COMING UP SHORT THIS MONTH.
Thought for the day
"Politicians are the same all over: they promise to build a bridge even where there is no river." -- Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician
In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin complained, "What happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: ‘The fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.’ Where are those guarantees?"
Putin was quoting correctly. He might have added, as we know from newly declassified documents, that Woerner also "stressed that the NATO Council and he are against the expansion of NATO (13 out of 16 NATO members support this point of view)." The NATO Secretary General also assured the Russians on July 1, 1991 that, in an upcoming meeting with Poland’s Lech Walesa and Romania’s Ion Iliescu, "he will oppose Poland and Romania joining NATO, and earlier this was stated to Hungary and Czechoslovakia" (document 30).
For almost two months we have been highlighting the dramatic (and growing) disconnect between physical and paper (futures) markets in the oil sector.
It appears that Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has finally recognized this as an issue.
The implicit leader of OPEC said “extreme” volatility and lack of liquidity in the futures market are disconnecting prices from fundamentals and may force OPEC+ to act.
“The paper and physical markets have become increasingly more disconnected,” he said in response to written questions from Bloomberg News.
While futures prices are tumbling, in the physical realm, inventories of energy and metals continue to fall from already uncomfortably low levels as demand remains above supply in all cyclical commodities, except iron ore. Timespreads, the single most accurate measure of underlying fundamentals, trade at unprecedented levels of backwardation, irrespective of the price sell-off.
Prince Abdulaziz said futures prices don’t reflect the underlying fundamentals of supply and demand, which may require the group to tighten production when it meets next month to consider output targets.
“Witnessing this recent harmful volatility disturb the basic functions of the market and undermine the stability of oil markets will only strengthen our resolve,” he said.
Lately not a day passes without some China stimulus headline (with a lot of zeroes but not enough to reverse the sharp slowdown in the world's 2nd biggest economy) and today was no exception.
With China's property sector shrinking with every passing day, following not just last year's developer defaults of giants such as Evergrande, but this summer's historic grassroots mortgage boycott which has sent shockwaves across China's property developers and threatened to crash the world's largest asset class...
... in its latest show of (not-a-bailout) support for its beleaguered property sector, Beijing will offer 200 billion yuan ($29.3 billion) in "special loans" to ensure stalled housing projects are delivered to buyers, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter said.
The previously unreported size of the lending program - which was announced with scant details by China’s housing ministry, finance ministry and the central bank late Friday - would make it the biggest financial commitment yet from Beijing to contain a property crisis that’s seen home prices slump and real estate sales plummet, Bloomberg reported, pointing out that housing market instability is a growing threat to political stability during the sensitive run-up to the Communist Party’s leadership transition later this year.
People often reshape their privately held views to conform to what they think their group believes, despite that assessment frequently being inaccurate.
This causes the illusion of consensus.
The following are two of the most significant revelations from the study:
Four times as many Democrats say Corporate CEOs should take a public stand on social issues (44%) than actually care (11%).
On Education, one in three Democrats think parents should have more influence over public school curriculum, however, only one in four dares to say it publicly.
According to the Washington Post, “Trump has told advisers that in the nearly two years since leaving office, no issue had better galvanized Republican voters around him.”
A Politico poll of Republican voters in the aftermath of the Mar-a-Lago raid gave Trump a 10-point boost over his closest possible primary rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump’s ensuing fundraising campaign has done even better, quickly topping $1 million on at least two days, a jump of at least 700%.
Over the long run, it is difficult to form a conclusive judgment on Trump’s potential culpability in the absence of any confirmed detail about both the contents of the documents that Trump allegedly mishandled, and the evidence to support the Justice Department’s suspicions. But if the last six years of routine Trump standoffs with the national security state are any guide, the walls are nowhere closer to closing in.
Whatever your views on Trump, it is undeniable that the permanent military-intelligence bureaucracy in Washington does not see him as one of their own, and has gone to extraordinary lengths to target him when it sees fit. It is also undeniable that the national security state’s spats with Trump have distracted the public from vital issues that impact working people’s lives and the future of the planet. This includes, I have long argued, Trump’s most harmful policies as president, which were routinely overshadowed and even exacerbated by his standoffs with the “deep state.”
One thing about leftist culture that never ceases to amaze is their ability to take a failure and pretend that it was actually a success. This attitude is perhaps an extension of their penchant for propaganda – They lie so much about everything that they end up falling victim to their own disinformation. They tell their enemies they are winning even when they are losing, and then they actually start to believe it themselves.
It's a bit like the old rule for drug dealers – Everything falls apart when you start smoking the drugs you sell.
For CNN and outlets like them, the problem is that you can't run from reality forever. If no one wants to watch your content then you can't force them to do so. Leftists wish they could use force, but they can't, so instead they try to use gaslighting and shame. This has translated into the typical tactics we see today from the media, which include race baiting and accusations of bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, fascism, etc. These tactics really took center stage from 2016 onward and they haven't worked yet, but the political left continues to beat that dead horse in the hopes that it will one day win the Kentucky Derby.
Russia plans to raise the assassination of Darya Dugina at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) emergency meeting set for Tuesday. The session is expected to focus on the ongoing crisis and standoff at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has come under fresh shelling that damaged transformers at the site, which Ukraine has blamed on Russia. There's growing alarm of a 'Chernobyl-like' catastrophic event.
Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, confirmed that Russia is seeking the UNSC emergency session, but said Russia will also highlight and condemn this latest in a series of "Ukrainian provocations" targeting civilians on Russian territory - after on Monday the FSB (Federal Security Service) claimed to have identified a Ukrainian operative behind the Dugin car bombing.
"We requested an urgent meeting on Zaporozhye, where Ukrainian provocations do not stop. Of course, we will talk about this episode [the murder of Daria Dugina]," Nebenzia said, as cited in Russian media sources. "This demonstrates the nature of the Ukrainian state, because the connection between their saboteurs and this murder is obvious, which, in fact, has already been disclosed by the FSB."
Webmaster addition: "VETO! VETO!! VETO!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse
Sichuan's worst drought in over half a century forced the Chinese province to extend power cuts for industrial plants. Power rationings are essential to ease electricity demand due to a menacing heatwave and limited rainfall that is driving down hydropower generation while cooling demand skyrockets -- the combination is dangerous in terms of grid stability and is primarily why power cuts were prolonged.
Webmaster addition: China is probably watching the flooding in Texas and Colorado and thinking we stole their rain!
Apple Inc. and a top U.S. cybersecurity agency are urging iPhone, iPad, and Macbook users and administrators to update their iOS software amid recently discovered security vulnerabilities.
“Apple has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in macOS Monterey, iOS and iPadOS, and Safari. An attacker could exploit one of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected device,” the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in a statement on Aug. 18.
Nearly three months ago, when tabulating real-time mass layoffs data...
... Piper Sandler chief economist Nancy Lazar concluded that "post-covid rightsizing means that lots more layoffs are coming" and added that "many companies overhired and overpaid during the Covid crisis."
Since then, it's only gotten worse for those who track corporate layoff announcements, such as the following:
- #1 Ultratec Inc. says that it will be laying off more than 600 workers.
- #2 Electric truck maker Rivian will be laying off approximately 840 workers.
- #3 7-Eleven has announced that it will be eliminating 880 corporate jobs.
- #4 Shopify is laying off about 1,000 people.
- #5 Vimeo says that it will be eliminating 6 percent of its current workforce.
- #6 Redfin will be reducing the size of its workforce by 8 percent.
- #7 Compass will be reducing the size of its workforce by 10 percent.
- #8 RE/MAX will be reducing the size of its workforce by 17 percent.
- #9 Robinhood will be reducing the size of its workforce by 23 percent.
- #10 It is being reported that Ford “is preparing to cut as many as 8,000 jobs in the coming weeks”.
- #11 Geico has closed every single one of their offices in the state of California, and that will result in vast numbers of workers losing their jobs.
- #12 Walmart is eliminating about 200 corporate jobs as it contends with rising costs, bloated inventories and weakening demand for general merchandise.
Joe Biden will briefly return to the White House on Wednesday do to a DNC event in Maryland before returning to Delaware for another vacation.
After destroying millions of lives, Dr. Fauci will step down from his role running the NIAID.
President Trump only moments ago released a statement regarding his filing related to the BREAK-IN of his home, Mar-a-Lago.
The World Economic Forum is promoting “augmentation technology” to morph humans into cyborgs and recommends children be implanted with brain chips.
A 10-year-old child is making headlines as the world’s youngest trans model to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week after representing the Trans* Clothing Company brand.
Noella McMaher was a model at New York Fashion Week in February, but the child’s story has begun to receive additional media attention after it was announced that the 10-year-old had been signed on for modeling gigs until November.
According to Noella’s parents, the child began expressing gender dysphoria around age 2.
Referring to the boy using feminine pronouns, Noella’s mother stated: “She would refuse to wear boy clothes and have tantrums because she was so young. She knew what she wanted, but didn’t have the words to say it … I should have known earlier, as she hated anything masculine, so I brought her to a gender clinic.”
The tragedy at the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11th, 2001 continues to affect many thousands of first responders who sacrificed their own health while restoring lower Manhattan and attempting to recover survivors and victims’ remains. Recently, H.R. 847, otherwise known as the James Zadroga Bill, was signed by President Obama in an effort to provide services and compensation for those whose health was compromised through exposure to the toxic dust and gases at Ground Zero. However, these first responders also need help to understand how their illnesses originated so that improvements in treatment can be made. In response to this need, concerned citizens should consider the possible correlation between evidence for energetic materials at the WTC and the environmental exposures which appear to have caused so many illnesses in the first responders.
The 9/11 first responders suffer from a range of different illnesses, some of which are rare in the general population. Some of the illnesses can be attributed to the high pH of the WTC dust. We know the extent of the pH problem thanks to EPA whistleblower, Dr. Cate Jenkins. The very high pH of the dust inhaled by 9/11 first responders is a probable cause for the general deterioration of lungs and their function, due to the dust’s corrosive state. As Dr. Jenkins wrote, “Corrosivity would have acted directly to cause respiratory chemical burns, and also would have increased the toxic properties of other pollutants from the WTC by facilitating their entry into the body through the respiratory system.”
Commonly observed conditions among first responders include reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), caused by exposure to high concentrations of irritants such as caustic and metallic dusts; upper respiratory illnesses such as sinusitis and laryngitis; and lower respiratory disorders such as asthma and what is known as World Trade Center cough.
George Soros and other left-wing billionaires have flooded a Chuck Schumer-aligned super PAC with millions of dollars as they look to maintain a majority in Congress's upper chamber, federal records show.
Soros steered $2.5 million from his Democracy PAC to the Senate Majority PAC in July, while hedge fund billionaire James Simons added an identical amount, according to new Federal Election Commission filings. The duo was the largest donors to the committee last month, which is now entering the home stretch of the midterm elections with nearly $73 million cash on hand.
The new Soros cash also brings his total to the Senate Majority PAC to $10 million for the 2022 elections, making him one of its largest contributors behind a dark money nonprofit affiliated with the PAC.
Explosions lit up the early morning sky over Russian-occupied Donbas this morning as yet another of Putin's ammo dumps went up in flames.
Videos captured on the eastern outskirts of the city of Donetsk showed smoke and flames engulfing a set of badly-damaged buildings as the sun came up Monday, with multiple blasts caught on camera.
It is just the latest arms depot to go up in flames after blasts at bases across occupied Crimea that Ukraine says has badly-damaged Russia's ability to fight.
Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War say Putin's 'exhausted' forces are now struggling to make any ground and believe his invasion will soon ground to a halt.
Meanwhile Ukrainian commanders say they are confident in their ability to wear down Russia's army and force it to retreat, as what was supposed to be a days-long 'special military operation' has dragged out into a nearly six-month war.
Protesters dressed as IRS agents were deployed across the country at Democratic lawmakers' offices to bring attention to the Inflation Reduction Act giving $80 million to hire more agents for audits.
Images outside offices shared by Republican National Committee field offices show protesters dressed in black suits and sunglasses holding signs with phrases like 'Thanks for hiring me' and 'Income Removal Service,' as an alternative acronym for IRS.
Some of the other signs, specifically in border states like Texas, plead for 'more Border Agents' and 'less IRS enforcers'.
The initiative from the RNC comes after every single Democrat in Congress voted for passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which, Republicans claim, will raise taxes on average Americans.
A coordinated demonstration led by the Republican National Committee saw protesters descend on Democrat lawmaker and candidate's offices and events dressed as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents in black suits and sunglasses
The Washington, D.C., FBI field office that raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate and is investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol breach is led by Steven D'Antuono, who ran the bureau's Detroit field office when, trial testimony alleges, it instigated, encouraged and facilitated what the government charges was a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The retrial of two men charged in the alleged plot, Adam Fox and Barry Croft, Jr., finished its first full week on Thursday, as the prosecution rested its case.
Details about the FBI's integral role throughout the development of the alleged kidnapping plot continue to emerge amid plunging public support for the agency following a string of investigations, arrests and prosecutions targeting Trump allies and recent whistleblower reports of enforcement decisions tainted by political bias at FBI headquarters in D.C.
Legal experts and civil libertarians have decried accelerating prosecutorial overkill, double standards and strong-arm tactics in the criminalization of political opposition by the Department of Justice and FBI.
NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman said he has “permission” to travel to Russia to advocate on behalf of the WNBA’s Brittney Griner, who has been sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug charges.
Appearing on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Sears told host Maria Bartiromo that declining education standards and critical race theory have caused the U.S. to lag behind its global adversaries. Sears said that she believes public education in America has risen to the level of a national security crisis.
President Joe Biden has gotten a rare rebuke from a mainstream media outlet over a claim he made about a newly signed piece of legislation.
During a White House signing ceremony earlier this month for the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, legislation that will provide subsidies to bolster domestic manufacturing of computer chips and similar technology amid rising tensions with China, Biden’s claim about the number of jobs the bill would create earned him “four Pinocchios” in a Washington Post fact check on Thursday.
Biden bragged that the legislation will create 1 million new construction jobs over the next half-dozen years.
“There’s an analysis that says investment in the Chips and Science Act will create 1 million — more than 1 million construction jobs alone over the next six years building semiconductor factories in America,” Biden claimed.
The president made the same claim on Twitter just a couple of days later.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said on Sunday that she will support the opponents of GOP candidates whom she deems “election deniers.”
Republicans will launch an investigation into Dr. Anthony Fauci if they win back control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, says Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul.
Paul said he plans to subpoena Fauci’s records if Republicans retake the Senate and he becomes chairman of a committee.
“If we win in November, if I’m chairman of a committee, if I have subpoena power, we’ll go after every one of [Fauci’s] records,” Paul said. “We’ll have an investigator go through this piece-by-piece because we don’t need this to happen again.”
Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan made similar comments, saying Republicans will “uncover” what Fauci knew about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, an ally to Jordan, released Fauci’s financial records. The records appear to show that Fauci and his wife have a combined net worth of around $10 million.
Webgmaster addition: "I QUIT!!" -- Dr. Faux-ci
Critics absolutely roasted Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm after she suggested that lower to middle class Americans could fight the rising cost of living by investing thousands in solar panels and other green energy initiatives.
One of the most worrying economic stories in the world right now is unfolding in China’s real estate sector. To put it in perspective, real estate drives nearly one-third of China’s economic activity, and housing accounts for about 70% of household wealth. Nearly 30% of all bank loans are property-related.
The ripple effects are impacting the entire Chinese economy—it grew only 0.4% in the last quarter compared to the previous year—and may turn contagious around the world.
Here are some numbers. Some 21 major developers have defaulted on their debts in the last year, led by China Evergrande Group, the country’s second-largest real estate company, which has been creaking under $300 billion in liabilities. S&P Global Ratings has warned that around 20% of the Chinese developers it rates are at risk of insolvency.