Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Guardian: Labour poll rise suggests Manchester attack has not boosted Tories


The narrowing of the Conservative lead over Labour to five points in the first opinion poll since the Manchester suicide bombing on Monday punctures the widespread political assumption that the attack would improve the Tories’ standing. 
The Times/YouGov poll putting the Conservatives on 43% and Labour on 38% was based on interviews conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, and included the period in which Theresa May declared a critical threat level and announced the deployment of nearly 1,000 troops on to the streets of Britain.
If only our media was less biased and concentrated more on the Tory support for international terrorism through its cosy links to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Tory Lead Cut to 5 Points 

Mark Curtis: The British Establishment Is Putting Our Lives at Risk: Our State’s Key Ally Is a Major Public Threat


This wave of terrorism driven by Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, derives from a complex infrastructure of forces, working over time. But it springs ultimately from the ideology promoted by the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, who were at least until recently funding and backing IS: they have done so to support their goal of overthrowing Assad in Syria and championing Sunni Islam in the face of rivalry with Iran. These are Britain’s allies. Whitehall has a deep, long-standing special relationship with the extremist Saudis: it is arming them, backing them, apologising for them, and supporting their regional policies. At the same time, the Saudis have been helping to create the monster that now threatens the British public. So, too, have the policies of the British government.
The British elite is perfectly aware of the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in fomenting terrorism. In October 2014, General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, told the Telegraph that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires IS terrorists. 
Theresa May’s government, as previous governments, have endangered the British public by the relationship they choose to have with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. In recent months, May has signed up Britain to a new generation of special relationships with these states, based on selling more arms and providing more training of their militaries and security forces to keep the ruling families in power. All this has been done on the quiet, with scant government or media reporting. We are set for another generation of domestic tyranny in Gulf and foreign Islamist adventures, all now helped by raising the enemy of ‘Iran’ – a foreign policy agenda being set by Riyadh and recently helped by President Trump’s preposterous invocation of Iran as the major sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.


The media is trying to say that Corbyn is soft on terrorism, but why don't they mention how the Conservative party backs terrorism? Total media bias.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Ron Jacobs — The Deep State is the State

The deep state is not some enigmatic entity that operates outside the US government. It is the US state itself. Like all elements of that state, the so-called deep state exists to enforce the economic supremacy of US capitalism. It does so primarily via the secret domestic and international police forces like the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies. The operations of these agencies run the gamut from surveillance to propaganda to covert and overt military actions. Naturally, this so-called deep state operates according to their own rules; rules which ultimately insure its continued existence and relevance. Although it can be argued that it was the 1950 National Security Directive known as NSC-68 along with the Congressional Bill creating the Central Intelligence Agency that launched the “deep state” as we understand it, a broader understanding of the “deep state” places its genesis perhaps a century prior to that date. In other words, a structure designed to maintain the economic and political domination of certain powerful US capitalists existed well back into the nineteenth century. However, the centralization of that power began in earnest in the years following World War Two.…
Backgrounder.

Counterpunch
The Deep State is the State
Ron Jacobs

Doug Bandow — How America Could End Up in an Unexpected War with China


The US is now involved militarily on five fronts — Central Asia (Afghanistan), the Middle East (Iraq, Syria and Iran), Europe (Ukraine, Russia), China (South China Sea), and North Korea. How can this be a good idea?

The National Interest
How America Could End Up in an Unexpected War with China
Doug Bandow | senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Moon of Alabama — Syria - Truth Slips Through In The New York Times - NATO Preps to Fight Iran And Russia

Make no mistake - "fighting ISIS" is not the real purpose of the move. The U.S. wants NATO support to invade Syria from the north in Idleb as well as from the south near Deraa and from the south-east starting at the al-Tanf border station to Iraq. Syria and its allies will now be fought under the disguise of "fighting ISIS" which factually can no longer be the purpose. Thus NATO, together with Wahhabi Gulf forces, will now be engaged in an expanded war not only against the Syria government but especially against its Russian and Iranian allies. Trump's endorsement of anti-Iranian rhetoric on his visit in Saudi Arabia served a similar purpose.
Syria and its allies will try to prevent a further invasion by cutting off al-Tanf and holding on to Deraa city - thereby blocking any wider military moves. But those measures will probably be in vain. Unless some sane voices intervene we are now at the beginning of a far wider and more dangerous war that can easily slip out of anyone's control.
Trump just got his marching orders from Riyadh and Tel Aviv. WWIII appears to be on.

Moon of Alabama
Syria - Truth Slips Through In The New York Times - NATO Preps to Fight Iran And Russia
b

See also

The Vineyard of the Saker
Trump: dancing with wolves on the Titanic
The Saker

James Kwak — How Markets Work


Argument for single payer based on health care being a public good rather than a private good.

Baseline Scenario
How Markets Work
James Kwak | Associate Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law

Southeast Asia “Forgets” About Western Terror by Andre Vltchek

Southeast Asian elites “forgot” about those tens of millions of Asian people murdered by the Western imperialism at the end of and after the WWII. They “forgot” about what took place in the North – about the Tokyo and Osaka firebombing, about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, about the barbaric liquidation of Korean civilians by the US forces. But they also forgot about their own victims – about those hundreds of thousands, in fact about the millions, of those who were blown to pieces, burned by chemicals or directly liquidated – men, women and children of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor. 
All is forgiven and all is forgotten. 
And once again the Empire is proudly “pivoting” into Asia; it is even bragging about it. 
It goes without saying that the Empire has no shame and no decency left. It boasts about democracy and freedom, while it does not even bother to wash the blood of tens of millions off its hands. 
All over Asia, the “privileged populaces” has chosen to not know, to not remember, or even to erase all terrible chapters of the history. Those who insist on remembering are being silenced, ridiculed, or made out to be irrelevant. 
It is all forgotten and forgiven, and the reason “why” is clear, simple. It pays to forget! 
“Forgiveness” brings funding; it secures “scholarships” just one of the ways Western countries spread corruption in its client states and in the states they want to draw into their orbit. 
The elites with their lavish houses, trips abroad, kids in foreign schools, are a very forgiving bunch! 
But then you go to a countryside, where the majority of Southeast Asian people still live. And the story there is very different. The story there makes you shiver. 
Before departing from Laos, I sat at an outdoor table in a village of Nam Bak, about 100 kilometers from Luang Prabang. Ms. Nang Oen told me her stories about the US carpet-bombing, and Mr. Un Kham showed me his wounds: 
“Even here, in Nam Bak, we had many craters all over, but now they are covered by rice fields and houses. In 1968, my parents’ house was bombed… I think they dropped 500-pound bombs on it. Life was unbearable during the war. We had to sleep in the fields or in the caves. We had to move all the time. Many of us were starving, as we could not cultivate our fields.  
I ask Ms. Nang Oen about the Americans. Did she forget, forgive? 
“How do I feel about them? I actually can’t say anything. After all these years, I am still speechless. They killed everything here, including chicken. I know that they are doing the same even now, all over the world…” 
She paused, looked at the horizon. 
“Sometimes I remember what was done to us… Sometimes I forget”. She shrugs her shoulders. “But when I forget, it is only for a while. We did not receive any compensation, not even an apology. I cannot do anything about it. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and I cry.” 
I listened to her and I knew, after working for decades in this part of the world: for the people of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and East Timor, nothing is forgotten and nothing is forgiven. And it should never be!

 Millions of people were killed in Southeast Asia, but today they do not know what the West did. The installed puppet regimes teach in schools how the US saved them from murderous communism. They love Americans.

Tom talks about terrorism but nothing can compare to this. Here in the West we know nothing about it either, the bombing was often done in secret. It is banished from our history books. It's amazing, or terrifying rather, to think that millions could be killed over many years and then it gets whitewashed from history. Paul Craig Roberts calls it The Matrix.

The above excerpt does do the article justice, if you found it interesting it's worth reading the whole thing.


Ramanan — Jeremy Spoke In Class Today

In this brilliant speech, Corbyn talks about how the West’s foreign policy is responsible for terrorism....
Of course, none of this doesn’t mean that this is the only factor responsible for global terrorism. But via deceit, western governments and the media has prevented this main reason from being discussed.
The Case for Concerted Action
Jeremy Spoke In Class Today
V. Ramanan

See

Osama asks two questions.

The first is why do we attack you. The answer is you attacked us first and it is a Muslim's obligation to come to the aid of the community.

The second is what do we want. This is based on Wahhabism, the official religious doctrine of Saudi Arabia, which it seeks to promote among Muslims.

The obvious response is to ask, first, whether it is is worth it to continue to aggress in Muslim lands and, secondly, whether the Western support of and alliance with Saudi Arabia is good policy.

The Guardian (24 NOV 2002)
Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America'
Osama bin Laden

David F. Ruccio — “We need people to go to work”

Emily Badger is right:
 "The new White House budget proposal is built on a deep-rooted conservative belief: The government should help those who are willing to work, and cull from benefit rolls those who aren’t."
But it’s also a deep-rooted liberal belief. Lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton who signed the original let-them-work-or-starve welfare reform in 1996 (two years after signing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the largest crime bill in history).*
There is not much difference between conservatism and bourgeois liberalism. Two sides of the same coin, as Clinton, Blair, and Obama proved.

The fallacy of substituting workfare for welfare is several fold. First, there have to be enough jobs which there likely won't be without a job guarantee. Secondly, as Ruccio points out, many of the job will pay below the subsistence level so that government has to subsidize employers that don't pay a living wage and whose business plan includes this as a policy. Sam Walton, I am thinking of you.*

* "I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment."
— Attributed in Adam L. Penenberg, "Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart", Wired, 21 April 2005 (Wikiquote)

Occasional Links & Commentary
“We need people to go to work”
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

See also
Zuckerberg said that, because he knew he had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, he was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing. Others, he said, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don't have the foundation Zuckerberg had. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion, Zuckerberg argued.
Altman's view is similar. A year ago, Altman said he thinks "everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs—no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don't yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this." Altman believes basic income will be possible as technological advancements "generate an abundance of resources" that help decrease the cost of living.

Barkley Rosser — Some Saudi-US History


Backgrounder.

Angry Bear
Some Saudi-US History
J. Barkley Rosser | Professor of Economics and Business Administration James Madison University

Cenk Uygur: The Democratic Party Takeover HAS BEGUN


The Democratic Party has failed. We’re going to rebuild it! Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, tells you about how the Justice Democrats will takeover the party. https://www.justicedemocrats.com/


Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks and Kyle Kulinski of the Secular Talk have started the Justice Democrats to reclaim the Democratic Party from the Corporate Democrats and bring in real politicians to replace them representing the people, or "us", more precisely, as Cenk says. It seems inspirational to me. I hope they manage it in time before the next election and before the neoconservatives blow the planet up. They are asking for people to come forward to run to become politicians for the Democratic Party. There must be loads of very highly qualified people out there that would be very suitable for the job.

Steven Rosenfield: Trump Would Sell Off America's Energy Resources for a Pittance, Like Russia Did to Create Its Oligarchs


President Trump's 2018 budget and executive orders could lead to some of the biggest land grabs since America’s Teapot Dome scandal in the 1920s and Russia’s natural resource giveaways that created many oligarchs in the 1990s. 
According to his budgets for the Energy and Interior departments—which oversee leases for oil, gas and mining and own interstate electric transmission lines—Trump would set the stage for a return of the robber barons. 
The Teapot Dome, which historians say was America’s biggest scandal until Watergate, involved an insider deal over leasing Navy petroleum reserves for a pittance. Russian oligarchs, including investors in Trump buildings, grew super-rich after acquiring the former Soviet Union’s assets, especially its energy and mineral resources, similarly on the cheap. They privatized what were once public assets to make their fortunes. 
Fast-forward to Trump, who, true to his background as a real estate developer, sees untapped equity in trillions of dollars in government-held energy and mineral resources as a way to pay down the federal debt and an opportunity to enrich private-sector friends—including America’s biggest corporations.

Trump Would Sell Off America's Energy Resources for a Pittance 

Daivid Doel: Journalist Embarrasses Herself While Attempting To Smear Jeremy Corbyn



For those of you that don't have time to watch it (although it has some American politics too). Here David Doel breaks down an interview of Jeremy Corbyn by Sophy Ridge of Sky News. She has a copy of the Labour Briefing magazine written way back in 1984 with an editorial on the IRA bombing of the Conservative Party conference which said that the only time to British wake up and take notice is when they are bombed. She has been told that Corbyn was chief editor at the time, but Jeremy Corbyn tells her he was not on the board at all, that her facts were wrong, he adds that he only wrote articles for the magazine. Determined to push this one she asks him if he was happy writing for a magazine that prints articles like this? Then Jeremy Corbyn answers saying that reading and writing for a magazine doesn't necessarily mean that he agreed with everything in it, surely anymore than Sophy Ridge agreed with everything presented on Sky News. Nailed her!

David Doel says that Sky News had nothing to attack him on, his policies are good, so they dug up a very old article written 34 years ago hoping to smear him with that. They had nothing else.

Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor by Benjamin Dangl


I guess many of the poor never bothered voting at all, although I remember seeing footage of poor people queuing up for food saying they were going to vote for Trump.
It is fitting that while President Trump is traveling the world, sealing a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, he would drop his own kind of bomb on the American people: his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, titled, of course, “The New Foundation for American Greatness.” 
“This Budget’s defining ambition is to unleash the dreams of the American people,” Trump writes in his 62-page plan, released today. 
Trump’s dream for America is a nightmare for the working class. 
The budget proposes deep cuts to government support for the poor, including slashing over $800 billion from Medicaid, $192 billion from food assistance, $272 billion from welfare programs, $72 billion from disability benefits, and ending programs that provide financial support for poor college students. 
While cutting government assistance for working class Americans, the budget notably beefs up annual military spending by 10%, to the tune of $639 billion.
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ramanan — Some Interesting Links On Politics


Background to Manchester.

The Case for Concerted Action
Some Interesting Links On Politics
V. Ramanan

The Listening Post - British media's coverage of Corbyn: Balanced or biased? - The Listening Post



How the British media works against Corbyn's Labour Party.

On The Listening Post this week: The UK's left-wing Labour Party is facing down a right-leaning British media with just weeks until the election.

Quote from Matthew Jamison (Strategic Cultures)


It is hard to overstate the hatred and loathing there is for Jeremy Corbyn at the highest levels of the British Establishment and State because he represents a fundamental rejection of and break with many of their outdated, backwards and reactionary practices, mind-sets and policies of the English elites. From the military to the domestic security service MI5 to the hedge funds, «wealth management» funds, off shore tax havens (with 1/3 of the planet's controlled by the UK) and investment banks to the Monarchy, the public school educated upper-middle classes and aristocracy to virtually nearly all of the London media both print and television they loath and fear what a Jeremy Corbyn Government would for mean for them, their vested interests and how he would fundamentally remake Britain. The anti-Corbyn campaign to portray him as even worse than Joseph Stalin has been unprecedented and disgusting. Mr. Corbyn is actually a very decent, thoughtful, calm, intelligent and compassionate man. He may not be the greatest of Leaders or the most exciting and charismatic but he is a deep thinker and has been right on a lot of issues including one of the biggest foreign policy disasters the UK has been involved with in decades that of the Iraq War.


Bill Mitchell — 4 years later – the European Youth Guarantee is an under-funded failure

I read a social media quip today from someone who said they had “been banned from their library for moving the books on trickle down economics into the mythology section”. That is pure class. The mover not the banner. But the sentiment is relevant to today’s blog on the latest evidence available on the European Commission’s much-touted Youth Guarantee, that was launched in December 2012 and became operational in April 2013. I say ‘operational’ although given the performance of the initiative that might be somewhat of an overstatement. The latest evidence comes from the European Court of Auditors, which is charged with assessing European Commission policy initiatives. The Report – Youth unemployment – have EU policies made a difference? – which was released on April 4, 2017, is not very complementary at all about the Youth Employment Initiative. In fact, one is not being unfair to conclude after reading it that the whole initiative has been an over-hyped (by the Commission) and grossly underfunded failure – as it was destined to be from the start. It is hard to put any other spin on it. None of the Member States involved have achieved their stated objectives to integrate the NEET cohort “into the labour market in a sustainable way”. The ECA found that the policy intervention has made only a “very limited” contribution and was not sufficiently funded from the start. Bad news but then it is hardly surprising. When the scheme was announced it was clear that its emphasis, design and funding commitments would lead to this type of outcome. One didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to be able to see that....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
4 years later – the European Youth Guarantee is an under-funded failure
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Zombie Surveillance



Time for a monthly look at how all the USD zombies are doing in the Treasury's report of major foreign holders.

Mexico fell almost another $10B in a month now down to about $40B....  Canada holding their own...

Trump better hurry up and get his USDs to build the wall while he still can Mexico is bleeding USDs (if zombies can actually bleed? have to check that...)  and are headed to Venezuela-ville if they run out...





Kristen Breitweiser: Trump Lets Saudis Off on 9/11 Evidence


Afghanistan got flattened just to get Bin Laden and his group who lived in the mountains. Most afghans had no idea why the US was bombing them. The US had no evidence that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. This is from a BBC site:


On 7 October the first air strikes began. One week into the military campaign the Taliban made a further failed plea for negotiations. Afghanistan's deputy prime minister Maulvi Abdul Kabir told reporters in Jalalabad that the Taliban would hand over Bin Laden if the US stopped bombing Afghanistan. 
Bush and Blair stand firm 
The US remained resolute in its refusal to negotiate. Bush told reporters on the White House lawn: "This is non-negotiable. There is no need to discuss innocence or guilt; we know he's guilty. Turn him over. If they want us to stop our military operations they've just got to meet my conditions." 
The US refuses to negotiate with the Taliban


 From Consortium News


Kristen Breitweiser


But perhaps what many — including President Trump and his advisers — might not know about Saudi Arabia is the information surrounding the capture and interrogation of Al Qaeda’s Abu Zubaydah, who currently remains in custody at the Guantanamo Bay prison. I’d like to share some of that information — chronicled in Gerald Posner’s Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 — with the hope that learning this information might further crystalize why the 9/11 families are so driven to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable for its alleged role in the 9/11 attacks. 
At the time, U.S. intelligence decided to play a trick on Zubaydah. This trick entailed leading Zubaydah to believe that the U.S. was ready to hand him over to Saudi intelligence officials for further (even more severe) interrogation since Zubaydah wasn’t “fully cooperating” with U.S. interrogators.
What happens next is what few people know. When “handed over to the Saudis” (who were really just U.S. intelligence agents pretending to be Saudi intelligence), Zubaydah was actually relieved and started demanding to talk to his contact within Saudi intelligence — in addition to several members of the Saudi Royal Family.
Upon further questioning by his “Saudi interrogators,” Zubaydah raised his voice and unleashed a “torrent of information that one investigator refers to as the Rosetta Stone of 9/11” or what he claimed was his work for senior Saudi and Pakistani officials
Of course, the Saudis denied all the information, secret deals, and connections put forth by Zubaydah. Soon thereafter, interestingly (and rather unfortunately), all of the individuals named by Zubaydah during his interrogation turned up dead — except, of course, Prince Turki who was removed from his post as head of Saudi intelligence and named as Saudi Ambassador to Britain.
Trump Lets Saudis Off on 9/11 Evidence

Robert Fisk: When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East

I said that there was no real news in the MSM but Robert Fisk of the Independent is different. I can't see that what he says here would ever get printed in the Guardian, a paper I used to love.  I might send this to George Monbiot asking why don't we get news like this in his paper?


In Riyadh, Trump couldn’t mention where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from or whose Sunni cult-faith was the inspiration for Isis – nor which country chopped off heads with Isis-like relish. (Answer: Saudi Arabia). And when he arrived in Israel on Monday, Trump was faced with a new censorship protocol: don’t mention who was occupying whose property in the West Bank or which country was outrageously and continuously stealing land – legally owned by Arabs – for Jews and Jews only. (Answer: Israel). 
So bingo, in the biggest Middle East alliance ever created in history, the Saudis and the other Sunni Arab dictators and America’s crackpot President and Israel’s cynical Prime Minister have all agreed on the identity of the devil country they can all curse with one voice, inspirer of “world terror”, instigator of Middle East instability, the greatest threat to world peace: Shia Iran. 
No wonder Trump tried to stick to his prepared script. Otherwise he might do something sane. Like congratulate Iran’s new president on his electoral victory and for promising to stick to the nuclear agreement; like demanding an end to Israeli occupation and Israeli colonisation of Arab land; like telling the tired old dictators and princes of the Arab world that the only way they can rid themselves – and America – of “terror” is by treating their people with dignity and safeguarding their human rights. But no, that’s far too sensible and fair and just and moral – and far too complicated — for a man who long ago fell off the edge of reality and entered Twitterworld. So there he was talking of the “ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians – as if peace was just a commodity to be bought or sold. Like the one he’d just fixed in Saudi Arabia: guns for oil and dollars.
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jason Smith — More on Hayek and information theory


Longish but not wonkish. Of interest to those interested in this stuff and probably not of general interest.

Information Transfer Economics
More on Hayek and information theory
Jason Smith

WSWS — Macron Prepares a Social War

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing a historic assault on jobs, wages and labor legislation, to be rammed through by presidential decree in the face of overwhelming public opposition.…
The decrees being discussed indicate that Macron aims to tear up the entire framework of labor relations in France as they emerged from the liberation from Nazi occupation and the social concessions of the immediate post-World War II period.
Many of these decrees aim to re-introduce provisions into the 2016 labor law that the previous Socialist Party (PS) government removed in order to halt strikes and protests against the law. The PS rammed the law through without a parliamentary vote in the face of opposition from 70 percent of the French population, as riot police were sent under the state of emergency to assault protesters and striking workers. Nevertheless, in order to prevent a social explosion, many provisions favored by Macron were removed. He now wants to reinstate them....
Defend Democracy Press
Macron Prepares a Social War
WSWS

Asia Unhedged — Jack Ma has a vision for a new kind of globalization

One of those projects is a trading platform unveiled last year called “e-WTO”, which he hopes will serve the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses hoping to tap the global market. The first electronic world trade platform (eWTP) established outside of China was launched in Malaysia this year, and there is talk that Russia will be the next hub.
But the US is clearly on Ma’s mind, and he has tried to shore up momentum for extending his vision to the US with a plan that promises to create 1 million US jobs....
Asia Times
Jack Ma has a vision for a new kind of globalization
Asia Unhedged

Joe Mulin — If you’d bought $1,000 of Bitcoin in 2010, you’d be worth $35M

Price of Bitcoin has doubled in 2017, and other currencies have jumped even more.
The next great opportunity, or the next great tulip bubble?

Ars Technica
If you’d bought $1,000 of Bitcoin in 2010, you’d be worth $35M
Joe Mulin

See also

Macrobusiness
Bitcoin: Ponzi gone global
Houses and Holes in Global Macro
ht Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism

Reuters (May 24)
Bitcoin soars above $2,400 to all-time high

Bob Bryan — CBO report says the GOP healthcare bill could throw many insurance markets into chaos

The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday released its latest projections for the GOP healthcare bill, and one new detail showed the newest version of the bill could lead to a disaster that Republicans feared under Obamacare.
In every previous CBO score for both Obamacare and the American Health Care Act, the CBO had said the individual insurance market would remain stable.
That means the marketplaces where people who do not receive coverage through their job or a government program like Medicaid would continue to be able to purchase insurance at an affordable price.
But the final version of the GOP's American Health Care Act, the CBO said, would undermine that stability.
Business Insider
CBO report says the GOP healthcare bill could throw many insurance markets into chaos
Bob Bryan

Also

CBO says GOP healthcare bill would leave 23 million more uninsured, undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions

Ron Paul: Trump In Saudi Arabia - 'Peace In Our Time?'



This is good. I kind of like Ron Paul even though I hate his politics. But here Ron Paul says cuts in benefits and food stamps to the poor is crazy while military spending is increased by $billions. If you don't have time to watch it just look at the first 10 seconds to see Trump lie. Know wonder people like me got pulled in and thought maybe he would be different. But did trump lie, maybe he meant it at the time but has now been pulled in by the system. Or perhaps he saw how money he could make?

Ron Paul says he's a businessman and likes making money, but now he is making billions for industro-military complex which is serious money and he thinks he's doing something good, while raking in loads of money for the US economy. But Ron Paul says it doesn't feed in to the wider economy.  I just hope there is enough people who know what's gong happening on both the left and right to stop this.

'I spit on you again': Russian billionaire renews tirade against Putin rival

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov publishes second angry video attacking anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, whom he is suing for libel


The Russian billionaire and Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has launched an embittered online attack on the anti-corruption campaigner and Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny.
Usmanov, who is currently trying to take full control of Arsenal, last week released an angry, personal video tirade, ending with the words: “I spit on you, Alexei Navalny.” On Wednesday he released a second video entitled “I spit on you again”. 
Usmanov has promised to take Navalny to court over the bribery allegations, which he denies, and has also begun an online offensive against the opposition politician.
Ins his latest video, Usmanov casts doubt on Navalny’s claims that the current Russian government is repressive. “You call out from every street corner that you are being persecuted, that the government is ruthless. Ruthless? You spent a whole day in jail. One night, as far as I know. You spent one night in jail, and I spent six years in jail, for nothing.” 
The Kremlin is wary of Navalny’s ability to harness street anger and is unlikely to allow him on to the ballot next year. When travelling around the country to launch his presidential campaign, he has been insulted and assaulted by people he believes are sent by the authorities.

The Guardian Usmanov 


Wayne Madsen: Trump Backs Sunni Radical Islam over Moderate Shi’ism

I had high hopes for Trump, but I knew I was being naïve. But I weren't the only one, Michael Hudson and Max Keiser had high hopes too, lots of people did. We were betting on the unknown as we knew the other lot were rotten.

As terrorists bomb Britain again, the biggest source of Terrorism is ignored in the MSM: Saudi Wahhabism. How can the public be so easily duped, and how can Western governments be so brazen?


President Donald Trump signaled to the nations of the Middle East and Muslim world that he strongly backs radical Sunni Islam, mostly embodied by Saudi Arabia’s brand of Wahhabism, over the emerging moderate Shi’ism on display in Iran. Trump’s first visit to another country as president was Saudi Arabia. Trump was also the only president to make Saudi Arabia his first stop after taking office. The decision to honor Saudi Arabia with such U.S. presidential protocol was a calculated one. 
Trump’s first official act after he landed in Riyadh was to ink a $300 billion arms package with Saudi Arabia. The United States agreed to supply the Saudis with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system, maritime littoral combat ships for close-in shore combat, and so-called «precision-guided munitions» responsible for so many civilian «collateral damage» deaths in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Pakistan. 
Considering the Wahhabist kingdom’s past and current support for the very same radical jihadists who are committing acts of terrorism in Syria, Yemen, and other nations, it is hypocritical that Trump claimed the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are «jointly» battling against terrorism.. 
Ironically, as Trump was praising Saudi Arabia’s «efforts» against jihadist terrorism, Iran overwhelmingly re-elected moderate President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani ran on a platform of bestowing more freedoms on the Iranian people and opening the country to the rest of the world. A day after Trump’s anti-Iran speech in Riyadh, reformists won all 21 seats in Tehran’s municipal election. Across the board, Iranians, particularly women and minority religious groups, enjoy many more rights than do the Saudi Arabs.  
Trump Backs Sunni Radicals 



Matthew Jamison: Tory Lead Tumblng

This is from Strategic Cultures which my Malwarebytes says is unsafe. I think it's political and the site is okay, but I won't give a link, just this extract. I go to the site using my phone. Stephen Lendman fears that the election will be rigged whatever the polls say. Mathew Jamison is a senior parliamentary at the House of Commons.


Yet their opinion poll lead rather than holding up or growing ahead of Election Day set for Thursday June 8th is actually declining as the campaign wears on. With so much of the mainstream press in Britain backing Theresa May's Tory Party and the overwhelmingly hostile campaign of nearly all the newspapers and members of his own Parliamentary Party, Mr. Corbyn, had been pronounced by many in the London media and indeed within his party in the House of Commons as a dead man walking with no hope of slashing the Tory lead let alone consistently week on week bring it down by 3-4%. Now the Tories once mighty lead has fallen by nearly 10 % in the space of three weeks or so. At this rate come election day it may even be tied between Labour and the Conservatives or a few points separating them. 
How has this happened. Well, it would appear that while most of Mr. Corbyn's Parliamentary Party were plotting his downfall with various journalists he and the Labour Leadership have been developing rich policy work across a range of public policy areas in need of drastic reform. Since the formal launch of the campaign all we have had from Theresa May and her Conservatives is one vacuous slogan: «Strong and Stable leadership.» Nothing on the NHS and the funding crisis it and schools in Britain are facing. Nothing on plans to update and improve Britain's appalling infrastructure; nothing to help bring down the cost of living holding shark landlords and extortionate rents to account. Nothing on the job creation of the future. Basically on all the important domestic policies which affect people's lives, Theresa May and the Conservative Party have said and presented nothing. 
Meanwhile, the Labour Party have been rolling out what appear to be well thought out; costed and popular policies with key constituencies across the UK. Many people have started to say that Jeremy Corbyn's message on the home front or his foreign policy views make a great deal of sense and he is not the Stalinist madman that the likes of the Daily Mail and the Sun have made him out to be while Mrs. May's vacuous, meaningless slogan «strong and stable leadership» is starting to wear very thin with little policy meat on the bones to back it up and what there is such as the «dementia tax» are thoroughly nasty, horrible policies. Mrs. May; her inadequate team and the party she leads may find come polling day they squandered one of the largest opinion poll leads in the shortest space of time imaginable. 



Robert Parry: New Cracks in Russia-gate ‘Assessment’

When this finally all falls apart I'm going to have a field day at the Guardian, as I've said before. Now doubt the MSM will have some way of trying to worm out of it, but the Real News sites will have them by the short and curleys. This is a pretty damping report by Robert Parry. What really gets me is how RT is accused of messing in US politics and affairs because it runs reports on fracking and Occupy, and also because it presents third party candidates more, when in fact, a large part of the electorate vote independent.

On Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee that only four of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment, relying on analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the oversight of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  
However, the restricted nature of the Jan. 6 report – limiting it to analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI – blocked the kind of expertise that the State Department, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies might have provided. In other words, the Jan. 6 report has the look of pre-cooked intelligence. 
Yet, as any intelligence expert will tell you, if you “hand-pick” the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion. For instance, if the analysts were known to be hard-liners on Russia or supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could be expected to deliver the one-sided report that they did. 
                                                           ********** 
There were other biases reflected in the ICA, such as a bizarre appendix that excoriated RT, the Russian television network, for supposedly undermining Americans’ confidence in their democratic process. 
This seven-page appendix, dating from 2012, accused RT of portraying “the US electoral process as undemocratic” and offered such “proof” as RT’s staging of a debate among third-party presidential candidates who had been excluded from the Republican-Democratic debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. 
“RT broadcast, hosted and advertised third-party candidate debates,” the report said, as if allowing political figures in the United States who were not part of the two-party system to express their views, was somehow anti-democratic, when you might think that letting Americans hear alternatives was the essence of democracy. 
New Cracks in Russia-gate ‘Assessment’