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How Faux Capitalism Works In America

Authored by EconomicPrism’s MN Gordon, annotated by Acting-Man’s Pater Tenebrarum, Stars in the Night Sky The U.S. stock market’s recent zigs and zags have provoked much squawking and screeching.  Wall Street pros, private money managers, and Millennial index fund enthusiasts all find themselves on the wrong side of the market’s swift movements.  Even the best and brightest can’t escape President Trump’s tweet precipitated short squeezes. The Donald mercilessly hits the shorts with a well-timed tweet. But as it turns out, this market is in a really bad mood at the moment. [PT] The short-term significance of the DJIA’s 8 percent decline since early-October is uncertain.  For all we know, stocks could run up through the end of the year.  Stranger things have happened. What is also uncertain is the nature of this purge: Is this another soft decline like that of mid-2015 to early-2016, when the DJIA fell 12 percent before quickly resuming its uptrend?  Or is this the start of a brutal bear market – the kind that wipes out portfolios and blows up investment funds? The stars in the night sky tell us this is the latter.  For example, when peering out into the night sky even the most untrained eye can identify the three ominous stars that are lining up with mechanical precision. These stars include a stock market top, followed by a monster corporate debt buildup,...

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Trump’s Interior Secretary Zinke to Step Down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has sought to open U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling despite environmental protests, will be leaving his post at the end of the year, President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday, the latest high-profile departure from his administration. Trump did not give a reason for Zinke’s departure. However, the former Navy Seal and ex-congressman from Montana has faced multiple probes into his use of security details, chartered flights and a real estate deal. “Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation,” Trump said on Twitter. “The Trump administration will be announcing the new secretary of the Interior next week,” he added. Zinke has run the Interior Department overseeing America’s vast public lands since early 2017. He has pursued Trump’s agenda to promote oil drilling and coal mining by expanding federal leasing, cutting royalty rates, and easing land protections. Zinke, 51, was among Trump’s most active Cabinet members, cutting huge wilderness national monuments in Utah to a fraction of their size and proposing offshore oil drilling in the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic. He became a darling of the U.S. energy and mining industries and a prime target for conservationists and environmental groups. Critics also questioned Zinke’s ethics and some of his moves triggered government investigations. Senate Democratic leader Chuck...

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Bare-Breasted ‘Mariannes’ Face Off With French Police; Tear Gas, Pepper Spray Used On Protesting Yellow Vests

Week five of Yellow Vest demonstrations turned violent after protesters in Paris began to scuffle with police.  Just under 70,000 police have been mobilized across France in an effort to contain some 33,500 estimated protesters – a much lower turnout than in previous weeks, while the Yellow Vest movement itself has spread to several countries across Europe, as well as Iraq, Israel and even Canada.  Less than 3,000 protesters descended on Paris so far on Saturday, compared to 8,000 or so last week. Of those, 114 people had been detained in the capital – around 20% of last week’s figure.  Police used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters in the center of Paris on Saturday. One person was reportedly hurt in the head during clashes at Champs-Élysées. A correspondent with Russian state-owned media outlet RT suffered an injury to the face and was taken to the hospital.  Нашего корра на протестах во Франции ранили в лицо. Она поехала в больницу. pic.twitter.com/nVRBuuOKWG — Маргарита Симоньян (@M_Simonyan) December 15, 2018 Meanwhile, in stark contrast to the bright yellow vests worn by most protesters – a groupd of half-naked women posing as Marianne, the Goddess of Liberty and a symbol of French patriotism, have faced off with police in Paris.  Donning blood-red hoodies and coated in silver paint, the women paid homage to the French revolutionary hero on Champs-Élysées avenue on Saturday in a silent...

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Leaked Memo Touts UK-Funded Firm’s Ability To Create “Untraceable” News Sites For “Infowar Campaign”

The hacking collective known as “Anonymous” has published more explosive documents detailing a UK-based psyop to create a “large-scale information secret service” in Europe in order to combat “Russian propaganda” — which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to Trump winning the 2016 US election to this month’s anti-Macron “Yellow Vest” protests. We previously detailed the first trove of documents which were dumped online November 5th to the site Cyberguerilla, revealing the private UK organization with deep government ties, the Integrity Initiative, to be engaged in an aggressive campaign to organize “clusters” of journalists across the West engaged in “counter-propaganda” efforts on social media networks and in media. And now a new trove of leaked Integrity Initiative documents has been dumped online Friday. “Combatting Russian Disinformation” – Screenshot from a bombshell newly leaked document published Friday and hosted on the Cyberguerilla site. This week the Integrity Initiative and its founding parent organization, the Institute for Statecraft — which is known for its close relationship with the UK military and defense officials — is at the center of debate in the House of Commons over its anti-Corbyn and anti-Labour smears involving labeling party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “useful idiot” for Moscow, even while the company is a recipient of official Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding.  The early November online leaks of confidential Integrity Initiative documents were the first to reveal the UK government’s relationship to the private project devoted to “fighting Russian disinformation”. According to The Guardian: FCO funding of the...

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Interior Secretary Zinke Stepping Down Amid Ethics Inquiry

Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – who rode a horse to the Department of the Interior on his first day of work – has notified the White House he intends to step down amid an ethics investigation by the Interior Department’s inspector general into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, Bloomberg reported on Saturday morning with the president confirming the departure by tweet moments later. Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation……. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018 …….The Trump Administration will be announcing the new Secretary of the Interior next week. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018 News of Zinke’s departure comes as Democrats, who are about to take control of the House of Representatives, have vowed to grill the him over his conduct raising the prospect of heightened oversight – and a flood of legal bills from defending himself. According to Bloomberg, concern about all the scrutiny and legal costs on the horizon were factors in Zinke’s decision to quit. Zinke’s impending departure also emerges as President Donald Trump grapples with other changes to his Cabinet that underscore the challenges of filling vacancies in a tumultuous...

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