Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Elites Are Jumping Ship As The Financial Collapse Draws Near

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan

It’s easy to think of the political and financial elites who run our world as lofty and all powerful. They command dangerous governments that can wield devastating weapons, central banks that treat our economy like a rigged casino, media conglomerates that pacify the minds of the public, and unbelievably wealthy corporations that have concentrated wealth to an unprecedented degree.

However, they’re certainly not invincible, and the systems of control that they’ve created are rapidly diminishing. Most notably, they seem all to aware of the fact that the global economy is headed for a crash. On the rare occasion where you can catch one of the elites in a moment of candor, they’ll tell you that the party is almost over.

Mohamed A. El-Erian is a bona fide member of the global power elite (a former deputy director of the IMF and president of the Harvard Management Co.). Yet he writes in a fairly accessible style on the popular Bloomberg website. When El-Erian talks, we should all listen.

In a recent article he raises serious doubts about the sustainability of the bull market in stocks because of reduced liquidity resulting from simultaneous policy tightening by the Fed, European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England.

He says stocks rose on a sea of liquidity and they may crash when that liquidity is removed. This is a warning to other elites, but it’s also a warning to you.

Their actions are quite telling as well. Sovereign wealth funds, which are largely funded and owned by powerful governments to invest in domestic industries, are jumping ship.

Among sovereign wealth funds, the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) is one of the largest, with over $354 billion in assets. So what does the head of GIC say about markets today?

Lim Chow Kiat, CEO of GIC, warns that “valuations are stretched, policy uncertainty is high” and investors are being too complacent.

GIC allocates 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of its assets to cash or highly liquid bonds and only 27{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of its assets to developed economy equities.

Meanwhile, the typical American small retail investor probably has 60{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} or more of her 401(k) in developed economy equities, mostly U.S.

In other words, the investment arms of wealthy nations are pulling out of the stock market and out of companies in their own economies (developed economy equities), and putting their money into assets that can be quickly turned into cash. It’s practically an admission by the elites, that they think the economy is completely unstable.

But this is just the latest warning sign that the elites are getting nervous. Corporate executives have been selling their stocks at an unprecedented rate for several months. Meanwhile, ordinary people are still placing their faith and their bets on a stock market that most experts agree is completely unsustainable.

It Just Doesn’t Let Up with Wells Fargo

0

New scandal: another 570,000 (800,000?) customers become victims.

Wells Fargo — “a community-based financial services company,” as it says — revealed late Thursday, after it learned that The New Times would blow its cover, that it  had wrongfully charged 570,000 of its auto-loan customers for comprehensive and physical damage insurance (CPI) since 2012 though they already had their own insurance.

“In response to customer concerns,” Wells Fargo became aware of this issue in July 2016. It initiated a review of the “CPI program” — as it calls this profit center — “and related third-party vendor practices,” namely those of the insurance supplier National General. In September 2016, “based on the initial findings,” it scuttled its “CPI program.” It then hired a consulting firm to figure out what was going on. 

The consequences were profound. The added insurance premium raised the car payment. If the increase was $50 per month on a particular vehicle, the total amount of additional money extracted from that customer over the duration of a six-year loan would be $3,600. Since many of these auto loans were set up on automatic payment on the customers’ accounts at Wells Fargo, these additional monthly amounts eventually drained the bank accounts and caused them to be overdrawn.

Victims who checked their accounts and found the larger payments and raised a ruckus were refunded the money. But many people didn’t check.

These wrongful CPI premiums “contributed to a default that led to their vehicle’s repossession,” the bank said. Their credit was ruined and “approximately 20,000 customers” might have lost their vehicle.

To drive the nail into the flesh more deeply, the bank then extracted insufficient funds fees, late fees, and other fees from its victims’ accounts which pushed them into default even faster. With this strategy, Wells Fargo caused all kinds of other mayhem in their lives as these folks lost their transportation to get to work, pick up their kids, or go to the grocery store.

The bank said that it is “extremely sorry for any harm this caused our customers….”

Wells Fargo said it already began issuing reimbursements to “some customers” as a disaster mitigation strategy before this blows up any further, as the other Wells Fargo scandals have. The rest of the victims will get letters and checks starting in August. In total, Wells Fargo will issue $80 million in reimbursements.

This is how the press release revealed the numbers (the numbers revealed by the New York Times, based on the leaked report by the consultants, are much worse – more on that in a moment):

Approximately 490,000 customers had CPI placed for some or all of the time they had adequate vehicle insurance coverage of their own. We refunded the premium and interest for the duplicative coverage at the time the customer made us aware of their other insurance. These customers will receive additional refunds of certain fees and some additional interest. Refunds for this group total approximately $25 million.

In five states that have specific notification and disclosure requirements, approximately 60,000 customers did not receive complete disclosures from our vendor as required prior to CPI placement. In these cases, even if CPI was required, customers will receive a refund including premiums, fees and interest. Refunds for this group total approximately $39 million.

For approximately 20,000 customers, the additional costs of the CPI could have contributed to a default that resulted in the repossession of their vehicle. Those customers will receive additional payments as compensation for the loss of their vehicle. The payment amount will depend on each customer’s situation and also will include payment above and beyond the actual financial harm as an expression of our regret for the situation. Refunds for this group total approximately $16 million.

For each of these categories, Wells Fargo will also work with the credit bureaus to correct customers’ credit records, if applicable.

These Well Fargo victims come on top of the victims of the 2.1 million fake accounts that bank employees had opened in their customers’ names. The bank paid $185 million in fines last September. It settled a class-action suit for $142 million. Chairman and CEO John Stumpf was deposed. A slew of low-level order-followers were fired. Some mid-level managers got axed. A number of federal and state investigations are still pending.

 

 

Keiser Report: Wall Street’s ‘Dean of Valuation’ (E1103)

by RT

In the second half Max interviews legendary investor, Jim Rogers, about China and Germany stepping up to lead the world as the U.S. retreats. They also discuss China’s One Belt, One Road policy and bitcoin as disruptors to U.S. hegemonic power.

What Should Be Done To RINOs Like John McCain That Betray Us Over And Over Again?

0

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog

By destroying the last chance that the Republicans in the Senate had to repeal Obamacare, John McCain has ensured that he will go down in history as a backstabbing traitor that cared nothing for true conservative values.  For decades, RINOs like McCain have promised to uphold conservative values while campaigning, but once they have gotten into office they have betrayed us over and over again.  How much more are we going to take before we say enough is enough?  I hope that you will join me in my effort to remove every RINO from Congress.  What John McCain has just done should make all of us absolutely sick.  Thanks to him, Obamacare is going to remain the law of the land for the foreseeable future even though the Republicans have control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  If I go to Washington, I am going to declare war on RINOs like McCain, but the only way that will be possible is if thousands of good conservatives help fund this campaign.  So far my campaign has created an enormous amount of buzz all over the state, but the only way that we are going to be able to capitalize on all of that buzz is if you all stand with me.

If what John McCain did on Friday does not make you angry, I am not sure what will.  Together with Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, McCain killed the very last chance of repealing Obamacare in the Senate.  The following comes from the Washington Post

A convergence of contentious issues, as well as embarrassing infighting and shake-ups at the White House, have a number of Republicans suddenly in open resistance to President Trump on a number of fronts.

The most dramatic moment came in the early-morning hours Friday, when Sen. John McCain, an ailing war hero and onetime Republican presidential standard-bearer, joined two other GOP dissidents, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, to cast the deciding vote to kill a scaled-back plan to dismantle tenets of the Affordable Care Act — and with it, perhaps, Trump’s promise to repeal Obamacare.

McCain had specifically campaigned on repealing Obamacare in 2010 and in 2016.  In fact, just last year he was running campaign ads in which he boldly proclaimed that he was “leading the fight to stop Obamacare”.

Now he has done this.

And it was quite a dramatic moment when he finally cast his vote.  Some even believe that it is going to go down as the most famous “thumbs-down” in Senate history

The clerk read the Arizona senator’s surname in the microphone of the tense Senate chamber. The two words were met with silence — John McCain had stepped out of the room minutes before.

But moments later, he reappeared. By then, the alphabetical roll call had reached Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan. McCain walked over to the front of the chamber, raising his right arm. He held it up in the air until he had the attention of the clerk.

“No,” he said, with a swift thumbs-down.

In response, we need to give our own “thumbs-down” to every RINO on the federal, state and local levels all around the country.

If you are sick and tried of RINOs like McCain, then I would like to ask for your support.  My team has set up a brand new website called Help Michael Win where you can help us raise $3,000 to print more than 20,000 brochures.  We have volunteers that are ready to get brochures into the hands of potential voters, but the only way that we can do this is if the funding comes in.  If 300 of you were to donate just 10 dollars each, we will be able to meet our goal.

But if we all sit back and do nothing, RINOs such as McCain will continue to rule Washington.  Just before he cast his decisive vote, McCain actually went over to the Democrats to tell them what he was about to do.  The following comes from the Washington Post

Shuffling across the chamber, Mr. McCain convened with Democrats, informing them of his choice. “They can read my lips,” he said to laughs, fearing his hand would be tipped ahead of time from inside the gallery.

At one point, the senator joined Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski, telling them they had done the right thing.

“We talked about how if anyone knew about doing the right thing it was John McCain,” Ms. Collins recalled. “It was very moving.”

I am the only candidate in this race that is openly going to go to war with McCain and others like him in Congress.

Since there is no incumbent, my race is totally wide open, and it will ultimately be decided by the enthusiasm of people like you.  If everyone in my district that is familiar with my work ends up voting for me in the Republican primary next May, I will win and it won’t even be close.

I am so tired of just sitting back and doing nothing while RINOs like McCain slap us in the face over and over again, and other conservative authors feel the exact same way.  Here is just one example

“For American voters expecting their Republican-dominated House, Senate and White House to honor their years of repeal promises and actually, well, repeal Obamacare, McCain’s thumbs-down was a face-slap moment that will be remembered in history as a textbook classic case of political betrayal. McCain may feel liberated. But his name will go down in conservative history books as a traitor to the cause.”

Greg Hunter – Weekly News Wrap-Up 7.28.17

0

by Greg Hunter

Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up. 

Andrew Hoffman – Will Yellen Keep Her Job?

by Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network: What’s Really Happening Wednesdays with Andrew Hoffman:

Whirlybird Janet in focus, one week after here “ding dong, the Fed is dead” speech
The “Holy Grail of Bullish Silver Statistics”
Historic market overvaluation, and complacency
Crypto-currency update – “Bitcoin SegWit Activation – the Gold Cartel’s Worst Nightmare”
Etc., etc.

Click HERE to Listen

Jim Rogers: The Dollar Will CRASH! – Cashless Society Means The Government OWNS Us!

from World Alternative Media:

Josh Sigurdson sits down with investment legend and author Jim Rogers to talk about the inevitable dollar crash. Rogers breaks down why the dollar will crash, the delusion of central bankers and the horrific technocratic control of a centrally planned cashless society. Jim Rogers has been correctly predicting trends for decades and will always tell you, “Don’t listen to me, do your own research!” which is always important as so many will sooner listen to noise than actual ensure their own financial stability and wealth insurance themselves. With that said, Jim Rogers gives the viewer a look at how he invests and keeps his money safe.

Washington Signs Its Own Death Warrant: New Russia Sanctions Will Ensure the End of US Dollar Dominance

0

from Russia Insider: An astonishingly daft bill is now sitting on Donald Trump’s desk in the Oval Office—and signing it will all but guarantee the downfall of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Last night the US Senate almost unanimously approved the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. Hailed by beacons of misery such as John McCain, the legislation is meant to punish Russia for all of its alleged election meddling.

In reality, by targeting Russia’s energy sector, the bill will instead compel Washington’s European vassals to abandon mutually beneficial energy cooperation with Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow will be free to solidify long-term economic and security cooperation with Beijing.

In other words: Washington is now insisting that Russia and China team up. Could anything be more short-sighted and self-defeating?

A few points:
1. To quote Max Keiser, “The so-called Washington consensus is disintegrating“:

The post-WWII order of the US dollar hegemony run out of Washington DC, the so-called Washington consensus – is disintegrating, it is falling apart. The US doesn’t seem to want to take on reality – they want to live in the past, and they want to believe they are the policeman of the world, and they are going to impose sanctions.

Germany is not going to go along with American sanctions quite obviously. They are just pushing Germany into the arms of Russia. Then you’ve got an enormous axis of power to Germany, Russia, and China, and they are going to get out of the US dollar. So then gasoline in America suddenly goes to $10, 11, 12 a gallon. How is that going to help the American economy if the US dollar loses its position as a reserve currency?

2. Beijing has absolutely no obligation to honor US sanctions against Russia. On the contrary, China is likely to accelerate cooperation with Russia in the area of energy.

As the Global Times puts it:

The bill passed by the US House of Representatives, which targets Russian energy companies, banks, and individuals, is likely to reduce Russia’s share in the global energy market, especially in the US and EU. Beijing has no obligation to support US sanctions on Russia. Actually, China is likely to continue to tap the potential of cooperation with Russia in the area of energy.

The energy sector is a strategic pillar of the Russian economy, which may take a new blow from the US sanctions. However, an economic breakdown in close proximity is not in line with the interests of China. If there is economic chaos in Russia, China may need to consider a financial bailout for Russia to help the country address its problems caused by the US sanctions. Economic chaos caused by the US sanctions is only a “worst-case scenario” with a very low probability. The political and economic realities of a multi-polar world have reduced US power over international affairs. The most likely outcome is that Russia will remain a superpower whose overall influence may wane but is never genuinely challenged.
And the cherry on top: Cutting Russia’s energy sector off from the west will likely “expand the currency swap between the ruble and the yuan.”

3. If Trump doesn’t veto, you can kiss rapprochement goodbye—probably forever

Kommersant is reporting that if the sanctions are approved, Russia will retaliate:

35 diplomats expelled and all diplomatic mansions seized

ALL US IT companies banned

all US agricultural products banned

Stop exporting titanium to Boeing (30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of their titanium comes from Russia)

So this is it. We’re just a stroke of a pen away from basically ensuring that China and Russia are joined at the hip; Europe will eventually mutiny against Washington’s insane, suicidal dictates—and ordinary Americans will be left scratching their heads, wondering what went wrong.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

DNC IT STAFFERS AWAN BROTHERS THREATENED KIDNAPPINGS FOR CASH

0

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit: Former IT staffer Imran Awan allegedly threatened to have his stepmother’s Pakistani relatives kidnapped if she talked to U.S. law enforcement authorities, according to court documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

Luke Rosiak of The Daily Caller reported:

“Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police again, [he] will … kidnap my family members back in Pakistan,” Awan’s stepmother, Samina Gilani, claimed in the documents filed April 14 in Fairfax County, Va., in the case of Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company v. Abid A. Awan and Samina Ashraf Gilani.

“Imran Awan did admit to me that my phone is tapped and there are devices installed in my house,” including one Gilani claimed in the court filing to have seen “behind the printer.” She also claimed Imran Awan represents himself in Pakistan as a powerful person in Congress and is given police escorts when he spends time in the country.

Imran Awan also attempted to make himself the beneficiary of a life insurance policy instead of his step-mother, Gilani. According to The Daily Caller:

The form’s required witness signature was blank, and it was rejected. A week later, Abid re-submitted it but with a notary’s seal.

A police report shows that in January 2017, Gilani called Fairfax police claiming her stepsons refused to let her see her dying husband in his final moments. Police said Abid angrily waved an unsigned power-of-attorney document at an officer and refused to give Shah’s location.

Shah died of cancer Jan. 16 and Americo received a claim on Feb. 2 for the $50,000 to be paid to Abid. Americo told the court it also received a letter from Gilani contending the “beneficiary changes to the policy were procured through fraud.”

Americo said it “cannot safely determine who is rightfully entitled to the policy proceeds” and asked the court to resolve the issue.

The Daily Caller has written nearly two dozen investigative reports on the Awan brothers yet their attorneys continue to blame ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’ for the ongoing police investigation.

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

Governments And Corporations Can Unleash Deadly Weapons On Our Population: “Our Greatest Danger Is Denial That Such Things Are Possible”

by Jeremiah Johnson, SHTF Plan: Last week the first 1 million mosquitoes of a planned 20 million to be turned loose were released in Fresno County, California. The word “released” may very well be interchangeable with “unleashed,” as the insects (males) were infected with the Wolbachia bacterium prior to their release. The objective is to release these male insects (allegedly producing no viable offspring when carrying the bacterium) into the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the primary culprit for mosquitoes that torment man.

No big deal, right? I mean, no possible harm could be rendered with this, right? The article, To Shrink Mosquito Population, Scientists Are Releasing 20 Million Mosquitoes, from July 21, 2017 by James Doubek bears reading. Here’s an excerpt:

The project is called Debug Fresno and it’s being undertaken by Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s holding company. It’s the company’s first field study involving sterile mosquitoes in the U.S.

Some of the article’s information stems from data released by The Scientist magazine, and one of their blurbs is also interesting:

The magazine says the bacterium [Wolbachia] ‘is not known’ to infect humans.

“Not known to infect humans” is really comforting, is it not? The company Verily also highlighted some of its newfound and wonderful capabilities, as noted here:

Verily says it developed ‘automated mass rearing and sex-sorting processes,’ which enable it to breed and release so many of the mosquitoes in such a short time.

That’s great: A downstream “subsidiary” company of Google, owned by Zuckerberg and in bed with the NSA would never think of either releasing anything that was known to be harmful or tailor their industries to produce something that was harmful. At least whatever they release can be released in a short time. In this manner, if a distraction or false flag is needed by The-Powers-That-Be, it can be concocted and implemented in a short time. It’s all good, and whatever happens will be either forgotten by the public or blamed on something else.

Another recent article appeared last week, entitled Off-the-shelf DNA can be used to manufacture biological weapons, stunned scientists discover, by Russel Davis, released on 7/19/17. According to this article, Canadian researchers in Alberta have successfully created a new virus called horsepox with similar characteristics of smallpox.

Really, now? With the characteristics of smallpox? The world battled smallpox in every corner of the globe to eradicate it, and the only known specimens are within government labs, ostensibly labeled as “experimental material,” although in truth, they are stockpiled for weaponization. An excerpt from the article by Davis makes this point quite clearly:

A number of science experts expressed concerns about the latest breakthrough, raising the alarm about the potential harm it can bring to the general public. According to outside experts, horsepox in itself may not be harmful to humans. However, the technique used to create the virus may play to the advantage of terrorists and may result in the development of biological weapons.

“Bringing back an extinct virus that is related to smallpox, that’s a pretty inflammatory situation. There is always an experiment or event that triggers closer scrutiny, and this sound like it should be one of those events where the authorities start thinking about what should be regulated,” said Paul Keim, an expert in bioweapons at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Peter Jahrling, a virologist at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expressed a similar concern. According to Jahrling, the technique can be easily replicated by well-equipped vehicles. If the technique falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to synthesize otherwise disastrous viruses, Jahrling added.”

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

THE WAR FOR TRUTH: House Judiciary Demands Special Counsel To Investigate Comey, Lynch, And Clinton

from Zero Hedge: Roughly a month ago, we noted that Republicans might be well served to stop sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the next Russia ‘bombshell’ to drop and actually go on the offensive against an ‘investigation’ that has obviously morphed into mass hysteria courtesy of free-flowing leaks from a conflicted “intelligence community” intent upon bringing down a presidency rather than finding out the truth.  Here’s what we said:

Of course, until someone within the Trump administration or Republican Party smartens up and calls for the appointment of a ‘Special Counsel’ to look into Hillary’s email scandal, something that should have been done long ago, and not for retaliatory reasons but simply due to Comey’s and AG Lynch’s blatant mishandling of the investigation (a point which Deputy AG Rosenstein obviously agreed with), the Democrats have no reason to calm their mass hysteria.  Then, and only then, do we suspect that Hillary might just be able to ‘convince’ her party to exercise some form of reasonable judgement.

Well, it seems that some folks on the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), seem to agree.  As such, 20 Republican Representatives have sent a letter to Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein demanding the appointment of a Second Special Counsel to look into a laundry list of potential scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Loretta Lynch and many others from the Obama administration.

We are writing to you to request assistance in restoring public confidence in our nation’s justice system and its investigators, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While we presume that the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence has been subsumed into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, we are not confident that other matters related to the 2016 election and aftermath are similarly under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. The unbalanced, uncertain, and seemingly unlimited focus of the special counsel’s investigation has led many of our constituents to see a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connected. For this reason, we call on you to appoint a second special counsel to investigate a plethora of matters connected to the 2016 election and its aftermath, including actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Many Democrats and members of the Washington media previously called for a “special prosecutor” to investigate Russian influence on the election and connections with the Trump campaign. Not surprisingly, once you actually made the decision to appoint a special counsel, the calls for further investigations by congressional committees continued, focused on allegations that have heretofore produced no evidence of criminality, despite the fact that over a year has passed since the opening of the original FBI investigation. Political gamesmanship continues to saturate anything and everything associated with reactions to President Trump’s executive decisions, and reveals the hypocrisy of those who refuse to allow the Special Counsel’s investigation to proceed without undue political influence. It is an unfortunate state of affairs.

Among other things, the letter specifically highlights the inappropriate handling of the Clinton investigation by James Comey and efforts on the part of Loretta Lynch to obstruct justice in order to assist a political ally.

Your stated rationale for recommending Director Comey’s termination as FBI Director was his mishandling of former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation and associated public disclosures concerning the investigation’s findings. We believe this was the correct decision. It is clear that Director Comey contributed to the politicization of the FBI’s investigations by issuing his public statement, nominating himself as judge and jury, rather than permitting career DOJ prosecutors to make the final decision. But many other questions remain unanswered, due to Mr. Comey’s premature and inappropriate decision, as well as the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to respond to legitimate Congressional oversight. Last week, the Republican Members of this Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department, asking for responses to those unanswered inquiries. These questions cannot, for history’s sake and for the preservation of an impartial system of justice, be allowed to die on the vine.

As we referenced above, Democrats and the mainstream media called for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate any Russian influence on President Trump’s campaign. Their pleas were answered, but there are many questions that may be outside the scope of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. This was clear following Mr. Comey’s recent testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, which ignited renewed scrutiny of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the actions she took to mislead the public concerning the investigation into the Clinton email investigation.Last year, this Committee inquired repeatedly about the circumstances surrounding that and other matters, but our inquiries were largely ignored.

During his testimony, Mr. Comey referenced a meeting on the Phoenix airport tarmac between Ms. Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Comey raised concerns about Ms. Lynch’s conduct, and questioned her independence, stating:

At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.

And here is the full list of things the “Second Special Counsel” would be instructed to investigate:

1.  Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation;

2.  The shadow cast over our system of justice concerning Secretary Clinton and her involvement in mishandling classified information;

3.  FBI and DOJ’s investigative decisions related to former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation, including the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to potential Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, John Bentel and possibly others;

4.  The apparent failure of DOJ to empanel a grand jury to investigate allegations of mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her associates;

5.  The Department of State and its employees’ involvement in determining which communications of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates to turn over for public scrutiny;

6.  WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the Clinton Foundation and its potentially unlawful international dealings;

7.  Connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russia and Ukraine;

8.  Mr. Comey’s knowledge of the purchase of Uranium One by the company Rosatom, whether the approval of the sale was connected to any donations made to the Clinton Foundation, and what role Secretary Clinton played in the approval of that sale that had national security ramifications;

9.  Disclosures arising from unlawful access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems, including inappropriate collusion between the DNC and the Clinton campaign to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign;

10.  Post-election accusations by the President that he was wiretapped by the previous Administration, and whether Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch had any knowledge of efforts made by any federal agency to unlawfully monitor communications of then-candidate Trump or his associates;

11.  Selected leaks of classified information related to the unmasking of U.S. person identities incidentally collected upon by the intelligence community, including an assessment of whether anyone in the Obama Administration, including Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Susan Rice, Ms. Samantha Power, or others, had any knowledge about the “unmasking” of individuals on then candidate-Trump’s campaign team, transition team, or both;

12.  Admitted leaks by Mr. Comey to Columbia University law professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations between Mr. Comey and President Trump, how the leaked information was purposefully released to lead to the appointment of a special counsel, and whether any classified information was included in the now infamous “Comey memos”;

13.  Mr. Comey’s and the FBI’s apparent reliance on “Fusion GPS” in its investigation of the Trump campaign, including the company’s creation of a “dossier” of information about Mr. Trump, that dossier’s commission and dissemination in the months before and after the 2016 election, whether the FBI paid anyone connected to the dossier, and the intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any person or company working for Fusion GPS and its affiliates; and

14.  Any and all potential leaks originated by Mr. Comey and provide to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.

Seems the gauntlet has officially been thrown down…what say you Mr. Sessions?

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

The U.S. Empire Continues to Stumble Towards Ruin

0

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg: There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation.

Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author,—its promulgator,—its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. For his crime he must endure the severest penalties hereafter, even if he avoid the usual misfortunes of the present life.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

There’s been a lot going on this week, so it’s unsurprising that an extremely important vote in Congress failed to get the attention it deserves. What I’m referring to is the recent Russia/Iran/North Korea sanctions bill passed by the House of Representatives in a frighteningly lopsided 419-3 vote.

Let’s turn to Bloomberg for a quick analysis on the Russian reaction:

Russia threatened to retaliate against new sanctions passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, saying they made it all but impossible to achieve the Trump administration’s goal of improved relations.

The measures push U.S.-Russia ties into uncharted territory and “don’t leave room for the normalization of relations” in the foreseeable future, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday, according to the Interfax news service.

Hope “is dying” for improved relations because the scale of “the anti-Russian consensus in Congress makes dialogue impossible and for a long time,” Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said on Facebook. Russia should prepare a response to the sanctions that’s “painful for the Americans,” he said.

The bill, passed by a vote of 419-3 on Tuesday, would strengthen sanctions against Russia less than three weeks after President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held their first official meeting at the Group of 20 summit. The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would let Congress block any effort by Trump to unilaterally weaken sanctions imposed under the Obama administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections and its support for separatists in Ukraine. The White House has sent mixed signals about whether Trump will sign the bill.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday that senators want to examine North Korea sanctions added to the bill by the House. If senators insist on changes to the bill, passage could be delayed, possibly until September, when lawmakers return from a recess.

“We all want this to become law before we leave here for the recess,” Corker told reporters in Washington. He added: “The White House doesn’t like this bill. The State Department doesn’t like this bill. This bill is going to become law, OK.

The sanctions are “pretty sad from the viewpoint of Russian-American relations and prospects for developing them, and no less depressing from the perspective of international law and international trade,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday on a conference call. Putin will decide on a response if the bill becomes law, he said.

Trump will sign the law because “he’s a prisoner of Congress and anti-Russian hysteria,” Alexei Pushkov, a senator in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said on Twitter. The sanctions are “a new stage of confrontation,” he said.

Russia has prepared “economic and political measures that will be adopted if the Senate and Trump support the bill,” said Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house, the RIA Novosti news service reported. Relations with the U.S. “are at such a low level that we have nothing to lose” by retaliating, he said.

To summarize, the entire House of Representatives other than three Republicans, Justin Amash of Michigan, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and John Duncan of Tennessee, voted for this thing. Not a single Democrat voted against the sanctions.

We supposedly live in a “representative democracy,” but 99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of our so-called representatives voted for this bill. Does this really represent the will of 99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the public? These are the kind of numbers you’d expect to see in totalitarian states, and the ironic thing is the vote was driven by a desire to put a stop to supposedly fascist Trump. We’ve got much bigger problems than Trump.

Michael Tracey put it perfectly on Twitter earlier today:

The complete conformity of views in the political/media class re: sanctions — virtually no dissent at all — should be a major warning sign

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 26, 2017

As troubling as the bill is for relations with nuclear armed Russia where tensions are already high, the response from European allies is arguably more concerning.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com