Tuesday, June 7, 2016

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1--KING: Hillary Clinton did not win the Democratic Primary, she won a secret survey of party elites

On Monday, on the eve of the most important day in the primary, on a day where not a single vote was cast, Hillary Clinton was surprisingly declared the winner of the Democratic Primary.
Tuesday was scheduled to be the single biggest day of the entire Democratic Primary season with a total of 694 pledged delegates up for grabs in California, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico.

In the past 45 days alone, more than 650,000 new voters registered in California and the state announced that with 72% of available voters registered, it was the highest percentage of people ever registered for primaries in the state.

This should have been a celebration for the Democratic Party as it welcomed record numbers of new voters into the fold. Instead, something far more nefarious and underhanded has happened. New voters didn't put Hillary Clinton over the top. Pledged delegates didn't seal the deal. It wasn't a recount of a primary or caucus.

It was a survey - an anonymous survey.
Yes, you read that correctly - a survey. The Associated Press conducted a secret survey of super-delegates, in which they promised to protect their identities, and determined that just enough of them, the perfect number actually, said they intended to vote for Hillary Clinton 50 days from now during the Democratic Convention. For the AP, that was enough to go ahead and call the race for her.
Let me say that in a different way.

A secret survey of politicians and party insiders on whether or not they will actually vote for Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia is what the AP used to call this race a done deal.

It's disgusting.

2--Boockvar: The Fed should raise rates

Boockvar believes the federal funds rates "should never be below the level of core inflation," meaning it should now be at nearly 2 percent. On Monday, the effective rate was at 0.37 percent according to the New York Fed, which shows how high the rate needs to climb in Boockvar's estimation. Hence the lack of hypocrisy of Boockvar simultaneously saying the economy stinks and the Fed needs to raise rates. ...

There is no smooth way out of this monetary cycle," Peter Boockvar of the Lindsey Group wrote to CNBC on Tuesday. "We either get the rate adjustment out of the way now or stay on the path that is Japan. I'm for the former even though the odds of both a recession and a bear market are the likely outcomes in the short term."

3--Hillary, Election fixing on the eve of the biggest primary of the campaign

4--Moving houses in childhood increases suicide, death risk

Although sometimes stressful, moving to a new house can be an exciting time. It presents an opportunity to start anew and clear out the clutter that has been accumulating over the last several years. But a new study sheds light on an unexpected downside to moving houses for kids: it could affect their health and well-being into adulthood...

Moves during adolescence carry biggest risks

With this data, the researchers grouped the risk of adverse outcomes due to moving houses in childhood into three categories:

  • Self-directed and interpersonal violence, including attempted suicide, violent criminality
  • Mental illness and substance misuse, including any psychiatric diagnosis
  • Premature mortality, including natural and unnatural deaths.

In total, 37 percent of the people studied moved across a municipal boundary on at least one occasion before the age of 15, and multiple relocations occurred most frequently during infancy.

Overall, the researchers found that the highest risks were among those people who frequently moved during the early adolescence period, which is 12-14 years of age.

5--Assad speaks on the plan to dismantle and fragment Syria

"Aleppo will be the graveyard where the dreams and hopes of the butcher Erodgan will be buried."

“They believed that the core of their political scheme, after their plot of terrorism failed, was to hit the constitution… the scheme was for terrorism to come and fully take over and be given the quality of moderation and later be given the legitimate cover, of course from the outside and not the inside. Their scheme was to undermine the constitution, and consequently create absolute chaos from which the only exit would be a sectarian, ethnic constitution that turns us from people committed to their homeland into conflicting groups that cling to their sects and seek help from strangers against their own.”

The President stressed that the sectarian experiences prove that sectarian regimes turn the people of one homeland into adversaries, and when there are enemies and adversaries anywhere, then in that case each party looks for allies, and the allies in such cases wouldn’t be inside Syria, or inside the homeland, and since relationships would be based on doubt, grudge, and hatred in the sectarian model, then the ally would be found in the outside.

“Here is when the imperialist states come and put themselves forward as protectors of those groups, and their interference in the affairs of that homeland becomes justified and legitimate, and then they move at some point to partitioning when the partitioning scheme is ready. Therefore, and in order to consolidate their scheme, we all notice that the sectarian terms occupy a significant space in the political discourse of the terrorism-sponsoring countries, the regional and the international ones,” he added, stressing that all this seeks to consecrate this concept and make it seem unquestionable or even indispensable, at which point pressure would begin on Syria to accept this logic...

“I will quickly mention the basic principles proposed in the paper: Syria’s sovereignty and unity, rejection of foreign interference, rejection of terrorism, supporting reconciliations, preserving establishments, lifting the siege, reconstruction, and controlling borders. There are also other points that are mentioned in the current constitution and other constitutions like cultural diversity, citizens’ liberties, and independence of the judiciary, and other principles. We didn’t agree to any proposition outside these principles, quite simply, and this is why they refused. ...

He explained that the problem with the truce is that it was reached with international consensus and with the agreement of the State, but there was no commitment by the US side in particular to the terms of this truce, and the US turned a blind eye to the actions of its Saudi and Turkish agents in the region.

President al-Assad noted that the Saudis openly declared their support for terrorism more than once, and Turkey openly sends terrorists across the borders to the northern areas in Syria, all while the Americans turn a blind eye to these practices, stressing that Erdogan, who caused chaos by sending forces into Iraq, blackmailed the Europeans with the refugees issue, and sent thousands of terrorists to Aleppo recently, has been reduced to a political bully or hoodlum......

Just like we liberated Palmyra and many other areas before it, we will liberate every inch of Syria from their grasp. We have no choice other than victory, or else there won’t be a Syria and out children will not have a present or a future

6--Last night, the American public witnessed the most egregious example of mainstream media malpractice of my lifetime (Media and Clinton wage war on democracy)

Last night, Associated Press – on a day when nobody voted – surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.

This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization – incredibly – conceals. The decisive edifice of superdelegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislikes. But for a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it’s only fitting that their nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward and undemocratic sputter.

That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance – rallying behind a Wall-Street-funded, status-quo-perpetuating, multi-millionaire militarist – is grim in the extreme. The Democratic Party got exactly the ending it deserved.

– Glenn Greenwald, writing at The Intercept

7--The Russians evidently thought they could make an honest deal with Kerry/Obama.  Well, they were wrong

The Russians evidently thought they could make an honest deal with Kerry/Obama.  Well, they were wrong.  The US supported jihadis associated with Nusra (several groups) merely "pocketed" the truce as an opportunity to re-fit, re-supply and re-position forces.  The US must have been complicit in this ruse.  Perhaps the Russians have learned from this experience.

5.  In the "truce" the Turks, presumably with the agreement of the US, brought 6,000 men north out of the non-IS jihadi defended area along the Turkish border.  This is the area around Azaz and to the east.  They trucked them around and brought them through Hatay Province in Turkey to be sent back into the Aleppo Province and to the city of Aleppo itself.  These men have been used in capturing Khan Touman SW of the city and in driving the YPG Kurds out of the part of the city that they held.  It will cost a lot of men to restore these situations.  Someone said to me that the border crossings from Hatay are under surveillance.   Well, so what!  That does not prevent the Turks supplying the jihadis through these crossing points.

The same someone said that the result of the "cease-fire" positions Putin well in peace negotiations.  Yawn!  As I have said repeatedly, most sensible people know that you have to win on the battlefield unless you are Kerry and the girls at the WH.  There will now be more blood rather than less because of the Kerry/Obama attempt at cleverness.

8--ECB Readies Corporate Bond Buying to Give Inflation Jolt  

Major central banks across the world have embarked on massive quantitative-easing programs in recent years, pumping newly created money into the economy by purchasing securities such as government bonds. The hope is that the increase in the money supply circulates through the economy via credit expansion and stock and bond prices. Eventually, that should prop up inflation.
With its corporate bond purchases, the ECB is targeting its QE tool much more precisely at financing conditions for businesses....(Hmmm...that wasn't the intention at all, merely the PR hype)

Senior European Central Bank officials are optimistic that the new program will end the rut of low inflation....

The mere announcement of the program has fired up eurozone corporate bond markets and sent the cost of insuring companies against default tumbling, as businesses and investors race to position themselves for the ECB’s purchases.

Companies have issued investment-grade debt—the kind eligible for ECB purchases—worth about $43 billion a month on average since March, up from $16.7 billion in February, according to Dealogic. Even in markets for high-yield bonds, which won’t be eligible, issuance is up and spreads are down. Indices tracking the cost of insuring European companies against default, published by Markit, have fallen sharply since early March, indicating strong investor appetite for European corporate debt, analysts said.

“The ECB has already managed to generate some momentum,” said Mr. Juvyns. “From an investor perspective, [we’ve] seen inflows going into the asset class.”

But Mr. Kemmer at the banking association warned that the ECB might merely be creating bubbles in debt markets. “There is reason to fear that the ECB’s policies will lead directly to new exaggerations in financial markets,” including excessive prices for corporate bonds, he said.

The European Central Bank has big expectations for its corporate-bond buying program, which kicks off Wednesday.Top ECB officials have signaled in recent days that the keenly awaited stimulus program, announced in March, could help finally jolt the eurozone out of a yearslong low-inflation rut.
ECB President Mario Draghi cited corporate bond purchases as a reason for hope when he unveiled an unexpectedly weak set of inflation forecasts last week.

“We have to see the full impact of the measures that we have decided in March and that will have to be implemented yet, in June,” Mr. Draghi said, citing the corporate-bond purchases and a series of cheap four-year loans for banks, due to launch later this month.

The ECB has already bought more than €1 trillion ($1.14 trillion) of mainly government bonds under its quantitative easing program, launched 15 months ago. But this will be the first time that the Frankfurt-based central bank has ventured into the corporate bond market, a move aimed at directly spurring economic activity by lowering businesses’ borrowing costs.

“It’s a game-changer [because] you bring the medicine exactly where you want it to act,” said Vincent Juvyns, global market strategist with J.P. Morgan Asset Management in Brussels.

9--US lenders completed 6,324,545 foreclosures over the last ten years, and it should have been worse. The mortgage and foreclosure debacle of 2008 was cut short by government intervention.

Loan modification deals merely postponed the final resolution until a day when the value of the collateral backing these bad loans was restored. The final resolution of these can-kicked loans will be mortgage and foreclosure crisis 2.0.

10--Commercial real estate boom: Commercial real estate values up nearly 100 percent since 2010. Is this a bubble?

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