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Trump Suggested Using Nukes To Stop Hurricanes From Hitting The US: Report

When it comes to unconventional proposal to control the weather, NBC News probably holds the prize with this gem, which we discussed back in January: “A last-ditch global warming fix? A man-made ‘volcanic’ eruption” to cool the planet. Scientists and some environmentalists believe nations might have to mimic volcanic gases as a last-ditch effort to protect Earth from extreme warming.” Another just as ridiculous proposal to “control” atmospheric events emerged during the Eisenhower era, when a government scientist proposed detonating a nuclear bomb over the eye of a hurricane to counteract convection currents. Why do we bring it up? Because according to an Axios report late on Sunday (which if capital markets weren’t collapsing and China wasn’t on the edge of invading Hong Kong would have been the top watercooler discussing point tomorrow, but as it stands will hardly make the top 10 most shocking weekend developments) President Trump “suggested multiple times to senior Homeland Security and national security officials that they explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the United States.” Is Axios just making stuff up to paint Trump in a crazy light? Perhaps: the publication cotes “sources who have heard the president’s private remarks and been briefed on a National Security Council memorandum that recorded those comments”, so yes, the left-leaning outlet may have simply brought us another example of “fake news.” On the...

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US Army Tries To Calm Residents About Upcoming Wave Of Military Drills In North Carolina

Authored by Nicholas West via ActivistPost.com, Nothing calms the public quite like gunfire in heavily populated areas. Nevertheless, the U.S. Army has plans to do just that starting August 30th and continuing to September 12th in 21 select counties in North Carolina. While exact locations are not being released, according to The Charlotte Observer residents in the following counties should not be alarmed by gunfire, flares and helicopter activity that might be witnessed, as seen in the video below: The 21 counties include Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly, Union and Wake counties, officials said. Efforts to calm the public ahead of time come after some past tragic incidents where at least one soldier died and mass panic ensued after a similar exercise was thought to be a real event. This latest group of drills is part of “Robin Sage” which is a series of ongoing training exercises conducted out of the Fort Bragg military base.  According to The Charlotte Observer, this year’s emphasis is being placed on unconventional warfare where “students will match wits with more seasoned soldiers, who will ‘act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters,’officials said in a release.” It’s not clear in the Observer‘s report if this series of drills has anything to do with a larger U.S. Army mission of preparing for close-combat warfare...

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“We Are Not Mid-Cycle, Or Even Late Cycle, But Rather End Of Cycle”

As Morgan Stanley’s bearish US equity strategist, Michael Wilson writes, at this point, the argument  between bulls and bears really comes down to one question–are we mid cycle or not, a question which Jerome Powell answered three weeks ago in a way that was not satisfactory to the market? As Wilson notes, 4 months ago, the bulls were arguing that the Fed’s dovish pivot was all we needed because the underlying US economy was in very good shape, with some still suggesting the Fed could raise rates again later this year. When the global economy showed signs of weakness in April and May, the bullish narrative changed to Fed cuts offsetting concerns about trade tensions and spillover to the US economy and markets. There was little mention of any endogenous risk to the US economy at the time and so it was couched as an “insurance cut.” This led many to call for a meltup, and for a few weeks that call seemed correct, however that’s when the trade war with China escalated sharply, just as many had expected would happen. Which brings us to today: with the Fed having cut 25bps last month and ending QT 2 months earlier than planned, the bulls are saying the Fed did not do enough and they are now behind the curve. They suggest that the Fed will quickly catch up and...

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The Hidden Costs Behind Every Government Program

Authored by Gor Mkrtchian via The Mises Institute, When the state constructs a new bike lane, school, or begins a new space mission, the natural inclination of the majority is to cheer this new endeavor as progressive. We possess one new structure or have accomplished one new task than before; society has moved forward, the thinking goes. The state is responsible for truly technically impressive or beautiful accomplishments like the Apollo missions, the Moscow Metro, the Palace of Versailles, etc. that most would agree clearly produce benefits for society. Confronted with these concrete and widely celebrated examples of government accomplishments, how can libertarians deny that state action is sometimes a benevolent force in society? Opportunity Cost Leaving aside moral considerations and focusing on utilitarian considerations, the answer revolves around opportunity cost and demonstrated preference. Opportunity cost is the benefits that could have been obtained through the best forgone alternative to an actual employment of resources. If a slice of pizza costs two dollars, and a hamburger costs two dollars, then the opportunity cost of a slice of pizza is a hamburger, and visa-versa. The resources of any given country are scarce, and the “economic question” that must be solved is, how should the limited resources available be applied to best satisfy people’s subjective preferences? Even if, for example, the state builds a library that is beautiful, the books are...

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Appeals Judge Found Shot Dead In Wooded Area Behind Home

A Georgia appeals judge was found shot dead on Saturday in a wooded area behind his Albany home, however officials do not believe it was a homicide, according to the Associated Press (via the Washington Times).  60-year-old Judge Stephen Goss served as a Superior Court judge in Albany for approximately 20 years, after which then-Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to serve as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals in August 2018.  Goss brought “dignity and compassion to the delivery of justice all across this great state,” said Chief Justice Harold D. Melton, who noted that he was known nationally for his work on substance abuse and mental health treatment programs.  “His legacy is as great as our sense of loss,” added Melton. “Our court and this state’s judiciary express our profound condolences to the Goss family.” Gov. Brian Kemp offered his support to the Goss family. “A native Georgian, trusted counsel, and man of integrity, Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Goss will be sorely missed by countless people across our state and nation,” Kemp said in a tweet. “The Kemp family asks God to give comfort to his loved ones, friends, and colleagues in this difficult time.” In 2002, Goss founded Georgia’s first felony mental health court and substance abuse treatment program in Dougherty County. It was one of the early programs of its kind in the country, according to his online bio. The...

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Turkish Lira Flash Crashes, Plummets 15% In Seconds

Update: as fast as it came, the lira flash crash is over, with the currency trading down just 1.5% vs the dollar, surging from a flash crash of 15% just a few minutes earlier. However, with all pre-existing longs now stopped out, we expect that the kneejerk rebound will fade shortly and the currency will resume drifting lower. That said, for those who bought at the lows, congratulations. * * * The Sunday session already had a flash crashy feel to it, when the first casualty as said “feel” became reality was the Turkish Lira, which suddenly snapped, plunging as much as 15% (yes, fifteen percent) against the dollar in a matter of seconds, tumbling to the lowest level since August 2018. There was no news – besides the already tense sentiment that had ravaged trader nerves on Sunday afternoon and dragged futures sharply lower – so it was either a fat finger or a macro fund getting stopped out at a huge loss. One possible reason for the lira weakness: China, which we learned recently, had been supporting Turkish reserves with $1BN in swaps, may will no longer backstop the NATO member. However, that is pure speculation and the reason may simply be Mrs Watanabe, whose stops have a legendary ability of getting steamrolled every time there is macro tremors. More if we see it, but for now...

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Irony: US-Appointed “Democratic President” Of Venezuela Threatens To Boycott Early Elections

Via 21st Century Wire, As with most things about US foreign policy today, the irony of this situation is just too much to bear. After Juan Guaidó, the self-styled ‘democratic president’ of Venezuela, declared himself to be Venezuela’s rightful ruler on January 23, 2019, he was quickly recognised by Washington DC and then dutifully by those nations subservient to US foreign policy dictates. For weeks, opposition ringleaders and pro-US mobs celebrated, believing that by some miraculous sequence of events – that the Maduro “regime” would fall within days. Seven months later, Nicholas Maduro is still in power, and the Guaidó mobs have dissipated. What’s worse, Washington’s “interim leader” Guaidó is now instructing his opposition followers notto participate in the upcoming legislative elections. In other words, he and Washington are shunning democracy altogether in Venezuela. Antiwar.com reports… In an interview on Friday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido announced that he and the rest of the opposition would refuse to participate in any early legislative electionscalled by the Maduro government. Maduro allies have suggested they’d like to hold an election for the National Assembly in January or earlier. The parliament’s term is officially set to end in December of 2020, and elections would normally be held a few months before that. Guaido is the majority leader in the National Assembly, and has used that position to declare himself the rightful ruler of Venezuela. Guaido says the assembly...

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China’s Patience Runs Out As Beijing Signals It Has “Responsibility To Intervene” In Hong Kong

There was a distinct sense of foreboding that the Hong Kong situation is about to take a far worse turn for the worse during this weekend protest, the 12th in a row, which saw the HK police deploy water cannon on protesters, while three police officers who were allegedly chased and beaten by a mob of club-wielding protesters, pulled their revolvers, with one firing at least one warning shot toward the sky. Police officers point their guns at anti-government protesters in Tsuen Wan on Sunday. It was the first time a gun had been discharged since the protests triggered by the now-shelved extradition bill began almost three months ago. However, it won’t be the last, and to make sure it is positioned properly when the real shooting begins, China sent the strongest warning yet of using troops on Hong Kong’s streets where Beijing says protests have turned into a “Color Revolution,” a clear indication that China’s patience with Hong Kong’s insurrection has just about ran out. “It’s not only China central government’s authority but also its responsibility to intervene when riots take place in Hong Kong,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency said Sunday in a commentary which was meant to prepare the local population for the inevitable intervention as it recalled comments by former top leader Deng Xiaoping saying Beijing has to act under such circumstances. In Sunday’s commentary,...

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When State Governors Tried To Take Back Control Of The National Guard

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, A West Virginia state lawmaker plans to re-introduce a bill next session that would require Congress declare war or call forth the state militia before the West Virginia National Guard could be released from state control and sent into combat. Currently, as The Intelligencer (of Wheeling) puts it: “the authority to activate the Guard rests with West Virginia’s governor.” But this doesn’t quite describe the reality. State governors are expected to send state National Guard troops wherever and whenever the Pentagon orders. So, in recent decades, whenever states or governors have attempted to have some say over what the Pentagon does with state troops, the Department of Defense has responded with threats. For example, in the case of McGeehan’s bill: Leaders with the West Virginia National Guard opposed the “Protect the Guard” measure, and said it could have cost the state millions as military missions would have been deferred to other states if the measure had been enacted. According to McGeehan, “After the success on Monday, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard (James Hoyer) — along with the military brass at the Pentagon — aggressively worked behind the scenes to kill the bill,” The Pentagon threatened to withdraw both federal military spending and materiel from the state, with a National Guard spokesman saying: If enacted, the (U.S. Department of Defense) couldn’t count on us to...

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Trump Says He Regrets Escalating Trade War With China, White House Immediately Retracts

While one may accuse the US president of many things, having second thoughts is hardly one of them: once Trump has decided on a course of action, he tends to follow through. Which is why the global press gasped when a rare case of doubt emerged this morning during Trump’s breakfast meeting with the UK’s Boris Johnson at the Biarritz G-7, when the US president acknowledged having second thoughts about the escalating the trade war with China… only for his top spokeswoman to later retract and say Trump meant he regretted not raising tariffs even more. During his meeting with Johnson on Sunday at the G7 in France, the US president raised eyebrows when he responded in the affirmative to questions from reporters on whether he had any second thoughts about the tariff move. Trump was asked if he had second thoughts about his latest escalation. “Yeah, sure. Why not?” Trump answered. The reporter repeated the question and Trump replied: “Might as well. Might as well.” A second reporter followed up again, asking if he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China. “I have second thoughts about everything,” Trump responded very clearly in the affirmative. Trump and BoJo (right). Trump’s odd admission was a problem because as Goldman said on Friday, it was Trump’s decision to delay tariffs that was interpreted as weakness by China, leading...

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