John McCain: FISA Memo Serves No American Interests, Only Russia’s

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has released a statement after the FISA memo was released today. McCain is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and he’s saying that the memo does not serve the interests of America, “only Putin’s.” Is that how you felt sir when you handed the phony propagandic Russian dossier over to James Comey? Pray tell, whose interests were you serving when you gave that to him, knowing full well it was not vetted and would undermine President Trump? Just curious.

In McCain’s statement, which I will post here in a minute, he talks about how the Russians tried to influence the 2016 election. Indeed they did. But they’ve been doing that for decades. Not until President Trump came along did any of you feel strongly enough about Russia to do something. Then suddenly you were anti-Russian. Huh… go figure. I’m sure it had nothing to do with wanting to destroy Trump, did it McCain?

Here’s McCain’s statement:

In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy. Russia employed the same tactics it has used to influence elections around the world, from France and Germany to Ukraine, Montenegro, and beyond. Putin’s regime launched cyberattacks and spread disinformation with the goal of sowing chaos and weakening faith in our institutions. And while we have no evidence that these efforts affected the outcome of our election, I fear they succeeded in fueling political discord and dividing us from one another.

The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s. The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.

I agree that we need to ferret out Russian and Chinese plants in our government. I’m all for that because we are lousy with them. But that’s not what Mueller is doing. He’s on a quest to unseat a sitting President. Yep, he got Manafort and I’m glad for that. I also think Flynn is dirty and not the hero some on the right make him out to be. As for Carter Page, he’s a Russian plant if I’ve ever seen one. But Page approached Trump, not the other way around and he did not last long in connection to the Trump campaign. The bad guy here is Putin, not Trump. There’s never been any evidence otherwise.

Here is the released FISA memo:

The FBI and the DOJ are dirty as hell. The memo also details how those senior officials in the DOJ and the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on how the Trump dossier was actually opposition research funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). They knew it was crap and used it as the basis to get a warrant anyway. Carter Page should go down, but he was used as an excuse to get at Trump. Not cool. This is a scandal bigger than Watergate ever was and there’s a lot more dirt coming down the pike according to Monica Crowley. This is just the beginning. Both agencies should be gutted and rebooted. This time with people who are actually vetted with real security clearances.

Last December it was revealed that it was McCain who passed the Steele dossier to former FBI Director James Comey. McCain met with Andrew Wood in Halifax, Canada at the Halifax Security Forum in Canada in November 2016 and they discussed the dossier. McCain has been wrapped up in this since the beginning. He’s a Democrat playing at being Republican and he has a massive hatred going on for Trump. McCain had his associate David Kramer travel to London to meet with Steele and get briefed on the dossier. They arranged to get a hard copy of the dossier to McCain and he gave it to Comey.

So, tell us again, Senator McCain… exactly whose interests do you serve? Because you look mighty cozy with the left and the Russians to me.


Pentagon Unveils New Aggressive Nuclear Weapons Strategy To Counter Russia And China

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Today, the Pentagon released a new nuclear arms policy that does away with the Obama-era of downsizing our arsenal and kneeling before our enemies. It calls for the introduction of two new types of weapons. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said in an introductory note to the new policy that the changes reflect a need to “look reality in the eye” and “see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.” In other words, the US is back and we are reinstating and growing the greatest military on the face of the planet.

While Obama laughingly talked about a moral obligation to lead by example in ridding the world of nuclear weapons while baring our throat to our enemies, Trump and Mattis are leading the military in building might and strength. We won’t be the ones cowering in a corner anymore… our enemies will instead know the terror of picking a fight with the world’s foremost super power. Mattis is now fingering Russia and China as our biggest enemies, with Iran and North Korea rounding out the axis of evil.

“Over the course of the last several years, Russia and China have been building new types and kinds of nuclear weapons, both delivery systems and actual warheads,” Air Force General Paul J. Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told journalists earlier this week. “We have not, which means the capability of Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals is actually getting better against ours.” Which is something I have been writing on since Obama came into power. Now, we find ourselves in a dangerous position of playing catch-up with weaponry and forces. President Trump vowed to expand and strengthen our military forces as well as our nuclear capabilities. That is now becoming a reality, thank God. Trump also vowed during his State of the Union address on Tuesday to build a nuclear arsenal “so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.”

Russia has now reemerged as a geopolitical foe, because as I have said for years, the Cold War never ended… it shifted. China has roared to the forefront as well. Both have invested heavily in their nuclear arsenals and cyber weaponry. North Korea is now very close to having the capability of striking the US homeland with a nuclear warhead or taking out our power grid with an EMP. Both Russia and China have developed EMP weapons to target low altitude satellites that would blind us in a war scenario and take out our infrastructure. Nuclear war is now a very real threat. Sweden just issued pamphlets warning of imminent war… the first real conflict they have seen in more than 100 years.

War could break out at any time, but right after the Olympics is the timing that the military is watching very carefully in regards to North Korea. Russia is making moves not only in Syria, but on other European fronts. China is gearing up for war in the South China Sea. The policy unveiled Friday envisions the introduction of so-called “low-yield nukes” on submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Make no mistake, we already know the roster of the enemy when war comes this time. We’re still very sketchy who will be our allies however. White House officials want the Pentagon to come up with more options for a military strike against North Korea… whether that is true or not, as President Trump has said, we have run out of road.

Russia possesses a large arsenal of small nuclear weapons that the United States mostly lacks. We need to fix that and fast. The Pentagon worries that Moscow could seize part or all of a US ally state and then detonate a small nuclear weapon to prevent American troops from coming to the rescue. That is a very real threat. Washington would be forced to choose between launching a much larger scale nuclear attack on Russia or responding with less serious conventional arms that would make Washington look weak. The Pentagon says it wants a proportionate weapon to match the threat.

The Pentagon’s new policy also covers longer-term plans to reintroduce a nuclear submarine-launched cruise missile called a SLCM (“slick-em”), which the administration of President George H.W. Bush stopped deploying and the Obama administration ordered removed from our stockpiles. These weapons could reassure Japan and South Korea that we can handle threats from North Korea and put pressure on Russia to stop violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Communists and liberals are screaming over this. Too freaking bad. If we are to survive as a nation, we must deter war with a massive show of strength. That’s all that bullies such as Russian, China, Iran and North Korea understand. And yes, a crippling cyber-attack is an act of war. The US would only ever use nuclear weapons in “extreme circumstances.” The same cannot be said for our enemies. Rob Soofer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, said the introduction of new capabilities should in fact raise the threshold by making Russia less likely to think it can get away with a limited nuclear attack against the United States or its allies.

Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the review was consistent with US policy dating back decades. He said the idea that the United States would revert to a nuclear attack in response to a simple cyber-attack was inaccurate. We are far more likely to launch our own cyber-attack in retaliation. “We reserve the right to use nuclear weapons when our national interests, our population or infrastructure are attacked with significant consequence,” Selva said, suggesting that any such attack that results in a high number of deaths could provoke a US nuclear response.

That’s called peace through strength and that should have always been our policy. A compensatory response is on the table. The US will always respond in kind to being attacked. I am relieved that this policy is going into effect. Our enemies have been put on notice.


So Much Money In So Few Stocks

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Many times I have commented about the narrowness of the markets and the complete absence of macroeconomic, geopolitical or security analysis in investment decisions. Momentum and indexing is dominating, which by definition the big get bigger and the small get smaller.

Perhaps this following data places the above paragraph into the proper context. For the month of January below is the return of four companies, four companies that are dominating the S & P 500 and are also some of the largest companies in the world. The performance figures are for January 2018.

o Neflix +41%

o Amazon +24%

o Google +12%

o Facebook +6%

Wow! These advances are following an incredibly strong 2017 which lifted three of the four companies over 50% and the other by 37%.

The above companies are not small or mid-sized growth companies that are under owned, but are global behemoths that require billions to increase share price. The basic premise to make any company trade higher is more buyers than sellers.

I thought 2000 was myopic where 50 companies dominated the S & P 500. Today there are five.

What happens when selling commences?

In my view, the other massive disconnect in the market is oil. Yesterday, Goldman followed Citicorp and raised its six month target for oil to $80. Oil advanced over 2% to a three-year high to over $66/barrel. Oil is now up about 2.5x times from its February 2016 lows. Oil shares however were generally flat in the day, continuing their trend of vastly lagging the markets.

Change is the only constant, but typically occurs when all least expect it, catalyst unknown.

Speaking of a potential catalyst, January’s jobs data is released at 8:30 am. Consensus is expecting a 180k rise in non-farm and private sector payrolls, a 4.1% unemployment rate, a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings, a 34.5 hour workweek and a 62.7% labor participation rate.

I can argue if the data is considerably stronger than expected, yesterday’s selloff in Treasuries which sent the 30-year to a 3% yield, the highest level since May 2017, could sharply accelerate. The 10-year Treasury is around 4-year high yields.

I think it is noteworthy the Atlanta Fed yesterday projected a 5.4% first quarter GDP, the greatest growth since the 6.9% pace registered in the third quarter of 2003. Wow!

What will happen today? At the close yesterday, three of the largest technology companies posted results. One company exceeded, one missed and the other gave guidance that missed expectations.

Last night the foreign markets were down. London was down 0.30%, Paris was down 1.11% and Frankfurt was down 1.20%. China was up 0.47%, Japan was down 0.90% and Hang Sang was down 0.12%.

The Dow should open considerably lower. Can we make the argument that the current earnings season was the epitome of “buy on rumor and sell on fact” as 81% of the S & P 500 companies have beaten analysts’ forecasts, the highest in seven years, with EPS up 12%? There is a record 75% of companies that have raised FY 2018 guidance according to JP Morgan.

The 10-year is unchanged at 2.78%.