Category Archives: Government

Drive-Thru Empire: Part 1, by Hardscrabble Farmer

Hardscrabble Farmer and his son take a road trip to look for America and don’t always like what they find. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:

Last week my youngest son and I decided to take a trip to visit family in the midlands of Virginia. The intention was to convince my Aunt and Uncle to move up north to live with us, an idea we had been considering for some time now. We’d decided to make the trip an educational opportunity for our son, but it was, for me, a way to see that the decision I’d made ten years earlier to step away from the rat race had been the right one for our family.

I’d kept close tabs on the direction of our country over those passing years, but from a safe distance. There was a time when I’d lived on the roads of U.S, travelling the highways and the back roads of each state in order to make my living. I’d built a career on my ability to adjust to each region, to either speed up or slow down my delivery depending on whether I was performing in a remote location or a major urban center. I knew my way around not only the country, but the people as well.

I was aware that a decade, particularly the one we’d just come through, had wrought some changes not only on the landscape of America, but the population that inhabited it. We arranged it so that we would visit our old hometown and family in Princeton, New Jersey for the first leg of the trip and arrive in Washington D.C. on the day of the midterm elections. We had additional plans to visit some historical sites that had a family connection in order to better understand our own place in the fabric of the American experience.

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Marc Elias, Lawyer With Ties To Clinton Campaign and Perkins Coie, Leads Florida Democrats Recount Bid, by Jon Hall

Marc Elias is a behind-the-scenes Democratic operative with a dubious reputation. He was instrumental in the Fusion GPS scandal. From Jon Hall at fmshooter.com:

Prominent members of the GOP party have blasted the scores of liberal lawyers swarming Florida in a calculated bid to steal the recent Senator and Governor elections – with forced recounts becoming reality after Republicans won both highly-sought spots of the state’s government.

Marc Elias, the firmwide chair of Perkins Coie, is one of the top lawyers overseeing Florida’s recounts. Not only is he highly involved with Perkins Coie – the same law firm that investigated the accusations against Jim Jordan that he ignored years of sexual misconduct while coach of OSU’s wrestling team – he’s also closely connected with the Clintoncampaign.

If you have any wonders of Perkins Coie’s true motivation, just look at their top donators on OpenSecrets

The DNC tops their donation list with Hillary For America, Obama for America, and Priorities USA Action – David Brock’s former PAC – also making appearances; along with many other high-profile Democratic fundraising efforts.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, Marc Elias even retained Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump – resulting in the infamous Steele dossier. Marc Elias, with Perkins Coie, reportedly even drafted Crowdstrike to aid with the DNC’s hacked servers.

Now, Elias and Perkins Coie – both steeped in partisanship and bias – are overseeing a highly contested recount in Florida.Of all things, and if any one thing should be, a recount must remain apolitical and unbiased. However, we have the opposite in Florida with Elias, a Democrat flunky, doing the bidding and manipulating of the Establishment elite to steal the election and hand Democrats the win.

Still think the claims of Democrats rigging the elections is outlandish?

What about a Broward county employee signing an affidavit admitting they saw election staff filling out blank ballots?Or Matt Gaetz being removed from filming election officials as they were secretly loading boxes in and out of election offices?

A Palm Beach election observer witnessed multiple infractions and was threatened with expulsion if they dared to speak out.

Bear in mind, none of this is even mentioning the connections between Elias, Perkins Coie, and top Democrats…

It is staggering that such an obvious steal of an election could just be allowed to happen, teetering America even closer to being a Banana Republic than ever before. As the left crows and screams about voter fraud and rigged elections, their own side is guilty of the most cardinal sins.

The worst – or maybe least shocking – part of this entire situation, is that it proves yet another instance of Mainstream Media/Democrat complicity: with the Fake News media writing off any dissenting voices as “conservative conspiracy theories”, the truth is sure to never see the light of day…

 

Clapper’s Credibility Collapses, by James McGovern

James Clapper is a hack and a slimeball. From James McGovern at antiwar.com:

Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s key role in helping the Cheney/Bush administration “justify” war on Iraq with fraudulent intelligence was exposed on Tuesday at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington by his own words quoted back to him from his memoir “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence.” Hard truths, indeed.

Clapper was appointed Director of National Intelligence by President Barack Obama in June 2010, almost certainly at the prompting of Obama’s intelligence confidant and Clapper friend John Brennan, later director of the CIA. Despite Clapper’s performance on Iraq, he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Obama even allowed Clapper to keep his job for three and a half more years after he admitted that he had lied under oath to that same Senate about the extent of eavesdropping on Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA). He is now a security analyst for CNN.

In his book, Clapper finally places the blame for the consequential fraud (he calls it “the failure”) to find the (non-existent) WMD “where it belongs – squarely on the shoulders of the administration members who were pushing a narrative of a rogue WMD program in Iraq and on the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn’t really there.” (emphasis added).

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GOP To Dems: Here, Take Our Wallet, Too! by Ann Coulter

It’s always Democratic votes that are “discovered” on recounts, and its always Republicans who roll over and play dead. From Ann Coulter an anncoulter.com:

Election recounts would be more plausible if Democrats occasionally let the Republican win. But they don’t. Ballots miraculously discovered days and weeks after the election — in the back seat of a car, after helpful “corrections” to the ballots by election supervisors, etc. — invariably result in a surprise win for the Democrat.

Voters are just supposed to accept that, unless Republicans win an election by an insuperable margin, the Democrats will steal it.

And the thieving is cheered on by our media. Whenever President Trump has the effrontery to mention that GOP victories are being stolen by corrupt Democratic officials, the media snippily note that his claim is “UNSUBSTANTIATED.”

Thus, for example, in the first 60 seconds of CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Monday, Burnett said:

— “(The email from Trump headquarters) without providing any evidence … warns that, quote, corrupt Democrats are trying to, quote, steal election victories in Florida. …

— “It’s a baseless claim that President Trump has been pushing for days. …

— “(Gov. Rick) Scott (is) talking about rampant fraud without providing any evidence. …

— “Now, ‘steal an election,’ ‘committing fraud’ are big claims to make without having evidence.”

Hey! I have an idea! Why doesn’t CNN rustle up some reporters to go and investigate the biggest story of the year?

No, the burden is on random Republicans — who have jobs other than “reporting the news” — to produce bulletproof evidence of voter fraud. Otherwise, it’s just a wacky coincidence that these “recounts” always result in mysterious new votes for Democrats.

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Sorry, Stiglitz: It’s Socialism That’s Rigged — not Capitalism, by William L. Anderson

Joseph Stiglitz is a hack economist, “a one man band for growth of the state.” That’s why he won a Nobel Prize. From William L. Anderson at mises.org:

Ever since winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in “Economic Science” in 2001, Joseph Stiglitz has been a one-man advocacy band for growth of the state. After 9/11, for example, he called for the formation of a federal agency to provide security for airline passengers, which he claimed would send a “signal” for quality. (Stiglitz won his prize for “proving” that free markets are “inefficient” and always result in less-than-optimal outcomes because of asymmetric information. Only government in the hands of Really Smart People like Stiglitz can direct production and exchange consistently to efficient and “just” results.)

More than a decade ago, Stiglitz lavished praise for the socialist government of the late Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, declaring:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to have had success in bringing health and education to the people in the poor neighborhoods of Caracas, to those who previously saw few benefits of the country’s oil wealth.

He went on to claim that the Chavez policies of expropriating the capital structure of private oil companies in Venezuela would result in a more “equal” distribution of wealth in that country, something he believes is desirable everywhere. Interestingly, since Venezuela’s socialist “experiment” went south, complete with hyperinflation and one of the worst financial and economic crises ever seen in the Western Hemisphere, Stiglitz has been silent, at least when it comes to explaining why the so-called economic miracle in Venezuela was unsustainable.

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The Fed Will Continue Tightening Until Everything Breaks, by Brandon Smith

That current central bank policy may be on track to destroy the economy is a feature not a bug of that policy. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

Around three years ago, in September 2015, I wrote an article titled ‘The Real Reasons Why The Fed Will Hike Interest Rates‘ in which I predicted that the Federal Reserve, in the face of criticism, would soon pursue a program of interest rate hikes into economic weakness. I argued that this plan would be somewhat similar to what the Fed did in the early 1930’s; an action that prolonged the Great Depression for many more years. So far, my prediction has proven to be correct.

Despite the fact that the Fed keeps raising rates as it tightens the noose around the supposed economic “recovery”, there are still many people out there who refuse to accept that the central bank would deliberately implode the fiscal bubble that it has spent the last ten years inflating. Even today, I still see arguments proclaiming that the Fed will be forced to pull back if stocks fall beyond 15% to 20%. I also see claims that Fed officials like Jerome Powell had “better start looking for another job” because Donald Trump won’t be happy with Fed policies that could cause a crash. This is pure delusion from people who do not understand how the Fed operates.

First and foremost, let’s be clear, the Federal Reserve is an autonomous entity that does not answer to government oversight. It never has and it probably never will. This reality is supported by admissions by former Fed officials like Alan Greenspan, who publicly noted that the Fed answers to no one.

The central bank functions in quite the opposite capacity from what many people assume. As Carroll Quigley, prominent American historian and mentor to Bill Clinton, noted in his book Tragedy And Hope:

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank … sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.”

In other words, governments do not assert control over central banks; central banks assert control over governments. That said, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, an act of Congress can be used to enforce a full audit of Fed activities, something which has never been done.

Fed propaganda asserts the lie that the bank is audited annually by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), but this is NOT an audit of Fed financial actions and policy initiatives. Rather, it is an audit of minor expenditures. Knowing how many pencils and desks the Fed purchases in a year does not help us to understand the bank’s influence over our economic security. All other audits of the Fed are done internally by the Fed’s own Board of Governors. This is hardly transparent or independent.

The only time the public has gained access to even a partial government audit of Fed activities was during the audit of TARP. This alone exposed trillions of dollars in bailouts and overnight loans to various banks and corporations, many of which were foreign.

The GAO did nothing in terms of regulatory action against the Fed after it was revealed that they were funneling trillions in capital into foreign corporations. All they did was make a ledger of the transactions, and remained silent on the rest.

I remind readers of this history and the conditions surrounding Fed actions because I want to drive the point home that, for now, the Fed and other central banks dictate the rules of the game. Some may say this has changed with the election of Donald Trump, but I disagree. If anything, as long as Trump is in office, the Fed will chase higher interest rates and steeper balance sheet cuts. They will not stop until markets break. And, the only solution (shutting down the Fed entirely) also comes with a set of extreme fiscal consequences.

There is a wall of cognitive dissonance when some in the public are confronted with this notion. They prefer to believe in a set of standard lies rather than accept that the Fed is a saboteur of our financial system. Here are those lies, listed in no particular order…

Lie #1: The Fed Is Unaware Of The Bubbles it Creates

Mainstream economists and Fed officials alike use this lie regularly. Not once has the Board of Governors of the Fed ever been audited or punished in light of an economic crisis they created. When central bank culpability is obvious, they simply claim they had no idea the fiscal bubble was as inflated as it became. The disaster “surprised them”.

The Fed’s creation of easy credit and zero oversight, not to mention its opposition to any regulation of derivatives, fed the bubble prior to 2008. Then they ignored all obvious warning signs that the bubble was about to burst. But what about the current “everything bubble” that the Fed has created through near zero interest rates and endless fiat money manufacturing? Well, Fed officials openly admit to their involvement.

As the former head of the Federal Reserve Dallas branch Richard Fisher admitted in an interview with CNBC, since 2009, the U.S. central bank has made its business the manipulation of the stock market to the upside:

“What the Fed did — and I was part of that group — is we front-loaded a tremendous market rally, starting in 2009.

It’s sort of what I call the “reverse Whimpy factor” — give me two hamburgers today for one tomorrow.

I’m not surprised that almost every index you can look at … was down significantly.” [After the first Fed rate hike]

The Fed knows when it is conjuring a bubble environment; they just won’t admit it as the bubble is deflating and economic pain is everywhere.

Lie #2: The Fed Is Unaware That It’s Tightening Policies Cause Extreme Economic Contraction

So, if the Fed is aware when it causes a bubble, is it aware when it is popping a bubble? Absolutely. As Ben Bernanke admitted in a speech in 2002:

“In short, according to Friedman and Schwartz, because of institutional changes and misguided doctrines, the banking panics of the Great Contraction were much more severe and widespread than would have normally occurred during a downturn.

Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

Bernanke was referencing Milton Friedman’s assertion that the Fed’s tightening policies in the early 1930’s, after they had made markets dependent on easy credit through the 1920’s, had caused negative feedback in the system at the perfect time, destabilizing any possible recovery for years to come.

The problem is twofold, of course. The Fed was allowed to fuel a fraudulent market bubble in the first place. Then, it was allowed to pop the bubble in the most destructive way through tightening policies (like higher interest rates), which crushed Main Street support. If this sounds familiar, it is, because the same tactic is being used by the Fed today.

In an October 2012 meeting of the Federal Reserve, minutes indicate that Jerome Powell was highly vocal about what would happen if the Fed pulled support from debt addicted markets by raising interest rates and cutting assets:

“My third concern — and others have touched on it as well — is the problems of exiting from a near $4 trillion balance sheet. We’ve got a set of principles from June 2011 and have done some work since then, but it just seems to me that we seem to be way too confident that exit can be managed smoothly. Markets can be much more dynamic than we appear to think.

When you turn and say to the market, “I’ve got $1.2 trillion of these things,” it’s not just $20 billion a month — it’s the sight of the whole thing coming. And I think there is a pretty good chance that you could have quite a dynamic response in the market.

I think we are actually at a point of encouraging risk-taking, and that should give us pause.

Investors really do understand now that we will be there to prevent serious losses. It is not that it is easy for them to make money but that they have every incentive to take more risk, and they are doing so. Meanwhile, we look like we are blowing a fixed-income duration bubble right across the credit spectrum that will result in big losses when rates come up down the road. You can almost say that that is our strategy.”

Jerome Powell is now the Fed Chairman, and yet, he is following through with the same tightening actions that he warned about in 2012. He is pretending that the tightening process will be painless even though fundamental economic conditions are just as weak now as they were six years ago. Again, Powell knows the Fed is going to cause a crash, but he is moving forward anyway and he is not warning the public about the danger.

Lie #3: The Fed Is The Center Of Establishment Power, Therefore They Need The U.S. Economy To Thrive

While it is true that the Fed is currently in charge of the dollar as the world reserve currency, the idea that the Fed is somehow indispensable to the global establishment has always bewildered me. Everything the Fed has done since its inception in 1913 has been designed to diminish the U.S. economy and erode the purchasing power of our currency. I ask, at what point has the Fed ever taken an action which did NOT result in a bubble or a bubble collapse? At what point has the U.S. economy ever improved at a fundamental level because of the Fed, rather than diminished in the wake of a fake recovery the Fed conned the public into believing in?

What else does the Fed do besides sabotage?

I believe the truth is that the Fed does not care about the U.S. economy, or even the survival of the dollar, as is obvious in their actions. The Fed is merely a puppet entity of larger institutions like the Bank for International Settlements or the International Monetary Fund. These institutions seek centralization at a global level, with a global currency system and global economic authority, as they have openly admitted to in their own publications. The U.S. economy as we know it today, and the Fed by extension, are expendable in this pursuit.

The Fed will continue on its current course no matter the cost, because there is a greater strategy in play. In fact, some elites may even welcome a shutdown of the Fed at this time because this opens the path for the death of the dollar as the world reserve currency and the introduction of a new world monetary system, while all the consequences surrounding the shift can be blamed on political chaos and coincidence.

To drive the point home, I leave readers with a revealing quote from Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, as she outlines why crisis in national economies is actually good for the IMF:

“When the world around the IMF goes downhill, we thrive. We become extremely active because we lend money, we earn interest and charges and all the rest of it, and the institution does well. When the world goes well and we’ve had years of growth, as was the case back in 2006 and 2007, the IMF doesn’t do so well both financially and otherwise.”

 

Shocking NYT Expose Reveals Facebook’s Scramble To Label Liberal Critics Soros-Operatives While Trashing Google And Apple, by Tyler Durden

Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have no discernible principles. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The New York Times has painted a 5,300 word picture of an out-of-control Facebook’s desperate and incompetent damage control measures in the wake of multiple scandals.

Based on interviews with over 50 current and former company executives, lawmakers, government officials, lobbyists and congressional staff members – most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity – the Times illustrates how Facebook resorted to mercenary tactics when it came to combatting criticism over everything from Russian ad-spending during the 2016 US election, to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, to the platform’s blind eye towards corrupt governments using the social network to commit atrocities around the world.

as evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. –NYT

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