03/30/17

When Ted Koppel Was a Serious Thinker

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

As someone who goes back decades with Accuracy in Media, I remember the days when Ted Koppel, then with ABC News and host of “Nightline,” would cover serious matters and treat his conservative critics with respect. So Koppel’s attack on Sean Hannity of Fox News was a shocker. Something has happened to journalism, and the problem is not with Hannity, it’s with Koppel.

Koppel, now with CBS, attacked Hannity as being “bad for America” because of his opinionated Fox News channel program. But there was a time when Koppel was open to criticism. AIM founder Reed Irvine had many friendly confrontations with Koppel over various issues. When Reed died, Koppel said, “Reed Irvine was, at times, a harsh critic of the television news industry and me in particular, but throughout the many years that I knew him, he was never anything but courtly and personally gracious. Just as I would insist that all other enterprises in our society benefit from the presence of a critical and fearless press, so too the press benefits from being held to high and occasionally harsh standards. Reed Irvine fulfilled that function to the greater good of all.”

All of a sudden, however, Koppel has decided to go on the attack against conservatives. He is not alone. You can frequently find the rants of the disgraced former anchorman of the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather, on obscure left-wing websites like Reader Supported News. In one of his latest posts, Rather says of President Trump, “… the Russian shadow continues to darken.” This is funny, considering that one of AIM’s investigations of Rather concluded that he had become a vehicle for Russian Communist propaganda when he used the CBS Evening News to broadcast the charge that AIDS had been manufactured by the Pentagon. This was before his career ended in disgrace after being caught using fake documents to smear President George W. Bush.

Now a “special contributor” to the CBS “Sunday Morning” program, Koppel’s confrontation with Hannity was described by CBS as being about the “polarization of politics and the media in the Age of Trump.” The show’s website said that Koppel “charged Fox News host Sean Hannity with contributing to the increased antipathy toward opposing viewpoints that is prevalent in America.” Hannity’s “crime” is offering conservative news and opinion.

Conservative news and commentary are facts of life that should be studied and understood, not ridiculed as beyond the pale. Conservative blogs began the process of unraveling Rather’s smear of Bush, leading to the destruction of the CBS newsman’s career. Hannity offers news and opinion that fill a void and meet the demands of his audience.

As a long-time news analyst, I find it refreshing that at least some professors are taking the rise of conservative journalism seriously and treating it as a subject to be studied. In a “Call for Book Chapters on Conservative News,” professors Anthony M. Nadler and A.J. Bauer are calling on academics and others to contribute essays on the growth and influence of conservative news and opinion outlets.

“Conservative news has become a tremendously powerful platform in the United States, wielding a vast influence on the terms of political discourse,” they note.

Nadler is an Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Ursinus College and is the author of Making the News Popular: Mobilizing U.S. News Audiences (2016, University of Illinois Press). Bauer is a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow and Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University.

It may be the case that liberal academia is looking for an antidote to the success of conservative news and information. But the success of shows like Sean Hannity’s are something to be studied, not mocked as “bad for America.”

“Crucially,” notes Bauer, “reported trust in major news media in the U.S. differs greatly along partisan lines.” This reflects the fact that conservative Americans have rejected the liberal media, and have looked for and found alternatives.

In his preliminary draft for the full project proposal, Bauer writes, “While it is obvious that conservative news cultures have been powerful and among the forces shaping the circulation and norms of political discourse, critical media studies has largely let the story of conservative news slip past its view.”

In other words, the liberals in the media and academia did not see this coming. They didn’t understand the powerful forces of conservative media as a reaction to the liberal media monopoly that is now in the process of disintegrating.

Ted Koppel is in a position to understand and study this phenomenon. Instead, Koppel highlights a “polarized America.” He had a chance to understand the phenomenon of conservative news and opinion, but decided instead to attack it.

It’s “bad for America” when liberals in the media abandon the debate and try to smear their opponents. We didn’t expect this from Koppel.


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.

03/30/17

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN?

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

I think most do not realize how different the world is today from yesterday. Globalism is on life support, the result of Brexit and Trump’s election emphasizing economic nationalism versus multipolarity.

I think the globalist environment could potentially die in the next 60 days. Depending upon which poll one utilizes, the leading candidate in both Italy and France’s national elections are anti-EU. Even if pro-establishment candidates win, the closeness suggests great discord about the current macroeconomic and geopolitical environment.

What does this have to do with markets? Everything.

Since 2008, the vast majority of funds have gravitated to ETFs… ETFs which are primarily capitalization weighted structures where the big get bigger and the small get smaller. Mega capitalized growth issues, which in itself is an oxymoronic term, have greatly outperformed most other asset classes. In my view, this outperformance is a direct result of the globalist environment that grew exponentially under the Obama and current EU administration.

I rhetorically and conjecturally ask if the pathway to outperformance was only this simple by passively investing into some index… As inferred above, passive index investing has outperformed active stock managers since 2008. Some could make the case since 2005.

Yesterday, a WSJ headline stated Blackrock, is that the world’s largest asset manager with $5.1 trillion under management is reducing their exposure to active management in favor of passive ETFs.

What I found interesting, according to the article, active managed funds at Blackrock was only $317.3 billion three years ago and today stand at $275.1 billion, a relative rounding error as compared to their total assets under management of $5.1 trillion.

What happens to the passive investment strategy if globalism does implode? As I opined above, I believe the globalist environment has directly contributed to the capitalization driven mantra, where the mega capitalized growth issues greatly outperformed.

Is this about change? If economic nationalism again becomes the primary global geopolitical and macroeconomic catalyst, yes.

On a lighter note, the Who’s Roger Daltry is supporting both Brexit and bad-mouthed Hillary Clinton. When I read the headline, the lyrics from Won’t Get Fooled Again were loudly echoing:

There’s nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again, no no

Yeaaah!
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

To remind all, Peter Townshend penned these words in 1971 in the midst of the social upheaval of that era and the new breed of politicians that all had erroneously thought had come around.

[Note: The 5/26/2006 issue of the National Review declared Won’t get Fooled Again as one of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs.]

Enough of the classic rock history lesson, equities edged insignificantly higher as data indicated crude inventories were not as great as anticipated. There was little reaction to the UK’s formal triggering of Brexit. Treasuries ended nominally lower in yield.

Last night the foreign markets were down. London was down 0.32%, Paris was down 0.11% and Frankfurt was up 0.01%. China was down 0.96%, Japan was down 0.80% and Hang Sang was down 0.37%.

The Dow should open little changed. The 10-year is flat at 2.38%.

03/29/17

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS NOW AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE DECEMBER 2000…WOW THIS IS HOPE AND CHANGE!

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

President Obama was elected on “Hope and Change.” He left the office with relatively high approval ratings even though “His Hope and Change” did not materialize into confidence.

Donald Trump is referred to as many things, has low approval ratings, but invokes incredibly high consumer optimism. A rough analogy is that Trump is the inverse of Obama.

Consumer Confidence surged last month, greatly exceeding all estimates, and is now at the highest level since December 2000. The “Present conditions gauge” is the greatest since August 2001 and the “measure of consumer expectations” for the next six month is at the highest since September 2000.

Wow! Talk about great expectations and “Hope and Change!!”

President Trump has uncaged the proverbial animal spirits; animal spirits that have been caged for the last eight years, the result of regulatory and tax over reach of the administrative state.

I am not dismayed by the defeat of the repeal of Obamacare. The “Establishment” has declared Trump dead 2,914 times and he has come back.

I think the Republicans will coalesce around tax and regulatory reform, for this is what the electorate — as evidenced by the confidence data — is demanding.

Against this backdrop, I believe the surprising aspect of 2017 will be growth over 3%, the first such year of annual growth of over 3% in 10 years, a record that eclipsed the previous record of 4 years from 1930-1934. Radical thought? No, if the animal spirits have been uncaged as the data suggest.

The advance in the market was led by energy and the financials, two sectors that were beaten down in recent sessions. Both sectors represent considerable value and will be a direct beneficiary if growth exceeds 3%.

Oil was also aided by a disruption in deliveries from a major Libyan pipeline; daily deliveries for the beleaguered nation are now under 550,000 versus 750,000-800,000. It is not known how long this pipeline with be off line.

What will happen today?

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.37%, Paris was up 0.09% and Frankfurt was up 0.46%. China was down 0.36%, Japan was up 0.08% and Hang Sang was up 0.19%.

The Dow should open little changed. The 10-year is up 4/32 to yield 2.41%.

03/28/17

Can Trump Overcome the Forces of Marxism and Jihad?

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

The author of “Islamic Jihad, Cultural Marxism and the Transformation of the West” examines the global forces that are determined to destroy the United States and the Trump presidency. William Mayer is the editor and publisher of PipeLineNews.org, which features news regarding U.S. national security issues.

Purchase at Amazon

03/28/17

Russia is a Threat, China Aggression is Under-Reported

By: Denise Simon | Founder’s Code

President Jimmy Carter gave away the Panama Canal which was officially transferred in 2000. Few know about the other canal project in Nicaragua, which is designed to be bigger and better. It was launched by a Chinese billionaire however, it appears the Chinese government is actually behind it.

Image result for china nicaragua canal

The whole matter is shrouded in secrecy while the Panama Canal is going through a huge expansion.

Image result for china militarize islands PBS

China has been creating islands in the South China Sea while other islands are a source of major dispute. China has been seen as militarizing the manufactured islands giving rise to concerns of major cargo and global shipping lanes. Could China be making a worldwide play to control commerce and sea transportation?

Chinese state firms have expressed an interest to develop land around the Panama Canal, the chief executive of the vital trade thoroughfare said, underlining China’s outward push into infrastructure via railways and ports around the world. China’s state firms have in recent years already chalked up investments in key logistics nodes, including Piraeus in Greece and Bandar Malaysia, a major development project that is set to be the terminal for a proposed high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. More here from Reuters.

So is there more to this under reported threat by China? Yes. For instance:

HONG KONG — When the United States Air Force wanted help making military robots more perceptive, it turned to a Boston-based artificial intelligence start-up called Neurala. But when Neurala needed money, it got little response from the American military.

So Neurala turned to China, landing an undisclosed sum from an investment firm backed by a state-run Chinese company.

Chinese firms have become significant investors in American start-ups working on cutting-edge technologies with potential military applications. The start-ups include companies that make rocket engines for spacecraft, sensors for autonomous navy ships, and printers that make flexible screens that could be used in fighter-plane cockpits. Many of the Chinese firms are owned by state-owned companies or have connections to Chinese leaders.

The deals are ringing alarm bells in Washington. According to a new white paper commissioned by the Department of Defense, Beijing is encouraging Chinese companies with close government ties to invest in American start-ups specializing in critical technologies like artificial intelligence and robots to advance China’s military capacity as well as its economy. More here from the New York Times.

Humm, need more? Both China and North Korea are known for hacking. China may have some obscure agreement with North Korea to hack selected global sites. As we know, North Korea is a threat as they are continuing to advance their missile program and super thrust rocket engines which are tied to their nuclear weapons program. China provides that communications, telecom and internet platform and servers for North Korea.

Image result for china hacking BBC

North Korea relies on China for Internet connectivity, partially due to longstanding ties between the two nations and partly because it has few options. North Korea borders just three countries: South Korea, with which it is still technically at war, Russia and China. The Chinese Internet is well developed and the Russian border is far from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, making China a good choice. Going back to 2014, the U.S. State Department was well aware of all these conditions between China and North Korea, still no solution by the Obama administration.

***

Hackers associated with the Chinese government have repeatedly infiltrated the computer systems of U.S. airlines, technology companies and other contractors involved in the movement of U.S. troops and military equipment, a U.S. Senate panel has found.

Cybersecurity expert Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer with the security firm Crowdstrike, said China had for years shown a keen interest in th the logistical patterns of the U.S. military.

The investigation focused on the U.S. military’s ability to seamlessly tap civilian air, shipping and other transportation assets for tasks including troop deployments and the timely arrival of supplies from food to ammunition to fuel. U.S. authorities charged five Chinese military officers, accusing them of hacking into American nuclear, metal and solar companies to steal trade secrets.

Last month, Community Health Systems (CYH.N), one of the largest U.S. hospital groups, said Chinese hackers had stolen Social Security numbers and other personal data from some 4.5 million patients.

*** North Korea has an elite and secret hacking unit as well known as Bureau 121. The Department of Defense submitted a report to Congress on Bureau 121 using asymmetric warfare. North Korea also has an additional cyber unit known as Office 91.

Office 91 is thought to be the headquarters of North Korea’s hacking operation although the bulk of the hackers and hacking and infiltration into networks is done from Unit 121, which operates out of North Korea and has satellite offices overseas, particularly in Chinese cities that are near the North Korean border. One such outpost is reportedly the Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang, a major city about 150 miles from the border. A third operation, called Lab 110, participates in much the same work.

There are also several cyberunits under North Korea’s other arm of government, the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Unit 35 is responsible for training cyberagents and is understood to handle domestic cyberinvestigations and operations. Unit 204 takes part in online espionage and psychological warfare and Office 225 trains agents for missions in South Korea that can sometimes have a cyber component. More here from PCWorld.

*** China is well aware of North Korea activities, while China has and is becoming more aggressive globally. There is clearly collusion, yet what is the West and in particular the United States prepared to do in response remains unclear. However, China did approve 38 Trump trademarks. President Trump meets with Xi Jinping, maybe we will know more in April.

03/28/17

Big Names Headline the People’s Summit in Chicago – It’s a Who’s Who of Communists

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | I Have The Truth

The commies have truly come out of the closet. The whole gang will be getting together in Chicago on June 9th thru the 11th. Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore, Danny Glover and Van Jones will be headlining the People’s Summit. Chicago is where the headquarters of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) is located. They are still labeling themselves as progressives, but anyone with two functioning brain cells knows these are devout communists… comrades in arms. Thousands will join them to plot taking back America from President Trump and the Republicans. It will be one giant war room.

This should be common knowledge now and come as no surprise to anyone. Van Jones has a long, violent history of being a Marxist. Don’t believe his protestations that he has reformed, he hasn’t. Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist… in reality, he’s a communist and the current healthcare plan he is presenting to Trump should prove that. He is pushing single payer healthcare. Michael Moore is a Marxist film producer and the editor of The Nation. And Danny Glover never met a communist or dictator he didn’t love.

From PolitiStick:

Soviet-style socialist Bernie Sanders, along with fellow radical communist and CNN commentator Van Jones, Marxist film producer Michael Moore, and Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez-loving stooge and actor Danny Glover will be headlining the upcoming “People’s Summit” to be held from June 9 to 11 in Chicago, the headquarters of the Communist Party USA.

Calling themselves the politically correct term “progressives” instead of the anti-American, anti-freedom communists that they are, the above communist leaders will join thousands of other totalitarians who are hellbent to fundamentally transform America into North Korea or Venezuela.

Groups sponsoring the event include a laundry list of George Soros-funded communist front groups who are butthurt that corrupt and untrustworthy Hillary Clinton was not elected to continue Obama’s lurch to the left.

Among the “convening organizations” listed on the group’s website, include the following: National Nurses United, People’s Action, United Students Against Sweatshops, People for Bernie, Our Revolution, United Electrical Workers, Color of Change, Progressive Democrats of America, Democratic Socialists of America, and Presente.

Many of the groups attending are funded by that old spider George Soros. Mark Svart, national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, had this to say: “President Trump exploited long-standing racial divisions between working people to gain power, when we know he’s packed his cabinet with the same characters who rigged the economy. We all need to team up and fight back, and pro-corporate Democrats aren’t doing that effectively. Democratic socialists know that defeating neo-liberalism is a necessary part of defeating Trump’s right-wing populist agenda and defending democracy itself. The People’s Summit helps us make the alliances we need against capitalism at its worst.” They are terrified that Trump will undo the progress they’ve made in turning America into a communist hellhole like North Korea, Venezuela or Cuba.

If you want to hear the sentiment from these jackals, take a listen to Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator and a vocal communist supporter of Sanders during the Democrat presidential primary: “There is no force more powerful than a community on the move for justice. We will protest, we will plan and we will preserve in the building of political power from the ground up. This is our moment.” And they really, really believe it. They are saying go, go, go! That is why you see chaos and violence exploding in our streets now.

This is going to be a who’s who of radicals. Others attending include Shaun King, Frances Fox Piven and Palestinian Linda Sarsour. You’ve got proponents of Saul Alinsky, the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the founders of Cloward and Piven. Sounds like the party from hell to me.

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the US. It is one of two official US affiliates of the Socialist International. It was formed in 1982 from a merger of the Michael Harrington led Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the smaller New American Movement. DSA publishes a quarterly journal, the Democratic Left. While claiming to be socialist, Democratic Socialists of America is a Marxist organization, that draws heavily from the ideas of the late Italian Communist Party theoretician Antonio Gramsci. This is the true face of the left. The People’s Summit is an event organized and promoted by the CPUSA and those attending it are communists… pretty much the entire Democratic Party these days. And definitely the enemies within.

03/28/17

Trump Continues Obama Policies

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The Heritage Foundation article, “We Don’t Have to Choose Between Putin and George Soros,” is a very effective rebuttal to claims in the media that conservatives who oppose the influence of billionaire George Soros in foreign affairs are therefore siding with another billionaire, Russian ruler Vladimir Putin. The author, Mike Gonzalez, looks into the global struggle playing out on the international stage between these two major figures, and how conservatives are smeared as members of the Putin camp by liberal media outlets like Politico.

Gonzalez focuses on the small country of Macedonia, where “Soros and the U.S. Embassy have thrown their support behind parties contending against the conservative party VMRO—imperfect as many political parties around the world no doubt are, but very much pro-U.S. and pro-NATO.” Gonzalez examines Soros’s far-left agenda of open borders, abortion on demand and homosexual/transgender rights, and comments, “If for lack of a conservative alternative, VMRO turns to Putin to counter this far-left agenda coming from outside the country, that is our fault—and Soros.”

It is “our fault,” he says, because the State Department continues to facilitate Soros operations to transform the culture and politics of foreign countries.

Of course, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can change this, but they have been resistant to putting conservatives in place to change the course of U.S. foreign policy.

Gonzalez had previously examined how Soros money was corrupting the political process in Macedonia, with the assistance of the U.S. State Department. He noted that the Obama-appointed U.S. ambassador in the capital of Skopje, Jess Baily, has shown a political bias against the Macedonian conservative party, VMRO, and was promoting a left-wing coalition.

Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate had asked Baily to explain reports that his embassy had selected Soros’ Open Society Foundations as the main implementer of U.S. Agency for International Development projects in Macedonia. The State Department’s response “was thin on details regarding funding for Soros’ foundation and groups it controls,” Gonzalez reports.

Gonzalez has put his finger on a dialectical maneuver that plays into Putin’s hands. In response to official U.S. support for “liberal progressive policies around the world,” conservatives and moderates in foreign countries believe they have nowhere else to go except Putin, the former KGB officer now operating undercover as a religious conservative touting traditional values and national identity.

The U.S., not Putin, should be promoting Western values. But Obama’s State Department promoted a form of cultural imperialism that reflected the “fundamental transformation” of the United States. That is, multiculturalism, gay rights, abortion rights and even the rights of prostitutes!

Then there is Soros’ long-standing pro-drug legalization agenda, as we documented 12 years ago in our special report, “The Hidden Soros Agenda: Drugs, Money, the Media, and Political Power.” The leftist billionaire is accelerating his activities in Latin America on behalf of pro-drug interests.

In Costa Rica, for example, conservatives are alarmed by the push to legalize marijuana under the cover that the drug supposedly has “medical benefits.” One of them told me, “What we fear is that drug traffickers will shield themselves under regulations included in the medical marijuana bill if it passes, making it easier for them to send illegal substances to other countries, including the U.S.” He said the U.S. embassy in Costa Rica has been alerted to how Soros-backed organizations are putting pressure on the country’s Congress to pass a so-called medical marijuana bill. “We hoped for a change of mentality from the U.S. Embassy since President Trump was elected,” this source added, “but these officials are from the Obama administration and they stopped communicating with us after we mentioned Soros.”

In his column, “Vetting Trump’s Foreign Policy Team,” my colleague Roger Aronoff examined some of Trump’s high-profile picks and concluded that “…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.”

Looking at various selections in the foreign policy and national security fields, Aronoff asks, “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?”

Incredibly, as Aronoff notes, Trump himself “has signaled his unwillingness to fill many of his political appointee posts” with committed conservatives.

By continuing Obama’s policies and keeping Obama personnel in place, as Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation demonstrates, Trump is actually furthering the foreign policy goals of Putin. If this continues, it will constitute a form of collusion between the Trump and Obama administrations.

Perhaps that was the goal of the so-called “silent coup” all along—to keep in place the Soros policies financed by the Obama administration. If so, it appears that Trump has lost another big battle that will make his health care defeat seem like small potatoes.


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.

03/28/17

WHERE TO?

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Where to? The headlines suggest the Trump agenda might be dead. The President’s approval rating is at a record low, be it his administration or any other administration at this juncture of the term. Sentiment and optimism however are still around a decade high and appears to believe there will be tax and regulatory relief.

Change is always unsettling as most find comfort in the current environment because of familiarity even if the situation is unpleasant. The President is directly confronting the powerful administrative state, an administrative state that is supported by both sides of the proverbial aisle as well as the entrenched establishment.

It is to be expected that any losses — real or perceived — will be met with great fanfare because of the threat the Trump administration is to the established course of business.

As noted many times, in many regards, the cross correlated trade has broken down. The dollar is falling which hypothetically should be oil positive. Oil is down. Hypothetically, Treasury yields should be climbing because of the falling dollar and more dovish FOMC, but yields are around 4 month lows.

According to the WSJ, the Dow has now declined for eight consecutive days, the longest streak since August 2011 and the peak of the European debt crisis. Bespoke Investment Group further added the only other time since 1990 that there has been 8 consecutive down days for the Dow was in October 2008 and September 2001. Prior to 1990, Bespoke commented that it happened three times in the 1980s.

Bespoke stated there have been three seven consecutive day drops in the Dow in the last year.

Earning warning season has commenced. Will the lack of warnings support prices? Or conversely will such warnings hurt shares?

Perhaps the only definitive comment to make about profits is that they will exceed expectations for the gazillionth consecutive quarter, the result of regulatory over reach that in some regards has made this quarterly event questionably meaningless, except of course if one trades via algorithms that are programmed to respond to such events.

I reiterate my long held belief that growth will exceed expectations. Historically, GDP growth correlates to home values. Because of the dearth of housing inventory, coupled by the lowest home ownership in 50 years — partially the result of the lack of inventories — home values should continue to rise.

Most people measure their net worth by the value of their home, not their stock account. Typically when home values rise, so does spending and vice versa.

These rising values, coupled with increased confidence perhaps amplified by tax and regulatory reform and an increase in monetary velocity, all may be the ultimate elixir for annual growth to exceed 3% for the first time in 10 years, the longest stretch on record where growth did not exceed 3% for one year. The previous record was 1930-1934.

Last night the foreign markets were up. London was up 0.01%, Paris was up 0.09% and Frankfurt was up 0.58%. China was down 0.43%, Japan was up 1.14% and Hang Sang was up 0.63%.

The Dow should open flat. Hope is reemerging that the President will be able to enact his tax and regulatory changes, two issues that are core to the Republican-controlled Congress and to the markets. The 10-year is unchanged at a 2.38% yield.

03/27/17

WAS THE HEALTHCARE VOTE A LOT TO DO ABOUT NOTHING?

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

The outcome on the healthcare bill is known. Broad based conclusions have been drawn about the ability to legislate the Trump agenda. I may differ from consensus, but I think the markets will not be held hostage to this bill. Tax reform will quickly move to become center stage.

In my view, there is little doubt about the Republican enthusiasm for deregulation and tax reform, the center piece of Trump’s agenda and this is what should drive the markets.

Radical thought? Why have the markets not sold substantially off in the face of potential defeat?

The first quarter is rapidly coming to an end. Will the markets begin to focus upon results? As noted many times, the ultimate driver of equity and bond prices are interest rates and earnings, both of which are influenced by macroeconomic and geopolitical events.

This week’s economic calendar is comprised of preliminary estimates of first quarter GDP, trade gap, several confidence surveys and personal income/spending data.

Last night the foreign markets were down. London was down 0.66%, Paris was down 0.26% and Frankfurt was down 0.71%. China was down 0.08%, Japan was down 1.44% and Hang Sang was down 0.68%.

The Dow should open lower on concerns that Trump’s pro-growth agenda is in jeopardy given the healthcare defeat. Will US equities rebound after the market’s opening as was the case with European shares? The 10-year is up 11/32 to yield 3.26%.

03/26/17

Weekly Featured Profile – Tom Tilden

KeyWiki.org

Tom Tilden

Tom Tilden, is 2nd Associate-chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. A position he won in 2016. He is also a Marxist, a leader of the recently founded Omaha Democratic Socialists of America.

Tom Tilden, a longtime activist in Omaha, was one of the key Sanders grassroots leaders in Nebraska. After some encouragement from the Progressive Democrats of America, Tom Tilden, is among those Democratic Socialists of America members setting up shop for socialism deep in Trump country. Tilden is a DSA veteran, having joined when he lived in Chicago in the late ’80s. But when he moved to Nebraska in 1993, Tilden says, he didn’t consider starting a new chapter there, though he remained a member of the national organization. When people talk about “the Left” in conservative Nebraska, Tilden explains, they’re referring to “people in the middle of the Democratic Party leftward. ‘The Left’ is progressive. People don’t usually think in terms of socialist.”

Tilden sees potential in building institutions outside the Democratic Party, but is also a firm believer in trying to stage a takeover from the inside. This fall, he joined Keystone XL pipeline opponent Jane Kleeb on the ticket to run Nebraska’s Democratic Party. She’s now the party’s state chair. Tilden is second associate chair and has similar goals for his work in this position as he does as a local DSA organizer: Reaching working-class voters, especially those who went for Trump, but might yet be won over to the kind of anti-racist, anti-capitalist movement that DSA hopes to build.

“People in rural Nebraska are more progressive than they realize,” Tilden reasons. While door-knocking during the Sanders campaign, he and other volunteers found that many rural voters took firm stands against corporate agriculture and attacks on public education. “I think once we work with them on their issue, they’ll see that the people on their side are not the Republicans.”

Bold Nebraska protesters held a rally in Omaha on January 20th, 2016 to convince senators to reject some of president-elect Trump’s cabinet picks.

The group held a rally at Sen. Deb Fischer‘s office as part of a nationwide “Day Against Denial,” calling on all 100 U.S. Senators to reject President-elect Trump’s climate-denying cabinet selections.

Those in attendance said they were fighting against Trump’s cabinet picks including Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, for Secretary of State, Scott Pruitt for the EPA Administration, Ex-Gov. Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy and Rep. Ryan Zinke for the Department of Interior.

“I want to make sure the Senator knows that this is important issue and there is a lot of people who care about the climate and the choice is here are you on the side of science or are you on the side of Exxon, big energy companies, are you for them or for science? It’s one of the other,” said demonstrator Tom Tilden.

Rally goers said anyone who denies climate change shouldn’t be in the White House cabinet.

(Tom Tilden|more…)