• GOP senator: 2020 candidates must recuse themselves from impeachment trial
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  • No Matter How Much Money The Fed Prints, We Still Can't Afford Nice Things
    No Matter How Much Money The Fed Prints, We Still Can't Afford Nice Things Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, When will the American wage-earner finally tire of the skims, scams, fraud and lies that are now the foundations of everyday life? You'd think that with the Federal Reserve printing trillions of dollars since 2008, we'd all be able to afford nice things. But you'd be wrong: after 11 years of Fed money-printing, nice things are even more out of reach for all but the favored few who've received the Fed's bounty of freshly created currency. The Fed's trillions were supposed to trickle down into the real economy, but they never did. All those trillions boosted asset prices and the wealth of the $100 million yachts and private jets elite. Instead costs have soared while wages have stagnated. If this widening gap between wages and costs were accurately presented, there would a political revolt against the Fed and those few who have benefited so immensely from Fed money-printing: the banks, financiers, corporations buying back their own shares, the owners of high-frequency trading computers, etc. Despite the best efforts of the government's "suppress all evidence of runaway cost inflation" functionaries, a few facts have slipped through. Let's start with income from 1980 to the present, as per the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Note that this is all pre-government-transfer (Social Security, food stamps, etc.) income, both earned (wages) and unearned (investment income). The top households have done very, very well in the past 20 years of Fed largesse, while the incomes of the bottom 80% have gone nowhere. Meanwhile, big-ticket costs of living such as rent have skyrocketed: so how do we buy nice things if our wages are stagnant but the cost of essentials is rising? We borrow more money. Exhibit A for borrowing trillions of dollars to afford nice things is student loan debt. A college degree has long been worshiped as the ultimate Nice Thing everyone who aspires to middle class Nice Things must have, and thanks to cartels and financialization, student debt-serfs now labor under a crushing load of debt: Healthcare is also a Nice Thing that is no longer affordable. Wages nudge up a few pennies while healthcare costs continue soaring. A new vehicle is another Nice Thing that's increasingly out of reach unless you borrow a small fortune. My colleague Bill Rice Jr. did the grunt work of comparing apples to apples on the least expensive autos and discovered a massive divergence between "official inflation" and real-world inflation: according to the BLS, inflation in the category of "New Vehicles" has been practically non-existent for decades, while the real-world cost of new autos has risen by over 200%. No, Autos Are Not "Cheaper Now" (June 28, 2019) Yes, autos are safer, but are they "better"? Just wait until the electronic motherboard of your Nice Thing vehicle goes out and the repair bill totals thousands of dollars. There goes your "rainy day fund" if you have one, and few do. The real-world costs are masked or buried until The Moment of Truth: the co-pays of your healthcare are arcane and obscure until the soul-crushing bill arrives, and then your next stop is bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, the financial assets of the Fed's Favored Few have grown to the point that they now dominate the economic and political order. Corporations can borrow billions to buy back their own shares, further enriching the already-rich, while in the real world we watch other shoppers returning items to the supermarket shelves--they're no longer affordable and so the customer has to put the Nice Thing back on the shelf. While Apple stock soars to new heights, those outside the the Fed's Favored Few are happy to get a 5-year old hand-me-down iPhone since their old iPhone or Windows OS phone died. While Mr. Softee (Microsoft) stock soars to new heights, tens of millions of their customers with Windows 7 computers received a notice that Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7, and Mr. Softee "recommends" buying a new computer with Windows 10. Windows 7 is a perfectly adequate operating system, but like the rest of America's tottering economy, "growth" comes only as a result of planned obsolescence, not actual improvements. When will the American wage-earner finally tire of the skims, scams, fraud and lies that are now the foundations of everyday life? Probably never, until the toll is paid in failed health and breakdown. Tax donkeys and debt-serfs can be whipped to continue for only so long, and then they break down and cannot go on any longer. The trickle of tax donkeys and debt-serfs who can no longer go on will swell to a flood, and the Fed's Favored Few will finally face the life-changing consequences of the Fed's lopsided giveaway to the super-wealthy. *  *  * My recent books: Audiobook edition now available:Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World ($13)(Kindle $6.95, print $11.95) Read the first section for free (PDF). Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 (Kindle), $12 (print), $13.08 ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF). The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF) Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF). *  *  * If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/15/2020 - 15:30 Tags Business Finance
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  • The Era of Fed Power Is Over. Prepare for a More Perilous Road Ahead. - Wall Street Journal
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  • #CNNIsTrash Trends As Pushback Grows Against Oligarchic Election Meddling
    #CNNIsTrash Trends As Pushback Grows Against Oligarchic Election Meddling Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com, The hashtag #CNNIsTrash is the number one trend on Twitter as of this writing due to the network’s appalling treatment of Bernie Sanders in last night’s Democratic presidential debate in Iowa. The joint smear job against Sanders had many arms, including wildly biased questions like Wolf Blitzer deliberately associating Bernie with “Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei” by pointing out that they both want US troops out of the Middle East and demanding to know how he was going to avoid “bankrupting the country” with a healthcare plan used in nations all over the world. But by far the most glaringly egregious assault on the Vermont Senator’s image was when CNN moderator Abby Phillip took a completely evidence-free sexism smear which defies all logic and presented it to the debate audience as an established and undeniable fact. You can watch the exchange here: Phillip brought up a transparently ridiculous claim that was “leaked” to the press and confirmed by Warren that in 2018 Sanders had told Warren he did not believe that a woman could win a presidential election. It’s a completely unproven allegation about an unwitnessed private conversation, yet Phillip did not ask Sanders if he had said such a thing, she asked him why he said it, presenting it as a given fact. Sanders explicitly denied ever saying any such thing. He said there’s Youtube footage people can look up of him saying a woman could become president many decades ago, adding that he only ran for president in 2016 because Warren refused grassroots efforts to persuade her to run (efforts which he’d supported). “So Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you’re saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?” asked Phillip. “That is correct,” Sanders replied. “Senator Warren,” Phillip then asked without missing a beat. “What did you think when Senator Sanders told you that a woman could not win the election?” It was such a brazen manipulation that even CNN’s heavily pro-establishment crowd audibly reacted. Warren then cooperated with this manipulation by responding as though the allegation was a proven fact, without acknowledging Sanders’ denial or defending her claim. In CNN’s post-debate analysis, pundits actively reinforced the completely fact-free narrative that this allegation was an established reality, with Van Jones referring to “a banana peel sitting out there for Bernie to slip on when it came to his comments about women,” an idea premised on the position that those comments are known to have actually happened. CNN’s Jess McIntosh took it even further, overtly dismissing Sanders’ denial and saying, “I think what Bernie forgot was that this isn’t a he said/she said story. This is a reported out story that CNN was part of breaking, so to have him just flat out say no I think wasn’t nearly enough to address that for the women watching.” “I think what Bernie forgot is that this *isn’t* a he said she said story, this is a reported out story that CNN was part of breaking...” (WTF!?!) pic.twitter.com/e1DNhQXFMf — wideofthepost (@wideofthepost) January 15, 2020 Of course, the allegation absolutely is a he said/she said story, per any possible definition: Warren says it happened, Sanders said it didn’t. The fact that CNN “reported out” on that he said/she said story doesn’t magically turn it into a fact, as should be obvious to any grown adult who isn’t suffering from a severe head wound. More importantly, nobody actually believes that Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren a woman cannot be president. Not Jess McIntosh, not Abby Phillip, not Van Jones, not Elizabeth Warren, not CNN, and not any of the establishment loyalists who are trumpeting this allegation as fact. Anyone who claims to believe that this interaction occurred is simply lying to advance a political agenda, and they know it. The belief that a woman cannot be elected president in 2020 is not a thing. Nobody believes that, and anyone who pretends to believe that anyone believes that is simply telling you that they are an unprincipled liar who would rather take a nonsense stand on a nonsense issue than promote actual policies and changes. The heavy favorite to win the 2016 election was a woman, and were she not literally in the middle of an FBI investigation during that election she would have overcome the narrow margins she lost by. It’s been years since anyone has believed that a woman cannot win a US presidential election. If you claim that the one person in the world who does believe this is a senator who’s spent decades advocating for feminism and women in politics, you are a liar. It absolutely is that simple. Top three US trends right now: 1. #CNNisTrash 2. #NeverWarren 3. #WarrenIsASnake pic.twitter.com/SsuRZbDQWB — Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) January 15, 2020 So angry Berners have been rightly decrying the despicable manipulations of CNN, which can only be a good thing. A massively influential news corporation owned by the largest telecommunications company on the planet should not be able to determine who voters select to the highest elected office in the most powerful country in the world. This is oligarchic election interference, plain and simple. If the US government is going to call a few thousand dollars in Russian facebook memes election meddling, then the billions which get poured into the billionaire media tilting the scale to advantage the billionaire class is far worse by orders of magnitude. Last May I wrote an article titled “The Worst 2020 Election Interference Will Be Perfectly Legal” saying that the most egregious forms of election meddling we’ll see in this presidential race will not be perpetrated by the Russians, nor by the DNC, nor by sleazy gerrymandering or voter ID requirements, nor by hard vote tally manipulation, but the everyday, in-your-face manipulations of corporate media outlets like CNN. Unsurprisingly, this is already proving undeniably true. What you just saw tonight IS rigging an election. But go on, CNN, Nancy Pelosi, and corporate dems, do keep telling us how Russia is the real boogie man trying to destroy our democracy. #CNNisTrash — beth, purity test enthusiast (@bourgeoisalien) January 15, 2020 In fact the power of these vast news media corporations to manipulate the way the populace thinks and votes stretches far beyond the consequences of a mere presidential election. The ability to manufacture consent for the agendas of the plutocratic class which controls these corporations enables war, ecocide, militarism, soul-crushing oligarchic neoliberalism, increasingly Orwellian surveillance programs and an increasingly militarized police force to destroy lives and this very world without it ever occurring to a critical majority that it would be possible for us to use the power of our numbers to force real changes to our advantage. It is good that people are loudly criticizing this dynamic. It’s important to keep drawing attention to the way we’re being manipulated out of having any control over not just what happens in our world, but over what we think about what happens in our world. Hopefully public trust in the mouthpieces of oligarchy can be weakened to such an extent that people stop buying into their deceptions. *  *  * Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either Youtube, soundcloud, Apple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2 Tyler Durden Wed, 01/15/2020 - 17:05
  • Hell breaks loose at Christian school over girl's colorful birthday cake
    Kayla Kenney celebrating her 15th birthday (Courtesy Kimberly Alford on Facebook) The most famous rainbow in history is when God made His covenant with Noah after the flood mentioned in the book of Genesis. But now, a private Christian school in Kentucky is coming under fire for allegedly expelling a student because she had a rainbow-colored cake and sweater to celebrate her birthday. "She did nothing wrong," Kimberly Alford said of her 15-year-old daughter, Kayla Kenney, in an interview with the Louisville Courier Journal. The saga began in late December when the family was celebrating Kayla's 15th birthday at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant. It was when Alford posted a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page that all hell broke loose. The girl happened to be wearing a sweater with a rainbow on it, and the cake had a variety of rainbow-like colors. Alford told the paper she received an email from Whitefield Academy's head of school, Bruce Jacobson, explaining her daughter was being expelled "immediately due to a post on social media." Learn astonishing Bible truth on a higher level than ever before with the Holy Spirit-filled books by Joe Kovacs She said Jacobson wrote that the picture "demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs” and follows two years of "lifestyle violations." In recent years, the rainbow flag has often been used as a symbol of same-sex and transgender rights. Alford noted her daughter is not homosexual, and the colorful cake was merely for fun, indicating the bakery receipt listed the design as "assorted colors." She also told the paper the Whitefield Academy Parent Teacher Fellowship even displayed a rainbow image on its private Facebook page before later taking it down after her daughter was expelled. "I just feel like it's a label (school officials) have put on her," Alford said. "Just because I'm wearing a rainbow doesn't mean I'm gay." Meanwhile, Jacobson told the Courier Journal the girl's expulsion came after "two years of continuous violations of our student code of conduct." "Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post," the school said in a statement. "In fact, she has unfortunately violated our student code of conduct numerous times over the past two years." The school added: "Whitefield Academy is accredited by ACSI/AdvancEd and a member of the Non Public School Commission of Kentucky, and therefore we meet all Kentucky regulations and laws. Our code of conduct is on pare with other private Christian schools in our area. It is unfortunate that one of the student’s parents chose to post internal family matters on social media, and we hope our former student is not adversely affected by what her parents chose to make public about her situation." Jacobson wouldn't disclose if the photo of the rainbow cake and shirt led to Kayla's ouster, but said the teen had faced "a progression of discipline." Air Force Staff Sgt. Jamila Lopez Daniel guides a loader toward the door of a KC-10 to unload pallets of cargo under a full rainbow at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jan. 4, 2020. (Photo by Air Force Senior Airman Ruben Rios) "All the families of students know that they have expectations they need to (follow)," Jacobson told the paper. "We always try to work with families over a period of time." Alford explained that a school disciplinary officer had found Juul pods in her daughter's backpack last October,and she and Kayla met with schools officials, agreeing that the girl "would be on probation." "Any other behavior issues could cause her to be expelled," Alford said. "Since October, there have been no disciplinary issues. There have been no academic issues. There has been nothing." The parent-student handbook for Whitefield Academy says students may face expulsion "when there is a serious departure from the school's guidelines." A portion concerning student behavior indicates Whitefield's "biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christ-like." "On occasion, the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home may be counter or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual immorality, homosexual orientation or the inability to support Biblical standards of right and wrong. ... In such cases, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student." Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based LGBTQ advocacy organization, said it "seems incredibly outrageous" if the girl was expelled because of the birthday photo. He also noted the rainbow connection to the flood of Noah in the Holy Bible, one of the most well-known Christian accounts in the world. (Pixabay) "So the idea that they would eject someone for the simple display of a rainbow is ludicrous," Hartman told the paper. Alford is now receiving messages of encouragement on Facebook, with some saying: "We stand behind you 100%! So do all of America now." "Just wanted to let u know I am praying and totally supporting u and ur babygirl." "Please tell your daughter she is better off!! That school and the staff should be ASHAMED!!" Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews The post Hell breaks loose at Christian school over girl's colorful birthday cake appeared first on WND.
  • Army Given Gun Confiscation Questionnaire
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  • CNNers Knock ‘Jarring’ Pelosi Impeachment Signing Ceremony, Pens: ‘Off-Message’ from Somber Tone
    Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the two articles of impeachment at a signing ceremony today which included pens that were handed out to the House impeachment managers. Minutes later on CNN, Dana Bash and Nia-Malika Henderson criticized the ceremony and said it had a dissonant tone. Bash said, “We are used to seeing signing ceremonies, handing out pens at moments of celebration, when a president is signing is legislation, when even sometimes… when the House sends over a landmark piece of legislation. It was unusual to see that kind of ceremony and handing out the pens and smiling for a picture in this kind of situation where the House Speaker has bent over backwards to say publicly and privately this is somber, this is not a time for celebration.” Henderson agreed it was “jarring” and “off-message,” saying, “You heard Nancy Pelosi say that this is a sad and tragic day, and then there she is holding up the pen and having photographs taken with those pens, so it is a little off-message for somebody who has tried to set a very serious tone and here she is posing for the photographs with the pen.” And if you’ve been on Twitter thus far, you’ve already seen that there’s already much talk about the pens: 2. I just don’t see how a signing ceremony, which is normally reserved for a bill people want to brag about, is the way to go for this? Pelosi has said this a sad/solemn moment for the country — Yashar Ali (@yashar) January 15, 2020 So many pens that Pelosi will sign to officially transmit the articles of impeachment and sign resolution appointing House managers. Why so many? They will be given away to members like House managers as a symbol of today. pic.twitter.com/URHGGGGp7K — Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) January 15, 2020 Lots of GOP staffers pretending pens aren’t given out for literally every signing of any kind in congress and the white house — joe perticone (@JoePerticone) January 15, 2020 They claim it's a somber, serious occasion they're heartbroken over… and then they pass out impeachment-signing pens with special cases. Folks. You can't make it up. https://t.co/jl9VKD8cUc — Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 15, 2020 You can watch above, via CNN.
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  • 'The Speaker lied': As Pelosi names impeachment managers, Trump hits back hard
    President Donald Trump’s White House came out swinging. Within moments of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s long-awaited announcement Wednesday of the seven Democrats who would be in charge of the Trump impeachment trial in the Senate, the White House released a blistering attack on Pelosi and the entire, transparently political impeachment process. It was a sign of things to come, and an excellent indication of how brutal the upcoming fight is going to be. “The only thing Speaker Pelosi has achieved with this sham, illegitimate impeachment process, is to prove she is focused on politics instead of the American people,” the White House statement said. TRENDING: Californians literally swimming in fecal matter thanks in part to left's homelessness crisis “The Speaker lied when she claimed this was urgent and vital to national security because when the articles passed, she held them for an entire month in an egregious effort to garner political support. She failed and the naming of these managers does not change a single thing. President Trump has done nothing wrong.” White House issues statement on Nancy Pelosi’s appointment of impeachment managers:#ImpeachmentTrial pic.twitter.com/InRxWSfEE3 — WSCP1 #EliteCult45 (@WSCP1) January 15, 2020 No one who has followed the impeachment saga closely could disagree with the point about Pelosi's delay. When Democrats who control the House of Representatives rammed through their ludicrously amorphous articles of impeachment in December -- the “obstruction of Congress” charge alone should have had the Founders spinning in their graves -- the rationale for the unseemly speed was that Trump’s continued residence in the White House somehow constituted a danger to the Republic. Yet, in a burst of cleverness that might well have come from watching too much liberal TV, Pelosi decided to withhold the articles from the Senate for nearly a month, ostensibly to be sure the Senate trial was “fair” but more likely to see if some kind of evidence might drop from the sky that would help the Democrats improve their historically bad case. As the heavens don’t seem to be helping her, and even Democrats were getting impatient with the delay, Pelosi finally caved. As The Associated Press reported, the House voted Wednesday to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate shortly after Pelosi announced her racially diverse cast of impeachment managers. To get an idea of the absurdity that’s surrounding a supposedly solemn constitutional process, note that USA Today thought it was important to mention the ethnic affiliations of the House impeachment team: “Unlike the group of 13 Republicans who managed their case against President Bill Clinton, who were all white men, this group of seven managers consists of three women and four men. Two are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and one is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus." Imagine the box-checking that went on in the speaker’s suite to get to that lineup. Meanwhile, on Twitter, Trump himself blasted the latest move as another “Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats.” Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats. All of this work was supposed to be done by the House, not the Senate! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2020 As usual, he had plenty of critics -- liberals love to follow the president they loathe -- but he had plenty of supporters, too. Democrats continue to fail the nation in so many ways! Pelosi and her crew are oblivious to political reality! President Trump has the people with him! — MatthewJshow (@MatthewJshow) January 15, 2020 We are behind you President Trump! pic.twitter.com/Elnv3M2sKt — Wild Bill (@wmmII88) January 15, 2020 I wish democratic leaders respected POTUS the way they did the dead Iranian terrorist who they still mourn. — Michael Samuels (@MSamuels_LINY) January 15, 2020 But this one summed it up well. It's very sad, but the Democrats in control of the US House, have by their impeachment hoax, relegated the House of Representatives to the status of a Saturday Night Live parody. A Republican takeover is imperative to restore its governing credibility ~ — Allen Sutton (@StewardshipAmer) January 15, 2020 While Pelosi's antics might be too serious to be considered a sketch show comedy, there's no doubt that the San Francisco Democrat's tenures as House speaker have been marked by making a travesty of the governance of the United States. During her first time around, she managed to saddle the country with the disastrous yoke of Obamacare, with a series of parliamentary maneuvers and strongarm tactics that would make Machiavelli blush. This time, she’s managed in the course of a year to apparently lose control over her caucus to its most left-wing elements and saddle the country now with the unnecessary burden of watching its duly elected president defeat a despicable impeachment attempt. The big point to remember is that Pelosi and her Democrats lost control of the House in the 2010 midterms, after Obamacare passed. Impeachment could well have the same effect. It's doubtless going to be a distraction for a president who's already busy fighting a war on terrorism, managing the country’s relations with enemies like Iran, and revamping the trade relationship with China. That’s an agenda that would mean most administration’s hands were full. But that didn’t stop the Trump White House on Wednesday from coming out swinging. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal. The post 'The Speaker lied': As Pelosi names impeachment managers, Trump hits back hard appeared first on WND.
  • The broken record of breaking encryption skips again in Florida shooter case
    Enlarge / US President Donald Trump speaks about the impeachment inquiry during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility where Apple's Mac Pros are assembled in Austin, Texas, on November 20, 2019. Now, he's ranting about Apple being unpatriotic. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) On the eve of the House of Representatives' forwarding of articles of impeachment to the Senate, President Donald Trump took time to attack Apple. The president's outburst on Twitter appears to be about the FBI's inability to get access to the physical storage on two iPhones connected to last month's killings at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. And it is the latest ratcheting up of rhetoric from the Trump administration on device encryption. The phones are believed by the FBI to have been the property of Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the Saudi Air Force officer who was the suspect in the shooting of three members of the US Navy in December. Alshamrani died after being shot by law enforcement, and the devices were locked. But an Apple spokesperson said that Apple had provided the contents of the cloud backups of those devices to investigators within hours of the shooting, and Apple executives thought the FBI was satisfied with that—until the FBI came back a week ago and asked for additional assistance. It is not clear that Apple has refused that assistance, but the company has resisted providing a way for the government to break the encryption on devices in the past. Apple did this out of concern that breaking open devices would reduce the protection provided to law-abiding customers against theft of their personal data off stolen or otherwise targeted devices. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments
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  • Everything You Need To Know About Recessions (But Were Afraid To Ask)
    Everything You Need To Know About Recessions (But Were Afraid To Ask) Authored by Nicholas LePan via VisualCapitalist.com, Just like in life, markets go through peaks and valleys. The good news for investors is that often the peaks ascend to far greater heights than the depths of the valleys. Today’s post helps to put recessions into perspective. It draws information from Capital Group to break down the frequency of economic expansions and recessions in modern U.S. history, while also showing their typical impact. What is a Recession? Not all recessions are the same. Some can last long while others are short. Some create lasting effects, while others are quickly forgotten. Some cripple entire economies, while others are much more targeted, impacting specific sectors within the economy. Recession is when your neighbor loses their job. Depression is when you lose yours. – Harry Truman According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a recession can be described as a significant decline in economic activity over an extended period of time, typically several months. In the average recession, gross domestic product (GDP) is not the only thing shrinking—incomes, employment, industrial production, and retail sales tend to shrink as well. Economists generally consider two consecutive quarters of declining GDP as a recession. The general economic model of a recession is that when unemployment rises, consumers are more likely to save than spend. This places pressure on businesses that rely on consumers’ income. As a result, company earnings and stock prices decline, which can fuel a negative cycle of economic decline and negative expectations of returns. During economic recoveries and expansions, the opposite occurs. Rising employment encourages consumer spending, which bolsters corporate profits and stock market returns. How Long Do Recessions Last? Recessions generally do not last very long. According to Capital Group’s analysis of 10 cycles since 1950, the average length of a recession is 11 months, although they have ranged from eight to 18 months over the period of analysis. Jobs losses and business closures are dramatic in the short term, though equity investments in the stock market have generally fared better. Throughout the history of economics, recessions have been relatively small blips. Over the last 65 years, the U.S. has been in an official recession for less than 15% of all months. In addition, the overall economic impact of most recessions is relatively small. The average expansion increased GDP by 24%, whereas the average recession decreased GDP by less than 2%. In fact, equity returns can be positive throughout a contraction, since some of the strongest stock rallies have occurred in the later stages of a recession. Buying the Dip: Recession Indicators Whether you are an investor or not, it would be wise to pay attention to potential recessions and prepare accordingly. There are several indicators that people can watch to anticipate a potential recession, which might give them an edge in preparing their portfolios: This is not a magic rubric for anticipating every economic downturn, but it helps individuals see the weather patterns on the horizon. Whether and where the storm hits is another question. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/11/2020 - 15:30 Tags Business Finance Labor
  • 'Disastrous mistake': Iran acknowledges shooting down Ukrainian airliner
    Iran said on Saturday its military had shot down a Ukrainian plane killing all 176 aboard in a "disastrous mistake", saying air defenses were fired in error while on alert after Iranian missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.
  • Mother who arranged lovers to fight to the death guilty of murder
    (DARTFORD NEWS SHOPPER) A Dartford mother of four who arranged for her ex-husband and lover to fight to the death over her affections has been found guilty of murder. Giedrius Juskauskas, 42, was found dead in a Stratford alleyway on June 17, having been stabbed at least 35 times by Asta Juskauskiene's younger lover, Mantas Kvedaras, 25. Juskauskiene, 35, of Iron Mill Lane, had been in contact with her ex-husband and new lover in the hours leading up to the murder, and was "key in orchestrating the fatal meeting", according to police. Juskauskas , a Lithuanian national who had been living in London for around a decade, was continuing a physical relationship with Juskauskiene, with whom he had a child, despite their divorce in December 2018. Read the full story › The post Mother who arranged lovers to fight to the death guilty of murder appeared first on WND.
  • Man 'looking for someone to kill' intentionally ran over veteran, 75
    (WTVT) Deputies in Pasco County arrested a man who admitted to intentionally running over a pedestrian because he was "looking for someone to run over so he could see what it's like to kill." Investigators said 21-year-old Justyn Pennell of Hudson called 911 on Thursday afternoon just before 3 p.m., telling dispatchers he had just intentionally hit a man with his car and killed him. Deputies and Pasco Fire Rescue responded to the scene and found the victim, an unidentified 75-year-old veteran, on the side of Aripeka Road. Read the full story › The post Man 'looking for someone to kill' intentionally ran over veteran, 75 appeared first on WND.
  • First it was your guns, Now California talking ban on gas-powered lawn tools
    The nanny state of California is now considering a ban on gasoline-powered lawn equipment, a move the state government says is for Californians' own good. According to KOVR, state lawmakers are not worried about citizens losing fingers to mower blades, but about the greenhouse gasses being emitted from garden tools running on fossil fuels. As of now, 60 cities have enacted some form of restriction on gas-powered lawn equipment. A statewide ban would seemingly force everyone in the state to turn to electric gear to maintain their lawns and gardens. For anyone who has ever worked with both gas-powered lawn equipment and the tools' electric-powered cousins, there is a clear difference in power. This ban would also mean time spent recharging or the hassle of dragging an extension cord to all corners of the yard. Seemingly, citizens' only other choice would be to use hand tools. In the mind of California politicians, this is worth it to save the world from climate disaster. According to the California Air Resources Board, a commercial leaf blower running for an hour "emits smog-forming pollution comparable to driving a 2017 Toyota Camry about 1100 miles, or approximately the distance from Los Angeles to Denver." Lawnmowers are apparently slightly better for the environment, with an hour of use emitting only what a Camry would in a 300-mile drive. It's unclear if the ban would affect other machines using similar small engines, like smaller go-karts and generators, or simply be limited to garden gear. This move would fit with California's prior attempts to lead the nation in fighting the apparently existential threat of climate change, including banning plastic straws. Of course, the Golden State is not content to just keep people from causing environmental catastrophe. California is infamous for its nanny state-style gun laws, which include red-flag regulations, restrictions on ammunition and bans on certain firearm parts. While the state's potential ban on gasoline-powered lawn equipment may make its emissions statistics a little better, it does nothing to combat the massive amount of pollutants coming from increasingly industrialized nations like India and China. China alone was found to be a major ocean polluter, something that even the strictest of regulations in the United States would not stop. Likewise, Californians could soon be hacking away at overgrown weed with anemic tools while China's 1.3-billion-strong population is using gas-powered tools for the most mundane of garden chores. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal. The post First it was your guns, Now California talking ban on gas-powered lawn tools appeared first on WND.
  • Florida man charged with impersonating a security member for Trump's Marine One
    A former Marine allegedly impersonated a security team member for Marine One, the helicopter that transports President Trump on short trips, and breached two checkpoints last week at Palm Beach International Air...
  • CNN Anchor Suggests Iranian ‘Death To America’ Chants Aren’t ‘Seriously Meant’
    'The people couldn't have been any friendlier to me'
  • MSNBC’s Reid on U.S. Not Leaving Iraq: ‘Isn’t That an Occupation?’
    ‘If a sovereign government, such as Iraq, votes independently to expel U.S. forces...’
  • Protests and condemnation after Iran admits downing Ukrainian plane
    Iran's admission that it shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing all 176 aboard, has provoked international outrage and triggered growing protests against Iranian authorities in Tehran and other cities including one in which Britain's ambassador was detained.
  • Seattle man kills himself after officer falsely says he critically injured woman in crash - NBC News
    Seattle man kills himself after officer falsely says he critically injured woman in crash  NBC NewsView full coverage on Google News
  • Trump tweets message of support to Iranian protesters: 'Your courage is inspiring'
    President Trump tweeted a message in support of Iranian protesters in Farsi Saturday, as demonstrators took to the streets to speak out against the government following the country's admission that it inadvertently shot d...
  • UK Says Iran Briefly Detained Its Ambassador...
    UK Says Iran Briefly Detained Its Ambassador... (Top headline, 6th story, link) Related stories:TEHRAN ADMITS: WE SHOT DOWN PLANE...BY MISTAKE!Ukraine wants punishment...New questions rise...Trudeau doubts explanation...Trump Tweets in Farsi...'DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS'...Standoff shines spotlight on new security adviser...Pentagon chief 'didn't see' evidence showing threat to 4 U.S. embassies...Swiss Back Channel Helped Defuse Crisis...USA knew Al-Asad base would be attacked, troops sheltered...'Space unites us': First Iranian-American astronaut reaches for stars...First female Olympic medalist reportedly defects, blasts regime...
  • Nunes: Inspector general who started impeachment now under investigation
    President Donald Trump (Official White House photo) The intelligence community inspector general who already had been rebuked for his handling of the whistleblower complaint that triggered the Democrats' impeachment of President Trump is under investigation, according to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. The House Intelligence Committee's ranking member noted in an interview with investigative reporter Sara Carter that the transcript of Michael Atkinson's testimony has never been released by the majority Democrats under the panel's chairman, Adam Schiff. Nunes said Atkinson is "under active investigation." "I'm not gonna go any farther than that because you know obviously he has a chance to come in and prove his innocence, but my guess is Schiff, Atkinson, they don't want that transcript out because it’s very damaging," Nunes said. The Conservative Tree House blog recalled an Oct. 6 radio interview with Nunes by "Breitbart News Sunday" host Matt Boyle in which the congressman called Atkinson's testimony "a joke." The interview took place before it was revealed that Schiff's team had contact with the whistleblower before the complaint was filed. Nunes said in the October interview that Atkinson is "either totally incompetent or part of the deep state, and he's got a lot of questions he needs to answer because he knowingly changed the form and the requirements in order to make sure that this whistleblower complaint got out publicly." The reference was to altering the requirement that a whistleblower have first-hand knowledge regarding the complaint. The whistleblower, reported to be CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella, did not hear the phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the center of the complaint. "So he's either incompetent or in on it," Nunes said of the IG. "And he's going to have more to answer for, I can promise you, because we are not going to let him go. He is going to tell he truth about what happened." The Conservative Tree House also noted that the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion that Atkinson's internal justification for accepting the whistleblower complaint was poor legal judgment. The post Nunes: Inspector general who started impeachment now under investigation appeared first on WND.
  • Iran starts 'second round' of attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq: Tasnim
    Iran has started its "second round" of attacks against bases holding U.S. troops in Iraq, the Tehran-based Tasnim news agency said on Wednesday.
  • Born Right: Chelsea Clinton Has Made $9M Sitting On Corporate Board
    Born Right: Chelsea Clinton Has Made $9M Sitting On Corporate Board Chelsea Clinton has made $9 million in under nine years while serving on the board of an internet investment company, according to Barron's. According to the report, Clinton receives an annual salary of $50,000 and $250 in restricted stock units from IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns such brands as Vimeo, College Humor, OkCupid, Tinder, Angie's List and Home Advisor. Clinton, who has been an IAC director since 2011, receives an annual $50,000 retainer and $250,000 in restricted IAC stock units, or RSUs. As of Dec. 31, she owned the equivalent of 35,242 IAC shares, consisting of 29,843 shares and 5,399 share units under a deferred-compensation plan, according to a form she filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Share units convert to stock when an IAC director leaves the board. The value of Clinton’s stake has surged along with the stock. Her IAC shares were valued at $8.95 million as of Friday’s close at $253.91. That is up from $7.2 million in June, and up from $6.6 million in October 2018. -Barron's Notably, Chelsea joined the board of IAC the same year she joined NBC News as a $600,000 per year 'special correspondent' doing virtually nothing, before switching to a month-to-month contract three years later. While Chelsea ostensibly wasn't hired to protect a Ukrainian oligarch from prosecution, it's clear that those who are 'born right' receive dividends in spades. Tyler Durden Tue, 01/07/2020 - 20:35 Tags Business Finance Politics
  • Iran leader tweets flag -- like Trump did...
    Iran leader tweets flag -- like Trump did... (Top headline, 13th story, link) Related stories:Ukraine plane crashes in Iran, killing all 176 on board... Developing...Will not give black box to BOEING...Shot down?Red devil horns appear over Persian Gulf during eclipse...Two quakes strike near nuke plant...Operation 'Martyr Soleimani'...Three waves just after midnight...Tehran Threatens More...USA had advance warning of attack...URGENT MEETING AT WHITE HOUSE...Pelosi tells colleagues to 'pray'...Security upped in DC...What next?
  • Iran's Revolutionary Guards confirm rocket attack on U.S. forces in Iraq
    Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps confirmed on Wednesday that it fired rockets at a U.S. air base in Iraq in revenge for the killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, according to a statement.
  • Muslim charged for starting Australian wildfire laughs after court hearing
    Fires near Bateman Bay in New South Wales, Australia as seen from space (Copernicus Emergency Management Service) A Muslim teen who was accused along with his brother of starting a fire in Australia was seen laughing as he left court in Sydney on Tuesday. Fadi Zraika and his brother Abraham, both 18, allegedly set off fireworks that started a grass fire at a park in Guildford, near Sydney, on Dec. 22, the Daily Telegraph reported. On Monday, the New South Wales police force announced it had charged 24 people with deliberately starting catastrophic fires that have ravaged many parts of the country. The blazes are so widespread they can be seen from space. The Daily Telegraph said police were called to the park about 2:40 p.m. after reports of several loud explosions were followed by small grass fires that spread rapidly in sudden winds. The fires were put out by the Rural Fire Service. Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer noted Islamic jihadis have identified setting fires as a tool of jihad. In 2018, the ISIS-linked Al-Ansar Media claimed wildfires in California were retribution for America's participation in the civil war in Syria. WND reported in 2013 that William Scott, a former National Security Agency official, said terrorists had been using fire as a tactical weapon. Scott said at the time that after U.S. Navy SEALs killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, they "captured a treasure trove of material that provided some unprecedented insight into the al-Qaida plans. And one of those was a detailed campaign for starting fires throughout the [American] West." In 2012, al-Qaida called on its followers to set forest fires in the United States. In its magazine Inspire, the terrorist organization presented instructions for the creation and ignition of "ember bombs." In 2003, an FBI memo warned that a senior al-Qaida detainee told interrogators he planned to spark multiple, catastrophic wildfires simultaneously in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to strike a blow to the U.S. economy. The post Muslim charged for starting Australian wildfire laughs after court hearing appeared first on WND.
  • CNN’s Sciutto Imagines War With Iran: ‘Will Not Just Take Place on the Battlefield,’ But On Many Fronts With Many Technologies
    CNN imagined what a war with Iran would look like on Thursday evening after it was reported that Iranian Quds Force Supreme Commander Qasem Soleimani had been assassinated by the United States in an airstrike. On CNN Tonight, Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto claimed a war with Iran “won’t look like the Iraq War in 2003.” “It won’t look like the Gulf War in 1990. It may not look like any war conflict we’ve seen, because it will not just take place on the battlefield,” he explained, adding, “Iran has enormous capabilities, which it’s already demonstrated in a number of fields.” “They can carry out terror attacks, whether in the region, on soft targets or military targets. They can attack shipping, we’ve already seen that. They have enormous cyber capabilities. They already attack us with a fair amount of regularity, you can expect more of that,” Sciutto concluded. “So what’s known as hybrid warfare, but a whole host of fronts with a whole host of technologies that take aim at a whole host of targets. And keep in mind, not just military targets, but the potential of diplomatic and civilian targets. Think U.S. embassies in the region, but also economic targets as well.” CNN Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon also predicted what the next stage would look like. “The last time that the U.S. took significant action in the Middle East, the invasion of Iraq for example with the removal of Saddam Hussein… that had unforeseen consequences to a certain degree. You then saw the rise of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that then led to the rise of ISIS,” Damon declared. “This action by the United States, this assassination, is arguably just as monumental, and there are going to be unforeseen consequences to it no matter how much analysts try to play out the different scenarios.” “We are right now in uncharted territory, and this war, because Iran is most certainly going to be perceiving this as an act of war, is not necessarily going to look like something the region has seen in the past,” she continued. “Iran has a number of very very powerful proxies, not just in Iraq, but also in Syria and Lebanon.” Watch above via CNN.
  • Rep. Waltz: Soleimani Kill Is What the Iranian Regime Understands
    ‘They’re emboldened by perceived weakness’
  • Majority say Pelosi should send impeachment articles to Senate: poll
    A majority of Americans said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should send the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to Th...
  • McConnell says Senate will receive classified briefing on Soleimani killing
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Friday that he is working to set up a closed-door briefing for senators on a strike that killed Iran's top general."We're working to arrange a classified...
  • Iran summons Swiss envoy again to answer U.S. message: state media
    Iran summoned a Swiss envoy for a second time on Friday to deliver its answer to a U.S. message, Iranian state media said, hours after a Swiss diplomat delivered Washington's communication over the killing of Iranian Quds force chief Qassem Soleimani.
  • Timeline: U.S.-Iran relations from 1953 coup to 2020 commander killing
    Iran promised harsh revenge after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad on Friday killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force and architect of its growing military influence in the Middle East.
  • Soleimani 'torn to shreds' by missile...
    Soleimani 'torn to shreds' by missile... (Top headline, 2nd story, link) Related stories:Trump Rattles Mideast With Risky Strike...Body identified by ring...DRONES FOUND HIM...'Hornets' nest'...RAND PAUL: NO WAR...EX-CIA DIRECTOR: 'THERE WILL BE DEAD AMERICANS'...Depart Iraq immediately...Westerners 'should leave Dubai'...NYC ON ALERT...UK livid...Thousands rally in Iran against 'crimes'...Israel braces for retaliation...Oil prices surge...Stocks shook...Strait of Hormuz in focus...UPDATES...TRUMP: 'Reign of terror over'...'Took Action To Stop War'...How decision was made...
  • Oil prices surge...
    Oil prices surge... (Top headline, 14th story, link) Related stories:TRUMP THE TERMINATOR...Soleimani torn to shreds by missile...Body identified by ring...DRONES FOUND HIM...'Hornets' nest'...RAND PAUL: NO WAR...EX-CIA DIRECTOR: 'THERE WILL BE DEAD AMERICANS'...Depart Iraq immediately...Westerners 'should leave Dubai'...NYC ON ALERT...UK livid...Thousands rally in Iran against 'crimes'...Israel braces for retaliation...Stocks shook...Strait of Hormuz in focus...UPDATES...TRUMP: 'Reign of terror over'...'Took Action To Stop War'...How decision was made...
  • Pelosi, Schiff complain Trump didn't consult them before Soleimani strike
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff were both quick to criticize President Donald Trump in the hours after the U.S. airstrike at Baghdad's international airport that killed the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Soliemani and his Quds Force were "responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more," according to the Department of Defense. "Tonight's airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence," Pelosi said in a statement Thursday. "America -- and the world -- cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return." She complained that the president conducted the airstrike "without the consultation of the Congress." "The full Congress must be immediately briefed on this serious situation and on the next steps under consideration by the Administration, including the significant escalation of the deployment of additional troops to the region," she said. While Schiff said in a Thursday evening tweet that Soleimani "was responsible for unthinkable violence and world is better off without him," he echoed Pelosi's complaint that Congress did not authorize the attack. "All steps must now be taken to protect our forces against the almost inevitable and increased risk," he tweeted. Soleimani was responsible for unthinkable violence and world is better off without him. But Congress didn’t authorize and American people don’t want a war with Iran. All steps must now be taken to protect our forces against the almost inevitable escalation and increased risk. https://t.co/Z4HTnScFg7 — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 3, 2020 Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, was also killed in the strike, along with five others, according to Iraqi officials. In response to the attack, Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted, "The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani -- THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al--is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation." The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation. The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism. — Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020 "The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism," he added. The airstrike came amid tensions after a New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. After the two-day embassy attack ended Wednesday, Trump ordered about 750 soldiers deployed to the Middle East, The Associated Press reported. The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia. The Pentagon confirmed its role in the airstrike that killed Soleimani on Friday. "At the discretion of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization," the Department of Defense said in a statement. "This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interest wherever they are in the world." This article appeared originally on The Western Journal. The post Pelosi, Schiff complain Trump didn't consult them before Soleimani strike appeared first on WND.
  • Trump Reportedly Sending 3,500 Troops to Middle East Following Strike Against Iran
    President Donald Trump’s administration is reportedly deploying 3,500 more troops to the Middle East following a targeted strike that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. NBC News Pentagon correspondent Courtney Kube appeared with MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell on Andrea Mitchell Reports Thursday and stated that the U.S. is now sending the entire 82nd Airborne Division overseas amid rising tensions with Iran. “This is the immediate reaction force,” Kube explained. “We saw the first battalion of this group move in several days ago after the U.S. Embassy came under siege in Baghdad. These are the additional troops as part of that immediate reaction force. Those first 700 moved into Kuwait. Many of those are in Baghdad and in Iraq according to the officials that we spoke with here.” “This is a significant uptick in the number of U.S. troops that are now in the region,” she continued. “Throughout the region, there’s 60,000 U.S. troops throughout that whole area. But in this particular part in Iraq, there’s only about 5,200 U.S. troops there now. This now brings it to an additional 4,000 more troops ordered into that area just in the past week.” Mitchell then asked Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) to comment on the news. “It might be a wise move, but until the administration briefs us on what their plans are, neither Congress nor the American public can really reach that conclusion,” Kaine said. “When the U.S. had approached Iraq and said ‘we want to take military actions on your soil against Iran,’ they’ve objected to that and we have taken military action on Iraqi soil over their objections. That’s leading to a situation now where the U.S. –which was popular because we helped to beat ISIS – is becoming less and less popular.” “We’re more and more in danger of the Iraqi government withdrawing our permission to be in Iraq. We’re pushing Iraq into the hands of Iran,” Kaine added. Watch above, via MSNBC.