03/24/17

ULTIMATLEY IT WILL BE ABOUT EARNINGS AND INTREST RATES

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Healthcare has become the litmus test as to whether Trump could legislate his agenda. Because of technology based trading where variables and responses to these variables are preprogrammed, market reaction may be greater than it otherwise should.

Unfortunately this is the environment that has evolved; an environment that I believe is on the cusp of change given the breakdown of cross correlated trading models that have worked almost flawlessly for almost 10-12 years.

Some believe these models could/would evolve into SkyNet, the all-powerful computer system that John Connor had to destroy to save the world.

I do not share this view for the simplistic reason that all trading models ultimately fail via their own demise. The trade becomes “overcrowded” with all replicating the same strategy. Change is the only constant and over time markets will respond accordingly to the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment as well as earnings and interest rates, the appropriate driver of equity and bond prices.

Commenting about yesterday’s market action, all markets were relatively unchanged even as the healthcare vote was delayed for at least a day.

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.10%, Paris was down 0.41% and Frankfurt was down 0.17%. China was up 0.64%, Japan was up 0.93% and Hang Sang was up 0.13%.

The Dow should open nervously quiet ahead of the potential healthcare vote. The 10-year is unchanged at 2.42%.

03/24/17

Author, filmmaker warns of biggest US threat is those who threaten the Constitution

By: Bryant Maddrick | Fox 28

The terror attack in London has some American cities on alert, watching activity on major bridges.

Author and filmmaker Trevor Loudon says the biggest threat here is not ISIS or Al Qaida. It’s what happening right here on American soil

“You cannot rely on the government in its present state to effectively guard your internal security to keep you safe,” says Loudon.

That’s the message the author and filmmaker is making in his book and documentary, both titled “The Enemies Within.”

“What we’re talking about are the internal enemies of the Constitution. We contend these are actually more dangerous.”

Loudon argues groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have influenced members of Congress. The New Zealand native has been traveling the country talking to people about what he sees as a problem and the solution to it.

“Have the Muslim brotherhood designated officially by the state department as a terrorist organization. Just as Hamas is, just as Al Qaida is.”

Loudon makes his point on the same day as a deadly terror attack in London that left four dead.

“There are Islamic cells all over Europe, all over the Middle East, and obviously here in America who can strike at a moment’s notice.”

The New Zealand native says it’s another reminder of the world we live in.

“If we don’t do something about it, it’s just going to be a continual pattern of American and Europeans being slaughtered in their own homes, in their own cities.”

Loudon explains his message is not to appeal to partisan politics. Instead, it’s to appeal to American’s love for the constitution.

“They do want their American identity. They know the country’s based on the Constitution. They know it’s based on a free enterprise system and strong national defense. They know America has been a world leader and most Americans will buy into that.”

Loudon will take his message to the Cincinnati area before going to Canada.

03/23/17

Vetting Trump’s Foreign Policy Team

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

President Donald Trump fared much better in the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday than the left-wing, establishment media would have you believe. The American Spectator’s George Neumayr captured the essence of the findings: “…the core claim underlying Trump’s tweets is true: people acting on the authority of Obama opened an investigation into Trump’s campaign, then criminally leaked mention of it to friendly news outlets in an attempt to derail his election. When is Obama going to apologize for that?”

But for weeks now, CNN and MSNBC have been calling Trump a liar, saying that there is no evidence to support his tweets, and demanding that he back down and apologize for his accusations against former President Barack Obama.

But Trump is also taking hits from people who have generally supported him, but who feel he is failing to live up to his promises. One such example is a recent column by Ann Coulter, who criticizes Trump for supporting the Ryan-Trump American Health Care Act as the replacement for Obamacare, and for his slow start on getting control of the illegal alien issue and border security. Coulter says that “This is starting to look like every other Republican administration.” Yes, his administration is just two months old, so maybe it’s too early to judge on those issues.

Another issue that is raising concern is how Trump is doing on foreign policy and national security matters. Does President Trump need additional assistance in vetting his nominees to administration posts? An examination of his national security appointees raises the question of whether his team knows what questions to ask, and if they are properly vetting his staff.

The political activities of former Defense Intelligence Agency director Michael Flynn, who also served a short time as national security advisor to Trump, demonstrate the administration’s inadequate scrutiny. Flynn resigned for “withholding the full story of his communications with Russia’s ambassador,” reported The New York Times. But that wasn’t the end of the conflicts of interest. After leaving office, Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent working on behalf of Turkish interests; he had earned $530,000 for that work. If Trump’s team wasn’t aware of this, they should have been, just by paying attention to the public record, including a column that came out on Election Day that read like a paid advertorial for the Turkish government.

Although Flynn’s contract ended in November, the Times reported that a transition lawyer and a White House lawyer told Flynn that it was “up to him” whether to disclose his activities.

Trump’s pick for Defense Secretary, retired Marine General Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, initially selected as undersecretary of defense for policy Anne Patterson, who inspired Egyptian protests due to her support for the Muslim Brotherhood. “She [Patterson] came under fire for cultivating too close a relationship with the regime and for discouraging protests against it—and White House officials are voicing concerns about those decisions now,” reports Politico. Criticism of Patterson, and an uncertain confirmation process, led Mattis to withdraw this nomination.

Personnel is policy, and Trump ultimately holds the reins of power in the administration—if he does not abdicate that responsibility. Calling on 46 U.S. attorneys to tender their resignation was a good first step, and in keeping with past presidents.

But President Trump has signaled his unwillingness to fill many of his political appointee posts. “A lot of those jobs, I don’t want to appoint, because they’re unnecessary to have,” Trump told Fox News. He continued, “You know, we have so many people in government, even me. I look at some of the jobs and it’s people over people over people. I say, ‘What do all these people do?’ You don’t need all those jobs.”

That’s clearly true, but unfortunately, when key personnel spots go unfulfilled, the administration is ceding power to the bureaucracy, which may, in turn, empower those still loyal to Obama and intent on crippling the Trump presidency. “If you don’t have a philosophy, if you don’t have a view, the risk is extraordinarily high that the bureaucracies at the State Department, the CIA, the Defense Department will co-opt the new secretary, the new head of the agency,” argued former UN ambassador John Bolton, speaking as a guest on the Breitbart News Daily show. “The bureaucracy’s policies will become their policy, and then if the White House doesn’t resist, they’ll become the administration’s policy.”

Lee Smith of The Weekly Standard wrote a much talked about piece last week for The Tablet titled, “Will Obama’s Foreign Policy Wizards Save Trump?” “What’s really bizarre is that the Trump team keeps blaming damaging leaks to the press on Obama holdovers—when the Trump team is hiring Obama holdovers,” writes Smith. “They may have caught Anne Patterson before she got past the velvet rope, but Obama people staff key positions elsewhere, on Israel, Iran, ISIS, and Syria issues. Which makes sense, since the policies they are tasked with carrying out are so far exactly the same as they were under Obama.”

By leaving in place Obama political appointees President Trump risks that these people will work to undermine his stated agenda. For example, Michael Ratney, former U.S. consul to Jerusalem, who Conservative Review describes as “one of John Kerry’s closest confidantes,” now heads “the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio at the State Department.”

Smith describes another Obama holdover, “Yael Lempert, a National Security Council staffer from the Obama administration that the Trump team decided to keep on.” Smith quotes a former Clinton official who said that Lempert “is considered one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left. From her position on the Obama NSC, she helped manufacture crisis after crisis in a relentless effort to portray Israel negatively and diminish the breadth and depth of our alliance. Most Democrats in town know better than to let her manage Middle East affairs. It looks like the Trump administration has no idea who she is or how hostile she is to the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

Are these rookie mistakes or does Trump not care if his campaign promises regarding Israel, combating the Islamic jihadis, and ripping up the Iran deal go unfulfilled? On the plus side, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is doing great things to re-define America’s role in that institution, after eight years of Susan Rice and Samantha Power occupying America’s seat at the UN.

Trump’s new national security advisor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, has stated that he believes that radical Islamic terrorism is a perversion of Islam—not an outgrowth of the principles contained within that religion. The New York Times reports that McMaster “told his staff” that “‘radical Islamic terrorism’ was not helpful because terrorists are ‘un-Islamic.’” That newspaper heralded this as McMaster rejecting “a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaling a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world.” Trump himself doesn’t hesitate to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” Shouldn’t they be on the same page?

What this demonstrates, in fact, is McMaster’s blindness toward the roots of Islamic terror. As long as he remains the national security advisor to Trump, his rhetoric should be considered sanctioned by the administration.

Even more disturbing are rumblings that Trump may renege on his promise to “rip [the Iran deal] up.” In an opinion column for CNN, “Why Trump won’t tear up Iran nuclear deal,” David Andelman argues that “you don’t hear that ‘rip it up’ language any longer. And you won’t.” Reuters reports that the Trump administration is using the same messaging to the Board of Governors as used under Obama: “Iran must strictly and fully adhere to all commitments and technical measures for their duration.” Lee Smith pointed out that “former National Iranian American Council (NIAC) staffer Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, Obama’s NSC director for Iran, is now on the policy-planning staff in Trump’s State Department.” NIAC is effectively the Iran Lobby in the U.S.

If Iran is supposed to honor their commitments in the unsigned deal, will Trump also uphold the misguided U.S. political commitments as well? Trump’s pick to head the CIA, former Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), has called this agreement “nothing more than a press release and just about as enforceable.”

It is the media’s responsibility to hold Trump accountable for keeping his promises to the American people, instead of working to undermine his policies. But Trump needs to do a better job of filling key positions and vetting the people who are making and carrying out his policies. Otherwise, his administration could turn out to be a disaster.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.

03/23/17

Impeach Trump? I Don’t Think So

By: Lloyd Marcus

The Left continues to relentlessly promote their lie that Trump stole the election by scheming with the Russians. Their goal is to get enough people believing Trump’s presidency is illegitimate that they can impeach him.

Folks, these people on the Left and GOP establishment still do not understand what they are dealing with. I can only imagine the fallout of reversing the will of the American people by impeaching their president. I realize I sound like a broken record repeating myself, but Trump is a phenomenon like nothing we have seen before.

A year ago, I traveled state to state campaigning for Ted Cruz. My team and I stood on street corners waving Cruz signs. Numerous obnoxious people drove by us screaming, “T-R-U-M-P-P-P!!!” Never have I seen such passion for a candidate.

Our team traveled through the heartland in an SUV. We saw “TRUMP” painted on the side of barns and rooftops; “Trump/Pence” billboards; countless hand painted “Trump” signs and a gazillion official blue and white “Trump” yard signs. Clearly, something unique was happening.

Then there were the remarkable unprecedented crowds at Trump rallies. I shared how I was given VIP passes for a Trump rally in Daytona Beach Florida. I was told the rally was at 3pm and the doors opened at 9am. I thought, “Why would the doors open at 9 for a 3 o’clock rally?” I arrived at 2pm and was blown away. I had to park 5 blocks away from the convention center. Streets were blocked off with people in orange vests waving cars away. Despite my VIP pass, I could not get in. There were thousands outside the filled to capacity convention center. I thought what on earth is going on? I also could not miss the broad mix of people there excited about Trump. By the way, Trump is still drawing remarkable crowds.

Another first I noticed was supermarket tabloids trashing a democrat with headlines like, “Crooked Hillary.” Trump’s TV show was on for 11 years. Millions knew he was about winning and getting things done.

Even in the conservative circles in which I functioned as an activist, all I heard was Trump is a rude crude clown who will be humiliated by Hillary. I believed they were wrong. While mainstream media and political experts viewed Trump as the not-ready-for-prime-time candidate, the American people obvious saw something different.

Americans saw a straight-talking non-political-speak guy who understood their frustration with nonsensical liberal governing; ignoring our borders, ignoring our Constitution, the Obamacare fiasco, rewarding our enemies and purposely orchestrating the decline of our country.

When my guy, Ted Cruz dropped out of the race, I immediately jumped aboard the Trump Train. http://bit.ly/2nILInB Why? Because I knew Hillary in power would be a nightmare; continuing Obama’s putting America last; using government to bully Americans – forcing the far-left-radical agenda down our throats.

Little did I know then that Trump would prove to be God’s perfect choice for such a time as this. While I love Cruz, I do not believe Cruz or any pro-politician could successfully take on Washington, challenging the status quo the way Trump is doing.

The arrogant fake news media had a cow over Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer boldly confronting their lies, distortions and blatant hypocrisy. http://read.bi/2o0fXqo“Oh, how rude! This Trump Administration is so uncouth!”

Meanwhile, the American people are standing up and cheering. “It’s about time someone got into these jerks’ faces, calling them out!” As I said, mainstream media and political establishment simply do not know who and what they are dealing with.

To this day, I suspect some politically sophisticated conservatives are so embarrassed by Trump and protective of the political status quo that they secretly wish Hillary won and hope Trump is impeached. It amazes me that anti-Trump conservatives and Republicans do not realize the bullet in the heart of freedom America dodged by choosing Trump.

I spoke and sang at one of the national “March 4 Trump” rallies in Orlando. Trump-mania is as high as ever. Attendees were happy, excited, upbeat, enthusiastic and highly motivated in their support for our new president.

Clearly, we are engaged in an epic battle: The fake news media, Hollywood and Washington DC establishment verses Trump and We the People. I cannot imagine the American people tolerating the impeachment of Trump, their president.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Author: “Confessions of a Black Conservative: How the Left has shattered the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black America.”
Singer/Songwriter and Conservative Activist
[email protected]

03/23/17

HEALTH CARE VOTE TODAY

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Equity markets were relatively quiet following the first 1 percent decline since October. Treasuries advanced nominally in price on a reassessment of growth prospects. Today is the healthcare vote. Lawmakers have signaled any setback could delay enactment of tax cuts and spending increases, the prospects for which underpinned the market since Trump’s election.

I could envision a scenario that if the healthcare bill is passed, the markets will stage a sharp rebound perhaps re-installing the proverbial “buy on dip” mentality, believing that Trump can deliver.

FRB Chair Yellen also speaks today. I think little new will be added, but anytime the Fed Chair speaks is potentially significant.

As inferred, both events could be possible market catalysts.

Last night the foreign markets were up. London was up 0.01%, Paris was up 0.17% and Frankfurt was up 0.39%. China was up 0.11%, Japan was up 0.28% and Hang Sang was up 0.03%.

The Dow should open nominally higher ahead of the healthcare vote. The 10-year is off 1/32 to yield 2.42%.

03/22/17

CAN ANY CONCLUSIONS BE MADE FROM YESTERDAY’S DECLINE, THE GREATEST SINCE OCTOBER 11?

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Equities, led by the financials and technologies, fell by the greatest amount since October 11th over concerns that the Trump agenda may become stalled. House Republicans warned failure to a pass a healthcare bill could imperil tax and spending reforms.

Such delays and politicking should be expected, especially with an agenda as radical as Trump’s that wants to greatly reduce the size of the administrative state.

Most would agree the markets are over extended and profit taking should be expected at any juncture. The question at hand is will this profit taking morph into something of more significance?

I am concerned that the 10-year Treasury yields considerably more than the S & P 500 dividend yield. I am also concerned about the intense concentration of funds in a handful of names, the result of ETFs. I am also fearful about technology/algorithmic based trading that can cause great short term volatility.

However, consumer and business sentiment has not waned, monetary velocity is accelerating and outside of a handful of widely owned names, valuations are reasonable.

For a myriad of reasons I believe growth will surprise on the upside, partially the result of an increase in monetary velocity and rising home values. This will in turn support Main Street over Wall Street with the smaller capitalized names outperforming the mega capitalized growth issues, a nomenclature in itself is oxymoronic.

Because of the above backdrop, I think monetary policy will evolve into a more hawkish stance, the first such evolution in over 10 years.

All of the above should support the vast majority of names not mentioned a gazillion times a day in the financial media. Will this view materialize? Unfortunately, only history can answer this question.

What will happen today?

Last night the foreign markets were down. London was down 0.82%, Paris was down 0.43% and Frankfurt was down 0.47%. China was down 0.50%, Japan was down 2.13% and Hang Sang was down 1.11%.

The Dow should open nominally lower as questions are arising as to whether or not President Trump can enact his pro-growth policies. As stated above, such uncertainty should be expected given his plans to gut the proverbial administrative state, a gutting that has a high probability of being met with great bureaucratic resistance. The 10-year is up 3/32 to yield 2.41%.

03/22/17

Can Trump Save His Presidency and the Nation?

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

Geopolitical expert Jeff Nyquist talks with Cliff Kincaid about whether Trump can “drain the swamp” before the swamp swallows and takes him down. Nyqust analyses how the communists in the Democratic Party and Russia are working together, not in opposition. Will FBI Director James Comey charge Trump or his associates with being Russian agents? Why is Trump pouring more U.S. troops into Syria and Afghanistan? Can Europe survive with a Russian agent (Angela Merkel) running Germany?

03/21/17

Trump vs. Fox News on Wiretapping

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

President Donald Trump is usually a fan of Fox News, but his opinion may now be changing. Fox News has been caught misrepresenting its own interview with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on the subject of alleged wiretapping of President Trump, in order to make Trump look bad. The cable channel also threw one of its own commentators, Judge Andrew Napolitano, under the bus for highlighting a possible British role in gathering intelligence on Trump and his associates.

After having Nunes on the network’s “Fox News Sunday” show, Fox News claimed that he said “that phones at President Donald Trump’s campaign headquarters in midtown Manhattan were never tapped during last year’s election campaign, contrary to Trump’s earlier, unsubstantiated assertion.”

But if you listen to the video clip or read the transcript, that is not what Nunes really said.

Nunes actually said, “…the President doesn’t go and physically wiretap something. So if you take the President literally, it didn’t happen.” But Trump has referred to “wiretap” in quotes, to refer to surveillance. Nunes went on, “I think the concern that we have is that are—were there any other surveillance activities that were used unmasking the names” (emphasis added).

Unmasking refers to acquiring the name of a U.S. citizen in a surveillance report, even though that citizen’s personal privacy is supposed to be protected under U.S. law because he/she was not the target of the surveillance that captured the conversation. Trump press secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday, “Before President Obama left office, Michael Flynn was unmasked and then illegally his identity was leaked out to media outlets, despite the fact that, as NSA Director [Mike] Rogers said, that unmasking and revealing individuals endangers ‘national security.’ Not only was General Flynn’s identity made available, Director [James] Comey refused to answer the question of whether or not he’d actually briefed President Obama on his phone calls and activities.”

Nunes explained, “…the one crime we know that’s been committed is that one, the leaking of someone’s name through the FISA system. That is—that is a crime that’s been committed.”

At Monday’s hearing, Nunes repeated in his prepared opening statement, “…it’s still possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.”

The media highlighted FBI Director James B. Comey’s statement at Monday’s hearing that the FBI and the Justice Department had “no information that supports” President Trump’s tweets about wiretapping.

But where could these “other surveillance activities” have originated? We know that a former British intelligence agent was involved in gathering “intelligence” against Trump in the form of the fake “Trump Dossier,” and was paid by donors associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Parts of that “dossier” were passed on to Trump by the U.S. intelligence community.

As we note in our special report, “A Watergate-style Threat to the Democratic Process,” it is well-known that the British NSA, known as GCHQ or Government Communications Headquarters, collaborates with the NSA. In fact, a declassified document on the NSA’s own website confirms NSA/GCHQ “collaboration” dating back decades. Fox News senior judicial analyst and commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano said his sources confirm there was such an arrangement in the matter of the “wiretapping” of Trump and/or his associates.

Fox News immediately threw Napolitano under the bus. “Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary,” Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said on-air. “Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-President of the United States was surveilled at any time, any way.”

The phrase, “knows of no evidence,” does not suggest any independent investigation of his information.

One of Napolitano’s sources, former CIA operative Larry Johnson, came forward to say, “I reached out to friends in the intel community and asked them about the possibility that a back channel was used to get the Brits to collect on Trump associates. My sources said, ‘absolutely.’ I later confirmed this via a cutout with a person who is a Senior Intelligence Service executive in the CIA.”

In the face of this evidence of collaboration, NSA Director Mike Rogers tried to insist at Monday’s hearing that the NSA never asked the British to conduct surveillance of Trump. So why did the intelligence community accept and circulate the Trump dossier?

In a letter to Comey, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) noted that not only was the former British intelligence agent Christoper Steele “creating these memos as part of work for an opposition research firm connected to Hillary Clinton,” but that The Washington Post had reported that the FBI had reached an agreement a few weeks before the 2016 presidential election “to pay the author of the unsubstantiated dossier alleging a conspiracy between President Trump and the Russians, Christopher Steele, to continue investigating Mr. Trump” (emphasis added).

Grassley said, “The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for President in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends.”

At the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) was still quoting from the discredited Trump dossier.

Although Comey confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged relationship with Russian officials continues, there was no firm commitment to get to the bottom of the source (or sources) of the leaks to the media that are designed to damage the Trump administration.

Nunes said his committee wanted to pursue the matter, saying, “Numerous current and former officials have leaked purportedly classified information in connection to these questions. We aim to determine who has leaked or facilitated leaks of classified information so that these individuals can be brought to justice.”

As we argued in our column, “Investigate and Prosecute the Press,” there is a procedure to get to the bottom of at least one of these leaks. That is, to subpoena Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, the recipient of the illegal leak of the classified information naming or “unmasking” Michael T. Flynn.

Here’s what Ignatius, a known mouthpiece for the CIA, reported on January 12: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”

Subsequently, the Post revealed that, in regard to the Flynn matter, “Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.”

All of this leaking is illegal, a violation of the Espionage Act. It is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Jeff Bezos, the owner of The Washington Post, has a financial relationship with the CIA and the NSA through the provision of computer cloud capabilities.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Nunes said that “still remaining out there is the unmasking of names and the leaking of names…we have a lot of surveillance activities in this country and I think the concern that the Trump administration has is, you know, were they actually using surveillance activities to know what they were up to, because we know that that happened with General Flynn. We know that his name was unmasked and we know that it was leaked out to the press.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was unable to get exact figures from Comey or Rogers on the number of people at these agencies able to “unmask”—and therefore leak—a name. Such a number is absolutely vital in any identification of the leakers.

Comey did admit that the heads of the intelligence agencies and various Obama White House officials could have acquired access to unmasked names. But as Spicer noted at the White House press briefing, Comey would not talk about any discussions he may have had with President Obama on the matter.

It looks increasingly like any serious investigation of the illegal surveillance and leaking will have to be led and conducted by Rep. Nunes. But in going forward, it appears that the Fox News Channel has decided not to pursue the line of inquiry already opened up by one of its own commentators, Judge Napolitano.

Predictably, there are now demands that Fox News fire its senior judicial analyst for offering his own informed opinion based on the facts and his own sources of information.

[UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times and other media are now reporting that Judge Napolitano has been suspended by the Fox News Channel.]


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

03/21/17

A CONFLICTING ENVIRONMENT

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

For many, things are not making sense. President Trump’s approval ratings hit a new low, but both personal and corporate confidence is surging, the result of Trump’s anti-tax and anti-regulatory attitude. It is obvious many are celebrating the possible demise of the administrative state.

According to the WSJ, for the first time in many years, the 10-year Treasury is now yielding considerably more than the S & P 500 dividend yield… 2.5% of the 10-year versus 1.9% for the S & P 500. For many, this too does not make sense, suggesting that either yields or the S & P 500 is poised to tumble.

Speaking of tumbling, the S & P 500 yesterday did not tumble, but did slip about 0.20% while the other indices were essentially unchanged. The accepted reason… trade concerns.

Continuing with the “conflicting theme,” there are divergent statements from FOMC officials regarding monetary policy. I have little concern about opposing views for typically crises occur when there is “group think” and differing opinions are not voiced fearing political and other ramifications.

What will happen today?

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.17%, Paris was up 0.26% and Frankfurt was up 0.01%. China was up 0.39%, Japan down 0.34% and Hang Sang was up 0.37%.

The Dow should open quietly higher. Three Fed officials speak today. Oil is up about 1% on the belief that inventories contracted for the second consecutive week. The market is now suggesting a 57% chance of an another interest rate hike by June. The 10-year is off 6/32 to yield 2.49%.

03/20/17

How We Spent Spring Break

By: T F Stern | T F Stern’s Rantings

My wife and I went to Florida this past week.  We found that travel and lodging during Spring Break involves cashing in a couple of CDs since prices qualify for gouging; but that’s a whole other story.

The purpose of our trip was to scatter my father’s ashes, a gesture of respect which gave us closure, much as having a formal funeral puts a period at the end of a sentence.

The funeral home supplied a TSA approved urn made of nicely polished wood containing dad’s cremated ashes along with an official letter issued by the State of Texas for permission to transport human remains.

We showed up earlier than normal to avoid complications should the urn not pass TSA check point guidelines as advised.  We were told that his urn would be considered ‘carry on luggage’; dwell on that for a moment.  We’d placed the urn in a blue plastic bag from Sketchers shoe store so as not to alarm folks at the airport.

Thinking of dad as ‘carry on luggage’ made me smile, a morbid sense of humor that a retired night shift cop would find amusing.  At least we didn’t have to purchase a ticket and put a seat belt around the urn.

The folks at the TSA check point ran the urn through their X-ray machine twice and then took several swabs with chemically treated patches to make sure it didn’t contain bomb making substances.  Dad passed (actually he ‘passed’ back in October) and we placed him in the overhead luggage compartment without incident.

Dad’s Pastor volunteered the use of his boat as he ferried my sister and her husband along with my wife and me to the same location where mom’s ashes had been scattered last August.  We had an informal burial service and for all practical purposes we’d accomplished our mission.

But that’s not why I’m writing…

TSA flagged my wife’s carry on luggage; something raised suspicion as it went through the X-ray machine.  We were herded over to a steel table where they went though every inch of it.  A coin purse had too many quarters which prevented them from figuring out what it was.

They went through the toiletries and told us we had a tube of liquid material that exceeded the Three and One Half Ounce Rule, a brand new unopened tube of doTerra Deep Blue Rub, essential oils used to ease pain and assist the body in a number of ways.  There are strict rules from the FDA which forbid essential oil retailers from saying essential oils ‘cure’ anything or they come after us for making an unsubstantiated product claim.

Let’s just say some folks find essential oils help and leave it at that.  I use essential oils rather than drugs ‘Big Pharma’ and pill pushing doctors want me to use.

The TSA threw my perfectly good Thirty Dollar tube of Deep Blue Rub in the trash…  It was half an ounce over their arbitrarily determined limit for liquids making it suspect for bomb making material used by terrorists to blow up an airplane.

Neither my wife nor I fit the profile of Islamic Terrorists; but common sense got thrown in the trash can along with profiling individuals.  99 % of terrorism is carried out by followers of Islam; but that other 1%… just might be us.

It’s part of being Politically Correct so as not to antagonize Muslims who’ve already declared war on Western Civilization, promising to either enslave or murder us at their discretion.

I suggested that one solution would be for me to squeeze out half of the tube in the trash thereby saving me fifteen dollars worth of Deep Blue Rub; it would, after all be well under the three and one half ounce arbitrarily arrived at limit.

“We’re not permitted to do that.  You’ll have to throw it all in the trash”.  My wife reminded me that boarding the airplane was a better idea than going to prison so I permitted the veins in my neck to remain swollen until we’d passed by the TSA folks.

Has anyone considered the absurdity of what I’ve pointed out?

The 4th Amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The 4th Amendment was written specifically to prevent government officials from conducting searches without probable cause or search warrants.  I felt violated because my right to be secure from an unreasonable search and seizure was ignored…; but it was for my own good and the security of our nation, Spit!

The courts have interpreted the language of our Founders to mean anything they damn well want it to mean as individual rights and the constitution have been thrown into the trash can of obscurity where it lies crumpled and bruised.

I’ve heard Deep Blue Rub is good for bruises…

This article has been cross posted to The Self Educated American, a publication whose banner reads, “Standing Fast By the Judeo-Christian Heritage, Limited Government and the U.S. Constitution”.