en "They're Like The Praetorian Guard" - Whistleblower Confirms NSA Targeted Congress, The Supreme Court, & Trump <p><em><a href="">Authored by Chris Menahan via,</a></em></p> <p>NSA whistleblower William Binney told Tucker Carlson on Friday that the <strong><em>NSA is spying on &quot;all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House.&quot;</em></strong></p> <p>Binney, who served the NSA for 30 years before blowing the whistle on domestic spying in 2001, told Tucker he firmly believes that Trump was spied on.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&quot;They&#39;re taking in fundamentally the entire fiber network inside the United States and collecting all that data and storing it, in a program they call Stellar Wind,&quot;</strong></em> Binney said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;That&#39;s the domestic collection of data on US citizens, US citizens to other US citizens,&quot; he said. <strong><em>&quot;Everything we&#39;re doing, phone calls, emails and then financial transactions, credit cards, things like that, all of it.&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&quot;Inside NSA there are a set of people who are -- and we got this from another NSA whistleblower who witnessed some of this -- they&#39;re inside there, they are targeting and looking at all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House,&quot; </strong></em>Binney said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;And all this data is inside the NSA in a small group where they&#39;re looking at it. <strong>The idea is to see what people in power over you are going to </strong>-- what they think, what they think you should be doing or planning to do to you, your budget, or whatever so you can try to counteract before it actually happens,&quot; he said.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>&quot;I mean, that&#39;s just East German,&quot;</strong></em> Tucker responded.</p> <p>Rather than help prevent terrorist attacks, Binney said collecting so much information actually makes stopping attacks more difficult.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&quot;This bulk acquisition is inhibiting their ability to detect terrorist threats in advance so they can&#39;t stop them so people get killed as a result,&quot; he said.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>&quot;Which means, you know, they pick up the pieces and blood after the attack. That&#39;s what&#39;s been going on. I mean they&#39;ve consistently failed. </em></strong><em>When Alexander said they&#39;d stop 54 attacks and he was challenged to produce the evidence to prove that he failed on every count.&quot;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Binney concludes ominously indicating the origin of the deep state...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong><em>&quot;They are like the praetorian guard, they determine what the emperor does and who the emperor is...&quot;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Who&#39;s going to stop them?</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="269" height="189" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Binney Congress Global surveillance Government Mass surveillance National security National Security Agency Politics Privacy Russ Tice Senate Stellar Wind Supreme Court Surveillance Terrorist Surveillance Program White House White House William Binney Sun, 26 Mar 2017 03:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591751 at McCain: "The New World Order Is Under Enormous Strain" <p>It was a bumper day for John McCain when on Friday Donald Trump's Republican nemesis gloated as Trump's "art of the deal" collapsed in the last minute, after the President and Ryan-led effort to repeal Obamacare suffered what appears to be a terminal setback. In the wake of Trump's misfortune, McCain renewed his calls on Friday for a return to a legacy neocon status quo, when speaking at the Brussels forum, said that the world "<strong>cries out for American and European leadership</strong>" through the EU and Nato, and said that the EU and the US needed to develop "more cooperation, more connectivity".</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="307" /></a></p> <p>In a <strong>"new world order under enormous strain" </strong>and in "<strong>the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism … we can't stand by and lament, we've got to be involved</strong>," said McCain who is now chairman of the armed services committee in the US Senate, <a href="">quoted by the EU Observer</a>. "I trust the EU," he said, <strong>defending an opposite view from that of US president Donald Trump, </strong>who said in January that the UK "was so smart in getting out" of the EU and that Nato was "obsolete". He said that the EU was "one of the most important alliances" for the US and that the EU and Nato were "the best two sums in history", which have maintained peace for the last 70 years.</p> <p>Further attacking Trump's global worldview, McCan said that "we need to rely on Nato and have a Nato that adjusts to new challenges." He noted that "the EU has too many bureaucrats, not much bureaucracy," but added that "it's not the only place on earth with that problem." He said that he was "still wondering what the overall effect of Brexit will be" and that he did not know "if this is the beginning of a serious problem for the EU". McCain did not disagree, however, with Trump's demand that European countries increase their defense spending for Nato. </p> <p>McCain also revealed he hasn’t met the President Donald Trump in person since he took office, and he urged Trump to reach out to his opponents—Democratic and otherwise—ala Ronald Reagan if he wants to repeal Obamacare. “Do some outreach. Get to know some of these Democratic leaders,” he said. “You can find common ground.” McCain said he’d met Trump “some years ago” when he was a businessman, but had not met him since. McCain said he did speak “almost daily” to National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, however. </p> <p>“He doesn’t seem to be that upset that he’s not talking to him,” said German Marshall Fund’s Derek Chollet, a former Obama Pentagon official. “He’s trying to run U.S. defense policy through Mattis and effectively ignore Trump.”</p> <p>That said, McCain also said it was "too early" to pass judgment on his presidency, although his series of critical comments in recent weeks have demonstrated his growing skepticism about the Trump administration. </p> <p>Furthermore, while McCain said he was "very pleased" by Trump's picks for his national security team - despite suggesting that they were being bypassed by more ideological and less competent people - he took the opportunity to attack Trump's decisionmaking, saying "<strong>the question is: who does the president listen to, who drives the tweets at 6 in morning?”, </strong>he said.Asked whether he thought that "Russia owns a significant part of the White House," he said: "I don't worry about that."</p> <p>The unspoken suggestion: Russia. </p> <p>What worries McCain, he said, was "the Russian role in our elections", even if he admitted that he has seen "no evidence they succeeded” in affecting the outcome of last year's US vote. Noting that Russia was now trying to influence elections in France and in Germany, he said that if it succeeded it would be "a death warrant for democracy".</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"It's an act of destruction that is certainly more lethal than dropping some bombs," he insisted. McCain, a Russia hawk, said that Putin wanted to restore the Russian empire: “He wants the Baltics, he has taken Crimea, he's been in Ukraine." </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"These are KBG thugs, my friends," he said, referring to the former Russian spy service for which Putin used to work. He added that the US needed to "respond accordingly". He said however that there was "nothing wrong" if Trump met Putin.</p> </blockquote> <p>"I'm not against meeting," he said, reminding the Brussels forum that US presidents met Soviet leaders during the Cold War. <strong>But he added that "the best way to go to a meeting is with a strong hand" and that was not the case for the US right now.</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="800" height="409" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Baltics Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump European Union First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Foreign policy of Donald Trump France German Marshall Fund Germany James Mattis John McCain John McCain Military personnel national security North Atlantic Treaty Organization Obamacare Pentagon Politics Recipients of the Legion of Merit SPY The Apprentice Trump Administration Ukraine United States United States Senate White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 26 Mar 2017 02:25:23 +0000 Tyler Durden 591723 at Pepe Escobar: Daesh, Creature Of The West <p><a href=""><em>Authored Op-Ed by Pepe Escobar via,</em></a></p> <p><em><strong>James Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Emerging Threats at NATO &ndash; now that&rsquo;s a lovely title &ndash; recently gave a talk at a private club in London on the Islamic State/Daesh. Shea, as many will remember, made his name as NATO&rsquo;s spokesman during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999.</strong></em></p> <p>After his talk Shea engaged in&nbsp;a debate with&nbsp;a source I very much treasure. The source later gave me the lowdown.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p class="marker-quote1"><strong><em>According to&nbsp;Saudi intelligence, Daesh was invented by&nbsp;the US government &ndash; in&nbsp;Camp Bacca, near&nbsp;the Kuwait border, as&nbsp;many will remember&nbsp;&mdash; to&nbsp;essentially finish off&nbsp;the Shiite-majority Nouri al-Maliki government in&nbsp;Baghdad.</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p class="marker-quote1">It didn&rsquo;t happen this way, of&nbsp;course. Then, years later, in&nbsp;the summer of&nbsp;2014, Daesh routed the Iraqi Army on&nbsp;its way to&nbsp;conquer <a href="" target="_blank">Mosul</a>. The Iraqi Army fled. Daesh operatives then annexed ultra-modern weapons that took US instructors from&nbsp;six to&nbsp;twelve months to&nbsp;train the Iraqis in&nbsp;and&hellip;surprise! Daesh incorporated the weapons in&nbsp;their arsenals in&nbsp;24 hours.</p> <p><strong>In the end, Shea frankly admitted to&nbsp;the source that Gen <a href="" target="_blank">David Petraeus</a>, conductor of&nbsp;the much-lauded 2007 surge, had trained these Sunnis now part of&nbsp;Daesh in&nbsp;Anbar province in&nbsp;Iraq.</strong></p> <p>Saudi intelligence still maintains that these Iraqi Sunnis were not US-trained &ndash; as&nbsp;Shea confirmed &ndash; because the Shiites in&nbsp;power in&nbsp;Baghdad didn&rsquo;t allow it. Not true. The fact is the Daesh core &ndash; most of&nbsp;them former commanders and soldiers in <a href="" target="_blank">Saddam Hussein</a>&rsquo;s army&nbsp;&mdash; is indeed a US-trained militia.</p> <p><strong><em>True to&nbsp;form, at&nbsp;the end of&nbsp;the debate, Shea went on&nbsp;to blame Russia for&nbsp;absolutely everything that&rsquo;s happening today &ndash; including Daesh terror.&nbsp;</em></strong></p> <h3><u><strong>Mr. Sykes and Monsieur Picot, you&rsquo;re dead</strong></u></h3> <p>Now let&rsquo;s go back to&nbsp;the proclamation of&nbsp;the Daesh Caliphate in&nbsp;June 29, 2014. That was <strong>choreographed as&nbsp;a symbolic abolition of&nbsp;the Sykes-Picot border that split the Middle East a century ago</strong>. At the same time, abandoning the option of&nbsp;a military push to&nbsp;take Baghdad, Daesh chose to&nbsp;regionalize and internationalize the fight, creating their own transnational state and denouncing regional states as &ldquo;impostors&rdquo;. All that coupled with&nbsp;the amp up&nbsp;of any chaos strategy capable of&nbsp;horrifying Western public opinion.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>For large swathes of&nbsp;a Sunni Arab audience, this was powerful stuff.</strong> Daesh was proclaiming themselves, in&nbsp;a warped manner, as&nbsp;the sole real heir of&nbsp;the different Arab Springs; the only totally autonomous regional movement, depending exclusively on&nbsp;its own local base, made up&nbsp;of numerous Bedouin tribes.</p> <h3><u><strong>But how did we get here? </strong></u></h3> <p>Let&rsquo;s go back once again &ndash; now to&nbsp;Iraq in&nbsp;the 1990s, <a href="" target="_blank">during&nbsp;the Clinton era</a>. The strategic logic at&nbsp;the time spelled out&nbsp;an instrumentalization of&nbsp;UN resolutions&nbsp;&mdash; with&nbsp;Washington de facto controlling Iraq&rsquo;s oil, manipulating the price as&nbsp;a means of&nbsp;pressure over&nbsp;trade competitors much more dependent on&nbsp;Iraqi oil such as&nbsp;China, Japan and selected European nations.</p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">9/11</a> turned this state of&nbsp;affairs upside down &ndash; leading to&nbsp;the 2003 neocon ideological stupidity and subsequent amateurism managing an occupation in&nbsp;total ignorance of&nbsp;history and the ultra-complex dynamics between&nbsp;the Iraqi state and society. </strong>Saddam Hussein was the de facto last avatar of&nbsp;a political arrangement invented by&nbsp;imperial Britain in&nbsp;1920. With the invasion and occupation, the Iraq state collapsed. And the Cheney regime had no clue what to&nbsp;do with&nbsp;it.</p> <p class="marker-quote1"><strong>There was no Sunni alternative.</strong> So Plan B, under&nbsp;major pressure by&nbsp;Shiites and Kurds, was to&nbsp;give voice to&nbsp;the majority. The problem is political parties ended up&nbsp;being religious and ethnic parties. The partition of&nbsp;power, Lebanese-style&nbsp;&mdash; Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds &ndash; turned out&nbsp;to be a dysfunctional nightmare.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Between 2005 and 2008, this American attempt to&nbsp;rebuild the Iraqi state yielded a horrendous confessional civil war between&nbsp;Sunnis and Shiites.</strong> The Sunnis lost. And that largely explains the subsequent success of&nbsp;Daesh in&nbsp;creating a &ldquo;Sunniland&rdquo;.</p> <h3><u><strong>The US occupation-Arab Spring love affair</strong></u></h3> <p>Now let&rsquo;s turn to&nbsp;the Syrian version of&nbsp;the <a href="" target="_blank">Arab Spring</a> in&nbsp;February/March 2011.<strong> Initial protests against&nbsp;Assad&rsquo;s iron rule were peaceful &ndash; multi-communitarian and multi-confessional. But soon anti-Alawite rancor started to&nbsp;radicalize a significant part of&nbsp;the Sunni majority.</strong></p> <p>As historian Pierre-Jean Luizard, a specialist in&nbsp;Iraq, Syria and Lebanon at&nbsp;the French CNRS reminds us, Syria was the favorite land of&nbsp;Hanbalism &ndash; a most conservative branch of&nbsp;Sunni Islam that highly influenced the emergence of&nbsp;Wahhabism in&nbsp;the Arabian Peninsula. That implies a virulent anti-Shiism. Thus the emergence among&nbsp;the Syrian armed opposition of&nbsp;multiple Salafi-jihadi groups, most of&nbsp;all Jabhat al-Nusra &ndash; a.k.a. al-Qaeda in&nbsp;Syria.&nbsp;</p> <p class="marker-quote1">Meanwhile, <strong>Assad fine-tuned a message to&nbsp;the West and his own Sunni bourgeoisie oscillating between&nbsp;allegiance and dissidence; it&rsquo;s me, or chaos.</strong> Chaos ensued, anyway; horrendous structural violence, all-around institutional decrepitude, total territorial fragmentation.&nbsp;</p> <p>So it&rsquo;s fair to&nbsp;argue that both US occupation and the Syrian Arab Spring ended up&nbsp;producing the same result. With some differences; in&nbsp;Iraq, Daesh enjoys the (silent) support of&nbsp;a majority of&nbsp;Sunni Arabs. In Syria, Sunnis are divided; Daesh may rule the desert&nbsp;&mdash; Bedouin culture, but&nbsp;it&rsquo;s Jabhat al-Nusra that captured significant Sunni support in&nbsp;big urban centers such as&nbsp;Aleppo. In Iraq, the borders between&nbsp;the three large communities &ndash; Sunni, Shiite, Kurd &ndash; are more or less frozen. In Syria, it&rsquo;s a never-ending jigsaw puzzle.</p> <p><strong>What happens next is a mystery. </strong>The de facto independence of&nbsp;Iraq Kurdistan may solidify. The Baghdad government may increasingly represent only Shiites. Yet it&rsquo;s hard to&nbsp;see Daesh consolidating its control of&nbsp;Sunni Iraq &ndash; not with&nbsp;the ongoing Battle of&nbsp;Mosul.</p> <h3><u><strong>Blowback rules the wilderness of&nbsp;mirrors</strong></u></h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to&nbsp;dismiss Daesh as&nbsp;the apex of <a href="" target="_blank">barbarian</a> cultural idiosyncrasies. Even wallowing in&nbsp;gruesomeness, Daesh has been able to&nbsp;project a universalist dimension beyond&nbsp;its Sunni Arab Middle Eastern base. <strong>It&rsquo;s like&nbsp;the clash of&nbsp;civilizations playing in&nbsp;a wilderness of&nbsp;mirrors. </strong>Daesh amplifies the clash not between&nbsp;East and West, or the Arab world and the Atlanticist hegemon, but&nbsp;mostly between&nbsp;a certain (warped) conception of&nbsp;Islam and assorted infidels. <strong>Daesh &ldquo;welcomes&rdquo; everyone, even Catholic Europeans while persecuting Arab infidels and bad Muslims.</strong></p> <p class="marker-quote1"><strong>It&rsquo;s no wonder the Caliphate&nbsp;&mdash; a concrete utopia on&nbsp;the ground &ndash; finds an echo among&nbsp;young lone wolves living in&nbsp;the West.</strong> Because Daesh insists on&nbsp;the colonial Franco-British &ndash; and then neocolonial American&nbsp;&mdash; history of&nbsp;Muslims being trampled upon&nbsp;by a dominating, infidel West, they manage to&nbsp;channel a diffuse sentiment of&nbsp;injustice among&nbsp;the young.</p> <p class="marker-quote1">Everyone &ndash; US, France, Britain, Russia, Iran&nbsp;&mdash; is now at&nbsp;war with&nbsp;Daesh (Turkey only half-heartedly, as&nbsp;well as&nbsp;the House of&nbsp;Saud and the GCC petrodollar gang; for&nbsp;them this not a priority.)</p> <p>But this is a war without&nbsp;a serious political long-term perspective. No one is discussing the place for&nbsp;Sunni Arabs in&nbsp;an Iraq dominated by&nbsp;the Shiite majority; how to&nbsp;put the Syrian state back together; or whether private donors to&nbsp;Daesh from&nbsp;Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates will simply disappear.</p> <p>The encirclement of&nbsp;Raqqa and the re-conquest of&nbsp;Mosul will mean absolutely nothing if the causes of&nbsp;Daesh&rsquo;s initial success are not addressed. It starts with&nbsp;the West&rsquo;s <em>mission civilisatrice</em> as&nbsp;the cover story for&nbsp;unbounded colonial domination, and it straddles the methodical, inexorable, slow motion American destruction of&nbsp;Iraq. Blowback will continue to&nbsp;reign over&nbsp;the wilderness of&nbsp;mirrors; an attack near&nbsp;the British Parliament by&nbsp;a knife-carrying lone wolf &ldquo;soldier answering &ldquo;its call&rdquo; killing four people mirrored by&nbsp;US jets bombing a school near&nbsp;Raqqa killing thirty-three civilians.</p> <p><strong>Petraeus may have trained them in&nbsp;the deserts of&nbsp;Al-Anbar. But most of&nbsp;all that rough beast, slouching towards&nbsp;Camp Bacca to&nbsp;be born, bore the touch of&nbsp;a Western mind.</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="1000" height="541" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Al-Nusra Front al-Qaeda Anti-Shi'ism B+ Baghdad government British parliament China Draft:'The suffering of Iraqi women under the rule of "Daesh" France Iran Iraq Iraqi Army Iraqi insurgency Irregular military Islam Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Jabhat al-Nusra Japan Kuwait Middle East Middle East North Atlantic Treaty Organization Persecution of Christians by ISIL Politics Saddam Hussein’s army Saudi Arabia Saudi intelligence Shiite-majority Nouri al-Maliki government in Baghdad Terrorism in Iraq Turkey United Nations US government War West’s mission Sun, 26 Mar 2017 01:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591747 at Trump Obamacare Repeal Blew Up Bigly Because of a House Divided Against Itself <h1 class="post_title" style="font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; font-size: 25px; line-height: 1.4em; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; letter-spacing: -0.9px; color: #40271c !important;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; background-color: #f8f8f8;">The following article by&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-size: 16px; letter-spacing: normal;">David Haggith</strong><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; background-color: #f8f8f8;">&nbsp;is from&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-size: 16px; letter-spacing: normal;"><em><a href="">The Great Recession Blog</a></em></strong><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; background-color: #f8f8f8;">:</span></h1> <div class="singlepost entry" style="border-bottom-left-radius: 5px; background-color: #f8f8f8; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-color: #610906; border-top-style: solid; font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5em; margin-top: 4px; padding: 2px 4px 1px; width: 648.484375px; font-size: 16px; color: #40271c;"><img src="" alt="By Enola Gay Tail Gunner S/Sgt. George R. (Bob) Caron (SElephant at zh.wikipedia) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons" width="470" height="599" style="float: left; margin-right: 6px; margin-left: 6px; border-top-left-radius: 3px; border-top-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-left-radius: 3px; padding: 4px; box-shadow: none !important; border-style: none !important; opacity: 1 !important;" class="attachment-single-post-thumbnail size-single-post-thumbnail wp-post-image" /><br /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Trump’s really big supporters openly&nbsp;grieved that the explosion&nbsp;of his&nbsp;emphatically promised Obamacare replacement bodes poorly for all of Trump’s plans. Fox’s Sean Hannity and Lou Dobb’s regaled the Republican party for failing to take&nbsp;the reins and lead now that the party&nbsp;finally has the chance to prove it can do what it has promised. Hannity stated that&nbsp;numerous high authorities&nbsp;told him&nbsp;this marks the end of any Obamacare repeal for 2017.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This first attempt by Trump and his party to see if they can accomplish&nbsp;anything&nbsp;together was by everyone’s account (except Trump’s) a dismal failure. Even&nbsp;Paul Ryan, who drafted the plan that Trump endorsed, admitted the enormity of&nbsp;failure quite honestly. The least I can say for him (not being one who likes him in the slightest) is that he owned it.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Ryan picked up the&nbsp;argument leveled&nbsp;against Republicans by&nbsp;Democrats when they were running congress, which said that it is easy to be an opposition party and simply stand against&nbsp;everything, but quite a different matter to be creative and actually govern. Democrats long argued that Republicans really have no plan to replace Obamacare that could possibly succeed — that they were all talk — and Republicans just proved them right. Since Republicans kept Democrats completely out of the discussion, it’s fair to say Republicans&nbsp;failed entirely on their own.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Ryan failed embarrassingly, and I question whether his&nbsp;leadership will survive this failure, except for the fact that the faction most responsible for the failure (outside of Ryan himself) is the one that would likely seek his blood if Ryan had succeeded. Nevertheless, they cannot stand him and would probably join any other faction that now wants to bring him down.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Trump failed bigly, too, because the truth is that he swore over and over to his supporters that he would get a “great” replacement through congress as one of his&nbsp;<em>first</em>&nbsp;orders of business. Granted he did not say he would succeed right away, but only that he would make it his first order of business. It is, however, now questionable that he will ever get a replacement through, much less a great one. He has three more years to try again, but a total failure within your own party to get your first order of business done, especially when it is something the entire Republican party has said it will do over and over for years and when you are in your honeymoon period, is no small failure.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Ryan has manned up to that. The party needs to also. Trump blamed it on Democrats, but that actually&nbsp;<em>is</em>&nbsp;deplorable, because Trump knew every time he made the promise that&nbsp;he didn’t have a ghost of a chance at getting Democrat&nbsp;support, given how much he attacked them over the plan. How could he not know that unless he is delusional? The last group in the world that would help him repeal Obamacare would be Democrats. So, if the repeal’s failure is their fault, give that&nbsp;they were never even included in the discussion, the failure to realize the obvious — that they would never support him — was his own.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Republicans&nbsp;could&nbsp;learn from this and do better, but it remains to be seen whether they are able and willing to learn. That requires humility, which is always scarce in congress. In the meantime, the failure to deliver Trump’s big promise of “<em>immediate</em>&nbsp;Obamacare repeal” is a death knell to the Trump Rally, and the clock is ticking against all of Trump’s plans.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">(It doesn’t guarantee that the stock market will immediately crash, though it easily could; but its rally days are over. My prediction last year was that the rally would end&nbsp;as soon as Trump and congress had to actually work&nbsp;together. That is when&nbsp;investors would be forced to&nbsp;grasp reality and see that nothing Trump has promised is anywhere near as likely to come to pass as they believe. That is when I expected they will start to let go of their Tumphoria. Candidate promises are easily made. Legislation is not, and congress has never been more divided. Neither has that congressional subset called&nbsp;Republicans.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">A house divided against itself</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Here is how it all came down.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">The proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) died&nbsp;because the House Republican Conference (the official name for the<em>&nbsp;entire</em>&nbsp;Republican caucus in&nbsp;the House of Representatives) is divided into factions that aligned in three groups. &nbsp;When the center group — the largest group of Republicans who solidly backed Paul Ryan’s bill — tried to move further right to appease the most conservative&nbsp;group, it lost votes from&nbsp;the group that is furthest&nbsp;left (more centrist with respect to American politics overall). There are nowhere near enough votes in the center group of Republicans to beat Democratic opposition, and&nbsp;compromise toward one faction lost the other; so no House&nbsp;majority could be built.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">It is hard to say exactly who was in each group because no vote was taken to put members on record, but this appears to be generally how&nbsp;things fell apart:</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">1) By far the&nbsp;largest group would have consisted of the house’s largest conservative faction (172 members), known as the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Republican Study Committee</a>, probably joined by&nbsp;members of the House Republican Conference&nbsp;who do not identify with any particular faction. I’m talking here about the&nbsp;<em>group</em>&nbsp;that solidly&nbsp;supported President Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on the AHCA as originally drafted.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">The Republican Study Committee — formed in&nbsp;1973 to keep an eye on the party’s moderate leadership during the Nixon-Ford years — is the House’s oldest active faction. It has allied itself over the years with the&nbsp;National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family, the religious right, Concerned Women for America, the conservative magazine&nbsp;<em>National Review. &nbsp;</em>One might now categorize it as representing the center&nbsp;of the House Republican Conference (though the truest middle consists people&nbsp;who don’t belong to any faction).</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This caucus, as the House Republican Conference’s&nbsp;mainstay faction, has included such Republican luminaries as Vice President Dan Quayle, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and current Vice President Mike Pence. House Speaker John Boehner was not a member of the group.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">2) The smallest, rewest, and&nbsp;most&nbsp;conservative faction of the House Republican Conference, called the “Freedom Caucus,” was established in 2015 to battle then Speaker John Boehner, particularly to fight his approval of&nbsp;Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). These members of congress can&nbsp;be seen as the present rabble rousers because this is the&nbsp;faction&nbsp;that was&nbsp;willing&nbsp;to shut down the government in the original fight against Obamacare. Naturally,&nbsp;this group remains&nbsp;set toward making&nbsp;sure Obamacare is completely repealed&nbsp;and is willing to shut down government again, including apparently the leader of the House and the President just to make sure Obamacare is&nbsp;fully repealed. Not compromising on abolishing Obamacare was more important to them than whether or not&nbsp;Trump succeeds by getting off to a strong start.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">The Freedom Caucus&nbsp;is tough&nbsp;enough that it forced John Boehner to remove his butt from&nbsp;the speaker’s cushion, which led to his exiting&nbsp;congress altogether, so Paul Ryan knows full well they could accomplish that again. This&nbsp;battle-hardened caucus&nbsp;embraces&nbsp;the tea party folks, but it is&nbsp;<em>not</em>&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Tea Party Caucus</a>, which is now nearly inactive because the official Tea Party Caucus&nbsp;was largely rejected by citizens in the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">tea party movement</a>&nbsp;(including&nbsp;members of congress, such as Marco Rubio, who were elected by those citizens). It was rejected because the tea party movement&nbsp;saw the&nbsp;Tea Party&nbsp;Caucus as a Republican attempt to hijack a grass-roots movement. By nature, those who identify themselves as part of the tea party movement do not want to see their movement&nbsp;institutionalized or co-opted by the establishment.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">The Freedom Caucus&nbsp;currently has thirty-one members.&nbsp;The group that initially opposed the ACHA certainly included this faction and likely&nbsp;some of&nbsp;the Republicans’ more libertarian faction, formed by Representative Ron Paul, called the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Liberty Caucus</a>. These two factions overlap in membership. Michelle Bachman, for example, was a founder of&nbsp;the Tea Party Caucus (now largely&nbsp;subsumed by the Freedom Caucus) and a member of the&nbsp;Liberty Caucus.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">3) A larger faction of the House Republican Conference consists of about fifty people, who are the left-most&nbsp;Republicans in the House of Representatives (meaning only that they are moderates since no one in the Republican party is a leftist). This group&nbsp;was established in 1994 as the “<a href="" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Tuesday Group</a>” when Republicans took control of the House&nbsp;under the&nbsp;more conservative leadership&nbsp;of&nbsp;Newt Gingrich. Gingrich rallied Republicans around his&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Contract with America</a>. The Tuesday Group&nbsp;formed to resist Gingrich’s&nbsp;more conservative positioning of the Republican party.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">The actual battle went like this: Unquestionably, those aligned with the&nbsp;Freedom Caucus felt the original AHCA bill, as proposed by Paul Ryan,&nbsp;did not go far enough in repealing&nbsp;Obamacare. Therefore, the group&nbsp;of Republicans who were with Trump and Ryan modified the bill to strip out more of Obamacare by taking down some of its Medicaid provisions and other benefits in order go gain some of the more conservative votes. That resulted in those aligned with the&nbsp;Tuesday Group (the most moderate Republicans) feeling&nbsp;the bill now went further right than they could tolerate. As a result, the Republicans lost some moderate votes when they compromised to&nbsp;pick up more conservative votes, and they never gained all of the conservative votes. So, they could not find a majority that could agree on any bill, and they had already thumbed their noses at Democrats completely, so they certainly wouldn’t get any help there.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">Why Trump faces big-league troubles&nbsp;in enacting any&nbsp;of his stimulus plans</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">As Lincoln said in quoting Jesus Christ, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Lincoln was talking about government. Jesus was talking about the devil. Beg me to describe the difference.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">One major accusation Democrats made against Republicans&nbsp;when&nbsp;Republicans ran an opposition government against Obama was that it is easy to simply be against everything. It is quite another job to govern — to have a clear vision, a good vision that will actually do something for America, and then to unite behind it. Anybody can oppose things without an idea in his or her&nbsp;head as to what will&nbsp;actually work to do some good.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Now that he’s&nbsp;been knocked around by his own party, Paul Ryan&nbsp;co-opted the argument&nbsp;as his own: (See his comments at the start and then at&nbsp;the 6:30 time maker&nbsp;and especially&nbsp;8:12&nbsp;marker.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;"> <object width="400" height="300" data="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="src" value="" /></object></p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">And this&nbsp;is exactly why Trump is going to have a hard time getting his legislation passed. Republicans could somewhat unite in opposing anything Democrats came up with&nbsp;because even enemies are known to&nbsp;unite around a common foe. However,&nbsp;the formation&nbsp;of the Freedom Caucus and its overthrow of John Boehner proves&nbsp;even that kind of unity&nbsp;is never complete and hard to achieve. Coming up with great ideas, which Trump entrusted to Ryan, and then uniting&nbsp;around something&nbsp;you can support, though not fully, is&nbsp;harder still.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">As the new opposition government, Democrats are solidly united against Trump, and the Republican party is too divided to create a large enough majority to overcome&nbsp;the Democrats. It has become increasingly divided since the tea-party movement began, so that will not easily change. It&nbsp;<em>could</em>&nbsp;change now that all Republicans should be able to&nbsp;see that,&nbsp;if they don’t unite around something, they will get nothing at all; but will it?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">The Freedom Caucus has not exactly shown itself to be a group that is amendable to softening its positions toward the party’s center, and the Tuesday Group, which might soften toward the party’s center, will never go as&nbsp;far right on anything as the Freedom Caucus demands. That said, other issues may be less polarizing than Obamacare, given that the Freedom Caucus largely formed around the intention of defeating Obamacare during the Boehner years.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">It took&nbsp;only took a matter of days for plan number one to fall embarrassingly flat on its face. That’s a bitter reality for both Trump and Ryan because promises to repeal and replace Obamacare or just abolish it entirely were the biggest and most frequent pledges heard from&nbsp;<em>all</em>&nbsp;Republicans. So, if they can’t get together on that …</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Trump also blinked on&nbsp;his get-tough negotiations with his own party. He said he was going to force a vote so that Republicans who&nbsp;voted against this repeal and replacement of parts of Obamacare would be held accountable on election day. He reneged and backed Ryan’s desire to simply pull&nbsp;the vote so that no one is held accountable and no one can see by what margin it actually failed. (Perhaps the failure was bigger than we know.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">As a result, no one had to go&nbsp;on record as being the reason hope of an&nbsp;Obamacare repeal in 2017 failed. As Ryan announced in the video above, Obamacare now stands as the law of the land for the foreseeable future because Republicans could not find any plan around which they could form a congressional majority. (In other words, he will not approve another go at it in this session of congress because the votes are not there, nor is the hope of compromise; and any future party leader is going to be hesitant to take this battle on, seeing how Ryan got clobbered.)</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Due to a small faction demanding everything, no Republican got&nbsp;<em>anything</em>&nbsp;they could take back to their voters.&nbsp;Even strong supporters of President Trump like Lou Hobbs and Sean Hannity see this as a&nbsp;<em>massive</em>&nbsp;failure of the Republican House to accomplish&nbsp;<em>anything</em>:</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;"> <object width="400" height="300" data="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="src" value="" /></object></p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">As Hannity said to all congressional Republicans in the video above just before the bill’s final hour,</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">It’s time for&nbsp;<em>you</em>&nbsp;to give the American people a bill that&nbsp;<em>you</em>&nbsp;have now promised them for almost eight years. I would argue tonight,&nbsp;<em><strong>Failure is not an option for the&nbsp;president of the United States and his first piece of legislation.</strong></em>&nbsp;If you don’t succeed, you will have nobody to blame but yourselves…. And here’s my message to you&nbsp;people in congress: For the love of God, after eight years, can you please do your job? Can you please find a way to work together? Can you please find a way to serve your country, not yourselves, not your re-election?</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">They just couldn’t do it. They could&nbsp;not succeed even in the slightest compromise even with the promise that this was only phase one and more of their wishes would come later. Republicans now have all the reins of power, and they still accomplished&nbsp;<em>nothing!</em></p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;">What it all means for the Trump Rally</h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This total fiasco — which was huge, really huge — demonstrates why I’ve said all along that Trump’s road to getting his plans enacted through congress, even with Republicans in control of both houses, is far from being the likelihood&nbsp;that&nbsp;has&nbsp;been priced into the stock market by&nbsp;the Trump Rally.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">While the AHCA defeat is not the end of the game for Trump’s plans, it shows&nbsp;exactly why I’ve said the Trump Rally is a clear case of irrational exuberance on the scale that precedes a major crash&nbsp;(said when writing about the stock market’s response to Trump’s&nbsp;stimulus plans back in December):</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">Is the stock market irrational in its exuberance for shifting so much just because of Trump’s pledges, which are far, far from becoming reality? I think so. I haven’t even talked about Democrat resistance to Trump’s plans, and he’s already got resistance from the Republican leader of the senate….&nbsp;That doesn’t mean the market won’t keep going up. Who knows what the maximum height or duration of irrational exuberance is (because who knows how crazy people can get); but&nbsp;<em><strong>I am certain of this much: the higher the stock market rockets upward on such irrationality, the harder it falls into the chasm of ever-growing debt from which it has been constructed….&nbsp;</strong></em>There is nothing you’re going to do that can stop the markets (in stocks and bonds) from having their hangover when the bubbly stuff is over and irrational exuberance suddenly looks like delirium. Our greatest economic crashes have always happened when least expected. (“<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Irrational Exuberance in US Stock Market Grasps at 20K for Dow</a>“)</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This past week proves&nbsp;the stock market was irrationally premature in rising to Trump’s&nbsp;stimulus talk. Trump has no possibility of any support from Democrats, who hate his guts on just about everything he stands for,&nbsp;<em>and</em>&nbsp;we have now seen proof that he has no majority support he can count on in his own party.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This is one major reason I have refused to&nbsp;join those who believe&nbsp;things will and are now turning around economically because of Trump’s election, even though it has probably cost me readers (given that my audience is largely anti-establishment). For Trump’s&nbsp;plans&nbsp;to become reality, he has&nbsp;to build consensus around a plan that can save the economy, and he is far from either consensus or a plan that can save the economy from its fundamental flaws. The best his plan would do — if he could get it enacted — is pump it higher for&nbsp;a little longer. You can accomplish a little bit in the US by executive decree, but not much. Maybe Republicans will now join around a tax plan, but time is not on their side.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">So, my prediction remains that the economy, including the stock market, goes down this year for the numerous reasons I’ve given beyond the solitary reason&nbsp;that has just played out above. He hasn’t even started squaring off with the Democrat’s opposition. This one went down just from the opposition within his own party!</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">It’s time to wake up and smell the ammonia!</p> </div> American Health Care Act American people of German descent Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Freedom Caucus Heritage Foundation House House of Representatives Irrational Exuberance John Boehner National Rifle Association Obamacare Politics Politics Politics of the United States Reality Recession Republican Party Republican Party Republican Party (United States) organizations Republican Study Committee Ron Paul Senate Tea Party movement United States Sun, 26 Mar 2017 01:51:08 +0000 Knave Dave 591755 at Colonel Shaffer: "I Believe This is Much Worse Than Watergate" <p>The noose is tightening Obamafags. While you occupy yourselves by injecting heroin into your scrawny arms at one of your Antifa meetups, AG Sessions is preparing the groundwork to end the legacy of King Obama -- sending him barreling towards a scandal far greater than anything Nixon ever did -- crushing and poleaxing any hopes of rejuvenating the broken status of the democratic party.</p> <p>Here's Tony Shaffer, former senior intelligence officer at the CIA, saying that the wiretapping scandal against Trump is 'orders of magnitude' worse than Watergate -- alluding to Bob Woodward's comments made earlier this week describing the offenses as being 'felony level' crimes that might wreak havoc throughout the former Obama administration.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"This incidental, it's accidental on purpose.'</p></blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The unmasking of Trump and his cohorts means they specifically targeted him and his team. The political appointees at the CIA, aka black hats, aren't laughing anymore.</p> <p>Meanwhile, continue to bask in your Obamacare victory. I'm certain the people will appreciate it going forward -- as it cascades and cracks asunder amidst financial failure in the near term.</p> <p><strong>Content originally generated at <a href=""></a></strong></p> Barack Obama Bob Woodward Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Democratic Party Donald Trump Obama Administration Obama administration Obamacare Politics Politics Politics of the United States United States Watergate scandal Sun, 26 Mar 2017 01:39:39 +0000 The_Real_Fly 591754 at How The Surveillance Program Works, And Who Can Order It: Former Intel Chair Explains <p>As the<a _mce_href="" href=""> Russians-hacked-the-DNC narrative collapses</a>, and evidence-less accusations of Trump-Putin relations fade fast, the <strong>circle of possible culprits behind the one crime that we know for sure that happened</strong> - <a _mce_href="" href=""><em>the leaking of unmasked American&#39;s names in intelligence intercepts</em></a> - <strong><em>is narrowing hour by hour</em></strong>.</p> <p>Former House intel chair Pete Hoekstra tells Fox Business, <strong><em>who could have ordered the wiretapping of Trump campaign and authorized the unmasking of Americans&#39; names in the intercepts.</em></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Hoekstra goes on to<a href=""> tell The Wall Street Journal</a>,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;When I was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, I was routinely involved in briefings as a member of the &quot;Gang of Eight&quot;&mdash;both parties&#39; leaders in the House and Senate and on the intelligence committees. <strong>I cannot recall how many times I asked to see raw intelligence reporting and was refused because that stuff is just not made available to policy makers</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But according to Mr. Nunes, such information made its way to the Obama White House before Inauguration Day. Few if any people working in the White House would ever need to see raw intelligence. <strong>Like intelligence committee members, they are typically consumers of intelligence products, not raw intelligence.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The raw transcripts of masked persons - or unmasked persons, or U.S. persons who can be easily identified - making their way to the White House is very likely unprecedented. </strong>One can only imagine who, at that point, might be reading these reports. Valerie Jarrett? Susan Rice? Ben Rhodes? The president himself? We don&#39;t know, and the people who do aren&#39;t talking at the moment.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>The point here, <a href="">as The Washington Examinder writes</a>, assuming again that Nunes spoke truthfully in his presser, is that<strong> this could potentially become a huge story. </strong>This despite the extremely negative reaction that Nunes got from journalists on Twitter.</p> <p><strong>If documents containing the unmasked names of Trump transition members were shared throughout the government, it would really be worrisome</strong>, as Nunes said it was. Intelligence agencies are generally supposed to avoid collecting information about Americans to the extent possible. Incidental collection happens, of course, because sometimes Americans talk to people under surveillance. But to share what is incidentally collected, on purpose, seems extraordinary, especially in this case, given Nunes&#39; claims that the disclosures have little or no intelligence value, and that the information involved apparently has nothing to do with Russia or the Trump team&#39;s nefarious ties thereto.</p> <p>Even if what Trump said in the first place about having his wires tapped is only about 5 percent true (which is to say, it is completely false, but vaguely based on something factual), the story that Nunes outlined has <strong>real potential to be a big thing that blows up in the face of at least a few Obama administration officials.</strong> Assuming, of course, that Nunes represented the facts accurately.</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="677" height="373" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Fox Business House Intelligence Committee Mike Pence Obama Administration Obama administration Pete Hoekstra Politics Politics Presidency of Donald Trump Senate The Apprentice Twitter Twitter United States United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Wall Street Journal White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 26 Mar 2017 01:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591746 at There Will Be Those Who Perish In The Next Crisis, And Those "Who Survive In Underground Luxury" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Ultimately, no one can stop what is coming.</strong></p> <p>The haves and have nots of the next, gritty era of aftermath will be those who have the means to survive when the system has failed, and those who do not.</p> <p><strong>For the wealthy, and prepper minded elite, hidden fortified layers purchased for insurance will preserve most of the luxuries of life above ground,</strong> and in the cities, even as society crumbles and burns to the ground.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="548" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p>Others, without the means to purchase these luxuries, may have still <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>set aside the necessary materials to live and thrive</strong></a> after a great collapse, where anything and everything from the electric grid, to the fuel supply to the food supply will fail.</p> <p>There will be tens of millions of starving, angry and bewildered people who face endangerment and extinction, and there will be a few who succeed not only in planning ahead, but in laying low enough to avoid being noticed and picked off by looters, marauders and misguided authorities.</p> <p>Finding the perfect location for your redoubt, and making your preps to get away if need be, amount to something of an art and a science. Nothing is guaranteed, everything has its advantages and disadvantaged, but just by doing anything at all, you&rsquo;ll be way ahead of the masses.</p> <p><strong>If the plans of the elite are anything to consider, they have decked out their bunkers with mementos and reminders of normal life, and not only enough to supplies not to feel the pain of a crumbling infrastructure, but to be distracted by the illusion of normalcy even in times of ultimate crisis.</strong></p> <p>But ultimately, all successful redoubts invest in the means to provide for long-term survival and maximum self-sufficiency.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>As <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Health Nut News</a></strong><strong> reports:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Most &ldquo;shelters&rdquo; include enough food for a year or more, and many have hydroponic gardens to supplement. The developers also work hard to create &ldquo;well-rounded communities with a range of skills necessary for long-term survival, from doctors to teachers.&rdquo; (During the 2016 elections, Vivos received a flurry of interest in its shelters from both liberals and conservatives and completely sold out of spaces in its community shelters.)</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Many of the interiors are left as a blank slate so that each owner can create what they are looking for in terms of comfort and luxury- and it all comes at a cost. Base models can start at $25,000 and go up to almost $5 million dollars. Their footprints also vary from quaint to 5000 square feet.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>It isn&rsquo;t just happening in the United States, but all over the world. And while the fastest growing part of this sector clearly caters to the rich and well adjusted, many shelters are also being constructed to house millions of masses during emergencies &ndash; at least in places like China, Switzerland and Russia.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>[&hellip;] <strong>The Oppidum, billed as &ldquo;the largest billionaire bunker in the world.&rdquo; </strong>This top-secret facility, once a joint project between the former Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), was built over 10 years beginning in 1984.<strong> The premiere apocalypse dwelling is a place that billionaires can live out the horrors of the apocalypse- be it zombie or other- in luxury with every amenity you could ever hope for.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>[&hellip;] Retail firm Survival Condos offers refuge at a re-purposed missile silo in Kansas, United States. The luxury apartments here are stacked underground and protected by blast doors designed to withstand explosions. Retail firm Survival Condos offers refuge at a re-purposed missile silo in Kansas, United States. The luxury apartments here are stacked underground and protected by blast doors designed to withstand explosions.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>[&hellip;] Vivos Europa One, in Rothenstein, is one of Germany&rsquo;s largest repurposing projects. The 76-acre former Soviet bunker is capable of withstanding a nuclear blast, a direct plane crash or biological attack. It is being transformed into 34 five-star apartments, starting at 2,500 sq ft, which aim to protect the super-rich from any forthcoming apocalypse.</p> </blockquote> <p>Self-sustaining communities or networks of individuals can also plan around their budgets to make these concepts a reality. Many companies will customize and scale down projects to costs as low as $25,000&hellip; while <a href=";linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1634&amp;creative=6738&amp;tag=-&amp;creativeASIN=1568610556"><strong>basic home fortification</strong></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>DIY applications can be done</strong></a> for much less money.</p> <p><em><strong>In the end, those who prepared when nothing happened are only out what they invested on the principle of having a viable back-up insurance plan.</strong></em></p> <p>But those who didn&rsquo;t prepare for the worst when it did happen could very quickly lose everything they have, and many will perish during the next major crisis &ndash; which could be triggered at this point by almost anything.</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="456" height="240" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apocalypticism China Czech Fail former Soviet Union Germany Hydroponics Reality Slovakia Survivalism Switzerland Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591745 at Priebus, Price Blamed For Healthcare Failure: NYT <p>On Friday morning, when it was still unclear if the GOP would round up enough votes to pass the Republican healthcare proposal, <a href="">we noted that Bloomberg reported </a>that as a "Plan B" contingency plan, Trump was preparing to sacrifice Paul Ryan, to wit "several Trump associates have already laid groundwork to blame the speaker" as well as potentially Reince Priebus. </p> <p>Trump's long-time friend, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy was quoted as saying “I think Paul Ryan did a major disservice to President Trump, I think the president was extremely courageous in taking on health care and trusted others to come through with a program he could sign off on. The President had confidence Paul Ryan would come up with a good plan and to me, it is disappointing.” Additionally, Bloomberg quoted a Trump associate who said that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus may also be imperiled.</p> <p>One day later, while the fate of Paul Ryan is still to be determined even as he will likely be responsible for setting the framework of Republican tax reform, <a href="">the NYT confirms </a>that the internal scapegoating has begun and that as hinted yesterday, the blame for the failure to get GOP support for ObamaCare repeal and replace legislation has <strong>increasingly fallen on White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and other top administration officials.&nbsp; </strong>Specifically, the Times also reports that the blame for the legislative <strong>failure has fallen on Priebus, </strong>who was in charge of coordinating an initial plan on ObamaCare repeal with Speaker Paul Ryan, who for now appears to hve avoided Trump's direct wrath. To wit:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>On Friday evening, a somewhat shellshocked president retreated to the White House residence to grieve and assign blame. He asked his advisers repeatedly: <strong>Whose fault was this? ... Increasingly, that blame has fallen on Reince Priebus, </strong>the White House chief of staff, who coordinated the initial legislative strategy on the health care repeal with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, his close friend and a fellow Wisconsin native, according to three people briefed on the president's recent discussions.</p> </blockquote> <p>Politico's Tara Palmeri confirms as much:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Source close to <a href="">@POTUS</a> says he's being advised to replace <a href="">@Reince45</a> &amp; is open to possibility -- healthcare was last straw</p> <p>— Tara Palmeri (@tarapalmeri) <a href="">March 25, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p> <strong>Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was also blamed for the failure, </strong>while the president was reportedly annoyed with Jared Kushner, his adviser and son-in-law, who returned to Washington on Friday from a family skiing trip in Colorado. </p> <p>Two other republican sources told the Times that Trump expressed annoyance that Kushner was absent during the vital discussions. A White House spokesman, however, denied that Trump was displeased with Kushner, according to CNN, which reported that Trump was "upset" by Kushner's absence during the pivotal week. Kushner had said for weeks he thought supporting the GOP healthcare plan was a mistake, the Times added citing two sources,</p> <p>The report presents a different picture from Trump's piblic posture, when both in his address to the media and on Twitter on Saturday morning, the president was quick to blame Democrats on Friday after Ryan pulled the GOP plan, repeating on various occasions that "ObamaCare will explode." Several dozen Republicans had publicly opposed the plan, and Trump asserted that Democrats now "own ObamaCare." The White House was also publicly supportive of Ryan's efforts to rally support for the legislation, but West Wing aides told the Times they were "stunned" by the Speaker's inability to master the politics of the GOP conference.</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="644" height="338" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent B+ Business Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign First 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency Jared Kushner Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act replacement proposals Paul Ryan Politics Reince Priebus Republican Party Twitter Twitter United States White House White House Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:26:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 591742 at "Policy Error" Is Back: Deutsche Warns Two Things Can Derail The Market's "Most Crowded Trades" <p>Following the worst week for stocks since the US election, the reflation trade that was launched by the Trump election now appears solidly dead, with the dollar and commodities sliding, inflation expectations crumbling, and junk bonds - where investor euphoria had reached dramatic proportions - being hit the hardest. As Bank of America commented last Thursday, "the last few weeks we have seen wobbles in high yield; a full 2 months earlier than we anticipated. What began as the expected effects of rate risk on higher quality high yield bled to unexpected lower crude prices and a repricing of the Energy index by 87bp (5.98% to 6.85%) and has further morphed into an early second guessing of the optimism surrounding policy."</p> <p>Shortly after this note, political uncertainty soared when Republicans failed to pass the healthcare bill, leading to questions over the passage of Trump's tax reform. As explained on Friday, with Obamacare repeal on hiatus indefinitely, Republicans now have to find a $1 trillion offset in budget savings, or else Trump's tax cut will have to be slashed by a similar cumulative amount: hardly a catalyst to restore confidence in the reflation trade. </p> <p>And yet, few are willing to throw in the towel on the most popular trade since November (which recently helped push the S&amp;P to 2,400), and one bank went so far as to say that smooth sailing for Trumpflation remains: as Deutsche Bank's Dominic Konstam wrote in his latest weekly fixed income piece, "we continue to expect higher yields and a steeper curve driven largely by tax reform and fiscal stimulus. <em><strong>We see scope for the Trump economic agenda to create a sort of "Keynesian accelerator" whereby a positive demand shock could induce greater domestic investment and, ultimately, higher productivity growth</strong></em>."</p> <p>And yet, cracks are starting to appear in this most optimistic of theses, because on the very same page, Deutsche Bank, which has been one of the biggest supporters of the bullish implications of the reflation trade - and has been quite bearish on Treasuries as a result - admits that in addition to Trump, there is another potential source of policy error: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>There are naturally several avenues to policy error. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The first and most prescient at the moment is failure to pass key elements of the Trump administration's economic policy agenda. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the time of writing, markets seem inclined to look past the ongoing healthcare debate. The CBO's scoring of Trumpcare's savings relative to baseline has fallen from $337 billion to $180 billion, and anyway these "savings" are probably more material in providing a piggy bank to fund vote-winning amendments in the Senate debate than they are for funding corporate tax reform. <strong>Risk markets might flinch if Trumpcare fails to pass, but the far bigger deals for markets are tax reform and fiscal stimulus, </strong>and the experience of the Clinton administration suggests that an early misstep in healthcare won't prevent the new administration from pivoting to other business. However, we note that the post election sell-off in bonds seems to presuppose a high probability that the administration will succeed in passing its legislative agenda,&nbsp; and that the measures will work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Then there is the Fed. Aggressive hikes will push real yields and the dollar higher, both of which would be negative for commodities, breakevens, and risk more broadly. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The dots tell us that the Fed hopes to get to 2% by the end of 2018, which would put real rates more or less at zero. We still see a strong chance that the Fed "misses" at least one hike priced by the dots along the way this year to take pressure off of real rates, the dollar, and risk assets.</p> </blockquote> <p>And while Deutsche Bank heavily hedged its cautious language, it is worth noting that as of the most recent Bank of America fund managers survey, virtually every trader is still on the same side of the Trumpflation trade, with managers themselves admitting that <em><strong>long USD, long banks, short TSYs </strong></em><a href="">remain the most crowded trades</a>. That will not be the case for long if the dreaded "deflation monster" makes an appearance soon. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="249" /></a></p> <p>Furthermore, should sentiment indeed be shifting - as Deutsche Bank's statement indicates - and should the market begin to reprice the threat of "policy error", there is a long way to go before all of these massively stretched trades renormalize.</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="486" height="242" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of America Bank of America Business Climate change skepticism and denial Clinton administration Crude Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank Donald Trump Economic policy Economy Finance fixed High Yield Inflation Money Obamacare Politics Reflation S&P Senate Tax The Apprentice Trump Administration US Federal Reserve WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:20:14 +0000 Tyler Durden 591753 at Turkish Hackers Threaten To Wipe Millions Of iPhones; Demand Ransom From Apple <p>Apple can't seem to catch a break lately.&nbsp; Yesterday we noted the latest WikiLeaks release which exposed yet another CIA spying scandal, this time revolving around efforts to bug "factory fresh" iPhones before they even reach the hands of consumers (see "<a href="">Wikileaks Releases "NightSkies 1.2": Proof CIA Bugs "Factory Fresh" iPhones</a>").</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's<strong> "NightSkies 1.2"</strong> a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone.<strong> Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise.</p> </blockquote> <p>Today, courtesy of <a href="">CIO</a>, we learn that a group of hackers referring to themselves as the <strong>"Turkish Crime Family"</strong>, has been in direct contact with Apple and is <strong>demanding a $150,000 ransom by April 7th or they will proceed to wipe as many as 600 million apple devices for which they allegedly have passwords.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The group said via email that it has had a database of about 519 million iCloud credentials for some time</strong>, but did not attempt to sell it until now. The interest for such accounts on the black market has been low due to security measures Apple has put in place in recent years, it said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since announcing its plan to wipe devices associated with iCloud accounts, the group claimed that other hackers have stepped forward and shared additional account credentials with them, putting the current number it holds at over 627 million.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>According to the hackers, over 220 million of these credentials have been verified to work and provide access to iCloud </strong>accounts that don't have security measures like two-factor authentication turned on.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, if credible, <strong>with an ask of just $150k, this is the most modest group of hackers we've ever come across.</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Powers" width="600" height="303" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>News website Motherboard <a href="">reported</a> seeing alleged emails between the hackers and Apple in which a member of the company's security team said that the company does not plan to reward cybercriminals for breaking the law and that the communications have been archived and sent to the authorities.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the hackers apparently told CIO the ransom demand was intended to "spread awareness" for their 'boys' who got caught up in the Yahoo hacking scandal and likely face severe sentences.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>"We are doing this because we can and mainly to spread awareness for Karim Baratov and Kerem Albayrak, which both are being detained for the Yahoo hack and one of them is most probably facing heavy sentencing in America,"</strong> a representative for the group said via email. <strong>"Kerem Albayrak on the other hand is being accused of listing the database for sale online."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The representative said that the group's members are originally from Istanbul, Turkey, but that they now "<strong>rep" Green Lanes, an area in North London</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Karim Baratov, a Canadian national, was indicted last week for allegedly hacking into email accounts at various email providers at the request of two officers from the Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB. The same indictment accuses the two FSB officers and a Russian hacker for breaking into Yahoo's infrastructure and gaining access to over 500 million Yahoo accounts.</p> </blockquote> <p>As a concluding note, and not to suggest in any way that we're experts on the subject matter, we would<strong> tend to question the underlying 'value' of a password database that could be rendered instantly useless by a forced password update from Apple</strong>...just a thought on negotiating tactics for future reference.</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="693" height="448" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Apple Apple Apple Inc. Central Intelligence Agency Cloud storage Computing Data synchronization Email hacking ICloud Internet privacy IOS IPhone Russian Federal Security Service Technology Turkey WikiLeaks Yahoo! data breaches Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 591706 at