First lady Melania Trump made a campaign speech Tuesday in Pennsylvania, making the case for voters to reelect her husband, President Donald Trump, and warning that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s “socialist agenda” would “destroy America.”
Mrs. Trump was making her first solo trip of the 2020 campaign in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. The polls show Trump and Biden in a tight race in the state, the Associated Press reported. Biden also visited the state Monday.
What are the details?
“As an American, I am proud that we have a president who puts our country first,” Mrs. Trump told a crowd in Atglen, Pennsylvania. “Remember, we are a strong nation, again. With Donald Trump as president, we will be even stronger when we beat COVID-19.
“This election isn’t just about the next year,” the first lady continued. “It’s about the next four years, and beyond. It’s about continuing to set this country on a course of real prosperity and success. We can’t, and we shouldn’t, go backwards.”
Then, Mrs. Trump went after Biden directly, saying, “Joe Biden’s policy and socialist agenda will only serve to destroy America and all that has been built in the past four years.”
The first lady began her speech by thanking supporters for the well-wishes her family received after she, President Trump and their 14-year-old son, Barron, all contracted COVID-19. But she defended her husband’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic before declaring, “We don’t close down and hide in fear. We get to work to find real and lasting solutions.”
Mrs. Trump also took a swipe at the media during her talk, condemning their coverage of what she described as “idle gossip and palace intrigue” surrounding the White House.
You can watch the speech in its entirety below:
First Lady Melania Trump delivers remarks in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Democratic Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills ridiculed Mrs. Trump’s campaign stop, saying the first lady would not have an answer for Pennsylvania’s soaring unemployment rate or why her husband’s administration has “stopped trying to combat a virus that’s killed 8,700 Pennsylvanians and counting.”
Have you noticed that poll results seem to be all over the place this election season? The mainstream media is constantly touting polls that show Joe Biden with a huge national lead and strong leads in most of the critical swing states. But independent pollsters such as Trafalgar, Rasmussen and others consistently come out with polls that show President Trump doing very well in the swing states. In fact, if the Trafalgar polls end up being as accurate as they were in 2016, Trump will win the election. But if you listen to the pundits in the mainstream media, that is almost impossible. In fact, earlier today on The Most Important News I posted one mainstream forecast that is projecting that Joe Biden has a 95 percent chance of winning the election. Someone is definitely very wrong, and soon we will find out who that is.
In this article, I am going to share with you some rather startling numbers. Just like in 2016, the polls that the mainstream media relies upon make it look like Trump is definitely going to lose. But Robert Cahaly of the Trafalgar Group says that those polls are just as flawed as they were four years ago.
So why are those mainstream polls so wrong?
Well, Cahaly insists that there is a “hidden Trump vote” that the mainstream polls simply are not accounting for…
“What we’ve noticed is that these polls are predominantly missing the hidden Trump vote. There is a clear feeling among conservatives and people that are for the president that they’re not interested in sharing their opinions readily,” he added. “These people are more hesitant to participate in polls. So if you’re not compensating for this, you’re not going to get honest answers.”
The mainstream media thought that the idea of a “hidden Trump vote” was crazy in 2016, but then Cahaly was vindicated when Trump won.
Will we see the same thing happen again here in 2020?
Let’s dig into some of the numbers.
President Trump desperately needs to win Florida if he is going to win in November, and right now the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls has him with just a 0.4 percent lead in the state.
So that would seem to imply a very, very tight race.
But the latest Trafalgar Group survey has Trump up by 2.3 percent and the latest Rasmussen survey has Trump up by 4 points.
You could dismiss those differences as just a “coincidence”, but we see the same thing happening when we look at the numbers in state after state.
In North Carolina, the latest RCP average of polls has Biden up by 0.7 percent, but Rasmussen has Trump in the lead by 1 percent and Trafalgar has Trump leading by 3 percent.
In Wisconsin, the latest RCP average of polls has Biden up by 5.5 percent, and so you would be tempted to think that Biden has a lock on that key swing state.
But the latest Trafalgar poll actually has Trump up by 1.3 percent.
In Michigan, the latest RCP average of polls has Biden up by 9.0 percent, and so that makes it seem like Biden has absolutely nothing to worry about there.
But the latest Trafalgar poll has Trump up by 0.6 percent in the state.
That is an absolutely massive difference, and someone is way off.
Lastly, let’s talk about Pennsylvania. Whoever wins Pennsylvania will almost certainly win the election, and so that state is of paramount importance.
The latest RCP average of polls has Biden up by 3.8 percent, but the Trafalgar Group just released a poll that shows Trump leading in the state for the first time…
Donald Trump 48.4%
Joe Biden 47.6%
Jo Jorgensen 2.2%
Someone Else 0.7%
When asked about the Trafalgar and Rasmussen polls, many in the mainstream media dismiss them as “crazy”, but Trafalgar and Rasmussen were right on the money in 2016.
In fact, following the election it was reported that “Trafalgar’s polls were either the most accurate (or tied for the most accurate) of any other poll in the 2016 election”.
That doesn’t mean that the same thing will happen this time, but having a solid track record should definitely mean something.
So what do they do that is different from the others? Well, for one thing they don’t ask people dozens of pointless questions. According to Cahaly, the key is go design polls with “Joe Sixpack” in mind…
“Well, we’re kind of a polling industry disrupter in that we think that the way the industry is being run is very out of date and not in line with modern times, modern values and kind of modern politics to start with the day and age of, you know, mom and dad sitting around the poler waiting for the phone to ring. And this is a political survey. Oh, well, we have to take some time and answer this. I mean, this is not reality. You know, the phone rings at 6:30 at night. You got. You fixing dinner, you’re washing dishes, putting kids to bed. Nobody’s got time to stop what they’re doing and take a 25, 30, 40 question poll. You’re not getting regular people. You’re getting people who are on the ideological extreme of being way too liberal, way too conservative, or worse yet, people who are bored. We’re about polling average people. I grew up in politics in South Carolina. And Lee Atwater, what he used to say to all of us is, don’t worry about what the political insiders say. You want to know what’s in Joe Sixpack’s head. And that is my goal, is to figure out what’s an average people’s minds.”
Without a doubt, I believe that this election is much closer than the mainstream media is leading us to believe.
And since it is going to take such a long time to count all of the mail-in votes, we may not have a winner until long after November 3rd.
The period of uncertainty that we are potentially facing is not going to be good for our country, and when a winner is finally declared there are going to be tens of millions of people on the losing side that are going to be extremely angry.
America has never been this deeply divided in my entire lifetime, and a bitterly contested presidential election could easily spark widespread civil unrest all over the nation.
So let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for what could be a very, very difficult chapter in our history.
***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***
About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com. In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe. I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help. During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.
I’d like to tell you a folktale. It’s called “The Emperor’s New 9/11”.
Once upon a time there was an Emperor who loved war and military expansionism. He was always searching for new ways to instigate military conflicts without losing the support of the international community or waking up the populace to the fact that they’re just propagandized cogs in the machine of a globe-spanning Empire which uses endless military and economic violence to maintain its unipolar hegemony.
One day two men calling themselves Intelligence Experts came into town claiming that they had devised a wondrous new type of enemy threat that is invisible to the common folk.
“Is it as good as 9/11?” asked the Emperor excitedly. “Oh how I loved how that one allowed me to initiate a new era of military expansionism on the pretence of fighting global terrorism!”
“It’s even better!” explained the Intelligence Experts. “This magical enemy threat is comprised of Cyber Attacks which are completely invisible to public scrutiny, and you have complete control over where and when they happen. You just name a foreign government you don’t like, and we’ll say they have attacked the democracy of the Empire!”
“You mean the pretend democracy I lied to them about having?” asked the Emperor.
“Of course,” said the Intelligence Experts. “So you just name the disobedient government you want a fight with and we’ll give you your new 9/11.”
“Hmm, well I’m not very fond of the Russians,” said the Emperor. “They’ve been brazenly acting against our interests on the world stage and they keep getting friendlier with China. Let’s set to work on them first.”
So the Intelligence Experts set to work weaving their narrative about Russian Cyber Attacks. The Emperor put his mass media to work knitting together wonderful yarns of the Emperor’s wonderous new 9/11, simultaneously invisible to commoners yet outrageous and necessitating an aggressive response.
A Consensus Emerges: Russia Committed an “Act of War” on Par With Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Should the U.S. Response be Similar? https://t.co/bh0x8NHG7s
The Empire’s military budget was inflated, treaties were ended, and a new arms race was begun. Sanctions were rolled out against the Russian government, the Empire’s Nuclear Posture Review was readjusted with a much more hostile stance toward Moscow, troops were deployed and NATO was expanded. Anyone who objected to any of this was labeled Russian propaganda by the Empire.
“Oh, this is wonderful!” exclaimed the Emperor. “Let’s do Iran now! Ooh! And China too!”
“Iran and China have been attacking the Empire’s democracy!” announced the Intelligence Experts. “It’s like another 9/11!”
All was going swimmingly, until one day the Emperor was parading his new 9/11 around town for the commoners to admire.
“Oh, this 9/11 is even more impressive than the last one!” exclaimed the people. “I would happily throw my body into the gears of the war machine for it! Praise be to our mighty Emperor!”
Then one tiny voice rang out above the rest.
“But the Emperor hasn’t got a 9/11!” said a small child. “There’s nothing there at all!”
The child was immediately branded a Russian propagandist and banned from Facebook and Twitter.
No Matter Who Wins, The War Machine Wins
“US government agencies are advancing the narrative that unabsorbed governments are attacking the United States in a completely invisible yet extremely outrageous way.”https://t.co/s41nyXV5d4
It is not a coincidence that all these alleged attacks on American democracy are happening in ways that only the US intelligence cartel can see. It is not a coincidence that the US propaganda machine is constantly announcing invisible new attacks upon the nation from governments that have been longtime targets of that same intelligence cartel. It is not a coincidence that whenever these alleged attacks happen, the hard evidence that they happened is always classified.
There are all sorts of ways that a country can be attacked, but the only ways the country that is literally always at war ever gets attacked is in ways that nobody can see and we just have to take the word of the same government agencies that are responsible for the wars that they actually occurred. This is not a coincidence.
Foreign “election interference” is 9/11 minus 9/11. It gets all the same urgent media coverage of 9/11, all the same outrage and all the same demand for forceful retaliation; it just doesn’t have the fallen buildings that people can look at or the bereaved family members that you can talk to. It’s a 9/11 that is completely invisible to everyone, so we have to take the word of intelligence agencies with an extensive history of lying that they happened at all.
Meanwhile, as the US is being victimized by these attacks that only the CIA and NSA can see, the US government is harming the American people to an infinitely greater degree than Russia, China and Iran are. The US government is destroying untold millions of lives at home and abroad, but Americans are being told to worry about invisible attacks by foreign countries that have literally never done anything to them.
Don’t be a sucker. Be the child at the Emperor’s parade.
Charting 20 Years Of Home Price Changes In Every U.S. City Tyler Durden
Tue, 10/27/2020 – 23:45
At the turn of the century, the average U.S. home value was $126,000. Today, that figure is at a record high $259,000 – a 106% increase in just two decades. Of course, as Visual Capitalist’s Nick Routley notes, the path from A to B was anything but linear with a financial crisis, housing bubbles in major cities, and now COVID-19, which is drastically altering market dynamics.
How has the housing market evolved, on a city-by-city basis?
Two Decades of Housing Prices
The interactive visual below – created by Avison Young Global, using data from Zillow – is a comprehensive look at U.S. home price data over the past two decades.
The Lay of the Land
A number of things become apparent when looking at historical data of hundreds of U.S. cities.
First, the trajectory of home prices is defined by the 2008 Financial Crisis. After prices took a steep dive, it took a full decade for the average home price to rise back up to the 2007 peak.
Next, broadly speaking, the U.S. average is being “pulled up” by the hottest regional markets. The majority of housing markets have seen between a 50% and 100% increase in price over the past 20 years. This is also true at the state level, where booming markets such as Hawaii saw price increases double the U.S. average.
The West Coast has seen dramatic home price appreciation in over the last two decades, a trend that permeated the entire region. Every single city tracked in this database beat the U.S. average.
California and Hawaii saw the biggest gains, with a number of cities ending up with a 200%+ increase over prices in 2000.
The biggest gains in the entire country over the time period was Madera, California, which is located just north of Fresno. The nearby cities of San Jose and San Francisco rose by an impressive 235% and 219%, respectively. As a practical example – during the meteoric rise of Silicon Valley, average prices in San Francisco shot up from $364,000 to $1.12 million.
Even the bottom city (Yakima, Washington) on the left coast saw an increase of 114%.
Slower Home Price Changes
In general, cities located in America’s “Rust Belt” states saw slower home price growth. In fact, every city in these five states saw price growth below the U.S. average.
Of the top 20 U.S. metros, Detroit and Chicago saw the slowest price growth over the past two decades. Flint, Michigan, was the only city in the country to see a price decline.
At the state level, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio were the bottom three in terms of home price appreciation.
A Useful Barometer
Looking at country or state level data fails to capture the incredible nuance of home values around the country.
That said, since the value of a primary residence makes a significant portion of wealth for most Americans, these price movements serve as a useful barometer of the health of the real estate market, and the economy as a whole.
BlazeTV reporter Elijah Schaffer was attacked Tuesday night inside a Philadelphia store while filming ongoing looting in the wake of the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., who was killed after allegedly charging at officers while holding a knife on Monday.
What are the details?
The Daily Caller reporter Shelby Talcott, also reporting from Philadelphia, tweeted Tuesday night, “Mass looting across the river and @ElijahSchaffer just got beaten up for filming. This is inside the Five Below store. Police are in the same parking lot near the Walmart, but there seem to be too many looters.”
Talcott posted footage showing her walking inside the store and seeing Schaffer, who was wearing a white patterned bandana, being approached by alleged looters amid calls for him to “Stop recording!” Schaffer was seen on the video being surrounded by several people who threw punches.
Mass looting across the river and @ElijahSchaffer just got beaten up for filming. This is inside the Five Below sto… https://t.co/FcrlZGudIK
Schaffer then shared the footage he took leading up to when he was attacked. In the tweet accompanying the video, he wrote, “PHILADELPHIA: This is the footage I was recording when BLM assaulted me. Other journalists were filming but I was the only white person in the store I do believe I was targeted for being white as they accused me of being a white supremacist & did not attack people of color.”
PHILADELPHIA: This is the footage I was recording when BLM assaulted me.
Other journalists were filming but I was… https://t.co/Jz69QaFImN
After the police shooting of 27-year-old Wallace went viral, Philadelphia erupted in violent protests and looting caught on social media that evening. More than 90 people were arrested and 30 officers were hurt in the rioting on Monday. The rioting started up again Tuesday with more protests and looting across the city.
“Every day I ask myself the same question: How can this be happening in America? How can people like these be in charge of our country? If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I’d think I was having a hallucination.
– Philip Roth, novelist
Things are falling apart.
How much longer we can sustain the fiction that we live in a constitutional republic, I cannot say, but anarchy is being loosed upon the nation.
We are witnessing the unraveling of the American dream one injustice at a time.
Day after day, the government’s crimes against the citizenry grow more egregious, more treacherous and more tragic. And day after day, the American people wake up a little more to the grim realization that they have become captives in a prison of their own making.
No longer a free people, we are now pushed and prodded and watched over by twitchy, hyper-sensitive, easily-spooked armed guards who care little for the rights, humanity or well-being of those in their care.
The death toll is mounting.
The carnage is heartbreaking.
The public’s faith in the government to do its job—which is to protect our freedoms—is deteriorating.
It doesn’t take a weatherman to realize when a storm is brewing: clouds gather, the wind begins to blow, and an almost-palpable tension builds.
It’s the same way with freedom.
The warning signs are everywhere.
“Things fall apart,” wrote W.B. Yeats in his dark, forbidding poem “The Second Coming.”
“The centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned … Surely some revelation is at hand.”
The upcoming election and its aftermath will undoubtedly keep the citizenry divided and at each other’s throats, so busy fighting each other that they never manage to present a unified front against tyranny in any form. Yet the winner has already been decided. As American satirist H.L. Mencken predicted almost a century ago:
You cannot have a republican form of government—nor a democratic one, for that matter—when the government views itself as superior to the citizenry, when it no longer operates for the benefit of the people, when the people are no longer able to peacefully reform their government, when government officials cease to act like public servants, when elected officials no longer represent the will of the people, when the government routinely violates the rights of the people and perpetrates more violence against the citizenry than the criminal class, when government spending is unaccountable and unaccounted for, when the judiciary act as courts of order rather than justice, and when the government is no longer bound by the laws of the Constitution.
For too long, the American people have obeyed the government’s dictates, no matter now unjust.
We have paid its taxes, penalties and fines, no matter how outrageous. We have tolerated its indignities, insults and abuses, no matter how egregious. We have turned a blind eye to its indiscretions and incompetence, no matter how imprudent. We have held our silence in the face of its lawlessness, licentiousness and corruption, no matter how illicit.
We have suffered. Oh how we have suffered.
How much longer we will continue to suffer at the hands of a tyrannical police state depends on how much we’re willing to give up for the sake of freedom.
For the moment, the American people seem content to sit back and watch the reality TV programming that passes for politics today. It’s the modern-day equivalent of bread and circuses, a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.
As French philosopher Etienne de La Boétie observed half a millennium ago:
The bait towards slavery. The price of liberty. The instruments of tyranny.
Yes, that sounds about right.
“We the people” have learned only too well how to be slaves. Worse, we have come to enjoy our voluntary servitude, which masquerades as citizenship.
This presidential election is yet another pacifier to lull us into complacency and blind us to the monsters in our midst.
I refuse to be pacified, patronized or placated.
Here’s my plan: rather than staying glued to my TV set, watching politicians and talking heads regurgitate the same soundbites over and over, I’m going to keep doing the hard work that needs to be done to keep freedom alive in this country.
That’s why, almost 40 years ago, I founded The Rutherford Institute: as a nonpartisan, apolitical organization committed to the principles enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights that would work tirelessly to reshape the government from the bottom up into one that respects freedom, recognizes our worth as human beings, resists corruption, and abides by the rule of law.
It’s a thankless, never-ending job, but someone’s got to do it. And I can promise you that when I do eventually turn on the TV, John Carpenter—not Donald Trump or Joe Biden—will be my pick for escapist entertainment.
Carpenter’s films, known primarily for their horror themes, are infused with strong anti-authoritarian, overarching themes that speak to the filmmaker’s concerns about the unraveling of our society, particularly our government. Even among a pantheon of dystopian films such as Minority Report, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Matrix, V for Vendetta, and Land of the Blind, Carpenter’s work stands out for its clarity of vision.
Carpenter sees the government working against its own citizens.
Yet while Carpenter is a skeptic and critic, there’s also a strange optimism that runs through his films. “A close view of Carpenter’s work reveals a romantic streak beneath the skepticism,” John Muir writes in his insightful book The Films of John Carpenter, “a belief down deep—far below the anti-establishment hatred—that a single committed and idealistic person can make a difference, even if society does not recognize that person as valuable or good.”
In fact, Carpenter’s central characters are always out of step with their times. Underneath their machismo, they still believe in the ideals of liberty and equal opportunity. Their beliefs place them in constant opposition with the law and the establishment, but they are nonetheless freedom fighters. When, for example, John Nada destroys the alien hypno-transmitter in They Live, he restores hope by delivering America a wake-up call for freedom.
This is the theme that runs throughout Carpenter’s films—the belief in American ideals and in people. “He believes that man can do better,” writes Muir, “and his heroes consistently prove that worthy goals (such as saving the Earth from malevolent shape-shifters) can be accomplished, but only through individuality.”
Thus, John Carpenter is more than a filmmaker. He is a cultural analyst and a keen observer of the unraveling of the American psyche.
“I’m disgusted by what we’ve become in America,” said Carpenter.
“I truly believe there is brain death in this country. Everything we see is designed to sell us something. The only thing they want to do is take our money.”
The following are my favorite Carpenter films.
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976): This is essentially a remake of Howard Hawks’ 1959 classic western Rio Bravo—much beloved by Carpenter. A street gang and assorted criminals surround and assault a police station. Paranoia abounds as the police are attacked from all sides and can see no way out. Indeed, Carpenter repeatedly has his characters comment, in disbelief, that “This can’t happen, not today!” or “We’re in the middle of a city … in a police station … someone will drive by eventually!” Or will they?
Halloween (1978): This low-budget horror masterpiece launched Carpenter’s career. Acclaimed as the most successful independent motion picture of all time, the story centers on a deranged youth who returns to his hometown to conduct a murderous rampage after fifteen years in an asylum. This film, which assumes that there is a form of evil so dark that it can’t be killed, deconstructs our technological existence while reminding us that in the end, we all may have to experience Orwell’s stamping boot on our faces forever.
The Fog (1980): This is a disturbing ghost story made in the mode of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963). Here the menace besieging a small town is not a pack of winged pests but rather a deadly fog bank that cloaks vengeful, faceless, evil spirits from which there may be no escape.
Escape from New York (1981): This is the ultimate urban nightmare. A ruined Manhattan of the future is an anarchic prison for America’s worst criminals. When the U.S. president is captured as a hostage, the government sends a disgraced, rebellious war hero into Manhattan in what seems to be an impossible rescue mission. In fact, this film sees fascism as the future of America.
The Thing (1982): Considered by many as one of Carpenter’s best films, this is a remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic of the same name. A team of scientists in a remote Antarctic outpost discover a buried spaceship with a ravenous, mutating alien that eventually creates a claustrophobic, paranoid environment within their compound. The social commentary is obvious as the horrible creature literally erupts and bursts out of human flesh. This film presupposes that increasingly we are all becoming dehumanized. Thus, in the end, we are all potential aliens.
Christine (1983): This film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel finds a young man with a classic automobile that is demonically possessed. The car, representing technology with a will and consciousness of its own, goes on a murderous rampage. Do we now face the same possibility with the predominance of artificial intelligence?
Starman (1984): An alien from an advanced civilization takes on the guise of a young widow’s recently deceased husband. The couple then takes off on a long drive to rendezvous with the alien spacecraft so he can return home. Surprisingly, as John Muir recognizes, this film is a Christ allegory with the alien visitor possessing extraordinary powers to heal the sick, resurrect the dead, and perform miracles. The question posed is whether the only hope for humanity is a visitor from another world.
They Live (1988): This film, which I explore in detail in my books, assumes the future has already arrived. John Nada is a homeless person who stumbles across a resistance movement and finds a pair of sunglasses that enables him to see the real world around him. What he discovers is a monochrome reality in a world controlled by ominous beings who bombard the citizens with subliminal messages such as “obey” and “conform.” Carpenter makes an effective political point about the underclass (everyone except those in power, that is): we, the prisoners of our devices, are too busy sucking up the entertainment trivia beamed into our brains and attacking each other to start an effective resistance movement. As the Bearded Man in They Live tells us:
The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are non-existent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices . . . They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.
In the Mouth of Madness (1995): A successful horror novelist’s fans become so engrossed in his stories that they slip into dementia and carry out the grisly acts depicted in his books. When this film was being conceived, politicians were criticizing horror movies for promoting violence. Carpenter parodied this argument while noting that evil grows when people lose “the ability to know the difference between reality and fantasy.” As we lose ourselves in ever-evolving technology, we are increasingly blurring that distinction. Does that mean evil will eventually overcome us all?
Madness. Delusion. Denial. Paranoia. Inhumanity. These are some of the monsters of our age.
In the cinematic world of John Carpenter, whenever freedom falls to tyranny, it is because the people allowed it to happen.
Instagram Stars Fake Private Jet Rides For $34.99 Per Hour At This LA Studio Tyler Durden
Tue, 10/27/2020 – 23:05
Judging by Instagram photos and TikTok videos, some users appear to be living the high life, driving fancy cars, living in mansions, and of course, flying in the latest and most modern private jets.
While scrolling through Instagram photos or swiping through TikTok videos, has it ever occurred to you just how much of the content on these social media platforms are fake?
We can’t quantify the percentage of users using fake sets or elaborate greenscreen sets to fake a photo or video but have stumbled across one company that Instagram and TikTok stars are using to produce the illusion they’re on a private plane.
Meet FD Photo studio, with studios in Los Angeles, NYC, and Chicago; they offer social media stars an entire mock cabin of a private jet for just $34.99 per hour.
“First in Los Angeles, rental photo studio with unique Private Jet (Airplane) set and artificial window lights,” FD Photo studio’s website read.
The inside of the jet’s cabin looks authentic, but diving deeper into the pictures, one starts to notice it’s actually a mock cabin within a studio.
In today’s environment, social media stars learn the ins and outs of maintaining their luxury life on social media while in a virus-induced recession. So why charter a 4 to 6 passenger private jet for tens of thousands of dollars to snap a few pictures and a couple of short videos while one can do it for $34.99?
“We’ve all seen the recent fake private jet Instagram news, as a lot of the Instagram influencers have been called out for pretending they’re on luxury private jets. I decided to do my own mini fake private jet photoshoot in Los Angeles, California, showing you the fake private jet interior and also taking my own creative shots,” Freccero said.
Video: So I Rented the FAKE Private Jet Studio in Los Angeles…
“Every city, every town, burn the precincts to the ground!” They chanted on the video before the frame jerks as an Antifa girl hits his camera. She is heard saying, “Stop filming!”
Protesters immediately mobilized after video of the police shooting of 27-year-old Wallace went viral on social media.
The video shows Wallace walking toward police as they yell at him and eventually shoot him. Police say he was armed with a knife and allegedly had it out as he approached them and ignored their commands.
Philadelphia erupted in violent protests and looting caught on social media that evening. On Tuesday, the rioting sparked up again with more videos of looting across the city.
Earlier in the evening, Schaffer documented some of the protesters, which he estimated at 400, marching through the streets.
More than 30 officers were hurt in the rioting on Monday, including a 56-year-old sergeant who was intentionally struck by a truck racing through an intersection with police officers attending to the riot. She suffered a broken leg as well as other injuries, police said.
More than 90 people were arrested during the rioting on Monday, most of which were charged with burglary, while 11 were arrested for assault on a police officer.
Here’s news video of looting in Philadelphia on Tuesday:
Chopper 6 over looting in Philadelphia following the police shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr.
Didn’t we all agree that governments can’t constitutionally oppress minorities or blame victims? And that private persons or organizations that do so are rightly called by the name of a stinky body part that we all possess?
Yet every new minority group that comes along suffers. The latest people to feel the wrath of government and the unthinking stinky members of society are Covid-19 survivors, individuals who tested positive and lived. With the recent spike in cases and ever higher survivorship rates, their ranks swell daily, but their oppression remains palpable.
While everyone has lamented the 225,000 or so deaths with/from Covid in America so far, the 8 million plus survivors reside in a sort of Limbo betwixt the Heaven of normalcy and the Hell inhabited by the rest of us. (Those who have not yet been infected, or, like myself, suspect infection but cannot prove it because they became ill before widespread testing was available, or because they remained asymptomatic or nearly so, constitute yet a different minority.)
Alarmist claims to the contrary, the vast majority of Covid-19 survivors will not contract the virus again, any time soon anyway, and will not pass it on to others. They are more heroes than anything else but the (m)ass media treats them as pariahs — literally, as most hail from our lower, serf-like castes composed of apparently inessential people doing essential tasks on behalf of their putative superiors.
But our political caste is not done with them yet. Out of mere expedience, social distancing mandates apply to Covid-19 survivors as well as the great masses of those as yet (putatively) uncleansed by a bout of the malady.
The whole policy battle between the signatories of the Great Barrington Declaration and the John Snow thing aside, there is no justice in forcing innocent yutes and heroic survivors of the worst pandemic in half a century to wear a mask or forgo drinking, face-to-face education, live music, sports, and theater and what not. It is clearly unconstitutional. I think the whole lockdown approach is unconstitutional but any differences of interpretation there do notapply to those who cannot get sick or spread the dang virus!
You might think, “I haven’t gotten the virus so I don’t care that the rights of 8 million Americans are being trampled upon.” Well you should care because the precedent being set right now is one where governments can force business closures and enforce sumptuary (consumption, including dress) laws with no public health pretext whatsoever. They do not want to admit to this right now, but in the future, perhaps not so distant, some government official will justify an arbitrary act by pointing to the treatment of Covid-19 survivors in this pandemic. “Well we [some euphemism for stripping the civil liberties of people] who posed no health risk in 2020, so why can’t we do it now? There is precedent.”
But don’t get me wrong, I don’t think oppressing Covid-19 heroes is about setting that precedent; it is about mere expediency. Allowing freedom to some while denying it to others would fracture the increasingly tentative grip our most authoritarian leaders have on power. Some citizens would respond by flaunting social distancing rules, arguing that “If he can go without a mask (go to a bar, etc.), so can I.” Others would deliberately get Covid-19 so they can regain their liberty lawfully after surviving, as almost all who are not ancient or obese do. I do not see a problem with such voluntary actions. Some will lose the lottery and die, the biggest heroes of all, but clearly the follies of March are behind us and even most of those hospitalized will survive, especially if not placed on the death machines, a.k.a. respirators, that doctors and politicians once claimed were desperately needed.
And rest assured, Covid-19 survivors do have constitutional rights but as a small minority everywhere they are not a voting bloc this Fall, so no politician gives a dang about them. For that reason, I must admit that I am not as big a fan of James Madison’s famous Federalist #10 as I once was. That was the one where Jemmy argued that a bigger republic could fend off faction and tyrannical majorities more easily than a smaller republic, ceteris paribus of course.
This claim appears particularly laughable today:
“In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.”
If half of the mud that U.S. Senate candidates David Perdue (Elephant) and Jon Ossoff (Donkey) have slung at each other on the public airwaves is true, Georgians ought to take both of them “out back of the barn” and save themselves the embarrassment of having either of those miscreants represent them in DC! Many other “races” also pit candidates of dubious merit against each other. No matter which candidate wins any given election, the American people lose because they come to be led by knaves instead of statesmen.
Madison was right that “a rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it.” But what happens when an improper and wicked project does consume large parts of the country? Many of the checks that Madison and the other Framers built into the Constitution have become frail, if not worthless.
As the power of politicians has waxed, the power to restrain them has waned. The two lines crossed in 2020 and a rapid disintegration of some important remaining checks appears imminent. With ballots no longer secret (and hence again alienable) in many states, the Electoral College under siege, and the independence of the Supreme Court threatened, minorities tremble with trepidation.Barring disunion or a return to states rights, the only real question now is, who shall be the next minority? Besides our heroic Covid-19 survivors that is.
World’s Biggest IPO Is 284x Oversubscribed As Chinese Banks Give Retail Investors 33x Margin Leverage Tyler Durden
Tue, 10/27/2020 – 22:25
Yesterday we reported that the world’s biggest IPO – that of Jack Ma’s fintech giant Ant Group – which priced on Monday at a valuation of over $320 billion and which will raise $34 billion in new capital, is set to break for trading later this week.
Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that Ant Group’s bankers would stop taking investor orders for the Hong Kong leg of the IPO a day earlier than scheduled as the record stock sale has already been heavily subscribed. According to the report, demand has been so great the Hangzhou-based firm is set to close the institutional investor. The company was initially planning to close the Hong Kong book at 5 p.m. Thursday for each region globally. The potential move would bring the closing in line with the Shanghai leg.
As a reminder, the financial technology company, which is controlled by Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma, priced its Shanghai stock at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) apiece and its Hong Kong shares at HK$80 ($10.32) each, valuing the company at about $280 billion before it makes its market debut on November 5. Those sums would eclipse the $25 billion raised in 2014 by its former parent Alibaba and the $29.4 billion of shares sold more recently by Saudi Aramco, in what is to date the largest-ever IPO.
As an aside, Ant will trade under the ticker symbol 688688 in Shanghai and 6688 in Hong Kong, in keeping with Ma’s fondness for the number eight, which is associated with wealth in China. Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which owns about a third of Ant, trades under the ticker 9988 in Hong Kong.
So just how big was investor demand? Well, according to Ant’s Shanghai offering announcement in the preliminary price consultation of its Shanghai IPO, institutional investors subscribed for over 76 billion shares, which means it is more than 284 times oversubscribed!
Things are just as frothy in neighboring Hong Kong, where a late Tuesday update revealed that the retail portion of Ant’s Hong Kong IPO has been 64 times oversubscribed so far, Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing data from banks and brokerages. Ant is offering 41.8 million H shares, at HK$80 apiece, for retail investors in Hong Kong.
These are staggering numbers, unprecedented for most Western IPOs. How are they possible?
It turns out the answer is quite simple: local banks are showering potential buyers with margin loans, just to make sure that the stock soars after it opens for trading.
According to SCMP, Hong Kong’s banks and brokers are offering record margin loans of almost HK$300 billion (US$38.7 billion) for retail investors to buy into the IPO. HSBC, Hong Kong’s biggest bank, is ready with an IPO lending capacity of over HK$100 billion to support retail investors subscribing to the mammoth flotation, according to a statement from the lender issued on Friday. At the same time, Bright Smart Securities, the biggest local broker to offer IPO margin financing, is prepared to lend HK$50 billion to customers wanting a slice of the action. Other banks such as Bank of China (Hong Kong), Hang Seng Bank as well as many of the 600 local stockbrokers have prepared over HK$150 billion for their customers to borrow for the red hot IPO, brokers estimate.
But wait, if banks are basically giving out hundreds of billions in loans, do retail investors have to put up any capital?
That’s a great question: here’s the math.
According to SCMP, Huatai International, the Hong Kong arm of the fourth-largest mainland securities house, will lend at 33 times leverage for Ant’s IPO, meaning an investor would only need to put down roughly HK$3 as a deposit to borrow every HK$100 they borrow.
It’s not just banks: brokerages are also seeking to attract business by offering leverage to retail clients applying for Ant’s shares. Online brokerage Tiger Brokers said apart from a lending capacity of “several tens of billion” dollars, it will offer 20 times leverage to investors to subscribe to Ant’s IPO.
This is absolute bubblelicious insanity, and it explains not only why the Ant IPO is so massively oversubscribed, but why the stock will shoot up on the first day of trading. The reason: because this particular IPO is nothing but a government mandated ponzi scheme, one in which state-owned banks give loans to retail investors who have to put almost no capital of their own down, to ensure there is massive demand for a stock which, by going public just days before the election, has a special political appeal to it: it is meant to symbolize China’s superiority over the US.
And since retail investors are basically getting a free ride, institutional investors have zero downside and are also piling in for what is effectively a risk-free flip. According to the SCMP, “overseas investors are piling funding into Hong Kong ahead of the listing, as they jostle for a piece of the deal. More than HK$211.52 billion has flowed into the city since September 14, forcing the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the de facto central bank, to intervene 41 times to try to weaken the Hong Kong dollar.“
This is also why contrary to the expectations by China skeptics such as Kyle Bass, Hong Kong’s fund flows continue to flood into the territory rather than out, because China has figured out that the simplest way to ensure it never has a dollar shortage is to guarantee that foreign investors will always make money on such massive equity offerings.
And as long as China has companies that go public – and are 100x+ or more oversubscribed – the foreign capital inflows will continue. Which is the Ant IPO is about so much more than the world’s biggest IPO – it explains how HK, and by extension China, funnels foreign (mostly dollar) capital to make sure that there is never a full-blown run on the world’s reserve currency.
Slappy and Kamala will immediately fly down and liberate the concentration camps. Trump will face some sort of Nuremberg trial, where he will have to answer for mass-murdering six million people with the Coronavirus by taking off his mask on the White House balcony.
Hillary Clinton will be appointed … something.
Exuberant liberals will pour into the streets, chanting unintelligible slogans through their designer masks and plastic head bubbles. OK, sure, the global economy will be ruined, and millions of people will be unemployed, and homeless, or will have needlessly died, so that GloboCap could simulate an apocalyptic global plague, and foment racialized civil unrest, and just generally create an atmosphere of confusion, depression, and paranoia, but the War on Populism will finally be over … and GloboCap will start to “Build Back Better!”
“Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, the world is off-balance – and it will remain so for years to come. Far from settling into a ‘new normal’, we should expect a Covid19 domino effect, triggering further disruptions – positive as well as negative – over the decade ahead. The wave of civil unrest that spread across America and beyond recently may be one example …”
So, all right, maybe not quite the end of the War on Populism, but at least a new stage of it. A chaotic, destructive, violent stage of it, which will require a lot of “emergency measures” and will end up radically transforming the planet into one big pathologized-totalitarian marketplace.
We conspiracy theorists are calling it The Great Reset … but don’t take it from us, take it from TIME magazine, which just happens to be owned by a guy named Marc Benioff, a World Economic Forum Board of Trustees member, whose net worth is approximately $7.8 billion, and who is deeply concerned about the environment, and inclusivity, and economic fairness, as is everyone at the WEF these days.
Fortunately, just by sheer coincidence, this apocalyptic global plague has provided Marc and his billionaire buddies (who own the majority of the corporate media, and who meet once a year in a remote location guarded by heavily-armed security to discuss our future with major government leaders) with an opportunity to “reset” capitalism and save the planet from … well, themselves.
That’s not how they see it, naturally. No, the way they see it, they’re not the problem. The problem is … well, the problem is people. Not rich and powerful people like themselves, or the people they need to continue working, consuming, and servicing the interest on their loans, but … you know, all those other people. Uneducated, un-woke, working-class people. Gun-toting, fanatically religious people. Racist, conspiracy-theorizing people. Deplorable people. “Populist” people. People they don’t need anymore.
These people have been a problem recently. Not only are they a drag on the system, they have been actively interfering with it, voting for Brexit, electing Donald Trump, refusing to abandon their traditional values and outmoded ideas (e.g., national sovereignty, freedom of speech, and mammalian biology) and get on board with global capitalist ideology, and have been otherwise being a real pain in the ass.
It was one thing when these problem people were mostly black- and brown-skinned people with “extremist” beliefs in faraway countries that most Western consumers couldn’t care less about, because GloboCap could just bomb the crap out of them, but they can’t really do that here in the West. Hence, the War on Populism that we have been experiencing for the last four years … and whatever new, dystopian stage of it that awaits us in the post-Trump future.
This was always in the cards, of course. It was just a matter of time until we got here. The folks at GloboCap are no fools. They know they can’t remake the world into one big happy neo-feudal marketplace without breaking a few proverbial eggs … and not just in those “terrorist” countries, but everywhere, throughout the global capitalist empire. And that is exactly what they intend to do. So, they needed a new official narrative to justify all the broken eggs.
They haven’t settled on an official slogan yet. “The New Normal,” “The Great Reset,” “The Green New Deal” … they’re all just trial balloons at this point. It doesn’t really matter what they call it. It amounts to a new type of totalitarianism. As I noted in my previous column, “[i]t isn’t national totalitarianism, because we’re living in a global capitalist empire, which isn’t ruled by nation-states, but rather, by supranational entities and the global capitalist system itself.” But it is totalitarianism nonetheless.
They aren’t hiding it. They’re spelling it out, not in spittle-flecked Hitlerian speeches, but, clearly, unmistakably, in corporate-speak. Here is Klaus Schwab, Chairman of the WEF:
“[T]he world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”
Sorry … I was supposed to be writing about the final days of the Trumpian Reich, and I got all sidetracked with this GloboCap business.
I hope you’ll forgive me for not being able to get all fired up about the election next week. Given everything else that is happening, and everything that has happened over the last four years, I’m just having a little trouble believing that there is any realistic scenario wherein GloboCap lets Trump serve a second term, regardless of who actually wins. So, that kind of takes all the suspense out of it.
Don’t worry, though, I’ll get back on the horse when the post-election rioting begins, and Donald Trump finally goes full-Hitler, declares himself Führer, dissolves the Congress, and orders his legions of Russia-loving white supremacists to start rounding up the Jews, as the corporate media, the fake “left” media, the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, fascism experts, Hollywood celebrities, and every hysterical liberal in existence have been promising he would since 2016.
Seriously, if he doesn’t go full-Hitler this time, and start rounding up and mass-murdering somebody, or else order the nuking of the United States and then blow his brains out in his underground bunker, some people are going to have some explaining to do.
The Daily Beast published a completely false story on Tuesday in an attempt to slam a former New York Times columnist, apparently taking the word of a co-host from “The View” in pushing Democrats’ newly manufactured definition of court packing.
What are the details?
Daily Beast senior writer Matt Wilstein wrote an article titled, “‘The View’s’ Sunny Hostin Schools Bari Weiss on ‘Court Packing.'” But it wasn’t Hostin who did the schooling. In fact, Weiss is the one who gave “The View’s” entire panel a lesson.
Wilstein did not explain what court packing is for The Daily Beast’s readership, so TheBlaze reminds everyone that the term “court packing” goes back to when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) attempted to add justices to the high court in order to push through his agenda after the Supreme Court had determined parts of his New Deal were unconstitutional.
The concept of adding justices is considered highly controversial. In fact, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the past called Roosevelt’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court “a bonehead idea” that “put in question” the Supreme Court “for an entire decade.” Biden now refuses to say whether he will make the same move if he wins the White House.
During “The View” episode, Hostin, a legal analyst, argued, “We all know the Republican Party has been packing the Supreme Court for decades. They’ve been packing the judiciary for decades. [President Donald] Trump has put now three justices on the Supreme Court and just dozens and dozens of judges on the federal judiciary. So I think what we’re going to see is perhaps the Democrats unpacking the Supreme Court so that there’s more of a balance.”
Weiss explained, “Packing the Court is about adding more justices to the bench, which is something that people like [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)] and [Rep.] Ilhan Omar [D-Minn.] are advocating for. Packing the court doesn’t mean appointing justices that some people don’t like.”
“I think where the conversation is right now, is about whether or not the Democrats — if they win the Senate and if Joe Biden wins — if they’re going to fundamentally change the nature of the court as Roosevelt once tried to do,” Weiss continued, noting that the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also voiced opposition to packing the court last year when she told NPR that “nine is a good number.”
Weiss went on to call out Biden for refusing to “stand up to the left-wing flank of his party.”
“The fact that he has refused on the record to say whether or not he will pack the court I think is very suspicious to some people, and the fact that journalists aren’t forcing him to ask that essential question … is pretty ridiculous as far as I’m concerned,” Weiss said.
Hostin insists new definition of court packing means ‘balancing’
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg tried to provide cover for Hostin by stepping in and saying the legal analyst was referring to lower courts being packed. But Hostin stood firm, correcting Goldberg and saying, “I was talking about the Supreme Court.”
Hostin insisted this new definition of court packing actually meant “balancing” out the court for Democrats, pointing to a Newsweek article from another legal expert who also completely ignored where the term came from and what it means.
She explained to Goldberg:
“I was in particular talking about the Supreme Court being packed and I used those words very specifically. In order to unpack the Supreme Court, meaning unpack the culture, unpack the values that are on the Supreme Court—in order to do that you would have to add either term limits, age limits, or you would have to add justices, which would then balance the Supreme Court, which would lead to an unpacking.”
But Weiss was right. She and Hostin sparred over whether or not Biden should provide an answer on whether or not he would add justices, but Weiss was certainly not schooled, and she maintained the same opinion of others in the media, such as CNN’s Jake Tapper, who have said Biden should tell voters his plans on the issue before Election Day.
The Daily Beast failed to show Weiss was wrong
Not only did The Daily Beast article fail to explain court packing, it failed to show any evidence of how Weiss was wrong or “schooled,” and folks on social media took notice.
In response to the outlet’s Twitter post of the story, one person wrote, “When I first heard of the new rhetorical strategy to make up a new definition for court-packing I thought ‘there is absolutely no way anyone is stupid enough to buy this.’ I was wrong. Daily beast writers and readers are stupid enough to buy it. Fair enough.”
Another responded, “Makes the case for Civics Education in schools. And apparently, a badly needed requirement for snarky Daily Beast boys.”
Someone else added, “Here’s the thing– the lingo that Hostin is using is WRONG. Bari Weiss is describing it correctly. “Packing” means adding more judges to the court. “Un-Packing” doesn’t mean anything. It’s sad that he uses it as an opportunity to smear @bariweiss for getting it right.”
Someone else concluded, “Yeah…. Saw the segment. @bariweiss was correct. Perhaps you guys should change the title to your article. Sunny Hostin perhaps should go back and get ‘schooled’ on using terms with correct definitions. She looked foolish for it.”
Here is the exchange from “The View”:
‘The View’s’ Sunny Hostin Schools Bari Weiss on ‘Court Packing’
‘The View’s’ Sunny Hostin Schools Bari Weiss on ‘Court Packing’
Chicago On Verge Of Credit Downgrade As Mayor Lightfoot Suggests Novel Idea Of Raising Taxes Tyler Durden
Tue, 10/27/2020 – 21:45
Today in “Democrat-run utopia” news…
The city of Chicago appears to be on the precipice of a credit downgrade, according to its Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett. She said on Tuesday that she’s “not sure” the city could make it through budget season without facing an inevitable downtick in its rating, according to Bloomberg.
The admission came during a virtual City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations meeting while answering a question from an alderman about why the city doesn’t take on more debt to keep property taxes lower. Bennett is working to try and balance the city’s budget for a longer term horizon by raising taxes and trying to create consistent revenue streams.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is looking to implement a property tax increase of $94 million and a refinance of the city’s $1.7 billion in outstanding bonds to try and alleviate some of the financial distress. Because we’re sure citizens of Chicago are in a major rush to fork over more money to a city government that has enabled protests and riots that turned the city into chaos over the summer.
In fact, back in August, we wrote about how Chicago citizens were looking to move out of the city amidst the rise in chaos and Lightfoot’s ineptitude.
The city’s soaring crime was national news this year and many residents were claiming they “no longer feel safe” in the city’s epicenter. Aldermen say their constituents are leaving the city and real estate agents say they are seeing the same.
Real estate broker Rafael Murillo said people were moving to the suburbs quicker than planned: “And then you have the pandemic, so people are spending more and more time in their homes. And in the high-rise, it starts to feel more like a cubicle after awhile.”
Additionally, those who once planned on buying downtown were reconsidering, he said. He said over the summer that had had talked to “three or four” sellers who lived downtown and wanted out so they can move to the suburbs.
He commented: “They want to feel safe. They want to be able to come outside their homes and enjoy their neighborhood amenities, whether it’s running at the park, enjoying a nice little dinner, shopping. But with everything going on, there are a lot of residents who are not feeling safe right now.”
Resident Neil Spun, who has lived in Chicago for more than 30 years, said: “There have been riots before, and looting. It just seems to me now that the city isn’t doing anything about it. I don’t see this getting any better, and so I’d like to leave.”
S&P has the city at BBB+, which is three levels above junk, with a negative outlook. “Ability to absorb the additional pension expenditures and stay on a course to structural balance will be critical to maintaining the rating,” S&P said.
And newsflash to Lori Lightfoot: it’s going to be awfully tough to bring in that extra property tax revenue as citizens turn tail and flee the city…
Chicago police say that two sisters held down a store employee and stabbed him 27 times after he told them to wear masks and use hand sanitizer provided by the business.
The startling incident unfolded on Sunday at Snipes, an athletic clothing store, in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
Police allege that 21-year-old Jessica Hill and her sister 18-year-old Jayla Hill entered the store at about 6 p.m. and were asked to put on masks and apply hand sanitizer over the coronavirus pandemic.
The two refused and began to argue with the 32-year-old man, according to police spokeswoman Karie James.
James says that the altercation became violent when one of the sisters punched the employee in the chest, and then Jayla Hill grabbed him by the hair as Jessica Hill stabbed him.
The man was stabbed 27 times in the chest, back and arms, and was later sent to Mount Sinai Hospital. Police say the sisters also struck him with a trash can and kicked him as he fell down.
The two women were arrested at the scene and treated for minor lacerations.
Prosecutors say that surveillance video and statements from witnesses show that the victim did not provoke the attack by striking or pushing the women.
The victim was hospitalized and received treatment, prosecutors said, noting he did have puncture wounds “all over his body,” WTTW-TV reported. Another report said the man was in critical condition.
The women were charged with attempted murder and held without bond. A defense lawyer for the two women said in court that they had never been in trouble with the law, and were planning to attend college.
Cook County Judge Mary Catherine Marubio said she initially believed it was a domestic violence incident because of the unusual number of stab wounds.
“It’s the complete randomness of this,” Marubio said. “That’s terrifying for a community.”
Here’s a local news report about the incident:
Sisters accused of stabbing employee 27 times after being told to wear masks
“Plausible Deniability”: Whistleblower Describes Brazen Biden-China Dealings In Explosive Interview With Tucker Carlson Tyler Durden
Tue, 10/27/2020 – 21:29
Former Biden insider Tony Bobulinski – a registered Democrat who’s donated to Democrats – just gave a smoking gun interview to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Tuesday, where he described his dealings with the Biden family in their bid to do business with China.
Bobulinski says that “Joe Biden and his family is compromised,” after describing dealings that included purchasing a portion of a Russian state-owned energy company.
In May, 2017, Bobulinski agreed to spearhead a deal between the Bidens and a CCP-linked Chinese company – meeting with Hunter Biden and Rosemont Seneca partner Rob Walker “multiple times,” and meeting with former Vice President Joe Biden twice.
Text messages obtained by @FDRLST show Hunter Biden personally arranging a meeting with his business partners and Joe Biden to discuss a major deal with CEFC, a Chinese energy company. The meeting occurred at the Beverly Hilton in L.A. in early May. Texts are from May 2, 2017. pic.twitter.com/nrSZC9vrtf
Bobulinski described a May 2nd meeting at the Los Angeles Beverly Hilton with Hunter and Jim Biden. A short while later, Joe Biden reportedly showed up to the meeting “because they were sort of, wining and dining me, and presenting the strength of the Biden family to get me more engaged” in their China deal with CEFC “both in the United States and around the world.”
Tony Bobulinski: “I didn’t request to meet Joe. They requested that I meet with Joe … They were putting their entire family legacy on the line. They knew exactly what they were doing. They were dealing with a Chinese-owned enterprise.”pic.twitter.com/hXDqQl76Ui
Bobulinski to #Tucker: “I remember looking at Jim Biden in saying how are you guys getting away with this? Like, aren’t you concerned? And he looked at me and he laughed a little bit and said. ‘plausible deniability.'” pic.twitter.com/GMDL1JNZtB
When Hunter Biden’s laptop became national news – Rep. Adam Schiff suggested it was Russian disinformation, implying that he was a Russian asset. Bobulinsky made it explicitly clear that he would go public if Schiff didn’t retract his Russia smear – to which Biden family adviser Rob Walker said “You’re just gonna bury all of us.”
In Tucker Carlson’s interview with Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski, they play a tape of Rob Walker, a self-described Biden family representative, telling him “you’re just gonna bury all of us” if he went through with his plan to go public on business dealings pic.twitter.com/zbfvaXtw13
FEMA Provides Additional $4.1 Million for Colorado COVID-19 Response
DENVER – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced $4.1 million in additional funding for COVID-19 response efforts undertaken by the State of Colorado. The assistance was made available under the major disaster declaration issued March 28 by President Trump.
The funds are for Emergency Protective Measures, including contracts to lease the Larimer County Event Complex and the St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center as Alternate Care Sites for the period between July thru November 2020. FEMA previously provided $2.3 million for leases from April through June.
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides funding for emergency actions undertaken by communities to protect public safety, providing at least a 75-percent funding share for eligible costs. Remaining costs are the responsibility of the state and local applicants for assistance.
For the pandemic response, FEMA has simplified the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and to allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly. These reimbursements can play a critical role as state, tribal and local officials work tirelessly to assist their communities during this response.
To date, FEMA has provided more than $109.9 million in Public Assistance funding for the COVID-19 response in Colorado. Additional support has come in the form of mission assignments, where FEMA directs another federal agency to perform work to address needs identified by the state.
Joe Biden has made President Trump’s handling of COVID-19 one of his central arguments for electing him on November 3. Since March, I have followed the research and dissenting medical experts while I watched Dr. Fauci and the public health bureaucracy ignore anyone not willing to push the preferred narrative. I find this infuriating, to put it mildly.
However, there are only two courses of action for how Sleepy Joe will handle the pandemic if he wins.
One will make you think he is doing a great job – unless you know better.
The other will start us down a path to crush our freedom.
So, come back to this column if the worst of all possible outcomes becomes reality.
The COVID-19 “Casedemic”
The first one I will call solving the “casedemic.” This is the elevated number of cases we see nationwide because of a flaw in the PCR test. The number of times the sample is amplified, also called the cycle threshold (Ct), is too high.
It identifies people who do not have a viral load capable of making them ill or transmitting the disease to someone else as positive for COVID-19.
The New York Times reported this flaw on August 29 and said that in the samples they reviewed from three states where labs use a Ct of 37-40, up to 90% of tests are essentially false positives. The experts in that article said a Ct of around 30 would be more appropriate for indicating that someone could be contagious – those for whom contact tracing would make sense.
Just a few days earlier, the CDC had updated its guidelines to discourage testing for asymptomatic individuals. It can only be assumed that the rationale for this was that some honest bureaucrat figured out the testing was needlessly sensitive. He or she has probably been demoted.
This change was preceded by a July update that discouraged retesting for recovered patients. The rationale for the update was that viral debris could be detected using the PCR test for 90 days after recovery. The same would be true for some period of time if an individual had an effective immune response and never got sick. Existing immunity from exposure to other coronaviruses has been well documented. These are many of your “asymptomatic” cases.
However, due to political pressure and corporate media tantrums, the new guidance on testing was scrapped, and testing for asymptomatic individuals is now recommended again. Doctors do not receive the Ct information from the labs to make a diagnostic judgment. Neither the CDC nor the FDA has put out guidelines for an accurate Ct to diagnose a contagious illness accurately.
Hence, our current “casedemic.” Positive tests as they are counted today do not indicate a “case” of anything. They indicate that viral RNA was found in a nasal swab. It may be enough to make you sick, but according to the New York Times and their experts, probably won’t. And certainly not sufficient replication of the virus to make anyone else sick. But you will be sent home for ten days anyway, even if you never have a sniffle. And this is the number the media breathlessly reports.
* * *
Biden Option 1 – The Fake Rescue
In option one, Biden will issue national standards, like the plexiglass barriers in restaurants he spoke about during the debate, and pressure governors to implement mask mandates using the federal government’s financial leverage.
Some hack at the CDC or FDA will issue new guidance lowering the Ct the labs use, and cases will magically start to fall.
In reality, the change will only eliminate false positives, but most Americans won’t know that.
Good old Uncle Joe will be the hero, even though it is Deep-State actors in the health bureaucracies who won’t solve a problem with testing they have been aware of for months. TDS is a heck of a drug.
The new administration will reverse President Trump’s ban on critical-race theory training and start requiring its toxic curriculum throughout all of our institutions. Conflict in the streets will continue and escalate. The divisions we perceive today will only become larger.
Biden Option 1 – A Dark Winter…
Option two is far worse.
The testing won’t be modified, and more mandatory testing will be ordered. “Cases” will rise, mask mandates, national standards, and rolling lockdowns will continue. You should take note that Governor Andrew Cuomo, who arguably presided over the deaths of thousands in nursing homes, is held up by Dr. Fauci and the corporate media as a success story.
New York’s “model response” will become the national standard.
…Which Will Lead To The Great Reset
The goal is to keep you scared, isolated, and demoralized for a purpose. Only a beaten nation would stand for what comes next.
We will reenter global agreements such as the Paris Climate Accords that disadvantage American workers and U.S. industries. The Biden/Harris climate agenda will kick off. Eventually, U.S. foreign and domestic policy will merge with a program the World Economic Forum (WEF) calls “The Great Reset.” This program takes every left-wing premise as fact and “reimagines” capitalism.
Schwab is also inspired by, not kidding, Greta Thunberg, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter when he thinks about “reimagining” capitalism. Stakeholder capitalism makes corporations functional units of the government with a reduced emphasis on business operations. Individuals will be able to own businesses, but they will have such heavy dictates from the government—regulating things workforce demographics, required wages, and excessive taxes—that it will make entrepreneurial success and innovation impossible.
Two modern economies have been modeled in private ownership with essential government control: China and Nazi Germany. Unlike the Soviet Union, there was never a complete government takeover of the means of production in these two economies. Still, there was no escaping the central planning of the government to modify and dictate operations.
I have been reading the WEF website for some time. It is impossible to summarize in a single article. However, now that Time is showcasing it, it is time for everyone to do their own homework. The global elites are using the pandemic as a pretext to make major changes to the global economy with the intended effect of reducing the United States’ dominance. As the COVID-19 threat wanes, they will plow ahead using climate change. Bill Gates has already formed the argument they will use to make that transition.
On Monday, the Senate officially confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In this clip, Steven Crowder and the “Louder with Crowder” crew discussed Barrett’s Senate confirmation and the meltdowns shared across social media following her confirmation. Later, Crowder delved into the modern-day feminist mentality that seemed to abhor strong, successful conservative women like Barrett regardless of sex/gender/pronoun.
Watch the clip for details.
Use promo code LWC to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.
Want more from Steven Crowder?
To enjoy more of Steven’s uncensored late-night comedy that’s actually funny, join Mug Club — the only place for all of Crowder uncensored and on demand.
As Pompeo & Esper Push Anti-China Message In India, PLA Vows “Defeat Of Attempts To Separate Taiwan” Tyler Durden
Tue, 10/27/2020 – 21:05
Late in the day Monday the US State Department formally approved sails of $2.37 billion in advanced weapons, namely Coastal Missile Defense Systems and related hardware to Taiwan.
And on Tuesday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense chief Mark Esper were in India meeting with their counterparts, reportedly discussing military satellite information sharing as well as Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is a major regional nuclear armed power that Washington sees as key in humbling Chinese ambitions. Pompeo’s statements articulated this precisely:
“The United States will stand with the people of India as they confront threats to their freedom and sovereignty.” Pompeo said in specific reference to the Chinese Communist Party. “Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, nor to freedom of navigation — the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
Esper’s remarks after signing a key defense agreement with India, which importantly comes amid the Himalayan border standoff and tensions between New Delhi and Beijing, also highlighted the importance of a united front against China:
During a press conference Tuesday in the Indian capital, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh announced the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), enabling greater information-sharing and further defense cooperation between the two countries.
“The defense ties between our two nations remains a key pillar of our overall bilateral relationship,” Esper said. “Based on our shared values and common interests, we stand shoulder to shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilizing activities by China.”
No doubt this will raise tensions surrounding what Beijing sees as the most immediate threat of Taiwan’s independence. It’s lately been accusing the US of undermining the longtime status quo ‘One China’ policy which has kept relative peace and order in the region.
China’s response to the US approval of the coastal defense missile sales to Taiwan came in state media as follows:
Chinese mainland experts warned that although these missiles won’t be able to threaten the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) effectively, this is a greater provocation than in the past, as the weapons are not for self-defense but can reach the coastal regions of the mainland.
China urged the US to stop the relevant arms sales and military connections with the island, and cancel relevant arms sale plans to prevent further damage to China-US relations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a routine press conference on Tuesday, noting that “China will take legitimate and necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests with firm determination.”
Following this on Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Defense (MoD) issued its most threatening statement to date on the Taiwan issue.
The MoD statement assured that the Chinese PLA Army is fully capable of “defeating attempts to separate Taiwan” in a message unmistakably meant to put the US on notice that it would mean certain war.
My wife has become increasingly nervous when political topics arise in conversations with our friends over dinner or drinks. She’s afraid I’ll disrupt a pleasant occasion by expressing views that are anathema to our liberal, Democratic friends.
Like what? you might ask.
Well, there are several, but the most inflammatory one is my denial that Russia meddled in the 2016 Presidential election in a consequential way, much less with the intention of electing Trump.
“What?” you say. Every MSNBC-watching, New York Times WaPo-reading Democrat knows that the Russians hacked the DNC emails and passed them on to WikiLeaks to hurt the Clinton campaign. And how about all those social media posts?
The second I express myself, I am invariably accused of parroting Fox News or even of endorsing Trump. But I despise Trump and have never watched Fox news live for more than a minute or two. (Occasionally, I watch an interview with a left-leaning heretic like myself, who cannot get airtime on the “legacy media.”)
How did this happen? How did I come to reject beliefs my liberal friends hold sacred?
Well, to paraphrase an old commercial, I came by my heretical views the old-fashioned way: I earned them. I looked beyond the MSM to independent sources of news and commentary, reading widely and open-mindedly and thinking critically. Some of these sources publish reporting, others opinion; many are left-leaning; most oppose American foreign policy. I weighed them against one another, and the MSM, to assess their reliability.
In short, I investigated American journalism – and found corporate media woefully misleading. I would say I found it unprofessional but, as a friend reminded me, the job of corporate journalism is to maximize profit; doing so is not conducive, to say the least, to challenging the dominant power structure and its ideology.
My current morning routine is this. Over breakfast, I read the hard copy of the New York Times, selectively and skeptically. Then I repair to my study and spend an hour or so surfing online news sources. I consult more than a dozen daily: e.g., The Intercept, Truthout, Consortiumnews.com, Antiwar.com, Current Affairs, Jacobin, RealClearInvestigations, CommonDreams, Grayzone, FAIR, Counterpunch, The Nation, and even RT. Among journalist/bloggers I consider trustworthy on Russiagate are Aaron Maté, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Moon of Alabama, and Elizabeth Voss.
While still teaching (at Hofstra University), I would pick up a free copy of the New York Times on campus and read it over the course of the day. I would listen to NPR while commuting. I considered myself well informed. I was quite trustful of these sources on most topics. My views did not diverge sharply from those of my liberal friends.
But after my retirement in 2011, I began to look deeper. I’m not sure why; I did not set out to shift my politics to the left. One factor was my interest in Syria, where my father had taught at Aleppo College during the 1930s. In 2009, just before violence broke out there, I followed in his footsteps, traveling to Aleppo with my family. When the protests against the notoriously brutal and repressive Assad began, I was very sympathetic. Like the Western media, I favored the “moderate rebels.”
But eventually, by reading alternative media, I came around to the view that there were not enough moderate rebels to bring about a change of regime. (The notion of a viable moderate opposition was the product of a Western PR campaign.) Eventually, I learned that the U.S was arming militant Islamists (as with the Mujahaddin earlier in Afghanistan, helping bring the Taliban to power) and eventually sending in troops in violation of international law. (They are still there.) The result was a terrible civil war. I reluctantly came to believe that the least bad short-term outcome for the Syrian people was for the Assad regime to prevail, with Russia’s help. That is what has happened. Removing Assad would have done to Syria what removing Saddam did to Iraq: worsened the havoc and suffering in the nation and the surrounding region.
But what about Assad’s gassing of his own people, you say, which was investigated by the purportedly neutral OPCW (the UN-sponsored Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare) and widely reported in the Western media? Sorry, but whistleblowers among the actual inspectors eventually came forward to reveal that their firsthand findings had been distorted to fit the desired verdict. (Remember Iraq and its WMD?) But of course, the whistleblowers testimony was largely ignored by the very media that blamed the atrocity on Assad and fawned over Trump’s retaliatory attack. (The next day, Fareed Zakaria declared on CNN that “Donald Trump became president of the United States last night.”)
Looked at critically, this narrative made no sense. Why would Assad, who was winning the war, risk antagonizing the world (and his people)? Why would he cross a redline drawn by the US, risking retaliation? He wouldn’t, and he didn’t. Almost certainly, these gas attacks were false flag attacks by the rebels to trigger American attacks against Syria (which they did). I have learned to ask the basic question, Cui bono? (who benefits) when reading the news. The answer is often not the party being blamed by the MSM.
As with Syria, so with Venezuela and Bolivia, with Russia and Ukraine: if you can put aside the dominant narrative promulgated by the MSM, you can find dedicated, dogged investigative journalists who challenge and debunk it. Unfortunately, the debunking necessarily lags well behind the false story. And in our short news cycle, it gets lost. Moreover, skeptical journalism gets published only in small, independent outlets. The MSM generally does not retract its stories. If it does, it does so in a whisper, someplace where the retractions will not get noticed. If you look for them, you can find them, but you have to know to look.
The most authoritative debunkers of the Russiagate/Ukrainegate narrative have been, interestingly, a group that calls itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Its work appears regularly at Consortiumnews.com, which was founded by Robert Parry, who broke the Iran-Contra story. The VIPs are retired intelligence officers who resent the cooking of intelligence for political ends. (Their first post was published on the day that Colin Powell testilied [sic] to the UN Security Council and the MSM stenographers published his lies; since then, they have an excellent track record.) Their retirement frees them to voice their views without permission or repercussions. The VIPs, one of whom, Ray McGovern, briefed Presidents during the Cold War, can hardly be accused of being soft on Russia.
They have shown that the so-called “hack” of the DNC emails was almost certainly a leak. Forensic examination of the megadata by William Binney, former NSA Director, indicates that the data could not have been stolen over the internet; so much information could not have been transferred as quickly as claimed. In any case, recently declassified documents reveal that Shawn Henry, the president of CrowdStrike Services, the company tasked by the DNC with examining the server (which the DNC refused to release to the FBI) admitted under oath that there was no evidence of email having been “exfiltrated,” as had been reported in the corporate media and universally believed by liberals.
One irony of this, of course, is that the emails published by WikiLeaks, whose authenticity no one has challenged, were proof of the rigging of the Democratic primary by the DNC: i.e., election meddling. Given the damaging content, it seems far more likely that this was a leak by a disgruntled insider, but the blame of course is put on Russia.
As for the supposedly election-meddling social media activity. It was not directed by the Kremlin; it began before Trump was nominated and continued well past the election. The actual ads were mostly puerile, unsophisticated (and not in fluent English); many favored Clinton; some were not even about politics. It was mostly clickbait. The bottom line is that the financial investment was infinitesimal compared to those of the two candidates. This can’t have had any discernible effect on the outcome, much less a decisive one. (This is leaving aside the glaring hypocrisy of Americans complaining about meddling in our elections, when the US is the world champ in that endeavor.)
But the Russiagate narrative has served, as it was intended, to deflect attention from the failures of the Clinton campaign – and more generally from the Democratic party’s embrace of neoliberalism at home, betraying the working class, and imperialism abroad. Regrettably, too, it masks far more serious obstacles to fair elections: the Electoral College, voter-suppression, gerrymandering, Citizens United, and so on – i.e., the factors presumably in American control.
Its promotion by the MSM has fostered widespread paranoia about Russia. Thanks to the DNC and the MSM, neo-McCarthyism is epidemic among Democrats, who see Russians (I almost said Commies) under every bed.
As the late Stephen F. Cohen insisted (not in MSM, which blackballed him), this is a dangerous delusion; it significantly increases the possibility of a hot (nuclear) war.
Perhaps most alarming, in the MSM Russiagate eclipses the truly existential threat of the climate emergency. The MSM fiddles while the world burns.
Most of my friends are academics, artists or other intellectuals. It makes me sad – and crazy – that these people, who are smart and sophisticated – not “low information” voters – fall for this stuff, which is counterfactual faith-based journalism.
I could go on to list other MSM truths that I regard as “fake news.” But there’s little point. It’s not that I expect my friends to believe me rather than the New York Times. What I’d like is for them to be willing to consider alternative interpretations of events and to explore non-corporate media.
Why? Well, consider the view of Noam Chomsky, who (with Edward S. Herman) long ago exposed how the MSM “manufacture” consent; he considers Russiagate a huge gift to Trump, which could hand him the election. Or consider what William Casey, director of the CIA, said when asked by incoming President Ronald Reagan to describe his agency’s mission, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public knows is false.” Part of the mission of the intelligence agencies has been to infiltrate American media and gaslight the public. But, as I suggested above, this does not prevent honest analysts from reaching their own conclusions.
I try not to blame my friends for being misguided by the MSM. After all, only a few years ago, when I read only what my friends read, I believed as they do. It’s not that I’m smarter, or more (or less) liberal than they; it’s just that I’ve made the effort to peek outside my info silo, the liberal echo chamber.
I try not to be too disputatious in conversations with friends. I don’t want to alienate them. Life is lonely enough during the pandemic without becoming persona non grata, never invited back.
On the other hand, why should I silence myself? Why should I nod sagely as friends spout what I regard as nonsense? Well, there’s no percentage in it. Sadly, conversation alone doesn’t convince or convert. Politics has become polarized and tribalized to a frightening degree; evidence and argument don’t seem to matter. People believe what they want to believe. The light bulb has to want to change. Or at least, to be open to changing. And, to be fair, it takes time and effort to explore alternative media.
But I want my friends to know that while we may all oppose Trump, we are hardly on the same page. In such circumstances, old friends should be able to agree to disagree. But how can my friends and I agree to disagree if they don’t know that we disagree?
So I will continue to speak out. Silence feels like collusion in delusion. And the stakes are high.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told supporters that much of the protest violence was a “cry for justice,” even as protests were starting up for a second day in Philadelphia.
Biden was speaking to supporters Tuesday at a voter mobilization event in Atlanta when he made the comments.
“A season of protest has broken out all across the nation!” Biden said.
“Protesting though, is not burning and looting. Violence can never be a tactic or tolerated, and it won’t, but much of it is a cry for justice from a community that has long had the knees of injustice on their necks,” he added.
“The names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake will not soon be forgotten, not by me, not by us, not by this country,” Biden continued. “Folks, we’re going to inspire a new wave of justice in America.”
Biden appeared to confuse the case of Jacob Blake, who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but survived, with the other two cases of lethal police shootings.
In contrast to Biden’s statement, President Donald Trump has been forceful in his opposition to the goals and narratives of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In August, the president blasted “Democrat-run cities” for not opposing violent protests enough and said that greater force should be used against “thugs” in contrast to peaceful “friendly protesters.”
Philadelphia erupts in protest
Biden’s comments might not be welcome among those suffering in the violent rioting in Philadelphia after 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., a black man who was shot and killed by police Monday afternoon when he reportedly charged at them with a knife.
The neighborhood community erupted after startling video of the deadly encounter went viral on social media. The violence quickly escalated out of control in many parts of the city on Monday.
Police cars were set on fire and officers were assaulted as the crowds swelled. Video posted to social media showed police retreating as crowds attacked them. At least 30 people were arrested on the first night of the violence.
Here’s the video of Biden’s comments:
Joe Biden: “Protesting though is not burning and looting. Violence can never be a tactic or tolerated, and it won’t… https://t.co/2n9EblDqvc
‘I am not gonna be confined to Donald Trump’s definition of who I or anybody else is,’ Harris said Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif., laughed when asked during an interview Sunday if she would advocate for a “socialist or progressive perspective” if elected. CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell asked Harris the question during a “60 Minutes” interview with her and the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Citing a 2019 ranking from the nonpartisan organization GovTrack, O’Donnell told the vice-presidential hopeful that she is “considered the most liberal United States senator.” She said that Harris has supported the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-all and legalizing marijuana, all policies that Biden has yet to back.
On Monday, we were amused to note that amid a relentless barrage of Wall Street “analysis” predicting a Blue Wave on Nov 3, or at least a Joe Biden landslide victory, none other than the largest US Bank came out with a jarring counter-narrative when JPMorgan head of global equity strategy Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, said that not only is a Blue Sweep not the best possible outcome – instead it “is expected to be mostly neutral in the short term as it would likely be accompanied by some immediate positive catalysts (i.e. larger fiscal stimulus / infrastructure) but also negative catalysts (i.e. rising corporate taxes)” – but that “an orderly Trump victory as the most favorable outcome for equities (upside to ~3,900).”
Needless to say, this was a striking reversal to the now dominant narrative because over the past few weeks, Wall Street had spent so much digital ink “explaining” just why the Blue Wave scenario is the “best possible” one since the “positive catalysts” would greatly outweigh the negative ones, or said otherwise: dear clients if you believe the polls that Democrats will sweep Republicans, please don’t sell your stocks amid fears of sharply higher corporate and capital gains taxes (and a surge in business-crushing regulations). To which we asked: was Wall Street (or in this case JPMorgan) starting to hedge in case the priced-in “sweep” does not happen, and traders need a fall back “narrative cushion” in case of a Trump win and/or Congress gridlock?
The answer appeared to be yes, because overnight Goldman’s Alessio Rizzi echoed JPM’s sudden skepticism that a “Blue Wave” was virtually assured, writing that while the likelihood of a Democratic Senate majority has risen since September, “more recently it fell from 69% on Oct 8 to 60% based on prediction markets.” And although a Biden victory with a divided congress might also be market friendly, Goldman “thinks it could introduce renewed risks to the current reflationary rotation.” The bank then went on to recommend what it thought was the best trade in case a Blue Sweep does not happen (read about it here).
Finally, as to why JPMorgan was suddenly “hedging” in such a counter-trend way, the JPM strategist wrote that “last week we analyzed voter registration data and their possible implication for State outcomes, while this week we analyzed Twitter sentiment on US election and compared it with the traditional polling data – they all point to a tightening race.”
Which, we wrote, “of course means that JPM needs to prepare a narrative for why a Biden victory is bullish but a Trump victory is even more bullish: just in case anyone gets the crazy idea of selling on Nov 4.“
So fast forward to today, when in another peculiar instance of “doubt” about the fully priced-in “Blue Wave” scenario, a second JPMorgan analyst, this time Nick Panigirtzoglou who authors the popular weekly Flows and Liquidity newsletter, asked the apocryphal question: “What If Trump Wins?”
But why is the largest US bank suddenly uproot the meticulously crafted narrative that Trump, and the GOP, have has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning any of the three major races on Nov 3?
Well, as Panigirtzoglou explains, “polls and betting odds are still pointing to a high probability of a Biden win or a Democratic sweep in next week’s US presidential election.” Of course, this is similar if not identical to the backdrop four years ago when the probability of a Trump win was perceived to be rather low, in fact even lower than Trump’s odds now.
So, JPMorgan continues, what would happen to markets if the US election surprises the consensus like in 2016 and Trump wins again?
According to the JPM strategist, a simple way of answering this question is by looking at the pre-and post-2016 election pattern across asset classes, and consider where pledges from the candidates differ from 2016. This is shown in Figure 6 to Figure 23 across equities, rates, currencies and commodities.
Here are the main findings by looking at these charts:
For US and global equities, the market reaction favored US over non-US global equities. Given the betting odds and polls suggest that a Trump win would again be a surprise, there seems little reason not to expect a similar favoring of US vs. non-US equities. Among equity market sectors, the sectors that saw disproportionate gains relative to the rest of the index include financials and industrials, for both US and non-US equities. For the financials in the US, the reduced prospects for regulatory tightening could again see the sector gain in the event of a surprise Trump win. By contrast, those that lagged the broader index include consumer staples as well as tech.
Regionally, among global equities and FX Asian assets are likely to be sensitive to a continued Trump Presidency as it would likely mean further US/China conflict on trade, technology and investments. Figure 15 and Figure 16 show the performance of the Bloomberg JPM Asian Dollar Index (ADXY) as well as the relative performance of the MSCI Asia Free float index vs. the MSCI AC World. The 2016 election result saw a depreciation on the ADXY in the month after the election and an underperformance in Asian equities relative to the MSCI AC World index. A depreciation/ underperformance of a similar order of magnitude would not be unreasonable as markets price in a continued escalation in the US-China conflict
What about rate markets? Here, it is less clear-cut how different market pricing ought to be under a Biden or Trump Presidency under a split Congress than under a ‘Democratic Sweep’ scenario given the prospect of a more modest further fiscal support package. A clear victory by either candidate could reduce uncertainty, by dispelling fears of a contested outcome, and hence term premia priced in longer-maturity yields. But while the immediate reaction to a ‘Democratic Sweep’ scenario could in principle be to add some uncertainty given the potential for tax policy changes, the prospect of a significant further fiscal package would likely have a larger impact on yields and the curve in the medium term by adding to the already increased issuance needs of the US Treasury as well as potentially higher inflation expectations via infrastructure spending and minimum wage increases. As a result, while under a Trump victory there could be some pressure for further steepening and rise in 10y yields, it is less likely to be of a similar order of magnitude as in 2016 when markets began to price in prospects of significant deficit-financed tax cuts (Figure 17and Figure 18).
What about gold? Figure 19 shows the moves in gold around the time of the 2016 election and currently. However, the 2016 moves came amid a combination of a steepening US yield curve and more than 30bp rise in 10y real yields in the month after the election as markets began to price in deficit-financed tax cuts and infrastructure investment that featured in then candidate Trump’s election campaign. This time around, the prospect for a similar decline in gold prices appears to be more limited for similar reasons to why we see more limited upside for yields and the curve compared to 2016.
Among industrial metals, copper saw a sharp rise in the aftermath of the 2016 result, likely at least in part as markets priced in a prospect of infrastructure investment that then-candidate Trump’s election platform contained. In the current election, infrastructure investment has featured prominently on the Biden campaign platform but not on the Trump campaign, suggesting less of a prospect of a post-election rally in copper in the event of a Trump victory.
What about the dollar? As the global recovery began to take hold after the sharp contraction in 1H20, the trade-weighted dollar gradually gave back its March gains and is currently close to its levels at the start of the year. While questions over around the global cycle, in particular the degree to which its resurgence in Europe and the US would stall the recovery, are clearly key medium-term influences on the dollar, a re-pricing by markets of a Trump victory implying more risk of US exceptionalism and trade wars would likely see market reaction similar to what occurred after the 2016 election. This move in the trade weighted dollar in 2016 was mirrored by declines in both the euro and the yen vs. the dollar as well, and a market reaction to price in further US exceptionalism and trade conflicts could gain see a similar initial reaction.
Tesco have issued an apology after it mistakenly prevented customers from buying sanitary products as part of new lockdown measures in Wales. On Sunday (October 25), Wales Minister Mark Drakeford said supermarkets have “discretion” over the ban on selling non-essential items during the nation’s firebreak lockdown.