http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml en Is Bitcoin, Millennial's "Fake Gold"? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/bitcoin-millennials-fake-gold <p><em><a href="https://realinvestmentadvice.com/bitcoin-millennials-fake-gold/">Authored by Vitality Katsenelson via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,</a></em></p> <p>I&rsquo;ve been asked about Bitcoin a lot lately. I haven&rsquo;t written anything about it because I find myself in an uncomfortable place in agreeing with the mainstream media: It&rsquo;s a bubble.<strong> Bitcoin started out as what I&rsquo;d call &ldquo;millennial gold&rdquo; &ndash; the young (digital) generation looked at it as their gold substitute.</strong></p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/08/20171211_btc12_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 346px;" /></p> <p><strong>Bitcoin is really two things: a blockchain technology and a (perceived) currency. </strong>The blockchain element of Bitcoin may have enormous future applications: It may be used for electronic contracts, voting, money transfers &ndash; and the list goes on. But there is a very important misconception about Bitcoin: <strong>Ownership of Bitcoin doesn&rsquo;t give you ownership of the technology. I, without owning a single bitcoin, own as much Bitcoin technology as someone who owns a million bitcoins; that is, exactly none.</strong> It&rsquo;s just like when you have $1,000 on a Visa debit card: That $1,000 doesn&rsquo;t give you part ownership of the Visa network unless you actually own some Visa&rsquo; stock.</p> <p>Owning Bitcoin gives you a right to &hellip; what, actually? Digital bits?</p> <p>I can understand gold bugs and the original Bitcoin aficionados. <strong>The global economy is living beyond its means and financing its lifestyle by issuing a lot of debt.</strong> Normally this behavior would cause higher interest rates and inflation. But not when you have central banks. Our local central bankers simply bought this newly issued debt and brought global interest rates down to near-zero levels (and in many cases to what would have been previously unthinkable negative levels). If you think investing today is difficult, being a parent is even more difficult. I tried to explain the above to my sixteen-year-old son, Jonah. I saw the same puzzled look in his eyes as when he found out where babies come from. I also felt embarrassed, for my inability to explain how governments can buy the debt they just issued. The concept of negative interest rates goes against every logical fiber in my body and is as confusing to this forty-four-year-old parent as it is to my sixteen-year-old.</p> <p>The logical inconsistencies and internal sickness of the global economy have manifested themselves into a digital creature: Bitcoin. <strong>The core argument for Bitcoin is not much different from the argument for gold: Central banks cannot print it. </strong>However, the shininess of gold has less appeal to millennials than Bitcoin does. They are not into jewelry as much as previous generations; they don&rsquo;t wear watches (unless they track your heartbeat and steps). Unlike with gold, where transporting a million dollars requires an armored track and a few body builders, a nearly weightless thumb drive will store a dollar or a billion dollars of Bitcoin. Gold bugs would of course argue that gold has a tradition that goes back centuries. To which digital millennials would probably say, gold is analog and Bitcoin is digital. And they&rsquo;d add, in today&rsquo;s world the past is not a predictor of the future &ndash; Sears was around for 125 years and now it is almost dead.</p> <p>A client jokingly told me that his biggest gripe with me in 2016 and 2017 was that I didn&rsquo;t buy him any Bitcoin. I told him not so jokingly that if I bought him Bitcoin, he&rsquo;d be right to fire me. Maybe I&rsquo;m a dinosaur; but, like gold, Bitcoin is impossible to value. <strong>What is it worth? It has no cash flows.</strong> Is a coin worth $2, $200, or $20,000? But Wall Street strategists have already figured out how to model and value this creature. Their models sound like this:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;If only X percent of the global population buys Y amount of Bitcoin, then due to its scarcity it will be worth Z&rdquo;.</p> </blockquote> <p>On the surface, these types of models bring apparent rationality and an almost businesslike valuation to an asset that has no inherent value. You can let your imagination run wild with X&rsquo;s and Y&rsquo;s, but the simple truth is this:<strong> Bitcoin is un-valuable.</strong></p> <p>In 1997, when Coke&rsquo;s valuation started to rival some dotcoms, bulls used this math:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The average consumer of Coke in developed markets drinks 296 ounces of Coke a year. These markets represent only 20% of the global population.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>And then the punchline:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Can you imagine what Coke&rsquo;s sales would be if only X% of the rest of the world consumed 296 ounces of Coke a year?&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Somehow, the rest of the world still doesn&rsquo;t consume 296 ounce of Coke. Twenty years later, Coke&rsquo;s stock price is not far from where it was then &ndash; but on the way it declined 60% and stayed there for a decade. </strong>Coke, however, was a real company with a real product, real sales, a real brand and real tangible, dividend-producing cash flows.</p> <p>If you cannot value an asset you cannot be rational. With Bitcoin at $11,000 today, it is crystal clear to me, with the benefit of hindsight, that I should have bought Bitcoin at 28 cents. But you only get hindsight in hindsight. Let&rsquo;s mentally (only mentally) buy Bitcoin today at $11,000. If it goes up 5% a day like a clock and gets to $110,000 &ndash; you don&rsquo;t need rationality. Just buy and gloat. But what do you do if the price goes down to $8,000? You&rsquo;ll probably say, &ldquo;No big deal, I believe in cryptocurrencies.&rdquo; What if it then goes to $5,500? Half of your hard-earned money is gone. Do you buy more? <strong>Trust me, at that point in time the celebratory articles you are reading today will have vanished. </strong>The awesome stories of a plumber becoming an overnight millionaire with the help of Bitcoin will not be gracing the social media. The moral support &ndash; which is really peer pressure &ndash; that drives you to own Bitcoin will be gone, too.</p> <p>Then you&rsquo;ll be reading stories about other suckers like you who bought it at what &ndash; in hindsight &ndash; turned out to be the all-time high and who got sucked into the potential for future riches. And then Bitcoin will tumble to $2,000 and then to $100. Since you have no idea what this crypto thing is worth, there is no center of gravity to guide you or anyone else to make rational decisions. With Coke or another real business that generates actual cash flows, we can at least have an intelligent conversation about what the company is worth. We can&rsquo;t have one with Bitcoin. The X times Y = Z math will be reapplied by Wall Street as it moves on to something else.</p> <p><strong>People who are buying Bitcoin today are doing it for one simple reason: FOMO &ndash; fear of missing out.</strong> Yes, this behavior is so predominant in our society that we even have an acronym for it. Bitcoin is priced today at $11,000 because the fool who bought it for $11,000 is hoping that there is another, greater fool who will pay $12,000 for it tomorrow. This game of greater fools is not new. The Dutch played it with tulips in the 1600s&ndash; it did not end well. Americans took the game to a new level with dotcoms in the late 1990s &ndash; that round ended in tears, too. And now millennials and millennial-wannabes are playing it with Bitcoin and few hundred other competing cryptocurrencies.</p> <p>The counterargument to everything I have said so far is that those dollar bills you have in your wallet or that digitally reside in your bank account are as fictional as Bitcoin. True. Currencies, like most things in our lives, are stories that we all have (mostly) unconsciously bought into. (I highly encourage you to read my favorite book of 2015: Sapiens, by Yuval Harari.) Of course, society and, even more importantly, governments have agreed that these fiat currencies are going to be the means of exchange. Also, taxation by the government turns the dollar bill &ldquo;story&rdquo; into a very physical reality:<strong> If you don&rsquo;t pay taxes in dollars, you go to jail. </strong>(The US government will not accept Bitcoins, gold, chunks of granite, or even British pounds).</p> <p>And finally, governments tend to look at Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a threat to their existence. First, governments are very particular about their monopolistic right to control and print currencies &ndash; this is how they can overpromise and underdeliver. No less important, the anonymity of cryptocurrencies makes them a heaven for tax avoiders &ndash; governments don&rsquo;t like that. The Chinese government outlawed cryptocurrencies in September 2017. Western governments are most likely not far behind. If you think outlawing a competitor can happen only in a dictatorial regime like China&rsquo;s, think again. <strong>This can and did happen in a democracy like the US. With Executive Order 6102 in 1933, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it illegal for the US population to &ldquo;hoard gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>However, nothing I have written above will matter until it does. <em><u><strong>Bitcoin may go up to $110,000 by the end of the 2018 before it comes down to &hellip; earth. That is how bubbles work. Just because I called it a bubble doesn&rsquo;t mean it will automatically pop.</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="714" height="412" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171211_btc12.jpg?1513034233" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/bitcoin-millennials-fake-gold#comments Alternative currencies Bitcoin Bitcoin Blockchain technology Blockchains Central Banks China Chinese government Cryptocurrencies Currency Decentralization Economics of bitcoin Finance Global Economy Gold Bugs Legality of bitcoin by country or territory Money None Reality Sears US government Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608957 at http://www.zerohedge.com Senior DOJ Official's Wife Worked At Oppo Research Firm That Produced "Trump Dossier" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/senior-doj-officials-wife-worked-oppo-research-firm-produced-trump-dossier <p><strong>In what looks to be another embarrassing blow to the FBI&rsquo;s (already dubious) credibility,</strong><a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/11/wife-demoted-doj-official-worked-for-firm-behind-anti-trump-dossier.html"><strong> </strong>Fox News</a> reported Monday night that the senior DOJ official who was demoted last week after allegedly trying to conceal his contacts with the firm that compiled the infamous &ldquo;Trump dossier&rdquo; has deep ties to the firm through his wife.</p> <p>As it turns out, Nellie Ohr, the wife of disgraced DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was employed at Fusion GPS last year. <strong>Her term of employment overlapped with the period when the Trump dossier was being compiled. Though Fox was unable to discern the exact nature of her role at the firm, its reporters discovered that she has done extensive research on Russia-related topics for think tanks based in the Washington, DC area.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.12.11ohr.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.12.11ohr_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 233px;" /></a></p> <p>Ohr is the second senior DOJ official involved in the DOJ&rsquo;s probe into Trump&rsquo;s Russia ties to be demoted this year for suspected bias pertaining to the investigation. The other official, Peter Strzok, allegedly exchanged text messages expressing anti-Trump sentiments with another DOJ official with whom he was having an affair. <strong>And as if that weren&rsquo;t enough to signal a conflict of interest, Strzok, it was revealed, possibly saved then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from prosecution by making a crucial change to the language in the now-infamous letter excusing Clinton for her suspected crimes. Specifically, Strzok changed language in Comey&rsquo;s letter to &quot;extremely careless&quot; from the original language of <u>&quot;grossly negligent.&quot;</u></strong></p> <p>House Republicans &ndash; led by Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes &ndash; have spent the better part of this year investigating how the dossier &ndash; which is loaded with salacious and unverified claims about Trump &ndash; played into the DOJ&rsquo;s decision to launch the probe that eventually morphed into the Mueller investigation.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump &ldquo;dossier&rdquo; had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than have been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official&rsquo;s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. </strong>The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr&rsquo;s duties &ndash; including whether she worked on the dossier &ndash; remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.</p> </blockquote> <p>In a statement, Nunes said his committee &ldquo;is looking into all facets of the connections between the Department of Justice and Fusion GPS, including Mr. Ohr,&rdquo; which suggests that more details fleshing out the exact nature of his wife&rsquo;s involvement with the dossier could be forthcoming in the near future.</p> <p>While the DOJ has refused to release any information about Ohr&rsquo;s role in the investigation, it&rsquo;s notable that he was demoted shortly after Fox began asking questions about his dual responsibilities: Not only was Ohr responsible for supervising the DOJ&rsquo;s organized-crime prosecutions, but he also held the position of deputy attorney general. That position came with an office on &ldquo;Main Justice&rdquo; &ndash; a floor in the DOJ building where many senior officials have their offices.</p> <p><script type="text/javascript" src="http://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=5672381134001&w=466&h=263"></script></p><p><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="http://video.foxnews.com">video.foxnews.com</a></noscript></p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/11/wife-demoted-doj-official-worked-for-firm-behind-anti-trump-dossier.html">Fox</a>, Ohr&#39;s office was situated just a few doors down from Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, the official who is nominally in charge of supervising the Mueller probe. Rosenstein&rsquo;s reluctance to provide information about the dossier to Nunes and his committee nearly led to him being subjected to a contempt of Congress order, along with FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee who has nevertheless insisted that the bureau&rsquo;s agents have acted fairly and professionally in carrying out their investigation into Trump and his associates&rsquo; ties to Russian entities.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Until Dec. 6, when Fox News began making inquiries about him, Bruce Ohr held two titles at DOJ.</strong> He was, and remains, director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force; but his other job was far more senior. Mr. Ohr held the rank of associate deputy attorney general, a post that gave him an office four doors down from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The day before Fox News reported that Mr. Ohr held his secret meetings last year with the founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, and with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, the Justice Department stripped Ohr of his deputy title and ousted him from his fourth floor office at the building that DOJ insiders call &ldquo;Main Justice.&quot;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>The Department of Justice has provided no public explanation for Ohr&rsquo;s demotion.</strong></u> Officials inside the Department have told Fox News his wearing of two hats was &ldquo;unusual,&rdquo; but also confirm Ohr had withheld his contacts with the Fusion GPS men from colleagues at the DOJ.</p> </blockquote> <p>Nellie Ohr was described as a &ldquo;Russia expert&rdquo; at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank where she was employed before joining Fusion.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A review of open source materials shows Mrs. Ohr was described as a Russia expert at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, when she worked there, briefly, a decade ago. The Center&rsquo;s website said her project focused on the experiences of Russian farmers during Stalin&rsquo;s collectivization program and following the invasion of Russia by Nazi forces in 1941. <strong>She has also reviewed a number of books about twentieth century Russia, including Reconstructing the State: Personal Networks and Elite Identity in Soviet Russia (2000), by Gerald Easter, a political scientist at Boston College, and Bertrand M. Patenaude&rsquo;s The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921 (2002).</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Unsurprisingly, Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the committee refused to comment about Ohr specifically. Instead, he insinuated that Nunes was trying to deliberately discredit the DOJ, which, according to Schiff, did nothing wrong.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;I think there&#39;s a hope that if they can impeach Christopher Steele, and they can impeach the FBI and DOJ, maybe they can impeach the whole Russia investigation,&rdquo; </strong></em>Schiff told MSNBC in September.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, nearly every shred of information pertaining to the dossier that&rsquo;s been publicly revealed in recent months would appear to counter this claim. Back in September, it was revealed that the dossier was jointly financed by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Then it was revealed that Mueller had managed to interview Christopher Steele, the agent in charge of assembling the document. But apparently that interview did little to help the investigation verify its claims (if it had, we probably would&rsquo;ve heard about it by now).</p> <p><strong>These revelations followed months of stonewalling by both the bureau and Fusion GPS, the firm that hired Steele, a former MI6 agent who worked in Russia for years.</strong></p> <p>All of this would seem to support the notion that the Mueller probe is hopelessly compromised, because many of the staffers who&rsquo;ve worked on the investigation have anti-Trump leanings.</p> <p>The only question now is: Will this be the final straw that prompts Trump to fire Mueller and put an end to his witch hunt. Though, as we pointed out, Mueller&rsquo;s decision to secure a guilty plea from Michael Flynn might ultimately help salvage his investigation by providing much needed cover.</p> <p>Regardless, one thing is clear: <em><strong>These repeated lapses in judgment have seriously damaged the bureau&rsquo;s credibility, as Nunes and several of his Republican peers have suggested.</strong></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="701" height="326" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.12.11ohr.JPG?1513040319" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/senior-doj-officials-wife-worked-oppo-research-firm-produced-trump-dossier#comments Boston College Christopher Steele Congress Department of Justice Department of Justice Devin Nunes Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation DOJ Donald Trump–Russia dossier FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Foreign relations Fox News Fox News Fusion GPS Government International relations James Comey MSNBC Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Permanent Select Committee Politics Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections SPY United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608958 at http://www.zerohedge.com CNN's Chris Cillizza Pens Furious Screed After Sarah Sanders Suggests MSM 'Purposefully Misleading' People http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/cnns-chris-cillizza-pens-furious-screed-after-sarah-sanders-suggests-msm-purposefull <p style="margin: 0.25em 0px 0.75em; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #333333; text-transform: none; line-height: 1.3; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; font-variant-numeric: inherit;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: italic; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #000000; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Content originally published at&nbsp;</span><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #1e439a; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; text-decoration: underline; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit;"><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #1e439a; line-height: 1.2; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;" href="http://ibankcoin.com/" target="_blank">iBankCoin.com</a></span></em></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><span style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; float: none; display: inline !important; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><a style="text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal;" href="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/12/171005155149-sarah-sanders-october-5-2017-02-super-tease.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-13119" style="margin: 0.5em 0px 0.5em 1em; outline: #72777c solid 1px; height: auto; float: right; max-width: 100%; resize: none;" src="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/12/171005155149-sarah-sanders-october-5-2017-02-super-tease-300x169.jpg" width="300" height="169" /></a><span style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; float: none; display: inline !important; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">&nbsp;</span><br class="Apple-interchange-newline" />White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders&nbsp;spit-roasted the MSM during&nbsp;Monday's briefing - calling them out for recent #FakeNews, and suggesting that they were purposefully misleading the public.</span></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><em>"There's a very big difference between making honest mistakes and<span>&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">purposefully misleading the American people</strong>. Something that happens regularly. You can't say -- I'm not done.<span>&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">You can't say that it's an honest mistake when you are purposely putting out information that you know to be false or when you're taking information that hasn't been validated</strong>, that hasn't been offered any credibility and that has been continually denied by a number of people including people with direct knowledge of an incident. This is something that --<span>&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">I'm speaking about the number of reports that have taken place over the last couple of weeks.</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>I'm simply stating that there should be a certain level of responsibility in that process." -Sarah Sanders</em></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PdriVGdJnsQ" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Sanders was, of course, talking about<span>&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">three incidents</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>"over the last couple of weeks."</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">First</strong>, ABC reporter Brian Ross was suspended after he put out a report that Michael Flynn was prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Donald Trump told him to contact the Russians, when in fact Trump told Flynn to do so&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">after he'd won the election</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>- a totally normal thing to do for an incoming administration. As a result, the Dow tanked 350 points before the story was corrected.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Trump called Ross a "fraudster" in response, and tweeted that anyone who lost money "based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross" should hire an attorney and sue ABC.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of <a href="https://twitter.com/ABC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ABC</a> News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused - many millions of dollars!</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/937309279257792512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 3, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">The second bit of fabricated&nbsp;news</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>was CNN's report&nbsp;from last Friday that&nbsp;Donald Trump Jr. received documents from Wikileaks on September 4, 2016 before they had been officially released, when in fact, a random person emailed him a link to publicly available documents on September 14.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">CNN corrected the report, issuing the following statement:</p> <blockquote style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><p>CNN originally reported the email was released September 4 -- 10 days earlier -- based on accounts from two sources who had seen the email. The new details appear to show that the sender was relying on publicly available information. The new information indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported.</p> </blockquote> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Trump shot back, tweeting&nbsp;"<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday. They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his "mistake")</strong>," adding "Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?" It is worth noting that Ross was not fired but rather suspended for 4 weeks.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday. They were caught red handed, just like lonely Brian Ross at ABC News (who should be immediately fired for his “mistake”). Watch to see if <a href="https://twitter.com/CNN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CNN</a> fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?</p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/939480342779580416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 9, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">THIRD</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>piece of Fake News was when the Washington Post's David Weigel put out a photo of Trump's speech last weekend, hours before it started, with the quote "Packed to the rafters."</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><a href="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/12/weig.png"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13116" style="height: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%;" src="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/12/weig.png" width="600" height="448" /></a></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The event was, in fact, packed to the rafters:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/daveweigel?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DaveWeigel</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/washingtonpost?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WashingtonPost</a> put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology &amp; retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo! <a href="https://t.co/XAblFGh1ob">pic.twitter.com/XAblFGh1ob</a></p> <p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/939616077356642304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 9, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p> <span style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; float: none; display: inline !important; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Weigel apologized and deleted the FakeNews tweet:<span style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; float: none; display: inline !important; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sure thing: I apologize. I deleted the photo after <a href="https://twitter.com/dmartosko?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dmartosko</a> told me I'd gotten it wrong. Was confused by the image of you walking in the bottom right corner. <a href="https://t.co/fQY7GMNSaD">https://t.co/fQY7GMNSaD</a></p> <p>— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) <a href="https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/939616810684514304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 9, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Chris is Pissed</strong></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><a href="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/12/cillizza-fb.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13118" style="height: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block; max-width: 100%;" src="https://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/12/cillizza-fb.jpg" width="600" height="313" /></a></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">In response to Sanders' admonishment, CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza<span>&nbsp;</span><a href="http://archive.is/EVBKt" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">lashed out like an angry purse-dog</span></span></a>, penning quite the screed over Sanders for going "way, way beyond the pale of the usual give and take between the White House and press corps."</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Cillizza addressed&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">JUST ONE&nbsp;</strong>of the three #FakeNews controversies - that of Brian Ross,&nbsp; suggesting Ross's mistake wasn't intentional by using a stupid Baseball analogy.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; padding-left: 30px; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><em><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">Nowhere in anything we know about Ross' erroneous reporting is there even a whiff of intentionality. Where is the evidence that Ross purposely pushed out the Flynn-Trump report -- knowing it was wrong -- solely to make Trump look bad?</strong></em></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; padding-left: 30px; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><em>There is a massive difference between making an honest mistake -- in this case trusting a source too much -- and purposeful intent to deceive. A massive difference.</em></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; padding-left: 30px; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><em>Think of it this way: I am up to bat with the bases loaded and my team down one run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series. I strike out. Game over. My team loses.</em></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; padding-left: 30px; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><em>If I tried my best to hit the ball but failed, that means one thing.</em><br /><em><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">If someone paid me $50,000 to strike out anytime I was up in an important moment in the game, that's something else altogether.</strong><span>&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">It's not even in the same, ahem, ballpark.</strong></em></p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">"It's not even in the same, ahem, ballpark."</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">This is why the left can't meme, by the way. That was a terrible analogy and a stupid joke. Moreover, Sarah Sanders is&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">well within her right</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>to suggest that intentional misreporting<span>&nbsp;</span><em>or a failure to validate a claim&nbsp;</em>has taken place. She doesn't need proof to hold that opinion.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">It's also hilarious that Cillizza&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">totally failed to include his own network's massive retraction</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>over the Trump Jr. Wikileaks debacle, when - just like the Brian Ross story - the implications of what the networks were asserting would have had a&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">serious, material impact</strong><span>&nbsp;</span>on world affairs - as evidenced by the Dow's 350 point kneejerk meltdown before Brian Ross corrected his story.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Cillizza closes by saying "But, to suggest -- or believe -- that the mistakes made by the media, including CNN, are purposeful is beyond offensive to anyone who spends their days in this profession."</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Right - which is why&nbsp;<em>three CNN employees<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">&nbsp;</strong></em>admitted to Project Veritas that they think the Russia story is "Fake News"<span>&nbsp;</span><a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/06/26/cnn-exposed-in-undercover-sting-producer-admits-russia-story-fake-news-pushed-for-ratings/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">pushed for ratings</span></span></strong></a>.</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">CNN Producer John Bonifield was caught on camera saying:</p> <blockquote style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><p><strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.</strong></p> <p>I know a lot of people don’t like him and they’d like to see him get kicked out of office….&nbsp;<strong style="font-weight: bold !important;">but that’s a lot different than he actually did something that can get him kicked out of office.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Meanwhile, CNN's Van Jones said Russia is a "<a href="http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/06/28/okeefe-strikes-again-cnns-van-jones-says-russia-big-nothing-burger/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0066cc;">nothingburger.</span></span></a>"</p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uysvd2XVCz8" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe>&nbsp; </p> <p style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><span style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; float: none; display: inline !important; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Boy Chris, it sure seems like CNN employees have the very clear impression that the Russia story is Fake News being pushed&nbsp;</span><strong style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: bold !important; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">intentionally to mislead the public for ratings</strong><span style="color: #333333; text-transform: none; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, &quot;Bitstream Charter&quot;, Times, serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; word-spacing: 0px; float: none; display: inline !important; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-align: center; color: #333333; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; font-variant-numeric: inherit;">Follow on Twitter&nbsp;</span><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-align: center; color: #333333; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-weight: bold; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; font-variant-numeric: inherit;"><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #1e439a; line-height: 1.2; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;" href="https://twitter.com/ZeroPointNow" target="_blank"><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit; text-decoration-line: underline;"><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #0066cc; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;">@ZeroPointNow</span></span></a></strong><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-align: center; color: #333333; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; font-variant-numeric: inherit;">&nbsp;</span><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-align: center; color: #ff6600; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; font-variant-numeric: inherit;">§&nbsp;</span><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-align: center; color: #333333; text-transform: none; line-height: inherit; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; font-variant-numeric: inherit;">Subscribe to our&nbsp;</span><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; text-align: center; color: #1e439a; text-transform: none; line-height: 1.2; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: lucida_granderegular, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none; word-spacing: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; box-sizing: border-box; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-stretch: inherit; background-color: #ffffff; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit;" href="https://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=ibankcoin" target="_blank"><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit; text-decoration-line: underline;"><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; color: #0066cc; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;"><span style="font: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;">You<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; border-image: none; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-stretch: inherit;">Tube channel</strong></span></span></span></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/cnns-chris-cillizza-pens-furious-screed-after-sarah-sanders-suggests-msm-purposefull#comments ABC News CNN Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump on social media Fake news James O'Keefe Mass media Meltdown Politics of the United States ratings Twitter Twitter United States White House White House Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:08:05 +0000 ZeroPointNow 608963 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ron Paul: Government Should Leave Bakers Alone http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/ron-paul-government-should-leave-bakers-alone <p><a href="http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/december/11/government-should-leave-bakers-alone/"><em>Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace &amp; Prosperity,</em></a></p> <p>Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. <strong>The case stems from the refusal of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery, to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.</strong> The bakery was found guilty of a civil rights violation and ordered to stop refusing to bake and design cakes because they are for same-sex weddings. The bakery was also required to file reports on the steps it takes to comply and whether it turns down any prospective customers.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/08/20171206_cake.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/08/20171206_cake.jpg" style="width: 242px; height: 156px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>The decision to force the bakery to change its business practices reflects a mistaken concept of rights.</strong> Those who support government intervention in this case view rights as a gift from government. Therefore, they think politicians and bureaucrats can and should distribute and redistribute rights. This view holds it is completely legitimate to use government force to make bakeries bake cakes for same-sex weddings since the government-created right to a cake outweighs the rights of property and contract.</p> <p><u><strong>This view turns the proper concept of rights on its head.</strong></u> Rights are not gifts from government, so the government cannot restrict them unless we engage in force or fraud.<strong> The bakery did not use force to stop any same-sex couple from getting a wedding cake. It simply exercised its right to decide who it would accept as a customer. </strong>No one would support private individuals forcing bakery employees to bake a cake at gunpoint, so why is it right for the government to do it?</p> <p><strong>Some people claim that forcing the bakery to bake the cake is consistent with libertarianism. </strong>The reason they make this claim is they view the bakery&rsquo;s actions as rooted in bigotry toward homosexuals. But even&nbsp;if this were true, it would not justify government intervention. <strong>Bigots and others with distasteful views have the right to use their property as they choose. The way to combat bigotry is through boycotts and other means of peaceful persuasion.</strong></p> <p>Instead of considering whether Colorado has violated the bakery&rsquo;s rights of property and contract,<strong> the Supreme Court is considering whether Colorado&rsquo;s actions violate the bakery&rsquo;s religious liberty. </strong>The argument for a religious liberty violation is based on the fact that the bakery owner&rsquo;s refusal to bake the cake was rooted in his religious objection to same-sex marriage. Looking just at this argument means that a victory for the bakery would implicitly accept the legitimacy of laws dictating to whom private businesses must provide services, as long as an exemption is made for those with religious objections. This reduces property and contract rights to special privileges held by business owners with &ldquo;sincere religious convictions.&rdquo; It also allows judges, bureaucrats, and politicians to determine who is really acting on sincere religious convictions.</p> <p>Just as business owners have the right to decide who to do business with, <strong>individuals have the right to form any arrangement they wish as long as they do not engage in force or fraud. </strong>This includes entering into what many consider unconventional or even immoral marriage contracts. What no individual has the right to do is use government to force others to accept his definition of marriage.</p> <p>Even if the bakery wins in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, <em><strong>its victory will only protect those businesses acting on a &ldquo;sincere religious conviction.&rdquo; </strong></em>Those who oppose forcing bakers to bake cakes and who support private business owners&rsquo; right to decide who to accept as customers <strong>should work to restore respect for everyone&rsquo;s rights.</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="242" height="156" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171206_cake_0.jpg?1513009698" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/ron-paul-government-should-leave-bakers-alone#comments Bakery Cake Food and drink Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Personal life Politics Ron Paul Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity Same-Sex Marriage Same-sex marriage Supreme Court The Baker Tue, 12 Dec 2017 01:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608933 at http://www.zerohedge.com South Korea Asks US To Halt Joint Military Exercises Until Olympics End http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/south-korea-asks-us-halt-joint-military-exercises-until-olympics-end <p>North Korea may have successfully bluffed its way into getting the US to stop holding massive army drills with South Korea's army. </p> <p>According <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/d465739e-debe-11e7-a8a4-0a1e63a52f9c">to the FT</a>, South Korea has politely asked the US to "delay" joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics, in order to lower the chances that North Korea takes provocative actions during the Pyeongchang Games, which Seoul wants to use to showcase the country’s development. The unexpected request means that Seoul will want to postpone the start of the annual spring exercises — called Key Resolve/Foal Eagle — until after the Paralympics, which end on March 18. And since the FT's sources said the US was likely to accept the request, it means that Pyongyang has just succeeded in getting the US to bend to its demands that the US and South Korea stop conducting army drills on its border for at least three months. </p> <p>In many ways a de-escalation in military tensions, whether won by Seoul's clever diplomatic maneuvering which hopes to avoid a mushroom cloud in the middle of its games due to an errant Trump tweet, is a welcome development. Earlier this month, HR McMaster, US national security adviser, said the potential for war with North Korea was “increasingly every day” after Pyongyang last month tested the Hwasong 15, a long-range missile capable of hitting the east cost of the US — a move that came two months after it conducted its sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test. </p> <p>Others agreed: Sue Mi Terry, Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the FT it was understandable that Seoul would want a delay since it was “very worried” about the Olympics. She said a postponement might also help create the conditions for talks, since it would reduce the chance of North Korea taking the kind of provocative actions that have, so far, closed off the possibility of serious negotiations with Washington.</p> <p>Bruce Klingner, a Korea expert at the Heritage Foundation, said the move was prudent given the nature of the Kim regime. “Its neighbours are fearful that defensive exercises or a sports event would be used as an excuse for a provocation or deadly attack,” said Mr Klingner.</p> <p>While it may be sound diplomacy, Seoul certainly has a right to be paranoid: “The fear is not unfounded since Pyongyang destroyed a civilian airliner in 1987 in an attempt to derail the 1988 Seoul Olympics” Klingner said. </p> <p>The decision is also good commerce: Seoul is worried that the current tensions on the peninsula will cool demand for the Pyeongchang Olympics and Paralympics, <strong>particularly since ticket sales have been weak, </strong>and are about to get much weaker now that Russia has been effectrively banned. Another reason for poor ticket sales is that China has banned tour groups from visiting South Korea since March, because of a dispute over an American missile defence system that Seoul allowed the US to install in the country earlier this year. </p> <p>But the real reason behind South Korea's request for the US to keep away may be far simpler: Seoul wants to rebuild bridges with its far more important, and closer neighbor, China.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>One of the people familiar with the South Korean request said it was probably partly an effort to gain goodwill with China, in the hopes that Beijing would relax the travel restrictions. He added that China was looking for ways to restart de-nuclearisation talks, and that Beijing viewed some recent US actions, such as putting North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, as an obstacle to those efforts. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“A delay in the exercise would be a prudent move to decrease tensions&thinsp;.&thinsp;.&thinsp;.&thinsp;as athletes and guests from around the global come to a South Korean city only 50 miles from the demilitarised zone,” said the person, who added that the need for major exercises was reduced because US and South Korean troops had done extensive training this year.</p> </blockquote> <p>And since the US has yet to respond formally, there are two points of view: those who say a delay will not be a problem to the US, and obviously, an opposing camp who claim that such a delay would be risk.</p> <p>Don Manzullo, president of the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, said that as long as the decision to delay the exercises was acceptable to US forces in Korea, there was “no reason why the exercises should not take place after the Olympics”.</p> <p>But Evan Medeiros of Eurasia Group said delaying the exercises was a “very risky” move. “<strong>On the one hand, you want to work with your South Korean ally but, on the other hand, this dangerously validates North Korea’s claim that the exercises are a source of tension,” </strong>said Mr Medeiros, who was Barack Obama’s top Asia adviser.<strong> “The next step could be to shrink the exercises or cancel them all together.” </strong></p> <p>Such an outcome would be delightful to North Korea... and also China, <strong>which previously proposed a “freeze-for-freeze” arrangement where the US and South Korea would halt their joint military exercises in exchange for North Korea agreeing to stop missile and nuclear tests. </strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>While Washington has rejected that idea on the grounds that it would just give North Korea more time to keep developing its weapons programmes, using an optical diversion like the Olympics to concede to China and in the process de-escalate substantially, may be just what US generals quietly desire. </p> <p>As the FT notes, the South Korean request comes as Joe Yun, the state department envoy for North Korea, is visiting Japan and Thailand for talks over the crisis on the Korean peninsula. General Vincent Brooks, the top US commander in South Korea, travelled to Washington last week to provide Congress with a classified briefing on North Korea. </p> <p>Now if only Kim Jong-Un wouldn't immediately launch an ICBM to celebrate this indirect US retreat, the de-escalation might have some chance of actually holding.</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="790" height="444" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/south%20korea%20dirll.jpg?1513042523" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/south-korea-asks-us-halt-joint-military-exercises-until-olympics-end#comments China Congress Foal Eagle Foreign relations of North Korea Heritage Foundation International relations Japan KIM Korea Korea Economic Institute in Washington Korean conflict Member states of the United Nations national security North Korea North Korea North Korea crisis North Korea–South Korea relations North Korea–United States relations Politics Republics South Korea South Korea's army Tue, 12 Dec 2017 01:36:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 608959 at http://www.zerohedge.com Doug Noland: There Will Be No Way Out When This Market Bubble Bursts http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/doug-noland-there-will-be-no-way-out-when-market-bubble-bursts <p><a href="https://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/113541/doug-noland-there-will-no-way-out-when-market-bubble-bursts"><em>Authored by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,</em></a></p> <div class="content clearfix"> <p>This week Doug Noland joins the podcast to discuss what he refers to as the <em><strong>&quot;granddaddy of all bubbles&quot;.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Noland, a 30-year market analyst and specialist in credit cycles, currently works at McAlvany&nbsp;Wealth Management and is well known for his prior 16-year stint helping manage the Prudent Bear Fund.</em></p> <p>He certainly shares our views that prices in nearly every financial asset class have become remarkably distorted due to central bank intervention, first with Greenspan&#39;s actions to backstop the markets in the late-1980&#39;s, and more recently (and more egregiously) with the combined central banking cartel&#39;s massive and sustained liquidity injections in the years following the Great Financial Crisis.</p> <p><strong>All of which has blown the biggest inter-connected set of asset price bubbles the world has ever seen.</strong></p> <p>Noland foresees tremendous losses as inevitable, as the central banks lose control of the monstrosity they have created:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>This is the granddaddy of all bubbles. We are at the end a long cycle where the bubble has reached the heart of money and credit.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There will be no way out. We&#39;re not going to get enough private credit growth to reflate things when this bubble bursts. It&#39;s going to have to come from central bank credit; it&#39;s going to have to come from sovereign debt.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>When this bubble bursts, it will shock people how far the central banks will have to expand their balance sheet just to accommodate the deleveraging in the system. And they won&#39;t really be able to add new liquidity to the market; they&#39;re just going to allow the transfer of leveraged positions from the leveraged players onto the central bank balance sheets.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When you get to that point, when the market sees that transfer occurring, I predict there&#39;s going to be fear of long-term financial instruments. We&#39;ll see rising yields. That&#39;s when things will become problematic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>There will be losses. </strong></u>Of this global bubble, I think European debt is about the most conspicuous. Sure, European junk debt is nuts, too. It currently trades at 2%. Why? Because the ECB is buying large amounts of corporate debt. The ECB has kept rates either at 0% or negative. The perception is that the ECB will keep those markets liquid.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But look at Italy. It&#39;s rapidly approaching 135% in terms of government debt to GDP. That debt will not get paid back. But yet, the market is willing hold that debt at 1.7%. This is debt that has traded at over a 7% yield back in 2012. But here it is today at 1.7%. I mean, Europe is just grossly&nbsp;mispricing&nbsp;its huge debt market. The excesses that have unfolded in European debt across the board are just staggering.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>So when we get to that point when the central banks begin aggressively expanding their balance sheets (again) but the bond markets are not happy about it, then the central banks will finally have to decide if they want to continue to inflate or if they&#39;re going to focus on trying to keep market yields down. This will be a very, very difficult situation for central bankers when it unfolds.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Click the play button below to listen to Chris&#39; interview with Doug Noland (54m:31s).</p> </div> <p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y5oQwpP4q5g" width="560"></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="243" height="154" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171211_bubble_0.jpg?1513030133" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/doug-noland-there-will-be-no-way-out-when-market-bubble-bursts#comments Bond Business Business cycle Central Banks Debt Deleveraging Economic bubble Economy Finance Financial crises Financial crisis of 2007–2008 Great Recession Italy Market liquidity Money Prudent Bear Fund Sovereign Debt Stock market crashes Tue, 12 Dec 2017 01:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608953 at http://www.zerohedge.com These Are The Top 5 Legislative Issues That Could Force The Next Government Shutdown http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-10/these-are-top-5-legislative-issues-could-force-next-government-shutdown <p>House Republicans successfully managed <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-07/government-verge-shutdown-democrats-refuse-support-stopgap-plan">to kick the can down the road </a>(if only for two weeks) when they managed to pass a two-week extension last week of the continuing resolution that had been funding the government since September.</p> <p>But after overcoming obstacles created by Democrats and conservative Republicans &ndash; with each camp pushing for priorities that were ultimately excluded from the extension bill &ndash; the White House and its allies in Congress will still need to figure out how to balance these demands if they want to successfully secure approval for the next funding bill by Dec. 22, the day the current extender bill requires.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.12.10budget_0.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.12.10budget_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 240px;" /></a></p> <p>Adding to the pressure on Congressional leaders, Republicans also need to work through what&rsquo;s looking to be a difficult reconciliation process for the tax bill that President Donald Trump has vowed to pass before the end of the year.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.11.27congressionalcalendar.JPG"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017/11/20/2017.12.10congressionalcalendar_0.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 303px;" /></a></p> <p>With only four legislative sessions left on the official calendar (Congressional leaders reserve the right to delay the beginning of recess, something they will almost certainly need to do)<a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/house/364043-five-issues-that-could-derail-a-spending-deal"> the Hill </a>has provided a quick rundown of five key issues that could possibly derail the spending bill - and finally usher in the shutdown that Trump believes could benefit the White House politically at the expense of Democrats, who are vying to take back the House and/or the Senate during next year&#39;s midterm elections.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>And the issues are...</p> <p><u><strong>Immigration:</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Trump announced earlier this year that he was ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants work permits to undocumented young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Congress has just a few months left to save the program or come up with a new solution, with DACA recipients set to lose their status beginning in early March.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong><em>Many Democrats and even some Republicans like Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) have demanded that any spending legislation that stretches into 2018 shield so-called Dreamers from deportation.</em></strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>They view the must-pass spending bills as their best shot at getting a DACA solution over the finish line.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;We will not leave here without a DACA fix,&rdquo; Pelosi vowed Thursday.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But conservatives have put their foot down on the issue, saying that attaching any DACA deal to a continuing resolution would be a non-starter with the Republican conference.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>GOP leaders in both chambers have made clear that they oppose linking DACA to government spending bills, setting up a potential showdown at the end of the month.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Republicans have in the past had to rely on Pelosi and the Democrats to pass stopgap funding bills, though the House passed the two-week spending bill this week without Democrats. However, Democratic support will still be needed in the Senate.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;A DACA solution will be a standalone solution,&rdquo; Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, told reporters on Thursday. &ldquo;If DACA gets attached to the spending bill, there will be major, major pushback.&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Defense:</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>It&rsquo;s all but certain that Congress will need to pass another continuing resolution (CR) on Dec. 22 in order to buy more time to write a massive, omnibus spending package.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But defense hawks and conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus worry that yet another short-term spending bill would be harmful for the military.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>They are insisting that leadership boost money for the Pentagon before the end of the year &ndash; and have threatened to vote against another CR this year if that doesn&rsquo;t happen.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>One option being considered would be to move a legislative package that funds defense at higher levels through September alongside a short-term patch to fund the rest of the government at current levels through January.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>It&rsquo;s unclear whether Democrats would be willing to go along with the idea. Their support would be crucial in the Senate, where at least eight Democratic votes are needed to overcome a filibuster.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Democrats have traditionally insisted that any increase in defense spending above budget caps be paired with an increase in spending on domestic programs.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>But House Republicans could just jam the Senate with the defense-first package and dare vulnerable Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) to vote against a bill fully funding the military, especially with the escalating nuclear threat from North Korea hanging over their heads.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;Then they can go home and explain why they can&rsquo;t fund the American military when the House did,&rdquo; said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), an Appropriations cardinal.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>ObamaCare:</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>Further complicating spending talks is the commitment that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to help win her vote for the GOP tax reform bill.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>McConnell pledged to support passage of two bipartisan ObamaCare fixes before the end of the year, which could be attached to a government funding bill.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But House conservatives say they oppose the measures seen as simply propping up ObamaCare.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>To lock up the necessary Republican votes for the two-week CR this week, House GOP leadership promised that the next spending bill would not contain funding for ObamaCare cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, according to Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.).</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;The three things that we&rsquo;ve been told are not going to happen as part of our agreement: no CSRs, no DACA, no debt limit,&rdquo; said Walker, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Disaster aid.</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want to provide more supplemental funding for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, as well as for western areas devastated by wildfires.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The thinking is that disaster aid could be attached to the next CR, but members are still debating the price tag, according to Walker.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><u><strong>The White House last month requested another $44 billion in disaster aid, which would be the third infusion of cash to help with relief and recovery efforts.</strong></u></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But the funding request has been under fire from lawmakers who say it doesn&rsquo;t go far enough to address the damage from the string of natural disasters.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>And the White House has insisted that the latest disaster package be offset with cuts to non-defense federal programs, which could be problematic for Democrats.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Children&#39;s health-care and the opioid crisis:</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>Democrats are also fighting for two health care priorities that could have bipartisan support: the renewal of a popular children&rsquo;s health program and more money to combat the opioid crisis.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Many members are pushing to renew the Children&rsquo;s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expired in September.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Republicans have said the issue could be attached to the next CR in an effort to sweeten the pot and attract more Democratic votes for the stopgap bill.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Democrats have also indicated that they want additional funding to fight the deadly opioid crisis in a larger spending deal.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency this year, but he stopped short of declaring it a national emergency &mdash; a designation that would have allocated new federal money toward the crisis.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>It&rsquo;s unclear, however, if additional dollars will come in a spending package.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;We&#39;ve done a lot, put a lot of resources into combating opioids already,&rdquo; the Senate&rsquo;s No. 3 Republican, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), said earlier this month. &ldquo;If they&#39;ve got a proposal, I&#39;m sure we would take a look at it, but I don&rsquo;t know that that&#39;s at least on the agenda at the moment.&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><em>* * *</em></p> <p>As the Trump administration continues to get its legislative bearings after Trump&rsquo;s hectic first year in office (a year in which he accomplished many of the priorities that he set out during the campaign, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel&rsquo;s capital, rolling back financial regulation and defanging some of the EPA&rsquo;s most stifling regulations), the president has wasted no time setting out his next major priority: The $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan to help rebuild America&rsquo;s crumbling roads and bridges.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-sets-january-push-for-1-trillion-infrastructure-revamp-1512910800">Wall Street Journal </a>revealed still more details of the plan, which helped flatten the yield curve last week after Trump revealed that he intends to push ahead on one of his most crucial, yet long-delayed, promises.</p> <p>While some in Congress might balk at still more deficit-expanding spending, polls show that a majority of Americans &ndash; even those who loathe the president &ndash; support this aspect of his agenda.</p> <p><strong>Recent polling showed that 52% of voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 back an infrastructure program, </strong>according to the survey. <strong>Some 53% of white male respondents in states won by Clinton support an infrastructure initiative, as well as 51% of voters who say they disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.</strong></p> <p>All of which begs the question: Will this be the issue that finally forces red-state Democrats to break with the &ldquo;Chuck and Nancy&rdquo; enforced plan for mass obstruction and throw their support behind the president&rsquo;s agenda?</p> <p>After all, their political futures may depend on it. &nbsp;<br />&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="683" height="328" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user245717/imageroot/2017.12.10budget.JPG?1512957410" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-10/these-are-top-5-legislative-issues-could-force-next-government-shutdown#comments American military American people of German descent Barack Obama Business Claire McCaskill Congress Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Donald Trump Donald Trump DREAM Act Environmental Protection Agency Financial Regulation First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Florida Internal Revenue Code Israel North Korea Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pentagon Politics Presidency of Barack Obama Presidency of Donald Trump Puerto Rico recovery Republican Party Republicans Senate Statutory law Trump Administration United States Wall Street Journal White House White House Yield Curve Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608885 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bama Blowout? Latest Fox News Poll Shows Doug Jones With Commanding 10-Point Lead Over Moore http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/bama-blowout-latest-fox-news-poll-shows-doug-jones-commanding-10-point-lead-over-moo <p>With voting set to get underway in the controversial Alabama Senate race in about 24 hours, the latest <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/11/fox-news-poll-enthused-democrats-give-jones-lead-over-moore-in-alabama.html">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11 - Moore 1.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11%20-%20Moore%201_0.JPG" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11 - Moore 2.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11%20-%20Moore%202_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 341px;" /></a></p> <p>All that said, this latest Fox News poll deviates substantially from the <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2017/senate/al/alabama_senate_special_election_moore_vs_jones-6271.html">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11%20-%20RCP.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11%20-%20RCP_0.JPG" 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="http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/11/politics/barack-obama-alabama-senate/index.html">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017.12.11%20-%20Moore%20Jones%20Tease.JPG?1513006086" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/bama-blowout-latest-fox-news-poll-shows-doug-jones-commanding-10-point-lead-over-moo#comments 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 Roy Moore United States United States presidential election Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608923 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bond Bears Beware As Ag Prices Hit Record Low http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/bond-bears-beware-ag-prices-hit-record-low <p>Long-end bond yields are lower and the front-end higher once again this morning as the US Treasury yield curve continues to confound by flattening. Bloomberg macro strategist Mark Cudmore suspects there is more to come... for one simple reason, so often overlooked...</p> <p><em>Via Bloomberg,</em></p> <p><strong>Cheaper eats are great, but maybe not if you&rsquo;re one of the many expecting a sustainable bump in bond yields next year.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Falling food prices risk wrecking the forecasts -- seen pretty much every December for years now -- for yields to climb in the new year. Ten-year Treasury rates haven&rsquo;t closed a year above 2.45 percent since 2013.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Bond bears&nbsp;seem to struggle&nbsp;</strong>to incorporate structural disinflationary pressures that have come from technology and globalization.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Bloomberg Agriculture Subindex on Monday hit its lowest level since the series began in 1991.</strong> Technology and science are making the agriculture industry&nbsp;increasingly efficient, and there are still plenty of production gains to be made globally.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/08/20171211_ag.jpg"><img height="317" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/12/08/20171211_ag_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Combined with the overhang of energy supply that&rsquo;s capping oil prices -- and therefore processing, transport and distribution costs -- that means the long-term trend remains one of cheaper food prices.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And food prices are a key component of consumer price index baskets around the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The impact is&nbsp;global, real&nbsp;and seems to be constantly underestimated. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since Saturday, China, Denmark, Norway and the Czech Republic have all released CPI prints where the annual rate was both decelerating and below expectations. Food prices were specifically cited in China&rsquo;s case.</p> </blockquote> <p>None of this is to argue that bond yields can&rsquo;t spike higher for short periods, notes Cudmore, but it&rsquo;s just an argument to highlight that<strong>&nbsp;structural disinflationary pressures</strong>&nbsp;from technology remain strong and shouldn&rsquo;t be dismissed.</p> <p>With several major central banks indicating that the marginal bias is to tighten policy, that will further crimp price rises. And that <strong>doesn&rsquo;t bode well for a sustainable broad rise in developed-market yields.</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="967" height="511" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20171211_ag.jpg?1513003759" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/bond-bears-beware-ag-prices-hit-record-low#comments Agriculture Bloomberg L.P. Bond Bond Business Central Banks China CPI Czech Economy Finance Financial crises Fixed income Long-Term Capital Management Money None Norway U.S. Treasury Yield Curve Yield curve Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 608917 at http://www.zerohedge.com "It's A Crisis Situation": One Chart Explains Why Obamacare Is Locked In An Inescapable Death Spiral http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/its-crisis-situation-one-chart-explains-why-obamacare-locked-inescapable-death-spira <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="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-24/tennessee-insurance-commissioner-says-obamacare-very-near-collapse">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="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article188987144.html#fmp">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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11 - Obamacare 1.JPG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/12/11/2017.12.11%20-%20Obamacare%201_0.JPG" 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 healthcare.gov, 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/05/24/2017.05.24 - Obamacare 1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/05/24/2017.05.24%20-%20Obamacare%201_0.jpg" 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="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/Obamacare%20Death%20Spiral_14.JPG?1513000908" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-11/its-crisis-situation-one-chart-explains-why-obamacare-locked-inescapable-death-spira#comments 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 HealthCare.gov 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 http://www.zerohedge.com