http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/%2A en Introducing America's Winningest Political Candidate: "Lesser Evil" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/introducing-americas-winningest-political-candidate-lesser-evil <p><a href="http://www.tanosborn.com/columns/2016/lesser-evil-america-s-winningest-political-candidate"><em>Authored by Ben Tanosborn,</em></a></p> <p>Why, I am constantly being asked by my overseas peers, do you Americans have such affection for a creepy old pretender, a political candidate who&rsquo;s been around forever, and all he has done is have his way with you?&nbsp; <strong>Does the &ldquo;me-or-else&rdquo; political ultimatum award Lesser Evil license to govern and rape?&nbsp; Whether dressed as Tweedledee or as Tweedledum, Lesser Evil righteously appears to so think</strong>; adding one more rosary bid in our march towards the 2016 presidential election&hellip; just as it happened in 2012 and, as I tap into my memory, to all other quadrennials before then.&nbsp;</p> <p>Enter the protagonists this year playing the part of Lesser Evil: Clinton and Trump; both well experienced in deceit, one consistently showing signs of being a truly consummate sociopath, while the other disguises a different strain of the same affliction reasonably well.&nbsp;<strong> Both candidates pied-pipering away to their immutable, loyal following which approximate in each case almost a quarter of the electorate; leaving us, the remaining half-plus, trying to determine who of these two becomes our least distrusted psychopath to lead America&nbsp; in all domestic and foreign affairs:&nbsp; our faithful but not so beloved Lesser Evil, of course.</strong></p> <p>Neither Democrats nor Republicans have party memberships which come close to having a reasonable cross-section of the population in the two critical areas that divide the nation: race and economics&hellip; not remotely!&nbsp; And<strong> that fact alone, like never before in America&rsquo;s history, poses insurmountable problems in governing, and brings a constant impasse which does not lend itself to negotiation, much less compromise</strong>.&nbsp; It also adds serious impediments in selecting, or compromisingly-accepting, leadership that can be respected, if not accepted, by a society with a true common ground.</p> <p>Hillary&rsquo;s ascent to the Democratic nomination is a vivid example of how a likely-to-lose general election candidate &ndash; had the GOP nominated a sane conservative &ndash; prevailed over Honest Bernie.&nbsp; <strong>Not only was the DNC unequivocally proven to be in Hillary&rsquo;s safe pocket, something for which there has been little to none media/public outrage, but the scoundrelous Clintons also had the old clique of black community and church leaders in their fist, totally and irrationally influencing the primary vote.</strong>&nbsp; And I say irrationally on the basis that Bernie Sanders would likely have proven to be a far superior advocate for blacks on all fronts.&nbsp; Sad bottom line for the Democratic Party: had black voters equally supported Hillary and Bernie, and the party elite not cast their preference for Hillary Clinton before the primaries, Senator Sanders would have walked away with the party&rsquo;s nomination hands down, not Clinton. Sanders, who had been &ldquo;allowed&rdquo; entrance to the primaries by the Democratic hierarchy as a political side show, tainted with the political scarlet letter in the US &ndash; S for Socialist, just could not be permitted to represent the Democratic Party in what its hierarchy likely saw a suicide candidacy.&nbsp; So Sanders was mercifully put to pasture as a party&rsquo;s beast of burden, not as a racehorse.</p> <p><strong>In similar vein, had the bigopat crowd (angry bigoted patriots) not found a pied-piper in born-again Republican Trump,</strong> a non-conservative self-serving billionaire, a conservative nominee would have emerged from the ranks of the Republican career politicians; in much the same fashion as Hillary&rsquo;s crown had been placed on Bill&rsquo;s political queen.&nbsp; Not that it would have made much difference in America&rsquo;s non-democratic binary politics!&nbsp; Once again, <strong>much-raped America will always have a prospective escort, old-and-creepy Lesser Evil, to take her to the Quadrennial Cotillion.&nbsp; &nbsp;</strong></p> <p><u><strong>I have often been told by my peers overseas, mostly in a discreet and constructive way that our lack of civic/political involvement in government might have inflicted on us our just deserts.&nbsp;</strong></u> But if we have been politically indigent in the past, perhaps due partly or wholly to our privileged economic condition vis-a-vis much of the world, circumstances thrust upon us, while unprepared and in full force against the whirlwind of globalization need to be reevaluated and changed.&nbsp; Politicians of both parties have been extremely careless and derelict in their approach to globalization.</p> <p><strong>To summarily complete the division in America, traditional politics (politicians) also fail to acknowledge the strident racial disharmony which still permeates the nation.&nbsp;</strong> Such racial disharmony is treated in the same blind-deaf-mute way we treat the existence of the metric system; hoping that they both hopefully disappear, effortlessly in our part.</p> <p><u><strong>The political duopoly in America simply does not work; nor does it offer hope, a future for a cohesive society.&nbsp;</strong></u> It may have reasonably worked in the past because of our very gifted, blessed economic advantages&hellip; but those advantages are either gone or exiting fast.&nbsp; If we are looking for a brighter, more optimistic future for all, and not just 20 percent knights and squires in our population, <strong><em>America needs to bring to the political table OTHER people and ideas, not just continue with the same Demo-Repugnancy, that will enlarge our political wisdom and give us a pathway to reach physical and economic well-being as well as provide a moral compass for all.</em></strong></p> <p><u><strong>A corporate media that would force bringing Greens and Libertarians to the presidential debates in 2016 would forever find its penitential-redeeming place in America&rsquo;s history.</strong></u></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="205" height="124" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160826_evil.jpg?1472249679" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/introducing-americas-winningest-political-candidate-lesser-evil#comments Bernie Sanders Fail Nomination None Sat, 27 Aug 2016 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570739 at http://www.zerohedge.com How The Hillary 'Victory Fund' Uses State Democratic Committees To Launder Money To The DNC http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/diagram-how-hillary-victory-fund-bypasses-laws-launder-money-democratic-national-com <p><strong>Is the Hillary Victory Fund using state democratic committees to launder donations from wealthy individuals to the Democratic National Committee?</strong>&nbsp; Evidence gathered by <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-dnc-contributions/">Bloomberg</a> would certainly seem to suggest so.</p> <p>So how does it work?&nbsp; Campaign finance laws specifically restrict the amount of money any single person can give to <strong>individual candidates ($2,700), a party&#39;s various state committees ($10,000) as well as a party&#39;s national committee ($33,400)</strong>.&nbsp; In theory, therefore, that would imply a person would be capped out at $46,100 if he contributed the max his Presidential candidate, his party&#39;s national committee and his party&#39;s state committee.&nbsp; <strong>But, that&#39;s just a narrow &quot;interpretation&quot; of the &quot;intent&quot; of the campaign finance laws and Hillary isn&#39;t really all about &quot;intent&quot;...just ask FBI Director Comey. </strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>So, the<strong> Hillary Victory Fund</strong> has come up with a clever way<strong> to use state democratic committees (of which there are 33) as money-laundering tools to effe</strong>ctively <strong>increase the amount that can be contributed to the Democratic National Committee from $33,400 to $363,400</strong> (it&#39;s only like 1,000% more than intended).&nbsp;</p> <p>How do they do it?&nbsp; Well, the rules say that a single person can only contribute $10,000 to any one State.&nbsp; That said, they <strong>don&#39;t restrict people from contributing $10,000 to multiple states</strong>.&nbsp; Moreover, there are <strong>no restrictions on transfers of funds from Democratic State Committees to the Democratic National Committee.</strong>&nbsp; See where we&#39;re going with this?&nbsp;</p> <p>Effectively the Hillary Victory Fund acts as a &quot;bundler&quot; which collects large donations from wealthy investors.&nbsp; Per the diagram below, contributions are then maxed out to &quot;Hillary For President&quot; and the &quot;Democratic National Committee.&quot;&nbsp; Any remaining funds are then <strong>spliced up and sent in $10,000 increments to the 33 different State Democratic Committees</strong>.&nbsp; That said, the state committees simply act as flow through entities which subsequently <strong>pass the contributions from the Hillary Victory Fund along to the Democratic National Committee.</strong>&nbsp; Isn&#39;t that neat?&nbsp;</p> <p>The beauty of this system, of course, is that once the money is aggregated at the Democratic National Committee it becomes very &quot;flexible.&quot;&nbsp; The DNC can then use that money to support Hillary and/or any of a number of contentious races in any state it wants (e.g. battleground states).&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Hillary Victory Fund" height="479" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2016/08/18/Hillary%20Victory%20Fund%20Diagram_0.png" width="600" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At this point, you&#39;re probably thinking this is just another Hillary conspiracy theory...surely none of this can be proven, right?&nbsp; Well, actually it&#39;s pretty easy to track and is happening fairly regularly in the Democratic Party.&nbsp; <strong><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-dnc-contributions/">Bloomberg</a> provided the following example tracking a $343,400 donation from hedge fund manager, Donald Sussman, which was made to the Hillary Victory Fund on March 25, 2016.</strong>&nbsp; In April, the maximum of $33,400 of Sussman&#39;s donation was transferred to the Democratic National Committee.&nbsp; Then on April 25, 2016, <strong>another $10,000 (again the per state maximum) of Sussman&#39;s money was transferred to the South Carolina Democratic State Committee along with $169,000 of money from other donors</strong>.&nbsp; Wouldn&#39;t you know it,<strong> that very same day the South Carolina Democratic State Committee passed the full $179,000 on to the Democratic National Committee</strong>.&nbsp; Almost like the donation caps never existed!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Hillary Victory Fund" height="616" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2016/08/18/Hillary%20Victory%20Fund%202_0.JPG" width="600" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In fact, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-dnc-contributions/">Bloomberg</a> found that <strong>83% of all money distributed by State Democratic Committees to the National Committee originated from donors that had already maxed out their $33,400 contributions to the DNC</strong>.</p> <p><img alt="Hillary Victory Fund" height="798" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2016/08/18/Hillary%20Victory%20Fund%201_0.JPG" width="600" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That said, as Robert Kelner of Covington &amp; Burling points out, what the Hillary Victory Fund is doing isn&#39;t <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>technically</strong></span> illegal. Sure, it probably violates the &quot;intent&quot; of the law but we&#39;re not gonna split hairs are we?</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not aware of any case law or regulations that would prohibit a state party from transferring to a national party committee funds raised through a joint fundraising committee,&rdquo; Robert Kelner, an election law expert at Covington &amp; Burling said. &ldquo;<strong>But as a practical matter, it does appear that the DNC may be using Hillary Victory Fund as a mechanism for allowing donors to give more to the DNC indirectly than would otherwise be permitted directly.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Oddly enough, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-dnc-contributions/">Bloomberg</a> pointed out that there is <strong>no evidence of similar activities within the Republican National Committee</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>There&rsquo;s no sign that the Republicans are following the same strategy. Donald Trump&rsquo;s joint fundraising committee has yet to transfer any money to the 11 state Republican parties that are part of the arrangement.</p> </blockquote> <p>So there you go folks.&nbsp; Don&#39;t you feel proud to be an American?</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="244" height="138" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160826_hillary1.jpg?1472242207" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/diagram-how-hillary-victory-fund-bypasses-laws-launder-money-democratic-national-com#comments Donald Trump FBI None South Carolina Sat, 27 Aug 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570724 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up On Empire http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/broken-chessboard-brzezinski-gives-empire <p><a href="http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/25/the-broken-chessboard-brzezinski-gives-up-on-empire/"><em>Submitted by Mike Whitney via Counterpunch.org,</em></a></p> <p><strong>The main architect of Washington&rsquo;s plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China.</strong> While Zbigniew Brzezinski&rsquo;s article in The American Interest titled &ldquo;Towards a Global Realignment&rdquo; has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extent US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia. Brzezinski, who was the main proponent of this idea and who drew up the blueprint for imperial expansion in his 1997 book <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0465027261/counterpunchmaga">The Grand Chessboard:&nbsp;American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives</a></em>, has done an about-face and called for a dramatic revising of the strategy. Here&rsquo;s an excerpt from the article in the AI:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<strong>As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Five basic verities regarding the emerging redistribution of global political power and the violent political awakening in the Middle East are signaling the coming of a new global realignment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The first of these verities is that the United States is still the world&rsquo;s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(<a href="http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/04/17/toward-a-global-realignment/" target="_blank">Toward a Global Realignment</a>, Zbigniew Brzezinski, The American Interest)</p> </blockquote> <p>Repeat: <strong>The US is &ldquo;no longer the globally imperial power.&rdquo;</strong> Compare this assessment to a statement Brzezinski made years earlier in Chessboard when he claimed the US was &rdquo; the world&rsquo;s paramount power.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;&hellip;The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world&rsquo;s paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power.&rdquo; (&ldquo;The Grand Chessboard:&nbsp;American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives,&rdquo; Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997, p. xiii)</p> </blockquote> <p>Here&rsquo;s more from the article in the AI:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;The fact is that there has never been a truly &ldquo;dominant&rdquo; global power until the emergence of America on the world scene&hellip;.. The decisive new global reality was the appearance on the world scene of America as simultaneously the richest and militarily the most powerful player. During the latter part of the 20th century no other power even came close. That era is now ending.&rdquo; </strong></em>(AI)</p> </blockquote> <p>But why is &ldquo;that era is now ending&rdquo;? What&rsquo;s changed since 1997 when Brzezinski referred to the US as the &ldquo;world&rsquo;s paramount power&rdquo;?</p> <p><strong>Brzezinski points to the rise of Russia and China, the weakness of Europe and the &ldquo;violent political awakening among post-colonial Muslims&rdquo; as the proximate causes of this sudden reversal.</strong> His comments on Islam are particularly instructive in that he provides a rational explanation for terrorism rather than the typical government boilerplate about &ldquo;hating our freedoms.&rdquo; To his credit, Brzezinski sees the outbreak of terror as the &ldquo;welling up of historical grievances&rdquo; (from &ldquo;deeply felt sense of injustice&rdquo;) not as the mindless violence of fanatical psychopaths.</p> <p>Naturally, in a short 1,500-word article, Brzezniski can&rsquo;t cover all the challenges (or threats) the US might face in the future. <strong>But it&rsquo;s clear that what he&rsquo;s most worried about is the strengthening of economic, political and military ties between Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and the other Central Asian states.</strong> This is his main area of concern, in fact, he even anticipated this problem in 1997 when he wrote Chessboard. Here&rsquo;s what he said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America&rsquo;s status as a global power.&rdquo; (p.55)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;&hellip;To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.&rdquo; (p.40)</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>&ldquo;&hellip;prevent collusion&hellip;among the vassals.&rdquo; That says it all, doesn&rsquo;t it?</strong></p> <p>The Obama administration&rsquo;s reckless foreign policy, particularly the toppling of governments in Libya and Ukraine, has greatly accelerated the rate at which these anti-American coalitions have formed. In other words, Washington&rsquo;s enemies have emerged in response to Washington&rsquo;s behavior. <strong>Obama can only blame himself.</strong></p> <p>Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin has responded to the growing threat of regional instability and the placing of NATO forces on Russia&rsquo;s borders by strengthening alliances with countries on Russia&rsquo;s perimeter and across the Middle East. At the same time, Putin and his colleagues in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have established an alternate banking system (BRICS Bank and AIIB) that will eventually challenge the dollar-dominated system that is the source of US global power. This is why Brzezinski has done a quick 180 and abandoned the plan for US hegemony; it is because he is concerned about the dangers of a non-dollar-based system arising among the developing and unaligned countries that would replace the western Central Bank oligopoly. If that happens, then the US will lose its stranglehold on the global economy and the extortionist system whereby fishwrap greenbacks are exchanged for valuable goods and services will come to an end.</p> <p><u><strong>Unfortunately, Brzezinski&rsquo;s more cautious approach is not likely to be followed by presidential-favorite Hillary Clinton who is a firm believer in imperial expansion through force of arms. </strong></u>It was Clinton who first introduced &ldquo;pivot&rdquo; to the strategic lexicon in a speech she gave in 2010 titled &ldquo;America&rsquo;s Pacific Century&rdquo;. Here&rsquo;s an excerpt from the speech that appeared in <em>Foreign Policy</em> magazine:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment &mdash; diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise &mdash; in the Asia-Pacific region&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Harnessing Asia&rsquo;s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology&hellip;..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama&rsquo;s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia&hellip;and our investment opportunities in Asia&rsquo;s dynamic markets.&rdquo;</p> <p>(&ldquo;America&rsquo;s Pacific Century&rdquo;, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton&rdquo;, Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Compare Clinton&rsquo;s speech to comments Brzezinski made in <em>Chessboard</em> 14 years earlier:</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia&hellip; (p.30)&hellip;.. Eurasia is the globe&rsquo;s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world&rsquo;s three most advanced and economically productive regions. &hellip;.About 75 per cent of the world&rsquo;s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world&rsquo;s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world&rsquo;s GNP and about three-fourths of the world&rsquo;s known energy resources.&rdquo; (p.31)</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>The strategic objectives are identical, the only difference is that Brzezinski has made a course correction based on changing circumstances and the growing resistance to US bullying, domination and sanctions. </strong></u>We have not yet reached the tipping point for US primacy, but that day is fast approaching and Brzezinski knows it.</p> <p><u><strong>In contrast, Clinton is still fully-committed to expanding US hegemony across Asia. </strong></u>She doesn&rsquo;t understand the risks this poses for the country or the world. She&rsquo;s going to persist with the interventions until the US war-making juggernaut is stopped dead-in-its-tracks which, judging by her hyperbolic rhetoric, will probably happen some time in her first term.</p> <p><strong>Brzezinski presents a rational but self-serving plan to climb-down, minimize future conflicts, avoid a nuclear conflagration and preserve the global order.</strong> (aka&ndash;The &ldquo;dollar system&rdquo;) <u><em><strong>But will bloodthirsty Hillary follow his advice?</strong></em></u></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="473" height="273" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160826_brz.jpg?1472247832" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/broken-chessboard-brzezinski-gives-empire#comments Afghanistan Brazil BRICs China Foreign Policy magazine Global Economy India Iran Iraq Middle East Obama Administration President Obama Reality Turkey Ukraine Vladimir Putin Sat, 27 Aug 2016 01:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570735 at http://www.zerohedge.com Mugabe Orders Arrest Of "Rats We Call Athletes" After Zimbabwe Wins No Olympic Medals http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/mugabe-orders-arrest-rats-we-call-athletes-after-zimbabwe-wins-no-olympic-medals <p>It appears Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was banking on a precious metal inflow from Rio to fix his nation&#39;s ailing economy as he has<strong> <a href="http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2016/08/24/mugabe-orders-arrest-detention-of-zimbabwean-olympic-team/">ordered the arrest </a>of all 31 Zimbabwean Olympic athletes arrested and detained for daring to return home with no medals</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/08/25/20160826_mugabe.jpg"><img height="329" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/08/25/20160826_mugabe.jpg" width="482" /></a></p> <p>Zimbabwe which is one of the countries in the Olympics without a medal <strong>presented a team of 31 athletes. <strong>The closest any of the athletes came to win a contest was at the 8th position. </strong></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/08/25/20160826_mugabe1.jpg"><img height="803" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/08/25/20160826_mugabe1_0.jpg" width="483" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2016/08/24/mugabe-orders-arrest-detention-of-zimbabwean-olympic-team/"><em>As PMNews Nigeria reports</em></a>, Mr. <strong>Mugabe who is incensed with the team&rsquo;s performance told the Police Chief to arrest all the team members and detain them</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;We have wasted the country&rsquo;s money on these rats we call athletes. If you are not ready to sacrifice and win even copper or brass medals (referring the 4th and 5th positions) as our neighbors Botswana did, then why do you go to waste our money&rdquo; </strong>he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&rdquo;<strong>If we needed people to just go to Brazil to sing our national anthem and hoist our flag, we would have sent some of the beautiful girls and handsome guys from University of Zimbabwe to represent us</strong>.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He added that,<strong> the money invested in the team to represent the country could have been used to provide amenities and build schools.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>This situation is like an impotent man who is married to five women, what is the essence?</strong> I will make sure we share the cost across board for all of them to pay back to government chest even if it takes 10 years to recoup, now it turns out to be a soft loan we have given them to go and visit Brazil as tourist, they are useless&rdquo; he concluded.</p> </blockquote> <p>While we doubt Mugabe ever cared much for the Olympic spirit, with this one act (and we are still having trouble believing Mugabe actually did this) Zimbabwe&#39;s dictator has doomed his country to having no future olympians at all.</p> <p>When (or if) any of these Zimbabwean athletes get out of jail, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-09/some-olympic-athletes-are-chasing-huge-gold-medal-bonuses">maybe it&#39;s time to emigrate to Singapore?</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/5448/some-athletes-are-chasing-huge-gold-medal-bonuses/" title="Infographic: Some Athletes Are Chasing Huge Gold Medal Bonuses | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: Some Athletes Are Chasing Huge Gold Medal Bonuses | Statista" height="342" src="https://d28wbuch0jlv7v.cloudfront.net/images/infografik/normal/chartoftheday_5448_some_athletes_are_chasing_huge_gold_medal_bonuses_n.jpg" width="480" /></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="427" height="292" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160826_mugabe.jpg?1472224366" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/mugabe-orders-arrest-rats-we-call-athletes-after-zimbabwe-wins-no-olympic-medals#comments Brazil Copper Sat, 27 Aug 2016 01:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570715 at http://www.zerohedge.com Japanese Government Squanders Pension Funds On Failed Stocks As Losses Reach $130 Billion In Past Year http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/gpif-squanders-assets-failed-japanese-stocks-losses-reach-130bn-past-4-quarters <p>Nearly two years ago we <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-12/gpif-has-warning-japans-citizens-abenomics-better-work-or-your-pensions-are-toast">wrote </a>about how the<strong> largest pension fund in the world had been hijacked by political hacks</strong> in what would be a <strong>futile effort to prop up stocks in the &quot;first failed Keynesian state, Japan.&quot;</strong>&nbsp; The post came in response to Japan&#39;s Government Pension Investment Fund announcing that it would slash its fixed income portfolio to double its target allocation to domestic and foreign equities, in essence, going outright long Central Banks. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Once upon a time, the world&#39;s biggest government pension fund, Japan&#39;s $1.1 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, or GPIF, was apolitical, and merely focused on preserving the people&#39;s wealth.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Then everything changed, and with the reckless abandon of a junkie on a crack cocaine binge, aka Abenomics, the GPIF management was kicked out, and its entire mandate was flipped from preserving wealth, to gambling on #Ref! P/E stocks</strong>, in hopes of recreating the wealth effect of the super-rich (the only problem: Japan has reached its breaking point and the higher the USDJPY, and thus the Nikkei rises, the more the BOJ directly destroys its economy with an already record number of bankruptcies due to the plunging Yen getting recorder).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Worst of all, the GPIF became nothing short of the latest political pawn in what is now the the first failed Keynesian state, Japan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unfortunately, for Japan, and its tens of millions of pensioners, the only news here is simple: the entire country is now held hostage by Japan&#39;s last-gasp attempt to prove Monetarist and Keynesian policies work. Because, said otherwise, &quot;<strong>Abenomics better work, or else all your pensions are toast.</strong>&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Then, last month after the GPIF reported it&#39;s biggest fiscal year loss since the &quot;great recession&quot;, a mere 5.3 trillion yen ($53 billion), we <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-05/after-losing-100-billion-terrible-stock-investments-worlds-largest-pension-fund-doub">asked </a>whether the pension fund had finally learned it&#39;s lesson.&nbsp; Would fund managers finally resort back to their original goal or preserving retiree wealth or continue in their failed efforts to prop up Japanese stocks.&nbsp; Alas, we concluded that maintaining the status quo was the most likely path forward. &nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>So with Abenomics careening off the cliff and headed for a traumatic death, and with Kuroda having become the laughing stock of central bank circles, has Japan finally learned its lesson? Will the GPIF rotate out of money-losing stocks and back into bonds which are currently trading at record high prices? According to Morgan Stanley, the answer is not a chance, for the simple reason that as a result of an upcoming asset rebalancing, the <strong>GPIF will have no choice but to buy even more money-losing stocks.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Which brings us to today and the announcement of further staggering losses on the $1.3 trillion portfolio of the GPIF.&nbsp; Today the pension announced it lost 5.2 trillion yen ($52 billion) in 2Q 2016, or roughly 4% of their 129.7 trillion yen ($1.3 trillion) in assets.&nbsp; <strong>Not to rub it in too much, but that brings the rolling 4Q losses to an aggregate of nearly 13 trillion yen or $130 billion. </strong></p> <p><img alt="Japan Pension" height="539" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2016/08/18/Japan%20Pension_0.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-26/world-s-biggest-pension-fund-loses-52-billion-as-stocks-slump">Bloomberg</a> points out, GPIF held 21 percent of investments in local stocks at the end of June, and 39 percent in domestic bonds. Overseas equities made up 21 percent of assets, while foreign debt accounted for 13 percent. Alternative investments were 0.05 percent of holdings, down from 0.06 percent at the end of March. GPIF targets allocations of 25 percent each for Japanese and overseas stocks, 35 percent for local bonds and 15 percent for foreign debt.</p> <p>Therefore, GPIF returns are not terribly surprising given that ~21% of assets, or <strong>$275BN, are allocated to Japanese equities which haven&#39;t performed all that well over the past year</strong>.&nbsp; In fact, Japanese stocks are down about 22% in the past 12 months which represents about <strong>$60BN of losses or 4.5% of GPIF assets</strong>. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2016/08/18/20160826_TOPIX.jpg"><img alt="TOPIX" height="315" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2016/08/18/20160826_TOPIX_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In case you&#39;re the &quot;hopelessly optimistic&quot; type, the <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/japans-public-pension-fund-sees-strategy-shift-backfiring-1472209525">Wall Street Journal</a> points out the GPIF has no intentions of admitting failure and reverting back to a reasonable asset allocation model that might have some hope in preserving pensions for Japan&#39;s retirees.&nbsp; No, as deputy director-general of investment strategy, Shinichiro Mori, points out, the GPIF will maintain the status quo as &quot;<strong>stock markets are on a recovery trend.</strong>&quot;&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Shinichiro Mori, the GPIF&rsquo;s deputy director-general of investment strategy, said that in the current quarter, <strong>strong U.S. jobs data for June helped stock markets and Brexit fears have subsided.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>The markets have since restored stability, and I believe stock markets are on a recovery trend</strong>. In the meantime, the exchange rate, the dollar/yen rate, is still flat. We are going to carefully monitor its movements going forward,&rdquo; Mr. Mori said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Mori said it would be <strong>hard to achieve the target for investment return by investing primarily in domestic bonds because their yields are low and there is a risk of bond prices dropping from current high levels.</strong> The benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond yielded minus 0.075% in Friday afternoon trading. Bond yields and prices move in the opposite direction.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;In the short term, there is greater volatility in return rates for our portfolio, but since we invest for the long term, it&rsquo;d be easier to achieve the investment goal required for the pension system&rdquo; with the current allocation, Mr. Mori said.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Well, if at first you don&#39;t succeed...</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="580" height="335" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/GPIF.jpg?1472225280" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/gpif-squanders-assets-failed-japanese-stocks-losses-reach-130bn-past-4-quarters#comments Abenomics Bond Central Banks Crack Cocaine fixed Gambling Japan Morgan Stanley Nikkei Recession recovery Volatility Wall Street Journal Yen Sat, 27 Aug 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570697 at http://www.zerohedge.com 76-Year-Old Veteran Kills Himself In VA Parking Lot After Being Denied Treatment http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/76-year-old-veteran-kills-himself-va-parking-lot-after-being-denied-treatment <p><a href="http://theantimedia.org/va-veteran-suicide-denied-treatment/"><em>Submitted by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,</em></a></p> <p><strong>A 76-year-old military veteran killed himself outside a Long Island Veteran Affairs facility Sunday after being denied treatment. </strong>He was reportedly seeking help for mental health issues at the <a href="http://www.northport.va.gov/" target="_blank">Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center</a> but was turned away, an unfortunately common experience plaguing veterans seeking healthcare in recent years.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/nyregion/veteran-kills-himself-in-parking-lot-of-va-hospital-on-long-island.html?_r=0" target="_blank">According</a> to the <em>New York Times</em>, two people connected to the hospital spoke about the incident on the condition of anonymity. They explained <strong>&ldquo;<em>he had been frustrated that he was unable to see an emergency-room physician for reasons related to his mental health</em>,&rdquo;</strong> the <em>Times</em> reported.</p> <p>&ldquo;<em>He went to the E.R. and was denied service</em>,&rdquo; one anonymous source said.<strong> &ldquo;<em>And then he went to his car and shot himself.</em>&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Peter A. Kaisen of Islip, New York, committed suicide in the parking lot of the Northport facility, where he had been a patient. <strong>He was in the parking lot outside Building 92, the facility&rsquo;s nursing home, when he shot himself.</strong></p> <p>One of the <em>Times&rsquo;</em> anonymous sources questioned why Kaisen had not been referred to Building 64, the mental health center at Northport.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<em>The staff member said that while there was normally no psychologist at the ready in the E.R., one was always on call, and that the mental health building was open &lsquo;24/7</em>,&rsquo;&rdquo; the <em>Times</em> reported.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;<em>Someone dropped the ball. They should not have turned him away</em>,&rdquo;</strong> the source said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Christopher Goodman, a spokesman for the hospital, said there &ldquo;<em>was no indication that he presented to the E.R. prior to the incident</em>,&rdquo; and the <em>Times&nbsp;</em>was unable to determine whether there was an official record of his visit to the VA on Sunday.</p> <p><strong>The Northport center has faced heightened scrutiny since the <em>Times&nbsp;</em>reported on mismanagement at the facility in 2014, but the problems at Northport are problems of the entire system.</strong></p> <p>Just last month, an Iowa military veteran suffering from PTSD and substance abuse killed himself after being denied treatment by the VA. He reportedly made an appointment seeking treatment but eventually posted on social media that he was turned away &ldquo;<em>even though he requested it and explained to a doctor that he felt his safety and health were in jeopardy,</em>&rdquo;<em>KWQC</em>, a local news outlet <a href="http://kwqc.com/2016/07/18/local-veteran-commits-suicide-after-family-says-he-was-turned-away-at-va-facility/" target="_blank">reported</a>.</p> <p>One veteran who drove to a Seattle VA last year with a broken foot was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/seattle-va-hospital-strands-veteran-outside-er-2/" target="_blank">denied assistance</a> walking from his car to the hospital entrance, a distance of a few feet. He was told to call 911, instead. One gun-wielding veteran with PTSD was <a href="http://www.cbs5az.com/story/27894238/maricopa-shooting-victim-was-az-vet-suffering-ptsd" target="_blank">shot and killed by police</a> in Maricopa County, Arizona, last year after he was turned away from the VA hospital when he sought treatment for a mental health emergency. He had routinely called suicide hotlines for help but never received the full attention he needed.</p> <p>Veteran suicides in the United States are a chronic problem. Though some&nbsp;<a href="https://msrc.fsu.edu/news/media-misleads-military-veterans-suicide-study" target="_blank">argue</a> the relatively recent figure from the VA that 22 veterans kill themselves per day is inflated, veterans still face a suicide risk higher than the rest of the American population. As <em>USA Today</em> has <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/07/07/veterans-suicides-young-men-women/86755132/" target="_blank">noted</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;<em>In 2014, veterans accounted for 18% of all suicides in the United States, but made up only 8.5% of the population. In 2010, veterans accounted for 22% of U.S. suicides and 9.7% of the population.</em>&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Further, a more recent analysis by the VA found that in 2014, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/07/07/veterans-suicides-young-men-women/86755132/" target="_blank">20 veterans killed themselves per day</a>. <em>Politifact</em>, an independent fact-checker, has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2016/jul/14/donald-trump/donald-trump-correctly-says-20-veterans-commit-sui/" target="_blank">confirmed</a> this figure. While rates of veteran suicides appear to be declining, the figures are still troubling.</p> <p><strong>Even absent mental health issues like depression and PTSD, veterans are dying waiting for regular health care. </strong>A VA whistleblower <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/13/veterans-health-care-backlog-died_n_7785920.html" target="_blank">revealed</a> last year that 238,000 out of 847,000 veterans died after submitting requests for treatment they never received. An audit in 2014 <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/va-audit-57000-veterans-waiting-more-than-90-days-for-appointment-at-medical-facilities/2014/06/09/599d26ee-f014-11e3-9ebc-2ee6f81ed217_story.html" target="_blank">found 57,000 veterans&nbsp;</a>were waiting more than 90 days for an appointment with the VA.</p> <p><strong>The United States government, politicians, and the media often express compassion and gratitude for veterans. </strong>To their credit, some lawmakers recently <a href="http://hightimes.com/news/laws/congress-blocks-medical-marijuana-for-veterans/" target="_blank">attempted</a> to allow veterans to use cannabis as an alternative treatment in an amendment to a budget bill &mdash; a move Congress ultimately blocked.</p> <p>But in spite of failed and often <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/355ebf0f90fa4bbc9b58e1e5b9f8e3ec/va-makes-little-headway-fight-shorten-waits-care" target="_blank">unwieldy efforts</a> to reform veterans&rsquo; health care, <strong>the VA&rsquo;s systemic failures continue to leave veterans feeling ignored and abandoned by the very institutions that still claim to value them.</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="488" height="231" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160826_VA.jpg?1472213327" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/76-year-old-veteran-kills-himself-va-parking-lot-after-being-denied-treatment#comments 8.5% New York Times Sat, 27 Aug 2016 00:45:50 +0000 Tyler Durden 570670 at http://www.zerohedge.com China's Great Divide: A New Cultural Revolution? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/chinas-great-divide-new-cultural-revolution <p><a href="http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2016/08/chinas-great-divide-new-cultural.html"><em>Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p> <p><em>The only question left for China (and every other debt/bubble-dependent nation) is <strong>what socio-political consequences will manifest when the credit bubble finally bursts?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>In Asia, it&#39;s generally seen as unpatriotic to criticize one&#39;s country in public, even if you disagree with its direction and leadership.</strong> The cultural norm is to maintain the &quot;face&quot; of one&#39;s country by hiding its ills from outsiders.</p> <p>This reticence is especially evident in China, which suffers from the memory of being subjugated by the Western imperialist powers in the late 19th century and early 20th century.</p> <p>As a general rule, you will rarely hear any profound criticism of China unless you are considered a trusted friend; giving China a black eye in public is frowned upon, even by its domestic critics.</p> <p>For this reason, the majority of the Western media has very little grasp of what worries Chinese people. Recently, I have heard fears of a Second Cultural Revolution being expressed in private.</p> <p><strong>There is a Great Divide between generations in China:</strong> on the one side is the older generation that remembers the Maoist era with some nostalgia and the terrible adversities of the Cultural Revolution (1966 - 1976). On the other side is the young educated, prosperous generation which has only known consumerist prosperity and personal advancement.</p> <p>The ideals of the old communes are an abstraction to the young generation, as are the terrible costs of the Cultural Revolution.</p> <p><strong>A resurgence of devotion to Mao has caught authorities off-guard;</strong> they can&#39;t very well suppress public displays of secular worship of the Party&#39;s founder, but raising Mao&#39;s revolutionary ideals from the dustbin of history implicitly challenges the Party&#39;s current leadership.</p> <p>The older generation resents the young consumer-obsessed generation, and some would like to purge China of the excesses of wealth and consumerism.</p> <p>It&#39;s not too difficult to see how rising unemployment (<a href="http://bloom.bg/1ZpALEp" target="resource">China&#39;s Hidden Unemployment Rate</a>) and China&#39;s enormous wealth inequality could spark a new Cultural Revolution that would target Party leaders who have benefited from the state-managed neoliberal capitalism that has greatly enriched the leaders and their family dynasties.</p> <p>In effect, a return to the party&#39;s Maoist roots would open divisive fissures in the Party and the nation. Farfetched? <strong>Perhaps not as much as the conventional sugar-coated media representation would suggest.</strong></p> <p><strong>The status quo solution (in China, the U.S., Japan, the E.U., etc. etc.) to a weakening bubble-dependent economy is to inflate another even bigger bubble.</strong> If debt reached extremes that imploded, the solution is to expand debt far beyond the levels that triggered the implosion.</p> <p>If fudging the numbers triggered a loss of confidence, the solution is to fudge the numbers even more, so they no longer reflect reality at all.</p> <p>If the masses protest their powerlessness, the solution is to push them further from the centers of power.</p> <p>And so on.</p> <p><strong>This blowing new bubbles to replace the ones that popped works for a while, but at the expense of systemic stability.</strong> Each new bubble requires pushing the system to new extremes that increase the risk of instability and collapse.</p> <p><strong>In other words, the stability of the new bubble is temporary and thus illusory. </strong></p> <p><strong>The processes used to inflate the new bubble suffer from diminishing returns.</strong> The nature of stimulus-response is that overuse of the stimulus leads to diminishing responses. This is a structural feature that cannot be massaged away.</p> <p>Goosing public confidence in the status quo with phony statistics and rigged markets works splendidly the first time, less so the second time, and barely at all the third time. Why is this so? The distance between reality and the bubble construct is now so great that the disconnection from reality is self-evident to anyone not marveling at the finery of the Emperor&#39;s non-existent clothing.</p> <p>The system habituates to the higher stimulus. If the drug/debt has lost its effectiveness, a higher dose is needed. This is the progression of serial bubbles. Then the system habituates to the higher dose/debt, and the next expansion of debt must be even greater.</p> <p><strong>This dynamic can be visualized as The Rising Wedge Model of Breakdown, which builds on the well-known Ratchet Effect:</strong> the system is greased for easy expansion of debt, leverage, employees, etc., but it has no mechanism to allow contraction. <strong>Any contraction triggers systemic collapse.</strong></p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2016/ratchet-effect8-16.gif" /></p> <p><strong>The only question left for China (and every other debt/bubble-dependent nation) is what socio-political consequences will manifest when the credit bubble finally bursts?</strong></p> <p>The answer will arise from the unique interplay of history, social norms and central-state actions in each nation-state as the crisis deepens. In China, the two revolutions--the Communist victory of 1949 and the now-suppressed Cultural Revolution of 1966 - 1976-- will both loom large--perhaps far larger than the current regime would like.</p> <p><em>This essay was drawn from Musings Report 28. The Musings Reports are emailed weekly to subscribers ($5/month) and major contributors ($50+ annually). If you&#39;d like to support this blog, please consider subscribing. My new book is #9 on Kindle short reads -&gt; politics and social science: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ELXQZGE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B01ELXQZGE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=charleshughsm-20&amp;linkId=33DAOPEVGBNGBS37" target="resource">Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform</a> ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition) For more, please visit the <a href="http://www.oftwominds.com/SQ-book.html" target="resource">book&#39;s website</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="811" height="504" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160826_media_0.jpg?1472248701" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/chinas-great-divide-new-cultural-revolution#comments China ETC Japan Reality Unemployment Sat, 27 Aug 2016 00:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570737 at http://www.zerohedge.com Caught On A Hot Mic In 1992, Larry King Assures Bill Clinton: "Ted Turner Would Serve You" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/caught-hot-mic-1992-larry-king-assures-bill-clinton-ted-turner-would-serve-you <p>The feud between Donald Trump and CNN hit a new high yesterday when, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-25/cnn-cancels-dr-drews-show-one-week-after-he-voiced-grave-concern-hillarys-health">as previously reported</a>, CNN-owned HLN canceled the show of Dr. Drew Pinsky one week after he said that Hillary’s medical condition was “dangerous” and “concerning." This was troubling, because it again revealed just how biased and partial one of the most popular "news" stations in the US has become.</p> <p>Yet should any of this come as a surprise? After all CNN's infatuation with the Clintons has been known for nearly 25 years. </p> <p>In this clip from 1992, CNN's then-iconic interviewer, Larry King, doesn't realize he's been caught on a hot mic when he tells Bill Clinton the following: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Ted Turner changed the world. <strong>He's a big fan of yours</strong>.<strong> He would serve you, you know what I mean.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>He's ready, what's he got left in life to gain. I'd call him after you're elected. </strong>Think about it.</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VCUIlV-AKY4" width="500" height="375" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The source is a documentary called <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlJkgQZb0VU">Spin by Brian Springer </a>who found that early 90's satellite TV feeds were unencrypted, and went through every channel looking for juicy bits like the one linked above. </p> <p>Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, Springer captures the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about "homos," Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon - all presuming they're off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorized satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality. The <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlJkgQZb0VU">hour long documentary </a>has some fascinating insights into the political system that still resonate today.</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="791" height="628" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/hot%20mic%20clinton.jpg?1472248430" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/caught-hot-mic-1992-larry-king-assures-bill-clinton-ted-turner-would-serve-you#comments Donald Trump Reality Fri, 26 Aug 2016 23:59:30 +0000 Tyler Durden 570736 at http://www.zerohedge.com Why There's A Media Blackout On The Native American Oil Pipeline Blockade http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/why-theres-media-blackout-native-american-oil-pipeline-blockade <p><a href="http://theantimedia.org/native-american-pipeline-media-blackout/"><em>Submitted by Nick Bernabe via TheAntiMedia.org,</em></a></p> <p><strong>As the Lakota Sioux continue their <a href="http://theantimedia.org/native-americans-oil-pipeline/" target="_blank">peaceful blockade</a> of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, the story&rsquo;s absence from the national media narrative is palpable.</strong> Considering the corporate media&rsquo;s chronic quest for controversial stories on government versus public standoffs, you&rsquo;d think this situation would garner the typical media frenzy invoked during a right-wing militia occupation of a federal building, for example, or a tense standoff between the Black Lives Matter movement and police. But it&rsquo;s not.</p> <p>As of late, the media has faced criticism for its <a href="http://theantimedia.org/30000-muslims-slammed-terrorism/" target="_blank">selective coverage</a> of certain events &mdash; like, say, focusing on single <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/lives-fit-for-print-exposing-media-bias-in-coverage-of-terrorism/" target="_blank">terror attacks</a> in Western Europe that garner thousands of headlines while basically ignoring similar or worse attacks that occur on a <a href="http://qz.com/719610/the-istanbul-attack-is-a-grim-reminder-that-muslims-are-targeted-by-terrorism-more-than-any-other-group/" target="_blank">constant</a> basis in Muslim-majority countries.</p> <p>But the confrontation unfolding in North Dakota, in particular, is strikingly similar to the recent standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, which involved a right-wing militia advocating land rights against the federal government. The militia was led by the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/" target="_blank">controversial Bundy family</a>, which previously drew sensationalized coverage during a similar standoff in Nevada in 2014. <strong><em>So why were these stories covered extensively while the other &mdash; also centered around land rights &mdash; has been mostly ignored?</em></strong></p> <p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="589" scrolling="no" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheAntiMedia%2Fposts%2F629843863807319%3A0&amp;width=500" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="500"></iframe></p> <p><u><strong>The first point is actually very simple: Native Americans standing up for themselves is not polarizing. </strong></u>In an age of <a href="http://theantimedia.org/media-divides-us-with-gorillas/" target="_blank">institutionalized media divisiveness</a> and <a href="http://theantimedia.org/two-party-system-is-failing-america/" target="_blank">hyper-partisanship</a>, <strong><em>the story of Native Americans in North Dakota fighting for land and water rights just doesn&rsquo;t fit the script of deep, societal divides plaguing the nation&rsquo;s law and order, nor does it fit in with the left-right paradigm</em></strong>. People from both sides of the political spectrum pretty much agree that Native Americans have <a href="http://theantimedia.org/sacred-native-american-lands-could-become-nuclear-waste-dump/" target="_blank">been screwed</a> by the U.S. government and resource-snatching corporations long enough. Considering this sentiment, there&rsquo;s really no exploitable controversy on this issue from the mainstream media perspective, which inherently drives topical, <a href="http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/whatever-happened-news" target="_blank">superficial news</a> narratives.</p> <p><strong>It&rsquo;s easy to create a controversy out of right-wing white nationalist militias occupying an obscure federal wildlife preserve building </strong>(if that sounds petty and not exactly newsworthy, that&rsquo;s because it was petty and not exactly newsworthy). I witnessed liberals so incensed by the Oregon occupiers they were calling for the FBI to literally <a href="http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/01/03/the-armed-domestic-terrorists-in-oregon-should-be-treated-just-as-isis-terrorists-would-be/" target="_blank">gun them down</a>. Meanwhile, the alt-right movement <a href="http://www.copblock.org/153858/never-forget-oregon-occupiers-are-true-american-heroes/" target="_blank">hailed them as heroes</a> and harbingers of the second American Revolution. It made for a great, divisive controversy. But in the end, nothing was accomplished. It was topical. It was superficial. It was essentially meaningless &mdash; and the media loved it so much it dedicated a month&rsquo;s worth of prime time TV coverage to it.</p> <p><strong>In contrast, the only thing the mainstream media would accomplish by publicizing the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/01/native-american-north-dakota-oil-pipeline-protest" target="_blank">growing tribal opposition</a> to the Dakota Access Pipeline would be to effectively kill the prospects of the pipeline. </strong>Providing ongoing coverage would likely inspire national outrage toward the oil company, Dakota Access LLC, and the <a href="http://undergroundreporter.org/surveillance-fbi-investigating-native-american-pipeline-protesters/" target="_blank">government agencies</a> currently trying to evict the indigenous people from their own ancestral lands.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s important to understand that the media doesn&rsquo;t always cover certain stories just because they&rsquo;re actually newsworthy. <strong>Often, the media&rsquo;s coverage is intended to promote and drive narratives, and the divisive flavor has been a top seller for a long time. </strong>This coverage has accomplished at least one thing in the United States: the country is <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/america-really-is-more-divided-than-ever/2016/07/17/fbfebee6-49d8-11e6-90a8-fb84201e0645_story.html" target="_blank">now the most divided</a> it&rsquo;s been in a <em>very</em> long time. Maybe that has been the media&rsquo;s intention all along.</p> <p><u><strong>The second and more obvious reason why mainstream outlets have not focused on the situation in North Dakota is money &mdash; oil money, to be exact.</strong></u> The corporate media in the United States is deeply in bed with oil interests. From <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-horn/msnbc-native-ads-fracking_b_4214056.html" target="_blank">fracking advertisements on <em>MSNBC</em></a> to individuals on Big Oil&rsquo;s payroll literally <a href="http://www.alternet.org/news-corp-outlets-fail-disclose-big-oil-ties-their-commentators" target="_blank">working for <em>Fox News</em> and the <em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>, the ties cannot be understated. Why would mainstream media publicize a standoff that could potentially kill an oil pipeline when their own financial interests would be negatively affected? The answer is <em>they wouldn&rsquo;t</em>.</p> <p><strong>And there you have it. </strong>That&rsquo;s why right-wing militias pointlessly occupying a wildlife refuge is one of the biggest stories of the century but Native Americans stopping the construction of a multibillion-dollar pipeline isn&rsquo;t&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/search/?text=north+dakota&amp;sections=" target="_blank">worth a <em>single</em> headline on <em>CNN</em></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="258" height="152" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160826_media.jpg?1472247368" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/why-theres-media-blackout-native-american-oil-pipeline-blockade#comments FBI Fox News headlines MSNBC Wall Street Journal Fri, 26 Aug 2016 23:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 570734 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Man Who Fabricates China's Econ Data Was Arrested For "Selling Power For Sex" And "Lacking Political Faith" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/man-who-fabricates-chinas-econ-data-was-arrested-selling-power-sex-and-lacking-polit <p>While China's president Xi Jinping has been conducting a sweeping campaign ever since coming to power over three years ago, meant to root out deply ingrained corruption in China's communist party, one individual was assumed to be immune from prosecution - the person responsible for fabricating and goalseeking China's economic "data", the one in charge of China's National Bureau Of Statistics. That turned out to be wrong when China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - the local anti-corruption watchdog - announced on Friday it would prosecute the former head of its statistics bureau, Wang Baoan, accusing him of serious violations of discipline, including extravagance, abuse of power and selling power for sex.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/08/21/wang%20baoan.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/08/21/wang%20baoan_0.jpg" width="500" height="335" /></a></p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-corruption-statistics-idUSKCN11112X">Reuters</a>, Wang Baoan, the former chief of China's National Bureau of Statistics, who was deputy finance minister from 2012 until April 2015, when he took up the post of statistics bureau chief <strong>"lacked political faith, had frequently stayed at expensive hotels, abused his position to get benefits for relatives, and had accepted gifts, property and bribes"</strong>, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said.</p> <p>It turns out that goalseeking fabricated data in China does not pay all that well after all, and instead the former official was not only embezzling funds but also engaged in "superstitious activities", "exchanged power for sex", and was "morally bankrupt", the agency said in a statement on its website. </p> <p>The CCDI announced the investigation of Wang in January. The latest move expelling him from the party and handing his case over to legal authorities indicates he will face prosecution. </p> <p>Reuters said was not able to reach Wang for comment and it was unclear if he had been able to retain a lawyer. China's courts are controlled by the party, and convictions in such cases are generally a foregone conclusion.</p> <p>Finally, since making up China's economic numbers is a job that has zero barriers to entry, and requires no skill, we send our condolences to Wang: once swallowed by China's giant apparatus which he lied for years to defend, he will not reemerge. </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="780" height="523" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/wang%20baoan.jpg?1472245750" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-26/man-who-fabricates-chinas-econ-data-was-arrested-selling-power-sex-and-lacking-polit#comments China Corruption Reuters Fri, 26 Aug 2016 22:58:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 570731 at http://www.zerohedge.com