Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Today's Links

1-- Trump's smoke and mirrors economic surge 



The tax cut is putting more than $150 billion into people’s pockets this year. While it is true that the bulk of this money is going to the rich, who will spend a smaller share of their tax cut than a middle income household, the extent to which they will increase their spending is not zero...

Consumption increased at a 4.0 percent annual rate in the quarter, making it the largest contributor to the quarter’s growth. This is largely a bounce back from weak growth of 0.5 percent in the first quarter. The two quarter average is 2.3 percent, which is respectable, but hardly exceptional. It is certainly plausible that consumption will continue to grow at roughly this pace....

 

 

the biggest factor in the jump in investment was an increase in investment in mining structures (primarily oil and gas drilling) of 97.1 percent. While this increase may be partly attributable to Trump’s drill everywhere policy, the more likely cause is the increase in world oil prices from around $40 a barrel three years ago to close to $70 today.

 

There were similar increases in spending on drilling under Obama. For example, it rose at 84.5 percent and 65.9 percent annual rates in the first and second quarters of 2010 as energy prices jumped back from recession lows. Whether or not Trump gets credit depends on whether we think he is responsible for the rise of world oil prices.
Much has been made of a surge in exports that seems to be the result of an effort by foreigners to stock up in anticipation of retaliatory tariffs. This is very plausible. Net exports added 1.06 percentage points to growth. This surge will not recur in future quarters. That means net exports will likely be a drag on growth....


this effect will be largely offset by inventories. A reduction in inventories subtracted a percentage point from growth in the second quarter. This component will almost certainly add to growth in the next two quarters.

One item that deserves attention is the 1.1 percent drop in residential investment, the second consecutive quarterly decline. This is a modest drag on growth, but more importantly it indicates that housing construction may be leveling off. This means that we may not see the increase in housing supply needed to put a check on rental inflation.

The Fed’s interest rate hikes are the immediate culprit here, as the anticipation of higher short-term rates have caused the 30-year mortgage rate to increase by roughly a percentage point from levels of two years ago. The tax cuts do play a role also, since the Fed is (rightly or wrongly) responding to what it sees as the risk that the tax cuts may over-stimulate the economy, causing inflation....

On net, we can say that the economy is likely getting some near-term boost from the tax cut, which could lead to a growth rate of close to 3.0 percent in 2018...

It is important to point out that for almost everyone but economist types, growth does not mean anything. People care about whether they have a job and whether their pay is rising. On the last point, the news has not been good, as real wages have been flat over the last year.

However, it is important to note that without the increase in energy prices they would have risen 0.5-0.7 percent. That is not a great story given how much ground has to be made up for workers to get their share of growth, but at least it is movement in the right direction. And, as the energy price hikes of last summer move out of the 12-month window, we will be looking at real wage gains of 0.5 to 0.7 percent, what workers were seeing before Donald Trump became president.

2-- The Yellow Peril Comes to Washington


And now there is the assault on the First Amendment, with legislation currently in Congress making it a crime either to criticize Israel or support a boycott of it in support of Palestinian rights. When those bills become law, which they will, we are finished as a country where fundamental rights are respected.
And what has Russia done in comparison to all this? Hardly anything even if all the claims about its alleged interference are true. So when will Mueller and all the Republican and Democratic baying dogs say a single word about Israel’s interference in our elections and political processes? If past behavior is anything to go by, it will never happen.

3--Housing Turnaround?

 

This story is playing out nationwide as a few things are hitting at the same time.  Inventory is slowly rising, mortgage rates are having an impact, and people are seeing price gains slowing so why rush?...

 

The housing market has been running on fumes and has been in the tailwind of an incredible stock market recovery.  People would like to buy but simply do not have the budget to do so.  You are also seeing foreign money soften up a bit as the current administration has been tough on China.  Is this good or bad is yet to be seen but in places like San Francisco, Arcadia, and Irvine you have an entire cottage industry catering to Chinese money to buy real estate.
The market is slowing down.  The question yet to be seen is whether this will be a minor correction or an actual bust. We’ve clearly been in a boom.  What comes next?...

 


They were fed up with Seattle’s home bidding wars. They were only in their late 20s but had already lost two battles and were ready to renew with their landlord. Then, in May, their agent called.
Suddenly, Redfin’s Shoshana Godwin told the couple, sellers were getting jumpy, even here in the hottest of markets. Homes that should have vanished in days were sitting on the market for weeks.

 There was a three-bedroom fixer-upper just north of the city going for $550,000, down from more than $600,000. They made the leap in early June and had closed by the end of the month, for list price.

The U.S. housing market — particularly in cutthroat areas like Seattle, Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas — appears to be headed for the broadest slowdown in years. Buyers are getting squeezed by rising mortgage rates and by prices climbing about twice as fast as incomes, and there’s only so far they can stretch.”

4--America's housing market is raising a 'large red flag' for the economy

 

  • Friday's gross-domestic-product report showed that residential investment, which includes construction and brokers' fees, fell for a third quarter out of four.
  • It was another confirmation that the US housing market is in a slowdown.
  • Sales of luxury and affordable housing have been declining for months. 
  •   The US housing market is slowing down.
    Friday's report on US economic growth spurred a presidential victory lap after it showed that gross domestic product rose at a 4.1% annual rate, the fastest in nearly four years.
    But it had an ugly detail about the housing market that added to evidence of a slump: Residential investment, which includes construction and brokers' fees, shrank in the second quarter for a third quarter out of four.
    Add this to the worst housing affordability in nearly a decade and rising mortgage rates, and you have a recipe for a slowdown.

    Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a recent note: "It's very hard to escape the conclusion that the market has peaked for this cycle, given the rise in mortgage rates since last fall and the gradual tightening of lending standards."

    Buyer fatigue

    Buyer fatigue is building, even though a strong jobs market and the maturing of millennials mean there's plenty of demand for houses.
    Evidence of this fatigue came last week in several sales reports.
    Existing-home sales, which make up about 90% of the market, fell for a third straight month in June to an annual pace of 5.38 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. And new residential construction, or housing starts, softened in June to an annual rate of 1.17 million units, according to the Census Bureau. In March, starts were at an annual rate of 1.33 million.

    At the cheaper end, the market has "crossed an affordability threshold" after many years of increasing prices, low inventory, slow wage growth, and, now, rising mortgage rates, Miller said. 


    5--The U.S. Housing Market Looks Headed for Its Worst Slowdown in Years


    The U.S. housing market -- particularly in cutthroat areas like Seattle, Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas -- appears to be headed for the broadest slowdown in years. Buyers are getting squeezed by rising mortgage rates and by prices climbing about twice as fast as incomes, and there’s only so far they can stretch.
    “This could be the very beginning of a turning point,” said Robert Shiller, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who is famed for warning of the dot-com and housing bubbles, in an interview. He stressed that he isn’t ready to make that call yet.

    “Home prices are plateauing,” said Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London. “People are saying: Let’s just bide our time, there’s no great rush. If we wait six or nine months we’re not going to lose out on getting a foot on the ladder.” That means “we’re now looking at a period in which prices move more or less sideways, or increase no more quickly than growth in incomes, over the next few years.”

    “Affordability is becoming a major headache for homebuyers,” said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist. “You are seeing home sales rising in Alabama, where things are affordable. But in places like California, people aren’t buying.””

    6--How Bernanke intensified problems in financial markets to extort TARP bailout from congress


    When the financial crisis reached its peak in the fall of 2008, he deliberately misled Congress to help rush through the passage of the TARP. To highlight the immediate threat to the economy, Bernanke said the commercial paper market was shutting down. This would have meant that even healthy companies would be unable to borrow the money needed to meet their payroll and other regular expenses. Bernanke waited until the weekend after the TARP was passed to announce plans to establish a special Fed lending facility to support the commercial paper market. This move called attention to the fact that Bernanke had the authority to support the commercial paper market without any action from Congress.

    7--Bernank's sleight of hand


    This is not the first time that Bernanke has done Wall Street's bidding. When Goldman, Citigroup and the rest were on the edge of bankruptcy, Bernanke deliberately misled Congress to help pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp). He told them that the commercial paper market was shutting down, raising the prospect that most of corporate America would be unable to get the short-term credit needed to meet its payroll and pay other bills.
    Bernanke neglected to mention that he could singlehandedly keep the commercial paper market operating by setting up a special Fed lending facility for this purpose. He announced the establishment of a lending facility to buy commercial paper the weekend after Congress approved Tarp.

    8--Bernanke's extortion racket


    Ben Bernanke contributed to this view when he answered a question at a press conference:
    "I see the financial markets as already quite fragile. The credit markets aren't working. Corporations aren't able to finance themselves through commercial paper."
    The weekend after Congress passed the TARP, Bernanke announced that the Fed would begin to directly buy the commercial paper of non-financial corporations.
    The Conspiracy Theory:
    Bernanke was working with Paulson and the Bush administration to promote a climate of panic. This climate was necessary in order to push Congress to hastily pass the TARP without serious restrictions on executive compensation, dividends, or measures that would ensure a fair return for the public's investment.
    Advertisement
    Bernanke did not start buying commercial paper until after the TARP was approved by Congress because he did not want to take the pressure off, thereby leading Congress to believe that it had time to develop a better rescue package.
    New Evidence for the Conspiracy Theory.

    At a speech at the Press Club this week, Bernanke was asked why he waited until after the TARP was approved before he began buying up commercial paper of non-financial corporations. He responded:

    "Well, look at the calendar. The financial crisis intensified in mid-September and got worse to the point where there was a huge global financial crisis in early October. During that interim, Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which includes the TARP. And that TARP, the money there was very useful in helping to stabilize the banking system in early October. There was this critical moment. I think it was about the 14th of October, following a G7 meeting here in Washington, where not The United States but countries around the world took very strong actions in terms of capital, in terms of guarantees and other actions to try to stabilize the world banking
    system.

    It was during this period that the commercial paper market and the money markets, money market mutual funds showed the worst stress. It was in those 18 weeks that that stress appeared and those markets began to dysfunction. And we can't set these programs up immediately. It takes a bit of time to get them structured legally and to arrange for the market terms and to work with market participants and so on. But we got it going actually quite quickly. It's been now more than three months since the commercial paper facility has been functioning. And it seems to have had notable impact on both commercial paper rates and on the terms of finance available."

    This statement, that the commercial paper market first seized up in October would seem to contradict Mr. Bernanke's statement of September 24th: "Corporations aren't able to finance themselves through commercial paper."
    The question here: why aren't any reporters asking questions about this?

    8--PUBLIC ENEMY #1: BERNANKE BLACKMAILS CONGRESS

    Dean Baker, writing in "Bernanke's Bad Money" for Counterpunch, concludes that Lehman Brothers was offered up as a sacrificial lamb by Bernanke and Hank Paulson as a way of terrifying Congress into giving money (remember Paulson demanded a trillion dollars, with no strings attached, and immunity from later prosecution) to bail out Wall Street bankers, all apparently but...you guessed it, Lehman Brothers. ...

    Mike Whitney, in his article "Politics/Credit Crisis Politics" writes: "Lehman Bros. didn't die of natural causes; it was drawn-and-quartered by high-ranking officials at the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Most of the rubbish presently appearing in the media, ignores this glaring fact. Lehman was a planned demolition... concocted by ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, who wanted to create a financial 9-11 to scare Congress into complying with his demands for $700 billion in emergency funding (TARP) for underwater US banking behemoths. The whole incident wreaks of conflict of interest, corruption, and blackmail."

    According to Whitney, the point of the whole exercise was to blackmail Congress into giving Paulson TARP money to save, foremost, AIG, which, as we know, owed a significant amount of money to Goldman Sachs as well as many other banking concerns.  A collapse of AIG would have left Goldman Sachs (and many other teetering global financial institutions) holding a very ugly and insubstantial bag of dirty laundry.

    Whitney continues: "Lehman had potential buyers, including Barclays, who probably would have made the purchase if Bernanke and Paulson had merely provided guarantees for some of their trading positions. Instead, Treasury and the Fed balked, thrusting the knife deeper into Lehman's ribs. They claimed they didn't have legal authority for such guarantees. Its a lie. The Fed has provided $12.8 trillion in loans and other commitments to keep the financial system operating without congressional approval or any explicit authorization under the terms of its charter. The Fed never considered the limits of its "legal authority" when it bailed-out AIG or organized the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan pushing $30 billion in future liabilities onto the public's balance sheet. The Fed's excuses don't square with the facts."

    Dean Baker recounts what transpired last September 15:
    Last September, when he (Bernanke) was telling Congress that the economy would collapse if it did not approve the $700 billion TARP bailout, he warned that the commercial paper market was shutting down.

    This was hugely important because most major companies rely on selling commercial paper to meet their payrolls and pay other routine bills. If they could not sell commercial paper, then millions of people would soon be laid off and the economy would literally collapse.

    What Mr. Bernanke apparently forgot to tell Congress back then is that the Fed has the authority to directly buy commercial paper from financial and non-financial companies. In other words, the Fed has the power to prevent the sort of economic collapse that Bernanke warned would happen if Congress did not quickly approve the TARP. In fact, Bernanke announced that the Fed would create a special lending facility to buy commercial paper the weekend after Congress voted to approve the TARP....

    The reason Bernanke did not underwrite the commercial paper market was, if he had, he wouldn't have been able to blackmail congress. He needed the rising anxiety from the crisis to achieve his goals.

    Mike Whitney writes: "The fact is, Paulson and Bernanke deliberately created the crisis in order to jam their widely-reviled TARP policy down the public's throat. The New York Times thinks the public should be grateful for that because, otherwise, the crooked insurance giant, AIG, would not have been bailed out and Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street heavies would not have been paid off. This tells us everything we need to know about the Gray Lady's true loyalties."

    When Lehman filed for bankruptcy, panic spread throughout the markets

  • Whitney explains it this way: "The reason panic spread through the markets after Lehman filed for bankruptcy, was because the Reserve Primary Fund, which had lent Lehman $785 million (and received short-term notes called commercial paper) couldn't keep up with the rapid pace of withdrawals from worried clients. The sudden erosion of trust triggered a run on the money markets.

    The Bloomberg article 'Sleep-At-Night-Money Lost in Lehman Lesson Missing $63 Billion', written by Bob Ivry, Mark Pittman and Christine Harper,  gives a blow-by-blow account of the Lehman tragedy:...

    It was commercial paper and the $3.6 trillion money market industry that traded the notes that came close to sinking the global economy -- not a breakdown in credit-default swaps or bank-to-bank lending...  Commercial paper was the crystallizing force that froze credit markets, choking off the ability of companies and banks to borrow money and pay bills...

     And now the smoking gun.  Bernanke had the authority and the means to deal with this crisis in the commercial paper markets.  But he did not act.  Why did he not act immediately to stem the crisis?  Because Bernanke and Hank Paulson, together, realized they could use this second crisis as an intensified threat to the global economy and point fingers of responsibility at Congress for not approving quickly enough the TARP fund bailout that Wall Street bankers desperately needed. 

    Whitney explains: "Bernanke could have fixed the problem in an instant. All he needed to do was provide explicit government guarantees on money markets and commercial paper. That would have ended the bank-run pronto. But he chose not to. He chose to wait until Congress capitulated so he could net $700 billion for his banking buddies."...

    Mike Whitney presents the following chronology of the fall of Lehman and the rise of Ben Bernanke as the 'savior of the civilized world':
    On Sept 15, 2008, Lehman Bros filed for bankruptcy sending the Dow plummeting 504 points.

    On Sept 17, the Dow falls 449 points in reaction to AIG bailout.

    On Sept 29, the Dow tumbles 777 points after House votes "No" on TARP.

    On Oct 3, the House passes Financial Rescue Plan (TARP) The Dow falls 818 points.

    On Oct 7, the Fed creates the Commercial Paper Funding Facility to backstop the commercial paper market. Two weeks later, Bernanke announces the Money Market Investor Funding Facility to make loans of longer maturities.
    Dean Baker has written in his article "Did Ben Bernanke Pull the TARP Over Our Eyes?' in The American Prospect:
    Bernanke was working with Paulson and the Bush administration to promote a climate of panic. This climate was necessary in order to push Congress to hastily pass the TARP without serious restrictions on executive compensation, dividends, or measures that would ensure a fair return for the public's investment.  Bernanke did not start buying commercial paper until after the TARP was approved by Congress because he did not want to take the pressure off, thereby leading Congress to believe that it had time to develop a better rescue package....


     9--Farage bludgeons media 


    10--Trust in media??



 





 

 

 

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Today's links

1--Violent Coup Fails In Nicaragua, US Continues Regime Change Efforts, Zeese


2--Richard Koo--Balance Sheet Recession


3--US preparing for regime change and war against Iran

 

4--Paul Craig Roberts on the dollar Ponzi--

 

Roberts--"the Ponzi scheme falls apart when it becomes impossible to continue to support the dollar as burdened as the dollar is by debt levels and abundance of dollars that could be dumped on the exchange markets.

This is why Washington is determined to retain its hegemony. It is Washington’s hegemony over Japan, Europe, and the UK that protects the American Ponzi scheme. The moment one of these central banks ceases to support the dollar, the others would follow, and the Ponzi scheme would unravel. If the prices of US debt and stocks were reduced to their real values, the United States would no longer have a place in the ranks of world powers.
The implication is that war, and not economic reform, is America’s most likely future."

 

I concluded on the evidence that half of US imports from China consist of the offshored production of US corporations. Offshoring is a substantial benefit to US corporations because of much lower labor and compliance costs. Profits, executive bonuses, and shareholders’ capital gains receive a large boost from offshoring. The costs of these benefits for a few fall on the many—the former American employees who formerly had a middle class income and expectations for their children.

 

In my book, I cited evidence that during the first decade of the 21st century “the US lost 54,621 factories, and manufacturing employment fell by 5 million employees. Over the decade, the number of larger factories (those employing 1,000 or more employees) declined by 40 percent. US factories employing 500-1,000 workers declined by 44 percent; those employing between 250-500 workers declined by 37 percent, and those employing between 100-250 workers shrunk by 30 percent. These losses are net of new start-ups. Not all the losses are due to offshoring. Some are the result of business failures” (p. 100

In other words, to put it in the most simple and clear terms, millions of Americans lost their middle class jobs not because China played unfairly, but because American corporations betrayed the American people and exported their jobs. “Making America great again” means dealing with these corporations, not with China. When Trump learns this, assuming anyone will tell him, will he back off China and take on the American global corporations?...

The job loss from offshoring also has had a huge and dire impact on Federal Reserve policy. With the decline in income growth, the US economy stalled. The Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan substituted an expansion in consumer credit for the missing growth in consumer income in order to maintain aggregate consumer demand. Instead of wage increases, Greenspan relied on an increase in consumer debt to fuel the economy.
The credit expansion and consequent rise in real estate prices, together with the deregulation of the banking system, especially the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, produced the real estate bubble and the fraud and mortgage-backed derivatives that gave us the 2007-08 financial crash....

The Federal Reserve responded to the crash not by bailing out consumer debt but by bailing out the debt of its only constituency—the big banks. The Federal Reserve let little banks fail and be bought up by the big ones, thus further increasing financial concentration. The multi-trillion dollar increase in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet was entirely for the benefit of a handful of large banks. Never before in history had an agency of the US government acted so decisively in behalf only of the ownership class....

The low interest rates also encouraged corporate boards to borrow money in order to buy back the corporation’s stock, thus raising its price and, thereby, the bonuses and stock options of executives and board members and the capital gains of shareholders. In other words, corporations indebted themselves for the short-term benefit of executives and owners. Companies that refused to participate in this scam were threatened by Wall Street with takeovers.

Consequently today the combination of offshoring and Federal Reserve policy has left us a situation in which every aspect of the economy is indebted—consumers, government at all levels, and businesses. A recent Federal Reserve study concluded that Americans are so indebted and so poor that 41 percent of the American population cannot raise $400 without borrowing from family and friends or selling personal possessions.
A country whose population is this indebted has no consumer market....

As a member of the Plunge Protection Team known officially as the Working Group on Financial Markets, the Federal Reserve has an open mandate to prevent another 1987 “Black Monday.” In my opinion, the Federal Reserve would interpret this mandate as authority to directly intervene. However, just as the Fed can use the big banks as agents for its control over the price of gold, it can use the Wall Street banks dark pools to manipulate the equity markets. In this way the manipulation can be disguised as banks making trades for clients. The Plunge Protection Team consists of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Corporation. As Washington’s international power comes from the US dollar as world reserve currency, protecting the value of the dollar is essential to American power. Foreign inflows into US equities are part of the dollar’s strength. Thus, the Plunge Protection Team seeks to prevent a market crash that would cause flight from US dollar assets. 

5--G.O.P. Faces Another Midterm Threat as Trump Plays the Shutdown Card


Mr. Trump campaigned on a vow to build a “big, beautiful wall” at the nation’s southern border, and 19 months into his presidency, he is clearly frustrated at the lack of movement on his signature issue. Congress passed a measure in March that included $1.6 billion for more than 90 miles of barriers along the border with Mexico, but that sum is far short of the $25 billion the president would need to fulfill his campaign promise...

The president has long demanded legislation that would include the White House’s “four pillars”: a path to citizenship for the young unauthorized immigrants known as Dreamers; an end to the so-called visa lottery, which aims to bring people from underrepresented nations to the United States; deep cuts in legal immigration; and funding for the wall....

Both the House and the Senate rejected immigration bills this year that included the president’s four pillars.

6--Devin Nunes, Washington’s Public Enemy No. 1


we now know that the FBI used informants against Donald Trump’s campaign, that it obtained surveillance warrants based on opposition research conducted for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and that after the election Obama administration officials “unmasked” and monitored the incoming team....

The “bigger picture,” he adds, is that in “a lot of the bad and problematic countries” that Intelligence Committee members investigate, “this is what they do there. There is a political party that controls the intelligence agencies, controls the media, all to ensure that party stays in power. If we get to that here, we no longer have a functioning republic. We can’t let that happen.”

January 2017 also brought then-FBI Director James Comey’s acknowledgment to Congress—the public found out later—that the bureau had been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign since the previous summer, and that Mr. Comey had actively concealed the probe from Congress.  ...

“I would never have conceived of FBI using our counterintelligence capabilities to target a political campaign. If it had crossed any of our minds, I can guarantee we’d have specifically written, ‘Don’t do that,’ ” when crafting legislation, he says. “Counterintelligence is looking at people trying to steal our nation’s secrets or working with terrorists. This if anything would be a criminal matter.”...

in January 2017 when newspapers published leaked conversations between Mike Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, and the Russian ambassador. The leak, Mr. Nunes says, involved “very technical collection, nearly the exact readouts.” It violated strict statutory rules against “unmasking”—revealing the identities of Americans who are picked up talking to foreigners who are under U.S. intelligence surveillance.

Around the time of the Flynn leak, Mr. Nunes received tips that far more unmasking had taken place. His sources gave him specific document numbers to prove it. Viewing them required Mr. Nunes to travel in March to a secure reading room on White House grounds, a visit his critics would then spin into a false claim that he was secretly working with Mr. Trump’s inner circle. They also asserted that his unmasking revelations amounted to an unlawful disclosure of classified information.

That prompted a House Ethics Committee investigation. In April 2017, Mr. Nunes stepped aside temporarily from the Russia-collusion piece of his inquiry, conveniently for those who wished to forestall its progress. Not until December did the Ethics Committee clear Mr. Nunes. “We found out later,” he says, “that four of the five Democrats on that committee had called for me to be removed before this even got rolling.”...

n October 2017 news finally became public that the Steele dossier had been paid for by the Clinton campaign. This raised the question of how much the FBI had relied on opposition research for its warrant applications, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to spy on onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Throughout the fall, the Justice Department refused to comply with Intel Committee subpoenas for key dossier and FISA documents.

By the end of the year, Mr. Nunes was facing off with the Justice Department, which was given a Jan. 3, 2018, deadline to comply with Congress’s demands for information. The New York Times quoted unnamed government officials who claimed the Russia investigation had hinged not on the dossier but on a conversation with another low-level Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. The next day, the Washington Post ran a story asserting—falsely, Mr. Nunes insists—that even his Republican colleagues had lost confidence in him. “So, a leak about how the dossier doesn’t matter after all, and another saying I’m out there alone,” he says. “And right then DOJ and FBI suddenly demand a private meeting with the speaker, where they try to convince him to make me stand down. All this is not a coincidence.”

But Mr. Ryan backed Mr. Nunes, and the Justice Department produced the documents. The result was the Nunes memo, released to the public in February, which reported that the Steele dossier had in fact “formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application”—and that the FBI had failed to inform the FISA court of the document’s partisan provenance. “We kept the memo to four pages,” Mr. Nunes says. “We wanted it clean. And we thought: That’s it, it’s over. The American public now knows that they were using dirt to investigate a political campaign, a U.S. citizen, and everyone will acknowledge the scandal.” That isn’t what happened. Instead, “Democrats put out their own memo, the media attacked us more, and the FBI and DOJ continue to obfuscate.”

It got worse. This spring Mr. Nunes obtained information showing the FBI had used informants to gather intelligence on the Trump camp. The Justice Department is still playing hide-and-seek with documents. “We still don’t know how many informants were run before July 31, 2016”—the official open of the counterintelligence investigation—“and how much they were paid. That’s the big outstanding question,” he says. Mr. Nunes adds that the department and the FBI haven’t done anything about the unmaskings or taken action against the Flynn leakers—because, in his view, “they are too busy working with Democrats to cover all this up.

Mr. Nunes has harsh words for his adversaries. How, he asks, can his committee’s Democrats, who spent years “worrying about privacy and civil liberties,” be so blasé about unmaskings, surveillance of U.S. citizens, and intelligence leaks? On the FBI: “I’m not the one that used an unverified dossier to get a FISA warrant,” Mr. Nunes says. “I’m not the one who obstructed a congressional investigation. I’m not the one who lied and said Republicans paid for the dossier. I’m just one of a few people in a position to get to the bottom of it.” And on the press: “Today’s media is corrupt. It’s chosen a side. But it’s also making itself irrelevant. The sooner Republicans understand that, the better.”

7--Notable & Quotable: Nobody Cares About the Russia Issue


‘Less than 0.5 percent of Americans mentioned “the situation with Russia” as the most important problem facing the country.

Wrong-footing Trump politically is a noble goal. But outside the self-enclosed vivarium that is the Twitter -cable-news-late-night-show axis, nobody actually cares about the Russia issue. In last month’s Gallup poll, less than 0.5 percent of Americans mentioned “the situation with Russia” as the most important problem facing the country—coming in just behind “Children’s behavior/Way they are raised” and far behind “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness.” . . .

Think of it as “the expressive function of the Russia freakout.” Just as there is what Cass Sunstein called “the expressive function of law”—“the function of law in ‘making statements’ as opposed to controlling behavior”—there’s a purpose served by the constant keening over Putin. It conveys liberals’ sense of bewilderment and disorientation at a country they no longer recognize—a feeling not so different from that which motivated the Right’s manifold freakouts in the Obama era.






 Extra links--https://kurtnimmo.blog/2018/07/29/more-russian-election-interference-nonsense/#more-279


https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/06/25/the_mysterious_seven_preludes_of_the_fbis_trump-russia_probe.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4MAsIh3zMA
putin munich

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Today's links

1--Bomb Iran?


he Pentagon has planned a high-intensity air war against Iran that Israel and the Saudis might very well join.  The plan calls for over 2,300 air strikes against Iranian strategic targets:  airfields and naval bases, arms and petroleum, oil and lubricant depots, telecommunication nodes, radar, factories, military headquarters, ports, water works, airports, missile bases and units of the Revolutionary Guards.

Iran’s air defenses range from feeble to non-existent.  Decades of US-led military and commercial embargos against Iran have left it as decrepit and enfeebled as was Iraq when the US invaded in 2003.  The gun barrels of Iran’s 70’s vintage tanks are warped and can’t shoot straight, its old British and Soviet AA missiles are mostly unusable, and its ancient MiG and Chinese fighters ready for the museum, notably its antique US-built F-14 Tomcats, Chinese copies of obsolete MiG-21’s, and a handful of barely working F-4 Phantoms of Vietnam War vintage....

the US and Israeli war plan would aim to totally destroy Iran’s infrastructure, communications and transport (including oil) crippling this important nation of 80 million and taking it back to the pre-revolutionary era.  That was the plan for Iraq, the Arab world’s most industrialized nation. Today Iraq still lies in ruins.
One recalls the words of the great Roman historian, Tacitus: ‘they make a desert and call it peace.’

2--RussiaGate Is a Partisan Freak-Show - Latest Update from Consummate Political Insider, Roger Stone


When there is a particularly important lie or smear or spin that the Democrat-Media axis of sleaze wants to be injected into the news cycle, the specific talking (lying) points will usually be assigned to multiple prominent Democrat spokesliars to be repeated pretty much verbatim in separate appearances on various high profile news outlets (the Sunday morning network shows are most favored)....

The Rosenstein Justice Department is entirely too calculated and manipulative, from all we have now seen, to believe there is not a deep and profound ulterior motive behind its obstinate, even petulant, refusal to produce critical documents at the center of the entire Russian collusion pretextual hoax that, beyond question now, was manufactured

3--Turkey's Erdogan Warns US Will Lose "Strong And Sincere" Ally If It Imposes Sanctions

 

4--US immigration: Over 1,800 children reunited with their parents, but hundreds remain apart

 

The Trump administration has said more than 1,800 children separated at the US-Mexico border have been reunited with parents and sponsors, but hundreds remain apart....

 

President Donald Trump ended the practice of taking children from parents, but a federal judge in San Diego ordered the Government to reunite all the families by the end of day Thursday. However, the efforts will continue.
US District Judge Dana Sabraw has indicated some leeway, given the enormity of the job.
As of Thursday morning, the Government said it reunited 1,442 children 5 and older with their parents in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody (ICE).

An additional 378 were reunited with parents in different locations around the country or given to sponsors, who are often relatives or close family members.
That leaves about 700 who remain apart, including more than 400 whose parents have been deported, officials said.
Those reunions take more time, effort and paperwork as authorities fly children back to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras....

Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who represents the separated families, said before the latest figures were announced that the Government should not be congratulating itself for meeting its "self-defined" deadline.
"The Government shouldn't be proud of the work they're doing on reunification," he said.
"It should just be, 'We created this cruel, inhumane policy … now we're trying to fix it in every way we can and make these families whole.

5--Judge credits, faults administration on family reunification

 

A federal judge commended the Trump administration for reunifying families in its custody with their children after being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, while faulting it for leaving hundreds of families still apart and warning that a better system must be in place.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said the government gets "great credit" after reunifying more than 1,800 children 5 and over with parents or sponsors by Thursday's court-imposed deadline.....

More than 1,800 children 5 and older had been reunited with parents or sponsors as of Thursday. That included 1,442 children who were returned to parents who were in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, and another 378 who were released under a variety of other circumstances.
On a parallel legal front, a federal judge in Los Angeles said Friday that she will appoint an independent monitor to evaluate conditions for immigrant children in U.S. border facilities in Texas following a spate of reports of spoiled food, insufficient water and frigid conditions faced by the youngsters and their parents.

Judge Dolly M. Gee said she reached her decision after seeing a "disconnect" between U.S. government monitors' assessment of conditions in facilities in Texas' Rio Grande Valley and the accounts of more than 200 immigrant children and their parents detailing numerous problems.
"It seems like there continue to be persistent problems," she said during a hearing on a longstanding settlement in a case focusing on the care of children in government custody. "I need to appoint an independent monitor to give me an objective viewpoint about what is going on at the facilities."

 

6--Trump tweets he'd 'shut down' government if Democrats don't fund US-Mexico wall

 

I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

 



 




 


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Today's links

1--New hope for the ever-growing student loan debt bubble?

 

2--Kurds reach deal with Damascus to end Syria conflict

 

An alliance of Kurdish and Arab militants in Syria says it has come to an agreement with the Syrian government to develop negotiations to end violence in Syria.
The announcement was made after the so-called Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), sent a delegation to Damascus for talks with Syrian officials earlier this week. The SDF, itself, is a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants.

The SDC delegation visited Damascus for the first time after President Assad said that he was “opening doors” for negotiations with Syrian Kurds that he said had "apparently become wary" of their unpredictable ally - the United States.
The Kurds then expressed readiness to hand over control of the Eastern Euphrates to the government after Washington withheld its support for the Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Afrin.

The SDC's co-chair Riad Darar said on Friday the talks with Damascus were aimed at "working towards a settlement for northern Syria," as it was time to "solve our problems ourselves."
The group, which is being supported by Washington, has already managed to form an autonomous administration in northern Syria during the country’s seven-year conflict.
Washington’s conflicting plans in Syria, however, have now prompted the Kurdish militants to turn to the government in Damascus

3--Result Of Damascus Meeting: Committees To Develop Negotiations And End War

 

“This meeting resulted to decisions of forming committees at various levels to develop dialogue and negotiations to end the violence and war that ravaged the people and the Syrian society on one hand, and to draw up a road map leading to democratic decentralized Syria,” the SDC said in its statement, according to the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA).

 

3--U.S. Secret Wars in Africa Rage on, Despite Talk of Downsizing

 

4--The Elite Fixation With Russiagate

 

no single act of Donald Trump’s presidency has engendered more criticism than his performance at the Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin. For declining to endorse US intelligence claims that the Kremlin meddled in our election and faulting both countries for the poor state of US-Russia relations, Trump was roundly accused of “shameful,” “disgraceful,” and “treasonous” behavior that has sparked a full-blown “national security crisis.”

But does the American public at large share the prevailing elite assessment? Save for a White House vigil led by two longtime Hillary Clinton staffers and a few scattered rallies—and in stark contrast to mass protests over Trump’s misogyny, Muslim ban, and zero-tolerance immigration policy—Americans have not poured into the streets to confront the “crisis.” A poll by The Hill and the HarrisX polling company found 54 percent support for Trump’s now-scuttled plan for a follow-up summit with Putin at the White House. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that Trump’s post-Helsinki approval rating slightly increased to 45 percent. While the uptick does not necessarily signal an embrace of Trump’s behavior, it is not difficult to see why his numbers did not plummet. In a recent Gallup poll on problems facing the country, the “Situation with Russia” was such a marginal concern that it did not even register. While an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 64 percent believe Trump has not been tough enough on Russia, it also saw a near-even split on whether Putin is a foe or an ally, and 59 percent support for better relations.

5--Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On


On Saturday night, heavily redacted copies of the FBI’s application to wiretap Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page were released. The portion of the 412-page document that was not redacted supported the claims of Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), as well as those made by the majority of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The senators and the representatives had issued reports alleging that the FBI used an unverified Clinton campaign document to secure a wiretap against an American citizen, that the application for the wiretap used circular reporting and lacked verification for its central claims, and that it made materially false claims related to the source’s credibility.

President Trump tweeted triumphantly and hyperbolically about what the documents showed regarding the FBI’s behavior toward his campaign. Whatever you think about Trump’s reaction to the release of the FISA application, the media reaction to the story was disingenuous and even more hyperbolic than the president’s tweets. After a year of continuous and alarming revelations, the media are still more interested in proving the Trump campaign treasonously colluded with Russia than wrestling with the fact that the FBI spied on a presidential campaign, and used dubious partisan political research to justify their surveillance.

The media reaction to both the redacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretap applications and President Trump’s tweets was pure gaslighting. They claimed the FISA applications hurt the critics’ case. It wasn’t that they reported the news that critics of the FISA application felt vindicated while defenders of the wiretap applications also felt vindicated. They wrote as partisans in a war with those skeptical of FISA abuse.....

. The accompanying article completely ignored the criminal referral from Graham and Grassley that buttressed the HPSCI allegations....

 When Department of Justice officials leaked to the media that they had run at least one informant against the Trump campaign, a breathtaking admission by any sense of news judgment, the news was buried in the middle of the story and completely downplayed.
Others joined in with the gaslighting, spending weeks arguing — and I’m not joking here — that running a secret government informant against a campaign is not spying on a campaign.

The Times headline was — hand to God — “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims.” CNN contributor and Obama director of national intelligence James Clapper told the viewing audience that actually “it was a good thing” that Trump’s campaign was spied on. A Washington Post journalist wrote in defense of obscuring the spying: “Trump’s win: We’re debating a ‘spy,’ not an ‘informant.'”...

1. Hillary Clinton and the DNC Secretly Paid for the Dossier

2. The Dossier Was Used to Secure a Wiretap Against a Trump Affiliate

 

One is that wiretaps can be used to obtain information into the past, of the time Page was on the campaign. Another is that the wiretap would capture communications with any Trump campaign members Page spoke with. Another is that the FBI itself claimed in its wiretap application that Page was the conduit between Russia and the campaign.

The case against Page laid out in the wiretap application began with an unverified claim pulled straight out of the dossier. When Page responded to public reporting of the dossier’s claims by denying it, that was also mentioned in the application. The geniuses at the FBI wrote that they don’t believe the news reports of the dossier claims were fed by the dossier author, all evidence to the contrary.

3. Informants Were Run against the Trump Campaign...

If the FBI genuinely believed that Russians were trying to illegally infiltrate the Trump campaign, the proper course of action would be to give the Trump campaign a defensive briefing warning them of the efforts. To run spies human informants, wiretaps, national security letters, and other surveillance against the campaign is truly breathtaking and invasive.

4. The FBI Also Used Secret Subpoenas Against the Trump Campaign

From the same excerpt above:
The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said.
You can, along with the partisan and gaslighting media, claim it’s not a big deal to run human informants or secretly gather intelligence against a presidential campaign. But you can not deny it happened.

 

 

 





 


 

Friday, July 27, 2018


“The Democratic Party is incapable of reform and serves not as a vehicle for change but rather as a graveyard of social movements. ... Left-leaning youth and workers must break free from the ball and chain that keeps them shackled to the Democratic Party. Social movements are the only vehicle that can convince struggling people in this country that the Democratic Party is accountable to Wall Street and Wall Street only.” Danny Haiphong






1--Poll: Huge GOP majority backs Trump's Putin performance

 

2--Q2 GDP Comes In At 4.1%, Highest Since 2014 But Misses "Terrific" Expectations

 

3--BEA: Real GDP increased at 4.1% Annualized Rate in Q2

 

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased at 4.0% annualized rate in Q2, up from 0.5% in Q1.


New home sales for June were reported at 631,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR). This was below the consensus forecast, and the three previous months, combined, were revised down.

Sales in June were up 2.4% year-over-year compared to June 2017.   This was weak YoY growth, especially since was a fairly easy comparison since new home sales were soft in mid-year 2017.

There have been several articles recently about a weaker housing market (see: Has the Housing Market Peaked? (Part 2)).  However I expect new home sales and single family starts will increase further over the next couple of years.

If new home sales weaken further this year, I'd be a more concerned.  But so far, the growth in new home sales in 2018 is about what I expected

5--Has the Housing Market Peaked? (Part 2)

 

6--Letter from Britain—Lost in a Brexit Maze: a Baffled Political Class Dreads the Prospect of Jeremy Corbyn

 

A proper response to the Brexit vote would have recognised that whatever it was, it was a rejection of the status quo, which has obviously become intolerable to much of the British public. Any response to the Brexit vote, which – like May’s plan – seeks to preserve the status quo, is therefore by definition flawed....

 

In the event nothing like that has happened. There has been no debate within the British establishment either about the state of Britain or about what needs to be done to change it. Nor have any serious steps been taken to prepare for the possibility that the negotiations with the EU might be unsuccessful.

The reason for that is that taking a close, hard look at the state of Britain’s society and economy and working out a programme of reform to adjust them to the world after Brexit is something that Britain’s establishment is today both unable and unwilling to do. As beneficiaries of the 1980s Thatcherite settlement they want things to remain as they are, and have no wish or idea of how to change them. Besides, it is doubtful whether they any longer have either the technical skill or the experience, or even the self-confidence to meet such a challenge....

The individual who has come to crystallise for many people the challenge to the status quo is Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran left wing politician who leads the Labour Party. He not only very visibly bested May in last year’s general election, but most certainly does have a set of ideas for taking Britain forward.

Corbyn is one of the most misrepresented figures in British politics. By the standards of earlier Labour politicians he is by no means radical. His desire for a mixed economy, with significant sections brought back into public ownership and certain elements of planning reintroduced, and his support for strong social services and for high investment in state funded education and health care are all to be paid for through progressive taxation. His longstanding opposition to military adventures overseas, as well, all fall squarely within what was once the British Labour Party’s social democratic mainstream. ...

The reality is that political logic clearly points to the need for a Corbyn government. Given that Corbyn is the only leader who is offering a way forward, a government led by him is the only way to restore a sense of direction and coherence. Resisting that logic is simply deepening the crisis and creating more drift. One senses that government has all but broken down, with only administrative tasks still being performed, as senior ministers plot and war against each other, without however having any overarching idea of what they want to do.   

7--Trump thanks Kim for 'fulfilling a promise' with return of Korean War remains

 

8--The Treasonous Democratic Party

 

No one has ever done America more harm than John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, Rod Rosenstein, and the corrput Obama FBI cabal that orchestrated “Russiagate.”

Carlson’s question is on target. However, the real question is why have these obvious traitors clearly engaged in a plot to overthrow the US government not been indicted and arrested? Clearly, the Trump Justice (sic) Department is protecting the traitors. What else to expect with Rod Rosenstein running the Justice (sic) Department. Why did President Trump appoint Rosenstein, who intends to destroy Trump, as de facto head of the Justice (sic) Department? What traitor advised Trump to make this appointment?

Carlson also documents the false, and thereby felonious, warrant to spy on Carter Page obtained by the Obama Justice (sic) Department that intentionally deceived the FISA court in order to get the warrant. There is no doubt whatsoever that this crime took place. All the evidence is available. Yet not a single person has been indicted for the felony of intentionally deceiving a federal court....

No one has ever done America more harm than John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, Rod Rosenstein, and the corrput Obama FBI cabal that orchestrated “Russiagate.”

Carlson’s question is on target. However, the real question is why have these obvious traitors clearly engaged in a plot to overthrow the US government not been indicted and arrested? Clearly, the Trump Justice (sic) Department is protecting the traitors. What else to expect with Rod Rosenstein running the Justice (sic) Department. Why did President Trump appoint Rosenstein, who intends to destroy Trump, as de facto head of the Justice (sic) Department? What traitor advised Trump to make this appointment?
Carlson also documents the false, and thereby felonious, warrant to spy on Carter Page obtained by the Obama Justice (sic) Department that intentionally deceived the FISA court in order to get the warrant. There is no doubt whatsoever that this crime took place. All the evidence is available. Yet not a single person has been indicted for the felony of intentionally deceiving a federal court.

9--CIA/FBI/DOJ Plot To Overthrow The President Of The United States


The evidence is overwhelming that CIA director John Brennan, FBI director James Comey, Robert Mueller, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the Democratic National Committee are engaged in high treason against the American people and the President of the United States and are actively engaged in a plot to overthrow the President of the United States. Yet, the traitorous intelligence officials retain their high security clearances and have not been indicted, arrested, and put on trial for high treason. Rosenstein and Mueller haven’t even been fired from their high positions where they continue to operate in behalf of the overthrow plot.

It shows the untouchable power of the military/security complex when its operatives are so far beyond the reach of law and accountability that they can commit high treason with no consequences to themselves.



The US presstitute media works full time to protect these traitors, because the presstitutes hate Donald Trump and the Americans who elected him much more than they love the US Constitution and the rule of law. This makes the presstitutes accomplices to high treason and subject to arrest and prosecution.

10--Right-wing Islamic populist Imran Khan claims victory in Pakistan elections 


11-- Poll: Majority Of Democrats Believe A Straight-Up Conspiracy Theory

 

A majority of Democratic voters think Russia tampered with vote counts in order to help President Donald Trump win the 2016 election, despite there being no evidence whatsoever to support that claim, a new poll shows.

Fifty-five percent of Democrats believe it’s either “definitely true” or “probably true” that “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected president,” according to a YouGov/Economist survey published Wednesday.

In contrast to Democratic voters, 69 percent of independents and 87 percent of Republicans said it’s “probably not true” or “definitely not true” that Russia tampered with voting tallies, the survey showed.

U.S. intelligence officials definitively concluded both that Russia meddled in American politics in the run-up to the 2016 election — including by hacking Democratic campaign emails — and that Russia’s cyberattacks didn’t affect final vote counts
The U.S. intelligence community listed that conclusion in its January 2017 report on Russian meddling — an assessment the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed in its own report in May.
Former Obama Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has also repeatedly debunked the claim that Russia tampered with votes in the 2016 election.


The survey was carried out between July 22 and 24 and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

12--Nunes: House Intel probing whether informants gathered data on Trump, Russia prior to authorized probe

 

"Is it your belief it is likely that there was activity going on in advance of the start of that official FBI investigation?" Sexton asked. 
“I will just tell you we wouldn’t be asking those questions if we didn’t think we had some suspicion of that," Nunes responded. "The problem with this is, running informants into political campaigns, or political campaign actors on the counterintelligence side especially, is a major problem."

"It’s because we give special powers to our counterintelligence officials because really a lot of Americans' basic rights are taken away through that process because it’s dealing with national security, it’s usually high level," he continued. 

"So there should be a very high bar before you open up a counterintelligence investigation. So, if you are running informants into campaigns before or after you open an official investigation, most Americans, when you sit them down and talk to them, they know that that’s something really bad and that only happens in third world countries," he said.

Nunes's comments come after a group of conservative House lawmakers introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the federal probe into Russia's election interference since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last year.

13-- Why Rosenstein is Being Charged with “High Crimes and Misdemeanors


“Mr. Rosenstein oversaw the potentially improper authorization of FISA searches and electronic surveillance of members of the Trump campaign,” states Article 5 of the impeachment document. “As evidenced by the July 21, 2018 release of the Carter Page FISA application, under Mr. Rosenstein’s supervision, the ‘dossier’ compiled by Christopher Steele on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed a material part of the FISA application. Under Mr. Rosenstein’s supervision, the Department of Justice and FBI intentionally obfuscated the fact the dossier was originally a political opposition research document before the FISC.”...

So far, the committees have uncovered disturbing evidence that exposes a pattern of behavior by FBI and DOJ officials to cover-up and withhold information from not only the congressional committees but from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approved the warrant to spy on Page. The investigations have uncovered that Steele’s dossier, which remains unverified, was used as the bulk of the evidence presented to the secret court to launch an investigation into President Trump’s campaign, according to congressional sources.

Rosenstein, who signed off on the fourth FISA application on Page, would have been well aware of the information contained in the dossier and also what may have been omitted by the FBI when it turned its application over to the FISC judges.
From the Impeachment Articles
  • Rosenstein failed to produce documents requested by the Judiciary Committee.
  • DOJ has failed to produce documents pertaining to the FISA application or relating to FISA applications on Page or individuals on the Trump campaign.
  • Failed to produce documents or communications referring or relating to the FISC (secret court) and hearings, deliberations and transcripts related to FISC applications on Page or the Trump campaign and Trump Administration.
  • All documents and communications referring or relating to defensive briefings by DOJ or FBI regarding the 2016 campaign.
  • All documents and communications regarding any possible FISA discussions about the Clinton Foundation or persons associated or in communication with the Clinton Foundation.
Rosenstein’s Failure to comply and obstruct Congressional Investigations
  • Rosenstein “attempted to conceal certain facts as documents provided to Congress were heavily and unnecessarily redacted.” According to the impeachment articles, “most of the redacted documents containing material investigative information did not contain law-enforcement-sensitive information, the Department’s stated basis for redactions.”
  • Rosenstein’s DOJ redacted the price of (former) FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s $70,000 conference table because it was potentially embarrassing information for the FBI.
  • The DOJ under Rosenstein redacted FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s personal relationship with FISC Judge Rudolph Contreras, remember this story.
  • Also, under Rosenstein, the DOJ redacted the names of high-ranking Obama administration officials, such as former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. The DOJ also redacted the names of high-ranking FBI officials, such as former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

14--British intelligence passed Trump associates' communications with Russians on to US counterparts  from CNN???!!! april 2017


15--Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On