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Massachusetts Taxpayers Sue Over Anti-Semitic, Pro-Islam School Lessons

A group of Massachusetts-based taxpayers are suing the school committee in the city of Newton, a wealthy, liberal enclave, over what they claim is the leadership’s ongoing promotion of anti-Semitic school materials and the promotion of Islamic religious beliefs, according to an announcement from the organization handling the lawsuit. Education Without Indoctrination, a local community group driving the lawsuit, “claims multiple violations of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law stemming from the school committee’s handling of a burgeoning scandal over anti-Semitic lessons and the promotion of Islamic religious beliefs as objective facts in the public school district’s history classes,” according to a press release from the group. The lawsuit stems from a controversy of Newton Public Schools use of what the group claims are “unvetted educational materials” produced by the Saudi Arabian oil company ARAMCO and the Qatari government, which has long been cited for its funding of terrorism. “In teaching world history, Newton Public Schools (NPS) use unvetted educational materials funded by the Saudi oil company ARAMCO and the government of Qatar. As a result, Newton public school students are propagandized with materials that slander Israel and the Jewish people, and that falsify history to promote the Islamic religion in public schools,” the press release states. “Just this past May, Newton North High School invited an anti-Semitic group to screen Palestinian propaganda films to its students,” it continues. “For...

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Global Stocks Slump, US Stocks Jump Despite Economic Data Dump

After a week like that, this seemed appropriate… Before we get started, let’s note that all is not well in the world (despite the constant happy-talk on ‘Murican media)… Global stocks are down 14% from their all-time-high in January…   31-month lows for SHCOMP as Chinese stocks had another ugly week… (3rd biggest weekly drop since Jan 2016)   “The Chinese stock market does not reflect the speed of the Chinese economy” is what the mainstream media constantly wants to reassure. There’s just one thing… Asia mega-tech (TATS – Tencent, Alibaba, Taiwan Semi, Samsung) crashed this week…   European stocks were all lower too…   But of course, US equities ended higher… again… The Dow and S&P are no up 6 weeks in a row – because noting else matters. NOTE Nasdaq ended the week lower… US macro data is the most disappointing in 11 months, but stocks love it… US stocks were on their own…   And it was all defensives…   Tesla was clubbed like a baby seal as Elon Musk’s NYT confessional failed to create the “feel sorry for me” narrative he hyped for… (worst day since March and worst week for Tesla stocks since Feb 2016 – after the best week since May 2013) TSLA Bonds are leading…   FANG Stocks were all ugly too…   But AAPL is soaring to new record highs –...

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After Death Threats, Manafort Judge Gets Federal Protection; Jury To Resume Deliberations Monday

The judge in Paul Manafort’s Virginia trial for bank and tax fraud revealed in open court on Friday that he has received death threats, and is now traveling with the protection of the US Marshals Service.  “I have the marshal’s protection,” Ellis said. “I don’t even go to the hotel alone. I won’t even reveal the name of the hotel.” “I had no idea this case excited this emotion in the public,” he added. Manafort also refused to release the names of the jurors at the request of a coalition of news organizations, citing safety reasons. The Washington Post, New York Times, AP, CNN, NBC, Politico and Buzzfeed all requested the names of jurors deliberating in the Manafort case.  “I don’t feel it’s right if I release their names,” said Ellis.  BREAKING: #Manaforttrial judge won’t release names of jurors citing safety reasons. Says he is under 24/7 US Marshals protection after threats and said “I had no idea this case excited this emotion in the public.” — Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) August 17, 2018 Meanwhile, the jurors told Ellis in a Friday afternoon note that they are unlikely to reach a verdict before the weekend, and would like to leave at 5 p.m. so one of the jurors can attend an event. Ellis said he would reconvene court at 10 minutes to 5 p.m. to discuss when they would like...

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Buy Gold, Sell Small Caps – PIMCO Warns Late-Cycle Risks Are Rising

Authored by Mihir Worah via PIMCO, EXECUTIVE SUMMARY At this stage in the cycle, investors should consider inflation risk, market dispersion, recession risk and other key factors we discuss in our midyear update. We identify five opportunities for the near term as well as provide updated asset allocation views and positioning. Investment opportunities, from an asset allocation view, include shorter-maturity bonds, gold, and large cap equities. There are ample signs of change in the wind for investors. The Federal Reserve is raising short-term interest rates, and U.S. inflation is at target for the first time since 2012. The global trade order that has existed for decades is being disrupted. Several economic indicators are running hot (see Figure 1) even as the current U.S. expansion has begun its tenth year. Volatility is higher as some investors price a dire outcome while others are more sanguine, creating relative value opportunities. In this midyear update to our outlook, detailed in our paper “Singles and Doubles,” we discuss some medium- to longer-term themes relating to late-cycle investing as well as some shorter-term opportunities arising from current market dynamics. Four key themes INFLATION We see significant risk of an uptick in inflation, as detailed in our paper, “Inflation Awakening.” We believe investors should understand the inflation sensitivity, or “inflation beta,” of their portfolios. Traditional stocks and bonds tend to respond negatively to inflation surprises...

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NY Times Story Tries to Tie Kavanaugh to Judge Who Didn’t Even Know Who He Was

The New York Times on Thursday ran an article about the latest Democratic line of attack on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh without bothering to contact the man at the center of the story. The Times reviewed emails that Kavanaugh sent as a White House lawyer in the George W. Bush administration during the confirmation process for Charles Pickering Sr., and outlined Democrats’ contention that Kavanaugh may have misled Congress when he said he did not “primarily” handle Pickering’s confirmation for an appeals court seat. National Review senior writer David French, an accomplished attorney, contacted Pickering, however, and found out the Times never reached out to him for the article. What the article did provide was Democrats’ point of view that Kavanaugh did not testify truthfully to the Senate in 2006 when he said Pickering was “not one of the judicial nominees that I was primarily handling.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) accused Kavanaugh of leading “critical aspects” of that confirmation fight, but Pickering told French he did not even know who Kavanaugh was at the time. “While I worked with attorneys in the White House Counsel’s office, I cannot recall a single interaction with Brett Kavanaugh about my judicial nomination. I do not even remember knowing his name at the time,” Pickering told French. “His 2006 testimony is accurate.” The email record shows Kavanaugh did not have...

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The Turkish “Doom Loop” In One Chart

In a scathing report published earlier today, rating agency Fitch which last month downgraded Turkey to BB, “outlook negative”, warned that the moves taken by the Turkish government remain insufficient to restore credibility, and said that the incomplete political response cannot fully address underlying causes of lira’s fall, namely large current account deficit & external financing requirements, the country’s burgeoning USD-denominated debt load and added that even should the country raise rates – which Erdogan has vowed he won’t do – the abrupt tightening in financial conditions will sharpen the slowdown in GDP growth already under way. In short, “the absence of an orthodox monetary policy response to the lira’s fall, and the rhetoric of the Turkish authorities have increased the difficulty of restoring economic stability and sustainability.” Yet while traders have speculated that a rate hike, while insufficient, would be a welcome first step toward stabilizing the Turkish economy (along with an IMF bailout and/or capital controls) and is far more needed than tinkering with the Lira’s liquidity conditions to “burn the shorts” (to borrow a phrase from Elon Musk), some have suggested that even a rate hike would no longer be sufficient to prevent the death spiral that Turkey finds itself in. As Bloomberg’s Marcus Ashworth wrote recently, “officials need to demonstrate a total change of attitude, and clearly signal that this won’t be a case of...

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Cuomo Backpedals: ‘My Family Is Evidence of American Greatness’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) appears to be feeling the backlash after saying earlier this week that America “was never that great.” Cuomo held a conference call with reporters on Friday in which he attempted to walk back his controversial remarks from two days earlier, saying that “of course America is great” and his “family is evidence” why, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. “The expression I used the other day was inartful, so I want to be very clear,” Cuomo said. “Of course America is great and of course America has always been great. No one questions that.” Cuomo, the eldest son of the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, added that if anyone wanted proof of “American greatness,” they needed to look no further than his family. “As you know, my family is evidence of American greatness,” Cuomo said. “My grandparents came to this country as poor immigrants and their son became governor and his son became governor. That’s never been a question.” Cuomo, a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, held the conference call after stirring controversy with a statement he made on Wednesday to take a shot at President Donald Trump and his “make America great again” slogan. Speaking at an event for women and girls, Cuomo said that “we are not going to ‘make America great again'” because America “was never that great” in the first...

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Rosenberg: “Is The Stock Market Flashing An Anti-Growth Signal?”

August has been an ugly month. Look around the world and most assets are suffering as the lagged reality of shrinking central bank balance sheets and a Fed-enabled dollar-shortage has sparked a renewed anxiety the likes of which we have not seen for a decade. There’s just one thing – despite all this turmoil, US stocks remain the cleanest dirty shirt as investor ignorance or faith continues to beggar belief. David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates, feels the same way – questioning market participants’ cognitive dissonance: “The ‘Shining City on the Hill’ so far this month has seen eight economic data releases miss, three beat and one come in as expected. Nice start to Q3.“ The ‘Shining City on the Hill’ so far this month has seen eight economic data releases miss, three beat and one come in as expected. Nice start to Q3. — David Rosenberg (@EconguyRosie) August 16, 2018 Visually it is easy – US Macro data plunged to 11-month lows today as US equities remain somewhat bulletproof… A look around the world and it’s clear that the fecal matter is starting to hit the rotating objects in almost every asset class and geography. As Rosenberg exclaimed last week, “The only folks that can’t see it in the FX and commodity markets spend too much of their day gazing at the SPX...

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Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party’s “Three-Headed Monster”

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, The faction that used to be the Democratic party can be described with some precision these days as a three-headed monster driving the nation toward danger, darkness, and incoherence. Anyone interested in defending what remains of the sane center of American politics take heed: The first head is the one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the “intel community” — especially the leadership of the FBI — to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented. The “doctors” of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as “Russian collusion.” An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease. The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible. With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous — and perhaps subject to malpractice charges...

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Stocks, Yuan Jump On Reports Of US-China “Roadmap” For Trade-Talks

US equity markets are jumping to the highs of the day after the Wall Street Journal reports  that Chinese and U.S. negotiators are drawing a road map for talks to end trade deadlock, culminating with meetings between U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at multilateral summits in November, citing officials in both nations. As WSJ notes the planning represents an effort on both sides to keep a spiraling trade dispute—which already has involved billions of dollars in tariffs and comes with the threat of hundreds of billions more—from torpedoing the U.S.-China relationship and shaking global markets. The algos immediate reaction was simple – BTFD… The Dow is up 150 points to its highest since Feb 27th… And the yuan is also rallying…   A nine-member delegation from Beijing, led by Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, will hold meetings with U.S. officials led by the Treasury undersecretary, David Malpass, on Aug. 22 and Aug....

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