Trump And Bannon Make Up: Breitbart Chief Slams Vanity Fair, Predicts Huge Victory For Trump In 2020

The original, populist, “grassroots” Trump, the one who won the elections before surrounding himself with various Goldman Sachs-derived advisors, made a solid comeback this past week: just consider the flurry of recent actions undertaken by the president.
When Trump ran for president last year, he frequently said that only he ‘alone’ could fix the nation’s problems. But once he took office, Trump attempted to follow the lead of Republicans on Capitol Hill, and he watched with dismay how little movement was made on priorities such as healthcare, immigration, and national security. And, after weeks of seeing his agenda imperiled by Republican divisions and infighting among his aides, Trump became a whirlwind of activity this week, reasserting his campaign priorities and trying to deliver wins for his fervent but frustrated base of supporters.
Indeed, Trump took steps to dramatically undercut the Obamacare health system, sent notice he was willing to scuttle the nuclear deal with Iran, moved to roll back coal-plant limits, and again demanded a wall along the Mexican border. In doing so, Trump reverting back to conflicts and fights that defined the core of his campaign, and which drifted as Trump became increasingly more institutionalized by the Washington swamp. Meanwhile, on Twitter Trump increasingly relished his feuds with the news media, senior Republicans in Congress, and National Football League players who have protested during the national anthem.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 14, 2017.

Democrat AGs From 18 States Sue To Keep Obamacare Subsidies, But Who Really Benefits?

It did not take long for democrats to respond to Trump’s executive order halting key subsidies known as Cost-Sharing Reductions or CSRs to insurers.
On Friday, just hours after the executive order was signed, Democratic attorneys general from eighteen states as well as Washington D. C., sued President Trump’s administration to stop him from scrapping a critical component of Obamacare – insurer subsidies that allow millions of low-income people pay medical expenses, even as Trump invited Democratic leaders to negotiate a deal. The states include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state.
The suit follows the administration’s announced plans to end the payments next week; Trump said he would dismantle Obamacare ‘step by step.’ His latest action raised concerns about chaos in insurance markets. Frustrated by the failure of Republicans who control both houses of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump’s action took aim at a critical element of Obama’s signature 2010 law. ‘As far as the subsidies are concerned, I don’t want to make the insurance companies rich,’ Trump told reporters at the White House. ‘They’re making a fortune by getting that kind of money.’
On Saturday morning, Trump doubled down, tweeting that “Health Insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!”
Health Insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 14, 2017.

Too Good For Too Long

I’m writing this from my home in Sonoma County at the end of an intense week of witnessing firsthand the devastation caused by the many current fires burning in northern California. While it’s hard to focus on anything other than the moment-to-moment developments of this still-unfolding disaster (which I’ve been chronicling here), it’s already clear that the implications for my part of the state will last for many, many years to come.
It’s amazing how instantly the status quo where I live has changed. The world my neighbors and I lived in when we all went to bed on Sunday night simply no longer existed by the time we woke up on Monday morning. Lives have been lost. Entire neighborhoods — thousands of homes — have burned to the ground. Businesses, hospitals and schools are now shuttered.
Having now experienced this personally — on top of watching news reports over the previous weeks of similarly abrupt “before/after” transitions in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, Las Vegas and Catalonia — I have a new-found appreciation for the maxim that when it arrives, change happens quickly — usually much more quickly than folks ever imagined, catching the general public off-guard and unprepared.
We humans tend to think linearly and comparatively. In other words, we usually assume the near future will look a lot like the recent past. And it does much of the time.
But other times it doesn’t. And that’s where the danger lies.
The Cruel Math
In 1987 a Danish physicist named Per Bak released a landmark paper introducing the concept of self-organized criticality. Bak observed that complex systems draw stability through an ongoing cycle of corrective collapses that keep the overall system from becoming too over-extended.

This post was published at PeakProsperity on Friday, October 13, 2017,.

White House Reveals What It Wants In Exchange For Keeping “Dreamers”

On Sunday night, the White House revealed that it is seeking more funds from Congress to fund Trump’s wall along the U. S.-Mexico border, more resources to hire thousands more immigration officers, cutting the number of new legal immigrants and generally demanding a steep price for legislation under consideration to help so-called Dreamers. According to the WSJ, “the White House documents, sent to congressional leaders in both parties on Sunday, amount to a lengthy wish list of longstanding conservative immigration goals.” While White House officials told reporters that they want these to be included in any immigration deal, they stopped short of saying the White House will insist on them.
As The Hill adds, Trump’s new “immigration principles and policies” call for a crackdown on border security, more resources to catch individuals residing in the country illegally, as well as a merit-based system that limits chain migration to spouses and children.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.

TRUMP’S BORDER WALL APPROVED BY HOUSE PANEL, INCLUDES DRONES, DNA COLLECTION, BIOMETRIC SCANS

Trump’s border wall moved one step closer to becoming reality, but will Americans be forced to give up privacy in the name of security?
The House Homeland Security Committee has approved a border security bill which includes $10 billion for Trump’s proposed border wall. Supporters of The Border Security for America Act say it is necessary to stop illegal immigration and violence along the U. S.-Mexico border. However, opponents of the bill are concerned about provisions for drones, DNA collection, social media monitoring, and license plate scanning along the border.
On Wednesday the committee debated the impact the border wall would have on border communities and the local environment, but ultimately the bill was passed with a vote of 18-12. Originally introduced by committee Chairman Michael McCaul, the bill now heads to the House floor for a full debate. The bill currently has 62 co-sponsors.
McCaul said the bill was necessary to ‘achieve full operational control and situational awareness’ of the border and to help put ‘more boots on the ground.’
‘Now that we have a partner in the White House who has made this a top priority, it’s time to send a bill to President Trump’s desk so we can deliver the American people the security they have long demanded and deserve,’ McCaul said.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 6, 2017.

State Of Emergency Declared Across Southeastern US As Hurricane Nate Looms

Update (1 pm ET): With Nate expected to strengthen into a category 2 storm by the time it makes landfall in southeastern Louisiana late Saturday, the NHC has expanded its storm warnings to include the part of the Florida panhandle east of the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian Pass Florida, which is now under a tropical storm warning. Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations are set to begin in Port Fourchon, Louisiana at 12pm local time Saturday for remaining staff at the port, according to storm update by the Greater Lafourche Port Commission. This follows mandatory evacuation ordered by Lafourche Parish, La., President Jimmy Cantrelle for areas below floodgates in Golden Meadow, La. In addition, the US Coast Guard has suspended marine traffic activity as of 8 am local time for sector Mobile, which includes the ports of Gulfport and Pascagoula in Mississippi, Mobile, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla., in preparation for Hurricane Nate, according to an agency bulletin.
Staff at offshore oil rigs in the Gulf were ordered to evacuate, leaving nearly three-quarters of US Gulf of Mexico oil production was offline ahead of the storm. American Midstream Partners LP’s Destin gas pipeline and Enbridge Inc.’s Nautilus and Manta Ray lines are evacuating staff from Gulf platforms.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 7, 2017.

Does Ethnic Heterogeneity Make Homicide Worse in the Americas?

When gun-control advocates make international comparisons on homicide rates, they generally employ an assumption that places with more stringent gun control laws have lower homicide rates. Unfortunately for them, this only holds up when countries with both high levels of gun control and high homicide rates are excluded from the analysis.
By recognizing the need to exclude most of the world’s nations from this analysis, the gun control advocates are of course implicitly admitting they recognize that gun control cannot explain low homicide rates in many areas. The case of Mexico, for example, illustrates quite well that simply imposing gun control does not eliminate problems with homicide.
So, what can explain these differences? Forced to admit that gun control does not explain low homicide rates by itself, even gun control advocates turn to other factors that are essential. Factors such as income, median age of the population, political stability, and other factors are suggested. Even environmental lead levels may be a factor.
Also important is a lack of cultural and ethnic uniformity within a jurisdiction.
This is especially notable when considering the Americas, where nation-states are in most cases frontier states with populations heavily affected by immigration, a history of conflict with indigenous populations, and institutionalized chattel slavery that lasted until the 19th century. The factors are significant through the region, and the United States cannot be held apart in this regard from the Caribbean, Brazil, Colombia, and other states impacted by all these factors.
Importantly, these factors also make the Americas significantly different from Western Europe and other areas – Japan and Korea, for example – where the present situation is marked by much higher levels of cultural uniformity and quite different recent histories and current demographic trends. This by itself, of course, does not explain all social trends and indicators. But anyone analyzing homicide rates in the Americas will tend to notice immediately that crime rates are high in the Americas overall, although legal regimes vary significantly.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Oct 06, 2017.

How Did Things Get So Bad in Catalonia?

Will Spain trigger Article 155 of the Constitution?
By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
Unless concrete measures are taken to calm tensions between Madrid and Catalonia, one of Spain’s richest, safest and most visited regions could soon be plunged into chaos. With neither side willing for now to take even a small step back from the brink, the hopes of any kind of negotiated settlement being reached are virtually nil, especially with the European Commission refusing to mediate.
Since Sunday the Spanish government has even ruled out dealing with Catalonia’s president, Carles Puigdemont, and its vice president, Oriol Junqueras. In other words, the communication breakdown between Madrid and Barcelona is now complete.
But how did things get so bad in Catalonia?
The answer, to borrow from Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises, is ‘gradually, then suddenly.’ While the standoff between Madrid and Barcelona has been on the cards for years, it’s been brewing so slowly that many people were caught off guard when riot units of Spain’s National Police and the Civil Guard began using brutal violence to prevent people from voting in Catalonia’s banned referendum.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 3, 2017.

Stratfor Worldview’s 2017 Fourth Quarter Forecast for Geopolitical Developments

Based on the principle that transformative world events are not random, but are in fact predictable, Stratfor develops decade, annual and quarterly forecasts. These forecasts are built upon Stratfor’s geopolitical methodology, our framework for identifying and forecasting the fundamental trends shaping the international system. Below are the global trends highlighted in Stratfor’s forecast for the fourth-quarter of 2017. The complete forecast is available at Stratfor Worldview.
Forecast Highlights
North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will occupy most of the United States’ attention as Washington searches for ways to halt the progress of Pyongyang’s weapons program, even as China and Russia continue to subtly prop up their belligerent neighbor. Distracted by North Korea, the United States will not be willing to create another headache for itself by withdrawing from its nuclear deal with Iran. Russia, meanwhile, will deepen its involvement in several conflicts around the world to strengthen its own bargaining position in talks with the United States. The White House will keep putting its trade policies into practice in the fourth quarter, but despite its tough talk in the opening phase of NAFTA negotiations, the United States will have a hard time persuading Mexico and Canada to meet its steep demands. Across the Atlantic, Europe will turn to the difficult task of reforming institutions within the European Union and eurozone now that national elections in France and Germany have wrapped up.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 10/02/2017.

The Steep Price of Disaster in Mexico

Rebuilding with no insurance and little government aid. Wolf here: Don Quijones and his wife, who is from Mexico, spent part of the summer in Mexico but returned to Spain a few days before the earthquake. DQ’s in-laws live in Puebla, Mexico City, and Morelos – among the hardest hit places. They got through it unharmed and are more or less OK for now. But a lot of uncertainties remain. My thoughts are with them.
By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Rescue efforts in Mexico are beginning to wind down after a trepidatory (vertical) earthquake unleashed destruction and bedlam in Mexico City and the two central states of Puebla and Morelos on Tuesday. The temblor took place 32 years to the day after a horrendous quake killed at least 10,000 people in Mexico City in 1985.
Thankfully, the number of victims this time is many magnitudes lower, due largely to improved building standards and enhanced public awareness in the wake of the ’85 quake. Nonetheless, the death toll is close to 300 with thousands more injured. And for survivors the financial toll is just beginning.
Just as happened in 1985, the response of civil society to the latest disaster has been astounding. As CNN’s Mexico correspondent Susannah Rigg reports, rather than rushing away from danger in the immediate aftermath of the quake, many people ran towards it, in order to help others who may be trapped in collapsed buildings.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 24, 2017.

5.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off North California Coast

A major, M5.7 earthquake has struck off the coast of Northern California, just days after a devastating M7.1 quake hit Mexico, resulting in hundreds dead and at least 50 buildings collapsed.
While the quake was luckily too far offshore to cause any damage, the Sacramento Bee writes that after Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in Mexico and the following smaller quakes that shook parts of California, “the West Coast is bracing for the worst.”
Time spoke to experts who pointed out that Southern California, Los Angeles and San Francisco were the most at-risk areas in the country for the next destructive quake. It’s been 160 years since the magnitude 7.9 earthquake near the San Andreas Fault, meaning a lot of pressure has built up over the years. The Bee writes that multiple smaller earthquakes have been reported throughout the state as Mexico continues to recover and rescue victims from Tuesday’s disaster, and today’s “larger” quake appears to have been a culmination of the Mexico aftermath. A number of earthquakes were reported in the Bay Area on Wednesday, including one measuring magnitude 2.5 near San Jose, according to NBC Bay Area. On the central coast, a magnitude 3.2 quake hit San Juan Bautista on Wednesday morning, and a magnitude 2.8 earthquake rumbled between Gilroy and Morgan Hill about 10 a.m. Thursday, television station KSBW-8 reported. Stronger earthquakes were reported in Northern California, with a magnitude 3.8 earthquake reported in Shasta County and a 3.0 in Humboldt County.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.

HODLing Bitcoin From One Natural Disaster To The Next

Those who follow me on Facebook know that I reported live this week from Hurricane Max in Acapulco, which luckily just missed our area, as opposed to four years ago today where a tropical storm wiped out some local towns and our anarchist rescue team helped in the recovery.
I then arrived yesterday in Mexico City just in time to live stream the 7.1 earthquake that hit the area. (*Note: I spent the evening with Jose Rodriguez of Bitso.com who had been helping the recovery all day and has started a fundraiser to help people in Mexico City HERE.)
Damage at the airport wasn’t bad but most flights were cancelled and I ended up scouring the airport like a vagrant for hours looking for my bag and then searching the entire city for the one remaining hotel room… which the damned price gougers had at $2,000 US for the night… albeit it was the Presidential Suite at the St. Regis. Thank you, by the way, price gougers.
As I write now I am finally on my connecting flight through to Houston, then Denver, then Aspen for the Nexus conference.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on September 20, 2017.

Trump’s China-Sanctions Madness Imperils the Dollar

Last week US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned the US will impose new sanctions on China if it doesn’t conform to UN sanctions on North Korea:
“If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U. S. and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful.”
In other words, the administration wants to sanction one of the US’s biggest trading partners, and the world’s second-largest economy.
China is the world’s third-largest recipient of Americans exports, behind only Canada and Mexico. China is the world’s largest source of imports for Americans, slightly ahead of both Mexico and Canada.
In 2016, Americans exported $169 billion in goods and services to China while importing $478 billion of goods and services. Every year, both consumers and producers benefit from the importation of Chinese electronics, machinery, food, footwear, and more.
Ratcheting up economic warfare with China could serve to cut off these avenues of trade and thus will only cost consumers and small business owners who currently benefit from lower-cost machinery, clothing, and more.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 20, 2017.

Dreamers Dreaming Dreams

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are so out of the news now that people not listening to the mold grow in their sweltering bedrooms probably think these events had something to do with the Confederate defeat. Both The New York Times and the WashPo are much more concerned this morning with doings on the planet Saturn, and the career moves of fashion icon Chelsea Manning, which is perhaps how things should be in Attention Deficit Nation. Standing by on developments there….
In the meantime, personally, I think it would be cruel to deport fully acculturated and Americanized young adults to Mexico and Central America. But there should be no question that it’s up to Congress to figure out what to do about the DACA kids, and put it into coherent law. The Golden Golem of Greatness was correct to serve the ball into Congress’s court. The suave and charming Mr. Obama only punted the action on that problem, and rather cynically too, I suspect, since he knew the next president would be stuck with it.
It’s hard to overcome the sentimental demagoguery this quandary fetches up. The so-called Dreamers are lately portrayed in the media as a monoculture of spectacularly earnest high-achievers, all potential Harvard grads, and future Silicon Valley millionaires working tirelessly to add value to the US economy. This, again personally, I doubt , and there’s also room to doubt that they are uniformly acculturated and Americanized as claimed by the journalists cherry-picking their stories to support the narrative that national borders and immigration laws are themselves cruel anachronisms that need to be opposed.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 15, 2017.

Strange ‘Earthquake Lights’ Accompanied Mexico’s 8.2 Quake

The massive 8.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked Mexico earlier this week was enough of a phenomenon on its own, but the quake also had something of a fascinating side effect.
The mysterious lights in the sky following the massive earthquake were a shock to those in the area. Numerous videos have been cropping up on social media showing the flashes brighten the night sky above Mexico City, but the flashes aren’t lightning coming from the clouds above, or even lights from planes.


This post was published at shtfplan on September 11th, 2017.