Zero Hedge

US Citizen Among The Dead In Iran Cross-Border Drone Attack On Iraq's Kurds

US Citizen Among The Dead In Iran Cross-Border Drone Attack On Iraq's Kurds

Authored by Jason Ditz via AntiWar.com,

Continuing to reel from public protests and the international rebuke for their handling of them, Iran is going down the path so many others have tried, seeking a military solution.

To that end, Iran fired artillery at Kurdish groups in the area along the Iraqi border, killing 13. The attacks centered on Koya, east of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Irbil. While the Kurds are seemingly unrelated to this issue, Iranian officials are claiming that they are fueling the latest unrest inside Iran, and suggested that they are smuggling weapons to the protesters. Iran also sent a drone in a direction of Irbil, and with Iraq requesting US action they shot down the UAV. CENTCOM said Iran’s indiscriminate attacks were a threat to stability.

Via AP: An Iranian drone bombing campaign targeting the bases of an Iranian-Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq killed and wounded dozens.

CENTCOM said US forces suffered no damage in the matter, nor any casualties. Analysts say they believe Iran wanted to “externalize” the ongoing unrest. The evidence is lacking, but Iran has been at odds with Kurdish rebels for awhile, and making them a scapegoat is a time-honored tradition across the region.

Colonel Joe Buccino, CENTCOM (US Central Command) communications director, said in a statement, "At approximately 2:10 PM local time, US forces brought down an Iranian Mojer-6 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle headed in the direction of Erbil as it appeared as a threat to CENTCOM forces in the area."

“CENTCOM personnel operate in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to advise, assist, and enable partner forces in the ensuring the lasting defeat of ISIS," he added.

The statement singled out  "the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ unprovoked attack in Iraq’s Erbil Governorate this morning." The US military spokesman added: "Such indiscriminate attacks threaten innocent civilians and risk the hard-fought stability of the region."

“No US forces were wounded or killed as a result of the strikes and there is no damage to US equipment," Col. Buccino noted.

* * *

Later it was widely reported that "A US citizen, Omar 'Chicho' Mahmoudzadeh was killed in the strikes, according to UK-based Persian news network Iran International," The Jerusalem Post writes.

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/30/2022 - 03:30

Escobar: Giorgia (Meloni) On Our Mind

Escobar: Giorgia (Meloni) On Our Mind

Authored by Pepe Escobar,

Grab the Negronis and the Aperol Spritz; it’s show time...

It’s tempting to interpret the Italian electoral results this past Sunday as voters merrily hurling a bowl of lush papardelle with wild boar ragu over the collective bland faces of the toxic unelected Euro-oligarchy sitting in Brussels.

Well, it’s complicated.

Italy’s electoral system is all about coalitions. The center-right Meloni-Berlusconi-Salvini troika is bound to amass a substantial majority in both the Parliament’s Lower House and the Senate. Giorgia Meloni leads Fratelli d’Italia (“Brothers of Italy”). The notorious Silvio “Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi leads Forza Italia. And Matteo Salvini leads La Lega.

The established cliché across Italy’s cafes is that Giorgia becoming Prime Minister was a shoo-in: after all she’s “blonde, blue eyes, petite, sprightly and endearing”. And an expert communicator to boot. Quite the opposite of Goldman Sachs partner and former uber-ECB enforcer Mario Draghi, who looks like one of those bloodied emperors of Rome’s decadence. During his Prime Ministerial reign, he was widely derided – apart from woke/finance circles – as the leader of “Draghistan”.

On the financial front that otherworldly entity, the Goddess of the Market, the post-truth equivalent of the Delphi Oracle, bets that PM Giorgia will insist on the same old strategy: debt-funded fiscal stimulus, which will turn into a blowout in Italian debt (already huge, at 150% of GDP). All that plus a further collapse of the euro.

So the big question now is who’s going to be Italy’s new Finance Minister. Giorgia’s party has no one with the requisite competence for it. So the preferred candidate shall be “approved” by the usual suspects as a sort of enforcer of “Draghistan lite”. Draghi, by the way, already said he’s “ready to collaborate”.

Marvels of gastronomy apart, life in the EU’s third largest economy is a drag. Long-term growth prospects are like a mirage in the Sahara. Italy is extremely vulnerable when it comes to the financial markets. So a bond market a-go-go selloff in the horizon is practically a given.

In case of a – nearly inevitable – financial catfight cage match between Team Giorgia and Christine “look at my new Hermes scarf” Lagarde at the ECB, the European Central Bank will “forget” to buy Italian bonds and then, Auguri! Welcome to a new round of EU sovereign debt crisis.

On the campaign trail, sprightly Giorgia incessantly pledged to keep the massive debt under control. That was coupled with the requisite message to placate the woke crypto-“Left” and its neoliberal banking owners: we support NATO and sending weapons to Ukraine. In fact everyone – from Giorgia to Salvini – supports the weaponizing, having signed a letter during the previous legislature, in effect until the end of 2022.

Deconstructing a “semi-fascist”

The Atlanticist woke/neoliberal sphere, predictably, is fuming with the advent of “post-fascist” Italy: oh, these people always voting the wrong way… The discombobulated think tank crowd is pointing to the latest in a cycle of populist waves in Italy; they don’t even know what “populist” means. But they can’t be too hysterical because Giorgia, after all, is a product of the Aspen Institute.

Giorgia is a complex case. She is essentially a trans-Atlanticist. She abhors the EU but loves NATO. In fact, she would love to undermine Brussels from the inside, while making sure the EU does not cut off those crucial flow of funds to Rome.

So she does confound primitive, crypto-“Left” American “experts”, who blame her at best for “semi-fascism” – and thus more dangerous than Marine Le Pen or Viktor Orban. Then she gets immediate redemption because at least vocally she proclaims to be anti-Russia and anti-China.

But then again, the temptation to burn her at the stake is too great: after all she’s appreciated by Steve Bannon, who proclaimed four years ago that “you put a reasonable face on right-wing populism, you get elected.” And she keeps terrible company: Berlusconi is dismissed by the woke/neoliberal Americans as a “Putin buddy” and Salvini as a “firebrand nationalist”.

It’s imperative to imbibe a strong dose of reality to form a clear picture of Giorgia. So let’s turn to a fine Turin intellectual and author, Claudio Gallo, now benefitting from being far away from the toxic fog of Italian mainstream media, mostly a fiefdom of the dreaded Agnelli/Elkann family.

Here are Gallo’s key takeaways.

On Giorgia’s popular appeal: Her support “among working people is a fact. We can see that in every survey. However, this is not a new tendency, and it started in the time of Berlusconi. At this moment, the working class began to vote for right-wing parties. But I believe this is not an Italian-only trend. If you look at France most of the representatives of the traditional working class vote for Le Pen, not the socialist parties. It is a European trend.”

On the “Draghi agenda”: “You can figure out the kind of governments we just had as a European Troika with one man only – Mario Draghi. They have proposed the most brutal economic reforms inspired by Brussels, such as extreme flexibility and fiscal austerity. These are policies that affect mainly the middle classes and poor people (…) The Draghi government decreased welfare spending by 4 billion euros next year and another 2 billion in two years. It means 6 billion less will be available for healthcare in two years. There were cuts also in the school system. Polls show that more than 50% of Italians did not support Draghi and his program. Draghi comes from the most powerful part of society, the banking sector. In the leading Italian media, it is impossible to find any critics of this agenda.”

On a possible Berlusconi power play: “He has quite a huge audience. He is accredited with roughly 8% of the vote. After all these years and all his judicial difficulties, it is still a lot (…) A few months after the election, we can imagine a situation in which Meloni is forced to resign because she cannot cope with the harsh winter (cost of living out of control, social unrest). It will be the time of a Grosse Koalizion to save the country, and Berlusconi, with his strong stance on NATO and Europe, is ready to play his cards. Berlusconi would be the key to a new coalition. He is always ready to get any compromise done.”

On “firebrand” Salvini: “He is the leader of a very divided party. He used to have a populist agenda, but at the top of his party you can also find some technocratic figures like Giancarlo Giorgetti, a staunch defender of the interests of the North Italian Confindustria. Salvini is losing consensus within his electoral base, and Meloni stole his votes along with Movimento Cinque Stelle. His party is divided between old politicians that dreamed of some federation to strengthen the autonomy of the Northern regions and others more inspired by Marine Le Pen’s right. It’s a volatile mixture.”

On Giorgia under pressure: “The pressure of the economic issues, inflation, price of gas and so on, will make Meloni, a very tough politician but not an expert statesman, probably resign. In Italy, there is a political stalemate; like everywhere in the West, democracy doesn’t work correctly. All parties are pretty much the same, with some cosmetic differences; everyone can still make a coalition with anybody else, without any regard to principles or values.”

“The more things change…”: “The man behind the foreign policy of Fratelli d’Italia is an ex-ambassador in US and Israel, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata. I cannot see how his opinion differs from Draghi’s. The same neoliberal and Atlantistic background, the same technocratic resume. Meloni is simply capitalizing that she didn’t participate in the last government, even if she doesn’t offer any alternative. Meloni repeats that nothing will change; we will send money and arms [to Ukraine]. She sends a lot of signals to NATO and the EU that they can count on her when it comes to foreign policy. I think she is sincere: she is surrounded by the people who will make it real. It is very different from the situation a couple of years ago when Meloni published a book in which she said we need to have a good relationship with Putin and build a new European order. Now she has completely changed her position. She wants to be seen as a trustworthy future premier. But the polls say that 40-50% of Italians don’t like to send weapons to Ukraine, and support every diplomatic measure to end the war. The cost of living crisis will strengthen this position among the people. When you cannot warm your house, everything changes.”

The real cage match

No one ever lost money betting on the EU oligarchy always behaving like a bunch of self-entitled, stubborn, unelected pricks. They never learn anything. And they always blame everyone except themselves.

Giorgia, following her instincts, has a decent shot at burying them even deeper. She is more calculating and less impulsive than Salvini. She won’t go for a euro exit and much less an Italexit. She won’t interfere with her Finance Minister – who will have to deal with the ECB.

But she remains a “semi-fascist”, so Brussels will want her scalp – in the form of cutting off Italy’s budget appropriations. These Eurocrats would never dare doing it against Germany or France.

And that brings to the political set up of the – supremely undemocratic – European Council.

Giorgia’s party is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists bloc, along with only two other members, the PMs of Poland and Czech Republic.

The Socialists & Democrats bloc has seven members. And so does Renew Europe (the former “liberals”): that includes the president of the European Council, the supremely mediocre Charles Michel.

The center-right European People’s Party has six members. That includes Ursula “My Grand Dad was a Nazi” von der Leyen, the sadomaso dominatrix in charge of the European Commission.

The prime catfight cage match to watch in fact is Giorgia versus dominatrix Ursula. Once again, Mediterranean swagger against the Teutonic techno-barbarians. The more Brussels harassment of Giorgia, the more she will counter-attack, with full support of her post-truth Roman legions: Italian voters. Grab the Negronis and the Aperol Spritz; it’s show time.

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/30/2022 - 02:00

Federal Bureau Of Intimidation: The Government’s War On Political Freedom

Federal Bureau Of Intimidation: The Government’s War On Political Freedom

Authored by John & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“In so many of the little places of everyday life in which life is lived out, somehow democracy doesn't exist. And one of the creeping hands of totalitarianism running through the democracy is the Federal Bureau of Investigation… Because why does the FBI do all this? To scare the hell out of people… They work for the establishment and the corporations and the politicos to keep things as they are. And they want to frighten and chill the people who are trying to change things.”—Howard Zinn, historian

Discredit, disrupt, and destroy.

That is how the government plans to get rid of activists and dissidents who stand in its way.

This has always been the modus operandi of the FBI (more aptly referred to as the Federal Bureau of Intimidation): muzzle anti-government sentiment, harass activists, and terrorize Americans into compliance.

Indeed, the FBI has a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures.

Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, the FBI’s targets were civil rights activists, those suspected of having Communist ties, and anti-war activists. In more recent decades, the FBI has expanded its reach to target so-called domestic extremists, environmental activists, and those who oppose the police state.

Back in 2019, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism, without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach.

That misguided pledge sheds a curious light on the FBI’s latest nationwide spree of SWAT team raids, surveillance, disinformation campaigns, fear-mongering, paranoia, and strong-arm tactics.

For instance, just before dawn on Jan. 25, 2019, the FBI sent 29 heavily armed agents in 17 vehicles to carry out a SWAT-style raid on the Florida home of Roger Stone, one of President Trump’s longtime supporters. Stone, charged with a political crime, was taken away in handcuffs.

In March 2021, under the pretext of carrying out an inventory of U.S. Private Vaults, FBI agents raided 1400 safe deposit boxes in Beverly Hills, seizing “more than $86 million in cash as well as gold, jewelry, and other valuables from property owners who were suspected of no crimes.”

In April 2021, FBI agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s home and office, seizing 18 electronic devices. More than a year later, Giuliani has yet to be charged with any crimes.

In June 2022, Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official under the Trump Administration, was led out of his home in pajamas while federal law enforcement officials raided his home.

In the summer of 2022, FBI agents wearing tactical gear including body armor, helmets and camouflage uniforms and carrying rifles raided multiple homes throughout Little Rock, Ark., including a judge’s home.

In August 2022, more than a dozen FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago, the winter home of Donald Trump.

And in September 2022, 25 to 30 armed FBI agents raided the home of an anti-abortion activist, pointing guns at the family and terrorizing the man’s wife and seven children.

Politics aside, the message is clear: this is how the government will deal with anyone who challenges its authority.

You’re next.

Unfortunately, while these overreaching, heavy-handed lessons in how to rule by force have become standard operating procedure for a government that communicates with its citizenry primarily through the language of brutality, intimidation and fear, none of this is new.

The government has been playing these mind games for a long time.

As Betty Medsger, an investigative reporter for The Washington Post, noted in 1971, the FBI was engaged in practices that had never been reported, probably were unconstitutional, and were counter to the public’s understanding of the agency’s purpose.

The objective: target anti-government dissenters for wide-scale harassment, widespread surveillance and intimidation in order to enhance their paranoia and make them think there was an “FBI agent behind every mailbox.”

Medsger, the recipient of stolen government files that provided a glimpse into the workings of the nation’s most powerful law enforcement agency, would later learn that between 1956 and 1971, the FBI conducted an intensive domestic intelligence program, termed COINTELPRO, intended to neutralize domestic political dissidents.

The explicit objective, according to one FBI memo: “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” perceived threats to the government’s power.

As Congressman Steve Cohen explains, “COINTELPRO was set up to surveil and disrupt groups and movements that the FBI found threatening… many groups, including anti-war, student, and environmental activists, and the New Left were harassed, infiltrated, falsely accused of criminal activity      .”

Sound familiar? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Those targeted by the FBI under COINTELPRO for its intimidation, surveillance and smear campaigns included: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, the Black Panther Party, Billie Holiday, Emma Goldman, Aretha Franklin, Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, Felix Frankfurter, John Lennon, and hundreds more.

Among those most closely watched by the FBI was King, a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” All told, the FBI collected 17,000 pages of materials on King.

With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received blackmail letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968.

John Lennon, a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist, was another high-profile example of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Lennon was singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files illegally collected on his activities and associations.

For a while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination, it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics.

J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI at the time, directed the agency to spy on the musician. There were also various written orders calling on government agents to frame Lennon for a drug bust. “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes,” observed reporter Jonathan Curiel.

As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”

Indeed, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times points out, “The F.B.I.’s surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of how easily domestic spying can become unmoored from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately more unsettling, is the degree to which the surveillance turns out to have been intertwined with electoral politics.”

The Church Committee, the Senate task force charged with investigating COINTELPRO abuses in 1975, echoed these concerns about the government’s abuses:

“Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power.”

The report continued:

“Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed—including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal objectives of presidents and other high officials.”

Fifty years later, we’re still having this same debate about the perils of government overreach.

For too long now, the American people have allowed their personal prejudices and politics to cloud their judgment and render them incapable of seeing that the treatment being doled out by the government’s lethal enforcers has remained consistent, no matter the threat.

The lesson to be learned is this: whatever dangerous practices you allow the government to carry out now, rest assured, these same practices can and will be used against you when the government decides to set its sights on you.

All of the excessive, abusive tactics employed by the government and its henchmen today will eventually be meted out on the general populace.

At that point, when you find yourself in the government’s crosshairs, it will not matter whether your skin is black or yellow or brown or white; it will not matter whether you’re an immigrant or a citizen; it will not matter whether you’re rich or poor; it will not matter whether you’re Republican or Democrat; and it certainly won’t matter who you voted for in the last presidential election.

At that point—when you find yourself subjected to dehumanizing, demoralizing, thuggish behavior by government bureaucrats who are hyped up on the power of their badges and empowered to detain, search, interrogate, threaten and generally harass anyone they see fit—remember you were warned.

Frankly, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, we are long past the point where we should be merely alarmed.

These are no longer experiments on our freedoms.

These are acts of aggression by a government that is no friend to freedom.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 23:40

Fauci Net Worth Soared 66% During Pandemic

Fauci Net Worth Soared 66% During Pandemic

The net worth of Dr. Anthony Fauci's household soared a whopping 66% over the course of the pandemic, according to new financial disclosures obtained by OpenTheBooks.com. Fauci reported a Jan 1, 2019 net worth of $7,523,634. By Jan 1, 2022, it had grown to $12,677,513.  

Values are as of Jan 1 each year. Chart via OpenTheBooks.com

As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci was paid a 2021 salary of $456,028, making him the highest-paid employee in the entire federal government. His wife, Christine Grady, is chief bio-ethicist for the National Institutes of Health, does very well too, raking in a $238,970 salary last year.

Fauci is famously paid more than the president, and his wife collects more than the vice president. However, those hefty federal salaries aren't the only driver of the Fauci household's pandemic-era enrichment.

In 2021, Fauci was awarded the Tel Aviv University-affiliated Dan David Prize, which came with a $1 million check. The prize committee said Fauci "has been widely praised for his courage in speaking truth to power" during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committee was apparently oblivious that Fauci was the power and routinely spoke falsehoods about everything from the usefulness of masking to herd immunity, the efficacy of vaccines, and NIH funding of gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute. 

As is customary, Fauci donated some of his prize money back to be awarded as student scholarships, but still pocketed $901,400, according to the financial statements reviewed by OpenTheBooks.com. 

Though it's chump change compared to the Dan David Prize, Fauci also scored $12,500 from both the Elliot Richardson Prize in Public Service and the Abelson Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and got $5,198 when he was named Federal Employee of the Year at the 2020 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals ceremony.  

Fauci even did some moonlighting as an editor for McGraw Hill, taking home $100,000 for his work in 2021. 

There's no indication Fauci made any "shrewd" investments a la Nancy and Paul Pelosi. According to the financial disclosures, Fauci's portfolio comprises broad mutual funds with no individual stocks: 

"These funds were held in a mix of trust, retirement, and college education accounts. Fauci has an IRA worth $706,219 (up $67,700); a defined benefit brokerage account totaling $2,551,210 (up $147,688); and a revocable trust worth $7,014,197 (up $1,718,299). His wife’s revocable trust is worth $2,269,225 (up $306,406) and an IRA totaling $136,662 (up $16,385)," reports OpenTheBooks.com. 

OpenTheBooks.com has filed four federal lawsuits against NIH to pry loose additional details not only about Fauci but also about royalties received by other NIH employees.  

Though Fauci has announced he'll retire by the end of the year, the wheelbarrows full of taxpayer money will keep on rolling his way. When you're the highest-paid employee in federal government history and you've been on the federal payroll for more than 55 years, that'll make for an astounding pension of some $375,000 a year. 

It's emblematic of the whole miserable Covid-19 spectacle: Bureaucrats wallow in government money while ordinary people suffer the ever-mushrooming destruction caused by public health's catastrophic lockdown and mandate regime.  

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 23:20

Orange Juice Prices Could "Increase Substantially" As Hurricane Pummels Florida's Top Citrus Grow Region

Orange Juice Prices Could "Increase Substantially" As Hurricane Pummels Florida's Top Citrus Grow Region

Hurricane Tropical Storm Ian could soon drive up orange juice prices at the supermarket as the powerful storm tears through the central-southwest part of the state where large citrus groves reside.

Donald Keeney, a meteorologist at Maxar Technologies Inc., told Bloomberg that 90% of the state's citrus crop is in Ian's path, including three top-producing counties. 

"There's not a thing in the world you can do to protect crops. 

"All the areas are going to have impact. It could be the the final straw for some Florida growers," said Raymond Royce, executive director at Highlands County Citrus Growers Association in Sebring, Florida. 

November orange juice futures contracts are trading as high as $1.90 per pound Thursday morning and have risen 7% since Monday. $2 per pound appears to be a multi-decade resistance level. 

On Monday, we pointed out OJ prices were set to rise due to the tropical threat with storm path projections for Tampa. But landfall was about two hours south near Fort Myers, suggesting more widespread damage to citrus crops. 

"The only problem is that as much as the crop could be blown off the trees, the high prices and tighter supply will also shrink demand," said Judy Ganes of J Ganes Consulting. 

To get an idea of where the storm made landfall and top producing citrus counties in the state, the US Department of Agriculture's map is an eye opener of the severe damage that could've hit citrus groves (there are still no official crop damage reports but assessments should be underway). 

The University of Florida estimated that 375,000 acres of citrus could be impacted.

Combine the storm's potentially devastating blow to an industry already suffering from citrus greening, and Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio laid out to CNN about the disaster ahead:

"The citrus industry in Florida is already teetering on the brink because of citrus greening.

"They lose this year's crop and a bunch of trees, you can't just restart that." 

 Readers may recall, earlier this year, we said Florida's Citrus Crop To Be Smallest Since WW2, Squeezes OJ Prices Highernoting that dwindling supply was pushing up orange juice prices at the supermarket. 

With that being said, crop damage reports could likely surface in the coming days or weeks and may push prices higher on increased supply woes. The $2 per pound mark will be in focus. 

Did we mention Florida is one of the top-producing citrus states? 

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 22:40

Escobar: Nord Stream Sabotage Propels 'Disaster Capitalism' To New, Toxic Level

Escobar: Nord Stream Sabotage Propels 'Disaster Capitalism' To New, Toxic Level

Authored by Pepe Escobar,

The sabotage of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipelines in the Baltic Sea has ominously propelled ‘Disaster Capitalism’ to a whole new, toxic level.

This episode of Hybrid Industrial/Commercial War, in the form of a terror attack against energy infrastructure in international waters signals the absolute collapse of international law, drowned by a “our way or the highway”, “rules-based”, order.

The attack on both pipelines consisted of multiple explosive charges detonated in separate branches close to the Danish island of Bornholm, but in international waters.

That was a sophisticated operation, carried out in stealth in the shallow depth of the Danish straits. That would in principle rule out submarines (ships entering the Baltic are limited to a draught of 15 meters). As for prospective “invisible” vessels, these could only loiter around with permission from Copenhagen – as the waters around Borholm are crammed with sensors, reflecting fear of incursion by Russian submarines.

Swedish seismologists registered two underwater explosions on Monday – one of them estimated at 100 kg of TNT. Yet as much as 700 kg may have been used to blow up three separate pipeline nodes. Such amount could not have possibly been delivered in just one trip by underwater drones currently available in neighboring nations.

The pressure on the pipelines dropped exponentially. The pipes are now filled with seawater.

The pipes on both NS and NS2 can be repaired, of course, but hardly before the arrival of General Winter. The question is whether Gazprom – already focused on several hefty Eurasian customers –  would bother, especially considering that Gazprom vessels could be exposed to a possible NATO naval attack in the Baltic.

German officials are already spinning that NS and NS2 can “potentially” be out of commission “forever”. The EU economy and EU citizens badly needed that gas supply. Yet the EUrocracy in Brussels – which rules over nation-states – would not follow, because they have been dictated themselves by the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder. A case can be made that this Euro-oligarchy should one day be tried for treason.

As it stands, a strategic irreversibility is already self-evident; the population of several EU nations will pay a tremendous price and suffer serious consequences derived from this attack, short, medium and long term.

Cui bono? 

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson admitted that was “a matter of sabotage”. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen admitted “it was not an accident”. Berlin agrees with the Scandinavians.

Now compare it with former Polish Defense Minister (2005-2007) Radek Sikorski, a Russophobe married to rabid US “analyst” Anne Applebaum, who merrily tweeted “Thank you, USA”.

It gets curiouser and curiouser when we know that simultaneously to the sabotage the Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland was partially opened, a “new gas supply corridor” servicing “the Danish and Polish markets”: actually a minor affair, considering months ago their sponsors were in trouble finding gas, and now it will be even harder, with much higher costs.

NS2 had already been attacked – in the open – all along its construction. Back in February, Polish ships actively tried to prevent the Fortuna pipe-laying vessel from finishing NS2. The pipes were being laid south of – you guessed it – Bornholm.

NATO for its part has been very active on the underwater drones department. The Americans have access to long distance Norwegian underwater drones which can be modified with other designs. Alternatively, professional navy clearance divers could have been employed in the sabotage – even as tidal currents around Bornholm are a serious matter.

The Big Picture reveals the collective West in absolute panic, with Atlanticist “elites” willing to resort to anything – outrageous lies, assassinations, terrorism, sabotage, all out financial war, support to neo-Nazis – to prevent their descent into a geopolitical and geoeconomic abyss.

Disabling NS and NS2 represents the definitive closure of any possibility of a German-Russia deal on gas supplies, with the added benefit of relegating Germany to the lowly status of absolute US vassal.

So that brings us to the key question of which Western intel apparatus designed the sabotage. Prime candidates are of course CIA and MI6 – with Poland set up as the fall guy and Denmark playing a very dodgy part: it’s impossible that Copenhagen was not at least “briefed” on the intel.

Prescient as ever, as early as in April 2021 Russians were asking questions about the military security of Nord Stream.

The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli. Outside of the appalling mediocrity and cowardice of the current administration in Berlin, it’s clear that the BND – German intel – as well as the German Navy and informed industrialists sooner or later will do the math.

This was far from an isolated attack. On September 22 there was an attempt against Turkish Stream by Kiev saboteurs. The day before, naval drones with English language IDs were found in Crimea, suspected of being part of the plot. Add to it US helicopters overflying the future sabotage nodes weeks ago; a UK “research” vessel loitering in Danish waters since mid-September; and NATO tweeting about the testing of “new unmanned systems at sea” on the same day of the sabotage.

Show me the (gas) money

The Danish Minister of Defense met urgently with NATO’s Secretary General this Wednesday. After all the explosions happened very close to Denmark’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). That may be qualified as crude kabuki at best; exactly on the same day, the European Commission (EC), NATO’s de facto political office, advanced its trademark obsession: more sanctions against Russia, including the certified-to-fail cap on oil prices.

Meanwhile, EU energy giants are bound to lose big time with the sabotage.

The roll call includes the German Wintershall Dea AG and PEG/ E.ON; the Dutch N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie; and the French ENGIE. Then there are those which financed NS2: Wintershall Dea again as well as Uniper; Austrian OMV; ENGIE again; and British-Dutch Shell. Wintershall Dea and ENGIE are both co-owners and creditors. Their fuming shareholders will want serious answers from a serious investigation.

It gets worse: there are no holds barred anymore on the Pipeline Terror front. Russia will be on red alert not only for Turk Stream but also Power of Siberia. Same for the Chinese and their maze of pipelines arriving in Xinjiang.

Whatever the methodology and the actors who were in the loop, this is payback – in advance – for the inevitable collective West defeat in Ukraine. And a crude warning to the Global South that they will do it again. Yet action always breeds reaction: from now on, “funny things” could also happen to US/UK pipelines in international waters.

The EU oligarchy is reaching an advanced process of disintegration at lightning speed. Their window of opportunity to at least attempt a role as a strategically autonomous geopolitical actor is now closed.

These EUROcrats now face a serious predicament. Once it’s clear who are the perpetrators of the sabotage in the Baltic, and once they understand all the life-changing socio-economic consequences for pan-EU citizens, the kabuki will have to stop. Including the already running, uber-ridiculous subplot that Russia blew up its own pipeline when Gazprom could simply have turned off the valves for good.

And once again, it gets worse: Gazprom is threatening to sue the Ukrainian energy company Naftofgaz for unpaid bills. That would lead to the end of Russian gas transiting Ukraine towards the EU.

As if all of that was not serious enough, Germany is contractually obligated to purchase at least 40 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year until 2030.

Just say no? They can’t: Gazprom is legally entitled to get paid even without shipping gas. That’s the spirit of a long-term contract. And it’s already happening: because of sanctions, Berlin does not get all the gas it needs but still needs to pay.

All the devils are here

Now it’s painfully clear the imperial velvet gloves are off when it comes to the vassals. EU independence: verboten. Cooperation with China: verboten. Independent trade connectivity with Asia: verboten. The only place for the EU is to be economically subjugated to the US: a tawdry remix of 1945-1955. With a perverse neoliberal twist: we will own your industrial capacity, and you will have nothing.

The sabotage of NS and NS2 is inbuilt in the imperial wet dream of breaking up the Eurasian land mass into a thousand pieces to prevent a trans-Eurasia consolidation between Germany (representing the EU), Russia and China: $50 trillion in GDP, based on purchasing power parity (PPP) compared to the US’s $20 trillion.

We must go back to Mackinder: control of the Eurasian land mass constitutes control of the world. American elites and their Trojan Horses across Europe will do whatever it takes not to give up their control.

“American elites” in this context encompass the deranged, Straussian neo-con-infested “intel community” and the Big Energy, Big Pharma and Big Finance that pays them and who profits not only from the Deep State’s Forever War approach but also wants to make a killing out of the Davos-concocted Great Reset.

The Raging Twenties started with a murder – of Gen Soleimani. Blowing up pipelines is part of the sequel. There will be a highway to hell all the way to 2030. Yet to borrow from Shakespeare, hell is definitely empty, and all the (Atlanticist) devils are here.

*  *  *

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst and author. His latest book is Raging Twenties. He’s been politically canceled from Facebook and Twitter. Follow him on Telegram.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 22:20

Aussie Court Finds 60 Minutes Defamed Peter Schiff Seven Times In "Exposé" That Led Up To Bank Shut Down

Aussie Court Finds 60 Minutes Defamed Peter Schiff Seven Times In "Exposé" That Led Up To Bank Shut Down

We wrote back in August that well known Austrian economist Peter Schiff had settled with Puerto Rican banking regulators, who had suspended operations at the bank after alleging that it had failed to meet capitalization requirements. 

There was also an investigation into whether or not Schiff's bank helped people launder money or evade taxes, which came after baseless accusations were leveled at Schiff, culminating in a "gotcha"-type exposé that ran on Australian Nine Network’s “60 Minutes”.

Now, an Australian Court has found that the "gotcha" moment that may have put the entire ball into motion, disrupting Schiff's business and personal life for years, actually "conveyed seven defamatory imputations" about Schiff and his bank.

Schiff wrote in a press release this week that "the Federal Court of Australia, in a detailed 48 page decision dated September 23 (NSD 1086 of 2021), found that Australia’s Nine Network, producer of “60 Minutes/Australia,” reporter Nicholas McKenzie, and producers Charlotte Grieve and Joel Tozer had published and conveyed seven imputations which are defamatory about financial expert and banker Peter Schiff and his Puerto-Rico-based Euro Pacific Bank in its October 18, 2020 TV broadcast."

"Specifically, the judge found that these defendants defamed Schiff and his bank in seven specific defamatory imputations, such as 'permitting his bank, Euro Pacific, to be used as a vehicle for around one hundred Australian customers to commit tax evasion,' and that Schiff, himself, 'committed tax fraud'," the release says. 

As a result, Schiff is now calling for the U.S. Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service to suspend IRS Criminal Enforcement Chief, James Lee, for his use of similar false innuendo during a press conference that took place in Summer 2022 in Puerto Rico. 

"No criminal charge was ever brought against Schiff or anyone connected to the bank," the release says. 

Recall, the 60 Minutes hit piece was laboriously broken down and explained almost immediately, in depth, by Schiff for over an hour and a half, on his own YouTube channel in the days after it aired.

“Why would anyone want to shut down a bank flush with cash, no debts, no loans, with a highly-qualified buyer committed to injecting millions in capital well in excess of regulatory requirements, ready to buy the entire bank at a fair market price. Then put the bank into receivership, needlessly tying up customer deposits for months, then sell off all the bank’s assets to the same buyer at a fire-sale price?” Schiff asked in the press release.

“The 60 Minutes hit piece created an unfair cloud over me that led to the bank being shut down.”

“The investigation found nothing. The bank didn’t help people launder money or evade taxes. So why is it getting shut down?” Schiff asked earlier this year. 

 

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 22:00

This Thanksgiving, Supplies Of Turkey, Eggs, & Butter Will Be Extremely Tight In The US

This Thanksgiving, Supplies Of Turkey, Eggs, & Butter Will Be Extremely Tight In The US

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

If you love to cook, this upcoming Thanksgiving may be a real challenge for you.  Thanks to a resurgence of the bird flu, supplies of turkey are getting tighter and tighter.  Sadly, the same thing is true for eggs.  And as you will see below, reduced milk production is sending the price of butter into the stratosphere.  Thanks to soaring prices, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be out of reach for millions of American families this year, and that is extremely unfortunate.  Of course all of this is happening in the context of a horrific global food crisis that is getting worse with each passing day.  Yes, things are bad now, but they will be significantly worse this time next year.

The bird flu pandemic that has killed tens of millions of our chickens and turkeys was supposed to go away during the hot summer months, but that didn’t happen.  And now that the weather is starting to get colder again, there has been a resurgence of the bird flu and this is “devastating egg and turkey operations in the heartland of the country”

Turkeys are selling for record high prices ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday as a resurgence of bird flu wipes out supplies across the US.

Avian influenza is devastating egg and turkey operations in the heartland of the country. If just one bird gets it, the entire flock is culled in order to stop the spread. Millions of hens and turkeys have been killed in recent weeks. As a result, prices for turkey hens are nearly 30% higher than a year ago and 80% above pre-pandemic costs. Just as concerning are inventories of whole turkeys, which are the lowest going into the US winter holiday season since 2006. That means there will be little relief from inflation for Thanksgiving dinner.

In the months ahead, we could see tens of millions more chickens and turkeys get wiped out.

Egg prices have already tripled in 2022 and the price of turkey meat is up 60 percent.  Unfortunately, this is likely just the beginning

Turkey hens are $1.82 a pound this week, according to Urner Barry, compared to $1.42 last year and $1.01 before the pandemic. Meanwhile, wholesale egg prices are at $3.62 a dozen as of Wednesday, the highest ever, up from a previous record of $3.45 a dozen set earlier this year, said John Brunnquell, chief executive officer of Egg Innovations, one of the biggest US producers of free-range eggs. Consumers have seen prices for eggs at grocery stores triple this year, while turkey meat rose a record-setting 60%, according to a Cobank report.

Meanwhile, supplies of butter are steadily getting tighter as well

Lower milk production on U.S. dairy farms and labor shortages for processing plants have weighed on butter output for months, leaving the amount of butter in U.S. cold storage facilities at the end of July the lowest since 2017, according to the Agriculture Department.

Tight supplies have sent butter prices soaring at U.S. supermarkets, surpassing most other foods in the past year. U.S. grocery prices in August rose 13.5% during the past 12 months, the largest annual increase since 1979, according to the Labor Department. Butter outstripped those gains, rising 24.6% over the same period.

The trends that are driving up the price of butter aren’t going away any time soon, and so we are being warned to brace ourselves for “elevated” prices for the foreseeable future…

The forces at work in butter highlight the challenge of curtailing inflation. Economic pressures fueling high prices for livestock feed, labor shortages and other factors could persist, keeping prices for the kitchen staple elevated longer term.

To me, slathering a piece of warm bread with a huge chunk of butter is one of the best things about Thanksgiving.

And most of us will continue to buy butter no matter how high it goes.

But the truth is that rapidly rising food prices are forcing vast numbers of Americans to adjust their shopping habits.  Here is one example

For Carol Ehrman, cooking is a joyful experience.

“I love to cook, it’s my favorite thing to do,” she said. She especially likes to cook Indian and Thai food, but stocking the spices and ingredients she needs for those dishes is no longer feasible. “When every ingredient has gone up, that adds up on the total bill,” she said.

“What used to cost us $250 to $300 … is now $400.” Ehrman, 60, and her husband, 65, rely on his social security income, and the increase was stretching their budget. “We just couldn’t do that.”

The global food crisis is starting to hit home for many ordinary Americans, and we need to understand that this crisis is still only in the very early chapters.

David Beasley is the head of the UN World Food Program, and he is actually using the word “hell” to describe what is potentially coming in 2023

“It’s a perfect storm on top of a perfect storm,” Beasley said. “And with the fertilizer crisis we’re facing right now, with droughts, we’re facing a food pricing problem in 2022. This created havoc around the world.”

“If we don’t get on top of this quickly — and I don’t mean next year, I mean this year — you will have a food availability problem in 2023,” he said. “And that’s gonna be hell.”

The World Food Program keeps sounding the alarm, but very few of us in the western world seem to be taking those warnings very seriously.

People are literally dropping dead from starvation in some areas of the globe right now, and a new report that the WFP just released says that there are 19 “hotspots” where we could see a “huge loss of life” between October and January…

World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are out with a new report outlining countries that “are either already starving or on the brink of disaster.”

WFP and FAO found 19 hunger hotspots worldwide, with most countries in Africa, the Middle East, and even some in Central America. They call for urgent humanitarian action between October 2022 and January 2023 to avoid “huge loss of life.”

Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, and Haiti are labeled “hotspots of highest concern,” facing catastrophic hunger levels.

The sort of famines that we were warned about are already starting to happen right in front of our eyes, but most people simply will not care as long as they are not going hungry themselves.

What those people do not realize is that this global food crisis is going to continue to spread.

As supplies of food get tighter and tighter, prices will continue to soar and shortages will become more common.

We truly are in unprecedented territory, and the pain that is ahead will greatly shock all of the lemmings that just kept assuming that everything would work out just fine somehow.

*  *  *

It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 21:40

"As Soon As Possible": US Preparing To Wean Itself Off Russian Nuclear Fuel

"As Soon As Possible": US Preparing To Wean Itself Off Russian Nuclear Fuel

Russia's dominance in the global nuclear fuel market presents another massive challenge for Washington, especially the liberal hawks in the Biden administration, who are trying to wean Western countries off Russian energy supplies.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said President Biden is redoubling efforts to break the US reliance on Russian nuclear fuel, indicating domestic uranium-enrichment capacity could be increased with upcoming key legislation. 

"We are going to get Congressional support in a bipartisan way for us to make our own fuel cycle supply chain independent, certainly of Russia," Granholm said in an interview at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Bloomberg quoted. 

"We've got to make this happen for our own independence and national security," she continued. 

Bringing on new capacity could take years. For instance, uranium extracted from mines to refine into fuel for nuclear reactors takes three to five years. 

Russia controls about two-fifths of the global enrichment services market and supplies almost a quarter of the fuel for the US' 93 operational nuclear reactors. This is another chokepoint the US is trying to avoid.  

Earlier this year, Washington banned imports of Russian fossil fuel products, though uranium wasn't part of the sanctions. 

"We should not be sending any money to Russia for any American energy or for any other reason," Granholm said in May.

The Biden administration is working toward expanding a uranium supply chain to wean itself off Russian supplies though top congressional Democrats recently balked at Biden's $1.5 billion request in an upcoming budget bill to support domestic uranium enrichment programs. 

"We need to signal that the US is committed to its own fuel supply as well as the conversion and enrichment components of the supply chain. 

"This investment in our own supply chain is a critical piece of that," Granholm said in Vienna. 

The American nuclear industry could soon see a resurgence since the Three Mile Island facility accident in 1979 sent it into a tailspin for decades if Granholm and the Biden administration can get funding. 

She said the government would support the demand side rather than taking direct ownership stakes in facilities. 

"We would be using the market to make sure this capability gets out," she added. "We would contract with facilities. The goal is to be independent as soon as possible."

Several nuclear fuel supply chain companies, including Honeywell International Inc., General Atomics, and Centrus Energy Corp., could benefit from atomic independence from Russia. 

Readers may recall we have outlined Nuclear Power Is Staging A Remarkable Comeback and Why Nuclear Energy Is More Relevant Than Ever

Remember we outlined in 2020: Buy Uranium: Is This The Beginning Of The Next ESG Craze

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 21:20

"We Don't Have Due Process": Book Reveals Decision To Abandon Historical Precedent To Impeach Trump

"We Don't Have Due Process": Book Reveals Decision To Abandon Historical Precedent To Impeach Trump

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Below is today’s column in Fox.com on the new disclosures in a new book on the Trump impeachment. The authors allege that House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and his staff raised virtually the same procedural objections that I made in my history about the House abandoning both historical precedent and due process guarantees. The book directly contradicts public statements made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff.

Here is the column:

“They’re going to argue we don’t have due process for Trump. Why make that argument real?” Those words from House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.,  stand out in the shocking disclosures in the recently released book, “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump,” Politico Playbook co-author Rachael Bade and Washington Post reporter Karoun Demirjian recount how House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi overrode objections from Nadler that the lack of witness testimony was a denial of due process for then President Donald Trump. He put it plainly and correctly: “It’s unfair, and it’s unprecedented, and it’s unconstitutional.”

It was a strikingly familiar objection.  I testified at the first Trump impeachment before Nadler and criticized the lack of any factual witnesses or Judiciary Committee hearings supporting the articles of impeachment. The book details a position of the House Judiciary that is strikingly similar to my own testimony.

The book, however, has not brought a sense of vindication as much as frustration. Nadler publicly toed the line with Pelosi to support a process that he reportedly viewed as abusive and “unconstitutional” even as some of us were set upon by a legion of irate liberal pundits. Worse yet, the book indicates that the bar on witnesses was not compelled by the schedule as claimed by Pelosi and Schiff, but raw politics.  It was, I wrote, a decision to follow the rule of Franz Kafka’s character that “my guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.”

On the second impeachment, they went one better. They jettisoned any witnesses (including legal experts) in what I called a “snap impeachment.”

During the impeachments, I suggested that the reason was not any limitation of time but tactical advantage. In both rushed impeachments, Pelosi then held back the articles of impeachment before sending them to the Senate – destroying even the pretense of exigency as the reason for abandoning due process.

The book appears to confirm the Katkaesque logic. It states that neither Pelosi nor Schiff wanted to risk a witness or member going off script by allowing true due process. When Nadler raised historical and constitutional objections, Schiff reported barked back that he needed to what “his tone” and complained “you’re putting us in a box.”  

That box is an effort to guarantee fairness and Nadler reportedly and correctly observed that “if we’re going to impeach, we need to show the country that we gave the president ample opportunity to defend himself.”

In my testimony in the only hearing held by the Judiciary Committee in the two impeachments, I objected that “this is wrong. It is not wrong because President Trump is right…No, it is wrong because this is not how an American president should be impeached.”

I relied primarily on the Nixon and Clinton cases to show how far the House was far outside any historical navigational beacons. It turns out Nadler and his staff reached the same conclusion and cautioned Schiff and Pelosi to “Stick close to the Nixon and Clinton cases.” They refused.

Dan Goldman, Schiff’s lead counsel and the Democratic nominee to represent New York’s 10th District in the House, scoffed and mocked Nadler: “Jerry Nadler? With him, everything is negotiable.” When Nadler’s team argued for an approach (as I did) “more like Nixon,” Schiff’s team reportedly dismissed due process and said, “F— Donald Trump.”

People can disagree on the merits of the impeachments, but both impeachments were an abusive use of the Article I authority in the denial of any substantive hearings before the Judiciary Committee. While it was constitutional in the sense that there is no required process, it was wrong from both a historical and procedural perspective.  Of course, the public was not allowed to either hear from witnesses or know that even Democrats like the Judiciary Chair objected on these same grounds.

Indeed, when the House elected to pursue the January 6th investigation, they followed the same playbook with Schiff as a member.  Traditionally, each party is allowed to pick its own members on such committees. However, Pelosi rejected two of the Republican members and the rest of the party (except outgoing Reps. Lynne Cheney and Adam Kinzinger) boycotted the hearings. The result was the same one-sided production without a hint of fairness or balance in exploring possible defenses or counterarguments.

What is most sad about this account is that for a critical moment Nadler rose to the occasion. He defended not just the historical authority of his committee but the constitutional norm, even for a president despised by Democrats. That twilight moment of clarity was soon lost. The book recounts how Nadler made an “effort to get back into Pelosi’s good graces.”

When I testified, there was not a hint of concern or dissent.

Nadler and the Democrats scoffed at the notion that the impeachment departed from core historical precedent or legal protections.

They had, as Nadler predicted, made the due process arguments “real,” but no one cared. To paraphrase Goodman’s reported observation, in Washington, “everything is negotiable.”

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 21:00

DOJ Seeks Another Delay In Turning Over Documents From Mar-a-Lago To Trump

DOJ Seeks Another Delay In Turning Over Documents From Mar-a-Lago To Trump

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers are seeking another delay in allowing lawyers for former President Donald Trump to peruse documents seized in August from Trump’s Florida estate.

An aerial view of former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home after FBI agents searched it, in Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 15, 2022. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

The DOJ was supposed to provide electronic copies of the documents to Trump attorneys and U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master in the case, no later than Sept. 26. But the government sought and received a delay of four days for the production.

DOJ lawyers said that the delay was warranted because of issues contracting a vendor to scan and store the materials.

Those issues have not been resolved, DOJ lawyers said in a new filing entered late Sept. 27.

None of the five vendors proposed by the government “were willing to be engaged by Plaintiff,” the lawyers said, citing attorneys for Trump.

To try to avoid further delay, the government is moving to contract directly with a vendor, instead of having Trump’s team do so.

“Based on its prior experience and discussions today with the vendors, the government is highly confident at least one vendor will respond” and agree to perform the work, according to the DOJ.

Seven-Day Delay

But because vendors still need to respond to the government’s work request, the government says it doesn’t know when the vendor will have the materials ready for Trump’s lawyers.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 20:20

Rare Bright Spot? Russia Mulling Face-To-Face Nuclear Arms Treaty Talks With US

Rare Bright Spot? Russia Mulling Face-To-Face Nuclear Arms Treaty Talks With US

Russia says it is mulling a face-to-face meeting with US officials in order to discuss the New START nuclear arms treaty (Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms). Amid heightened nuclear tensions related to the Ukraine war, in a rare moment of potential good news, given the prior collapse of several US-Russia Cold War era treaties which were meant to avoid confrontation between nuclear armed superpowers.

"Within the framework of the [advisory] commission, a remote discussion continues on what organizational and technical problems need to be addressed. Some of them have been removed, while others have made significant progress," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a Thursday press briefing.

But she cited that "a number of significant difficulties remain: the implementation of the treaty's essentially routine measures is complicated by the unconstructive anti-Russian actions of the United States and its partners," according to state media.

 Russian RS-24 Yars strategic nuclear missile, via AFP

"They continue to introduce new sanctions prohibitions, impede the normal interaction of the parties. We will seek to resolve all problematic issues in the context of the implementation of the Treaty on an equal basis, taking into account our national interests," Zakharova said of the US administration.

In March 2021 the two sides renewed New START for a period of five years, and it will expire in February 2026 if it's not continued - an increasing possibility given US-Russia relations have deteriorated so fast they are near complete breaking point.

The treaty is intended to limit and reduce nuclear arms on either side, setting a limit of no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 missiles. START I began in 1991, with New START signed under the Obama and Medvedev administrations in 2010 as a successor agreement.

Compliance inspections are part of the deal, but that's precisely a current issue of contention, given that last month Russia informed the US that it was temporarily suspending American inspections of its nuclear weapons sites under the 2010 treaty.

"On August 8, 2022, the Russian Federation officially informed the United States via diplomatic channels that our country is temporarily exempting its facilities from inspection activities under the New START Treaty," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in August, adding it also covers "facilities that can be used for demonstrations under the treaty.”

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 20:00

Minnesota Counties Sued For Duplicate Voter Registrations

Minnesota Counties Sued For Duplicate Voter Registrations

Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

An election-integrity group is filing a new legal complaint each day this week regarding a different Minnesota county for officials’ failure to remove duplicate voter registrations from county voter rolls.

“Federal law requires that duplicate registrations are eliminated from the voter roll,” said J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF). Adams is a former civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

“It is troubling that we are seeing duplicate registrants remain on the voter roll in Minnesota counties. Each duplicate registration allows for a person to vote more than once. Removing these duplicate registrations will make Minnesota’s elections more secure.”

A sign reminds voters they need photo ID to vote at polling station at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church on Midterm Election Day, Nov.6, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

PILF describes itself as “the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity.” The nonprofit organization “exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity, and fight against lawlessness in American elections.”

Under the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), states are required to implement a computerized statewide voter registration list that is accurate and eliminates duplicate registrations.

PILF is now using state implementation provisions in HAVA that have “pretty much never been used for 20 years,” Adams told The Epoch Times in an interview.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and a handful of states were exempted from the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), also known as the Motor-Voter law because it allowed people to register to vote with relative ease at motor vehicle agencies and government offices. NVRA requires states to make a reasonable effort to remove ineligible individuals’ names from voter rolls.

It has been difficult to get Minnesota to clean up its voter rolls because the state couldn’t be forced to do it under NVRA, Adams said.

But then legal counsel discovered that HAVA contained a provision allowing states to pass rules about how to implement that law. Some states didn’t do anything about it, but Minnesota solved the problem with a state law that allowed lawsuits to be filed over failure to comply with HAVA, Adams said.

“So that’s what we’re doing. We’ve found all kinds of duplicate registrations, a convicted sex offender, who seems to have voted twice in 2020, according to the records,” Adams said.

“Nothing has happened in Minnesota for so many decades, because nobody thought there was a tool to do it. And we found a broom. And we’re doing it,” Adams said.

On Sept. 27, PILF filed a complaint regarding Dakota County with the Minnesota secretary of state’s office.

According to the group, government records show there are 73 people on Dakota County’s voter roll that appear to have two voter registration numbers, despite having the same year of birth and address.

On Sept. 26, PILF filed a complaint regarding Nicollet County.

Government records indicate that there are four people on the county’s voter roll that have two voter registration numbers, despite having the same year of birth and address.

One of these apparent duplicate registrants, Damian Kingbird, voted twice in the 2020 election, though only the Minnesota police can determine if an election crime did occur,” PILF said in a summary.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 19:40

Elizabeth Warren Turns Attention From Crumbling Economy To Pending Vacuum Cleaner Company Acquisition

Elizabeth Warren Turns Attention From Crumbling Economy To Pending Vacuum Cleaner Company Acquisition

While the Federal Reserve is in the midst of nuking the U.S. economy and stock market and as inflation runs rampant, destroying quality of life for middle income and lower income households, Senator Elizabeth Warren has turned her focus away from berating Jerome Powell to...vacuum cleaners. 

Having apparently solved all of the nation's other financial woes already, Warren has now directed her attention to a relatively small pending acquisition by Amazon, of Roomba vacuum cleaner company, iRobot. 

Warren and a group of lawmakers has publicly asked the FTC this week to reject Amazon's plans to buy the vacuum maker for $1.7 billion, according to Reuters. The FTC was already in the midst of an antitrust review of the deal, as of earlier this month. 

The letter to the FTC reads: "Given Amazon’s record of infringing on consumers’ privacy, and their ongoing history of anticompetitive mergers to increase their monopoly power, the FTC should use its authority to oppose the Amazon – iRobot transaction."

"Rather than compete in a fair marketplace on its own merits, Amazon is following a familiar anticompetitive playbook: leveraging its massive market share and access to capital to buy or suppress popular products," it continues. 

The Senator later told Axios: "I have serious concerns about the Amazon-iRobot deal — dominant companies like Amazon shouldn’t be allowed to just buy their way out of competing. The FTC should oppose this proposed merger to protect competition, lower consumer prices, and rein in Amazon’s well-documented anticompetitive activities."

Yeah, because Amazon is primarily a vacuum cleaner company...

You can read Warren's full letter to the FTC here

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 19:20

What Happens When A Fact-Checker Doesn't Get The Facts Right?

What Happens When A Fact-Checker Doesn't Get The Facts Right?

Authored by Chandler Lasch via RealClear Wire,

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams recently came under fire for a false claim about embryonic development. Glenn Kessler, fact-checker at the Washington Post, chimed in with his own analysis. But instead of setting the record straight, he tweeted another inaccurate remark.

https://twitter.com/RepTerriSewell/status/1234129731186024448/ph

In a clip posted to Twitter by RNC Research on Sept. 21, Abrams criticized anti-abortion legislation in Georgia that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, when embryonic heartbeats can typically be detected. But Abrams took issue with this framing. "There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” she said. “It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman's body."

The next day, in response to RNC Research on Twitter, Kessler sided with Abrams. “FWIW [for what it’s worth], ‘fetal heartbeat’ is a misnomer,” he wrote. “The ultrasound picks up electrical activity generated by an embryo. The so-called ‘heartbeat’ sound you hear is created by the ultrasound. Not until 10 weeks can the opening and closing of cardiac valves be detected by a Doppler machine.”

Cardiologists were quick to correct the fact-checker, pointing out that this is not how ultrasound works. “I was today years old when I discovered that an ultrasound can pick up electrical activity,” Anish Koka, a cardiologist and writer, tweeted sarcastically.

This is scientifically and medically incorrect. 100%,” wrote Pradheep J. Shanker. “Ultrasound can't detect electrical activity. Who told you otherwise?”

As evidence for his claim, Kessler cited an NPR article from September 2021. The article quoted OB-GYN Jennifer Kerns, who said the term “fetal heartbeat” was “pretty misleading." "What we're really detecting is a grouping of cells that are initiating some electrical activity,” she said. “In no way is this detecting a functional cardiovascular system or a functional heart.”

But Shanker criticized this piece when it was published, pointing out that ultrasound “measures MOTION, not electrical activity. In fact, ultrasound doesn't measure electricity at all. It is literally detecting motion ... motion of the soft tissue (in this case, the wall of the cardiac chamber).” He added, “measuring electrical activity in a fetal heart is VERY DIFFICULT.”

Further, Abrams’ statement that “there is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks” is false. An article in The Journal of Prenatal Medicine explained, “Cardiovascular development in a human embryo occurs between 3 and 6 weeks after ovulation. … At the end of the 4th week of gestation, the heartbeats of the embryo begin.” Because pregnancy is measured from the last week of a woman’s period, rather than from conception, the fourth week of gestation is close to the sixth week of pregnancy.

Until recently, even Planned Parenthood conceded that in the second month of pregnancy, “a very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop” during weeks 5-6 of pregnancy. Their website now references “cardiac activity” during “the earliest stage of the heart developing.”

Abrams’ claim that a heartbeat detected at six weeks of pregnancy is nonexistent and “a manufactured sound” is false, as is Kessler’s claim that ultrasound detects electrical activity, not the motion of a heart.  For two years, Abrams has urged Americans to “follow the science,” while Kessler has insisted that at his newspaper, “we deal in facts.” Both are laudable goals – and equally applicable to the speaker, as well as their audiences.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 19:00

Mackenzie Scott Files For Divorce From Former Science Teacher

Mackenzie Scott Files For Divorce From Former Science Teacher

MacKenzie Scott - formerly known as MacKenzie Bezos - and her husband, Dan Jewett, have called their marriage quits less than two years after the couple announced intentions to give away "their" fortune together.

Scott filed for the divorce from Jewett, who is a former science teacher, in the King County Superior Court in Washington state earlier this week, according to The New York TimesYahoo Finance

As the report notes, in just four years' time, Scott divorced her former husband, Jeff Bezos, gave away $12 billion to various non-profits and then married Jewett, who was an instructor at the school where her kids attended. 

Jewett has not contested the divorce, Yahoo reported. The couple's division of property - of which Scott likely is responsible for 99.9% of - has been laid out in a separate contract, which had been agreed to by the couple and is not public. 

The couple's high profile relationship in the media was helped along by their collective promise to donate Scott's enormous fortune to good causes. However, in recent times, non-profits who generally received gifts from the couple were thanking Scott alone, the report says. 

“I am married to one of the most generous and kind people I know — and joining her in a commitment to pass on an enormous financial wealth to serve others,” Jewett had written publicly two years ago. 

One acquaintance of Jewett said of him after he married Scott: “He’s earnest, not very edgy. He’s the perfect person to end up with this money to give away — no sense of greed at all.”

The report notes that Scott has apparently been trying to scrub her connection to Jewett off the internet, as well:

In the past week his name vanished from her philanthropic endeavors. On the site for the Giving Pledge, where billionaires promise to give away half of their wealth before they die, his letter no longer appeared with hers. Without fanfare, his name was recently edited out of a Medium post Scott had written last year about their gifts.

Scott, a novelist, also deleted Jewett from her author bio on Amazon, the online retailer that is the source of her vast wealth.

Scott's fortune was once estimated to be as much as $62 billion, but due to the decline in the market, it is now estimated at about $27.8 billion. Scott has made very few public statements about her giving and often declines interview requests. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 18:40

Al Gore & John Kerry Aim To Hijack The World Bank For Climate Agenda

Al Gore & John Kerry Aim To Hijack The World Bank For Climate Agenda

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

Let's discuss the goals of the World Bank and climate activists aim to change those goals...

Al Gore and John Kerry image from Tweet below.

World Bank Goals   

The World Bank has two ambitious goals neither of which is climate change.

  1. End extreme poverty within a generation

  2. Boost shared prosperity

Goal number one will not happen, even within several generations. Goal number two is ambiguous enough that it might.

Neither of those goals has anything to do with climate change but Al Gore and John Kerry want to change that. 

At a New York Times sponsored event last week, Gore and Kerry accused World Bank President David Malpass of being a climate denier. The climate lobbyists in the press then piled accusing Malpass for  refusing “to acknowledge that the burning of fossil fuels is rapidly warming the planet.”

But climate science is not part of Malpass' expertise, not should it be given World Bank goals. Let's pick up from there with comments by the WSJ.

Gore-Kerry Political Hit Job

Please consider A Gore-Kerry Political Hit Job.

Bloomberg and Axios, both advocates for the Gore-Kerry agenda in their reporting, teased that the Biden Administration is looking into the issue and that Mr. Malpass’s job could be in jeopardy. Axios even hinted that Mr. Gore might then get the World Bank job.

Mr. Malpass said he isn’t resigning and made clear he thinks greenhouse gases are contributing to climate change. He has no cause to step down, having managed the bank in a commendable fashion since he took the job in 2019. 

The World Bank’s main job is to alleviate poverty. This requires energy, which today is still most efficiently and affordably provided by fossil fuels. Yet Mr. Kerry recently cautioned African leaders against investing in long-term natural gas production, as if they have an alternative if they want to develop.

This is an indulgence in a place like California, which is affluent enough to pay twice what its neighboring states do for energy. But it amounts to condemning countries in Africa and much of the developing world to more decades of poverty.

Mr. Kerry may even be consigning poor countries to needless hunger from rising prices and perhaps a global shortage of natural gas for fertilizer. Climate monomania is easier to preach with a sea-side view from a bluff in Martha’s Vineyard than it is from a village with unreliable electricity in the Congo.

Climate Hypocrites

Meanwhile, Kerry and Gore travel the globe in carbon-spewing private jets or government aircraft.

Gore has been wrongly preaching climate doom for decades. They hold doom conferences to foster unrealistic emissions targets. 

The irony, as noted by the Journal, is U.S. carbon emissions reductions in recent decades are almost entirely the result of the expansion of natural gas production that the climate lobby wants to shut down.

Exploring the Massive Clean Energy Boondoggle of Burning Trees as Carbon Neutral

In case you missed, it please see Exploring the Massive Clean Energy Boondoggle of Burning Trees as Carbon Neutral

To the shock of everyone with any semblance of common sense, we are clearcutting forests and burning the trees based on the idea the process is carbon neutral.

Also, Let's Review 50 Years of Dire Climate Forecasts and What Actually Happened

Many of the predictions are outrageously funny.

*  *  *

Like these reports? I hope so, and if you do, please Subscribe to MishTalk Email Alerts.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 18:20

"Historic Levels Of Fraud": US Watchdog Estimates $45.6 Billion Bilked From Pandemic Unemployment Program

"Historic Levels Of Fraud": US Watchdog Estimates $45.6 Billion Bilked From Pandemic Unemployment Program

A federal watchdog has found that $45.6 billion may have been scammed out of the nation's unemployment program during the pandemic, as fraudsters used a variety of methods to commit fraud - including using the Social Security numbers of dead people, hard-to-trace emails, and the identities of prisoners who were ineligible for aid.

According to the Washington Post, a Thursday report by the inspector general for the Labor Department reveals that the program - which helped some 57 million families in the first five months of the crisis - became an easy target for criminals.

To siphon away funds, scammers allegedly filed billions of dollars in unemployment claims in multiple states simultaneously and relied on suspicious, hard-to-trace emails. In some cases, they used more than 205,000 Social Security numbers that belonged to dead people. Other suspected criminals obtained benefits using the identities of prisoners who were ineligible for aid.

But officials at the watchdog office warned their accounting still may be incomplete: They said they were not able to access more updated federal prisoner data from the Justice Department, and acknowledged that they only focused their report on “high risk” areas for fraud. The two factors raised the prospect that they could uncover billions of dollars in additional theft in the months to come. -WaPo

At least 1,000 individuals have been charged with unemployment fraud and related crimes, according to a Thursday announcement. DOJ director of covid-related enforcement, Kevin Chambers, described the situation as "unprecedented fraud," while the IG's office says it's opened roughly 190,000 related investigative matters since the beginning of the pandemic.

The new report highlights challenges faced by government watchdogs and regulators, two years after what became roughly $5 trillion in (inflationary) pandemic aid was printed in response to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Last week, federal prosecutors  charged 47 individuals from the Minnesota Somali community for allegedly bilking $250 million in Covid-19 federal funds meant for a child nutrition program, in what the DOJ described as the largest single fraud case related to pandemic aid to date.

Twitter via @LouRaguse

Meanwhile, federal investigators are looking into roughly $1 trillion in loans an grants designed to help small businesses.

"Hundreds of billions in pandemic funds attracted fraudsters seeking to exploit the UI program — resulting in historic levels of fraud and other improper payments," said Labor Department inspector general, Larry Turner.

Turner's office found that between March and October 2020, there were roughly $16 billion in potential fraud in key high-risk areas.

One lawmaker actually who's actually pursuing the fraud is Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. Wyden praised the "strong effort to identify criminals," but stressed the need to overhaul the jobless benefits system.

"I’ve long said we need a national set of technology and security standards for state systems to better prevent this kind of fraud, and we’re going to keep working to get our reforms passed," he added.

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 18:00

Trump Wins Ruling In Rape Accuser Carroll’s Defamation Lawsuit

Trump Wins Ruling In Rape Accuser Carroll’s Defamation Lawsuit

Authored by Rita Li via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A federal appeals court in Manhattan handed former President Donald Trump a procedural victory Tuesday in a defamation lawsuit, after famed columnist E. Jean Carroll claimed that Trump had raped her in the 1990s.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally to support Republican candidates running for state and federal offices in the state at the Covelli Centre, in Youngstown, Ohio, on Sept. 17, 2022. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

In a two-to-one decision on Sept. 27, the panel on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court erred when it ruled that Carroll could sue Trump for defamatory statements during his presidency, given that a federal law, known as the Westfall Act, shields government employees from liability in work-related incidents.

Carroll, 78, sued Trump in 2019, claiming the Republican sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan. Because the alleged attack happened decades ago, Carroll was originally barred from suing over sexual battery, pushing her to sue for defamation over allegedly disparaging comments Trump made about the rape allegation.

Trump denied her allegation at the time and accused her of using false claims as a way to promote her book. “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened,” the-then president told The Hill in an interview at the White House in June 2019.

The D.C. Court of Appeals is now asked to weigh in on whether Trump was acting within the scope of his presidential duties when he denied raping Carroll and dismissed her during the interview. If Trump was, he would be entitled to immunity from the lawsuit, according to the ruling by the 2nd Circuit judges. And while the U.S. government can be sued over some wrongdoing by its employees, it is immune from defamation lawsuits, which would mean Carroll’s suit would fail.

In a majority opinion written by Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi on Tuesday, two members of the 2nd Circuit’s three-judge panel declined to further address the defamation action while the matter was “of extreme public importance.”

We do not pass judgment or express any view as to whether Trump’s public statements were indeed defamatory or whether the sexual assault allegations had, in fact, occurred,” the judges said.

E. Jean Carroll talks to reporters outside a courthouse in New York on March 4, 2020. (Seth Wenig, File/AP Photo)

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba, meanwhile, welcomed the decision, saying it “will protect the ability of all future presidents to effectively govern without hindrance.”

“We are confident that the D.C. Court of Appeals will find that our client was acting within the scope of his employment when properly repudiating Ms. Carroll’s allegations,” she said in a statement.

Former Attorney General William Barr and current Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the Department of Justice’s decision to back Trump as a defendant in the ongoing defamation case.

Dissent

In an opinion written by Judge Denny Chin, the third judge who dissented, he said that the law protecting federal employees from liability does not apply to Trump. He said it was only to protect low-level, rank-and-file government employees rather than the president.

And he said at least some of the former president’s statements were not part of his official duties.

“Trump was not acting in the scope of his employment when he made comments about Carroll and her accusations because he was not serving any purpose of the federal government,” wrote the judge, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

“In the context of an accusation of rape, the comment ‘she’s not my type’ surely is not something one would expect the President of the United States to say in the course of his duties. Carroll’s allegations plausibly paint a picture of a man pursuing a personal vendetta against an accuser, not the United States’ ‘chief constitutional officer’ engaging in ‘supervisory and policy responsibilities of utmost discretion and sensitivity,’” Chin added.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 17:40

Surprise! Democrats Stall Bill Banning Congressional Stock-Trading

Surprise! Democrats Stall Bill Banning Congressional Stock-Trading

With the House in session just two more days before lawmakers leave for the usual midterm panderings, a (repeated) promise by Democrat leaders to vote on a congressional stock-trading ban this month appears not to be in the cards - despite a scorching analysis from the NYT which revealed thousands of stock trades by 97 current lawmakers which posed potential conflicts of interest.

As Punchbowl News reports, House Democrats aren't likely to vote on the Cognressional stock-trading ban "anytime soon."

When the outlet asked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer about its passage, he replied: "Well, it was just introduced. … I gotta look at it and see what it is." Hoyer had previously stated in closed-door leadership meetings that he didn't like what was being proposed.

According to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, there are concerns inside the Democratic Caucus following a Wednesday night leadership meeting.

"Oh yeah," he told Punchbowl when asked if he was aware of such complaints.

Meanwhile, other sources inside the House Democratic leadership said there was "very little chance" the bill would see any action before the House adjourns for the election.

At Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request which we first reported back in February – House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) took the lead in drafting a stock-trading bill. The 26-page proposal unveiled by Lofgren on Tuesday night would ban stock trading by lawmakers, their spouses, and dependent children, the president and vice president, Cabinet officers, federal judges including Supreme Court justices, and other senior government officials.

Covered public officials would be required to divest their financial investments or place them in a qualified blind trust upon entering government service.

Pelosi has gotten criticism over stock trading by her husband, investor Paul Pelosi, although there’s been no allegation of improper or unethical behavior. Business Insider also reported that dozens of lawmakers may have violated a federal law barring insider trading or conflicts of interest. -Punchbowl News

Lofgren says she's received "pretty positive" feedback from other members regarding her plan - though she admitted that fellow Democrats have concerns.

"Well, we’re Democrats, we always have a point of view," she told reporters, but added that she doesn't think the bill is dead even if the House fails to pass it this week.

"I don’t think so because the Senate is not going to get theirs done this week either," she said.

"Pelosi never really wanted a vote on this anyway," said one senior Democratic aide.

Duh...

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/29/2022 - 17:20

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