Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Grandma Yellen Pats Markets on the Head and Sends them off to Bed

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by David Haggith, The Great Recession Blog:

The sweet grande dame of the central bankster world sees nothing but the brightest future to the furthest horizons for the markets she has been nurturing with her benevolent “wealth effect,” as one of her close colleagues called it. While Grandpa Greenspan routinely warns now that stock and bond markets are in bubbles, Grandma Yellen says,

I don’t want to label what we’re seeing as a bubble. But I would say that asset valuations are generally elevated.… For the stock market, the ratio of price to earnings…is near the high end of its historical range. If we look at for example of commercial real estate and other assets, we’re seeing high valuations.

In other words, we should really be calling it the “everything bubble” where stocks, real estate and “other assets” (such as bonds) are all at the top their curves. But that should be no concern; and, of course, she would not label any of these things as “bubbles” because the would mean she has presided over years of creating an empty world full of financial troubles.

“Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble” would, however, be the best words to describe Yellen’s policy and what is to come out of it. Those might be the words she was incanting over this market brew in the basement of the Fed’s Eccles building, but they are not words you would ever hear the ex-chief central bankster saying in public right as she leaves office. Only historic bankster barons like Greenspan dare invoke the word “bubble” when speaking of what others have created.

Beware this lady’s matzo ball soup. It was cooked in a caldron, and is being served by a cracker. A nice cracker, but a cracker all the same. And, with a cracker, comes the crunch, which is what we  all felt this week.

Yelled demurred on her exit interview Friday that she would have liked to have a longer stay in the top office of the Eccles building.

I would have liked to serve an additional term and I did make that clear, so I will say I was disappointed not to be reappointed. I think things are looking very strong.

“Looking very strong,” she said, as the Dow saluted her exit with a 666-point backward flop on her way out the door, having convulsed the entire week over a mere upward blip the Fed caused in long-term interest rates. Dow futures are pointing down another 744 points beneath the ground this weekend. Yellen, however, was satisfied with this effect on the market.

The Federal Reserve has been on a path of gradual rate increases and if conditions continue as they have been, that process is likely to continue. And as it happens we would expect long rates to move up.

Fair enough. The market should react to any move back toward reality, but it should also be very scared of that reality after years of living inside the Fed’s womb because the Fed has nurtured something that has no capability of living outside in the real world. Naturally, rates will go up as the Fed now solidly engages in quantitative squeezing so the markets immediately start quantitative wheezing. There is however, absolutely no capacity left in this economy to handle higher interest because we have doubled down on debt. That does not leave true resilience of the kind Yellen goes on to talk about. It means we have less capacity to handle real interest rates than we had before the economic collapse … even measured against GDP.

This past week was the first week since the Fed made its September announcement about the October start of the Great Unwind that the Federal Reserve actually delivered on its promise by removing as much money from the nation’s supply as it had said it would. The promise for previous months (October-December) had been a dip-your-toe-in-the-water test amount, and even that test amount wasn’t met. This past week, however, the Fed stepped up to its stage-two level, and even delivered a little bonus by withdrawing $22 billion, instead of the slated $20 billion. This time, the markets felt it and heaved. The entire world heaved, though there are many reasons right now for the world to heave; so it cannot all be blamed on the Fed.

Lovable Grandma Yellen’s comfort with the world’s quantitative wheezing last week underscores a theme I have been stating repeatedly, which is that the Fed believes in its recovery and in its resilience and so will keep tightening the world right (given that its currency is still the global reserve currency) into the next global recession, which shouldn’t be that far off, given the market’s gasps over a mere whisper of interest-rate increases. But, let us look in one simple picture at why markets are so reflexive (as opposed to resilient) toward an uptick in interest:

 

I’ve written often about the deepening cavern of debt that the US economy is built over. The above picture only represents the debt that the American government is built over, and that is before we deepen the abyss more with the deficits that are likely over time from the Trump Tax Cuts. Grandma Yellen is comfortable with the fact that we float on hot air over such a void, but markets are understandably nervous about what happens when interest on such a void of debt moves up even incrementally. We created that pit of debt because extreme low interest made it easy to do; but now with interest rising …

There simply is no room for any interest increase, so there is little elasticity in markets toward mere hints of an interest increase (in that all areas of the economy would look something like the above graph). The whole world has been enticed to build out on debt like that. Globally, the ratio of all debt to all GDP is at 327%. Just to be clear, that is the highest overhang any time in human history. As a point of reference, nations historically have gotten into trouble somewhere between 100% and 150%. The only reason we are all sustaining at much higher levels of debt right now is that interest is still at aberrational historic lows.

But Grandma Yellen recognizes and fully expects that her move into quantitative squeezing will push interest rates up, and she believes that will all go down nicely with a well-paired glass of bubbly. Therefore, the Fed will not see the market’s current gyrations, which came as soon as it finally notched the squeeze one hole tighter, as being anything other than an adjustment to new conditions, and it will, as Yellen has said, continue to tighten on schedule.

Asset valuations could change I’m not predicting that that would happen and I wouldn’t rule that out.

Pretty sure last week was already a case of asset valuations changing ahead of and while you were talking, Dear Nanna. This is the debt trap that I have long been saying the Fed was creating for itself (and the world), and they are exhibiting exactly the blind self-confidence I anticipated they would. They believe in their program so Lady Yellen can sanguinely tell her listening public that all is going as planned … because that it how it looks to those who believe the reversal of quantitative easing won’t squeeze all the life out of the economy that it formerly injected into it. Problem is the squeeze can be worse than the original expansion because it comes with higher interest payments for everyone who has tanked up on debt, which compounds the tightening. Right now the belt is only pinching, but wait until it becomes a corset.

Yes, asset values will tighten, and this Bankster Belle’s coterie of friends will all see that as part of the plan … not recognizing that a downhill slide is developing everywhere in the world and getting  out of control … until it is too late. Thus, she offers the following inane advice to those who are starting to feel the thrill of the slide in the seat of their pants:

They should be careful and I would stay diversified in their investments. What we look at is the likely resilience of the economy and the financial system.

Diversified into what? There is no protective diversification left (except maybe gold, which the Fed also manipulates at will to save its own proprietary currency). If your primary area of investment is, as it is for most people, your retirement fund, you are limited. You cannot buy gold within that managed set of funds. You cannot buy and hold bonds outright, but can only buy into bond funds, which can experience a liquidity crisis and are already sliding because the low-interest bonds they are loaded with don’t have much value compared to the new rates that are coming. There is no sector of the stock market that is not sliding right now, and Yellen has already acknowledged that real estate could slide, too. This is the everything bubble. There is not a lot of cover for salvation through diversification when everything looks to slide together … and all nations together.

In the area that I’m most familiar with — banking regulation — we’ve put in place very strong improvements to make the financial system more resilient. More and better quality capital. Capital that serves as a buffer…. If there are shocks, it leaves firms able to lend. All of us need to remember the financial crisis and the terrible toll it took on Americans.

We’re glad you are taking a moment to remind your friendly coven of lead banksters that they need to remember the poorer Americans who bailed their sorry butts out (and hopefully the rest of the world that the Fed’s new course will impact). We’re also comforted to know that banks will continue to lend in the next crisis so that we can savee ourselves by deepening the money pit even more. Perhaps we can dig ourselves all the way to hell.

Read More @ TheGreatRecessionBlog.com

Steve King’s Memo Warning: ‘Watch Closely for Barack Obama’s Fingerprints’

by Robert Kraychik, Breitbart:

“Watch closely for Barack Obama’s fingerprints,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Saturday, suggesting the recent alleged partisan weaponization of state surveillance powers could be connected to the 44th president. “[Democrats and their allies] will defend Barack Obama at all costs, and they’ll defend Hillary Clinton almost at all costs unless they have to sacrifice her to protect Barack Obama,” he added.

King offered his remarks during an interview with Breitbart News’s Deputy Political Editor Amanda House on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday.

Against the backdrop of Friday’s released memo from the House Intelligence Committee (HIC), King called for further investigation into what role, if any, Obama and his cabinet officials played in procuring state surveillance of Carter Page and George Papadopoulos (two peripheral operatives of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign) via Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications submitted before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

The HIC memo alleges the commission of abuses of power by the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) under the Obama administration in surveilling Page and Papadopoulos.

“Look at all of these investigations now,” said King. “Look closely for Barack Obama’s fingerprints. I’ve just identified some that I think are fingerprints, and I think this trail leads to the Obama presidency, to Barack Obama himself, but it’s going to take some time if we get there, and I’m not certain that the evidence trail necessarily leads there. There’s an indication trail that says we need to take a look and find out. But if it’s not Barack Obama, then who is it? Well, it’s Loretta Lynch, for example, and James Comey, and McCabe, and that cast of characters from Sally Yates on down. I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a long row of very high-level executive branch officials wrapped up in something here that is political partisanship, weaponizing the FBI and DOJ to do opposition research that was stimulated by the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and [paid for with her] and the DNC’s checkbooks.”

House recalled Obama’s denial — made during an interview with Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace on April 10, 2016 — that partisan and political considerations would afford Hillary Clinton favorable treatment by the FBI and DOJ during ostensible federal investigations into her negligent handling of classified information via email and other telecommunications during her tenure as secretary of state.

Partial transcript below:

WALLACE:  Mr. President … some people I think are worried whether or not — the decision whether or not, how to handle the [Hillary email] case, will be made on political grounds, not legal grounds. Can you guarantee to the American people, can you direct the Justice Department to say, “Hillary Clinton will be treated as the evidence goes — she will not be, in any way, protected”?

OBAMA:  I can guarantee that. And I can guarantee that not because I give Attorney General Lynch a directive, [but because] that is institutionally how we have always operated. I do not talk to the attorney general about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it.

Read More @ Breitbart.com

SHE KNEW: NEW Hillary email reveals aide told her ‘All your info is on the server’

by Kyle Olson, The American Mirror:

All of Hillary Clinton’s emails were saved and she knew it, according to an email released by the State Department on Friday.

In an email chain from 2012 between Clinton, Huma Abedin, Monica Hanley and Justin Cooper, Hillary complained she was having trouble with a Blackberry device.

“It comes back to life once I plug in the charger,” the one-time “most qualified presidential candidate in the history of the world” wrote to her aides on the evening of January 30.

“Should I try a new battery or get a new one,” she wrote, apparently referring to a new device.

“And, have we figured out to save all my info?” she ended.

“All of your info is on the sever (sic) which you can access on any web enabled,” Cooper responded. “The berries have a capacity — which may be part of why yours isn’t working.”

“Thanks for your help,” Hillary wrote back.

Business Insider reported in September 2016:

An aide to former President Bill Clinton destroyed two of Hillary Clinton’s phones by using physical force, according to documents released by the FBI on Friday.

The FBI said in a report that the aide, Justin Cooper, recalled “two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile phones by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”

Clinton used a number of phones while serving as secretary of state. The FBI said it identified 13 mobile devices used to possibly send emails using Clinton’s private email server.

Read More @ TheAmericanMirror.com

ECONOMIC CRASH LIKELY? Stock Market Insanity & Risk Reaching Nose-Bleed Levels

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by Steve St. Angelo, SRSrocco:

With the Dow Jones Index falling 665 points today, the risk of a large market correction has just increased significantly.  Ironically, I discussed the very indicators that were setting up for a huge market correction in my newest video which I recorded on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the video posted on my Youtube channel on Friday morning and now on my website until late in the evening.

Regardless, the 665 point decline is just the beginning.  Oh sure, we could see a continued selloff and then a move towards 27,000 or even higher.  But, for the stock market to move up to 27,000 or 30,000 means absolutely nothing.  Well, maybe it provided investors with a brief feeling of higher wealth until the markets really crashed.

In my newest video, I provide some fundamental analysis and indicators of why the Stock Market is reaching totally unsustainable levels.  Also, I discuss what would happen with the gold and silver price during a big market correction.  And, it resembled what happened today in the markets.  The gold and silver price will initially selloff because most trades are done via algorithms.  Thus, when the markets crack by 665 points in one day, it does damage all across the board.

Furthermore, the gold and silver price are based on their commodity-price mechanism… and this is the cost of production.  So, if the price of oil declines, so will the gold and silver price… FOR A SHORT WHILE.  However, after the initial selloff, I see both gold and silver moving higher as the broader markets continue to decline.

I believe investors are quite worried about this 665 point decline in the Dow Jones Index, especially after it followed another 300+ drop earlier in the week.  But, the Dow Jones Index only fell 2.5% today.  That’s peanuts.  I see a 40-50% decline coming, and even lower.  That’s at least 10,000 point drop in the Dow Jones.  If investors rushed into gold because they were spooked by a 2,000 point decline in the Dow at the beginning of 2016, what happens with a 10,000 point decline??

Read More @ SRSrocco.com

CoinBase US Tax Trap Sprung

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from TruthNeverTold:

Cops Raid Licensed Chef’s Home, Steal His Cooking Equipment For Feeding the Homeless

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by Matt Agorist, SHTFPlan:

A local chef, who had his food handler’s license was raided by a dozen cops and health department officials who stole all of his equipment because he fed the homeless without a proper permit.

Decatur, IL — A kind and loving local chef woke up Tuesday morning to a dozen cops and health department officials raiding his home. Khemuel “Chef” Sanders had his business shut down, all of his equipment stolen by the state, and his life ruined because he made food in his home to give to the homeless.

Unfortunately, in the land of the free, it is against the law to help others or try to make a dollar without first paying the government for the privilege of doing so. While the state will claim this is for the safety of others who may consume the food, the reality is that it is a revenue generation scheme.

To be clear, Sanders is a licensed food handler. He paid the government for the privilege to handle food, however, he was doing it in a manner which they disapproved.

“I have my food handlers license. Expires at the end of this month. I was in a restaurant but the owner got in some trouble and shut everything down. It was out of my control that’s the only reason why I was cooking out of my home,” Sanders explained.

Instead of cooking the food in a restaurant, Sanders used the industrial equipment at his home. He cooked everything exactly the same way, but this now gave authorities a reason to steal his things, charge him exorbitant fees, and ruin his life.

The raid has left Sanders a broken man and in a Facebook post Wednesday night, we can see just how broken.

“I’m at the point I’m praying God please please take me,” Sanders wrote.

Below is a copy of the warrant police used to justify the raid. If it wasn’t real it would be comical. The warrant gives police permission to confiscate (steal) all of Sanders’ commercial food preparation equipment—for feeding people—and they did.

Sanders filmed part of the raid and in the video, we can see a large yellow truck backed into his driveway as the ‘heroes’ from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and the Health Department steal this otherwise innocent man’s livelihood for daring to feed the homeless and make a living without the proper permit.

“It’s a health issue with people consuming foods,” said Lt. Jamie Belcher. “[The Health Department] wants to make sure the food is actually consumable.”

Missing the point entirely is the fact that homeless people are voluntarily eating the food—which makes it consumable. In fact, the other people who were buying the food also made it consumable by voluntarily giving Sanders money in exchange for it. There is no need for the state to enter this scenario at all.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Russian plane shot down over US-backed rebel area of Syria; Russia retaliates

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by Seraphim Hanisch, The Duran:

Al-Nusra known to be one of the forces controlling Idlib province; Russians retaliate with precision strike, killing an estimated 30 militants

A Russian Su-25 warplane was shot down over Syria’s Idlib province in northwestern Syria on Saturday. The pilot safely ejected from his plane, but he was killed by militants on the ground.  This report, corroborated by the Russian Defense Ministry and RIA Novosti specifies events this way (translated and edited from Russian):

Over the area controlled by the terrorist group Jebhat an Nusra in the province of Idlib, the launch of a MANPADS missile against a Russian Su-25 was carried out. In response to this incident, a strike accomplished with precision weapons against a group of more than 30 rebels affiliated with the group Djebhat Al-Nusra.

On Saturday evening, militants with the help of MANPADS shot down the Russian Air Force attack aircraft. The pilot of the plane managed to eject, but died in battle with terrorists.

 

The Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, together with representatives of Turkey responsible for the de-escalation zone of Idlib, is taking measures to return the body of the Russian pilot.

Kurdish self-defense forces Afrina (KSS) expressed condolences in connection with the death of the pilot. ‘I think everyone understands who supports those terrorist groups.The groups in Idlib are besieged and can be supported only from Turkey,’ KSS spokesman Reisan Hedu said.

https://youtu.be/W79EFiJPqCg

According to him, the death of the pilot ‘in the hands of the same terrorists’ who are guilty of the death of Kurdish soldiers. ‘We lit candles in memory of the Russian pilot, just as we light candles in memory of the dead Kurds,’ he added.

At the same time, according to the deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee Yury Shvytkin, the incident with the shot down Su-25 ’causes an unconditional need for an investigation.’ He explained that until today there was no case when the terrorists used MANPADS.

Shvytkin suggested that the anti-aircraft missile system terrorists received from representatives of the West.

The Al-Nusra Front is known to be operating in this region, under the alias of the Free Syrian Army.  The technologically advanced use of MANPADS raises questions about the USA’s history of supplying weapons to Al-Nusra, treating them as a “nice” Al-Qaeda group worthy of at least covert support.

The Russians did not sit by without a response.  In quick response a precision strike took place, believed to have killed some 30 terrorists, those believed responsible for the downing of the Su-25 and the killing of its pilot.

Read More @ TheDuran.com

Super Bowl Security Has Turned Minneapolis Into a Military Police State

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by Aaron Nelson, Activist Post:

The Department of Homeland Security has designated Super Bowl LII a National Special Security Event (an event deemed a potential target for terrorism or criminal activity) with a SEAR-Iclassification. The National Guard, federal agencies, and law enforcement from across the country have been patrolling Minneapolis and Saint Paul since January 26th.

While security around the Super Bowl has been openly militarized every year since the 9/11 attacks, only three have been labeled National Special Security Events, including this year’s. Since 2001, every city except Houston (which had over 5,000 police officers) has called in the National Guard to provide additional security on the streets.

SEAR-I is an event “of such magnitude and significant national and/or international importance that may require the full support of the United States Government (USG). The scale and scope of these events requires significant coordination among federal, state, and local authorities and warrants pre-deployment of federal assets as well as consultation, technical advice, and support to specific functional areas in which the state and local agencies may lack expertise or key resources.”

In its 52-year history, there has never been an attack at the site of the Super Bowl, which raises questions about the need for SEAR-I classification.

More than a dozen streets have been shut down at three major points within downtown Minneapolis: the Minneapolis Convention Center (NFL Super Bowl Experience), Nicollet Mall (Super Bowl LIVE), and the site of the game, U.S. Bank Stadium. These areas are guarded and patrolled by militarized forces.

Though the Minneapolis Police Department is the agency in charge of security operations during Super Bowl LII, more than 60 additional police departments from across the state of Minnesota have sent officers. There are also over 400 National Guard members, United States Secret Service, ICE and FBI agents, several hundred security contractors, county Sheriff’s Reserves, and over 10,000 civilian volunteers. Representatives from Minnesota police departments, FBI, DHS, and the Secret Service, have been stationed at multiple command centers around Minneapolis to watch hundreds of surveillance cameras, track social media, and monitor communications on the ground during Super Bowl events.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Former CIA Official Threatens Trump: “You’ve Been Around for 13 Months – We’ve Been Around Since 1908. We’re Going to Win” (VIDEO)

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

Former CIA counterterrorism official Phil Mudd threatened President Trump after the release of the House Intelligence FISA memo.

This is the same guy who called him self a “proud sh*tholer” a couple weeks ago.

Phil Mudd: The workforce is going to look and this and say, this is an attack on our ability to conduct an investigation with integrity… The FBI people, I’m going to tell you, “are ticked” and they’re going to be saying, I guarantee you, “You think you can push this off this?”… You better think again, Mr. President. You’ve been around for 13 months. We’ve been around since 1908. I know how this game is going to be played. We’re going to win.

Via CNN:

It’s not the first time this guy hurled threats at the President.

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

Facebook Begins Killing the Independent News Industry

by Darius Shahtahmasebi, The Anti Media:

After Donald Trump surprised even the most pessimistic of us by winning the U.S. presidential elections in 2016, the powers-that-be quickly sought to find a scapegoat to blame for their dismal failures. Supposedly, it wasn’t the corporate media’s fault, the DNC’s fault or the current neoliberal power structure’s fault for ramming down an unpopular candidate down our throat who was completely out of touch with reality; it was Russia’s fault.

The anti-Russian narrative has had dire consequences far beyond that than the common person will realize. Russia was able to swing the election in favor of Trump; but in the absence of any hard evidence that this was the case, the medium with which Russia supposedly achieved this victory has brought an attack on some very notable entities.

Facebook, Google, and the alternative media companies that rely on these social media giants to share their content faced renewed scrutiny after Donald Trump’s election victory. However, the truth about this ploy and where we are headed is far more sinister than anything George Orwell could have ever predicted.

In response to claims that “fake news” had an effect on the U.S. elections, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in early November 2016 that the idea that fake news circulating on Facebook could have possibly influenced the election was “pretty crazy.” According to Zuckerberg, “fake news” made up a very small amount of total content and that Facebook’s algorithm at the time delivered content to nearly 2 billion monthly users, reflecting what was“meaningful and interesting to them.”

“Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” Zuckerberg said. “We really believe in people. You don’t generally go wrong when you trust that people understand what they care about, and you build systems that reflect that.”

Zuckerberg even defended the likes of hate-speech circulated in the age of Trump, permitting this content because it is all part of “mainstream political discourse.”

“We’ve studied this a lot, and I really care about it,” Zuckerberg also said. “All the research that we have suggests that this isn’t really a problem. We’ve had a really hard time getting that out.”

Zuckerberg also intimated that the company’s biggest responsibility to the country as a democracy is to “give people a voice,” whether they’re voters or candidates.

Barely a week after these pleasing remarks, Barack Obama hit back with an epic attack on Facebook.

“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” he said during a press conference in Germany.

It should be noted that none of this discourse was present when the administration of George W. Bush sold the American and international public lies about Iraq’s non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs); or Barack Obama’s debunked claims that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s forces were committing mass rape and murder on his own people. These lies were only able to take root through the conformity of the corporate media. Who is in the business of spreading fake news here?

Approximately two days later, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is now developing tools to fight “fake news” – even after quite clearly stating he didn’t believe it to even be an issue. Even if it was a major issue – is Facebook-enforced censorship really the answer? What the fuck happened to proper schooling and education?

And what happened in that one-week period to force Mr. Zuckerberg to do a complete 360 degree turn? According to the Washington Post, in that time, Barack Obama personally pulled aside Zuckerberg in a private room on the side-lines of a meeting of world leaders in Peru to make a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of “fake news” more seriously.

Whatever Obama told Zuckerberg – it worked. Ever since, Zuckerberg has slowly been chipping away at “fake news” sites even when he previously believed that they were not even a particular issue. Following the infamous PropOrNot report barely a week later, which effectively labelled every single site that criticizes U.S. foreign policy as a Russian agent, alternative media has faced a slow and inevitable decline.

In September last year, acclaimed writer Chris Hedges of Truthdig wrote:

“In the name of combating Russia-inspired ‘fake news,’ Google, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Agence France-Presse and CNN in April imposed algorithms or filters, overseen by ‘evaluators,’ that hunt for key words such as ‘U.S. military,’ ‘inequality’ and ‘socialism,’ along with personal names such as Julian Assange and Laura Poitras, the filmmaker. Ben Gomes, Google’s vice president for search engineering, says Google has amassed some 10,000 ‘evaluators’ to determine the ‘quality’ and veracity of websites. Internet users doing searches on Google, since the algorithms were put in place, are diverted from sites such as Truthdig and directed to mainstream publications such as The New York Times. The news organizations and corporations that are imposing this censorship have strong links to the Democratic Party. They are cheerleaders for American imperial projects and global capitalism. Because they are struggling in the new media environment for profitability, they have an economic incentive to be part of the witch hunt.”

At first, it was corporate gate-keepers like the Guardian who were begging for donations in the age of Trump, as they had lost all credibility in keeping up with the needs and interests of the people. Now, we are all asking for donations, as Facebook’s algorithms are cutting off close to 100 percent of our Facebook audiences.

Consider that here at the Mind Unleashed we have over 8 million followers on Facebook; and at the Anti-Media we have over 2 million followers – it doesn’t take a genius to calculate that this is a significant loss of revenue we are currently experiencing, with Facebook’s new algorithms almost cutting our content out of user’s home pages completely.

Seriously, who asked for this? Barack Obama – that’s who. I don’t remember any Facebook user ever asking Facebook to change its algorithms to cut news out of their Home Feed and to only display photos of cats and vegan diets. Surely, a balance of ideas would be the best way to maintain a healthy mind. (Removing oneself from Facebook altogether would also achieve a healthy mind, but that’s a topic for a separate article).

This has nothing to do with combating “fake news.” I have written over 400 articles online, and close to 100 percent of my sources are from mainstream outlets like Reuters, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, the Washington Post, and others. Why should we be censored for referencing the very news outlets that people like Obama want us to trust in the first place?

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

Overflowing Swamp: Non-Partisan Watchdog Report Shows Political Bribery Now at Record Levels

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by Rachel Blevins, The Free Thought Project:

A report from a non-profit, nonpartisan research group has revealed that for the first time since 2007, the number of registered lobbyists and the amount of money spent on lobbying have increased significantly.

While President Trump promised to “drain the swamp” when he was on the campaign trail, a new report from a non-profit, nonpartisan research group shows that after one year of the Trump administration, lobbying is at records levels in Washington.

The Center for Responsive Politics reported that in 2017, the number of registered lobbyists along with federal lobbying expenditures went up, reversing annual declines in both registrations and spending that began a decade ago.” This increase occurred for the first time since 2007.

The report noted that the money spent on federal lobbying increased by 6 percent, rising from $3.15 billion to $3.34 billion, and marking the largest increase in one year since former President George W. Bush’s last year in office.

In contrast, spending on lobbying had declined five of the past six years, and up until 2017, the report claimed that “the number of registered lobbyists had dropped each of the past 10 years, from a record 14,827 in 2007 to a 20-year low of 11,169 in 2016.” The number then increased last year:

“Last year, 11,444 registered lobbyists appeared in quarterly reports filed with Congress. Those reports include basic information on spending, issues and entities lobbied, usually with vague language and broad strokes.

A fourth-quarter report by Kevin Kayes of QGA Public Affairs, for instance, said the firm was paid $37,500 by U.S. Steel to lobby on ‘trade law enforcement.’ The audience was ‘U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives.’

Based on the report—typical for most filings—the members of Congress who were lobbied by the firm is obscured from public scrutiny.”  

The Center for Responsive Politics also found that thousands of lobbyists who were supposed to report their activities failed to do so until after the filing deadlines had passed—and they faced no consequences.

In 2017, there were a number of companies that significantly increased the amount they spent on lobbying—many of which were tech companies. The report noted that Facebook spent $11 million, Amazon spent $13 million—about $2 million more than it spent in 2016—and Google spent $18 million on lobbying.

While lobbying expenditures went down under the Obama administration, it should be noted that the results were nowhere near what Obama promised when he was on the campaign trail.

No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years,” Obama promised. “And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”

However, Politifact reported that the administration “granted waivers to several former lobbyists, allowing them to serve. The administration also allows recusals, where former lobbyists simply recuse themselves from discussions concerning whatever interest it is for which they used to lobby.”

President Trump was also critical of the corruption in Washington while he was on the campaign trail. He told CBS’ Face The Nation in June 2016 “he would ‘have no problem’ banning lobbyists and big donors from working in his administration.”

While it appears that Trump has changed his tune—in the same way that Obama retreated on his promises—a comment made about Trump in 2015 is notable today. When one Twitter user wrote, “The Donald owes NOTHING to lobbyists. He could restore our Republic,” Trump retweeted the statement and wrote, “True.”

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