en "It's A Crisis Situation": One Chart Explains Why Obamacare Is Locked In An Inescapable Death Spiral <p>Ever since it was signed into law in 2010, defenders of Obamacare have dismissed staggering surges in annual premiums by highlighting only the rates paid by those fortunate enough to receive subsidies.&nbsp; In fact, last year <a href="">we wrote about Marjorie Connolly's</a>, from Obama's Department of Health and Human Services, response to the Tennessee insurance commissioner's fear that the exchanges in his state were "very near collapse" after a staggering 59% premium surge:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“Consumers in Tennessee will continue to have affordable coverage options in 2017. Last year, the average monthly premium for <span style="text-decoration: underline;">people with Marketplace coverage getting tax credits</span> increased just $2, from $102 to $104 per month, despite headlines suggesting double digit increases,” </strong>said Marjorie Connolly, HHS spokeswoman, in a statement.</p> </blockquote> <p>We're unsure whether Connolly's comment was just propaganda intended to defend a failing piece of legislation or an intentional, blatant admission that the Department of Health and Human Services just doesn't care about the majority of Americans, the so-called 1%'ers, who are facing debilitating increases in healthcare costs simply because they manage to live above the poverty line.&nbsp; We'll let you decide on that one. </p> <p>Be that as it may, as the <a href="">Miami Herald</a> points out this morning, roughly half of all Obamacare participants, nearly 9 million people in aggregate, don't qualify for the subsidies that Connolly praised and have been forced to absorb debilitating premium increases for the past several years.</p> <p><a href=" - Obamacare 1.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 447px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, the pie chart above from 2017 doesn't count the 1,000's of unsubsidized "millionaire, billionaire, private jets owners" making over $50,000 per year who have already been forced to drop their healthcare coverage because it was simply unaffordable</strong>...a move which the Reiter family in Florida was forced to consider for 2018 after the premiums on their policy surged 54% to a cost of $40,000 per year.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>As open enrollment for Affordable Care Act coverage nears the deadline of Dec. 15, and Florida once again leads all states using the federal exchange at, Heidi and Richard Reiter sit at the kitchen table at their Davie home and struggle to piece together the family’s health insurance for 2018.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Reiters buy their own coverage, but they earn too much to qualify for financial aid to lower their monthly premiums. <strong>For 2017, they bought a plan off the exchange and paid $26,000 in premiums for family coverage, including their two sons, ages 21 and 17.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Keeping the same coverage for 2018 would have cost the Reiters $40,000 in premiums,</strong> a 54 percent increase. So they selected a lower-priced plan that covers less but costs $29,000 in premiums.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“That’s more than a lot of people’s mortgage payments,” Richard Reiter said. “For me, it’s a crisis situation.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, while the Herald attempts to blame the Trump administration for Obamacare's continued premium hikes in 2018, we would just remind everyone once again that premiums surged an average of 113% across the United States during Obama's last term...</p> <p><a href=" - Obamacare 1.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 388px;" /></a></p> <p>But sure, it's all Trump's fault.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="726" height="384" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> CGI Group Department of Health and Human Services Finance Florida headlines Health Health Health care prices in the United States Health economics Health insurance Health insurance in the United States Healthcare reform in the United States Internal Revenue Code Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Social Issues Statutory law Trump Administration Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608918 at Top Crypto-Mining Executive Explains Why "We're Hoarding The Coins" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p>If the price action in crypto currencies over the last several months has proven anything, it&rsquo;s that the blockchain&nbsp;has gone&nbsp;fully mainstream with global investors, major financial institutions and governments showing significant interest in the space.&nbsp;While a number of blockchain projects are moving onto the stage, the primary focus for investors has been Bitcoin, which has seen an increase of over 1,600% in 2017. And according to Frank Holmes, there is much more to come.</p> <p>In an <strong><a href="" target="_blank">interview with SGT Report</a></strong>, Holmes,&nbsp;the Chairman of <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Hive Blockchain Technologies</a></strong>, the world&rsquo;s only publicly traded blockchain mining company&nbsp;explains that, while roughly 78% of the available 21 million Bitcoins, or about 16.4 million, have been mined up to this point, there are probably <em>only about 10 million coins in actual circulation</em> around the world because somewhere on the order of 25% have been lost forever due to misplaced wallet access keys and other issues. Moreover, of those 10 million or so available coins, it has been widely reported that about 1000 &ldquo;whales,&rdquo; or high net worth investors, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">own some 40% of the coins</a></strong>, creating a scarcity in the market that has left millions of global investors chasing a limited supply of BTC.</p> <p>Holmes suggests that this limited availability works to the advantage of cryptocurrency miners who use&nbsp;expensive computer hardware mining rigs&nbsp;to process transactions on the blockchain, because with so much investment capital moving into the space they can hoard the coins they mine and sell into the market during price spikes while loading up on more coins when markets dip. Hive currently mines Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin and will soon move into Litecoin and other popular cryptocurrencies using the same strategy:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>We&rsquo;re hoarding the coins&hellip; we mine virgin coins and in fact we are getting offered premiums for our coins because they&rsquo;ve never been tainted. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We never buy the coins&hellip; anytime it has a huge surge we will sell one, two or three percent&hellip; and as soon as it corrects we just mine more and replenish ourselves&hellip; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We want to wait until we get at least 20,000 coins and then we can turn around and use our quant models, so we&rsquo;re doing things very unique&hellip;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;"><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Most crypto currencies have a maximum supply of coins that can ever be mined. As Bitcoin demonstrates, a percentage of those already-mined coins will be lost. Another percentage will be locked up by high net worth and long-term investors. These mechanics create a situation where, perhaps only a little over half of the actual listed circulation of coins is actually circulating.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">With this being the case it&rsquo;s not difficult to see why, as tens of billions of dollars, and perhaps even trillions as has been suggested by investment gurus, continue to pile into these assets, prices for top tier <strong><a href="" target="_blank">crypto currencies could continue to rise exponentially</a></strong> in coming months and years.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="250" height="123" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchains Business Cryptocurrencies Currency Decentralization Ethereum Finance Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Litecoin Money Price Action Æternity Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608952 at Bama Blowout?: Latest Fox News Poll Shows Doug Jones With Commanding 10-Point Lead Over Moore <p>With voting set to get underway in the controversial Alabama Senate race in about 24 hours, the latest <a href="">Fox News Poll</a> of likely voters shows a commanding 10-point lead for Democrat Doug Jones.&nbsp; The poll was conducted among likely Alabama voters on Thursday through Sunday using traditional polling techniques, including a list-based probability sample with both landlines and cellphones.</p> <p><a href=" - Moore 1.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 339px;" /></a></p> <p>Of course, as with all the "fake polls" that inaccurately predicted Hillary's sweeping victory last fall, <strong>one key variable in determining the accuracy of polling data is predicting who will show up to vote tomorrow...a task which even Fox admits is <span style="text-decoration: underline;">"impossible to know."&nbsp; </span></strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>This race’s uniqueness is significant.&nbsp; It is impossible to know who will show up to vote in a special election to fill a seat in the middle of a term in an off-year.&nbsp; And it’s December, a time when people expect to be going to the shopping mall, not the voting booth. </p> </blockquote> <p>That said, there are numerous red flags which don't bode well of Moore's chances including strong support among Independents for Jones as well as waning support from evangelical Christians.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The small subgroup of independents breaks for Jones by 29 points.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Support for Moore among white evangelical Christians is down 8 points since last month:</strong> it was 73 percent in November and stands at 65 percent now. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>And his advantage among men has dropped from 12 points last month to just 3 points now.&nbsp; </strong>In addition, Republican men (41 percent) are less likely than GOP women (50 percent) or Democratic men (53 percent) to be “extremely” interested in the race.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“Moore might prevail if only the people who typically vote in Alabama elections turn out Tuesday, which is often what happens in special elections,”</strong> says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican counterpart Daron Shaw. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“But this appears to be a special, special election with blacks and young voters animated by a caustic Republican candidate and the chance of winning a statewide election with national implications, and at the same time some Republicans and many moderates are turned off by Moore, too.”</p> </blockquote> <p><a href=" - Moore 2.JPG"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 341px;" /></a></p> <p>All that said, this latest Fox News poll deviates substantially from the <a href="">Real Clear Politics</a> average which includes a series of polls that show a commanding lead for Moore...the exact opposite of what Fox News found.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="RCP" width="600" height="592" /></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, offering up the latest evidence of how critical the establishment parties consider this race to be, <a href="">CNN</a> pointed out this morning that <strong>former President Obama recorded a robocall for Jones</strong> over the weekend saying<strong> "This one’s serious. You can’t sit it out."</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"This one's serious," Obama says in the call. "You can't sit it out."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two Democratic officials familiar with the Alabama race tell CNN that Obama recorded the phone message in recent days, at the very time Trump stepped up his own involvement in the campaign with a recorded message. Obama does not mention Moore by name.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"Doug Jones is a fighter for equality, for progress,"</strong> Obama says. <strong>"Doug will be our champion for justice. So get out and vote, Alabama."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Obama's message to voters -- intended to specifically reach black voters whose turnout is critical for Democratic candidate Jones -- comes on the eve of a special election that has drawn extraordinary national attention and divided the Republican Party over whether sexual allegations against Moore make him unfit for office.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, only time will tell if this is just another fake poll or if Republicans made a serious blunder in their decision to support a high controversial candidate who was doomed from the moment sexual assault allegations against him first surfaced last month.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="708" height="369" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alabama Senate Barack Obama presidential primary campaign Fox News Mike Pence Politics Politics Politics of the United States President Obama Real Clear Politics Republican Party United States United States presidential election Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608923 at "Statists Don't Share" - A Race To The Potential For Bitcoin <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,</em></a></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">The timing just never seems to fall in our favor. If we had had this conversation ten years ago as would have been appropriate, then this evolution might have fell perfectly in our collective laps. <strong>Just as the global financial system, really the international, interbank monetary system of the eurodollar, was crashing all around us, the genesis block of the Bitcoin blockchain was hard coded.</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Within it contained very insightful if <strong>superfluous (from a technical standpoint) text,</strong> a truly elegant starting point for <a href="">a competing monetary idea</a>:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong><span style="color: #000000;">The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks</span></strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Officials, particularly Western central bankers, were at that time in no mood for thinking about alternative global arrangements. Even those other monetary officials (Zhou Xiaochua) who happened to know <a href="">what was really wrong</a> were still willing to give the Ben Bernanke&rsquo;s a second chance to fix it. It was our lost opportunity because central bankers didn&rsquo;t then, and still don&rsquo;t now, know what&rsquo;s actually broken.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>The world is far too focused today on Bitcoin, not without legitimate reasons.</strong> It has in 2017 taken it by storm, rising parabolically for quite a remarkably sustained period. People who have no idea what it really is are rushing toward it, some buying it without first appreciating the whole complexity and texture of the technology behind it.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">As such, it forces unwanted political attention that might have been better served understanding the motivations behind the message contained within the genesis block. Now, they can simply claim it&rsquo;s in a destructive bubble and lump every form of crypto, both what&rsquo;s already in existence and what is yet to come (the really exciting part), into the same negative category.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Economists, even those who still bother trying to resemble free market thinkers, rush to ban it. </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">As I wrote <a href="">last week</a> on the topic of what&rsquo;s really, in my view, motivating Bitcoin mania:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Statists don&rsquo;t share power. </strong>Economists in the realm of money are thorough statists, however they might describe themselves as some range of capitalist.</span></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Bitcoin is not, to me, the part to focus on. It is in many important ways, as President Obama was often fond of saying, a distraction.<strong><em> The potential lies not in it being a competing currency but upgrading as to what the eurodollar has been for half a century already. If you understand that the eurodollar system isn&rsquo;t really a currency system but a set of network standards and protocols, then blockchain seems like it was made to be if not the perfect solution than still perhaps the right one <a href="">given where we are</a></em></strong> (to really make sense of this, you really should read the whole thing).</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #000000;">That&rsquo;s what the acceptance market essentially became &ndash; a way for banks to conduct their thousands of individual transactions across time and geography with only having to ship, or wait to receive, money once the net sum of all those trades would come due. It was a ledger system (poker chips) that was backed by deposits of gold and cash (with the dealer), as well as central banks (the house).</span></p> <p> </p><p><span style="color: #000000;">The eurodollar which supplanted the acceptance market even while the Bretton Woods gold exchange system remained nominally the official reserve standard was merely the next step for international monetary evolution along these lines. How much more elegant might the whole operation become if we just eliminate the need for cash deposits altogether? To a true money adherent, such an idea was and is today abhorrent. To a bank merely trying to operate as efficiently as possible, this was a dream scenario.</span></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>The primary problem with the eurodollar system is that it is a <em>decentralized</em> ledger, where much of what goes on with them doesn&rsquo;t ever see the light of day (the shadows).</strong> It was an attempt at a pure medium of exchange, and for a very long time it seemed to work that way as if nobody really needed to know what was on all those darkly hidden registers. From August 9, 2007, forward, it was proven that even a decentralized ledger system really needs full <em>private</em> scrutiny.</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #000000;">This is where blockchain may hold an answer. The technology behind Bitcoin (don&rsquo;t get hung up on specifically Bitcoin) is nothing more than a network ledger. It is instead centralized, but it could in theory (with a bit more work, pun intended) take the place of the decentralized eurodollar ledger. In the latter, the credit-based money system, the banks are what matter for creation of money supply (the dealers create all the chips, and even control what kind of chips may be played). In the former, that weakness is removed as is the foolish dependency on incompetent, ideologically stunted central bank statisticians.</span></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>In other words, it&rsquo;s not so much ridding ourselves of dollars or even &ldquo;dollars&rdquo;, but changing the way they are accounted for while still allowing for some positive attributes (there are some) of the eurodollar system to be maintained.</strong> A pure medium of exchange is a truly tantalizing idea, a dedicated payment system alone, but it needs to be far more robust in a way the dispersed and spread out eurodollar format just never could be.</span></p> <p><u><em><strong><span style="color: #000000;">More than that, I think it offers the shortest distance between A and B; A being where we are now stuck in chronic monetary instability and thus the <a href="">worst economic case</a>; B being the very happy day when that problem is solved and the great global recovery, real not imagined, takes off.</span></strong></em></u></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">We are going to get to B at some point in the future, and the journey we take to that point will determine what that means. If we arrive at B in the same way as the Great Depression era (Bretton Woods taking place toward the end of another world war), meaning doing nothing but the same thing that Economists tell us to do over and over, it will have been the worst of the worst cases. The idea is to get started as soon as possible so that we can work out the solution and the way to implement it as painlessly and with as little disruption as possible so as to arrive at B long <em>before</em> the <a href="">political and social</a> sh#&amp; hits the fan.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">That&rsquo;s where the timing may have us unlucky. Maybe our fate was sealed the minute Ben Bernanke started acting courageously and we let him off the hook for why he felt that way in the first place (he&rsquo;s never answered for &ldquo;subprime is contained&rdquo;, and nobody has ever made him). It&rsquo;s too late now, and with Bitcoin off like a rocket there is a very real, <a href="">dispiriting chance</a> blockchain may never get enough work and then its real trial run.</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="color: #000000;">Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said &ldquo;bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight.&rdquo;</span></p> <p> </p><p><span style="color: #000000;">&ldquo;So it seems to me it ought to be outlawed,&rdquo; Stiglitz said Wednesday in a Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua and Tom Keene. &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t serve any socially useful function.&rdquo;</span></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Stiglitz is a buffoon and a thorough statist, but he is influential because Economics still dominates the political end of things.</strong> From China to Europe there are official and unofficial voices expressing grave doubts and discomfort over Bitcoin without really considering blockchain. It may end up where Bitcoin sinks the blockchain given that its greatest risks are all political (an outright ban).</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">The only way to thwart those intentions is for enough people to take a determined interest in cryptos as a class rather that solely as speculation in the one; to see the great potential in the real stuff of its evolution, and not get hung up on something like price. We have to step ourselves outside of currency and appreciate the currency system, and do it with enough of a broad basis of appreciation that it overcomes and survives what will surely be an effort to kill it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">It may be that our future depends upon how successful we can become in this way, accepting blockchain no matter what ancient Economist decries it, or whichever political figure who clearly doesn&rsquo;t get it or our real monetary problem seeks its official exile. As if we needed any more of them, it&rsquo;s another race or countdown. The primary issue after losing one decade is always really going to be time.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><u><strong>We are <em>going</em> to go from A to B one way or another; willingly by design, in a messy, uncontrolled reset, or some ways in between </strong></u>. There are today even after ten years still some positive outcomes possible. I worry that timing (Bernanke&rsquo;s real legacy) may be conspiring to take one of those few away before it ever really gets started.</span></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="198" height="136" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alternative currencies B+ Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchains Central Banks China Cryptocurrencies Digital currencies Economics of bitcoin Economy EuroDollar Eurodollar Finance Great Depression Joseph Stiglitz Money Money Supply Money supply poker chips President Obama recovery Shadow Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608951 at Ex-Spy Chief Admits Role In 'Deep State' Intelligence War On Trump <p>An ex-spy chief who spoke out publicly against Trump while inspiring other career intelligence figures to follow suit has admitted <strong>his leading role in the intelligence community waging political war against the president</strong>, <strong>describing his actions as something he didn&#39;t &quot;fully think through&quot;.</strong> In a surprisingly frank interview, the CIA&#39;s Michael Morell - who was longtime Deputy Director and former Acting Director of the nation&#39;s most powerful intelligence agency - said that it wasn&#39;t a great idea to leak against and bash a new president.</p> <p>Morell had the dubious distinction of being George W. Bush&#39;s personal daily briefer for the agency before and after 9/11, and also served under Obama until his retirement. In the summer of 2016 he took the unusual step (for a former intelligence chief) of openly endorsing Hillary Clinton in a New York Times op-ed entitled, <a href="" target="_blank">I Ran the C.I.A. Now I&#39;m Endorsing Hillary Clinton</a>, after which he continued to be both an outspoken critic of Trump and <strong>an early CIA voice promoting the Russian collusion and election meddling narrative.</strong></p> <p><em><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 250px;" /></a><br />Acting director of the CIA Michael Morell with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta<br />in 2013. Image source: Wiki Commons, DoD</em></p> <p>As Politico&#39;s Susan Glasser put in a newly published interview, Morell <strong>&quot;has emerged out of the shadows of the deep state&quot;</strong> to become one of Trump&#39;s foremost critics speaking within the intel community. However, Politico summarizes <a href="" target="_blank">the interview as follows</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>But in a revealingly self-critical and at times surprising interview for this week&rsquo;s Global POLITICO, Morell acknowledges that he and other spy-world critics of the president failed to fully &ldquo;think through&rdquo; the negative backlash generated by their going political. &ldquo;There was a significant downside,&rdquo; Morell said in the interview.</p> </blockquote> <p>Not only had Morell during his previous <a href="" target="_blank">NYT op-ed</a> stated that he was committed to doing <strong>&quot;everything I can to ensure that she is elected as our 45th president&quot;</strong> but he went so far as to call then candidate Trump &quot;a threat to our national security&quot; - while making the extraordinary claim that <strong>&quot;in the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.&quot;</strong></p> <p>Curiously, Morell in his latest Politico interview indicates when asked about his &quot;public profile&quot; and activism so soon after leaving the agency (something that was relatively unusual prior to Trump taking office) that his post-retirement media appearances have been approved and/or received some level of oversight by the CIA. In the interview Morell states, &quot;I did a&nbsp;<em>60 Minutes</em>&nbsp;interview about my life inside CIA, <strong>and it&rsquo;s something the agency thought that was a good thing to do</strong>, and I taped most of it before I left the agency.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>While such CIA review of former employees&#39; publications and media interaction is nothing new, in Morell&#39;s case was an unprecedented example of a very high profile intelligence figure explicitly campaigning for a presidential candidate and against another <strong>while specifically invoking his role at the CIA</strong> (he began his NYT column with, &quot;During a 33-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, I served presidents of both parties &mdash; three Republicans and three Democrats...&quot; followed by a litany of key national security events he was central to).</p> <p>The other important confirmation to come out of the discussion is the clear guiding assumption of the interview - that <strong>the intelligence &quot;deep state&quot; </strong><em><strong>did in fact</strong></em><strong> go to war with Trump</strong> - which has now been confirmed by Morell himself, which is <strong>essentially to hear it&nbsp;straight from the horse&#39;s mouth.</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Light bulb goes off for former top CIA official: Maybe it wasn&#39;t a great idea to leak against, bash a new president. From <a href="">@sbg1</a>: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Byron York (@ByronYork) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The key exchange in the <a href="" target="_blank">Politico interview</a> begins as follows:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Glasser:</strong>&nbsp;Okay, so, flash-forward a year. Was that a mistake?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Morell:</strong>&nbsp;So, I don&rsquo;t think it was a mistake. I think there were downsides to it that I didn&rsquo;t think about at the time. I was concerned about what is the impact it would have on the agency, right? Very concerned about that, thought that through. But I don&rsquo;t think I fully thought through the implications.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And one of the ways I&rsquo;ve thought about that, Susan, is&mdash;okay, how did Donald Trump see this? Right? And from&mdash;it&rsquo;s very important&mdash;one of the things we do as intelligence analysts is make sure that our guy&mdash;the president&mdash;understands the other guy. Right?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>So, let&rsquo;s put ourselves here in Donald Trump&rsquo;s shoes. So, what does he see? Right? He sees a former director of CIA and a former director of NSA, Mike Hayden, who I have the greatest respect for, criticizing him and his policies.</strong> Right? And he could rightfully have said,<strong> &ldquo;Huh, what&rsquo;s going on with these intelligence guys?&rdquo; Right?</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Morell here seems to confirm Trump&#39;s narrative of events concerning Russiagate &quot;fake news&quot; and willful intelligence leaks intended to damage the president, despite his opening obfuscation of &quot;I don&#39;t think it was a mistake&quot; (so he&#39;s essentially admitting the negative consequences but with no regrets).</p> <p>Surprisingly, Morell even implicates himself with the words, &quot;And then he sees a former acting director and deputy director of CIA criticizing him and endorsing his opponent.&quot;&nbsp; The interview <a href="" target="_blank">continues</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Glasser:</strong>&nbsp;It embroiders his narrative.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Morell:</strong>&nbsp;Exactly. And <strong>then he sees a former acting director and deputy director of CIA criticizing him and endorsing his opponent.</strong> And then he gets his first intelligence briefing, after becoming the Republican nominee, and <strong>within 24 to 48 hours, there are leaks out of that that are critical of him and his then-national security advisor, Mike Flynn. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And so, this stuff starts to build, right? And he must have said to himself, <strong>&ldquo;What is it with these intelligence guys? Are they political?&rdquo;</strong> The current director at the time, John Brennan, during the campaign occasionally would push back on things that Donald Trump had said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, when Trump talked about the Iran nuclear deal being the worst deal in the history of American diplomacy, and he was going to tear it up on the first day&mdash;John Brennan came out publicly and said, &ldquo;That would be an act of folly.&rdquo; <strong>So, he sees current sitting director pushing back on him. Right? </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Then he becomes president, and he&rsquo;s supposed to be getting a daily brief from the moment he becomes the president-elect. Right? And he doesn&rsquo;t. <strong>And within a few days, there&rsquo;s leaks about how he&rsquo;s not taking his briefing. So, he must have thought&mdash;right?&mdash;that, &ldquo;Who are these guys? Are these guys out to get me? Is this a political organization? Can I think about them as a political organization when I become president?&rdquo; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, I think there was a <strong>significant downside to those of us who became political in that moment.</strong> So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don&rsquo;t know. But it&rsquo;s something I didn&rsquo;t think about.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">&quot;Is this a political organization?&quot; said Caesar as Brutus was stabbing him. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Despite Morell&#39;s attempts to mitigate his own significant contributions toward creating a climate of distrust between the White House and the intelligence&nbsp;bureaucracy, it seems clear to the interviewee that <strong>Morell&#39;s admissions lend credence to Trump&#39;s side.</strong></p> <p>Indeed, Susan Glasser reasons, based on Morell&#39;s unexpected confessions, that &quot;you or others who spoke out and have continued to speak out actually tend to underscore his feeling that there&rsquo;s a political divide.&quot;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Glasser:</strong>&nbsp;Well, it&rsquo;s very interesting, because of course, there are so many things you don&rsquo;t know at that moment in time, including, of course, I&rsquo;m sure you assumed, along with everybody else, that Hillary Clinton was likely to be elected, and you saw this as contributing to that in some way. But it&rsquo;s certainly relevant in the context of the situation we find ourselves in a year later. And, if it tends to embolden Trump in his critique of your former colleagues who are still serving in the intelligence agencies, and not only has this been a theme that he has struck repeatedly to criticize&mdash;but also to politicize this.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And inadvertently, perhaps,<strong> you or others who spoke out and have continued to speak out actually tend to underscore his feeling that there&rsquo;s a political divide, and now you and others are on one side of it, and potentially all your former colleagues, </strong>and then he&rsquo;s on the other side of it...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Morell:</strong>&nbsp;Yeah, and you can&rsquo;t pick and choose like that. And when people in the intelligence community&mdash;particularly people in CIA, because for every other part of the intelligence community except CIA, you&rsquo;re working for a cabinet member. <strong>At CIA, you are working for the president of the United States.</strong> That is your customer. Right? 00:08:03 <strong>So, when you see your customer questioning what it is that you are providing to him or her, and that person seems to be cherry-picking what they accept and what they don&rsquo;t accept, it&rsquo;s demoralizing.</strong> And when it&rsquo;s demoralizing, people take actions, right? So, I live pretty close to the agency, and there&rsquo;s a coffee shop between me and the agency, and I&rsquo;ve met a number of agency officers in that coffee shop who have said to me, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m thinking about leaving.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Yet Morell in a round about way previously admitted that <strong>he is personally one of the chief authors of precisely this &quot;demoralizing&quot; scenario in which the president doesn&#39;t fully trust his intelligence briefers.</strong></p> <p>But we should all remember that this is a man who on the one hand <a href="" target="_blank">described</a> &quot;Russia&#39;s hacking is the political equivalent of 9/11&quot; and constantly hyped &quot;Russian propaganda&quot;, while on the other <a href=";t=10s" target="_blank">he went on a lengthy RT News segment</a> in order to promote his newly published book.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1280" height="640" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business C.I.A. Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Department of Defense Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Draft:Investigations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign flash Foreign policy of Donald Trump Michael Morell Morell national security New York Times Politics Twitter Twitter United States White House White House Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:01:49 +0000 Tyler Durden 608956 at Is The NFL's Problem 'Poor Product', Not 'Disrespect'? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Doug French via The Mises Institute,</em></a></p> <div class="body-content clearfix"> <p><strong>President Trump has lambasted the NFL more than 20 times for players&rsquo; &ldquo;Total Disrespect of Our Great Country.&rdquo; </strong></p> <p>Ratings are down for NFL games and Trump figures it&rsquo;s because some players aren&rsquo;t standing, hand over heart, and mouthing the words to the national anthem.</p> <p><strong>Trump may have made some political hay out of all this,</strong> but one only has to follow the money to learn the real reason pro football ratings are down - <strong>competition from college football.</strong></p> <p><strong>The fact is, &ldquo;Their product isn&rsquo;t very good these days,&rdquo; </strong>Nick Bogdanovich told the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Las Vegas Sun</a>. He is the chief oddsmaker for William Hill, which operates 107 sportsbooks in Nevada.</p> <p>The league that used to claim any team could win on &ldquo;any given Sunday&rdquo; has turned into a predictable<strong><em> &ldquo;If you have a quarterback, you have a chance. If you don&rsquo;t, you don&rsquo;t,&rdquo;</em></strong> as Ben Volin wrote of the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Boston Globe</a>&nbsp;at the finish of last year&rsquo;s regular season. As evidence, he pointed to &ldquo;the four quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs &mdash; Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan.&rdquo;</p> <p>Jimmy Vaccaro has been running sports books for four decades. He says,<strong> it used to be, &ldquo;Nearly $4 on the NFL for every buck on a college game.&rdquo; That is no longer the case. Now it is more like 60&ndash;40 with the college betting handle gaining.</strong></p> <p>Joe Drape writes of the sportsbook legend,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>And when Vaccaro says he is becoming bearish on the betting health of professional football, you lean in and listen. Last month, for three consecutive weeks, for the first time that he can remember, betting on college football at South Point surpassed betting on the NFL, by as much as $400,000.</p> </blockquote> <p>The&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a>&nbsp;</em>did a study back in 2010 and found that of the 174 minutes of an NFL broadcast there was 11 minutes of game action. The <em>WSJ</em> found there was about 60 minutes of commercials and <strong><em>&ldquo;As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>This has only become worse with the advent of constantly replaying questionable calls. Meanwhile, many college teams have gone to the no-huddle offense to squeeze in more plays.</p> <p>Making accurate point spreads on 16 pro games is much easier than getting 50 college games right.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s more volatility and room for mistakes in the college game,&rdquo; </strong>John Avello, a bookmaker at the Wynn Las Vegas, told the <em>Sun</em>.<strong> &ldquo;You can find an edge there, and that is what gamblers do. We are hard to beat when it comes to the NFL.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Professional gambler Chris Lawless wagers more on college games not only because there are flawed betting lines to take advantage of, but also because the games are more enjoyable.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;There are more momentum shifts and more exciting plays and more passion,&rdquo;</strong> Lawless said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Vaccaro believes betting on college football will continue to gain on NFL action. Overall, Nevada sports books are expected to post their eighth consecutive year of record handle, with Las Vegas taking in $5 billion in sports wagers.</p> <p>September saw Nevada&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">set a new betting handle record</a>&nbsp;of $558.4 million, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board has now revealed that the handle in October came in at $522 million, the best-ever performance by Nevada sportsbooks in the month of October, as well as the third consecutive month of a betting handle in excess of $500 million.</p> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="234" height="135" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bookmaker Entertainment Gambling Las Vegas Las Vegas Mises Institute Mises Institute National Football League Nevada Gaming Control Board ratings Sports Sports betting Sportsbook Spread betting Volatility Wall Street Journal William Hill Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608949 at "I Feel Tremendous Guilt": Former Facebook Exec Says Company Is "Ripping Apart The Social Fabric Of Society" <p>In the most ironic story of the day, and perhaps of 2017, a former Facebook executive whose job it was to literally get the world hooked on the "internet crack" that is social media, is<strong> now calling on people to take a "hard break" from a service which he believes is "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works."</strong>&nbsp; Speaking to a group of students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said that he feels <strong>"tremendous guilt"</strong> for his role in building the social media giant and warned&nbsp; that <strong>"if you feed the beast, that beast will destroy you..."</strong> (you can view the relevant portion of the interview <a href="">here</a>).</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"I feel tremendous guilt."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.</strong> That is truly where we are."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"I would encourage all of you, as the future leaders of the world, to really internalize how important this is.&nbsp; <strong>If you feed the beast, that beast will destroy you.&nbsp;</strong> If you push back on it you have a chance to control it and reign it in." </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"There is a point in time when <strong>people need a hard break</strong> from some of these tools."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we've created are destroying how society works.</strong>&nbsp; No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it's not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"So, we're in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion.&nbsp;<strong> It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"And, I don't have a good solution.&nbsp; <strong>You know, my solution is I just don't use these tools anymore.&nbsp; I ahven't for years.&nbsp;</strong> It's created huge tension with my friends.&nbsp; Huge tensions in my social circles."</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="" alt="FB" width="600" height="364" /></p> <p>As <a href="|twitter&amp;par=sharebar">CNBC </a>notes, Palihapitiya went on to describe an incident in India where hoax messages about kidnappings shared on WhatsApp led to the lynching of seven innocent people. "That's what we're dealing with," said Palihapitiya. <strong>"And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It's just a really, really bad state of affairs."</strong> As noted above, Palihapitiya went on to say that he's only posted to Facebook a handful of times in the past 7 years and said that <strong>his children "aren't allowed to use that s**t."</strong></p> <p>Palihapitiya went on to criticize not only Facebook, but Silicon Valley's entire system of venture capital funding saying that investors pump money into <strong>"s**tty, useless, idiotic companies,"</strong> rather than addressing real problems. Palihapitiya currently runs his own VC firm, Social Capital, which focuses on funding companies in sectors like healthcare and education.</p> <p>Finally, proving that he's just the gift that keeps on giving, Palihapitiya also took a shot at individual tech investors saying they've achieved their power more through luck than skill. <strong>"Everybody's bulls**tting,"</strong> he said. <strong>"If you're in a seat, and you have good deal flow, and you have precious capital, and there's a massive tailwind of technological change ... Over time you get one of the 20 [companies that become successful] and you look like a genius. And nobody wants to admit that but that's the f**king truth."</strong></p> <p>Of course, not everyone is buying Palihapitiya's holier-than-thou speech and has called on the tech billionaire to put his money where his mouth is...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">i would like to see these people put their (facebook-made) money where their mouths are - more powerful than a verbal condemnation would be giving up facebook shares or the $$$ they've made from facebook <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— maya kosoff (@mekosoff) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p><em><strong>For those interested, here is the full interview with Palihapitiya: </strong></em></p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="620" height="376" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Beast Chamath Palihapitiya Computing Digital media Facebook Fiction India It Social media Social networking services Stanford Graduate School Twitter Twitter Universal Windows Platform apps Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608934 at Amazon's 75,000 New Robots Are Your Answer To No Wage Inflation <p><a href=""><em>Authored by John Mauldin via,</em></a></p> <p>Like millions of other people, I am a fan and a user of Amazon.</p> <p>They do make buying things convenient, especially little things that you might have to go to art specialty stores to find. I&rsquo;m a huge user of the Kindle app, too.</p> <p><strong>I will admit that I don&rsquo;t quite understand the Amazon business model of growth over profits.</strong> But I have noticed that most of the profits Amazon actually makes are coming from their non-commercial side&mdash;stuff like cloud services.</p> <p>Be that as it may, there is a semi-dark side to Amazon. <strong><em>They are slowly but surely eating retail jobs.</em></strong></p> <h2><u>Amazon Is Not the Only One to Be Blamed</u></h2> <p>Now, to be fair, Amazon represents only a small portion of US retail sales, but it accounts for <a href="" target="_blank">an outsized portion of the growth in retail sales.</a></p> <p>And, again to be fair, Amazon does not do even a majority of online sales, since other online retailers are just as aggressively pushing their own products.</p> <p><strong>To be even more fair, a great deal of the problem <a href="" target="_blank">in American retail jobs and businesses</a> is that we simply have too many retail stores.</strong></p> <p>Reasonable analysis that I&rsquo;ve read suggests that we have anywhere from 10 to 15% more retail stores than we actually need.</p> <p>Now, that&rsquo;s good for competition and choice, but it is just one more reason why there is going to be a consolidation in retail companies and further losses of retail jobs.</p> <h2><u>What&rsquo;s That Going to Do for the Wage-Inflation Issue?</u></h2> <p>As we head into 2018, there are a few dark clouds here and there, but I am mostly optimistic. I do think<strong> the primary risk in 2018 will be major central bank policy errors.</strong></p> <p>I will probably repeat these figures again this weekend, but between the $450 billion that the Fed intends to pull out of its balance sheet and the $500 billion by which the ECB is going to reduce its QE, there will be almost $1 trillion going into the market.</p> <p>Since the Fed, and especially Ben Bernanke, took credit for the rise in asset prices induced by its QE, why this Fed thinks that quantitative tightening (QT) will have no effect at all on the market is quite beyond me.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s one thing to raise rates, which they should have done years ago, and it&rsquo;s another thing altogether to <a href="" target="_blank">raise rates and fire up a QT program</a> at the same time.</p> <p><strong>I think they will be doing this at precisely the wrong time and for the wrong reasons.</strong></p> <p>In the meantime, let&rsquo;s look at <a href="" target="_blank">one of the technological forces</a>, Amazon, and the tidal wave of online sales that is putting pressure on the retail sales market. You wonder why there has been no wage inflation when, theoretically, unemployment is so low?</p> <p><strong>Here&rsquo;s one of a number of answers: Amazon has hired approximately 75,000 robots just this year.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em><strong>Get Varying Expert Opinions in One Publication with John Mauldin&rsquo;s Outside the Box</strong></em></p> <p><em>Every week, celebrated economic commentator John Mauldin highlights a well-researched, controversial essay from a fellow economic expert. Whether you find them inspiring, upsetting, or outrageous&hellip; they&rsquo;ll all make you think Outside the Box. <a href="" target="_blank">Get the newsletter free in your inbox every Wednesday.</a></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="349" height="203" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 3D publishing Amazon Amazon tax Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Business E-commerce Economy European Central Bank Online music stores Publishing Retail Unemployment US Federal Reserve Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:00:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 608947 at New Yorker Fires "Star" Political Reporter Ryan Lizza For "Improper Sexual Conduct" <p>Remember Ryan Lizza? He is the New Yorker's up and rising, and according to many "star" political reporter - as well as CNN analyst - who rose to prominence in July when he published the full transcript of former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci tirade-laced, <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">off</span>on-the-record phone call, in which the Mooch slammed Bannon (who was “trying to suck [his] own cock”) and Priebus (who is a "fucking paranoid schizophrenic") and which led to Scaramucci's resignation just days after his appointment. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p>Or rather, he <em>was </em>the New Yorker's "star" political reporter, because as Politico's Michael Calderone first reported, "<strong>The New Yorker has severed ties with Ryan Lizza in response to behavior the magazine believes to be “improper sexual conduct."</strong></p> <p>The full statement: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct. We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further."</p> </blockquote> <p>Considering that Lizza was anonymously accused of improper behavior in the secret “<a href="">Shitty Media Men</a>” list passed around by female journalists earlier this fall, his downfall is perhaps not that surprising. </p> <p>As the Daily Beast notes, while normally quite active on social media and cable news, Lizza had been rather silent in recent weeks. He has not appeared on CNN, where he is a contributor, since November 22; and aside from a smattering of retweets, his normally buzzing Twitter feed has been absent of reporting or commentary since around the same time.</p> <p>In a statement issued shortly after the news, Lizza said that he’s “dismayed” the New Yorker has characterized&nbsp; “a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate.” </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Ryan Lizza says in a statement that he’s “dismayed” the New Yorker has characterized “a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate.” Full statement: <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Meanwhile, as the media desperately tries to redirect from the fading Russian collusion story to "Trump grabbing women by the pussy" again, the irony is that the media itself is increasingly falling victim to the very same thing. And speaking of which, where is the NYT's Glenn Thrush these days?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1480" height="833" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anthony Scaramucci Bannon Business CNN Director of communications Economy Lizza Mooch OffOn Ryan Lizza Scaramucci Television in the United States Twitter Twitter White House White House Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:46:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 608950 at Times Square Terrorist Planned Attack For Years, Told Police "Motive Was Revenge" <p><strong>Updat (2 pm ET)</strong>: In a harrowing account of today&#39;s Times Square terrorist attack, the <a href="">New York Post </a>interviewed several witnesses who shared their accounts of the immediate aftermath of the attack, which triggered a small stampede out of the narrow subway tunnel where Akayed Ullah detonated his homemade pipe bombs.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><u><strong>&ldquo;I heard a kaboom. It was shaky,&rdquo;</strong></u> said Jamar Moore, 39, who was near a turnstile when he felt the explosion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;There was a little rumble. Everyone just hit the stairs and started running. People were losing their pocketbooks. Once we heard that pop, everybody was out.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the mad scramble to flee after the would-be suicide bomber&rsquo;s explosive device erupted underground, people at the station were falling over each other, trampling on others and losing their shoes, Moore recalled<strong><u>.</u></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>&ldquo;People started getting trampled. I see about three to four people falling,&rdquo; he said.</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sarah Benelli, 35, was on an A train that had pulled into 42nd Street/Port Authority when the bomb detonated, shaking the whole train and causing frightened commuters to jump on board to try to get away.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I had headphones on, but I felt this rattle in my chest. I pulled the headphones out, and it sounded just like thunder. It reverberated for a couple seconds, and it was really loud,&rdquo; said the Inwood resident<strong>.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;As I heard the rumbling, I heard people on the platform running on the train. There were a couple expletives; people were obviously scared. A few people ducked down in the train, and people were shouting to get away from the doors so the doors could close. They wanted to get out of there.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>As we noted earlier, Ullah told police that his attack was an act of vengeance against the US for <a href="">violence in Gaza. </a></p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in her first official comment on today&#39;s attack that Trump&#39;s proposed ban on &quot;Chain Migration&quot; might&#39;ve prevented today&#39;s attack.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">So Sarah Sanders claimed that the president&#39;s policy of an end to chain migration would have prevented this morning&#39;s attempted attack in NYC even though the suspect came to the U.S. in 2011...</p> <p>&mdash; Rebecca Shabad (@RebeccaShabad) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>In a story reminiscent of the hero cop who helped subdue the attacker during the Halloween attack in lower Manhattan, police officials are lauding one hero officer who arrested Ullah.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">PICTURED: Hero Port Authority Officer Jack Collins, who arrested and stopped the 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, from carrying out his attack, <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update (12:30 pm ET):</strong> Akayed Ullah, the 27-year-old would-be suicide bomber who detonated an explosive device underground near the Port Authority Bus Terminal this morning - an attack that was timed to coincide with morning rush hour foot traffic - told investigators that he carried out the attack to mete out revenge on America, which he blamed for bombings in his home country, according to the <a href="">New York Post</a>.</p> <p>The Post added that Ullah was an NYC cab driver until recently, when his licensed lapsed and he neglected to renew it. Ullah told authorities in sum and substance from his hospital bed: &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve been bombing in my country and I wanted to do damage here,&rdquo; sources said. Ullah attached two pipe bombs to his person using velcro and zip ties.</p> <p>The bombing occurred around 7:20 am inside the subway passageway between West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. Ullah suffered burns to his hands and abdomen, along with lacerations. He injured three others who were in proximity to him, and ?was ?quickly taken into custody and ?transported ?to Bellevue Hospital.</p> <p><u><strong>According to authorities, Ullah has reportedly been planning the attack for years.</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">UPDATE MANHATTAN: The NYC terror suspect is believe to have been planning the attempted Terrorist attack for years near Times Square.</p> <p>&mdash; NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>* * *</p> <p><em>Live feed:</em></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="281" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=500" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Summary: </strong></p> <p><strong>A 27-year-old Bangladeshi national was taken into custody with serious injuries after a suspected pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station Monday morning</strong>. The explosion happened around 7:20am, in an underground tunnel linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Times Square.</p> <p>The suspect, Akayed Ullah, wore the device that went off shortly after 7 a.m., Police Commissioner James O&rsquo;Neill said at a news conference near the scene. Ullah suffered serious burns, while other victims had minor injuries, he said. In the sprawling Times Square station, the city&rsquo;s busiest, a &ldquo;low, muffled sound&rdquo; was heard when the bomb detonated, according to the New York Times. It went off in a walkway that runs underground between Seventh and Eighth avenues that connects the lettered subway lines, the A, C and E, with the numbered lines, the 1, 2, and 3.</p> <p>&ldquo;You can tell that it was not normal commuter noise,&rdquo; said Roxanne Malaspina, 50, an employee in <a href="">Bloomberg LP&rsquo;s legal department</a>. She had just gotten off the A train when she heard the explosion and joined a crowd running further into the station to catch a train away from the area. &ldquo;It created a little bit of a panic in that underground passageway,&rdquo; Malaspina said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not like normal commuter chaos.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Port Authority Bus Terminal where the explosion took place, is the largest in the country and the busiest in the world - serving about 225,000 commuters a day.&nbsp; It&#39;s what&#39;s known by law enforcement officials as a &#39;soft target&#39; because it handles a lot of traffic but doesn&#39;t have the same kind of security as a place like an airport.</p> <p>The terrorist was found injured at the scene and rushed to Bellevue Hospital. He was wearing what appears to be a homemade pipe bomb attacked to his body with velcro and zip ties.&nbsp; Authorities say Ullah is talking to investigators at the hospital.&nbsp; Three other people also reported to local hospitals for minor injuries like ringing in the ears and headaches.&nbsp;</p> <p>Video surveillance captured the explosion. It showed a crowd of commuters trudging forward toward the camera when a cloud of smoke and dust bursts into the picture. As the cloud fills the screen, dozens of commuters run. One person falls to the floor, apparently injured.</p> <p>Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC&#39;s Morning Joe that the suspect <strong>&#39;supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS&#39; and that it was &#39;definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended&#39;. </strong></p> <p>At a morning press conference, current NYPD Commission James O&#39;Neill said that the suspect &#39;did make statements&#39; but that they are not going to comment on them yet. Though it&#39;s still early in the investigation, <strong>New York City officials say it was definitely an attempted terror attack. </strong>&#39;This was an attempted terror attack and thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals,&#39; Mayor Bill de Blasio said.</p> <p>CNN reports that it appears the Subway was not the intended target of the pipe bomb, and that it may have went off prematurely.&nbsp; They also learned that the device was homemade and could have caused catastrophic damage if it went off as intended.</p> <p>Commissioner O&#39;Neill said that they have obtained CCTV footage of the attack, but they have not detailed yet what it shows.&nbsp;</p> <p>The attack was the second on New Yorkers in six weeks, coming after a man in a rented truck drove up a crowded bike path on Halloween. Monday&rsquo;s explosion came at the height of Christmas season, when the city is filled with daytrippers and tourists expecting a fairytale Manhattan.</p> <p>New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo said a bombing in the subway is &#39;one of our worst nightmares&#39; - but he said New Yorkers will get through this as they have before on 9/11 and even the most recent terror attack on Halloween.</p> <p>&#39;This is the New York. The reality is we are the target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy and against freedom. We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor and that makes us an international target.</p> <p>&#39;We understand that anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur-level explosive device and that is the reality that we live with.</p> <p>&#39;The counter reality is that this is New York and we all pitch together and we are a savvy people and we keep our eyes open and that&#39;s what &#39;see something, say something&#39; is all about. And we have the best law enforcement on the globe and we&#39;re all working together extraordinarily well,&#39; Gov. Cuomo said.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is connected to the Times Square station by a tunnel, closed. Subway lines were delayed and bypassing Times Square, and PATH trains were accepting bus riders.</p> <p>President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident, according to spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.</p> <p>The motivation for the Monday blast was unclear.</p> <p>After the Halloween attack, Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant from Paterson, New Jersey, was charged with terrorism. Eight people died, including five visitors from Argentina, and 12 were injured when a rental truck that authorities said Saipov drove plowed them over on a West Side Highway bike path. Saipov was shot by police but is expected to survive.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Update 4</strong></span>: The NYPD is significantly stepping up security around the city, as a result of 3 civilians suffering minor injures during the explosion. Separately, the terrorist suspect Is now at Bellevue Hospital, with serious injuries.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">PICTURED: suspected bomber being wheeled onto a ambulance after the explosion <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Authorities released the following photo of the bomber:</p> <p><a href=""><img height="281" src="" width="500" /></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, the NYPD and FBI have arrived at the suspects home in Brooklyn.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">PHOTOS. NYPD and FBI at the suspects home in Brooklyn. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>* * *</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Update 3:</strong></span> <a href=";utm_source=NYPTwitter&amp;utm_medium=SocialFlow">The New York Post reports,</a> <strong>an ISIS-inspired Bangladeshi national set off an homemade explosive device </strong>at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, law enforcement sources said.</p> <p><strong>The suspected bomber &ndash; a 27-year-old who lived in Brooklyn </strong>&ndash; had wires attached to him and was armed with a five-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub, sources said. <strong>Two law enforcement sources have identified the suspect as Ullah Akayed</strong>.</p> <p>Police took the man into custody.</p> <p><strong>Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC&rsquo;s &ldquo;Morning Joe&rdquo; that the man was inspired by ISIS and originally from Bangladesh.</strong></p> <p>There was at least one injury and the wounded was the suspect. The man, who was seriously injured, was taken to Bellevue Hospital.</p> <p><strong>Investigators briefly spoke to the man, who told them he made the explosive device at the electrical company where he works.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="293" src="" width="500" /></a></strong></p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update 2 : </strong>The Terrorist in NYC attack is injured and in custody. Bomb exploded prematurely. <strong>The suspect is a Muslim man from Brooklyn, east Flatbush area</strong>, Investigators are on the way to his home, for further investigations.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>A clip of the moment an alleged pipe bomb exploded at Port Authority around 6:30am on Monday morning has been released.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING VIDEO: MOMENT OF EXPLOSION AT TIMES SQUARE SUBWAY STATION <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Breaking911 (@Breaking911) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Meanwhile, according to Sarah Sanders, president Trump has been briefed on the explosion.</p> <p>Also, according to a report that conflicts with previous news, the suspect&rsquo;s explosive vest went off prematurely at Port Authority, resulting in the death of the suspect.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Breaking from <a href="">@DeanMeminger</a> on <a href="">@NY1</a>: suspect&rsquo;s explosive vest went off prematurely at Port Authority &mdash; suspect is dead.</p> <p>&mdash; Jamie Stelter (@JamieStelter) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>However this has been promptly refuted, and we now know that the attack is being treated as a possible terror attack:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">UPDATE: The NYPD says the suspect, still in custody, has not died.</p> <p>&mdash; New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">UPDATE: the suspect is man from Brooklyn, east Flatbush area, Investigators are on the way to his home, for further investigations</p> <p>&mdash; New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING NEWS: NYPD and FBI are investigating the explosion in Manhattan as a possible terror attack.</p> <p>&mdash; New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>* * *</p> <p>The latest developments:</p> <ul> <li><strong>PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL EXPLOSION CAUSED BY PIPE BOMB. FEW INJURIES, SUSPECT IN CUSTODY: ABC7</strong></li> <li><strong>FEW INJURIES AFTER THE EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE BELOW GROUND AT PORT AUTHORITY</strong></li> <li><strong>POLICE SOURCE TELL NY1 SUSPECT WAS WEARING AN EXPLOSIVE VEST: BBG</strong></li> <li><strong>PORT AUTHORITY SUSPECT HAD POSSIBLE SECOND DEVICE; IN CUSTODY: PIX11</strong></li> <li><strong>THE POLICE HAVE VIDEO AND ARE CONFIDENT THE SITUATION IS CONTAINED</strong></li> </ul> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING NEWS: NYPD INVESTIGATING AN EXPLOSION AT THE WEST 44 ST SUBWAY STAION. LEVEL 3 MOBILIZATION BEING CALLED. PERP IN CUSTODY.</p> <p>&mdash; NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">U/D BREAKING: SUSPECT IS WEARING WEARING AN EXPLOSIVE VEST AT WEST 42 St &amp; 8TH AVE. BOMB SQUAD ON SCENE. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>The person in custody has been confirmed by CNN:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">One person is in custody relating to the incident near Port Authority in NYC, <a href="">@brynnCNN</a> reports <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Breaking News (@NewsOnTheMin) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>As the <a href="">Daily Mail notes, </a>the first explosion was felt around 6:30am Monday morning in a Subway station near the Port Authority bus terminal in Midtown Manhattan, just blocks from Times Square.&nbsp;</p> <p>The FDNY said they located a device near the passageway between the A and 1 trains, and that it&#39;s possible this was a terror attack.&nbsp; Police have taken one man into custody who was wearing a device with wires on him.&nbsp; Law enforcement agencies have responded to the scene and have set up a perimeter around the area.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>One person is reportedly in custody after an underground explosion - which some speculated as a pipe bomb - took place at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.</p> <p>According to the NYPD News twitter feed, the New York Police Department responded to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at Port Authority, located 42nd Street and 8th Ave, in Manhattan, while the A, C and E line are being evacuated at this time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The NYPD is responding to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Ave, <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Manhattan</a>. The A, C and E line are being evacuated at this time. Info is preliminary, more when available. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>According to NBC News, the explosion has been confirmed...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">JUST IN: New York City officials confirm there has been an explosion near 42nd street and 8th Avenue, cause not yet clear</p> <p>&mdash; NBC News (@NBCNews) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING NEWS: Something going on at <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PortAuthorityBusTerminal</a>. Almost got trampled in the rush of people trying to get out. Heard people talking about possible <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#explosion</a>. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Pete Sayek (@PeteRFNY) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>... and Reuters adds that the New York Fire Department is likewise responding to an &quot;incident&quot; at Port Authority in New York City.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING: New York Fire Department says responding to an incident at Port Authority in New York City <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) <a href="">December 11, <strong>2017</strong></a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>A WPIX reporter notes that the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, Q, R, W and 7 train are bypassing 42 St. reports of explosion underground near 42nd and 8th Ave.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#commuteralert</a> 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, Q, R, W and 7 train are bypassing 42 St. reports of explosion underground near 42nd and 8th Ave. <a href="">@PIX11News</a></p> <p>&mdash; Kala Rama (@KalaRamaTV) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>She also notes that at least one person was in custody following the explosion:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BREAKING</a> One person in custody after underground explosion near A C E subway line at Port Authority. Nature of explosion and or device unknown right now. Area evacuated. <a href="">@PIX11News</a></p> <p>&mdash; Anthony DiLorenzo (@ADiLorenzoTV) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Good Morning America confirmed both the pipe bomb and custody aspects of the story.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">LIVE: <a href="">@ABC</a> News Special Report: Possible pipe bomb detonated in passageway below ground at Port Authority in NYC, police sources say. <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Good Morning America (@GMA) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><p>Witness describe a &quot;stampede&quot; following the explosion at Port Authority.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I am safe in my office. Had to sprint from port authority due to an explosion. everyone be safe</p> <p>&mdash; Drama (@YourDreams28) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">holy fuck. just was stuck in a running stampede at port authority bus terminal due to bomb scare. cops EVERYWHERE</p> <p>&mdash; chels (@chelsea) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Port authority subway in NYC closed, bomb squad units outside several block perimeter&hellip; <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; GN4GN.COM (@GN4GN_COM) <a href="">December 11, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src=""></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="561" height="329" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 42nd Street 42nd Street/Port Authority Ammunition Bellevue Hospital Bomb disposal Bombs Eighth Avenue Explosive weapons Explosives Federal Bureau of Investigation George Metesky Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan Hero Port Authority Improvised explosive device Lincoln Highway Lincoln Tunnel New York City New York City Police Department New York City Subway New York City Subway stations New York Fire Department New York Police Department New York Post New York state) NYPD NYPD Commission Pennsylvania Station Port Authority Port Authority Bus Terminal Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department Port of New York and New Jersey Railroad terminals in New York City Stampede Terrorism in the United States Theater District, Manhattan Times Square Transportation in New Jersey Transportation in New York City Transportation in New York state) White House White House Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:39:35 +0000 Tyler Durden 608903 at