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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Koch brothers network rules out anti-Clinton ads...

CNN
July 31, 2016
The powerful political network helmed by Charles and David Koch is ruling out running advertisements intended to hurt Hillary Clinton, another sign of their insistence on avoiding the presidential race.
The Koch network has previously said they will not back Republican candidate Donald Trump, but on Saturday officials told reporters that they would not run negative Clinton spots, a position taken by some Republican groups that are uneasy with the controversial GOP standard-bearer. The group is laser-focused on maintaining and expanding the Senate majority — in the midst of a $42 million television advertising campaign focused on a half-dozen states — and would only use Clinton to bash Senate Democratic hopefuls.
Network officials outlined their plans here as 400 of their donors prepared to hear from a roster of Republican leaders. House Speaker Paul Ryan is among the politicians who scored invites to one of the nation’s most sought-after political retreats at a lavish campus nestled in the Rocky Mountains.
Ryan will be joined here at the summit hosted by the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce alongside up-and-coming Republicans like Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Mike Lee of Utah, Koch spokesman James Davis said Saturday. Other speakers will include Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado.

PHOTO: Clinton campaign confiscates American flags — throws them on floor...

American Mirror
July 31, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s campaign apparently has a love-hate relationship with the American flag.
While they seemingly couldn’t get enough of them in Philadelphia, they’re literally discarding them in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Jason Cato posted a photo from inside Clinton’s Saturday rally in Pittsburgh that showed a pile of “confiscated” American flags in a heap on the floor.
“American flags confiscated and (piled) on floor at Hillary Clinton event in Pittsburgh,” Cato notes.
It’s not the first time the Clinton campaign has been caught disrespecting the flag.
In February, the Washington Post tweeted a disturbing photo that may show what some Hillary Clinton staffers really think about the American flag.
With many hours to go, Clinton's staff has flags ready for their election night party // photo by @melinamara
“With many hours to go, Clinton’s staff has flags ready for their election night party,” the paper tweeted.
The campaign appears to be violating basic flag etiquette.

According to Military.com, “Don’t let the flag touch the ground.”

Hillary Promises “I’m Not Here To Take Away Your Guns”...

Zero Hedge
July 30, 2016
Hillary Clinton at her DNC speech: “I’m not here to take away your guns” …   Hillary Clinton wants you to know one thing about her position on gun control: “I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns.”  She elaborated further on her comments, which she made at her Democratic National Convention speech accepting the presidential nomination: “I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.” –Vox
During her acceptance speech, see above, Hillary said she wasn’t going to take away guns in the US, but this is untrue.
She knows just how to do it.
First of all, she will make guns more expensive with new back ground checks.
Second, she will make guns manufacturers liable for selling guns that later are used in crimes.
But that is just the beginning.
Hillary doesn’t actually believe that people in the US should have guns.
In a Fox post HERE entitled, “Four ways Hillary Clinton will work to end gun ownership as president,” John Lott points out that in an appearance on ABC, Hillary would not say whether citizens had a constitutional right to own guns.
George Stephanopoulos pushed Clinton twice on whether people have a right to own guns on ABC News’ “This Week”:
“But that’s not what I asked.  I said do you believe that their conclusion that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?”
Clinton could only say: “If it is a constitutional right…”
Clinton like other gun opponents, believes an overabundance of guns are responsible for the shootings that take place in the US, especially in mass shootings.
But there are many questions about these mass shootings.
David Steele, second-highest-ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence and former CIA clandestine services case officer, has said this here:
“Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.”
Such FBI involvement leads one to ask whether there are forces in and behind the US government that are manufacturing violence in order to justify continued anti-gun agitation.
Authoritarian governments and those who back them don’t want people to have guns because without guns, it is much easier to force people to obey. When people are not armed, genocide becomes a more viable and convenient option.
Government killed hundreds of millions in the 20th century. The 21st century may equally bloody, especially if guns continue to be confiscated.
In the US, many citizens have fought back against gun confiscation.  But if Hillary wins the presidency, discussions about gun control will become moot.
Guns will be confiscated. Lott explains it this way:
Until 2008, Washington, D.C., had a complete handgun ban. It was also a felony to put a bullet in the chamber of a gun. In effect, this was a complete ban on guns. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down these laws.
But the constituency of the Supreme Court is changing. Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are Bill Clinton appointees. Sonia Sotomayor was appointed by Obama as was Elana Kagan.
“If Hillary wins in November, she will appoint [Antonin] Scalia’s successor and the Supreme Court will overturn the Heller decision.  Make no mistake about it, gun bans will return.”
Only one more appointee is needed.
Conclusion: Hillary herself will not have to “pull the trigger” on gun confiscations. She will let the Supreme Court do it for her.

Vanished guns: Firearms stolen from elite US Army base in Germany...

RT
July 30, 2016
US officials have revealed that a collection of weapons was stolen from the Panzer Kaserne base near Stuttgart earlier this month and couldn’t be located, leading to concerns that the arms may have ended up on the black market – or in the wrong hands.
“Several semi-automatic pistols, one small-caliber automatic rifle and a shotgun were among the items taken,” said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID).
“Due to the ongoing investigation, we will not be releasing any additional information or any specifics on the items stolen at this time to protect the integrity of the investigative process,” said Ray Johnson, a spokesman for the Army’s Installation Management Command-Europe.
The Cold War-era facility serves as a local garrison headquarters and an operational base for elite units, including the Green Berets and Navy SEALS.
“We are looking at all possibilities as the investigation continues, but at this point in the investigation it does not appear that an outside entity stole the firearms and equipment or breached the fence line, but we have not completely ruled it out,” Grey said.
The CID has put up a $10,000 reward for any leads.
Such cases are routinely dealt with internally, but considering it has been weeks since the theft with no resolution, the US Army has had to go public.

The timing of the disappearance is particularly inopportune.
“German authorities were notified and are working with the Army on the investigation,”
 said Johnson.
On July 19, a refugee pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) attacked tourists on a train, and a German-Iranian teenager went on a shooting spree in Munich on July 22. The next day, a Syrian refugee blew himself up at a music festival.
“I wouldn’t overplay it – it was only a few weapons, and no indications it was an outside source,” Peter Schulze, Professor of International Relations at the University of Gottingen, told RT. “Of course this will not contribute to a more relaxed atmosphere among the German people, as it adds fire to the existing angst about their use in a potential terrorist attack.”

Seven Years Later, Recovery Remains the Weakest of the Post-World War II Era...

Wall St Journal
July 31, 2016
Even seven years after the recession ended, the current stretch of economic gains has yielded less growth than much shorter business cycles.
In terms of average annual growth, the pace of this expansion has been by far the weakest of any since 1949. (And for which we have quarterly data.) The economy has grown at a 2.1% annual rate since the U.S. recovery began in mid-2009, according to gross-domestic-product data the Commerce Department released Friday.
The prior expansion, from 2001 through 2007, was the only other business cycle of the past 11 when the economy didn’t grow at least 3% a year, on average.
Total growth this expansion ranks just 8th of the past 11 cycles. The U.S. economy, at the end of June, was 15.5% larger than it was when the recession ended in 2009.

‘Deceitful & corrupt’: Ireland sentences 3 bankers to jail for role in 2008 crisis...

RT
July 30, 2016
On Friday, a Dublin court sentenced three senior bankers to up to 3.5 years in prison for conspiring to defraud investors during the 2008 banking crisis. The convictions were seemingly applauded by Irish taxpayers concerned over a lack of accountability. 
Former Irish Life and Permanent Chief Executive Denis Casey received two years and nine months after being found guilty in the country’s longest trial, which lasted 74 days.
The ex-finance director at the failed Anglo Irish Bank, Willie McAteer, got 42 months, while John Bowe, the bank’s former-head of Capital Markets, was sentenced to 24 months.
The three were found guilty of conspiring to mislead investors, lenders, and depositors into believing the infamous bank was still afloat. The bankers set up a 7.2-billion-euro circular transaction scheme from March to September of 2008 to increase Anglo’s balance sheet.
“By means that could be termed dishonest, deceitful and corrupt they manufactured 7.2 billion euros in deposits by obvious sham transactions,” Judge Martin Nolan said, adding that this was a “very serious crime.”
Irish Life used a non-banking subsidiary to make deposits, passing them off as customer deposits and not money coming in from another bank, which is considered to be much more secure.
The three jail sentences are some of the first in the world resulting in bankers facing prison time for their role in the 2008 crisis, which severely hurt Ireland’s economy and triggered a three-year sovereign bailout in 2010.

The crisis still seems far from over in Ireland and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, two other Anglo-Irish bankers, chief operations officer Tiarnan O’Mahoney and former company secretary Bernard Daly had their jail time waved on appeal after spending only several months in prison.
The Irish finance ministry said in June that it could be another 15 years before the country gets back the money it invested in the banks that were going under during the crisis.
Local media said Irish taxpayers have welcomed the court’s decision, after criticizing the government for failing to act. Ireland used up €64 billion of taxpayer money to pay for what is known as the largest state bank rescue in the Eurozone.
None of the senior bankers in the US or UK have faced jail time. Their maximum sentences for wrongdoing involved fines and settlements.
EBA’s stress tests
Meanwhile, financial problems continue to plague European banks, and now threaten the world’s oldest surviving bank – Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
The latest stress tests conducted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) revealed that the historic bank, founded in 1472, would go bust should Europe suddenly face another severe economic downturn.
The EBA’s results showed that Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s capital buffer would run almost completely dry by 2018. The bank’s current capital buffer is 12.1 percent, but under the EBA’s “adverse” scenario it would fall to 2.2 percent by 2018.
Overall, the stress tests highlighted the still very weak state of the banking system in Europe following the crisis.
The EBA exposed the “risky” state of other major European banks, including the German giant Deutsche Bank, whose capital ratio has dropped from 11.1 to just 7.8 percent. The International Monetary Fund had already listed the bank as one of the major risks to global financial stability.
The stress tests also noted the declining capital position of the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland. Overall, the weakest results came from countries such as Italy, Ireland, Spain, and Austria.

Peter Schiff: Time Is Running Out, “Crisis Worse Than 2008 Coming”...

Mac Slavo
SHTFplan.com
July 29, 2016
We are headed for disaster, and the only question is how long the economy can dodge a bullet.
The illusory bubble on Wall Street claims to be at record highs, but the reality, the underbelly, is dark indeed.
Economic expert Peter Schiff speaks on not only the safe haven of gold, and what is at stake in the election, but just how dire the financial consequences will be when the great storm hits and batters everyone.
As Before Its News reports:
The endgame for the U.S. economy is oblivion. 2008 was a minor correction compared to the eventual collapse of the U.S. Dollar.
WHY: After the dot.com bubble burst in 2000, Fed chairman Alan Greenspan-led the Federal Reserve through a series of interest cuts that brought down the Federal Funds rate to 1% by 2004. The bubble created by those years of cheap Fed money at 1% resulted in U.S. households losing a total wealth of almost $14 TRILLION in the 2008 crisis. Stock markets fell by almost half for losing $7.9 trillion, and the housing market lost $6 trillion.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY: We’ve had 7 years of interest rates at 0%. As a result, there is more than just a housing bubble this time. There’s a stock bubble, a housing bubble, a bond bubble, a student loan bubble, and I could go on. As Peter explains, the Fed only has ONE option at this point: Continue to fake it for as long as possible by printing more money (otherwise known as “quantitative easing”), or let the whole system come crashing down.
HERE IS THE REALITY: The world has caught on, and the gig is up. Under Obama’s stewardship, the U.S. national debt has gone from $10 Trillion, to what will be $20 Trillion by the time he leaves office, with nothing more than 100 MILLION Americans out of work, and 50 MILLION in poverty and on food stamps. That’s what cheap money bought for us. It was all “borrowed” cheap money too, making it infinitely worse, and the world is tired of lending.
In no uncertain terms, Schiff warns that the next crisis will be far, far worse than the 2008 collapse, and the “recovery” that has since rotted away at the house:

U.S. Economy Grew Less-Than-Forecast 1.2% in Second Quarter...

Bloomberg
July 29, 2016
The U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the second quarter after a weaker start to the year than previously estimated as companies slimmed down inventories and remained wary of investing amid shaky global demand.
Gross domestic product rose at a 1.2 percent annualized rate after a 0.8 percent advance the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.5 percent second-quarter increase.
The report raises the risk to the outlook at a time Federal Reserve policy makers are looking for sustained improvement, Where consumers were resilient last quarter, businesses were cautious — cutting back on investment and aggressively reducing stockpiles amid weak global markets, heightened uncertainty, and the lingering drag from a stronger dollar.
“We’re just muddling through,” Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, who had forecast a 1 percent gain in second-quarter GDP. “Consumer spending looks good, but the problem is that the rest of the economy is soft. The economy remains vulnerable to downside risks. The Fed is right to be cautious.”

Trump: Clinton And Democrats Rigged The Debate Schedule!...

TPM
July 31, 2016
Donald Trump raised objections to the general election debate scheduling Friday, saying that it was rigged by the Democrats.
In a late night tweet, Trump voiced his displeasure with the fact that two of the debates are during NFL games.
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!

Both Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have taken issue with debate schedules in the past. Trump planned on skipping two debates because of scheduling conflicts and because “we’ve had enough debates,” though the second debate was ultimately cancelled. Sanders took issue with Clinton’s refusal to debate in California.

Clinton Camp: Trump ‘Shameless’ For Attacking Muslim Speaker...

Washington Examiner
July 31, 2016
Donald Trump is “truly shameless” to attack Muslim Khizr Khan and his wife for repudiating the former reality TV star at the Democratic convention, according to the Clinton campaign.
Khizr spoke at the convention in Philadelphia earlier this week, strongly repudiating Trump’s immigration policies. Khizr and his wife Ghazala, who stood by his side while giving the speech, had a son who was an Army captain who died in Iraq back in 2004.
On Saturday, Trump pointed out that his wife was silent during the speech. “I’d like to hear his wife say something,” he said in a New York Times interview, which was taken as a suggestion that she was silent because she is a Muslim woman.
Trump’s response earned a sharp rebuke from the Clinton campaign on Saturday.
“Trump is truly shameless to attack the family of an American hero,” tweeted Clinton campaign spokeswoman Karen Finney. “Many thanks to the Khan family for your sacrifice, we stand with you.”

Extremists Will Be Forced Onto ‘Deradicalisation Programme’ In New Terror Crackdown...

London Telegraph
July 31, 2016
Britain’s most dangerous extremists will be forced to undergo a mandatory “deradicalisation” programme, in a major overhaul of the Government’s counter-terror strategy.
The “intensive” scheme could be used to target jihadists who have returned to Britain from Syria with psychological help, or to change the minds of radicals who support terrorist ideologies in the UK.
Where it is legally possible, the Government will make it mandatory for individuals to attend these sessions, under the plan.
It forms part of the Government’s anti-terrorism strategy, which is being reviewed in light of the wave of attacks in Europe, to strengthen security at airports, on trains and at major public events.
The strategy is likely to include dramatically increasing the number of spies to uncover terrorist plots, more armed police to stop jihadist gun attackers, a new scheme to protect Britain against a “mass impact biological attack” and tougher measures to stop terrorists getting hold of explosives from commercial and military stocks.

Hillary Lead Over Trump Surges After Reuters “Tweaks” Poll...

Zero Hedge
July 31, 2016
Over the past week, there was a troubling development for the establishment: Trump was soaring in the polls. In fact, in the widely watched, Reuters/IPSOS poll, for the first time Trump had taken an inexcusable 1 point lead following the Republican National convention.
So, as we reported last night, something had to be done. And something was done: Reuters “tweaked” its polling methodology.
As Reuters explained, “in a presidential campaign notable for its negativity, the option of “Neither” candidate appears to be an appealing alternative, at least to participants in the Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll. Many voters on both sides have been ambivalent in their support for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, complicating the task of the pollsters trying to track the race. That sentiment may help explain an apparent skew that recently emerged in the Reuters/Ipsos poll results. Given the choice, a relatively large group of voters opted for “Neither/Other” candidate compared with other major polls, leading to an underreporting of several percentage points for one or other of the two major contenders at times in the race.”
As a result, Reuters/Ipsos is amending the wording of the choice and eliminating the word “Neither,” bringing the option in line with other polls.
Here is the real reason for the methodology change: according to Reuters “the inclusion of the word “Neither” is capturing Soft Trump supporters who, if given such an option, prefer not to make a choice. Here it is important to note that the soft supporter phenomenon also affects Clinton, but to a much lesser degree.”
As a result, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll – pre Friday evening – had Trump 40.2%, Clinton 38.5%, but, on a “pro forma” basiseliminating “Neither” from the “Neither/Other” answer produced a different result. In that case, Clinton was ahead, 40% to 36%.
In other words, the real reason for the “tweak” was to push Hillary back in the lead simply due to a change in the question phrasing methodology.
With the first new poll under the new polling “approach” due to be released last night, we predicted that it would show a dramtic rebound for Hillary, just as Trump was picking up steam, and in doing so changing the entire frontrunner narrative from the ground up.
Sure enough, here are the results of the “revised” poll released on Friday night.
From Reuters:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held a 6- percentage-point lead over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll with new wording that was released on Friday, the day after she formally accepted her party’s nomination for the Nov. 8 election.
Nearly 41 percent of likely voters favor Clinton, 35 percent favor Trump, and 25 percent picked “Other,” according to the new July 25-29 online poll of 1,043 likely voters, which overlapped with the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The poll has a credibility interval of 4 percentage points.
The presidential tracking poll reflects a slight change of wording from previous surveys, replacing the “Neither/Other” option given to respondents with just “Other.” An internal review had found the word “Neither” has, at times, siphoned support away from one or the other candidate.
Or rather, it has “siphoned” support from Hillary to Trump, something which the “internal review” had clearly noticed, and promptly stopped.
Thank of it as “seasonally adjusted”, or simpler yet, “non-GAAP” polling. From Reuters:
The pro forma, or “slightly revised” Reuters/Ipsos poll goes back only one week, and all prior data appears to have been eliminated.
And that, dear readers, is how one tumbles from a 1-point lead to a 6-point loss in 3 days thanks to the miracle of a polling “adjustment.” Because if it works to “boost” GDP, why shouldn’t it work for Hillary as well?