd quarter, the funding shortfall of U.S. pension plans (public and private) stood at -$6.18t.  That’s trillion, with a capital ‘t’.  To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 30% of GDP:

But that’s not even the scary part.  The scary part is that this is the funding deficit NOW…after a decade of rampant financial asset inflation and a 10-year economic expansion. One shudders to imagine what the picture will look like as these tailwinds reverse.  If the last two cycles are any indication, it won’t be pretty. The DotCom bust sent the cumulative deficit from -$1.2t to -$3.1t and the GFC saw it swell from -$2.9t to -$5.3t.  Split the diff’ at a doubling of the deficit and we’d be looking at a hole of $12t before you can blink.   

The numbers are hard enough to fathom, much less figure a way out of.  No amount of fancy accounting footwork can bring these obligations into a realm where they can possibly be fulfilled.  Nor, I regret to add, does the standard operating procedure – blow it off and hope that time solves the problem.   With our rapidly-aging population, more and more retirees are knocking on the door to collect their benefits every day. 

At its enormous size, even the effort to begin shoring-up these pension deficits (rendered newly urgent by the market meltdown) will have a material economic impact.  At the state and local level, balanced budget mandates are such that any monies directed to pensions will need to be diverted from spending and/or conjured via higher taxes.  And for corporations, freshly turned-out of the credit markets, the dough will come out of hiring and capex and/or share buybacks.  In the (likely) alterative that these untenable pension obligation are renegotiated and/or reneged upon instead, the saving onus would simply be passed from employer to employee.  And newly disenfranchised day laborers would be forced to ramp-up saving, by cutting spending.  Either way, the economy will take a material hit. 

It’s true that the mushrooming of these deficits has occurred by dint of the Fed’s low interest rates over these last several years, which swelled the present discounted value of future obligations.  However, as the recent market action (and the experience of the last two times the Fed tightened into a bubble of its own making) makes plain, higher rates are hardly going to act as a cure…far from it.  At the risk of spilling any state secrets, the only way pension managers had a chance to meet 8% return assumptions in a 1% risk-free world was to stretch into the deepest corners of risk assets, now blowing up. 



Sigh.  This was all totally foreseeable.  For the 3rd time in as many decades we are being reminded that the solution for excess debt is not, in fact, to incent economic and financial agents to borrow MORE.  Inflating financial assets in the hopes that, one day, the economy rises to meet them is a dangerous exercise—one that isn’t rendered any less perilous by a Fed that (incredibly) imagines it can ratchet-up rates and tighten the credit upon which both rest without consequence ?!! 

After 9 ½ years of expanding economic activity and a decade of rising asset prices and falling volatility, it’s a reality which investors had altogether forgotten (and which the Fed obviously never recognized in the first place).  But it’s one that is about to come into sharp focus.
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The World Below / French PM says new, tougher laws on unauthorized protests
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 07, 2019, 11:20:29 AM »
French PM says new, tougher laws on unauthorized protests coming in wake of Yellow Vest clashes

Published time: 7 Jan, 2019 19:56
Edited time: 7 Jan, 2019 20:06
source: https://www.rt.com/news/448265-france-tougher-laws-protests-yellowvests/


©  Reuters / Gonzalo Fuentes

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said that the government will crack down on unauthorized protests and toughen punishment for rioting in the wake of anti-government Yellow Vest demonstrations which began in November.

The new measures will significantly toughen punishment for people who participate in riots, Philippe said, while adding that it was still “necessary to preserve the freedom” to demonstrate in France. Those who want to protest peacefully should not be punished, he said.

The announcement comes as part of new “public order” measures unveiled by the government after the Yellow Vest protests resulted in violence against police officers and government buildings.

Philippe’s office said in a statement on Monday that the government would take “a very firm stance” against the “continued unacceptable violence across the country.”

R ~ It's doubtful that these protests would escalate into riots except for the police themselves. It is clear that Macron and Philippe are in so deep up the (((deep state))) they seem to think that they have no choice but to double down. They need to look back in time and look at a picture of a guillotine.
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'Larry Silverstein, Lewis Eisenberg made billions from dollars from destruction of Twin Towers'

Mon Jan 7, 2019 06:35PM [Updated: Mon Jan 7, 2019 06:54PM ]
source: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/01/07/585156/Larry-Silverstein-and-Lewis-Eisenberg-made-billions-of-dollars-from-destruction-of-Twin-Towers


Real estate developer Larry Silverstein (left) puts his arm around New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as they arrive for a
ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Silverstein’s 978-foot (298-meter) 4 World Trade Center, Nov. 13, 2013 in New York. (AP photo)


Zionist businessmen Larry Silverstein and Lewis Eisenberg, who are close friends of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made billions of dollars from the destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, says Dr. Kevin Barrett, an American academic who has been studying the events of 9/11 since late 2003.

Dr. Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday while commenting on the Dark Overlord’s threat of leaking thousands of secret documents related to 9/11.

The hacker group has said the leak will have devastating consequences for the US "deep state," that collection of members of permanent employees of the intelligence, security and diplomatic services who operate independently of changes in the administration as, in essence, a permanent government.

The group has already released decryption keys for 650 documents it says are related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but it is   just a fraction of the 18,000 secret 9/11 documents probably stolen from insurers, law firms, and government agencies, RT website reported on Friday.

The hackers at the Dark Overlord have described the secret the September 11 documents as "the 9/11 Papers."

“It’s very interesting. I think the important thing that people need to know about this is why it’s important, why there could be anything important in these insurance companies' documents,” Dr. Barrett said.

“So we need to go back to 2001 when the World Trade Center complex and especially the two Towers were creating terrible problems for the Port Authority which is the city government agency that owned these buildings,” he added. 

“The Twin Towers were riddled with asbestos fireproofing, which was illegal, and they were under court order issued in January or early 2001 to remove the asbestos from the Towers. This would have cost billions, perhaps double-digit billions of dollars – economically a non-starter,” he stated.

“New York had been trying to find a way to demolish the Towers for years. They had high vacancy rate and antiquated communication infrastructure. But they could not tear them down because there was no way to do it economically,” the analyst said.

“So two months before 9/11 an alleged organized crime figure named Larry Silverstein got a non-low-bid contract from Lewis Eisenberg, who was the head of the Port Authority. Both of these guys are very close to Netanyahu. They are hardcore Zionist billionaires,” he noted.

‘Silverstein walked out with close to $5bn in cash’

“So Silverstein got his contract from the Port Authority. He bought the entire Trade Center on a 100-year lease. He only put down 15 million – with an m – million of his own money, along with a hundred million of his partners' and for that he got the Trade Center for a hundred years,” the commentator said.

“And had the Trade Center not been demolished, this would have been the worst real estate investment in history. But because Silverstein doubled the insurance money from what the Port Authority had held, and managed to get lucky on September 11, he walked out of this with close to $5 billion in cash,” he pointed out.

“He had negotiated it with the insurance company to give him the cash settlement beforehand. And then he also claimed a double indemnity, that is he wanted to double the money because he said there were two separate and unrelated terrorist attacks, namely the two alleged airplanes,” the researcher said. 

“So he made a tremendous amount of money out of this. And the insurance company lost—or some insurance companies lost. The question is which insurance companies lost billions of dollars to Larry Silverstein, Lewis Eisenberg and the deep state 9/11 insurance fraud crime, which of course was also done for geopolitical reasons,” he observed.

“And maybe we will find some of the answers in these insurance documents because clearly nobody wanted to be left holding the bag to the tune of billions of dollars of insurance money for an obvious inside job in which these Towers, not just the Twin Towers, but also World Trade Center 7 as well, were obviously blown up, taken down in a controlled demolition,” he stated.

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Egyptian president admits cooperation with Israel 'closest, deepest' than ever before

Mon Jan 7, 2019 06:05PM [Updated: Mon Jan 7, 2019 06:12PM ]
source: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/01/07/585144/Egypt-Abdel-Fattah-elSisiBin-Salman-MBS-Benjamin-Netanyahu-Trump


This handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on September 27, 2018 shows Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (C-R) meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C-L) on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has acknowledged that his administration has maintained very deep relations with the Tel Aviv regime and is engaged in military cooperation with Israel in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Sisi made the rare acknowledgment during an interview with US television network CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which was aired on Sunday.

This comes as Egypt, under Sis’s rule, has quietly cooperated with Israel on security in the desert peninsula.

Asked whether the cooperation was the closest and deepest that he has had with Israel, Sisi responded, "That is correct. The Air Force sometimes needs to cross to the Israeli side. And that's why we have a wide range of coordination with the Israelis."

Asked why he had not managed to wipe the ongoing militancy out after receiving more than $1bn in annual US military aid, Sisi responded by pointing to the challenges that Washington has faced in Afghanistan against the Taliban.

"Why hasn't the US eliminated the terrorists in Afghanistan after 17 years and spending a trillion dollars?" Sisi asked.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sisi, who won a second four-year term in office last year after running virtually unopposed, said that cooperation with Israel can be a sensitive and potentially damaging topic in Egypt.

Egypt's military last year denied media reports that it was cooperating with Israel in the violence-hit region of northern Sinai.

The CBS networks broadcast the interview with Sisi despite a request by the Egyptian government not to air the program.

Before the airing of the interview, CBS had said the information given by Sisi was "not the kind of news his government wanted broadcast."

"The 60 Minutes team was contacted by the Egyptian ambassador shortly after and told the interview could not be aired," the network said.

Israel has full diplomatic relations with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, but reports suggest the regime is working behind the scenes to establish formal contact with Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly traveled to Egypt in May last year for talks with Sisi.


PressTV-Netanyahu secretly traveled to Egypt in May
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Egypt in May for talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi over the Gaza situation.


A senior official of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement said in November 2018 that the willingness shown by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to establish diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime has exceeded all expectations of Israeli officials, with Netanyahu saying he was not dreaming the day would come when he sees normalized ties with the Persian Gulf kingdoms.

The fact that the sheikhdoms are dramatically warming their relations with the Tel Aviv regime after secret contacts shows the policy is a decision dictated to them by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, Deputy Chairman of Hezbollah's Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qaouq said.


PressTV-MbS on Arab tour to push normalization with Israel
An analyst says an ongoing tour of Arab countries by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is meant to normalize relations with Israel.


Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz visited Oman on November 4 last year to attend an international transport conference and pitch a railway project that would link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean via the Israeli-occupied territories.

The trip came on the heels of a surprise visit by Netanyahu to Oman in late October 2018, where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.


PressTV-Netanyahu’s real intentions in Oman
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to Oman last Thursday.


Netanyahu's unpublicized visit to Oman came on the same day that Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev traveled to the United Arab Emirates to accompany Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.

It is evident that any progress in the Arab-Israeli relations can only happen at the expense of the Palestinians. Critics say Saudi Arabia’s flirtation with Israel would undermine global efforts to isolate Tel Aviv and harm the Palestinian cause. They also say Riyadh has gone too far in its cooperation with Tel Aviv as a way of confronting Tehran.


PressTV-‘Arabs, Israel seeking to liquidate Palestinian cause’
A former Bahraini minister has warned that Arabs and the Israeli regime are jointly trying to kill the Palestinian cause.


In a statement released in November last year, US President Donald Trump said Washington intends to remain "a steadfast partner" of Riyadh to ensure the interests of the United States, Israel and the regional allies.

Trump earlier also stressed that the stability of Saudi Arabia benefits Tel Aviv, saying “Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia."


PressTV-‘Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit Bahrain soon’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly going to visit Bahrain amid suggestion that Arabs’ normalization of relations with the Tel Aviv regime is on the cards.


Riyadh put further pressure on other Persian Gulf states to normalize their relations with Israel this year when it formed an alliance with Washington and Tel Aviv to protect its beleaguered crown prince in the aftermath of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
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US troop pullout from Syria conditional on Turkey's security guarantees for Kurds - Bolton

Published time: 6 Jan, 2019 11:15
Edited time: 6 Jan, 2019 14:23
source: https://www.rt.com/news/448180-us-military-wont-leave-syria/


Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) chat with members of U.S. forces in the town of Darbasiya © Reuters / Rodi Said

US forces will not leave Syria until Turkey guarantees the safety of US-backed Kurdish militias, National Security Advisor John Bolton has said, as cited by AP. He added that there was no timetable for a US withdrawal.

According to Bolton, US President Donald Trump told him that he would “not allow Turkey to kill the Kurds.”

“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum, so they don’t endanger our troops but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered,” he said.

Bolton also stressed there was no set timetable for US withdrawal from Syria, adding that Washington was not interested in maintaining a long-term military presence in the country.

“The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement,” he noted.

Bolton’s statements provoked a critical response from Ankara. It is “irrational” to claim that Turkey targets Kurds in its operations, the Turkish president’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, adding that the Turkish military campaign is aimed against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) as well as against the Kurdish YPG and PKK groups, which Ankara sees as terrorists.

Turkey’s goal is to “save the Kurds” from persecution by these “terrorist organizations,” Kalin said, and that any claim that these groups might represent the Kurdish people was showing “disrespect to our Kurdish brothers.” He also made it clear that Ankara is not intending to stop its military campaign as he said that “Turkey will continue its efforts with determination.”

Bolton made his comments while on a visit to Jerusalem, where he is meeting with Israeli officials to explain Donald Trump’s sudden announcement last month that American forces stationed in Syria would be coming home.

Trump had previously stated that the US’ sole mission in Syria – the defeat of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) – had been completed. Bolton’s statement appears to add a new condition before withdrawing: receiving assurances from Ankara that US-backed Kurdish militias in northern Syria will not face an assault from Turkish forces.

Although Trump vowed to bring US troops home as soon as possible, bitter disagreements between Washington and Ankara over the status of the Kurdish militias will likely bring the withdrawal to a halt. Turkey has labeled the Kurdish YPG – which receives support from the Pentagon – as a terrorist group.

Bolton will travel to Turkey on Monday, where he is expected to lay out Washington’s demands to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “the importance of ensuring that the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds” was “still part of the American mission” in Syria. His comment was condemned by Ankara, which creatively argued that Pompeo was comparing all Kurds to terrorists.

R ~ Bolton is so transparent. he continually throws out these ultimatums on policy by setting conditions no one would agree to. He's a blocker for the (((deep state))) holding back the erosion of their empire (they thought).
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America's last? First Senate bill of 2019 aims to protect Israel from boycott, report reveals

Published time: 6 Jan, 2019 14:11
Edited time: 6 Jan, 2019 15:25
source: https://www.rt.com/usa/448190-us-senate-israel-boycott-law/


FILE PHOTO. © Reuters / Brendan McDermid

With the start of the 2019 legislative session, one might hope the US Senate would prioritize ending the two-week government shutdown. Instead, the Senate’s first bill of the year reportedly aims to protect Israel from boycotts.

According to The Intercept, the first piece of legislation to be rolled out by the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate will give the US government the authority to cut ties with companies that choose to boycott Israel. The not-very-America-first decree is part of a series of foreign policy-related measures which will make up S.1 – the designation given to the symbolically important first bill of the session.

The boycott-banning legislation has apparently taken precedence over the ongoing government shutdown – already the third-longest on record, shuttering nine departments and leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers without paychecks.

With Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) as the lead sponsor, the Combating BDS Act is expected to receive bipartisan support. Coincidentally, punishing corporations and individuals who support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is a top legislative priority for AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby. The bill was previously introduced (but never passed) last year, and gave state and local governments the authority to refuse to do business with US firms participating in a boycott against Israel. Similar anti-BDS legislation has already been adopted in 26 states. So far, two federal courts have ruled that punishing companies or individuals who boycott goods produced in Israel violates constitutionally-protected rights under the First Amendment.

Many on Twitter expressed disgust that senators were giving Israel priority over their own constituents.

If the bill passes the Senate, it would then go before the Democrat-controlled House, where Nancy Pelosi may have to choose between her ardent support for Israel – or freedom of speech.

R ~ It's akin to throwing a grenade into a crowded room. It is meant to poll who in Congress is a useful idiot and willing to be a traitor.
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The World Below / SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES CAPTURE FIVE FOREIGN TERRORISTS
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 06, 2019, 05:59:25 AM »
SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES CAPTURE FIVE FOREIGN TERRORISTS, INCLUDING TWO AMERICANS, IN EUPHRATES VALLEY

06.01.2019
source: https://southfront.org/syrian-democratic-forces-capture-five-foreign-terrorists-including-two-americans-in-euphrates-valley/

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) personnel captured five foreign fighters of ISIS who were trying to target the civilians fleeing the terrorist group’s territory in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, the US-backed group announced in an official statement on January 6.

The foreign terrorists were identified as:

-34-year old Warren Christopher Clark, known as Abu Mohammad al-Ameriki, from Houston, U.S.;
-35-year old  Zaid Abed al-Hamid, known as Abu Zaid al-Ameriki, from the U.S.;
-45-year old Alexandr Ruzmatovich Bekmirzaev, from Dublin, İreland;
-48-year old Fadel al-Rahman Cad, known as Abu Enam al-Muhajir, from Lahor, Pakistan;
-19-year old Abed al-Azem Rajhoud, known as Abu Omea al-Pakistani, from Sialkot, Pakistan.


Warren Christopher Clark


Zaid Abed al-Hamid


Alexandr Ruzmatovich Bekmirzaev


Fadel al-Rahman Cad


Abed al-Azem Rajhoud

Contrary to the SDF claims, the Syrian Orient TV and several other pro-opposition news outlets said that the five ISIS fighters had surrendered themselves to the US-backed group.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), more than 550 fighters and commanders of ISIS have fled to the SDF-held area since the begning of the US-led coaltion attack on the terrorist group-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley. It’s not clear yet how the SDF is dealing with these terrorists.
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