en A Realist's View Of The US Presidential Contest <p><em><a href="">Submitted by Eric Zuesse via,</a></em></p> <p><em>Because the viewpoint expressed here will be a controversial one not frequently expressed or encountered, links are provided in order to enable the reader quickly to access the documentation wherever a particular allegation might seem to be dubious on the basis of false assertions that any particular reader might have read elsewhere; but, otherwise, the links that are provided here are intended to be simply ignored, especially because so many of the allegations here are highly contentious and therefore require providing ready access to the documentation (and because no reader should waste his time to read documentation at a linked item that the reader already&nbsp;believes&nbsp;to be true):</em></p> <p><strong>The rape-allegations that have been raised recently against Donald Trump, turned the US Presidential contest so drastically, that a Hillary Clinton victory now appears to be all but certain. </strong>Morning Consult headlined on October 18<sup>th</sup>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;Donald Trump Has a&nbsp;Growing Problem&nbsp;With Men&rdquo;</a>, and reported: &ldquo;Before the first debate, Trump led his Democratic&nbsp;counterpart, Hillary Clinton, by 8 points among&nbsp;men in a&nbsp;Morning Consult survey&nbsp;of likely voters.&nbsp;After the second debate and nine women making&nbsp;sexual assault allegations against Trump, those&nbsp;numbers have nearly flipped: Clinton now leads&nbsp;Trump among men by 6 points.&rdquo;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s a 14% swing away from Trump, among half of the electorate, during a time-interval extending from 24 September to 15 October &mdash; 21 days &mdash; with only 22 days left until voting ends (hardly enough time to reverse that plunge and then to rise into the lead).<strong> Rape allegations couldn&rsquo;t get Bill Clinton forced out of office, but they likely will force Hillary Clinton into office.</strong> Future historians might say that the biggest issue in the 2016 US Presidential contest was rape &mdash; more important to voters than the economy, the wars, the income-stagnation of the bottom 99%, trade-policy, criminal-justice reform, or any other public-policy issue.<em><strong> But, if this turns out to be so, then is America at all a functioning democracy? Might it instead be a sick society, whose values are so out-of-kilter, so plainly stupid, that it fits more the stereotype of a backward culture, than of a successful and forward-looking one?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Some of the issues that are actually at stake in this election &mdash; especially nuclear war &mdash; could quickly end all civilization as we know it; but the voters&rsquo; main issue seems instead to be rape.</strong> Does this reflect democracy, or rather a lack of democracy, or a manipulation of democracy? Should a personal crime, which isn&rsquo;t a crime of government, actually be an issue in elective politics? Should it be an issue even if there has been no court-ruling and conviction in the case? And, if it should, then should it dominate an election, such as it is in 2016 America? If it should be an issue at all, then, given the enormous stakes in the current US election, it should be an extremely minor one, notwithstanding how repulsive any rapist is, but especially because there hasn&rsquo;t even been legal process about any of the allegations, and because even a Presidential candidate who is publicly accused of a personal crime is supposed to be innocent until a court rules &ldquo;guilty.&rdquo;</p> <p>Joachim Hagopian is correct to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">report, at Global Research</a>, on October 18<sup>th</sup>, that, &ldquo;<strong><em>The current threat level to every human life on this planet even surpasses the October Cuban Missile Crisis of 54 years ago as the earth today is in more peril by manmade [nuclear] destruction than any previous time in human history.</em></strong>&rdquo; However, even if that outcome will fortunately be avoided, the sheer war-stakes in this Presidential election are enormous, and they appear to have little impact upon the voters, other than for them perhaps to fear placing a possible rapist (such as Bill Clinton also was) in charge of US (if not also of other nations&rsquo;) national security.</p> <p>Micah Zenko, of the overwhelmingly pro-Hillary-Clinton,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">neoconservative (pro-invasion)</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Council on Foreign Relations</a>, headlined, on 29 July 2016, in the neoconservative&nbsp;Foreign Policy&nbsp;magazine (which&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">denies that it&rsquo;s neoconservative but cannot cite even a single article that it has published attacking neoconservatism</a>),&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;Hillary the Hawk: A History&rdquo;</a>,&nbsp;and he documented that, <em><strong>&ldquo;She has consistently endorsed starting new wars and expanding others.&rdquo;</strong></em> He closed by saying: &ldquo;Those who vote for her should know that she will&nbsp;approach such crises with a long track record of being&nbsp;generally supportive of initiating US military&nbsp;interventions and expanding them.&rdquo;</p> <p>I have <strong>independently reviewed&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">her performance as the US Secretary of State</a>,</strong> and have found nothing in her record that would contradict Zenko&rsquo;s statement (other than his single false word there, &lsquo;generally&rsquo;), though I wrote clearly as a warning, and not merely (like Zenko did), to describe what her policies have been; I have (on many and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">diverse</a>&nbsp;occasions) explicitly condemned those invasions as violations not only against the victim-nations but against the American public, whom the US Secretary of State is&nbsp;supposed&nbsp;to represent. International aggression does&nbsp;not&nbsp;represent the interests of the American public. If she becomes America&rsquo;s President, then clearly&nbsp;there will be war, lots of it.</p> <p><strong>Hillary Clinton&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">not only ardently championed George W. Bush&rsquo;s kicking the U.N.&rsquo;s weapons inspectors out of Iraq in 2003 so that we could invade, but as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration led in every aggressive policy</a>,</strong> and her protégés in the State Department after she left, such as&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Victoria Nuland</a>, oversaw the carrying-out of those acts of aggression, and her former boss President Obama even sometimes overrode his new Secretary of State John Kerry (as Obama never did to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">approved the aggressive policies of Hillary&rsquo;s (now Kerry&rsquo;s) underlings (which humiliated Kerry)</a>. Whereas Obama is a quiet neoconservative, Hillary is a loud and proud one. Her support of invading Iraq in 2003 was no &lsquo;mistake&rsquo; or &lsquo;aberration&rsquo; on her part; it reflected&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">her fundamental orientation toward foreign policy</a>. That&rsquo;s what her voters will be voting for, if they are intelligent and accurately informed (as opposed to &ldquo;voting for the first woman President&rdquo; or other irrelevancies); because that&rsquo;s what America and the world will importantly get if she becomes the next US President. (After all: Margaret Thatcher was also a woman; gender is irrelevant.) This is clear.</p> <p><strong>Donald Trump has no record in public office; and, up against&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s demonstrated catastrophic record in public office</a>, that lack of governmental experience alone constitutes a major reason to prefer him over her in this Presidential election.</strong> Whether he would start wars is unknown, but he has spoken forcefully of the need for the US to improve its relations with Russia. Hillary Clinton (<a href="" target="_blank">like all other neoconservatives</a>) criticizes him for that. (And&nbsp;<a href=";recipdetail=P&amp;sortorder=U&amp;mem=N&amp;cycle=2016" target="_blank">the US &lsquo;Defense&rsquo; industry has poured money into Hillary&rsquo;s campaign but given almost nothing to Trump&rsquo;s.</a>)&nbsp;</p> <p>Perhaps the main reason why the main criticisms of Trump have concerned his private life, not his policy-record in public office, is because he has no policy-making record at all.<strong> The issues that have been raised in support of Hillary (since her positive achievements in public office have been virtually nil) have mainly focused on Trump&rsquo;s personal affairs, and on his alleged acts of bigotry and even rape, </strong>because these are matters that distract voters from the real and urgent issues, which weigh so heavily and so substantially against her candidacy.</p> <p>Rape has become the chief focus during the campaign&rsquo;s closing days, because<strong> polls have indicated clearly that voters are more concerned about whether their President is a rapist than about whether he or she is a warmonger.</strong> Though they weren&rsquo;t so concerned about such allegations when Bill Clinton was President, Trump&rsquo;s often-crude speech makes such accusations against him far more credible than in Bill Clinton&rsquo;s case &mdash; even though that ought not to be so.</p> <p><em><strong>No one except the women who have accused Bill Clinton and Donald Trump of rape can know, or can even think they know, whether a court would have convicted the alleged rapist if a court had been enabled to issue such a decision; but there can be&nbsp;no doubt whatsoever, that Hillary Clinton has been actively supporting the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US invasion of Libya in 2011, and is now supporting a far more aggressive&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">US invasion of Syria (which would mean war against Russia)</a>&nbsp;&mdash; supporting it&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">consistently</a>. </strong></em>She also has&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">actively supported the 2009 coup in Honduras (which replaced the progressive democratically elected President there by a string of fascist tyrants and the world&rsquo;s highest murder-rate)</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the overthrow of Ukraine&rsquo;s democratically elected government in 2014</a>&nbsp;(which was&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">immediately followed by a break-up of the country</a>&nbsp;and a plunge into depression and soaring debt).</p> <p><strong>Each one of these invasions and coups produced even worse conditions in the invaded or overthrown country afterward;</strong> but, only in the single case, of the invasion of Iraq by George W. Bush, which subsequently became overwhelmingly condemned by the Democratic Party itself, did Hillary Clinton (with whatever sincerity an intelligent person can attribute to her, which is whatever the person thinks it to be) admit that she had made a &lsquo;mistake&rsquo; on that one occasion. She doesn&rsquo;t apologize for any of the other cases, because there is no such political requirement for her to do so.&nbsp;</p> <p><u><em><strong>How many times does a high public official need to repeat essentially the same &lsquo;mistake&rsquo; (actively as a public official pushing for horrific invasions), before the voters in that person&rsquo;s political party (in this case, Democrats) come to recognize that they&rsquo;ve been consistently lied-to by that person, and that they&rsquo;ve been that politician&rsquo;s suckers by voting for that catastrophically war-mongering person?</strong></em></u> After all, no sane voter wants&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">America to go to war against Russia</a>. But&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">that&rsquo;s the direction in which we&rsquo;re currently heading</a>. And&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton wants to go farther there</a>.</p> <p><strong>America&rsquo;s Presidential choice will be either Hillary Clinton, a proven and repeated warmonger who has left a lengthy trail of death and destruction behind her</strong> as her blood-soaked clear and consistent record in public office (and Zenko made special note that &ldquo;She also has developed close relations with retired military officers like <a href="" target="_blank">Gen. Jack Keane</a>, who has rarely seen a country that cannot be improved with US ground troops and airstrikes. As Bob Woodward&nbsp;wrote&nbsp;of a 2009 meeting between the two to discuss the Afghan surge: &lsquo;Clinton greeted Keane with a bear hug, astonishing [US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard] Holbrooke because &mdash; and he should know &mdash; Hillary rarely bear-hugged anyone.&rdquo; (<a href="" target="_blank">Here</a>&nbsp;is Jack Keane being praised by the prominent super-neocon Republican Paul Wolfowitz, who&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">will vote for Hillary Clinton, against Donald Trump</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Or else it will be a possible rapist, like her husband also was, who served two terms in the White House, but this time it would be a man of the opposite political party: Donald Trump.</strong> No matter how gross Mr. Trump is: he, unlike Hillary Clinton, cannot be intelligently evaluated by an abysmal record in public office, because he simply has&nbsp;no record at all in public office, nothing whatsoever; but he has only strings of public statements, most of which contradict each other. (As Zenko said: &ldquo;Unlike&nbsp;Donald Trump, who has wildly shifting positions and alleged &lsquo;secret&rsquo; plans to defeat the Islamic State, Clinton has an extensive track record upon which one can evaluate her likely positions.&rdquo;) What Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s public statements contradict is&nbsp;her actual record in public office, which is as far right-wing (pro-international-corporate), especially in foreign affairs and US trade policy (including NAFTA, TTIP, etc.) (and the common term for this in the military sphere is &ldquo;neoconservative&rdquo;), as any of her many financial backers on Wall Street could realistically hope for from any potential future US President &mdash; which is why she&rsquo;s backed by&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">almost all of America&rsquo;s billionaires</a>.</p> <p><strong>One of those two persons&nbsp;will be&nbsp;the next US President.</strong> Anyone else who&nbsp;alleges&nbsp;that he or she wants to be, and whose name will&nbsp;also&nbsp;appear on the Presidential ballot, is just a fake there, because, for example, Ralph Nader never ever won even so much as&nbsp;a single one of the 50 states in the Electoral College in any of his contests for the Presidency&nbsp;(not to mention a&nbsp;majority of all the EC votes, such as each of these spoilers lies, or lied, to claim to be his or her goal, but really just being a bad joke on that person&rsquo;s voters). Nor will any of the&nbsp;current&nbsp;aspiring Presidential spoilers win even a single state.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s going to be either the possible rapist, or else the definite and serial warmonger.</strong> The next US President will be one of those two people. On the one side is, <strong>maybe, a rapist. On the other side is certainly a warmonger.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Each voter must make his/her own choice: either drink possibly cyanide, or drink definitely arsenic.</strong></u> Those are the only two choices left in America&rsquo;s &lsquo;democracy&rsquo;, and <a href="" target="_blank">neither of them was the top choice of the most Americans during the primaries-season: the top choice was Bernie Sanders, and the second choice was John Kasich</a>. In a truly democratic system, those two would be the final contestants.&nbsp;</p> <p>Each and every American voter in this existing contest will either select and drink his/her cup, or else simply allow all the other US voters in this contest collectively to select the cup that he/she and all other Americans&nbsp;will then be drinking&nbsp;during the next four years.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s a&nbsp;realistic&nbsp;view of this contest. But this is only one person&rsquo;s analysis. Anyone who finds fault in it, is welcomed to provide and document a counter-argument below, as a reader-comment, or anywhere else this commentary is published.</p> <p>Meanwhile, here is my answer to a person who, in a prior reader-comment, said that I am trying to &lsquo;herd&rsquo; America&rsquo;s voters into one or the other of America&rsquo;s rotten political parties: I voted for Bernie Sanders, but I&rsquo;m no such fool as to think that anyone like that still has a chance to win the US Presidency in 2016. I didn&rsquo;t do the &lsquo;herd&rsquo;ing here; the US political system does it, when the political primary season ends and the general-election contest starts. If Jill Stein had wanted to reform the Democratic Party, she missed her chance to do that when she failed even to enter the Democratic primaries.</p> <p>And, unlike the Whig Party, which had already become so widely rejected by the electorate by the time of 1860, so that a former Whig, Abraham Lincoln, was able virtually to start its successor, the Republican Party in 1860 (which got shot dead and taken over by the aristocracy when he was shot dead, in 1865), America&rsquo;s voters haven&rsquo;t yet reached the point where they&rsquo;re willing to replace the Democratic Party with the Green Party or any other (much less to protect it if yet another assassination kills the progressive replacement-party like Lincoln&rsquo;s Republican Party was). No matter what any third-party proponent might say, there&rsquo;s no chance that 2016 is going to be some repeat of 1860. America is, and (like any nation that has a Presidential system) can only be, a two-party political system. The Founders didn&rsquo;t know that, but we&rsquo;ve now got hundreds of years all proving it to be so.</p> <p>I mention that particular objection because it&rsquo;s the one I most commonly have gotten in the past.</p> <p><u><strong>One final observation here:</strong></u> The reality of politics and governmental policymaking is incredibly ugly, and <strong>anyone who makes voting decisions on the basis of a politician&rsquo;s mere private and personal life is a fool,</strong> because public policy really is, in the deepest sense, a very different and vastly more consequential and important moral sphere, having&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">shockingly little to do with the person&rsquo;s private behavior</a>. <strong><em>The only intelligent way to judge any candidate is by that person&rsquo;s past record of actual policy-decisions in public office, not at all by either the person&rsquo;s mere words, or his private life (such as described in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">this example</a>).</em></strong></p> <p>Even for Abraham Lincoln, <a href="" target="_blank">who (along with FDR) is considered by historians to have been the greatest President</a>, only his actions on policy made him that, and even his greatness as a rhetorician possesses relevance for historians only insofar as it was a&nbsp;part of that policy-record.<strong> Furthermore: both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned and ordered slaves, but neither man was a lesser President for having done that</strong> (even if historians do debate whether such Presidents were lesser&nbsp;persons&nbsp;for having done it).</p> <p><strong>To evaluate a politician by either his personal life or his mere rhetoric is not only foolish but petty.</strong> History proves this on thousands, if not millions, of occasions. Policy-actions are the only factor that&rsquo;s important when evaluating a politician. It has been true throughout human history. A politician who has no record of policy-actions is thus a zero (like a mere coin-flip: presuming one side to be positive, the other negative); <strong>a politician who has a bad policy-record is thus a negative</strong>, and a politician who (like Bernie Sanders) has a positive policy-record is thus a positive. <strong>No intelligent estimation of America&rsquo;s immediate political future can be positive; it&rsquo;s either zero (like Trump) or else negative (like Hillary).</strong> That&rsquo;s where we are (somewhere between zero and negative), and that&rsquo;s the real choice we&rsquo;ve been presented: either it&rsquo;s Trump (zero), or else it&rsquo;s Hillary (negative). <strong>I, a Sanders-voter,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">am choosing</a>&nbsp;Trump, in preference to Clinton.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of <a href=";qid=1339027537&amp;sr=8-9" target="_blank">They&rsquo;re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010</a>,&nbsp;and of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">CHRIST&rsquo;S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity</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="594" height="427" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Bernie Sanders Donald Trump ETC Foreign Policy magazine Iraq national security Obama Administration President Obama Reality Ukraine White House Sat, 22 Oct 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575676 at Over 60% Of Americans Fear "Corruption Of Government Officials" Above Anything Else <p><em>"Global warming"? "Obamacare"? "Terrorism"? all rank in the Top 10 fears for Americans.</em> While 'creepy clowns' are all the rage, according to the&nbsp;<a href="">Chapman University Survey of American Fears</a>,<strong> corruption of government officials is the top fear among U.S. adults this year</strong>.</p> <p>This chart shows the % of Americans who reported being "afraid" or "very afraid" of the following...</p> <p><a href="" title="Infographic: Americans' Top Fears In 2016 | Statista"><img src="" alt="Infographic: Americans' Top Fears In 2016 | Statista" width="600" height="428" /></a><br /> <em>You will find more statistics at <a href="">Statista</a></em></p> <p>Just don't tell the mainstream media.. because that would be threatening the very core of America's democracy... or some such bullshit.</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="313" height="143" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption Global Warming Obamacare Sat, 22 Oct 2016 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575665 at The United States Of Refugees <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Ben Christopher via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Consider the state of Nebraska. What comes to mind?</strong></p> <p>Common associations with the Cornhusker state include: row crops, silos, college football, Warren Buffet, and wholesome, earnest Americana.</p> <p><strong>Now try this one: Refugee Capital of the United States.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href=""><img height="519" src="" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p>So far this year, the City of Omaha has settled over 900 people fleeing war, persecution, and disaster around the world. That may be a small figure relative to the <a href="">estimated</a> 21.3 million refugees worldwide (or relative to the population of Omaha, for that matter, which is roughly 434,000). But it&rsquo;s still higher than the number of refugees resettled in Los Angeles and New York City combined.</p> <p>That disproportionate hospitality extends across the entire state, where over 1,300 refugees have found new homes this year. That may not be much compared to the resettlement statistics in larger states, like California, Texas, and New York. But given Nebraska&rsquo;s population of fewer than 2 million, on a per person basis, this makes the state the most welcoming of refugees in the nation. For every 100,000 residents, Nebraska resettled roughly 71 refugees in 2016. By the same measure, California welcomed fewer than 18.</p> <p><strong>If these figures don&rsquo;t jibe with your understanding of where refugees live in the United States, that might be because you&rsquo;ve been following this year&rsquo;s presidential election.</strong> When Donald Trump <a href="">claims</a> that we &ldquo;have no documentation&rdquo; about the &ldquo;Trojan horse&rdquo; refugees who live in this country, and when Republican governors across the country <a href="">insist</a> that they will not abide Syrian refugees resettling within their borders, they not only raise suspicions about some of the world&rsquo;s most vulnerable people, they fundamentally mischaracterize what may be the most complex human relocation system on the planet.</p> <p><strong>This is a system in which international, federal, and charitable organizations all work together to bring more refugees to the United States than any other country</strong>&mdash;and which places more of them in Boise, Idaho; Des Moines, Iowa; and Bowling Green, Kentucky; than in New York City. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>How does this system work and how did we get to this point?</em></strong></p> <h2><u><strong>Somalis in the Buckeye State</strong></u></h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking to answer these questions, a good starting point might be Columbus, Ohio.</p> <p>Over the last two decades, the city has become one of the most popular resettlement locations for those fleeing war, persecution, and deprivation in Somalia.</p> <p>To be clear, this population represents a small trickle of all Somalis hoping to leave the country or the refugee camps in adjacent Kenya. The refugee application process is notoriously complex and time-intensive. An aspiring refugee must first get a referral from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees or from a local embassy before they even have permission to apply for refugee status. This application process requires extensive pre-screenings, background checks, health examinations, and on-site interviews. From start to finish, the process can, and generally does, take years&mdash;and of those who make it to the screening phase, only <a href="">half</a> are ultimately resettled.</p> <p>Still, many are. Over the last ten years, the United States has resettled over 70,000 Somali refugees. Many have come to Ohio. Today, Columbus has the second largest Somali population in the United States after Minneapolis.</p> <p><u><strong>Why Columbus, of all places?</strong></u></p> <p><img src="" style="height: 484px; width: 600px;" /></p> <p><em>Data:&nbsp;<a href="">Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System</a>, U.S. State Department.</em></p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;The short answer to your question is: it&rsquo;s complicated.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>That&rsquo;s the response from Tamar Forrest, the Director of Development at the Economic and Community Development Institute in Columbus, Ohio. The ECDI was founded by a refugee from the Soviet Union in 2004 and provides various social and economic development services to Columbus&rsquo; sizable Somali refugee community.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;For one, we&rsquo;re a bit of a victim of our own success,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Our resettlement agencies are really, really good.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>When a refugee is finally approved for resettlement in the United States, the State Department matches the applicant with one of nine resettlement organizations. These are non-profits, many of them religiously-affiliated, and they&mdash;not federal or state governments&mdash;are the organizations that decide where a refugee will be resettled.</p> <p><strong>That decision often comes down to logistics, says Forrest. Does a city have enough affordable housing? Does the resettlement organization have a local network of ESL teachers and caseworkers to refer to? Are there organizations like ECDI on the ground ready to help with job training and financial literacy courses?</strong></p> <p>But once a refugee community is established in a specific town or city, it begins to exert its own gravitational force. Resettlement agencies will often try to place refugees from a particular country into a community in which they have family or community ties to draw upon. And so Somalis are resettled in Columbus because Somali refugees have been placed in Columbus in the past.</p> <p>This process takes place with or without the resettlement agencies, says Forrest.</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;There were people in Columbus, like Bantu Somalis and Somalis, calling their family and friends in the refugee camp in Kakuma [in Kenya],&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;And they were saying, no matter where you go&mdash;if it&#39;s Atlanta, if it&#39;s Chicago, if it&#39;s New York&mdash;you have to make it to Columbus.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>Of course, it&rsquo;s common for refugees to move from the town or city in which they are initially placed. These &ldquo;secondary migrations,&rdquo; as scholars call them, mean that official refugee resettlement statistics (like the data used to make the map at the top of this article) offer an incomplete picture at best. In a <a href="">paper</a> that Forrest co-authored with Ohio State University professor Lawrence Brown in 2014, she estimated that between 2000 and 2005, over 2,500 refugees left California for other states, while over 1,000 resettled in the Golden State.</p> <p><u><strong>This national reshuffling also serves to reinforce the placement decisions of resettlement agencies. As the local Somali community grows in Columbus, more Somali refugees from around the country move there, which encourages resettlement agencies to resettle more Somalis in Columbus, which causes the local Somali community to grow, and so on.</strong></u></p> <p><img src="" style="height: 390px; width: 601px;" /></p> <p><em>Data:&nbsp;<a href="">Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System</a>, U.S. State Department.</em></p> <p><strong>Thus, what is effectively a choice of convenience by one of nine non-profits across the country can establish an American city as the go-to locale for a specific refugee community.</strong></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-787ea6fb-e3b1-39d9-7e25-24405800d4d0">It&rsquo;s a common story. This is the reason that so many refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo have recently been resettled in Atlanta (1,198 in the last three years), why so many Syrians now live in San Diego (871), and why you can now find so many Iraqi refugees in Houston (1,783).</span></p> <h2><u><strong>Iraqis in Houston</strong></u></h2> <p>Ali Al Sudani is one of those Iraqi refugees.</p> <p>When Sudani arrived in Houston in 2009, he knew close to nothing about the city. Having spent the previous three years working for an NGO in Jordan and applying for refugee status, his understanding of life in Texas was derived solely from television.</p> <p><strong>In three words: &ldquo;Cowboys, guns, and the oil industry,&rdquo; he says.</strong></p> <p>Still, his boss had family in Houston and had spoken highly of the economic opportunities there. And so after a year of referrals, applications, background checks, health inspections, and cultural orientation courses, he boarded a plane for George Bush Intercontinental Airport.</p> <p>Sudani was not alone. As the United States military began to slowly withdraw from Iraq at the end of 2007, Iraqis like Sudani, who had spent the years of the U.S. occupation working with coalition troops or foreign NGOs, were being targeted for retaliation in ever growing numbers. For both humanitarian and political reasons, the U.S. State Department began ramping up the number of refugee applications that it processed from Iraq and the camps in Jordan.</p> <p>But when Sudani&rsquo;s plane landed in in Houston in 2009, there were still relatively few Iraqis in the city. A local charity, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, helped him secure an apartment in the southwest corner of Houston, but they had few Arabic-speaking caseworkers and most of Sudani&rsquo;s refugee neighbors were Cuban.</p> <p>Though Sudani had learned to speak English while working with American and British troops in Iraq, he still enrolled in the ESL and cultural orientation courses offered out of his apartment building. This gave him a chance to meet his neighbors and to learn how to navigate some of America&rsquo;s more mysterious institutions: how to open a bank account, how to find a doctor, how to traverse Houston&rsquo;s infamous five-level stack highway interchanges without crashing his car.</p> <p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-787ea6fb-e3b2-3ff9-e3be-6c1f36f43a49">Two months after he arrived, Interfaith Ministries, the same charity that had helped Sudani get situated, offered him a job. Every day, more Iraqis were arriving in Houston and the organization desperately needed someone who could connect with the burgeoning Iraqi community.</span></strong></p> <p><img src="" style="height: 379px; width: 601px;" /></p> <p><em>Data:&nbsp;<a href="">Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System</a>, U.S. State Department.</em></p> <p>That community was growing every day. Sudani could see that firsthand from where he lived.</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;In the apartment complex that I used to live in, I was the only Iraqi,&rdquo; he recalls. &ldquo;And then there was another guy. And then another family...But later on, over the last two or three years, I think it was a large community of Iraqis living in that apartment complex and across that neighborhood.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>Six years later, Sudani is now Program Director or Refugee Services for Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston. These days, that&rsquo;s a very busy job. In the last ten years, Houston has resettled more refugees than any other city in the country. (Though that rank is arguably shared with San Diego, if you include nearby El Cajon).&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Why is it that Houston, of all places, has been the most welcoming city for the tired, poor, huddled masses of the word? Is it the local network of resettlement services? The large international community? The proximity to a large airport?</strong></p> <p>That may be be part of it, says Sudani. But he also offers a more straightforward explanation: &ldquo;Houston has a strong economy and the cost of living is affordable.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Refugee are normal people,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re just in abnormal circumstances.&rdquo;</strong></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="1200" height="1038" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Donald Trump Iraq New York City Ohio Somalia Sat, 22 Oct 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575672 at Former Haitian Senate President Calls Clintons "Common Thieves Who Should Be In Jail" <p>Despite repeatedly bragging about all the good work the Clinton Foundation did to help Haiti recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake, at least one Haitian, former Senate President Bernard Sansaricq, thinks it was the Clintons, not the Hiatian people, who benefitted most from the Foundation's "charitable work" in Haiti.&nbsp; Appearing on a radio show last week, Sansaricq offered a scathing assessment of the Clinton's track record in Haiti saying they are <strong>"nothing but common thieves...and they should be in jail."</strong>&nbsp; Per <a href="">PJ Media</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Sandy Rios of American Family Radio interviewed former Haitian Senate President Bernard Sansaricq on Thursday, and the enraged Haitian had nothing good to say about the Clintons. He angrily claimed that they <strong>brought their "pay to play" politics to Haiti at the expense of the Haitian people.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sansaricq said that the Clinton Foundation received 14.3 billion dollars in donation money to help with the relief effort. President Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon put the Clinton Foundation in charge of the reconstruction, but Haiti has seen no help. <strong>The money all went to friends of Bill Clinton.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"They are nothing but common thieves," the enraged Sansaricq told Rios. "And they should be in jail."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>As also highlighted in the movie "<a href="">Clinton Cash</a>," Sansaricq argued that the Clinton's did nothing more than bring their pay-to-play tactics to Haiti resulting in the enrichment of Clinton cronies, including <strong>Hillary's brother Anthony Rodham, whose company was awarded a lucrative gold mining contract</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Sansaricq said although Bill Clinton was put in charge of the reconstruction, <strong>he did absolutely nothing but give contracts to his cronies and built a sweatshop next to a goldmine that was given to Hillary Clinton's brother, Anthony Rodham, in violation of the Haitian constitution.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He said he could go on for hours about the <strong>Clinton Foundation's destruction of the rice production in Haiti because they were importing rice from Clinton's cronies in Arkansas</strong>. And rice is something Haiti could really use right now.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Clintons also <strong>awarded the country's only cell phone company to another crony, Denis O'Brien, using taxpayer dollars</strong>. O'Brien has made 265 million dollars, and a substantial portion of that&nbsp; has gone back to the Clinton Foundation.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, these claims are hard to deny given that recently released emails, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the Republican National Committee, and subsequently shared with <a href="">ABC News</a>, reveal very open special treatment of "Friends of Bill" ("FOB" for short) by the State Department in granting access to recovery efforts in Haiti, in which $10 billion in emergency aid was spent after the 2010 earthquake.&nbsp; </p> <p>The emails showed very close coordination between Caitlin Klevorick, a senior State Department official, and Amitabh Desai, the director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, as they exchanged emails from Foundation donors looking to participate in the Haiti recovery efforts.&nbsp; While many donors likely were just looking to make charitable contributions, others, as evidenced below, were simply looking to capture their "fair share" of $10 billion in emergency aid contracts doled out by the U.S. government. &nbsp; </p> <p>The following exchange between Klevorick and Dasai, with the subject line "Haiti Assistance," shows the State Department very clearly asking for "Friends of Bill" to be flagged for special consideration.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,”</strong> wrote Caitlin Klevorick, then a senior State Department official who was juggling incoming offers of assistance being funneled to the State Department by the Clinton Foundation. “Most I can probably ID but not all.” </p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="FOB" width="600" height="227" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, this directly contradicts comments that Bill Clinton previously made to CBS' Charlie Rose just last month when he assured voters that <strong>"nothing was ever done for anybody because they were contributors to the foundation, nothing."</strong></p> <p>In another Klevorick and Dasai exchange, the State Department official asks <strong>“Is this a FOB!</strong>” saying that <strong>"If not, she should go to" (a general government website).</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="FOB" width="600" height="334" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As also mentioned by Sansaricq, another series of messages uncovered the efforts of billionaire Denis O’Brien, a longtime donor to the Clinton Foundation and the CEO of the Jamaica-based telecom firm Digicel, to fly relief supplies into Port-au-Prince and get employees of his company out.&nbsp; <strong>But when O'Brien couldn't get access to land in Port-au-Prince "through conventional channels" he turns to long-time Clinton aide Doug Band for help.&nbsp; Shortly thereafter, the request was elevated to the State Department in an email with the subject line "Close friend of the Clintons."</strong>&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“This WJC VIP just called again from Jamaica to say Digicel is being pushed by US Army to get comms back up but is not being cleared by [the U.S. government] to deploy into Haiti to do so,” Desai wrote in an email with the subject line <strong>“Close friend of Clintons.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Later, O’Brien writes to longtime Clinton aide Doug Band to express frustration. <strong>“We’re finding it impossible to get landing slots,” he says. “I’m sorry to bother you but I am <span style="text-decoration: underline;">not making any progress through conventional channels</span>.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Band tasks Desai to “pls get on this,” telling O’Brien, “Never a bother.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Desai then turns to Klevorick to help <strong>“a friend of President Clinton,” and the request is pushed up the chain of command to USAID officials organizing the relief effort. </strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, we have no doubt that these scandalous revelations, like many others circling the Clinton campaign at the moment, will quickly be brushed under the carpet so the mainstream media can go back to focusing on Trump's "accusers".</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="625" height="357" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> ABC News FOIA Freedom of Information Act President Obama recovery Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575637 at 'Philanthropist' George Soros Set To Make A Killing From Europe's 'Forced Migration' <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Sam Gerrans, originally posted op-ed via,</em></a></p> <div class="article__summary summary ">The philanthropist George Soros recently published a letter in the Wall Street Journal entitled, &#39;Why I&rsquo;m Investing 500 million USD in Migrants&#39;. In this article, I will be<strong> looking at that letter and separating what it means from what it appears to say.</strong></div> <p>Soros&#39;&nbsp;<a href="">letter</a> begins: <strong><em>&ldquo;The world has been unsettled by a surge in forced migration. Tens of millions of people are on the move, fleeing their home countries in search of a better life abroad. Some are escaping civil war or an oppressive regime; others are forced out by extreme poverty, lured by the possibility of economic advancement for themselves and their families.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>This is quite true. </strong></u>And Soros should know since his&nbsp;<a href="">think tank</a> is fully on board with that <em>&ldquo;forced migration&rdquo;</em>. He has either initiated it or facilitated it and, according to Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary (which is presently holding a referendum on whether to accept migrant quotas as demanded by the EU), as&nbsp;<a href="">quoted</a> by Bloomberg: <em>&ldquo;His name is perhaps the strongest example of those who support anything that weakens nation states, they support everything that changes the traditional European lifestyle [&hellip;] These activists who support immigrants inadvertently become part of this international human-smuggling network.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Soros-backed activists are at the&nbsp;<a href="">center</a> of that network.</p> <p>Soros continues: <strong><em>&ldquo;Our collective failure to develop and implement effective policies to handle the increased flow has contributed greatly to human misery and political instability&mdash;both in countries people are fleeing and in the countries that host them, willingly or not. Migrants are often forced into lives of idle despair, while host countries fail to reap the proven benefit that greater integration could bring.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>I have touched on Soros&rsquo; psychological peculiarities elsewhere; his narcissistic traits notwithstanding, I shall assume he is not using the royal<em> &ldquo;we&rdquo;</em>. </strong></u>That granted, about whom is he speaking when he talks of <em>&ldquo;Our collective failure to develop and implement effective policies&rdquo;?</em> If about governments, we should remember that he is elected to no nation&rsquo;s government, nor has he ever been.</p> <p>That does not prevent him, however, from meddling in their internal affairs and supporting insurrections such as so-called Color Revolutions, including in&nbsp;<a href="">Georgia</a> and <a href="">Ukraine</a>, and whipping up chaos via&nbsp;<a href="">BLM</a> in the US.</p> <p>He also famously&nbsp;<a href="">attacked</a> the British pound, making himself a billion dollars.</p> <p>He wishes the reader to assume inclusion by his use of <em>&ldquo;our&rdquo;</em>. But we are not included; we are simply being told what is to happen.</p> <p><strong>He then writes of <em>&ldquo;the proven benefit that greater integration could bring&rdquo;</em>.</strong> This is almost a rhetorical conundrum; he and his lawyers expect &ndash; not without reason &ndash; that most people will provide their own color to what the words on the page say. He claims proof but provides none &ndash; and that is a major omission given that we are expected to entrust our entire cultural and economic future to his assertions.</p> <p><strong>Many countries, including Japan, China, UAE, Israel and Singapore, are extremely careful to whom they grant citizenship.</strong> If the benefits Soros claims were proven, surely they would be on board, too.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">EU has 900 &lsquo;no-go&rsquo; areas because of migrants - Hungary <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; RT (@RT_com) <a href="">April 2, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To continue: <em>&ldquo;Governments must play the leading role in addressing this crisis by creating and sustaining adequate physical and social infrastructure for migrants and refugees. But harnessing the power of the private sector is also critical.</em></p> <p><em>Recognizing this, the Obama administration recently launched a &ldquo;Call to Action&rdquo; asking U.S. companies to play a bigger role in meeting the challenges posed by forced migration. Today, private-sector leaders are assembling at the United Nations to make concrete commitments to help solve the problem.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><u><strong>Soros, naturally, does not blush at telling us what our governments <em>&ldquo;must&rdquo;</em> do.</strong></u></p> <p>The term <em>&quot;forced migration&quot;</em> is clever mind hook. You may be sure that it was worked on for hours and many alternatives discarded. Its power lies in the fact that it implies both helplessness in the face of an unstoppable external force and inevitability of result &ndash; while at the same time disregarding causes.</p> <p><strong>If anyone still cares, the causes include: attacks by the US and Nato on countries which have done them no harm; Angela Merkel&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="">open invitation</a> to the third world to move to Europe; material and informational&nbsp;<a href="">support</a> from Soros-funded organizations.</strong></p> <p>Soros continues:<em> &ldquo;In response, I have decided to earmark $500 million for investments that specifically address the needs of migrants, refugees and host communities. I will invest in startups, established companies, social-impact initiatives and businesses founded by migrants and refugees themselves. Although my main concern is to help migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, I will be looking for good investment ideas that will benefit migrants all over the world.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><strong>I will translate: &ldquo;Now that the inflow of immigrants has been set up, I am going to invest $500 million to make the process unstoppable, endless and self-funding, and make a lot of money for myself at the same time. And since this is dressed in the language of compassion, there is nothing you can say against it.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Back to Soros&rsquo; letter: <em>&ldquo;This commitment of investment equity will complement the philanthropic contributions my foundations have made to address forced migration, a problem we have been working on globally for decades and to which we have dedicated significant financial resources.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><strong>Just remove the words &#39;philanthropic&#39; (which does not mean at the elite level what you think it means) and realize that &#39;address&#39; means &#39;facilitate&#39; to Soros, and you will understand this sentence correctly; this is a carefully crafted statement of policy.</strong></p> <p>He continues: <em>&ldquo;We will seek investments in a variety of sectors, among them emerging digital technology, which seems especially promising as a way to provide solutions to the particular problems that dislocated people often face. Advances in this sector can help people gain access more efficiently to government, legal, financial and health services. Private businesses are already investing billions of dollars to develop such services for non-migrant communities.</em></p> <p><em>This is why money now moves instantaneously from one mobile wallet to another, drivers find customers by using only a cellphone, and how a doctor in North America can see a patient in Africa in real time. Customizing and extending these innovations to serve migrants will help improve the quality of life for millions around the world.</em></p> <p><em>All of the investments we make will be owned by my nonprofit organization. They are intended to be successful&mdash;because I want to show how private capital can play a constructive role helping migrants&mdash;and any profits will go to fund programs at the Open Society Foundations, including programs that benefit migrants and refugees.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><strong>Thus, anyone who wishes to will be able to plug into the system you and your families have been paying into all your lives and access its main arteries with nothing more than a mobile phone. Soros, meanwhile, makes a load more money which he can then plough into the very organizations which will make sure the inflow of migrants never stops.</strong></p> <p>Soros goes on to claim:<em> &ldquo;As longtime champions of civil society, we will be focused on ensuring that our investments lead to products and services that truly benefit migrants and host communities.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Leaving what Soros may mean by &#39;civil society&#39;, I turn to his use of &#39;benefit&#39;; benefit according to whom? According to George Soros &ndash; a man who destabilizes sovereign states as part of his modus operandi.</p> <p>Soros concludes: <em>&ldquo;We will also work closely with organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee to establish principles to guide our investments. Our goal is to harness, for public good, the innovations that only the private sector can provide.</em></p> <p><em>I hope my commitment will inspire other investors to pursue the same mission.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><strong>What this means in English is: <em>&ldquo;The fix is in, and now all you smaller fish further down the food chain can make a nice buck off the gravy train of selling your countries out because if this weren&rsquo;t a sure thing, I wouldn&rsquo;t be in it.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>This is cultural- and ethnic-cleansing in a business suit; it is the de facto usurpation of the nation state as a social construct for the peoples of Europe as part of a multi-purpose war &ndash; one designed to destroy oil-rich states and any state with no central bank, while simultaneously collapsing sovereign states.</strong></u></p> <p>However, my point here is not the mass immigration &ndash; although with the inevitable, eventual annihilation of the middle class in Soros&rsquo; <em>&ldquo;host countries&rdquo;</em> there will be nowhere for genuine refugees to go; <em><u><strong>it is that we have taxation without even the fig leaf of representation so long as men like Soros can openly create and dictate policy.</strong></u></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="761" height="409" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> British Pound China Fail George Soros Hungary Israel Japan None Obama Administration Twitter Twitter Ukraine Wall Street Journal Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575668 at New Reuters Poll Shows That 70% Of Republicans Think The Election Is Rigged <p>This morning, Julian Assange offered a chilling and succinct assessment of the 2016 U.S. election, namely, that there is, in fact, no election but rather just an illusion of democracy that has been usurped by a corrupt political ruling class. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">There is no US election. There is power consolidation. Rigged primary, rigged media and rigged 'pied piper' candidate drive consolidation.</p> <p>— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) <a href="">October 21, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Certainly, new polling data from <a href="">Reuters/Ipsos</a> would seem to support that thesis.&nbsp; A new poll of 1,192 Americans, conducted by Reuters, found that if Hillary wins only 50% of republicans would accept her presidency as legitimate while <strong>70% would attribute her victory to voter fraud and/or vote rigging of some type</strong>.&nbsp; Moreover, <strong>only 20% of republicans surveyed felt that the final vote tallies would be accurate.</strong>&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Only half of Republicans would accept Clinton, the Democratic nominee, as their president. And if she wins, nearly <strong>70 percent said it would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Conversely, <strong>seven out of 10 Democrats said they would accept a Trump victory and less than 50 percent would attribute it to illegal voting or vote rigging</strong>, the poll showed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, nearly eight out of 10 Republicans are concerned about the accuracy of the final vote count. And though generally they believe they will be able to cast their ballot, only six out of 10 are confident their vote will be counted accurately.</p> </blockquote> <p>Obviously, this data is fairly alarming, to say the least, but not terribly surprising in light of the staggering, systemic corruption recently exposed through WikiLeaks and the ongoing Congressional review of the FBI's investigation into Hillary's private email server...not mention DNC operatives openly talking about committing massive election fraud on undercover Project Veritas videos and working behind the scenes to incite violence at Republican rallies.&nbsp; For those of you who still haven't seen the videos, they're worth a look.</p> <p>The following video takes a look behind the scenes of the DNC's efforts to incite violence at Trump rallies:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And this one provides an excellent tutorial on how to commit voter fraud on a massive scale:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Given the exposure of mass corruption it should hardly be surprising that the <strong>"level of concern and mistrust in the system, especially among Republicans, is unprecedented,"</strong> as a professor at the University of New Mexico told Reuters, but apparently it is.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Republicans are just more worried about everything than Democrats," said Lonna Atkeson, a professor at the University of New Mexico and head of the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Atkeson said the <strong>level of concern and mistrust in the system, especially among Republicans, is unprecedented.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“I’ve never seen an election like this. Not in my lifetime. Certainly not in modern history.”</strong> The difference, she said, is Trump. “It has to be the candidate effect.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She worries that the lack of trust is dangerous. It is one thing to not trust government, but quite another to doubt the election process. “Then the entire premise of democracy comes into question,” she said.</p> </blockquote> <p>What we find far more shocking is that somehow the American electorate's acceptance of mass corruption is split along party lines rather than being universally unacceptable.&nbsp; </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="389" height="310" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption Mexico Reuters Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575674 at "Make A Wish List" Russia Tells Duterte, As New Asian Axis Forms <p>Yesterday, when Philippine president Duterte <a href="">finally took the plunge </a>to announce his "separation"&nbsp; from the US (even if his government has <a href="">backtracked somewhat today</a>), he said that not only would he "realign" himself in China's ideological flow but, in a nuance that was missed by many, said that "I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) <strong>Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russia. It's the only way</strong>." </p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>To be sure, an offical axis between China, Russia and a nation that until recently was a core US ally in the Pacific Rim - whose loss would be a huge slap in the face of Obama and whoever replaced him as president - would be music to Putin's ears, which is why just minutes after Philippine president announced his stunning separation from the US, Russia’s ambassador to the country promptly said Moscow is ready to provide assistance to and fully cooperate with Manila. </p> <p><em>"Formulate your wish list. What kind of assistance do you expect from Russia and we will be ready to sit down with you and discuss what can and should be done,” </em>Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev told GMA News on Friday. He then went on to state that Russia is open to working with the Philippines in “any area, any field of possible cooperation.”</p> <p>The ambassador assured the news outlet that Moscow would not “interfere with the domestic affairs of a sovereign state,” and that the “true Russia” is much different than the one portrayed in Hollywood films. Khovaev added that the Philippines and Russia “<strong>deserve to know each other much, much better.”</strong></p> <p>The aggresive, if diplomatic brownnosing continued, when the ambassador also said that Duterte impressed Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting in Laos last month, and that Moscow supports the leader’s fight against illegal drugs and criminality. In short, he said everything that Durterte wanted to hear just to make sure the Chinese-Russian-Philippino axis takes hold.</p> <p>For its part, the Philippines’ budget minister announced that his country is open to all forms of assistance, but will choose what is in the “best interest of the country,” Reuters reported. This could also include yet another U-turn, and prompt return to the safety of being a US puppet. Which is why on Friday, the Philippines’ trade minister, Ramon Lopez, told CNN that the leader “wasn’t talking about separation” from the United States. Although Duterte explicitly stated that the Philippines would be separating from the US economically, Lopez said that “in terms of economic [ties], we are not stopping trade, investment with America. The president specifically mentioned his desire to strengthen further the ties with China and the ASEAN region, which we have been trading with for centuries.”</p> <p>He explained that the Philippines was just “breaking being too much dependent on one side…but we definitely won’t stop the trade and investment activities with the West, specifically the US.” </p> <p>The US embassy in the Philippines called Duterte’s remarks “troubling rhetoric” prior to Lopez’s conciliating remarks. “We’ve seen a lot of this sort of troubling rhetoric recently, which is inexplicably at odds with the warm relationship that exists between the Filipino and American people and the record of important cooperation between our two governments,” the US embassy press attaché in Manila, Molly Koscina, told Reuters on Friday.</p> <p>“We have yet to hear from the Philippine government what Duterte’s remarks on ‘separation’ might mean, but it is creating unnecessary uncertainty,” she added.</p> <p>If Russia is successful in closing the loop on the latest, and most novel regional power axis yet, Koscina will be waiting for a long time. </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="950" height="633" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Reuters Vladimir Putin Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:18:10 +0000 Tyler Durden 575675 at 'Rigged' Debates? Questions Arise Again Over Lighted Screen At Hillary's Podium <p>After the first debate, numerous videos surfaced alleging that Hillary was using some sort of teleprompter built into her podium to assist with answering questions or to offset whatever medical condition she's dealing with. &nbsp;<strong>The videos were largely dismissed as "cooky alt-right conspiracy theories" </strong>and didn't get much attention outside of those spheres.&nbsp; </p> <p><strong>But, when similar abnormalities surfaced on Hillary's podium in the third debate, combined with the fact that she spent an awkward amount of time during her answers peering down rather than at the camera, we grew a bit more curious.</strong></p> <p>With that said, here is a video analyzing the abnormalities from debate 1.&nbsp; <strong>Notice that around 18 seconds into this video one can very clearly see a <span style="text-decoration: underline;">light shut off on Hillary's podium</span> even though there is no such light at Trump's podium.</strong></p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But, you don't have to take that guy's word for it.&nbsp; Here is the actual debate footage from NBC..<strong>.fast forward to the 1:38:30 mark at the very end of this video and you can see the exact same phenomenon.</strong></p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And here is a screen capture from the end of the debate.&nbsp; Notice there is a light on Hillary's podium while Trump's is completely dark.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Clinton Podium" width="600" height="301" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But where things get really interesting is that the exact same phenomenon occurred at debate 3 this week as pointed out by the following video posted by Anonymous.&nbsp; </p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Again, as you can see, there seems to be a light on Hillary's podium...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Hillary Podium" width="600" height="300" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...but none at Trump's.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Trump Podium" width="600" height="303" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And here is one more angle...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Hillary Podium" width="600" height="302" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And the two together...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Hillary Podium" width="600" height="301" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But again, no need to take our word for it as you can simply scan through the full debate footage posted by USA Today and see the phenomenon for yourself.&nbsp; Also note that, at numerous points while answering questions throughout the debate, <strong>Hillary seems to be looking down at her podium for extended periods of time rather than at the the point that it was actually awkward for people watching the debate live.</strong></p> <p>Don't believe it?&nbsp; In the following video, <strong>fast forward to the 42:25 mark and watch Hillary's eyes</strong> as she responds to the question...<strong>where is she looking?&nbsp;<br /></strong></p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, recall that debate 2 was structured as a town hall discussion so this type of cheating would not have been feasible.&nbsp; That said, oddly enough, debate 2 was the one that almost everyone universally thought she lost.&nbsp; </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="2000" height="1005" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> NBC None Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575661 at "The Outcome Is Undeniable" - Global Debt Investors Face Reality Of A World Devoid Of Options <p><em><a href="">Authored by Danielle DiMartino Booth,</a></em></p> <p><em><strong>More haunting even than the terrified screams of lambs being led was the silence that followed their slaughter.</strong></em></p> <p>Such was the searing pain of relentless recollection for FBI agent Clarice Starling, the tortured lead played to Oscar perfection by Jodie Foster. In an agonizingly whispered scene that has forever left its imprint on the minds of horrified audiences, we hear the bleating of Starling&rsquo;s long-dead tormentors.</p> <p>Clarice&rsquo;s hushed revelations to Hannibal reveal a desperate act by her young orphaned self. Unable to bear the horror, she&rsquo;s running away from the bloodbath of spring lambs being slaughtered and her cousin&rsquo;s sheep ranch. Desperate to do something, anything, she struggles to drive them from their pens to freedom: &ldquo;I tried to free them&hellip;I opened the gate of their pen &ndash; but they wouldn&rsquo;t run. They just stood there confused. They wouldn&rsquo;t run&hellip;&rdquo;</p> <p>A recent, reluctant re-viewing of the film, only the third in history to win the &ldquo;Big Five&rdquo; Oscars, Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay, fed fresh food for thought. <strong>The image of captives rejecting their freedom brought to mind another flock of corralled and stunned lambs &mdash; bond market investors. </strong>They too have been given the opportunity to escape their fate. But so many choose instead to stay.<strong> Such is the reality of a world devoid of options, with time ticking ruthlessly by.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 317px;" /></a></p> <p>Against the cynical backdrop of bulls and bears manipulating data to plead their case, Salient Partners&rsquo; Ben Hunt&rsquo;s insights stand out for their indisputability. In his latest missive he points to one chart that&rsquo;s incapable of being &ldquo;fudged,&rdquo; to borrow his term &ndash; that of U.S. household net worth over time vis-à-vis U.S. nominal gross domestic product. <strong>Suffice it to say we&rsquo;re farther off trend than we were even during the dotcom and housing manias.</strong></p> <p>Hunt asks in what should be rhetoric but is lost on so many:<strong><em> &ldquo;Is it possible for the growth of household wealth to outstrip the growth of our entire economy? In short bursts or to a limited extent, sure. But it can&rsquo;t diverge by a lot and for a long time. We can&rsquo;t be a lot richer than our economy can grow.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>And yet we are. The culprit, which too few identify as such, is runaway asset price inflation led by debt markets that have grown to be unfathomably immense in size and scope.<strong> At $100 trillion, the size of the global bond market eclipses that of the $64 trillion stock market.</strong> A bigger discussion for another day comes from McKinsey data that tell us the worldwide credit market is over $200 trillion in size.</p> <p><strong>Zero in on Corporate America and you really start to get a picture of pernicious growth.</strong> According to New Albion Partners&rsquo; Brian Reynolds, U.S. commercial paper and corporate bonds have swelled by $3.1 trillion, or 63 percent, since the 2008 financial crisis. &ldquo;This compares to nominal GDP growth of only 27 percent, so we are leveraging the heck out of the economy.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>For a bit more historic context, consider that U.S firms are more levered today than they were at the precipice of the financial crisis. </strong></u>According to Moody&rsquo;s data, the median debt/earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is five times today vs. 4.2-times in 2008 for high yield companies. For comparison purposes, investment grade companies&rsquo; median debt/EBITDA is 2.6-times today compared to 2.2-times in 2008.</p> <p>Michael Lewitt, the leading authority on all things credit and creator of The Credit Strategist, worries that companies are sitting on this pile of debt with not much more to show for it than, well, being in hock up to their eyeballs. <strong><em>&ldquo;Much of this debt was incurred for unproductive purposes &ndash; buybacks, dividends to private equity owners, etc. &ndash; rather than for things that grow these businesses. Many high yield companies are not generating much, if any, free cash flow and are dependent on the ability to roll over their debt.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>On that count, there&rsquo;s trouble brewing. Moody&rsquo;s publishes a Refunding Index which gauges the bond market&rsquo;s ability to absorb high yield bonds maturing over the next 12 and 36-month periods at the current pace of issuance. In the quarter ending in September, the one-year index was down 50 percent over the prior year while that of the three-year index was off by 40 percent continuing a protracted two-year slide. In dollar figures, three-year high yield maturities are up 45 percent year-over-year; they now total $156 billion vs. $108 billion a year ago. The flip side of these coins is that issuance is down by $13 billion.</p> <p>&ldquo;Debt maturities continue to increase at a rapid rate and are expected to rise to historic peaks within the next couple of years,&rdquo; said Moody&rsquo;s Senior Analyst Tiina Siilaberg. &ldquo;And <strong>defaults are getting up there. </strong>Along with weak refinancing conditions, default rates for US speculative-grade issuers have been above five percent since May and ended at 5.4 percent in September. This compares to just 1.9% in May 2015.&rdquo; Siilaberg expects defaults to peak at six percent in the coming months.</p> <p>We can only hope Siilaberg is not being overly optimistic. A separate data set released by Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s (S&amp;P) tallies the &ldquo;weakest links,&rdquo; or companies that are 10-times more likely than the broad high yield universe to default. In September, this count hit a seven-year high. For the moment, with an eye on recovering oil prices, investors seem to be operating under the assumption that stress in the pipeline is dissipating. Fair enough. But only one-quarter of the weakest links are energy firms. Chances are defaults, already at the highest level since 2009, will continue to climb.</p> <p><strong>As for the much bigger investment grade (IG) market,<u> it&rsquo;s not an energy story but rather one entangling the financial sector that promises to capture headlines in the coming months</u>. </strong>S&amp;P Managing Director Dianne Vazza recently warned that financials dominate the fallen angel universe, as in IG firms likely to be downgraded to high yield. The culprits include their exposure to energy firms, the fallout from municipal mayhem in Puerto Rico and weakness in global growth.</p> <p>The immediate fallout for these fallen firms is a spike in borrowing costs. But even for those that manage to remain in the celestial, expenses could be poised to rise.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;The market is not waiting for Janet Yellen to raise rates on corporate debt,&rdquo; warned Lewitt. &ldquo;The risk is not default, but lower earnings as these investment grade companies borrowed enormous amounts to fund buybacks and dividends and have enjoyed an interest rate holiday that will sooner or later come to an end.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>That&rsquo;s saying something considering that even with interest rates near their lowest on record, the interest expense among companies in the benchmark S&amp;P 500 Industrials has been on the rise since bottoming at four percent of nonfinancial earnings in the third quarter of 2010. According to data compiled by S&amp;P&rsquo;s Howard Silverblatt, interest expense first topped six percent in the quarter ended March of this year. It remains above that level, the highest since recordkeeping began in 1993. Since then, we know borrowing costs have started to tick back up. With record debt loads, it&rsquo;s safe to say many companies can simply not afford interest rates to rise off the floor.</p> <p><strong>As tenuous as the situation appears, this credit cycle may have one last rally in its gas tank. </strong>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think this is the big one,&rdquo; said George Goncalves, Nomura&rsquo;s Head of U.S. Rates Strategy. &ldquo;However, I do view any sort of unwind of the &lsquo;portfolio rebalancing effect&rsquo; hurting both stocks and corporate and sovereign bonds initially.&rdquo; Once that panic sets in, though, expect sovereigns to regain the flight-to-quality status and stage a rally.</p> <p>Goncalves does foresee one potential fly in the ointment of the relatively happy ending: &ldquo;Ironically, a second Fed rate hike could trigger more currency devaluations from overseas, notably China. If the secondary markets cannot handle the volumes, it could lead to broad-based selling.&rdquo;</p> <p>New Albion Partners&rsquo; Reynolds doesn&rsquo;t figure even an exogenous event could put the brakes on the current credit cycle. Pensions and insurers simply have too much in the way of fresh funds to deploy to allow that to happen; they&rsquo;ve absorbed half of the $3.1 trillion in new issuance. Given more funds are expected to flow into pension coffers in the coming years as Baby Boomers retire in droves, there should only be more to come. So we go from the mammoth to the monumental when it&rsquo;s game over.</p> <p><u><em><strong>&ldquo;The cherry on top of the sundae of this credit boom is the shift away from money market funds to cash funds that take ten times the risk to get ten times the yield,&rdquo; cautioned Reynolds. If you&rsquo;re still game for a bit more irony, &ldquo;This shift has nothing to do with the fundamentals. It is occurring solely because of the money market rule changes.&rdquo;</strong></em></u></p> <p>It would appear to be only a matter of timing, and in turn, magnitude. The outcome though is undeniable. With defaults on the rise, refinancing capability in increasing danger and more distress building in the pipeline, you would think we would be hearing investors screaming. But we don&rsquo;t. <strong>Just the deafening sound of silence as most in the herd refuse to be early, even if waiting with the gate to the pen open offers them ultimate salvation.</strong></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="737" height="334" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Borrowing Costs China Commercial Paper Corporate America default ETC FBI Gross Domestic Product headlines High Yield Investment Grade Janet Yellen McKinsey Nominal GDP Nomura Private Equity Puerto Rico Reality Salient Sovereigns Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575664 at Dakota Access Pipeline Coalition Lashes Out At Obama's Attempt To "Ignore The Rule Of Law" <p> Despite a federal court decision issued on October 9th allowing the continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the massive infrastructure project remains on hold today after the Obama administration caved to the demands of protesters and shut down access to federal lands.&nbsp; According to a letter written by a coalition of industry groups impacted by the construction halt and obtained by the <a href="">Washington Examiner</a>, the Obama administration's refusal to allow construction workers access to federal land is a blatant abuse of power that <strong>"ignores the rule of law."&nbsp; </strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"We write to express our <strong>deep concerns over recent actions that took place in North Dakota to effectively ignore the rule of law</strong> in an attempt to halt infrastructure development," the letter reads, reminding Lynch that "one of our nation's founding fathers, John Adams, once wrote that the <strong>United States is a 'government of laws, and not of men.'</strong>"</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"This North Dakota project has complied with the procedures laid out in law, engaged in more than<strong> two years of federal review and has received the necessary federal approvals,</strong>" the letter added. "Additionally, the project has been fully approved by all four states it traverses."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"<strong>Throughout this entire process, there are multiple opportunities for stakeholder engagement, whether through public fora or through written submittal,</strong>" the letter states. <strong>"If stakeholders disagree with the government's final decision, there is a judicial process in place to address those concerns."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Despite the federal judge's opinion, your agencies then jointly denied access to federal property necessary to complete the pipeline until the administration 'can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions' under various federal laws," the groups said. "<strong>The previous decisions now being 'reconsidered' were properly considered and made through a fair and thorough process on which the company and others are entitled to rely."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"<strong>In our 'nation of laws,' when an established legal process is complete, it is just that — complete</strong>" the letter added. "When your agencies upend or modify the results of a full and fair regulatory process for an infrastructure project, these actions do not merely impact a single company. The industries that manufacture and develop the infrastructure, the labor that builds it, and the American consumers that depend on it all suffer."</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, the Dakota Access Pipeline has gained national attention over the past couple of months as protests by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota have grown in size and become increasingly violent.&nbsp; According to reports from <a href="">Anti Media</a>, protesters recently trespassed on to construction sites and destroyed nearly $2mm worth of equipment.&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>For the second time in recent months, <strong>someone or some group has set fire to construction equipment at the Dakota Access Pipeline site in Reasnor, Iowa. The incident, which damaged an estimated $2 million in equipment, is being treated as arson</strong>. It’s unclear who set the fire, and there are currently no suspects identified.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite the lack of evidence or suspects, Reasnor Assistant Fire Chief Don Steenhoek laid the blame on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. “[I]t’s pretty senseless,” Steenhoek told local news outlet KCCI. <strong>“They’re not getting back at the pipeline. They’re just hurting the guys trying to make a living and put it in.”</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, the protests also gained in strength with a little help from Hollywood, including Bernie-supporter, Susan Sarandon.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@ShaileneWoodley</a> <a href="">@RileyKeough</a> <a href="">@SusanSarandon</a> <a href="">@JoshFoxFilm</a> in Washington DC to protest the <a href="">#DakotaAccessPipeline</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Shailene Woodley (@PlanetShailene) <a href="">August 24, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">For those that haven't followed the situation, the <strong>Dakota Access Pipeline is an 1,100 mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline intended to connect oil producers in the Bakken area of North Dakota to refining capacity and other transportation infrastructure in Patoka, Illinois.</strong>&nbsp; The pipeline will initially carry 470,000 barrels of oil per day with capacity as high as 570,000 barrels (roughly 50% of daily Bakken production).&nbsp; The pipeline is expected to cost $3.8 billion and was expected to be completed by the end of 2016 until recent protests halted construction. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="" alt="Dakota Pipeline" width="600" height="495" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although the<strong> pipeline primarily runs along private land</strong>, <strong>federal approval was required for crossings at various bodies of water</strong>, like the Missouri River.&nbsp; A lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Standing Rock tribe, alleged that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to conduct the proper "cultural" reviews before approving construction.&nbsp; However, when that appeal was overturned on October 9th the Obama administration stepped in to shut down construction by denying workers access to federal land.</p> <p>So, with several billion dollars already spent to construct various portions of the pipeline, the fate of the project, like many other things, will likely be determined by the American electorate on November 8th.&nbsp; </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="692" height="389" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Illinois Obama Administration Twitter Twitter Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575644 at