“Keep Your Word.”

GOP Accountability Project


Starting on Tuesday, August 30th, Free The Delegates will launch an astonishing national ad in the midst of the presidential race.

The hard-hitting ad, named “Keep Your Word” uses Donald Trump’s own words. The ad will be aired in what were once battleground states such as Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and Michigan. Trump is now trailing Hillary Clinton by up to double-digits in several key states.

Regina Thomson, Executive Director of Free The Delegates, weighed in:

“It’s clear that Mr. Trump destroyed all semblance of credibility he had after the convention – the American people agree. He is behind by double digits in several states that should be in contention. This continued carnival, called by some ‘a candidacy’ will cost my fellow Republicans the Senate and the US Supreme Court.”


The ‘separation of church and state’ and ‘religious persecution’

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Thomas Jefferson asked for the "the following inscription, & not a word more" on his tombstone: Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson asked specifically for the “the following inscription, & not a word more” on his tombstone: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia”

“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.” – The Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776

The founding fathers believed in religious freedom, not religious suppression and persecution. The Library of Congress confirms that “the great majority left Europe [to come to America] to worship God in the way they believed to be correct.” In Europe, “majority religious groups who controlled political power punished dissenters in their midst.” The “New England colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland,” the article continued, “were conceived and established as ‘plantations of religion.'”

While most of the founding fathers were undeniably deeply religious, they also wanted to ensure that the federal government would impose “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

It is quite unfathomable that their intent has been somehow interpreted over time to mean that all semblance of religion should be removed from the public square. That action, one could reasonably conclude, is suppression of religion, or “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.

Read more here…


Egyptian judoka Salafi-style: No withdraw, no win, no handshake

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts


The ancient Greek Olympiad, the origin of today’s Olympic Games, was held in honor of Zeus. The games were used as a political tool between rival city-states. It was all about victory and the assertion of dominance. The inception of the Olympiad dates back to nearly nine hundred years before the moon god, Allah, whispered his special message into humanity through the angel Gabriel. So, it is not odd that upon completion of the August 12 judo match of the Rio Olympics between Egyptian competitor, Islam el-Shehaby, and Isaeli champion, Or Sasson, that the devout Salafi publicly observed his god by refusing, according to Quranic commandment, to shake the extended winning hand of Sasson, the Jew.

When the match was over, Shehaby ignored Sasson, following the Quranic verse 2:65 (And will ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected”). This was not the case of a sore loser. The devout Muslim was paying homage to Allah. Deference to Allah is why Egyptian Copts are barred (unofficially) from Egypt’s Olympic training camps at an age when children are singled out for athletic talent. Christian family ancestry (the name of one’s great-great-grandfather) or simply the mandatory Egyptian ID card indicating Christianity will shut any candidate out.

Shehaby was internationally ranked very high at 25 in his weight class. As Egypt’s state champion, Salafi Shehaby’s chances were very good for victory; predictions were made that Islam would dominate. The Egyptian Olympic Authority knew it risked the dreaded possibility that Shehaby could face an Israeli champion. Sure enough the 32nd round of the judo matches determined this to be when the draw brought Sasson, ranked at 5, to face Shehaby. Cries of protest from the devout of Egypt (and other Islamic countries) for Shehaby to withdraw were deafening.

To settle the matter, Khalid Abdul Aziz (Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports), relegated religious considerations to the rules and regulations of the world games. Shehaby’s potential triumph over an Israeli Jew would not be relinquished when the possibility of his dominance would bring great honor to Islam. Aziz went on CNN Arabic to quote the Olympic Charter, “Egypt is committed to the Olympic Charter, which does not recognize withdrawal of a participant, and it is not acceptable for any Egyptian athlete to withdraw from any competition. This would expose the player and country to sanctions. Egyptian athletes must accept competition with everyone, regardless of any other considerations.”

This actually gave the 34-year old Salafi judoka a choice. Reminded of his duty to the Charter and his country, he could stay on track. Otherwise, withdraw from the contest and abide by the religious dictates of his conscience (embodied in the disapproval of fellow believers). Shehaby, no doubt, had in mind fellow athlete, Ramadan Darwish, who overpowered his Israeli competition in the 2012 Dusseldorf quarterfinals of the German judo games delivering Egypt the Bronze medal. Darwish brought a double honor to Allah when he disregarded the after-match handshake in submission to the laws of his religious doctrine.

However, what Shehaby didn’t know choosing to go forward was that two days hence he would honor Allah in front of the world only by half his former teammate – losing the combat and likewise refusing the sportsman’s handshake. The final push for his decision to engage came from the president of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, Hisham Kattab, who confirmed that no one can force Shehaby to withdraw and shatter his hopes of an Olympic competition just because he happens to face an Israeli player. He went on to wish Shehaby a win and the achievement of an Olympic medal.

On the day of the match, reporters described Shehaby looking haggard, stepping onto the mat with his eyes darting and knees quivering. Bigotry is not easy. Just the thought of proximity is unnerving and, in this case, weakened resolve. Like Nasser’s ‘67 five-day defeat, in five minutes it was over for Shehaby. The Egyptian president returned from the world stage to apologize to the Egyptian people as Shehaby needs to do now. Egyptian government authorities and their Olympic committee publicly condemned Shehaby’s behavior calling the player back home. Meanwhile, Shehaby’s success resides in his contribution to the expansion of Islamic ideology.

Christian Coptic participation in Egypt’s Olympics is tokenism, if and when we see it. In their formative years, Egypt’s Christian children know they haven’t a shot at striving for the pinnacle of athletics and, for that matter, government, academics, politics or the military. Only just recently are there a handful of elected Christians to the Egyptian parliament. However, this will not yet lead to the reversal of institutionalized second-class status for minority religions.

Shehaby’s scraggly Mohammed-style beard, worn by devout Salafi Muslims, contradicted the ideal of former Egyptian participants in past Olympics, placing worship over country. Reaction to Shehaby upon return can be summed up in the malicious mockery found in the comments of media host and secularist, Dr. Khaled Montaser, who blogged on social media, “It’s clear that our judoka player is a cocktail of crap. He also refused to shake hands with the president of the Olympic Committee [a woman] during the investigation because it is haram [a sin]!!” An investigation by the Olympic Commission was made into Shehaby’s refusal to bow to his opponent according to regulation when the match ended. Montaser then evoked Osama Bin Laden’s hideout to say, “Even if this were the Tora Bora team one would never act like that!! El-Shehaby thought that he was in the Khaybar Gazwa.” He added, “Who sent such an Uncle Salafi to shame and disgrace us?”

Lloyd Marcus

The Left’s War on American Dreamers

By: Lloyd Marcus

I admit it. I have this corny obsession with the baseball movie, “The Natural.” At the end of the movie it is the bottom of the ninth ending with two outs. Roy Hobbs is at bat. The game and his teammate’s hope of playing in the world series is on Roy’s shoulders.

In his youth, life threw Roy an unexpectedly curve ball which shattered his dream of baseball stardom. Several years pasted. Beat up by life and having lost his confidence, Roy decided to give his baseball dream one last try.

For a nefarious reason, a scout signed the older player who never played major league baseball to a contact with a last place major league team. Roy started his baseball career at an age players typically retire. Despite his age and an old gun shot wound, Roy’s gift for baseball was still alive and well. With his natural talent and leadership, Roy led his team from last place to the championship game.

No matter how much good you attempt to do there are always haters who try to destroy you and your dream. Evil people poisoned Roy to stop him from playing in the championship game. A doctor cautioned Roy that due to his age and old wound, playing in the final game of the season could kill him. Feeling physically weak, Roy drug himself to the final game. Because of his time away in the hospital, Roy’s timing at the plate was off. Every at bat Roy struck out.

There he was in the bottom of the ninth ending with two outs and two strikes. The second was a fowl ball which broke Roy’s famous bat (Wonder Boy). Roy instructed the bat-boy, “Go pick me out a winner Bobby.” Bobby brought the bat that Roy helped him carve from a chunk of wood. http://bit.ly/2bdTkv9

Sweat rolled from Roy’s brow. A small blood stain appeared on Roy’s uniform from his stomach wound. Roy’s final swing was an amazingly powerful home-run, sending his team to the world series. That scene always makes me cry. Hitting that mammoth home run was the culmination of Roy’s years of disappointments, loss of confidence and frustrations. It is also touching that by fulfilling his baseball dream, Roy touched many lives in a positive way; fulfilling the dreams of his old coach, teammates and others. http://bit.ly/1vFLbAZ

It is unfortunate that liberals have distorted the individual pursuit of a dream to be viewed as selfish and somehow even racist. Crabs must be cooked alive. Any crab trying to climb out of the pot is pulled back by the others. Liberals are like the crabs, always seeking to pull achievers back to spread mediocrity equally.

Roy generously spent time with Bobby helping him carve his bat (Savoy Special). Roy had no idea that would be the bat he’d use to fulfill his dream. Many times helping others to pursue their dreams unexpectedly contribute to you fulfilling your dream.

With liberals dominating government, education and entertainment, it is unfortunate that so many things traditionally viewed as good are now viewed as bad; selfish and racist. For example. Our nation was built upon small business owners willing to risk everything in pursuit of a better life for their families and themselves. And yet, Obama has been hostile towards small business owners, scolding them saying, “You didn’t build that.” http://fxn.ws/2biS2xL Obama was implying that somehow they owe a debt to society. This supposedly justified him over-regulating, over-taxing and redistributing their hard earned wealth to buy the votes of the lazy and entitlement minded.

Frankly, American small business owners should be celebrated rather than demonized. By pursuing their dreams, they bless their fellow Americans with jobs, goods and services. This is called trickle-down-economics. Trickle-down-economics is another thing liberals have twisted to be viewed as bad; selfish, racist and sexist. However, trickle-down is a good thing and how all economics work.

Since he was 9 years old, my 88 year old black dad benefited from trickle-down economics. The natural entrepreneur shined shoes for 5 cents a shine on the corner of Baltimore and Gay Streets. He shined shoes at the Greyhound Bus station for $1 per day. He earned around $4 in tips by putting on a good show; twirling his brushes and popping his shoe shine cloth. After the shine he used a whisk broom to brush down his customer’s suit. Dad chuckled saying he always found a spot on the back of the gentleman’s suit which required a little extra attention. Dad, a little boy, made $1.25 per week working with the fish man who sold fish from his horse pulled wagon.

The proud American dreamer still beams telling me how he paid rent to Aunt Nee who raised him. When Dad purchased a sport shirt for 45 cents, he bragged to his buddies that he was buying his own clothes. Dad said he was outraged when they raised the admission into the movies from 10 cents to 11. He budgeted 5 cents for the movie snack bar. Dad jokingly said youth today are smarter than him. Instead of working to earn money, they hit someone over the head. I thought, or Obama takes it from achievers to give to the lazy and irresponsible.

Folks, here is a perfect example of an American tragedy created by democrats. http://bit.ly/1TLhZWa My cousin who recently passed away at age 68 was a product of generational welfare; total government dependency. She had 6 kids, 25 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. Dad said she never held a job. The vast majority of her offspring are following in her footsteps. Imagine all of the natural gifts and talents laying dormant in that family; unfulfilled. The democrats provide them with just enough free stuff to survive and keep them loyal democrat voters. It is truly tragic folks.

My sister-in-law is a grandmother. A few years ago, she decided to pursue her dream since her youth of becoming an actress. After taking acting lessons, performing in local productions and trips from her hometown Baltimore to New York, she has landed a few impressive acting jobs. This does not surprise me. She has always been a natural.

Lloyd Marcus: The Unhyphenated American
Chairman: Conservative Campaign Committee

Glenn Beck

LISTEN: Glenn Beck breaks silence on tyrannical court order forcing him to reveal sources

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Glenn Beck via TheBlaze

Glenn Beck via TheBlaze

On Thursday, Glenn Beck broke his silence on a recent court order that would force the media mogul to reveal sources stemming from the Islamic terror attack during the Boston marathon in 2013 or potentially face time in prison.

As previously reported at TrevorLoudon.com:

Media mogul Glenn Beck has been ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris (appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993) “to identify at least two confidential sources” that gave him information about Abdulrahman Al Harbi, the Saudi national and initial “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing, which took place on Monday, April 15, 2013.

It was reported yesterday at Politico that Beck and his colleagues who were in contact with the sources refused to name them as ordered by a federal judge.

Beck’s attorney wrote in part:

“Defendants cannot disclose the identities of Confidential Sources 1 and 2 for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, as a matter of fundamental journalistic integrity, Defendants cannot disclose the identities of the Confidential Sources without their authorization…”

Beck addressed the case on his Thursday radio broadcast, referring to the First Amendment. Beck said in part that the sources “have begged us not to reveal them and we are not going to reveal sources…” Whistle-blowers against the government, Beck continued, should be protected.

Beck quickly addresses the issue in the beginning of his show.

Listen to the show here:

Read more:


Skolkovo: Hillary Clinton’s Treasonous Russian Connections

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


One of the most pressing questions we should be demanding of Hillary Clinton is an explanation of Skolkovo and how she profited from making deals over it. Because it looks suspiciously like she helped fund the Russians to develop cyber technology that could be used against us in a time of war, while profiting from what amounts to treason. In essence, Hillary Clinton has allowed trade secrets and professional Russian espionage within the United States.

As I have stated previously, I now believe that whoever wins in this election will bring Russia into the White House. Putin wins no matter what now. In a way, you have to admire the evil machinations that have taken place to make this the case and I’m simply dumbstruck by the utter foolishness of America in allowing it to happen.

The Podesta Group has been neck deep in it with the Russians for fun and profit. John Podesta is Clinton’s campaign chair and his brother is the head of The Podesta Group. Hillary’s entanglement with Putin and the Kremlin go far deeper than that. She’s taken huge donations and made deals with our biggest enemy… she’s also covered it up nicely.

Peter Schweizer has written a report that is stunning: FROM RUSSIA WITH MONEY. It is 40 pages long and a definite must read for national security experts and those that want an insight into Clinton corruption with Russia in mind. It’s in-depth… Schweizer has spent years looking into Clinton’s finances and connections. This one all by itself should keep her out of the White House, but sadly, I doubt it will in today’s Russia-embracing insanity. The uranium deal comes to mind.

John Podesta sat on the board of a Dutch-registered company that had lucrative shadowy dealings with the Kremlin, to the tune of $35 million. It was an obvious Russian front and there is no way to know currently just how much Podesta himself was paid, or what for. But come on… we are not naive here. It can’t be good if it’s the Russians. Podesta broke federal law when he did not disclose his position on that board to the federal government. By law, he is required to. Last time I checked, he’s free as a bird and still making dirty deals.

Clinton and her holdings have profited greatly from her little “Russian reset.” Yep, that was a disaster, but not for her personally. She made a killing in more ways than one, if you get my drift. It resulted in the Russians invading the Ukraine, something that is being lauded on both sides of the political aisle now. The Russians have even had their mitts in the Republican convention plank to soften support for the Ukraine.

Hillary Clinton was instrumental in getting American firms to heavily invest in Russia – specifically our high-tech firms. I give you the Skolkovo Innovation Center. It’s a sprawling complex in Moscow’s western suburbs and was built in 2009. It is their version of Silicon Valley, with an espionage, intelligence and military twist. With the blessings of Clinton’s State Department, Cisco pledge $1 billion in 2010 to Skolkovo. Google and Intel then came on board with heavy investments. I’m sure you will be shocked to know that all three of those tech titans just happen to be major investors in the Clinton Foundation.


28 US companies participated in Skolkovo. 17 of those were Clinton Foundation donors or they had at one time hired Bill Clinton to give speeches. It partially explains the millions in speech fees the Clintons have declared on their tax returns. That and the Chinese and other enemies of the US. There is no way to know exactly how much the Clintons made out of Skolkovo, but Schweizer estimates that it is somewhere between $6.5 million and $23.5 million. Once the Clinton Foundation reveals all its donors, it could be much, much more and I’m betting it is.

In reality, Skolkovo is only like Silicon Valley in appearance. On the inside, you have a Kremlin-driven company that answers directly to Putin and is of high value to the country’s defense and security sector. Largely funded thanks to Hillary Clinton. It is an extension of Russia’s military-industrial complex and their intelligence services. In July 2013, an unclassified study by US European Command that surveyed Skolkovo activities suggested that Russia’s Silicon Valley is “an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage.” This time they didn’t really have to steal our high-tech secrets as they have in the past… we literally handed them over.

In 2014, the FBI made a blunt, public statement warning American firms about dealings with Russian entities, naming the Skolkovo Foundation as a particular source of concern. They called it, “a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research, development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial applications.” That seems pretty damn straightforward to me. Skolkovo also has commercial contracts with Kamaz, a Russian defense firm. Their specialty… armored vehicles. “The FBI fears that Kamaz will provide Russia’s military with innovative research obtained from the Foundation’s US partners,” warned the Bureau.

And it gets worse. Skolkovo has deep links to the FSB (Russian Intelligence). It’s the modern day version of the KGB. Schweizer stats, “Skolkovo happens to be the site of the FSB’s security centers 16 and 18, which are in charge of information warfare for the Russian government.” See where this is going? Nowhere good for Clinton. That place ironically houses the hackers that hacked the DNC and stole Hillary’s emails. They turned on her after doling out millions.

None of this is classified information. Neither are assessments by the Pentagon or the FBI and they are being candid about it for those that will listen. “It’s an obvious Kremlin front,” explained a Pentagon intelligence official about Skolkovo. “In the old days, the KGB had to recruit spies to steal Western technology, now they do deals with you. The theft is the same.” A European intelligence official said that they had concluded that several top Skolkovo officials are actually FSB officers: “We’ve seen guys from Skolkovo acting like intelligence collectors, not tech entrepreneurs,” he elaborated.

None of this should ever have been allowed, especially by a sitting US high-profile Secretary of State. The damage done here is immeasurable and deadly. I have absolutely no doubt that the technology provided by Clinton to the Russians will be used in cyberwarfare against us. In layman’s terms… I call that treason.

Congress should demand an accountability from Clinton on her Russian dealings immediately. It’s a matter of national security. Americans have a right to know before they vote in November.



#OurRevolution: Bernie Sanders organizes socialist takeover of Congress

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Sanders socialists busily organize socialist takeover of America starting tonight via map.berniesanders.com/

Sanders socialists busily organize socialist takeover of America starting tonight via map.berniesanders.com

“Helping to build a democratic socialist political force, DSA members have stepped up to run for political office around the United States. Their campaigns represent the next stage of the organizing that began with the Sanders campaigns, and their successes will reflect the strength of socialist organizing beyond national politics.” – Democratic Socialists of America website, August 23, 2016, “DSA Members Run for Office to Continue the Political Revolution

Senator Bernie Sanders has created a new 501(c)(4) organization whose non-stated goal is to fundamentally transform the United States into a socialist country. There will be over 2500 “house parties” in all 50 states livestreaming Bernie himself jump-starting the effort Wednesday evening.

After Sanders lost his bid to become the Democrat nominee for president, his allies have been busily plotting the complete transformation of America using the hashtag  . In addition to the ongoing effort to support so-called “Berniecrats” who endorsed the socialist during his presidential campaign, many “grassroots leaders from the Bernie campaign and a few ex-staffers” are dedicated to “replacing Congress all at once with a Brand New Congress in 2018.”

It should be noted that many Berniecrats already won their primaries. Americans need to pay attention. Here is just one example of a tweet touting winning Berniecrats:

The goal is to “recruit and run 400+ candidates as a single, unified, presidential-style campaign.” The candidates will follow an agenda inspired by Bernie Sanders’ policy proposals.

From the Brand New Congress website:

“We’re happy to see so many “Berniecrats” running in 2016 and we want to be supportive, but we’re just getting started, so we don’t think we’ll have that much to offer 2016 candidates. We think the way to win is to start very early and plan a great campaign. That’s why we’re focusing on 2018.”

Socialists are highly organized and dedicated to pushing through anti-American candidates who are not interested in limited government as envisioned by America’s founding fathers. In order to get America back on the path to peace and prosperity, constitutional conservatives need to strongly support principled candidates for office who will take their oath to the Constitution seriously.

Follow the hashtags #Berniecrats and #OurRevolution to learn more.

Read More:


Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) – BYU Noteworthy A Cappella Cover

Saudi Oil

OPEC’s Output Freeze: What Has Changed Since Doha?

It’s possible that OPEC is crying wolf with hints of an output freeze next month in Algiers; but it’s also possible that they are ramping up production to take the sting out of a freeze. This is a delicate balancing act that the Saudis need to play very carefully.

The official chatter is that the OPEC meeting in Algeria from September 26 to 28 could conclude with an agreement to freeze production by the member nations, with even Russia joining forces in a freeze that may prevent further oil price erosion. But everyone’s a bit gun-shy after the false hopes of the last round in Doha—even if a freeze at levels that existed then wouldn’t have meant much either—and it’s hard to blame them. The question is, how many times can the Saudis cry wolf without forever losing the ability to leverage this chatter to affect a rise in oil prices?

But lets rewind a bit to the nature of the recent chatter. The Saudi Energy Minister has indicated that Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, is willing to proceed with a production freeze.

“We are, in Saudi Arabia, watching the market closely, and if there is a need to take any action to help the market rebalance, then we would, of course in cooperation with OPEC and major non-OPEC exporters,” said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, reports Reuters.

“We are going to have a ministerial meeting of the International Energy Forum in Algeria next month, and there is an opportunity for OPEC and major exporting non-OPEC ministers to meet and discuss the market situation, including any possible action that may be required to stabilize the market.”

The hopes of reaching an agreement in Doha were scuttled by Saudi Arabia, because it wanted its arch rival, Iran, to participate in the freeze. Unfortunately for oil prices, Iran had made it clear that it would not join any such discussion until they reached pre-sanction levels of oil production.

What has changed from Doha to Algeria?


Iran’s oil production is close to its pre-sanction levels, meaning that its first cited prerequisite for any discussion has now been met—a criteria that was not met at the time of the Doha meeting. In addition, increasing oil production further by Iran is a big ask—it would need billions of dollars worth of investments in both upstream and downstream facilities to make this happen. With oil prices languishing below $50 a barrel, major oil companies are reluctant to commit huge sums of money for new oil projects.

Iran’s oilfields are mature, and more than half of its wells have an annual decline rate of 9 percent to 11 percent, according to Michael Cohen, an analyst at Barclays in New York. Therefore, at their existing production levels, they need an additional 200,000 to 300,000 barrels a day annually to replace the shortfall from their aging wells.

Iran needs more money and investment to continue pumping at the current rate, making it more likely for Iran to agree to some kind of an arrangement where they continue to pump oil at a rate close to their target of 4 million barrels a day.

That said, the last thing that Iran wants is to be sidelined, so Tehran is bound to make its presence felt at the meeting with strong statements. But at the end of the day, it is unlikely that Iran will scuttle an agreement where it has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

“There may be a little bit more to it this time. I’m still very skeptical, but it’s just with Iran being where they are production-wise, they’ll be more inclined to eventually go along with a deal,” said Again Capital’s John Kilduff, reports CNBC.

Saudi Arabia

The oil-rich nation underestimated the resilience of the U.S. shale oil drillers when they declared war on them in 2014. American oil has not only kept flowing—the shale producers have managed to bring down production costs considerably. This ability was not anticipated by Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has burned more than $175 billion in reserves since August 2014. The Saudis have introduced austerity measures and plans to monetize their crown jewel Saudi Aramco to survive the oil downturn. Nevertheless, things are not going well for this nation, which youth is struggling to find jobs as shown in the chart below.

IMG URL: http://cdn.oilprice.com/images/tinymce/2016/Oil%20Graphs%201.png

A large population of unemployed youths who cannot take care of their families can sow seeds of frustration, and the Arab Spring will still be fresh in the memory of the rulers.

Saudi Arabia is struggling to grow in this oil downturn. Barring the 2009 dip, the current growth rate of 1.5 percent is the worst in a decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

IMG URL: http://cdn.oilprice.com/images/tinymce/2016/Oil%20Graphs%202.png

If oil prices remain low, the Saudi plan to sell shares in Saudi Aramco might not fetch them the valuations they expect, and a nation that cannot provide the most basic of amenities—food for its foreign workers—says a lot about their financial condition.

Saudi Arabia has seen the recent slide in crude oil prices towards the $40/barrel mark, which could have gone deeper without the chatter of a production freeze. And since they have already cried wolf once in Doha, doing so again in Algiers decrease the importance of any ‘chatter’ leverage they have in the future.

Rest of the nations already onboard

Barring Iran and Saudi Arabia, the rest of the nations were in agreement about the need to freeze production during the Doha meeting.

From OPEC to Russia, everyone is at record production levels

The oil-producing nations want to ensure that even if there are talks of a production freeze, they should not feel the pinch. Hence, even before the meeting, they will try to produce more, rather than less. The recent ramping up may very well be an indication that a freeze—although at a level higher than what would have likely come out of the Doha meeting—may be on the horizon.

The oil markets are so sensitive that even a statement of agreement by OPEC at the end of the meeting is enough to send oil prices flying above the resistance level of $51 a barrel.

What about the shale oil producers?

Though U.S. production is declining and experiencing a flurry of bankruptcies, the remaining companies are much better positioned to continue pumping at lower levels to survive the downturn.

Though the risk remains that the shale oil drillers will come back in full force when oil prices recover, the risk is worth taking. OPEC and Russia have realized that any new world order will have to include the shale oil companies. They are a large enough force not to be neglected or defeated.

With all of this in mind, an agreement between OPEC and Russia is more feasible in Algiers than it was in Doha. It might not mean much though, with output levels soaring ahead of the meeting. A freeze at current levels—or levels reached by the time of the meeting—won’t do much to change the fundamentals, nor is there any indication that a freeze would have long legs.

Link to original article: https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/OPECs-Output-Freeze-What-Has-Changed-Since-Doha.html

By Rakesh Upadhyay for Oilprice.com


The Human Side of Hillary

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media


Some of us in the media watchdog business think Americans are anxious to read every last word from The New York Times and The Washington Post. These are important papers that do help shape the national agenda. But many people look to publications like the National Enquirer, the tabloid solidly in the corner of Donald J. Trump, the one that he used to smear Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). On the other hand, the Democratic presidential candidate has US Weekly with millions of readers in her corner. Its May 2 issue featured a cover story on Hillary Clinton, telling America the “fun facts” about the former First Lady, such as that she loves to snack on hot chili peppers, and “I put hot sauce on everything.”

I was forced to read several copies of the weekly celebrity and entertainment magazine while waiting in a doctor’s office with a dead cell phone. It’s a different media world with its own sphere of influence that may eclipse so-called serious papers like the Post and Times.

In this world, Hillary is a celebrity, not a politician. But she’s just like us, an ordinary person. She eats things we eat. She does things we do.

I don’t know for sure who reads US Weekly on a regular basis, but the publicationclaims to have millions of subscribers and reaches through its various platforms a total of 50 million “young, high income consumers with the most timely and current entertainment news, style, beauty and fitness/nutrition content…”

As we see with the Hillary Clinton cover story, a big dose of political bias is also thrown in occasionally. This is a reflection of owner Jann Wenner’s preferences for the policies of the Democratic Party. He is a major donor to the Democratic Party and used another of his publications, Rolling Stone, to endorse Barack Obama in 2008. Rolling Stone ran a Paul Krugman article in 2014 declaring Obama one of America’s most successful presidents. Obamacare, Krugman declared at the time, was “working better than even the optimists expected.”

These days, of course, even liberal publications are warning that the so-called Affordable Health Care Act is on the verge of complete failure and disaster because of higher costs.

The US Weekly issue with Mrs. Clinton on the cover was an obvious attempt by the magazine, acting in concert with the campaign, to “humanize” the candidate and counteract charges that she is a liar with health problems and not fit to be president.

The “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” cover story had nothing about emails or Benghazi. Instead, written from her own perspective, she informs us, “Bill Clinton proposed to me twice before I said yes.” Nothing was said about his womanizing or impeachment. It was if they are still a happily married couple. There was no talk of a lousy marriage in the pages of US Weekly.

The inside story featured a flattering picture of Mrs. Clinton waving, with the notation that readers can “Find out more about her campaign at hillaryclinton.com.”

Another revelation from Hillary was, “I do yoga. Not enough.” Plus, “Chocolate is my weakness…as are Goldfish,” a reference to the snack.

You get the idea: she’s just an ordinary person with needs and feelings like everybody else. She’s not some power-hungry politician with a radical left agenda. She’s one of us.

We may laugh at such coverage, but the owner has to figure that his mostly young readers can be easily fooled into accepting such an extreme make-over of one of the most dishonest candidates ever to run for the highest office in the land.

Number 18 in the list of 25 things we don’t know about Hillary is that when President Obama asked her to serve as his secretary of state, she joined the administration: “Because when your president asks you to serve, you say yes.” This is one patriotic lady devoted to public service. She is truly for the public interest, the common good.

The US Weekly website is similar to the magazine. Included with the latest celebrity news is an item on how Mrs. Clinton opened a jar of pickles and had her pulse taken on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show to prove she’s healthy, while Stephen Colbert did a bit comparing Donald J. Trump to disgraced American swimmer Ryan Lochte.

In addition to the US Weekly puff-piece on Hillary, owner Jann Wenner endorsed Mrs. Clinton in Rolling Stone magazine in March, saying that she “is one of the most qualified candidates for the presidency in modern times…” Attempting to refute charges that she is a liar, he added, “I keep hearing questions surface about her honesty and trustworthiness, but where is the basis in reality or in facts? This is the lingering haze of coordinated GOP smear campaigns against the Clintons—and President Obama—all of which have come up empty, including the Benghazi/e-mail whirlwind, which after seven GOP-led congressional investigations has turned up zilch.”

Zilch has now been surpassed by several more email controversies, to the point where Tuesday’s New York Times is running a story headlined, “New Clinton Emails Raise Shadow Over Her Campaign.”

The paper reported that “…thousands of emails that Mrs. Clinton did not voluntarily turn over to the State Department last year could be released just weeks before the election in November.”

Some of them may be as hot as her hot sauce. Kimmel should be prepared to check her pulse at that point.

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.