http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/wp-login.php/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2011/09/aapl en Paul Craig Roberts Explains The Stakes For Trump And All Of Us http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/paul-craig-roberts-explains-stakes-trump-and-all-us <p><a href="http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/02/18/stakes-trump-us-paul-craig-roberts/"><em>Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,</em></a></p> <p>We need to understand, and so does President Trump, that the hoax &ldquo;war on terror&rdquo; was used to transform intelligence agencies, such as the NSA and CIA, and criminal investigative agencies, such as the FBI, into Gestapo secret police agencies. <strong>Trump is now threatened by these agencies, because he rejects the neoconservative&rsquo;s agenda of US world hegemony that supports the gigantic military/security annual budget.</strong></p> <p>Our secret police agencies are <strong>busy at work planting &ldquo;intelligence&rdquo; among the presstitute media that Trump is compromised by &ldquo;Russian connections&rdquo; and is a security threat to the United States</strong>. The plan is to make a case in the media, as was done against President Nixon, and to force Trump from office. To openly take on a newly elected president is an act of extraordinary audacity that implies enormous confidence, or else desperation, on the part of the police state agencies.</p> <p>Here you can see <strong>CNN openly cooperating with the CIA in treating wild and irresponsible speculation that Trump is under Russian influence as if it is an established fact</strong>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h1otcul-rrk" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The &ldquo;evidence&rdquo; provided by CNN and the CIA is a &ldquo;report&rdquo; by the New York Times that, with little doubt, was planted in the NYT by the CIA</strong>.</p> <p>This is so obvious that it is clear that CNN and the CIA regard the American people as so gullible as to be completely stupid.</p> <p><strong>Glenn Greenwald explains to Amy Goodman that the CIA is after Trump, because Trump&rsquo;s announced policy of reducing the dangerous tensions with Russia conflicts with the military/security complex&rsquo;s need for a major enemy.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2017/2/16/greenwald_empowering_the_deep_state_to" width="640"></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The deep state, although there&rsquo;s no precise or scientific definition, generally refers to the agencies in Washington that are permanent power factions. They stay and exercise power even as presidents who are elected come and go. They typically exercise their power in secret, in the dark, and so they&rsquo;re barely subject to democratic accountability, if they&rsquo;re subject to it at all. It&rsquo;s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world&rsquo;s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads. This is who not just people like Bill Kristol, but lots of Democrats are placing their faith in, are trying to empower, are cheering for as they exert power separate and apart from&mdash;in fact, in opposition to&mdash;the political officials to whom they&rsquo;re supposed to be subordinate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;And you go&mdash;this is not just about Russia. You go all the way back to the campaign, and what you saw was that leading members of the intelligence community, including Mike Morell, who was the acting CIA chief under President Obama, and Michael Hayden, who ran both the CIA and the NSA under George W. Bush, were very outspoken supporters of Hillary Clinton. In fact, Michael Morell went to The New York Times, and Michael Hayden went to The Washington Post, during the campaign to praise Hillary Clinton and to say that Donald Trump had become a recruit of Russia. The CIA and the intelligence community were vehemently in support of Clinton and vehemently opposed to Trump, from the beginning. And the reason was, was because they liked Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s policies better than they liked Donald Trump&rsquo;s. One of the main priorities of the CIA for the last five years has been a proxy war in Syria, designed to achieve regime change with the Assad regime. Hillary Clinton was not only for that, she was critical of Obama for not allowing it to go further, and wanted to impose a no-fly zone in Syria and confront the Russians. Donald Trump took exactly the opposite view. He said we shouldn&rsquo;t care who rules Syria; we should allow the Russians, and even help the Russians, kill ISIS and al-Qaeda and other people in Syria. So, Trump&rsquo;s agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted. Clinton&rsquo;s was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they&rsquo;ve been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him. There&rsquo;s claims that they&rsquo;re withholding information from him, on the grounds that they don&rsquo;t think he should have it and can be trusted with it. They are empowering themselves to enact policy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Now, I happen to think that the Trump presidency is extremely dangerous. You just listed off in your news&mdash;in your newscast that led the show, many reasons. They want to dismantle the environment. They want to eliminate the safety net. They want to empower billionaires. They want to enact bigoted policies against Muslims and immigrants and so many others. And it is important to resist them. And there are lots of really great ways to resist them, such as getting courts to restrain them, citizen activism and, most important of all, having the Democratic Party engage in self-critique to ask itself how it can be a more effective political force in the United States after it has collapsed on all levels. That isn&rsquo;t what this resistance is now doing. What they&rsquo;re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, the CIA, with its histories of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup, where they take the elected president and prevent him from enacting his policies. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that. Even if you&rsquo;re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there&rsquo;s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They&rsquo;re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. <u><strong>That is a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it. </strong></u>And yet that&rsquo;s what so many, not just neocons, but the neocons&rsquo; allies in the Democratic Party, are now urging and cheering. And it&rsquo;s incredibly warped and dangerous to watch them do that.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The United States is now in the extraordinary situation that the liberal/progressive/left is allied with the deep state against democracy. </strong>The liberal/progressive/left are lobbying for the impeachment of a president who has committed no impeachable offense. The neoconservatives have stated their preference for a deep state coup against democracy. The media obliges with a constant barrage of lies, innuendos and disinformation. The insouciant American public sits there sucking its thumb.</p> <p><u><strong>What can Trump do?</strong></u> He can clean out the intelligence agencies and terminate their license granted by Bush and Obama to conduct unconstitutional activities. He can use anti-trust to breakup the media conglomerates that Clinton allowed to form. If Bush and Obama can on their own authority subject US citizens to indefinite detention without due process and if Obama can murder suspect US citizens without due process of law, Trump can use anti-trust law to break up the media conglomerates that speak with one voice against him.</p> <p><strong>At this point Trump has no alternative but to fight.</strong> He can take down the secret police agencies and the presstitute media conglomerates, or they will take him down. Dismissing Flynn was the worse thing to do. He should have kept Flynn and fired the &ldquo;leakers&rdquo; who are actively using disinformation against him. The NSA would have to know who the leakers are. Trump should clean out the corrupt NSA management and install officials who will identify the leakers. Then Trump should prosecute the leakers to the full extent of the law.</p> <p><em><strong>No president can survive secret police agencies determined to destroy him. If Trump&rsquo;s advisers don&rsquo;t know this, Trump desperately needs new advisers.</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="303" height="218" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170216_trump_0.jpg?1487543446" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/paul-craig-roberts-explains-stakes-trump-and-all-us#comments al-Qaeda American people of German descent Business Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial Democratic Party Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Gestapo ISIS Neocons New York Times NSA Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Politics of the United States President Obama The Apprentice United States WWE Hall of Fame Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588587 at http://www.zerohedge.com North Korea's Regime In Jeopardy After China Bans All Coal Imports http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/north-koreas-regime-jeopardy-after-china-bans-all-coal-imports <p>North Korea just lost a very big ally.</p> <p>On Saturday, China said that it was suspending all imports of coal from North Korea as part of its effort to implement United Nations Security Council sanctions aimed at stopping the country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic-missile program. The ban, according to a statement posted on the website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, takes effect on today and will last until the end of the year. While China will hardly suffer material adverse impacts, Chinese trade - and aid - have long been a vital economic crutch for North Korea, and the decision strips North Korea of one of its most important sources of foreign currency. </p> <p>The ban comes six days after the North Korean test of a ballistic missile that the Security Council condemned as a violation of its resolutions that prohibited the country from developing and testing ballistic missile technology. In the test, - which took place during a dinner between Japan's Prime Minister and Donald Trump - North Korea claimed that it had successfully launched a new type of nuclear-capable missile. It said its intermediate-range Pukguksong-2 missile used a solid-fuel technology that American experts say will make it harder to detect missile attacks from the North. </p> <p>According to the NYT, China's decision has the potential to cripple North Korea's already moribund economy: coal accounts for 34-40% of North Korean exports in the past several years, and almost all of it was shipped to China, according to South Korean government estimates. As Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul confirms, <strong>coal sales accounted for more than 50 percent of North Korea’s exports to China last year, and about a fifth of its total trade</strong>. China had previously bought coal under exemptions that allowed trade for “livelihood” purposes. China’s Ministry of Commerce didn’t respond to faxed questions outside office hours.&nbsp; </p> <p>“Of course they may have methods to replace the damage, but just by looking at the size of the loss, that’s a pretty big blow,” Yang said.</p> <p>China's import ban follows a UN Security Council resolution adopted in November in response to the North’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test, according to which the country should not be allowed to export more than 7.5 million metric tons of coal a year or bring in more than $400 million in coal sales, whichever limit is met first. It was unclear whether that cap has already been reached for this year. </p> <p>Officials of the United States and its allies, including President Trump, have suggested that China, North Korea’s principal economic patron, should be more aggressive in enforcing sanctions. But while it does not approve of the North’s weapons program, China has also been seen as reluctant to inflict crippling pain on North Korea, for fear that it might destabilize its Communist neighbor.</p> <p>That, however, changed on Saturday and as <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-19/china-s-message-to-trump-with-north-korea-coal-ban-let-s-deal">Bloomberg </a>says "China’s move to ban coal imports from North Korea, effectively slicing the country’s exports by about half, came with a message for the U.S. and its allies: <strong>It’s time to do a deal</strong>" even if it means risking political upheaval.</p> <p>While China has previously resisted calls by the U.S. to apply greater pressure on Kim’s regime, North Korea is increasingly becoming a strategic liability, according to Zhou Qi, director of the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “What we’re seeing now is Beijing is showing a new willingness to bring the North to near the breaking point,” she said. “There is still some room to squeeze the regime. But of course, it’s a risky card to play.”</p> <p>“The Chinese are getting more frustrated with North Korea,” Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer said in an interview at the same conference. “<strong>They clearly don’t feel that they have a lot of influence and they’re worried that the U.S. under Trump is going to blame China as opposed to continuing a multilateral process</strong>.”</p> <p>At the same time as China announce the coal import bank, Chinese officials said that pushing North Korea into a corner won’t work as Kim’s regime will keep developing its nuclear capability until it feels safe. Instead, it’s time to restart talks and “<strong>break the negative cycle on the nuclear issue,” </strong>Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement on Sunday after meeting South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se at a security meeting in Munich.</p> <p>As Bloomberg adds, China’s call for a new initiative contrasts with a more hawkish tone out of Washington. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>President Donald Trump, who during his campaign said he could negotiate with Kim over a hamburger, this month promised to deal with North Korea “very strongly” after its latest missile test. He also called on China to get tougher. The U.S. is putting a defense system called Thaad in South Korea -- a move that also potentially threatens Beijing’s military capabilities. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>China may soon have company in making the shift. South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye was impeached in December and the leading candidates to replace her all take a softer line on North Korea, with front-runner Moon Jae-in saying that the next administration should review the decision to deploy Thaad.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, last week's bizarre assassination of Kim’s estranged half-brother, who was protected by Chinese authorities, added to calls in Beijing’s foreign policy establishment to take stronger action, according to Shi Yongming, an associate research fellow at the Foreign Ministry-run China Institute of International Studies. “The case fully exposed the desperate irrationality of the Kim regime,” Shi said. “Beijing still wants to bring him to a negotiation table - and that’s where the U.S. role lies <strong>- because the collapse of the regime is right now outside China’s realistic capacity to handle.</strong>”</p> <p>Making the recent situation somewhat embarrassing for Beijing, China has backed the Kim dynasty since it took charge after the Korean War, in part to prevent having a U.S. ally on its border. </p> <p>With the international community enforcing sanctions on North Korea after a series of nuclear tests, <strong>China now accounts for more than 90 percent of its total trade</strong>, according to Bloomberg data.</p> <p>Whether the Chinese ban will bring Kim’s regime to the negotiating table is unclear. North Korea has accelerated its development of nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles since 2009, when it walked away from six-party talks involving the U.S., South Korea, China, Russia and Japan. However, losing perhaps the biggest source of outside funding will almost certainly lead to political chaos in the communist nation. </p> <p>The question on everyone's lips, but which few dare to ask in public, is whether Kim Jong-Un, pressed into a corner, will - after years of posturing with his ballistic missile tests, finally launch a rocket into one of the neighboring nations. Trump’s administration has said it will deploy the missile defense system this year in South Korea and back Japan “100 percent” in moves to deter North Korea. </p> <p>Since it may have no choice but to test out this defense system in the very near future, one hopes that any North Korean "desperation" launches are safely brought down. </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="480" height="264" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/kim%20jong%20watching_0.jpg?1487545640" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/north-koreas-regime-jeopardy-after-china-bans-all-coal-imports#comments Asia China China’s Ministry of Commerce China–South Korea relations Chinese Commerce Ministry Donald Trump Foreign Ministry-run China Institute International relations Japan KIM Lockheed Martin Member states of the United Nations Military of North Korea National Strategy Institute National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing North Korea North Korea Nuclear program of North Korea Politics Republics Security Council Six-party talks South Korea South Korean government Terminal High Altitude Area Defense testing ballistic missile technology Trump’s administration Tsinghua University in Beijing U.N. Security Council United Nations United Nations Security Council Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:48:49 +0000 Tyler Durden 588589 at http://www.zerohedge.com China Responds To Fed Jawboning March "Live" - Weakens Yuan, Spikes Money Market Rates http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/china-responds-fed-jawboning-march-live-weakens-yuan-spikes-money-market-rates <p>After a week of jawboning markets into believing that the March FOMC meeting is now &quot;live&quot;, it appears <strong>China has decided to send a little message.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After <strong>weakening the fix by the most since Jan 9th,</strong> Chinese<strong> money market rates are soaring (1 week CNH HIBOR up 303bps) </strong>despite notable liquidity injections...</p> <p><img height="313" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_cnh2_0.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course an unexpected rate hike in March is an implicit tightening of the world&#39;s financial conditions and thus liquidity withdrawal... reversing recent improvements in global dollar liquidity.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_cnh3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_cnh3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 300px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://markstcyr.com/2017/02/19/if-march-is-now-live-then-so-is-a-preemptive-yuan-devaluation/">As Mark St.Cyr asks </a>(and answers), <u><em><strong>is China about to begin pre-emptively devaluing the yuan?</strong></em></u></p> <p>Remember when any member of the Federal Reserve, regardless of the action be it a speech, interview, what they had for breakfast et cetera, was met with panting breaths by the financial media? You know, like it was back in the old days, say around 90 days ago more or less. My how time both flies and changes.</p> <p>Today? Like it or not (and I presume they disdain it) the President as opposed to a Fed. president, has reclaimed all the oxygen, print, airwaves, bandwidth, and more from not only the general news, but the business/financial news as well. I have a feeling that&rsquo;s not sitting well within the confines of the Eccles Building. Remember: Elites don&rsquo;t like sharing stages, especially with those they deem as &ldquo;outsiders.&rdquo;</p> <p>So what does the above have anything to do with March and the Yuan you may be asking? It&rsquo;s this:</p> <p><em><strong>You or I may be enjoying a respite from the media where the Fed. (or central bankers in general) aren&rsquo;t dominating every topic of business/financial discussion. Yet, the one audience I&rsquo;ll contend that&rsquo;s still hanging on every syllable for meaning and intent is China.</strong></em> And China is the, and I mean just that &ndash;&nbsp;<em>the</em>&nbsp;&ndash; only audience that matters. The reasoning is simple:</p> <p>China, overnight, can bring the entire global markets crashing to its knees via one wrong move, exponentially faster than any Fed. misstep, intentional, or otherwise. Period.</p> <p>In other words, the Fed. more often than not will signal first (yet they can surprise) and the move would cause turmoil, but the move (and resulting chaos) itself would be more reaction to surprise than substance, where knee-jerk-selling is met with horns-over-hooves buying from Bulls just itching to buy the next dip. (i.e., 1/4% unannounced or unanticipated hike or something else in kind.)</p> <p><strong>China on the other hand could intentionally devalue the Yuan in whole number, even double-digit percentages, unannounced overnight, and the chaos could quickly transform into unstoppable monetary bedlam. And there&rsquo;s recent precedent for clues. e.g., August of 2015.</strong></p> <p>So with the above for context the question that should be first and foremost in everyone&rsquo;s mind is this:</p> <p><em><strong>If China believes there&rsquo;s a rate hike in March, regardless of what the rest of the world (and academia) might think. Will it force &nbsp;China into delivering a monetary strike first, and deal with its aftermath later, rather, than simply waiting around to then deal with any potential monetary aftermath or chaos unleashed by the Fed. later?</strong></em></p> <p>I believe not only will they move first &ndash; the move borders on inevitable.</p> <p>I base this on no other reasoning than watching the Fed. continuing to throw ever-the-more fuel onto this &ldquo;monetary powder keg&rdquo; that brings that response on quicker, rather than later. For the more they pile on, the more this &ldquo;monetary powder keg&rdquo; moves from in-need-of-a-match, into self-igniting.</p> <p>I am of the opinion China&rsquo;s ever-growing capital flight problems, and more can not withstand another rate hike, let alone one so close after December. And the tell-tale signs for this to be more plausible than not have been occurring in plain sight with far more telling frequency (and I&rsquo;ll imply: intent) than previously. And the ones who seem to not be reading the &ldquo;tea leaves&rdquo; is none other than the Fed. itself.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s some of my reasoning from the article, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-30/february%E2%80%99s-fomc-meeting-powder-keg-search-match" style="letter-spacing: .05em;">Feb&rsquo;s FOMC Meeting: A Powder keg In Search Of A Match&rdquo;</a><span style="letter-spacing: .05em;"> To wit:</span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><u><strong>&ldquo;If China feels that it is in a no-win situation (and it&rsquo;s easily conceivable using the Fed&rsquo;s latest words, speeches, shift in policy signaling and a whole lot more) They might decide after coming back from their New Year holiday and &ndash; act first &ndash; question later.&rdquo;</strong></u></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Guess what the politburo did when they returned? Hint: <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-14/china-just-created-record-540-billion-debt-one-month">Everything and anything</a> but (and it&rsquo;s a very big but) the one thing they always did in unison &ndash; defend the Yuan.</p> <p>Everything in China went ballistic. Bonds, stocks, commodities, all up. The Yuan? <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-12/china-bonds-stocks-commodities-extend-gains-yuan-tumbles-one-month-lows-after-renewe">Tumbled to one-month lows</a>.</p> <p><strong>I&rsquo;ll contend this is an overt signaling action which screams warning signs everywhere.</strong> For why did China, this time, throw so much money everywhere else except for the one place it basically threw the &ldquo;kitchen sink&rdquo; at only a month or so prior? (e.g., The Yuan as to strengthen it away from the much dreaded psychological USD/CNH 7.00 cross.)</p> <p>Was this a test to see what reaction (both market and political) would take place doing something other than something solely Yuan centric? Or, was this a move of desperation as to subside further capital flight?&nbsp;After all: This is precisely the exact opposite of what one should/would do if the plan was to strengthen, rather than weaken one&rsquo;s currency, correct?</p> <p>Again: Why would you throw enormous sums of money into actions which not only have a negative effect, but a canceling effect on what you just threw (again) enormous sums of money only a month prior? Does the old joke &ldquo;Drilling holes in the bottom of the boat to let the water coming in out.&rdquo; come to mind here? Which is why I&rsquo;m siding on the side of desperation &ndash; first, as opposed to &nbsp;a test. And here&rsquo;s why, <a href="http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2057854/its-all-or-nothing-china-trade-collision-us-looms">as stated by economist, and China watcher Andy Xie</a> (one of the few economists I admire) to wit:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;China&rsquo;s domestic woes and international challenges are largely due to its inefficient system. The government is obsessed with concentrating economic resources in its own hands, and asset markets are like casinos, sucking people in and making them lose money. The government uses its vast resources inefficiently. Hence, China&rsquo;s currency has a tendency to depreciate.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Using the above for a prism it&rsquo;s easy to see how the politburo can do two things at the same time which seem diametrically opposed to what was professed (or signaled) only weeks prior. Why? Because when elites panic &ndash; they&rsquo;ll throw money everywhere and anywhere first, because that&rsquo;s all they know. And I believe this demonstrates China is beginning to panic.</p> <p><strong>The real question (and problem) now is: How far, and how fast, from the &ldquo;beginning&rdquo; to &ldquo;end game&rdquo; they decide to proceed going forward from here? I believe all we have to do is look to our own Fed. for clues, for they appear utterly clueless to what is taking place right before their own eyes.</strong></p> <p>So what kind of signaling (hence exacerbating China nervousness) is forthcoming from the Fed you ask? Fair question, to wit:</p> <p>From Reuters&trade; <a href="http://in.reuters.com/article/us-global-forex-idINKBN15T03D">&ldquo;Dollar Index Rises As Yellen Signals More Rate Hikes&rdquo;</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="letter-spacing: .05em;">&ldquo;Waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise,&rdquo; Yellen said in prepared remarks before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, the first of her two-day testimony before Congress.</span></p> </blockquote> <p>That was just a few days ago from Fed. chair Janet Yellen&rsquo;s televised two-day testimony before Congress.</p> <p>But what went along with the above was what went nearly unreported (as I implied when stating &ldquo;the old days&rdquo;) when none other than the Fed&rsquo;s Dennis Lockhart (another Fed. president retiring at the end of the month) <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-02-16/fed-s-lockhart-says-inflation-encouraging-march-is-live">stated in an interview with Bloomberg&trade;</a> &ldquo;March meeting is live.&rdquo;</p> <p><em><strong>That&rsquo;s a lot of confirmation that March is to be considered live, is it not?</strong></em></p> <p>As I&rsquo;ve iterated before, I believe the rest of the world (or &ldquo;markets&rdquo;) are still of the idea that the Fed. is once again &ldquo;crying wolf&rdquo; as they did all throughout 2016. For China? I think they&rsquo;re back to an August 2015 frenzy caught between what to do next, never-mind, what not to do. And it&rsquo;s getting more complicated for them by the day.</p> <p><strong>Think I&rsquo;m over exaggerating? Fair point, so here&rsquo;s just a few &ldquo;other&rdquo; headlines China returned from holiday to read and think about, let alone, needing a response to:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-13/china-seriously-concerned-and-opposed-after-trump-backs-japan-over-disputed-east-chi">&ldquo;&hellip;Trump Backs Japan Over Disputed East China Sea Islands&rdquo;</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Or how about this from the WSJ&trade; implying further retaliation, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-eyes-new-tactic-to-press-china-1487034167">&ldquo;U.S. Eyes New Tactic To Press China&rdquo;</a></em></p> </blockquote> <p>So where are we now? As I stated in my previous article, I believe it&rsquo;s all about the Fed. minutes, to wit:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>During that time I believe China will wait for the minutes to be released, and if it is made apparent that there was indeed further discussion as to bolster the inferences that the Fed. may be actively considering a path as to embark on a march towards higher rates, along with the thinning of its balance sheet, which would inevitably send the $Dollar rocketing skywards?</p> <p>They&rsquo;ll act first and ask (or maybe not) questions later. Sending everything that is now taken for granted in the &ldquo;markets&rdquo; (e.g., &ldquo;It&rsquo;s good to be long!) into total chaos. All before March 15th&rsquo;s next meeting. Again, which just so happens to be the exact date originating the &ldquo;Ides of March&rdquo; warning.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>If the actions by China after returning from their holiday break are any clue? Than the possibility for a &ldquo;monetary first strike&rdquo; is all the more plausible, if not probable, than these &ldquo;markets&rdquo; are signaling, let alone contemplating.</p> <p>China has thrown buckets of capital at not only the Yuan, but its credit markets in unison &ndash; and capital flight is accelerating still on all fronts. All while the $Dollar strengthens, and Yuan weakens seemingly against the will of both monetary bodies.</p> <p>So again, with all the above for context, as I said in the title&hellip;</p> <p><u><strong>If March Is indeed &ldquo;live?&rdquo; &nbsp;Then so too is the mother of all monetary shocks.</strong></u></p> <p>We shall see our first clues for the minutes of the latest FOMC meeting are to be released this week. And if they are indeed &ldquo;hawkish?&rdquo; I believe it will force China&rsquo;s hand before the next meeting.&nbsp;Whether anyone is prepared for it, or not.</p> <p><strong>And if any clues are to be extrapolated by current &ldquo;market&rdquo; action? The answer is self-evident:&nbsp;nobody thinks such a thing is possible anymore, let alone &ndash; positioned for it,&nbsp;making things more problematic than they already are. If that&rsquo;s even possible.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Finally we wonder if - just as was the case after the Shanghai Accord had fulfilled its Plunge Protection Team role in Q1 2016 - whether the same is about to occur...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_cnh1.jpg"><img height="319" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_cnh1_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Notice that the Yuan has been strengthening against the USD for the last 2 months (despite all the gnashing or political teeth over its manipulation). A Fed rate hike is the perfect excuse to let that pretense slide again.</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="964" height="503" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170219_cnh2.jpg?1487561764" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/china-responds-fed-jawboning-march-live-weakens-yuan-spikes-money-market-rates#comments Andy Xie Central bank China Congress Dennis Lockhart East China Economics Economy Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System headlines Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Japan March FOMC None PrISM Renminbi Reuters Testimony U.S. Senate Banking Committee US Federal Reserve Yuan Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:45:59 +0000 Tyler Durden 588591 at http://www.zerohedge.com Maryland Considers Teaching Kids That Boys Are Presumed Guilty In Rape Accusations http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/maryland-considers-teaching-kids-boys-are-presumed-guilty-rape-accusations <p><a href="http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/31191/"><em>Submitted by Greg Piper via The College Fix,</em></a></p> <p><strong><em>&ldquo;Affirmative consent&rdquo; is a fuzzy concept even for adults, which is why <a href="http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/24651/" target="_blank">one of them taught 10th graders in California</a> that they must say &ldquo;yes&rdquo; every 10 minutes during sex or it becomes rape.</em></strong></p> <p>The concept was enshrined in state law in October 2015, and since then California has remained the <a href="http://affirmativeconsent.com/affirmative-consent-laws-state-by-state/" target="_blank">only state to legally require</a> &ldquo;yes means yes&rdquo; be taught in public schools.</p> <p>Maryland could soon be the second.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-weighs-teaching-yes-means-yes-as-part-of-sex-ed/2017/02/13/58dbfdfc-efd0-11e6-9662-6eedf1627882_story.html?utm_term=.e3695f319f7c" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post</em></a> reports that a House of Delegates committee is considering a bill today (<a href="http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/bills/hb/hb0365f.pdf" target="_blank">HB 365</a>) that would set up a pilot program in Montgomery County, just outside Washington, D.C.</strong></p> <p>It would &ldquo;provide instruction on affirmative consent as part of a specified curriculum in specified grades in public schools in the county beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.&rdquo;</p> <p>But that&rsquo;s just the start for the sponsors, Montgomery County Democratic Dels. Ariana Kelly and Marice Morales, according to the <em>Post</em>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The two lawmakers say they are drafting a companion piece of legislation that would extend the mandate statewide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Both measures would define consent as &ldquo;clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in each act within the course of sexual activity.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Local education officials would be required to teach the concept in both seventh and 10th grades, but individual districts would be able to decide how to tailor the lessons in an age-appropriate way.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The <em>Post</em> report fails to note that affirmative consent essentially shifts the burden of proof onto the accused student, which in the vast majority of cases is a male being accused by a female.</strong></p> <p>It inexplicably cites the National Coalition for Men, whose president said affirmative consent is driven by &ldquo;people who don&rsquo;t like men that much,&rdquo; as the face of the opposition.</p> <p>But the consent standard has better known and less polarizing critics who cite the lack of due process inherent in affirmative consent,&nbsp;including the <a href="http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/19660/" target="_blank">Foundation for Individual Rights in Education</a> and the <em>Maryland-based</em> female-led advocacy group <a href="http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/20080/" target="_blank">Stop Abusive and Violent Environments</a>.</p> <p>FIRE in particular has warned that affirmative-consent provisions do not put students on notice of what behavior can get them punished. Tracking the language of other bills and campus codes, <strong>the Maryland measure requires consent for &ldquo;each act within the course of sexual activity&rdquo;</strong> &ndash; which could mean anything from changing positions <em>during</em> intercourse to each kiss and touch <em>preceding</em> intercourse.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h99w08UHv60" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The bill also does not define &ldquo;sexual activity,&rdquo; a problem it shares with a <a href="http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/27953/" target="_blank">college-specific bill signed into law</a> in Connecticut last summer.</strong></p> <p>One Republican lawmaker on the committee hearing the bill,&nbsp;Del. Kevin B. Hornberger of Cecil County, makes a federalism argument rather than a due-process argument to keep the county-level pilot from going statewide, the <em>Post</em> says:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;What works best for Montgomery County doesn&rsquo;t necessarily work best for Cecil or any of the other jurisdictions in this state,&rdquo; Hornberger said. &ldquo;The positive from this experiment is that it puts the conversation out there and raises awareness of affirmative consent.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Hornberger was also a &ldquo;peer educator&rdquo; in college who taught affirmative consent. Chances are he was never accused of rape months after a sexual encounter&nbsp;because the consent did not consist of a continuous stream of &ldquo;yes&rdquo; statements.</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="340" height="207" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170219_rape.jpg?1487542753" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/maryland-considers-teaching-kids-boys-are-presumed-guilty-rape-accusations#comments Autonomy B+ Consent Crime Delegates committee Education Foundation for Individual Rights House of Delegates Human sexuality Laws regarding rape National Coalition for Men Policy debate Rape Sex crimes Sexual abuse Sexual assault Violence Washington D.C. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:20:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 588586 at http://www.zerohedge.com Who's Really Behind The Soft-Coup? Obama-Founded Activist Group Offers Anti-Trump Protest "Guide" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/whos-really-behind-soft-coup-obama-founded-activist-group-offers-anti-trump-protest- <p>&quot;The left is intentionally fighting to remain relevant,&quot; remarks<a href="https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/uncategorized/the-left-is-intentionally-creating-a-coordinated-revolution/"> Armstrong Economics&#39; Martin Armstrong</a>, adding that <strong><em>&quot;the hatred spewing out of their mouths is really off the wall.&quot;</em></strong> Furthermore, Armstrong warns the <strong><a href="https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/civil-unrest/obama-is-the-source-of-the-coup/">Obama administration is behind the so-called &#39;soft coup&#39; </a></strong>under way and as<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/02/18/obama-linked-activists-have-a-training-manual-for-protesting-trump/"> The Post reports</a>, <strong>an Obama-tied activist group training tens of thousands of agitators to protest Trump&#39;s policies plans to hit Republican lawmakers even harder this week</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_obama2.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_obama2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 379px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama </strong>and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is <strong>distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall. </strong><a href="http://nypost.com/2017/02/18/obama-linked-activists-have-a-training-manual-for-protesting-trump/">As The NY Post details</a>,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In a new Facebook post, OFA calls on activists to <strong>mobilize against Republicans from now until Feb. 26, when &ldquo;representatives are going to be in their home districts.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_obama3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_obama3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 279px;" /></a></p> </blockquote> <p>The protesters disrupted town halls earlier this month, including one held in Utah by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who was confronted by hundreds of angry demonstrators claiming to be his constituents.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The manual, published with OFA partner &ldquo;Indivisible,&rdquo; advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and &ldquo;grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together.&rdquo; </strong>Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host&rsquo;s positions. &ldquo;This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.&rdquo; It also urges them to ask &ldquo;hostile&rdquo; questions &mdash; while keeping &ldquo;a firm hold on the mic&rdquo; &mdash; and loudly boo the the GOP politician if he isn&rsquo;t &ldquo;giving you real answers.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Express your concern [to the event&rsquo;s hosts] they are giving a platform to pro-Trump authoritarianism, racism, and corruption,&rdquo; it says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda, and to prime &ldquo;the ground for the 2018 midterms when Democrats retake power.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Even the safest [Republican] will be deeply alarmed by signs of organized opposition,&rdquo; the document states, &ldquo;because these actions create the impression that they&rsquo;re not connected to their district and not listening to their constituents.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>After the event, protesters are advised to feed video footage to local and national media.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Unfavorable exchanges caught on video can be devastating&rdquo; for Republican lawmakers, it says, when &ldquo;shared through social media and picked up by local and national media.&rdquo; </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After protesters gave MSNBC, CNN and the networks footage of their dust-up with Chaffetz, for example, the outlets ran them continuously, forcing Chaffetz to issue statements defending himself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The manual also advises protesters to flood &ldquo;Trump-friendly&rdquo; lawmakers&rsquo; Hill offices with angry phone calls and emails demanding the resignation of top White House adviser Steve Bannon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>A script advises callers to complain: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working just feet from the Oval Office &hellip; It is everyone&rsquo;s business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an adviser to the president.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>None other than Robert Reich is front and center in the &quot;Townhall Disruption Guide&quot;...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Findivisibleguide%2Fvideos%2F1472749059404352%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Additionally, <a href="https://www.axios.com/inside-the-resistance-2272850728.html">as Axios notes,</a> <strong>Progressive groups are circulating information about town hall meetings on a MoveOn.org-powered website, &quot;<a href="http://link.axios.com/click/8913928.9/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cucmVzaXN0YW5jZXJlY2Vzcy5jb20vZXZlbnQvcmVzaXN0LXJlY2Vzcy8_dXRtX3NvdXJjZT1uZXdzbGV0dGVyJnV0bV9tZWRpdW09ZW1haWwmdXRtX2NhbXBhaWduPXNlbmR0b19uZXdzbGV0dGVydGVzdA/587e487172fbf2056f8b4e5eB6884de02" target="_blank">Resistance Recess</a>.&quot;</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>More than a dozen major groups in the institutional left are involved, with groups like Planned Parenthood and unions like SEIU organizing protests. The former Hillary Clinton super PAC Priorities USA is running localized digital ads &mdash; its first paid ads since the election &mdash; to spotlight Republican town halls. Democratic leaders like Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer will lead events.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What&#39;s in store:</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Resistance Events&quot;&nbsp;will target everyone from Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (Wednesday evening) to Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski (Tuesday morning) to Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Saturday morning). Protesters can find them by locale or zip code on resistancerecess.com.</li> <li>Nobody is safe.&nbsp;Not even the members ducking town halls. Our Revolution, the group that spun off from Bernie Sanders&#39; presidential campaign, will launch a map tomorrow showing every congressional district in the country that they intend to swarm next Saturday.</li> <li>Shannon Jackson,&nbsp;Our Revolution&#39;s executive director, says they&#39;ve already got close to 200 events planned around the country and will be rallying outside nearly every Republican congressional office.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Resisting the resistance: House Republicans have been intensely prepping for these confrontations. At least 175 members attended Obamacare &quot;listening sessions&quot; &mdash; which were really detailed policy briefing sessions &mdash; convened by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.</p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, <a href="https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/civil-unrest/obama-is-the-source-of-the-coup/">Martin Armstrong concludes</a> by remarking that<strong> the Obama administration intentionally set the stage knowing what they were doing was designed to undermine and cripple the Trump Administration. </strong>The sanctions on Putin were also intended to prevent Trump from reversing the tension created by Obama to create an international conflict. These leaks appear to be part of an intentional plot by Obama/Left to allow his supporters within the intelligence community to topple Trump if they can. Obama waited until he had just 17 days left in office to sign an executive order to expand the power of the National Security Agency (NSA) allowing it to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government&rsquo;s 16 other intelligence agencies before any application of top secret or privacy protection would be attached.<strong> Obama never did this while he was in office. Whenever a politician does something like this, there is&nbsp;ALWAYS&nbsp;a hidden agenda. </strong>This Obama executive order changed everything with regard to national security that was put in place by an executive order dating back to Ronald Reagan. Obama opened the flood gates and this I personally believe was a treasonous act showing the Democrats adopted a strategy to under,mine Trump from the outset and to create massive civil unrest.</p> <p><strong>Trump must reinstate the national security procedures that have been in place since Ronald Reagan and fire everyone in intelligence appointed by Obama. </strong>Clean the swamp must start right there and&nbsp;NOW!&nbsp;Obama knew he would set up a shadow government and refuse to leave Washington. He seems to be working harder now while as President he may have played golf more than any other president.</p> <p><strong>Proof that Obama is behind the civil unrest is the fact he has taken to Twitter. </strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">We asked. You answered. <a href="https://t.co/mAJvko6VqR">https://t.co/mAJvko6VqR</a></p> <p>&mdash; Barack Obama (@BarackObama) <a href="https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/832675462325243906">February 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>As he states boldly to believe in that the people can bring about change through their own action. <strong>He is implying to rise up and create civil unrest on a massive scale</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_obama.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_obama_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 270px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Obama has been behind this entire affair of creating civil unrest and I believe is deliberately undermining national security with his moles strategically placed within the intelligence community to undermine the government.</strong> That is unquestionable&nbsp;TREASON&nbsp;and the press will only attack Trump and never defend the country. When Obama won, you did not see the other 46% set fires and try to bring down the government. The left always demands it is their way or no way. This is why we will move into civil war in the years ahead. Independents just say live and let live &ndash; don&rsquo;t bother me and I will not bother you. Leftists say you can live only as they command &ndash; they cannot sleep at night worrying what independents are doing. It&rsquo;s like the Hunger Games &ndash; suppress all freedom is their agenda.</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="987" height="532" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170219_obama.jpg?1487541591" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/whos-really-behind-soft-coup-obama-founded-activist-group-offers-anti-trump-protest-#comments anti-Trump Barack Obama Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Corruption Donald Trump presidential campaign Indiana Jason Chaffetz Martin Armstrong MoveOn MSNBC national security National Security Agency None Obama Administration Obama administration Obamacare OFA Organizing for Action Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Politics Politics of the United States Presidency of Barack Obama Progressivism in the United States Republican Party Robert Reich Statutory law Stop Trump movement Trump Administration Twitter Twitter United States War White House White House Mon, 20 Feb 2017 02:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588585 at http://www.zerohedge.com Tulsi Gabbard Versus "Regime Change" Wars http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/tulsi-gabbard-versus-regime-change-wars <p>Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a <strong>rare member of Congress willing to take heat for challenging U.S. &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; projects</strong>, in part, because as an Iraq War vet she saw the damage these schemes do, as <a href="https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/16/tulsi-gabbard-vs-regime-change-wars/"><em>retired Col. Ann Wright explains to ConsortiumNews.com</em></a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_gabbard.jpg"><img height="366" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_gabbard.jpg" width="591" /></a></p> <p><strong>I support Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, going to Syria and meeting with President Bashar al-Assad because the congresswoman is a brave person willing to take criticism for challenging U.S. policies that she believes are wrong.</strong></p> <p>It is important that we have representatives in our government who&nbsp;will go to countries where the United States is either killing citizens directly by U.S. intervention or indirectly by support of militia groups or by sanctions.</p> <p><strong>We need representatives to sift through what the U.S. government says and what the media reports to find out for themselves the truth, the shades of truth and the untruths.</strong></p> <p>We need representatives willing to take the heat from both their fellow members of Congress and from the media pundits who will not go to those areas and talk with those directly affected by U.S. actions. We need representatives who will be our eyes and ears to go to places where most citizens cannot go.</p> <p><strong>Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who has seen first-hand the chaos that can come from misguided &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; projects, is not the first international observer to come back with an assessment about the tragic effects of U.S. support for lethal &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; in Syria.</strong></p> <p>Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire began traveling to Syria three years ago and now having made three trips to Syria. She has come back hearing many of the same comments from Syrians that Rep. Gabbard heard &mdash; that U.S. support for &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; against the secular government of Syria is contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and &ndash; if the &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; succeeded &ndash; might result in the takeover by armed religious-driven fanatics who would slaughter many more Syrians and cause a mass migration of millions fleeing the carnage.</p> <p>Since 2011, the Obama administration supported various rebel groups fighting for &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; in Syria while U.S. allies &ndash; Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey &ndash; backed jihadist groups including Islamic State and Al Qaeda&rsquo;s Syrian affiliate, some of the same extremists whom the U.S. military is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. If Assad were overthrown, these extremists might take power and create even worse conditions for Syrians.</p> <p><strong>This possibility of jihadists imposing perverted extremist religious views on the secular state of Syria remains high due to international meddling in the internal affairs of Syria. This &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; project also drew in Russia to provide air support for the Syrian military.</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Critical of Obama&rsquo;s &lsquo;Regime Change&rsquo;</strong></span></p> <p><em>During the Obama administration, Rep. Gabbard spoke critically of the U.S. propensity to attempt &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; in countries and thus provoking chaos and loss of civilian life.</em></p> <p><em>On Dec. 8, 2016,&nbsp;she introduced a bill&nbsp;entitled the &ldquo;Stop Arming Terrorists Act&rdquo; which would prohibit the U.S. government from using U.S. funds to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to extremists groups, such as the ones fighting in Syria &ndash; or to countries that are providing direct or indirect support to those groups.</em></p> <p><em>In the first days of the Trump administration, Rep. Gabbard traveled to Syria to see the effects of the attempted &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; and to offer a solution to reduce the deaths of civilians and the end of the war in Syria. A national organization Veterans For Peace, to which I belong, has endorsed her trip as a step toward resolution to the Syrian conflict.</em></p> <p><em><strong>Not surprisingly, back in Washington, Rep. Gabbard came under attack for the trip and for her meeting with President Assad, similar to criticism that I have faced because of visits that I have made to countries where the U.S. government did not want me to go</strong> &mdash; to Cuba, Iran, Gaza, Yemen, Pakistan, North Korea, Russia and back to Afghanistan, where I was assigned as a U.S. diplomat.</em></p> <p><em>I served my country for 29&nbsp;years in the U.S. Army/ Army Reserves and retired as a colonel.&nbsp;I also served 16&nbsp;years in the U.S. diplomatic corps in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.&nbsp;I resigned from the U.S. government nearly 14&nbsp;years ago in March 2003 in opposition to President George W. Bush&rsquo;s &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; war on Iraq.</em></p> <p><strong><em>In my travels since my resignation, I didn&rsquo;t agree with many of the policies of the governments in power in those countries. But I wanted to see the effects of U.S. government policies and, in particular, the effects of attempts at &ldquo;regime change.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p><em>I wanted to talk with citizens and government officials about the effects of U.S. sanctions and whether the sanctions &ldquo;worked&rdquo; to lessen their support for the government that the U.S. was attempting to change or overthrow.</em></p> <p><em><strong>For making those trips, I have been criticized strongly</strong>. I have been called an apologist for the governments in power. Critics have said that my trips have given legitimacy to the abuses by those governments. And I have been called a traitor to the United States to dare question or challenge its policy of &ldquo;regime change.&rdquo;</em></p> <p><strong><em>But I am not an apologist, nor am I a traitor &hellip; nor is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for her recent trip to Syria.</em></strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><em>Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a colonel. She also was a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war in Iraq. She has lived in Honolulu since 2003.</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="591" height="366" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170219_gabbard.jpg?1487536325" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/tulsi-gabbard-versus-regime-change-wars#comments Afghanistan al-Qaeda Asia Assad family Bashar al-Assad Congress Hafez al-Assad International reactions to the Syrian Civil War Iran Iraq Islam Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Middle East North Korea Obama Administration Obama administration Politics Politics Politics of Syria Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War Saudi Arabia Somalia Syria Syrian military Trump Administration Tulsi Gabbard Turkey United States Army US government US military Uzbekistan War Women in the United States Army Mon, 20 Feb 2017 02:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588582 at http://www.zerohedge.com Visualizing The Stunning Truth About How Students Are Spending Loan Cash http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/visualizing-shocking-truth-about-how-students-are-spending-loan-cash <p><strong>Over the last 15 years the starting salary for recent college grads has <span style="text-decoration: underline;">declined </span>about $4000</strong>. Unfortunately,<a href="http://www.valuewalk.com/2017/02/shocking-truth-students-spending-loan-money-infographic/"><em> as ValueWalk.com details</em></a>,<strong> the amount of <a href="http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/01/student-loan-debt-could-reach-17-trillion-by-2030-infographic/">student loan debt </a>most students are graduating with has <span style="text-decoration: underline;">skyrocketed</span></strong>. You can now expect to graduate into a worse job market and with more debt than just a decade ago, which is leading to a serious financial crisis- the average debt load upon graduation is $37,000, and many people can&rsquo;t even make their minimum payments.</p> <p><strong>Nearly 60% of student borrowers have no idea when their student loans will be paid off.</strong> Over half of borrowers have no idea what their monthly payments will be when they graduate. When you combine these facts with declining wages and<a href="http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/11/traditional-fixed-rate-mortgage-fannie-mae/"> rising housing rates</a>, many people will find they just can&rsquo;t make ends meet.</p> <p>There are a few things students can do before graduation to ensure they aren&rsquo;t set up for failure. Find out what your total costs will be and only take out the amount you need-<strong><em> financing a pizza every Friday night for four years can easily turn an expense of $1800 into $2291 when you have to pay interest over time.</em></strong> Try to seek out alternative ways to cover at least a portion of your expenses- a work-study program or part-time job can be a big help!</p> <div style="float: right; margin: 5px 0 5px 5px;">&nbsp;</div> <p>Student loans can never be bankrupted, so it&rsquo;s important to pay them off as quickly as possible. Make payments while you are still in school on order to minimize your debt load upon graduation, and once you graduate try to make additional<a href="http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/12/fannie-mae-start-making-housing-trust-fund-payments/"> principal payments</a> whenever possible to help accelerate your payoff schedule. Stay on top of payments and set up automatic payments if necessary so you never miss a payment- penalties can keep you on the hook much longer than you need to be. Learn more about <a href="https://studentloanhero.com/featured/students-spending-loans-surprising-truth-infographic/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">lightening the student loan burden</a> from this infographic!</p> <p><a href="http://www.valuewalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/students-spending-loans-surprising-truth-infographic.png"><img height="3623" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/17/20170218_studebnt.jpg" width="500" /></a></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="756" height="391" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170218_beer.jpg?1487440269" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/visualizing-shocking-truth-about-how-students-are-spending-loan-cash#comments Business Debt Economy Finance Loans Money Personal finance Student debt Student financial aid Student loan Student Loans Student loans in the United States Student loans refinancing Mon, 20 Feb 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588533 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Three Lives Of Alan Greenspan... And Why The Third Won't Redeem The Second http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/three-lives-alan-greenspan-and-why-third-wont-redeem-second <p><a href="http://dollarcollapse.com/monetary-policy-2/three-seasons-greenspan-cant-save-rep/"><em>Submitted by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,</em></a></p> <p>When the history of these times is written, former Fed Chair <strong>Alan Greenspan will be one of the major villains, </strong>but also one of the greatest mysteries. This is so because <strong>he has, in effect, been three different people. </strong></p> <p><strong>He began public life brilliantly, as a libertarian thinker who said some compelling and accurate things about gold and its role in the world.</strong> An example from 1966:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense &ndash; perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire &ndash; that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&hellip;In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold [in 1934 under FDR]. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists&rsquo; tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists&rsquo; antagonism toward the gold standard.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Awesome, right? But when put in charge of the Federal Reserve in the late 1980s, instead of applying the above wisdom &mdash; by for instance limiting the bank&rsquo;s interference in the private sector and letting market forces determine winners and losers &mdash; he did a full 180</strong>, intervening in every crisis, creating new currency with abandon, and generally behaving like his old ideological enemies, the Keynesians. Not surprisingly, debt soared during his long tenure.</p> <p><a href="http://i2.wp.com/dollarcollapse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/US-total-debt-to-GDP-Feb-17.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-14224" height="366" src="http://i2.wp.com/dollarcollapse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/US-total-debt-to-GDP-Feb-17.jpg?resize=600%2C366" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Along the way he was instrumental in preventing regulation of credit default swaps and other derivatives that nearly blew up the system in 2008. His view of those instruments:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The reason that growth has continued despite adversity, or perhaps because of it, is that these new financial instruments are an increasingly important vehicle for unbundling risks. These instruments enhance the ability to differentiate risk and allocate it to those investors most able and willing to take it. This unbundling improves the ability of the market to engender a set of product and asset prices far more calibrated to the value preferences of consumers than was possible before derivative markets were developed. The product and asset price signals enable entrepreneurs to finely allocate real capital facilities to produce those goods and services most valued by consumers, a process that has undoubtedly improved national productivity growth and standards of living.</p> </blockquote> <p>He cut interest rates to near-zero in the early 2000s, igniting the housing bubble &ndash; which he was unable to detect along the way. He even made it into the dictionary, as the &ldquo;Greenspan put&rdquo; became the term for government bailing out its Wall Street benefactors.</p> <p>From this the leveraged speculating community learned that no risk was too egregious and no profit too large, because government &ndash; that is, the Fed &ndash; had eliminated all the worst-case scenarios. Put another way, under Greenspan profit was privatized but loss was socialized.</p> <p><strong>Greenspan retired from the Fed in 2006 and, miraculously, began morphing back into his old libertarian self. </strong>A cynic might detect a desire to avoid the consequences of his past actions, while a neurologist might suspect senility. But either way the transformation is breathtaking. Consider this from yesterday:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2><a href="http://www.kitco.com/news/2017-02-17/Gold-Standard-Needed-Now-More-Than-Ever-Alan-Greenspan-Comments.html" target="_blank">Gold Standard Needed Now More Than Ever? &ndash; Alan Greenspan Comments</a></h2> <p>(Kitco News) &ndash; It would be best not to be short-sighted when it comes to gold; at least that is what one former Fed chair says.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;[T]he risk of inflation is beginning to rise&hellip;Significant increases in inflation will ultimately increase the price of gold,&rdquo; noted Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve chairman from 1987 to 2006, in an interview published in the World Gold Council&rsquo;s Gold Investor February issue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Investment in gold now is insurance. It&rsquo;s not for short-term gain, but for long-term protection.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, it is really the idea of returning to a gold standard that Greenspan focused on &mdash; a gold standard that he said would help mitigate risks of an &ldquo;unstable fiscal system&rdquo; like the one we have today.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Today, going back on to the gold standard would be perceived as an act of desperation. But if the gold standard were in place today, we would not have reached the situation in which we now find ourselves,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We would never have reached this position of extreme indebtedness were we on the gold standard, because the gold standard is a way of ensuring that fiscal policy never gets out of line.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To Greenspan, the reason why the gold standard hasn&rsquo;t worked in the past actually has nothing to do with the metal itself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;[T]here is a widespread view that the 19th Century gold standard didn&rsquo;t work. I think that&rsquo;s like wearing the wrong size shoes and saying the shoes are uncomfortable!&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t the gold standard that failed; it was politics.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>One of the nice things about the information age is that public figures leave long paper trails and can&rsquo;t therefore easily escape their pasts. Greenspan&rsquo;s past, being perhaps the best documented of any central banker in history, will haunt him forever.</strong></p> <p>But hey, at least he&rsquo;s going out a gold bug.</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="276" height="142" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170219_greengold.jpg?1487524507" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/three-lives-alan-greenspan-and-why-third-wont-redeem-second#comments Alan Greenspan Alan Greenspan Business Classical liberalism Copper Credit Default Swaps default Deficit Spending Economic liberalism Economy Faire Federal Reserve Freemen of the City of London Gold Gold standard Housing Bubble Laissez-faire Political philosophy Politics Purchasing Power Social philosophy US Federal Reserve World Gold Council World Gold Council Mon, 20 Feb 2017 01:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588572 at http://www.zerohedge.com Trump Administration Toughens Asylum Rules, Speeds Deportation Process http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/trump-administration-toughens-asylum-rules-speeds-deportation-process <p>Amid judicial blockages, and <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/rogue-border-agents-resist-trump-orders-continue-obamas-catch-and-release-policy">rogue border agents,</a> it appears the Trump administration is still trying its best to follow through on its campaign promises to crackdown on illegal immigration. As<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-asylum-idUSKBN15Y04A"> Reuters reports</a>, The Department of Homeland Security has prepared <strong>new guidance for immigration agents aimed at speeding up deportations by denying asylum claims earlier in the process</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/13/20170214_ICE.jpg"><img height="380" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/13/20170214_ICE_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-14/trump-begins-crackdown-dreamers-we-are-hoping-detention-was-mistake">Following last week&#39;s apparent crackdown on DREAMers</a>, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-asylum-idUSKBN15Y04A">Reuters reports</a> new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, <strong>directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum</strong>, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home.</p> <p><strong>The guidance instructs asylum officers to &quot;elicit all relevant information&quot; in determining whether an applicant has &ldquo;credible fear&rdquo; of persecution if returned home</strong>, the first obstacle faced by migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border requesting asylum.</p> <p>Three sources familiar with the drafting of the guidance said the goal of the <strong>new instructions is to raise the bar on initial screening</strong>.</p> <p>The administration&#39;s plan is to<strong> leave wide discretion to asylum officers </strong>by allowing them to determine which applications have a &quot;significant possibility&quot; of being approved by an immigration court, the sources said.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_immigration2.jpg"><img height="1017" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_immigration2_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Furthermore, as <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-proposal-considers-prosecuting-parents-helping-children-entering-country-illegally-1487471291">The Wall Street Journal reports</a>, <strong>parents and others who help children travel illegally to the U.S. would be subject to deportation or prosecution under new Trump administration policies being completed,</strong> according to a second leaked memo prepared by the Department of Homeland Security.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The draft memo also indicates people from countries other than Mexico trying to cross the southern U.S. border illegally could be returned to Mexico to await legal proceedings, while others would be held in detention centers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The memo directs that those apprehended at the border be detained, or jailed, until their cases are heard, unless they first establishes a &ldquo;credible fear&rdquo; of persecution, or meet other limited exceptions.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Leon Fresco, who headed the Justice Department&rsquo;s Office of Immigration Litigation under President Barack Obama, predicted many of these policies would meet resistance from courts, which are already reviewing smaller changes implemented under the previous administration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_immigration3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/19/20170219_immigration3_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 376px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He said he was particularly struck by the change in how children would be handled.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;It is a complete 180 to move from a policy that focused on unaccompanied minors being placed into safe locations while their removal proceedings were pending to placing the custodians of unaccompanied minors into removal proceedings,&rdquo; he said. Even the smaller Obama version &ldquo;is already the subject of pending litigation in Los Angeles federal court and is likely going to be viewed with great skepticism by that court.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Of course, as a reminder, these immigrants are illegally entering the country and this is what the American people voted for.</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="1186" height="744" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170219_immigration3.jpg?1487536095" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/trump-administration-toughens-asylum-rules-speeds-deportation-process#comments Barack Obama Credible fear Cultural globalization Demography Department of Homeland Security Illegal immigration to the United States Immigration to the United States Justice Department’s office of Immigration Litigation Law Mexico Politics Reuters Social Issues southern U.S. Trump Administration Unaccompanied minor Wall Street Journal Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 588581 at http://www.zerohedge.com The AP Asked Trump's Supporters How Feel About His War With The Press: This Is What It Found http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/ap-asked-trumps-supporters-how-feel-about-his-war-press-what-it-found <p>While vocal critics of Donald Trump, many of them members of the media, saw in Trump's Thursday news conference, Friday tweet in which he claimed the press was the "enemy of the American people", and subsequent Saturday campaign speech, a combative, thin-skinned chief executive who continues to blame the media for the controversies roiling his administration, his supporters saw something else entirely: a champion of Middle America who is taking on the establishment and making good on his campaign promises to put the country first.</p> <p>The Associated Press <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f6fa3a4a09874532b9e610535ae463e9/trump-supporters-cheer-his-combative-stance-media">contacted Trump supporters across the country </a>to see how they viewed Trump's latest fued with press. Here are the views of some of those supporters:</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Richelle Kirk of Logan, West Virginia, watched some of Trump's news conference on Thursday and didn't see any head-scratching comments from the president.</p> <p>"I back him 100 percent," said the 42-year-old stay-at-home mom. "You either love it or get out, is my opinion."</p> <p>During Barack Obama's presidency, her husband was laid off from his coal-mining job, a loss they blamed on Obama's environmental policies. She said they lost a home and "everything we owned."</p> <p>After West Virginia voters resoundingly rejected Obama during his 2012 re-election, "we didn't show our hind ends when Obama was re-elected," Kirk said. So she believes people shouldn't overreact to Trump, either.</p> <p>She particularly agreed with the president when he took credit for an optimistic business climate and a rising stock market, saying Trump is beginning to fulfill his campaign promise to put people back to work.</p> <p>Reporters, she said, "need to leave him alone. He's just doing what he said he's going to do."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Kevin Felty of Norfolk, Virginia, said it was the "most impressive presidential press conference" of his life. "Largely because it was so unorthodox," said Felty, 48, who works as a surgical assistant and sells life insurance. "It was hyper adversarial between the president and the press. And yet he was able to control the questioning and the tone and the mood in the room."</p> <p>Felty said the media needs to move on regarding Russia and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. "There was nothing illegal that General Flynn had done at that time," Felty said. "What he did do is make a mistake in not being accurate with the vice president."</p> <p>He also said he believes Trump is trustworthy as president. "He doesn't need the media to chide him to make the right decisions," Felty said. "It's something he's been doing well for decades."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Regina Lenoir of Picayune, Mississippi, enjoyed watching Trump's news conference and said the president "looked more relaxed." Lenoir, 69, said she was most interested in the president's comments about the alleged leaks that led to the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser.</p> <p>"We don't know the conversation that happened between him and (Vice President Mike) Pence. Only they know. But the news media gets out there (and) says such and such with no corroboration," she said. "I'm sick of them making up stories. You know, we're intelligent people. We can make up our own mind on whether they're telling the truth."</p> <p>She agreed with Trump's take on how the media has covered his administration and campaign, saying those covering his administration are good reporters but biased. She said if people gave Trump a chance, "he might just surprise everyone.</p> <p>"He wasn't my first choice, but he is my president," Lenoir said. "I think he handled the news conference very well."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Joseph Gatlin of Virginia Beach, Virginia, said he did not watch the news conference but heard about the question a Jewish reporter asked Trump about a rise in anti-Semitic incidents around the country. Trump told the reporter to sit down and said it was not a simple or fair question before describing himself as "the least anti-Semitic person you've ever seen in your entire life."</p> <p>Gatlin, who is Jewish and who was born in Israel, said the media needs to move on from "asking the same question."</p> <p>"He's not a racist. He doesn't believe in racism," said Gatlin, who owns a flooring company. "He's not anti-Semitic at all."</p> <p>Gatlin pointed to the number of Jewish people in Trump's inner circle, including his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner. He said the media instead should be asking Trump about terrorism and the economy.</p> <p>"I think that it's become ridiculous," Gatlin said. "He wants the serious questions. He wants people to ask him questions that people care about. You can't mention racism in every speech. They're looking at the wrong things."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin, said he was glad to see the president push back against the media. He said reporters have no proof Trump or anyone around him did anything wrong.</p> <p>"They're trying to make up a story that Trump worked with the Russians to rig the election," he said. "Now they're trying to make a big deal out of (former national security adviser) Mike Flynn. He was doing what he was supposed to do. He was talking to his counterparts. He was talking to the Russians. He got fired because he lied to (Vice President Mike) Pence. There's no story there. The left media is so excited. They think they took this guy down. No, he made a mistake. He just lied."</p> <p>Hiltgen said he remains squarely behind the billionaire president because he has done what he said he would do on the campaign trail.</p> <p>"He's accomplished more in, whatever, three weeks, regarding the stuff he talked about," Hiltgen said. "That's what people voted for. I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do. That never happens."</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="1150" height="667" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trump%20supporter.jpg?1487522186" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/ap-asked-trumps-supporters-how-feel-about-his-war-press-what-it-found#comments American people of German descent American television Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Foreign policy of Donald Trump Israel Jared Kushner Michael T. Flynn national security Political positions of Donald Trump Politics of the United States The Apprentice Trump: The Art of the Deal West Virginia White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:41:53 +0000 Tyler Durden 588562 at http://www.zerohedge.com