August 14 was the worst day of the year for the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 800 points, or 3% and that makes for a net loss of almost 7% in the past three weeks. Additionally, the inverted yield curve has been flashing for weeks, and it has been a reliable predictor of impending recessions for the past 50 years. The last time it manifested was in 2007, in the ramp up to the 2008 housing bubble bursting. The inverted yield curve occurs when longer-term bonds, which offer higher rates of return, are passed over in favor of shorter-term bonds. The yield curve inverts when yields on the shorter-term debt exceeds those on longer maturity debt. It is a classic sign that people don’t trust their government. Washington Post: This phenomenon, which suggests investor faith in the economy is faltering, has preceded every recession in the past 50 years. “The stars are aligned across the curve that the economy is headed for a big fall,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “The yield curves are all crying timber that a recession is almost a reality, and investors are tripping over themselves to get out of the way.” Now here’s Donald Trump’s take on the matter. ..Spread is way too much as other countries say THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve. Germany, and many others, are playing the game! CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE! We should easily be reaping big Rewards & Gains, but the Fed is holding us back. We will Win! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019 Yeah, that “crazy inverted yield curve!” What a silly thing that is. If only Jerome Powell would get his act together, everything would be simply dandy. Meanwhile, the rats are running down the ropes, because they know what’s coming. Several White House officials have become concerned that the economy is weakening faster than expected, but they are not working on proactive plans to change its course. The Treasury Department has had an exodus of senior advisers in recent months, and the White House just announced a replacement for its chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers…. The Twitter posts reflected a growing anxiety within the White House about problems in the economy, which many advisers believe will determine whether the president wins reelection. Just a few hours earlier, Trump offered a contradictory assessment, saying the inverted yield curve was a good sign because there was “Tremendous amounts of money pouring into the United States. People want safety!” ,,,the escalating trade war between Trump and Chinese leaders has stopped many businesses from investing. And there are signs that the large tariffs he has placed on many Chinese imports is costing U.S. businesses and consumers billions of dollars. “The big concern is around trade,” said Dan Ivascyn, group chief investment officer at Pimco. “The longer we remain in limbo, the more damage to the global economy.” Small wonder #TrumpRecession is trending on Twitter. On Twitter, Wajahat Ali, a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, rattled off several of Trump’s failed promises that preceded fears of another crash. “Trump promised to eliminate the debt in four years; he increased it,” Ali tweeted. “He promised to win the easy trade war with China; he […]
The Nicetown-Tioga area of north Philadelphia erupted in gunfire in the past hour and the shooting is still ongoing. Update – Multiple injuries to Officers. 5 PPD Officers Shot – at area hospitals with non life-threatening injuries. Shooting still active. Avoid area. MEDIA – STOP BROADCASTING TACTICAL POSITIONS OF OFFICERS — Eric Gripp (@PPDEricGripp) August 14, 2019 There are not a lot of details available at this time. This was published at 2:56 p.m. Pacific in the Washington Post: Dramatic live footage from media helicopters showed scores of officers swarming a home in a residential neighborhood. On the ground, reporters’ microphones picked up sounds of gunfire. Authorities have not yet provided details about what led to the shootout. One officer was shot in the head, but is “conscious and communicating,” police told the Philadelphia Inquirer. A second officer was hit in one or both arms, and the third and fourth suffered unknown gunshot wounds. The local CBS affiliate reported that officials believe the injuries to be “non-life-threatening.” This is a developing story and will be updated. in the meantime, bear in mind that we had the Gilroy shooting on July 28, followed by the El Paso shooting on August 3, and Dayton on August 4. UPDATE: As of 4:30 p.m. Pacific, six officers have been shot. One suspect has been apprehended but shooting was still going on as of 45 minutes ago. Raw Story has audio of the police dispatcher and police talking when the incident began. I can’t embed it here, but you can hit the link. UPDATE: As of 4:33 p.m. Pacific, CNN is reporting: Two officers remain trapped inside the house where the shootout first erupted this afternoon, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia officers are trying to communicate with the shooter, a police sergeant said.
Steve King is a real piece of work. He’s almost a self-parody at this point. His racist views earned him the censure of Congress in January, after he was quoted as saying, “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” and Kevin McCarthy stripped him of all his committee assignments. Now, King is advocating an all-inclusive abortion law, that would not even allow abortion in the case of rape or incest. Just like in Game of Thrones, King explains how rape and incest is normal and a part of everyday life. Des Moines Register: “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” he said in Urbandale, Iowa. “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.” The Kiron Republican was discussing his defense of not allowing exceptions for rape and incest in the anti-abortion legislation he tried to pass in Congress. Republican leadership had prevented bills he sponsored on banning abortions from advancing through the House, despite GOP support for the measures, King said. Just because a conception happened in bad circumstances doesn’t mean the result isn’t a person, King, who is Catholic, argued. “It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother,” he said. There’s no question King was born under a bad sign with a blue moon in his eye, victim of rape or incest or not. Interesting how Republican “family values” have morphed since the days of Reagan, isn’t it? For the record, King’s doubling down on his earlier racist comments, saying that the United States is the “flagship of Western civilization.” He should go run that idea past Donald Trump. Trump thinks that any reference to western thought or civilization pertains to hippies in California, so their conversation should be one for the books. I can’t wait.
Holy conspiracy theory, Batman. QAnon is having a convention September 14 in Atlanta, to “prepare social warriors for a coming digital war against censorship and oppression.” And none other than convicted felons and Russian enablers Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos will be on hand to speak at the “Digital Soldiers Conference,” a one-day event. Mother Jones: Other featured speakers include Bill Mitchell, an online broadcaster and conspiracy theorist; singer and Trump backer Joy Villa; and a “mystery guest.” The event is being organized by Rich Granville, the CEO of Yippy, Inc, who has a Twitter feed littered with references to QAnon, a conspiracy theory centered around the notion that Trump is secretly taking down an international ring of pedophiles that includes high-ranking Democrats. QAnon supporters believe that an anonymous person known as Q is dropping online clues about this supposed clandestine operation. The web page for Granville’s conference prominently features an American flag festooned with a Q. In an interview, Granville denied that the Q on the flag is a deliberate QAnon reference. He said the stars refer to Flynn’s prior status as a three-star general. “It does look like Q, but there is no reference to QAnon anywhere on that site,” Granville said. He acknowledged that he personally espouses QAnon views. “Do I think it’s good for America? Absolutely,” he said. “Do I think it’s a conspiracy theory? I doubt that.” “I am with anybody who is with the United States of America, any digital solider, any patriot, any average American who is doing their part to support the president of the United States,” Granville said. Tickets range from $49 to $2,500 for an “Ultra VIP pass” and the money is earmarked to go to General Flynn’s legal expenses. Flynn is just like Roger Stone. He’s a millionaire, but he cries poor mouth and victimization and goes after the wingnuts to pay his freight. And apparently they love him. Flynn’s legal shift has coincided with his apparent move toward conspiracy theorists who have embraced him as a hero. After Flynn’s plea, many conservative writers argued he was unfairly prosecuted and suggested his case would be thrown out. QAnon believers added their own spin, theorizing that Flynn was actually working with Mueller to help defeat the so-called deep state and expose a liberal pedophile ring. Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., a frequent purveyor of right-wing conspiracy theories, espoused QAnon views when he tweeted in late 2016 about “PizzaGate,” a conspiracy theory that a DC pizzeria was part of a child sex ring involving senior Democratic officials. Flynn Jr. lost a job on the Trump transition team due to those tweets. Flynn Jr. has since renounced QAnon. But General Flynn’s brother, Joseph Flynn, and sister, Barbara Redgate, have signaled support to QAnon supporters, according to the Daily Beast. Joseph Flynn delighted believers last March by tweeting the letter Q. He later deleted the tweet but suggested his account had been hacked by “the team.” Some QAnon followers interpreted his tweet to be a reference to their theory that a “Q Team” of hackers is working to help Trump. This is woo woo magical thinking at it’s finest. These people don’t have even one toe on the ground, let alone both feet. For them, it’s all maps and codes and secret connections. Think of the garage that the protagonist in “A Beautiful […]
As of Tuesday night, results of Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy, completed Sunday, have not been released. The coroner only said he “needed more information.” Also, closed-circuit video of the cell block where Epstein was held has not been made available either. Now, the New York Times reports: The two guards who were in the jail unit where Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours, then falsified records to cover up their mistake, a law enforcement official and a prison official said on Tuesday. Those disclosures came as the two guards were placed on administrative leave and the warden of the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, was temporarily reassigned, pending the outcome of the investigation into Mr. Epstein’s death, the Justice Department announced. The two correctional officers in the special housing unit where Mr. Epstein was held — 9 South — falsely recorded in a log that they had checked on the financier, who was facing sex trafficking charges, every 30 minutes, as was required, the officials said. Such false entries in an official log could constitute a federal crime. In fact, the guards had been asleep for some or all of the three hours, the officials said. There is no explanation at this time as to why, six days after Epstein had attempted suicide on July 23, he was taken off of suicide watch. He was returned to his cell, initially with a cellmate, and then the cellmate was removed. He had apparently hanged himself with a bedsheet, likely fastening the sheet to a top bunk and pitching himself forward, law-enforcement and prison officials said. I guess if you’re determined, you can kill yourself that way. An “after-action team” from the Bureau of Prisons is investigating “to determine whether employees and officials followed protocols in the days and weeks before Mr. Epstein died.” So far, it would appear that dereliction of duty is the order of the day in that facility. And maybe that is what was to be expected, even for a high profile prisoner in a controversial case, with national and international dimensions. Again, not to proselytize conspiracy theory, but something sure seems fishy here.
Everybody in Trumpworld is an “acting” this or that — including Trump himself, who is nothing but an act, a carnival side show with shades of a horror movie, to be precise. The title “acting” has changed in meaning from “temporary” to “somebody who will never get confirmed in the real job.” Today the acting director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services came up with this gem. Here's acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli saying on NPR this morning that the Statue of Liberty plaque should be changed to read, "give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge." pic.twitter.com/q8OoNn3k6r — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 13, 2019 Emma Lazurus penned “The New Colossus,” the moving inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Forget about that sentiment in this day and age. Moreover, Cuccinelli’s comments evoke the echoes of “welfare queens” and “welfare Cadillacs.” Read the lyrics to “Welfare Cadillac” recorded in 1970 and listen to the song below. This is the quintessential Republican fantasy of what it is to be poor — and it’s now being projected by this administration onto the most marginalized segment of the population. “I know the place ain’t much But I sure don’t pay no rent I get the check the first of every month From this here federal government. – Every Wednesday, I get commodities Sometimes, four or five sacks Pick em up down at the welfare office Driving that new Cadillac, – Some folks say I’m crazy And I’d even been called a fool But my kids get free books and All them there free lunches at schoolWe get peanut butter and cheese And, man, they give us flour by the sack Course them welfare checks They make the payments on this new CadillacThe way that I see it These other folks are the fools They’re working and paying taxes Just to send my youngins through school Salvation Army cuts our hair And gives us the clothes we wear on our back So we can dress up and ride around And show off this new Cadillac But things still gonna get better yet At least that’s what I understand They tell me this new President Put in a whole new poverty plan Why, he gonna send us poor folks money They say we gonna get it out here in stacks In fact, my wife’s already shopping around For her new Cadillac” Stacks of money and TWO welfare Cadillacs! Yup, see it every day. The Republicans won’t be satisfied until they rip every single thread of the social safety net to shreds. Just to interject a note of reality here, I have known poverty and I have known hunger. I grew up in poverty and worked my way out of it, getting grants and scholarships and work-study jobs to go to college, based upon my high school performance and my SAT scores. I believe I was worthy of the assistance that I got. Without college, my socio economic background would have qualified […]
As you know, there was a tragedy in Russia a few days ago involving nuclear technology, and the seven people killed were buried today. Not a great deal else is known — including in Russia. TIME Magazine: Russian media have speculated that the weapon being tested was the SSC-X-9 Skyfall, known in Russia as the Burevestnik, a nuclear-powered cruise missile that President Vladimir Putin introduced to the world in a brief animated segment during his state-of-the-nation address last year. The incident comes after a series of massive explosions earlier last week at a Siberian military depot killed one and injured 13, as well as forcing the evacuation of 16,500 people from their homes. Russia’s navy has suffered numerous high-profile accidents over the years. In July, 14 sailors died in a fire aboard a nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea in an incident on which officials initially refused to comment. A top naval official later said the men gave their lives preventing a “planetary catastrophe.” Now, Donald Trump is on vacation and playing on Twitter. Here’s what he said. The United States is learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia. We have similar, though more advanced, technology. The Russian “Skyfall” explosion has people worried about the air around the facility, and far beyond. Not good! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2019 Did the President just confirm the existence of a missile system with mini-nuclear reactors aboard, eliminating distance limitations, and that can fly low and weave around anti-missile shields? https://t.co/Bg1bzBXRwG — Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) August 12, 2019 Is he doing his usual lying/bluffing routine — or is he revealing something he shouldn’t? That is the question. So, is the President of the United States lying/bluffing about our capabilities (we don't have missiles with tiny nuclear reactors) or just revealing our secret weapons to the world… Which is worse? https://t.co/LpO7bY1nlI — Real Talk 910 (@RealTalk910) August 12, 2019 Huh? Is he saying the US has secretly developed a nuclear-powered cruise missile? Project Pluto was canceled in July 1964. At same time, he confirms story I published Friday on experts suspecting explosion of Skyfall. https://t.co/Df8pHAS8Gm https://t.co/SXp12oxq3I — Jonathan Landay (@JonathanLanday) August 12, 2019 This is bizarre. We do not have a nuclear-powered cruise missile program. We tried to build one, in the 1960's, but it was too crazy, too unworkable, too cruel even for those nuclear nuts Cold War years. https://t.co/DWMn07yO3Y https://t.co/7Uqpx7B7Sk — Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) August 12, 2019 If there is such a program, maybe Jared mentioned it to him, since Jared reads the intelligence briefs every day — and then God knows who he shares the information with. Jared is very interested in nuclear reactors, as you know, he was selling them to the Saudis in 2017. But we don’t need to worry, right? Because Trump has real nuclear experts around him? Like at the Department of Energy? Oh — wait — pic.twitter.com/HNdCiVe5Gv — Michelle for (M🍑🍬) (@MichelleQualman) August 12, 2019 I’ve known a few military people with top security clearances. They didn’t even tell their wives what they were working on. They sure as hell didn’t tell Twitter.
Here are a few images to warm your heart. These show Trump’s approval numbers in all 50 states translated to electoral votes. OH MY! 👀 Here is Donald Trump's current approval rating in all 50 states converted into Electoral College format, per @Civiqs' daily tracking poll. https://t.co/I9N8fn4FCr pic.twitter.com/dxzyK8VBWQ — Matt Rogers 🎙 (@Politidope) August 12, 2019 Here is Donald Trump's approval rating today in all 50 states converted into Electoral College format, per @Civiqs daily tracking poll. https://t.co/I9N8fmN4KT pic.twitter.com/e9iMcO5JBB — Matt Rogers 🎙 (@Politidope) July 24, 2019 As you see, there has been a steady progression towards Trump losing in just the past few weeks. Now, before you start jumping up and down, and putting champagne on ice, bear in mind a couple of key points: 1. The map shows both Texas and Utah flipping blue. Before you believe that that is the case, I would be sure to check the weather report in Hell; 2. Counting on Florida to vote Democratic is a fool’s game. You’ll do better at roulette; 3. The poll cited is Civiqs, which is Markos’ poll. Markos also predicted that Hillary had a 95% chance of winning. Remember staring at that banner for months? It made a believer out of me and then election night I was harshly disabused of the notion, shall we say? Now, I want to make it clear, I’m not taking a cheap shot at Markos. I was thrown off of his site for reasons best known to him and so be it. I merely point out some cold hard facts: 1. Don’t depend on Texas turning blue. That is the perennial Democratic wet dream and I’ve had it myself. 2. Utah is even more unlikely. Wave at the pigs going by your upstairs windows when that happens. Not to say it can’t, and nobody would love to see it more than me. Just remember that caveat emptor is always a good policy, especially in a political landscape that makes Alice in Wonderland look unremarkable. The dead last thing that we can afford to do as Democrats is believe that the election is in the bag — remember where that got us before?
Anthony Scaramucci never said he would take a bullet for Trump, but somehow the Mooch has reached the same fork in the road as Michael Cohen did, and made the same decision. He and Trump are kaput. The fracas started, as you may recall, when Scaramucci appeared on Bill Maher’s show Friday. At that time he said that, “I do try to defend him, but there are certain things he’s done that are absolutely indefensible. What I’m astonished by is the lack of courage of Republican elected leaders not to pick up the phone and call him out.” Scaramucci also went on to say that he wished Trump would stop saying that a tariff is something that the Chinese will pay, when it’s a tax that “lower middle income people and small businesses pay.” Well, Donald Trump wasn’t going to sit still for that blasphemy, evidently, because he went off his nut and started tweeting at Scaramucci Saturday. This tantrum was particularly deranged and lie filled, so it’s worth sharing. …..other than the fact that this Administration has probably done more than any other Administration in its first 2 1/2 years of existence. Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2019 Fact: Scaramucci was on MSNBC years before Trump got the GOP nomination and Trump undoubtedly knows that. ….cause big disruption by going to Manhattan. Working almost all of the time, including evenings. Don’t have to be in W.H. to do that…And sooo many other false statements. He is right about one thing, though. I will win again in 2020. Otherwise, he pays 95% in taxes! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2019 Fact: There were zero “great meetings with numerous patients in El Paso.” Trump literally stooped to having that orphaned two month old baby, whose parents died shielding him from bullets, brought in for a photo op. While it’s been said time and again that Trump has hit a new low, even for him, it’s going to take a while to bottom this. Trump is beyond pathetic. In any event, the gauntlet was thrown down on Saturday, and so on Sunday, Scaramucci got on the phone with Axios: Driving the news: In a phone interview on Sunday afternoon, Scaramucci compared Trump to a melting nuclear reactor and said he may support a Republican challenger to Trump. “We are now in the early episodes of ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process,” Scaramucci said. “A couple more weeks like this and ‘country over party’ is going to require the Republicans to replace the top of the ticket in 2020.” Scaramucci, who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, including Trump’s 2016 campaign, said that if Trump “doesn’t reform his behavior, it will not just be me, but many others will be considering helping to find a replacement in 2020.” “Right now, it’s an unspeakable thing. But if he keeps it up, it will no longer be unspeakable. The minute they start speaking of it, it will circulate and be socialized. We can’t […]
The details surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s demise amount almost to a press blackout. He hung himself, ostensibly — but how? A man who was a former inmate there describes the conditions Epstein faced. New York Post: There’s no way that man could have killed himself. I’ve done too much time in those units. It’s an impossibility. Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything. You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen. Could he have done it from the bed? No sir. There’s a steel frame, but you can’t move it. There’s no light fixture. There’s no bars. They don’t give you enough in there that could successfully create an instrument of death. You want to write a letter, they give you rubber pens and maybe once a week a piece of paper. Another article suggests that Epstein had to have help to kill himself, which, if the foregoing account is true, certainly makes sense. “If he killed himself someone had to have helped him,” said Lewis Kasman, a onetime close confidant of the Dapper Don who visited the godfather several times at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 1992. “There are cameras going 24/7 and they’re watching 24/7. Someone had to give [Epstein] the equipment to kill himself and he had to pay for it dearly,” said Kasman, who has kept abreast of conditions in the lockup. Kasman said the facility was “totally disgusting — worse than Guantanamo Bay.” “There are roaches crawling all over you — in every orifice — when you sleep. The Bureau of Prisons’ answer to that is that they can’t spray. It’s toxic.” A few things we can piece together from all this: 1. It was not easy to kill oneself in this facility; 2. Nevertheless, Epstein found a way to do it. 3. Previous inmates with money were able to get what they needed in the jail. I don’t think it’s descending to conspiracy theory to opine that Epstein, used to living in the lap of luxury, couldn’t take the squalor of prison, plus knowing that conditions along this line were going to be his lot for the rest of his natural life. Since he had the means to buy whatever he needed, he probably did. It will be interesting to see what the FBI investigation yields.