by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall St On Parade:
Wall Street is losing its bedtime snuggly and comfort blanket in the White House. After a tortuous 14 months replete with crazy tweets from the President, Russia-probe indictments and guilty pleas, failure to talk Trump out of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, revelations of hush money paid to a porn star by Trump’s personal attorney, and news of Trump campaign aides’ murky meetings with Putin operatives, Gary Cohn has finally called it quits over tariffs.
It’s not like Cohn, the former President of Goldman Sachs who became President Donald Trump’s first Director of the National Economic Council, didn’t understand Trump’s obsessive demand for loyalty. Cohn has watched for more than a year as those who didn’t show adequate subservience to the President were shown the door. In the case of the former FBI Director James Comey, he was not only fired by Trump but was then savagely ridiculed by the President as a “nut job” and a “grandstander.”
So Cohn had to know that when he mounted his own counter-offensive to the President’s tariff plan that he was in serious breach of the loyalty code enforced above all else by the leader of the “free” world.
The stock market’s reaction on Thursday, March 1 to the tariff announcement by Trump was to sell off by as much as 586 points before closing down 420. Trump then sent his pro-tariff advisers, Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, off to the airwaves to knock down concerns raised by his own party that the plan would trigger damaging trade wars against the United States.
Cohn then did the unthinkable. He effectively assembled his own team of anti-tariff executives to hold a meeting with the President to change his mind on following through with his plan to impose the tariffs on steel and aluminum, even with countries like Canada, Mexico and the European Union, who are U.S. allies. Cohn’s plan was for executives from automakers and beverage manufacturers who are heavy users of imported steel and aluminum and would be hurt by the tariffs, to meet with Trump tomorrow at the White House to make their strong counter arguments.
The unwritten loyalty oath clearly does not permit counter-offensives against the iron-will of the President. By last night, Cohn was out and the Thursday meeting he had planned was cancelled by the White House.
There is the possibility that Trump may have been goaded by negative television ads into his abrupt decision to move ahead with the tariffs. Just days before Trump made his tariff announcement on March 1, the Alliance for American Manufacturing began running a TV ad shaming the President for his unfulfilled campaign promises. The advertisement states:
“We heard the promises. Now it’s time for action. President Trump, America’s workers are counting on you to protect our jobs and to defend our national security. It’s time to keep the promise and to protect American Steel.”
After the news broke last evening after the stock market closed that Cohn would join an unprecedented exodus from the Trump administration, Dow futures were down more than 350 points. After about one minute of trading this morning, the Dow is down 309 points.
The name currently being circulated by the media as a potential replacement for Cohn is Larry Kudlow, a CNBC commentator with libertarian leanings. In 2011, Wall Street On Parade wrote about Kudlow’s conflicts with the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit heavily linked to funding by the billionaire Koch brothers. We wrote:
“One of those freedoms most treasured by the Koch brothers is their ability to see a research study done by one of their funded economics departments, then have its dubious data quoted from the mouth of a funded ‘news’ celebrity. From 2002 through 2006, the Koch funded Mercatus Center paid Lawrence Kudlow, a CNBC co-host and later host of his own show, ‘The Kudlow Report,’ a total of $332,500 through his consulting arm, Kudlow & Co. LLC. I obtained the information from public filings Mercatus made with the IRS. It is not known if the Mercatus Center continued to pay Kudlow after 2006. The Mercatus tax filings show $3.1 million paid in a line item called ‘honoraria’ from 2001 through 2007. Emails and phone calls to Kudlow, the CNBC legal department, and three communications executives of both CNBC and NBC/Universal were met with silence, despite a week’s lead time to respond.
“The Center for Public Integrity had this to say about the Mercatus Center in 2006:
“In 2005, Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, whose office has accepted 19 trips from Mercatus — more than any other — introduced a bill to amend the Clean Air Act and require the secretary of energy to construct 15 new gasoline refineries and sell them to private businesses. Mercatus has sought to weaken the act and spoken of the need for more refineries — both scenarios that could benefit Koch Industries.
“ ‘Neither the congressman nor his staff has ever had a single conversation with anyone from Mercatus about that bill,’ said Brian Walsh, communications director for Ney. ‘He introduced that bill to reduce America’s dependence on foreign countries for oil. We have not had a new refinery built in this country in over 20 years.’
“Mercatus spent at least $227,000 on more than 400 trips for lawmakers and their aides from 2000 through mid-2005. Most of this money appears to have been spent on the group’s annual retreat for congressional chiefs of staff, who are often put up in posh hotels near Washington and attend seminars on public policy.
“While Congress is in session Mercatus also conducts regular seminars in congressional office buildings, where staffers are offered free meals and given lectures on issues such as health care, telecommunications regulation and tort reform.
“ ‘There is no conceivable argument of why this group has not registered to lobby. They have met the threshold that makes them a lobbying group,’ said [Craig] Holman of Public Citizen… ‘The Mercatus Center does not engage in lobbying,’ Carrie Conko, the organization’s communications director, said in a written statement for this story.”
Read More @ WallStOnParade.com
by Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital:
With his announcement last week of broad tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, President Trump launched what could be the first salvo of an all-out global trade war. Seemingly itching for a fight, he gleefully tweeted that “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” It seems like Trump thinks the conflict will play out much like Ronald Reagan’s 1983 week-long invasion of Grenada rather than the more telling quagmires that unfolded in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s wrong.
Apart from overestimating America’s bargaining position, Trump and his supporters grossly misunderstand the nature of international trade and how Americans have benefited from a system that has allowed us to continually consume foreign goods on credit. While this “benefit” has also placed a cost on domestic industries, I don’t believe that Trump has any idea how a trade war can reduce current American living standards.
As justification for his surprise offensive, Trump likes to highlight how America’s gargantuan annual trade deficit (which has grown to more than $600 billion during his presidency) is simply the yardstick by which “stupid” American trade policies are subsidizing foreign economies. In his mind tariffs are just a means to take back what we have foolishly given away. As Trump explained via Twitter “ When we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore – we win big.” But does a country with a trade deficit really subsidize the country with the surplus? Or is it the other way around?
Let’s suppose you keep chickens at home, and your neighbor has a cow. Everyday you trade a half dozen eggs for a quart of milk. This is the nature of trade. You offer something that you have in abundance (that other people don’t) for something that someone else has in abundance (that you don’t). But let’s suppose you eat a few of your chickens and your egg production drops to four per day. You continue to get your quart of milk, but everyday your neighbor adds two eggs to the account that you owe. Theoretically, you will one day owe your neighbor a whole bunch of eggs. But, in the meantime, does that two-egg deficit represent a benefit to you or your neighbor? Remember your neighbor still has to deliver the same amount of milk for less of a current payoff. He MAY get that deferred compensation down the road, but he’s not getting it now. And with every egg you go into the hole, the greater the chances that your neighbor may ultimately get stiffed.
Who is likely to be worse off if this trade were to suddenly stop? Remember, you are not the only potential trading partner available to your neighbor. Maybe the house across the street will give him six eggs for his milk?
The eggs/milk deficit that you have with your neighbor allows you to consume more than your production capacity would typically allow. While this is a definite benefit to you now, it does dissuade you from making the sacrifices necessary to increase your egg production. Your own industry atrophies while your neighbor’s doesn’t. But so what? You still get all the milk you need.
The point of an economy is to maximize consumption. Since goods cannot be consumed that have not been produced, it goes without saying that production is a necessary precondition to consuming. But, if given the choice, most people would be happy to outsource the production to someone else and concentrate solely on the consumption. But in the real world such an arrangement is untenable over the long term.
Of course your milk/eggs trade arrangement will be a problem if your neighbor cuts off your credit and demands full payment. Then you are stuck with a big debt, reduced egg production, and no milk. But, for America, that day has yet to come. For now, our trading partners are happy to take our debt rather than our goods. But if Trump starts making more unreasonable demands, they may not be so willing.
It’s helpful to remember that a tariff is essentially a tax that will be paid by domestic consumers. It’s not like American producers will keep prices where they are and simply manufacture more steel to make up for the lost imports. Instead, prices will likely rise to almost the same level as the taxed imported products. Profits at American steel companies will increase, but production probably won’t.
The manufacturers will know that the artificial political barrier protecting them could be removed at any time. Will they take the risk in investing in plant and equipment capacity when they know that removal of the tariffs would instantly eliminate their advantages and expose them to losses? Given the thin support that such tariffs will have beyond the narrow steel industry, it’s safe to assume that current manufacturers will stand pat and use the extra profits to issue dividends and buy back shares. To a lesser extent, they may increase wages for the nation’s 140,000 steel workers. But this industry-specific benefit will come at a great cost to the overall economy.
Raising the cost of steel would also raise the cost of every American product manufactured with steel. Right now the discussion is focused on beer cans, with people arguing about how many cents per soup can the tariffs will add. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The real impact will be seen for metal-intensive items that are manufactured both here and abroad.
While the Trump tariffs will directly raise the price of imported steel (and indirectly the price of domestic steel), it does nothing about the price of goods made FROM steel. So a domestic manufacturer of home appliances, such as Whirlpool, will have to pay more for steel used to make a refrigerator. But its foreign competitors will be able make refrigerators with untaxed steel and then ship the finished product to the U.S. without facing a tariff. This will give the foreign firm a competitive advantage over Whirlpool both at home and abroad. Whirlpool will shed profits and may shed workers. So whatever advantages are given to steel manufacturers will be paid for by companies and workers that use steel. The problem for Trump is that there are only 140,000 domestic workers in the steel-making industry, but more than six million workers in industries that make stuff FROM steel. (American Iron & Steel Institute)
Trump’s gambit is also politically ham-fisted. He likes to say that his tariffs are aimed at bad actors like China. But that country is far down the list of steel exporters to America. The move really hits our close allies first, particularly Canada, a country that accounts for 16% of our steel imports, according to a December 2017 report from the Dept. of Commerce. But 50% of U.S. steel exports GO to Canada. Total cross-border trade between the U.S. and Canada in 2016 came in at more than $600 billion annually, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. That’s a very big applecart to push over for a comparatively small gain.
Potentially even more dangerous is the way the tariffs will be implemented. By absurdly claiming that they are being done in the interest of “national security” rather than economic advantage, the Trump administration is inviting embarrassing losses at the World Trade Organization, which combined with a rapidly deteriorating diplomatic environment could further isolate the U.S economically.
The big problem is where it all ends. Already major voices in the European Union (particularly from Germany) have threatened retaliatory tariffs on politically and symbolically sensitive American exports like bourbon, blue jeans, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Trump has threatened to tax European cars, if the EU follows through on those threats. Given the personalities involved, and the national pride at stake, it’s not hard to see that this tit-for-tat could escalate quickly and lead to a full-blown trade war on multiple fronts.
But this is not a war we can win. A decline in imports will force us to rely on our own production to meet all of our consumption. But we no longer make large categories of products that we consume. Even if we were to be able to ramp up production quickly, American consumers would be looking at much higher prices. With plenty of indications that inflation is already starting to percolate, now is not a time to go out looking for more.
Read More @ EuroPac.net
from True Pundit:
In an interview Thursday with David Wright for ABC’s “Nightline,” country music icon Dolly Parton had to stand her ground when things took a political turn.
Wright began the interview by bringing up Parton’s role in the classic 1980’s Hollywood film “9 to 5,” suggesting President Donald Trump was similar to the sexist boss in the movie.
The interviewer went on to label the president as the “face of the 21st Century” when it came to misogyny, and played a clip of co-star Jane Fonda labeling her character’s boss as a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”
“The sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical portrayed so effectively in that movie by actor Dabney Coleman hasn’t exactly disappeared from the culture,” Wright said. “We have a president of the United States who said the things on that bus.”
The comment by the Nightline host was in reference to the many accusations regarding sexual harassment and abuse allegedly at the hands of Trump, as well as the Access Hollywood tape from 2005 where Trump bragged about crude behavior towards women.
Read More @ TruePundit.com
from SGT Report.com:
I received this impassioned prose for the FIRST AMENDMENT (and against fascist Orwellian corporations) via email today form “luv”. Here it is:
— NOTICE —
To the principals, the executives, the operators, the stakeholders, of
Google, of YouTube, of Facebook, of Twitter, of CNN, and all others of
Your censorship is a heinous crime against all of humanity.
That you willfully rob humankind of free speech and free expression is an
act contemptible to all. You act to take advantage for your own gain, for
your own greed, at the expense of others. Some of you are sick to the
extent that you believe this acceptable. It is not!
You act as a parasite upon all of humanity. Your conduct is a shame to our
society, a disgrace to the love, and the energy, and the spirit of all
humankind, a threat to our world, and a detriment to our wellbeing as a
Your means are not welcome here. Be an honor to our world, not a disgrace
upon it. Be a lover of humanity, not a parasite within it.
And to all those supporting any entity as such, be they named here or not,
you know who you are, you are called upon to stop supporting them.
Your personal gain, by payroll or contract, by favor or graft, puts you
complicit in crime. If you assist knowingly or not makes no difference
because in this age the information is available. Ignorance (ignore-ance)
is no longer an excuse. Seek the truth and stand up for the truth.
Think critically and think for yourself instead of swallowing what some
political or corporate narrative tries to shove down your throat. Learn.
Look with your own eyes. Feel with your own heart. Stand up for your own
rights and your own freedoms. Stand for the rights and the freedoms of all
Those who seek to be your master and be your owner do not want you to have
truth. That is why you must stand against censorship. That is why you must
expose corruption. Stand in your power.
If you wish however to be a slave, keep doing what you are doing, keep
allowing what you are allowing, but know then, you are not only complicit
in the most heinous crimes against humanity, you also become cause. Think
about that because if the parasites that drain and rape our society,
physically, financially, and spiritually, if those parasites had no one to
do their bidding, they wouldn’t get too far, would they?
Censorship and propaganda are the enemies of truth and the enablers of
tyranny. STOP it!
Thank you again for taking the time to look at this. Keep up the ‘great
work’ and I leave you with an inspiring tidbit from yesterday …
Jerome Corsi 18.03.06 “Each of your voices matter and will be heard around
from Golden State Times:
12:55: “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda.”
Ed. Note: This is worth watching, jump to the 3-minute mark. It’s time to reign in the communist California state government.
from David Dees:
by Joseph P. Farrell, Giza Death Star:
As the reader might have gathered, I’ve been focused on space matters and “oribitally high octane speculation” this week, because the stories concerning space are just downright bizarre, and if one looks closely, one sees a pattern that “confirms” some of my high octane speculations of recent years. By way of a bit of context, some of those speculations have concerned themselves with what I argued in some of my books (Covert Wars and Breakaway Civilizations and Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations) is a completely hidden system of finance, set up after World War Two and entirely off the books, being used to fund exotic research projects with a UFO-space related theme. My argument has been that in the immediate aftermath of World War Two, with a growing “UFO problem” that the national security establishment would have wanted, and needed, a vast “mega-Manhattan Project” on steroids to research technologies that could give humanity a parity or near-parity performance capability to the UFOs that were confronting it, and demonstrating an ability to interfere with human defense systems, particularly nuclear and thermonuclear ones. Such a project would have required massive funding over a prolonged period of time, and hence the need for such a completely “hidden system of finance.”
Approaching this problem from a very different point of view, my friend and colleague Catherine Austin Fitts documented massive amounts of missing money in the federal budget – in the trillions of dollars – being created by a variety of wealth-harvesting schemes. The funds were so outrageous she concluded that the amount of money far exceeded any funding for merely covert operations, and had to be going to something much bigger, i.e., a secret space program. And both of us have entertained speculation that some of this money might simply be going – here it comes – off world in the form of some sort of tribute or tithe. In short, both of us have entertained the possibility that some sort of interplanetary commerce might be under way, and both of us have even entertained the idea that the emergence of crypto-currencies might be a component of this system.
Well, today’s article, shared by Mr. M.D., seems in the main to corroborate those suspicions to some degree:
Note the following:
Roman Koshlyak, a former Facebook software engineer and current CEO of Troider, an experimental content publishing platform, has created a petitionasking NASA, an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government, to “create Bitcoin wallets for Curiosity and Opportunity and put private keys on Mars.”
“Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission… since landing on August 6, 2012,” according to Wikipedia. Opportunity is much older, landing in 2002, but remains on Mars, undertaking explorations.
If the rovers are provided with a private key, sending bitcoins to that address would count as sending it to Mars with the first such transaction being a historical and culturally revolutionary event, for man would have, for the first time, sent money to outer space, from earth.
Accessing that money from Mars would be a different story. There are no humans on the planet and there is no internet in outer space. (Emphasis added)
And then there’s this:
If such colony is established, basic commerce would need to arise, requiring its own currency. A traditional bank account might work, but an internet connection to earth would be scarce. The limit is the speed of light. That takes between 6-44 minutes for a two-way communication, depending on the relationship between the orbits of Earth and Mars.
To overcome such limitations, Bitcoin and likewise digital currencies may be the initial means of value transfer between the two planets as it can be easily transported to earth or mars without requiring any intermediary. The Martians can create their own private wallets or coins, with keys hidden under laminated scratchable bars, without requiring advanced tampering technology or huge transfers of cash, thus fully facilitating commerce while rarely connecting to the bitcoin network. Eventually, they might simply create their own digital currency, tradable both on earth and Mars. (Emphasis added)
Now I’ve blogged before about the increasingly apparent lack of security and integrity in such systems, and this past week have even pointed out that scientists are concerned about “ET’s” potential ability to “hack Earth”. Is this nascent and emergent interplanetary commerce and financial system the center of their concerns? It would seem at least a feasible possibility (among many others).
But I’ve also blogged earlier this week about the plans to put a 4G mobile phone network on the Moon. Such, indeed, would be necessary for human presence on that planet, and if one is to “mine asteroids” and other celestial bodies, a similar means of interplanetary financial clearing and commerce will have to be built.
Read More @ GizaDeathStar.com
Senator: ‘Clinton’s Tentacles Go Everywhere’ From Dossier To Deep State In Manufactured Russia Probe
by Susan Duclos, All News Pipeline:
Every time a new report emerges regarding the Russia “Collusion” narrative the media has been shoving down Americans’ throats for the past year, following the trail always leads back to the Clinton’s, their allies or Deep State members of the Obama administration that actively tried to meddle in the U.S. election process to get Hillary Clinton elected.
Every. Single. Time.
In late December 2017, as the FBI/DOJ was being engulfed in in the growing “deep state” scandals, which included how the agencies senior officials used the unverified, Kremlin sourced, Steele dossier that was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, in order to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign member. It was later revealed that the intelligence members that used the dossier, did so without informing the FISA that 1) It was unverified, and; 2) That the Clinton campaign and DNC funded it.
Enter the NYT with a piece which attempted to distract from those scandals by claiming that the Russian inquiry began because George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy advisor for the Trump presidential campaign had drinks at a bar with an Australian diplomat in Britain, Alexander Downer, and told him that Russia had “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Two months later Wikileaks started publishing leaked emails from the DNC, then later the Podesta emails from Clinton’s campaign. That was when Australia passed along the Downer’s claims of what Papadopoulos said and voila! The Russian inquiry began…….. according to the NYT.
In December when that NYT piece came out there was enough holes in their “reporting” to drive trucks through, such as what proof did they have that Papadopoulos actually said anything of the kind? Were their recordings or a transcript? Nope, they admitted in their story “Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear.”
Another obvious question was whether the “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton that Russia was said to have, had anything to do with emails at all?
Did they name any source that could confirm or verify this narrative? Nope again, they claimed the information came from “four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.” Hmmmmmm. Were any of them those in the news since December, found to have been leaking to the press like FBI agent Peter Strzok, who played a key role in initiating the Russia probe as an “insurance policy” in case Donald Trump won the presidential election. Or FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whose texts with Strzok showed they liked to leak information to the press? Or former FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe who is now accused of approving leaks to the press and misleading Inspector General investigators?
The point here is that the NYT offered great click bait, but nothing they reported could be confirmed, which brings us to another assertion in that piece, that when looked at in light of the information that has just been revealed, has some very disturbing implications.
It was not, as Mr. Trump and other politicians have alleged, a dossier compiled by a former British spy hired by a rival campaign. Instead, it was firsthand information from one of America’s closest intelligence allies.
That is a reference to Australia, but where did Australia’s intelligence agency get that information? From Downer, which brings us to the blockbuster report by John Solomon and Alison Spann, who uncovered a huge Clinton connection with Downer. Documents embedded at The Hill article show that Mr. Downer arrange “one of the largest foreign donations to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable efforts,” to aid the Clinton Foundation. To the tune of $25 million. According to that same report, the FBI never informed congress of Downer’s connection to the Clinton Foundation.
“The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So, that’s why it’s important,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairman of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that has been taking an increasingly visible role defending the Trump administration in the Russia probe. “We continue to get new information every week it seems that sort of underscores the fact that the FBI hasn’t been square with us.”
Read the entire article at The Hill.
With this new revelation we see those Clinton tentacles are entwined with every aspect of the Russian investigation, from inception.
1) The Australian “source” of Papadopoulos’ alleged comments at the bar, was a Clinton Foundation ally.
2) Clinton campaign and DNC funded Steele dossier which was used in FISA applications to obtain warrants to surveil Carter Page, without telling the FISA court about the Clinton/DNC connection.
3) Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal exchanged information with former State Department official Jonathan Winer, who admits to consorting with Christopher Steele. Winer worked with the State Department from 2009 until 2017, resigning amidst the scandal that he was part of the Russia “insurance policy,” plot against President Trump. That means Winer was employed by the State Department while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
4) Strzok was behind the “insurance policy” (Russian probe), and via his texts with his lover FBI lawyer Lisa Page, both were virulently anti-Trump and pro-Clinton according to their own text messages. Strzok was also responsible to some key changes in the language of former FBI director James Comey’s exoneration statement of Clinton in the private server/email scandal, changing the term “grossly negligent,” which was the statutory language that would have led to legal consequences, to “extremely careless,” which helped her bypass charges.
Strzok also participated in the FBI interview with Michael Flynn, who was indicted as part of the Mueller probe, for lying to the FBI, in an interview struck was part of. Coincidence?
Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com