“The Spiritual Center” of the Democratic Party, John Lewis, Says Trump Is Illegitimate Because Muh Russians

The cuckery has reached a fevered pitch and the democratic party, in what can only be construed as a traumatic emotional breakdown on an institutional level, are throwing the gauntlet down here and now by sending out the so called ‘spiritual center’ of the party, Congressman John Lewis — declaring Trump ‘illegitimate’ because (wait for it) MUH RUSSIANS.

It has been an absolute blitzkrieg of U.S. intelligence leaks and disinformation, all designed to damage the incoming President — coordinated by uniparty shills in both the republican and democratic parties.

Here’s Chuck Todd, channeling Ceasar Flickerman’s disingenuous and overly dramatic cadence from the movie The Hunger Games, interviewing  Congressman John Lewis — who said he would not be attending the inauguration because the Russians hacked John Podesta’s email box and revealed the democratic party was an organization rife with both corruption and criminality at the highest levels. These revelations must’ve been the difference between electoral college winship and bitter defeat, obviously.

Charles Krauthammer, hardly a Trump fan, calls bullshit on all of these events — suggesting a conspiracy to diminish the office of the President is at hand.

 

 

Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com

Is This The Coup In America? “U.S. Troops On Russian Border” To Start War Before Inauguration

Submitted by Mac Slavo via SHTFPlan.com,

Is there a coup underway, while America is in the transition period, and before Trump swears in as the 45th president of the United States?

How real is the clash between the rogue Manhattan billionaire and the intelligence gang behind the throne? Who will win the struggle for power over foreign policy? These are serious times and require serious considerations.

The U.S. sent an entire armored brigade to the Russian border, and Vladimir Putin is preparing as if for war. Missile defense systems are raised; tall claims and serious charges have been leveled; diplomatic relations have chilled to a permafrost. Several Russian diplomats have turned up dead recently, including one murdered in front of cameras during a dramatic assassination in Turkey. Russia has bucked U.S. order in the Middle East, and carved out a potential peace deal in Syria without their consultation.

Things are reaching a flashpoint, and the system is concerned about controlling President-elect Trump given his rumored friendliness with Putin and plans to drop sanctions.

Will there be a “shock” designed to correct Trump’s foreign policy, and set-off the ticking time bomb between East and West into all-out hostilities?

Though these two world powers have clashed repeatedly in recent years, there several key factors that make this round extra alarming – and put a peaceful transition into question of exploding into total war, and an undermining force from within the deep state, CIA and shadow government:

  1. Until Donald Trump swears in and settles into the White House, the U.S. remains in a strange air, with an open window for a coup to take place, or a major unforeseen disruption (including something like a terrorist attack). If the deep state wants to start a war which President Trump will be forced to finish, they can. If the deep state wants that same war to block Trump from taking power, or from making major decisions, they will.
  2. With claims that Russia hacked the U.S. election, foreign policy has never been more warlike. Despite lacking evidence, and a politically-heavy spin on events, the powers-that-be intend to drive home the narrative that Putin crossed the line, while Trump is his puppet, and the alternative media his mesmerized “fake news” cheerleaders. This narrative is false, but could fan the flames for war. The new Cold War has been solidified; the aggressive rhetoric in Washington, and highly militarized movements such something big is coming down the pipeline. Though there may not be all out war, tensions will be very high; people will be placed under suspicion; nuclear war and other highly deadly scenarios are on the table like never before. The stage is set for world war three.
  3. Leftists and angry Hillary supporters are revolutionary, if severely misguided. Rosie O’Donnell was only the latest celebrity figure to call for martial law in order to postpone the inauguration, and put Trump on trial. The deep state crew that tags along with Hillary are also quite dangerous – the CIA and shadow advisor types. It is possible that some of these figures are involved in assassinating diplomats, chauffeurs and personal aides close to Putin and his network.
  4. In his final week in office, lame duck Obama could lay an egg that hatches the war. Or, intelligence community figures could go rouge; black ops, a false flag or a successful provocation/antagonization event could trigger a massive kick off to war that no president could simply stop with the stroke of a pen. There is the distinct possibility that if things go hot in a very short span of time, national emergency and outright war will put all other considerations behind them. Gear up for major conflict could be the only way to reset the devastating economic conditions, and the debt bomb that the federal government and federal reserve are prepared to drop on us.
  5. Defensive measures, including setting up anti-missile defense shields has moved inward, encircling Moscow, and those being used in the Ukraine, in Syria and elsewhere along the grand chessboard suggest extremely pugnacious diplomatic gestures – since true diplomacy has frozen up after repeated insult from Washington.

via the Daily Mail:

Russia has deployed anti-aircraft missile systems around Moscow to protect the capital from attack in the latest sign Vladimir Putin is preparing for war.

 

The s-400 Triumph air defence system has been providing air cover for Russian forces in Syria since November, and is now being deployed on home soil.

 

It is capable of hitting moving airborne targets including planes and incoming missiles and has a range of 400km.

 

The news has emerged the day the US sent more than 3,000 troops to Poland in response to Nato’s concern Russia was becoming more aggressive.

via Russia Insider:

A US armored brigade (3rd Armored Brigade, 4th Infantry Division) is on the move to Russia’s Baltic border. After its equipment begun arriving in Europe last week so now have its soldiers.

 

The move is so big it will require 37 trains and over one thousand rail cars to transport from Germany to Poland.

 

A US armored brigade fields over 400 tracked and over 1300 wheeled vehicles including 80 62-ton Abrams tanks, 140 Bradley armored fighting vehicles and 400 humvees.

There is always saber-rattling and hyperbolic claims of war, but right now is a critical time that will decide the next several decades of U.S. world power.

Probably, they aren’t going to take any chances, and as desperate as they are, are looking to reignite public support for U.S. struggles abroad – by any means necessary.

Beware these next few weeks, and remember that the continuity of government “Doomsday” command-and-control planes were brought out after the election as a public show of power to Trump and the American people. The shadow government is real, and for now, maintain dominance.

This is not the time for games. Constitutional government is in jeopardy; war provocations and assassinations are taking place, and the duly-elected next president of the United States should be very carefully protected, watched over and pray for a peaceful transition.

We are at risk of entering a very difficult and dangerous time.

New York Real Estate Prices Plunge In 4Q As Listing Days and Discounts Soar

After reviewing the Elliman Report on the New York City Real Estate market at the end of 3Q 2016, we concluded that sellers had simply refused to accept the fact that the Manhattan real estate bubble had burst and rather than dropping prices had decided to simply let their apartments sit on the market unsold while hoping for a miracle.  Here was our conclusion (see “NYC Real Estate Bubble Bursts As Apartment Sales Crash 20%“):

In conclusion, the lesson seems to be that the marginal New York City buyer has been priced out of the market (volume down 20%) while sellers have not yet accepted that the bubble has burst deciding instead to maintain listing prices while letting their apartments sit on the market longer amid growing inventory levels.  Meanwhile, the luxury market is the only segment that seems to be holding up which only serves to prove that Chinese billionaires still have cash they would like to hide in the U.S.

Alas, with the release of Elliman’s 4Q 2016 report, it has become apparent that that miracle never materialized for New York’s hedgies and i-bankers.  In fact, the data from Manhattan real estate sales was almost universally bad with median pricing down 8.7% YoY, volume down 3.7%, listing days up 14.6% and discounts up to 5.5%.

NYC Real Estate

 

Meanwhile, a view of the longer term sales and pricing trends for Manhattan seems to suggest that the 2013-2015 expansionary period has officially turned.

NYC Real Estate

 

As was the case last quarter, the re-sale market was among the hardest hit segments with median prices down 6.3% YoY and volume down 1.5%. 

NYC Real Estate

 

Also like previous quarters, the luxury market, despite sinking volumes, is the only segment to continue to show growth in median sales prices.

NYC Real Estate

 

And while buyers are abandoning Manhattan en masse, Brooklyn seems to be the key beneficiary with purchases there soaring 22% YoY and median prices climbing 15%.  Per Bloomberg:

Home buyers in Brooklyn competed for a record-low number of listings in the fourth quarter, driving up prices in the New York borough that’s historically been seen as a refuge from Manhattan’s high costs.

 

Purchases in Brooklyn rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 2,582, while the median price of those deals climbed 15 percent to a record $750,000, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The number of homes for sale at the end of December tumbled 31 percent to 2,232, the fewest since the firms started keeping the data in 2008.

 

The sales market in Brooklyn, the city’s most populous borough, is moving in the opposite direction to Manhattan’s, where rising supply is offering buyers more choices and the option to walk away from listings they view as overpriced. Manhattan’s median home price dropped 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter to $1.05 million as sellers awakened to a slowdown after years of holding out for all they could get, the firms said last week.

 

“You have a disconnect with sellers in Manhattan, and Brooklyn is poaching some of that demand,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “Overall, it’s generally a lower price point, and affordability has been a big issue the last couple of years.”

NYC Real Estate

 

Seems that “Bridge & Tunnel” is starting to have a nice ring to it.

Stunning Before And After Pictures Of The California Drought And Devastating Rain Storms

Just as California’s liberal elites had convinced everyone that climate change had permanently altered global weather patterns such that the entire state was doomed to be stuck in a perpetual drought which would inevitably render it about as inhabitable as the surface of Mars within years, an unrelenting series of storms has struck and in a matter of days filled lakes, overflowed rivers and buried mountains in snow.  And just like that, 40% of California was lifted from a drought that had plagued the state for a decade.

Of course, that much rain, in such a short period of time, can have devastating consequences as this video from Big Sur illustrates.

 

As does this dashcam video of a flash flood in norther California. 

 

In all, the rainfall totals from around Northern California over the past 14 days are staggering with certain areas receiving nearly 2 feet of rain according to SFGate.

Downtown San Francisco has received 5.53 inches of rain since Jan. 1. The last time the city has seen a number higher than this was 1982 when 7.53 inches fell between Jan. 1 and Jan. 11. During last year’s El Niño year, S.F. had received close to three inches by this date.

 

More impressive numbers: The coastal range mountains outside Guerneville, where roads and homes went underwater when the Russian River flooded, has received some 21 inches of rain since Jan. 4.

 

In Downieville, where the Yuba River gushed with a heavy flow all week, some 23 inches of rain were recorded in the past seven days.

 

And as bad as the flooding has been in parts of Northern California, it would have undoubtedly been even worse but for the the ability to divert some of the excess water into previously depleted reservoirs scattered throughout the state.

The super soakings have filled reservoirs that were mere mud puddles, their cracked lake beds once exposed at the height of the drought that plagued the state for five-plus years and still persists in many regions, especially in Southern California.

 

The reservoirs in Northern California have gained some million acres of storage in the past seven days, Michael Anderson, a climatologist with the California Department of Water Resources estimates. And total surface storage for the state is roughly 97 percent of average, with the the total storage for the largest reservoirs being at 111 percent of normal.

 

Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, gained a bit more than 620,000 acre-feet in the first 10 days of January alone.

 

“That is almost 18 percent of its capacity,” Anderson said. “Since Oroville was about 750,000 acre-feet below its storage limits during flood season (a consequence of the drought), they can keep all that water for future use and largely offset storage impacts from the drought.”

Meanwhile, the transformation of the state’s reservoirs, in just a matter of weeks, is astonishing.

Cali Drought

Cal

Cali Drought

Yuba River

Cali Drought

Cali Drought

 

What a difference a year makes with most reservoirs now near capacity….

Cali Drought

 

…versus ~30% of capacity last year.

Cali Drought

 

But we’re sure this abundance of rain is ever bit as much due to global warming as the lack of rain was last year…but we’re still waiting for official confirmation on that from our respected political leaders in Sacramento.

The US Economy: Back On Track?

Submitted by Erico Matias Tavares via Sinclair & Co.,

The weekly rail traffic report published by the Association of American Railroads (“AAR”) provides a great snapshot of US economic activity almost in real (weekly) time.

Last July we noted that we were starting to witness some signals of a trend change, now suggesting a softening. But much has happened since then, including a broadly unexpected change in the political direction of the US. Have those signals been reversed as a result?

Let’s start with some general indicators.

The US ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index reported by the Institute for Supply Management fell briefly into contraction territory last August, which is often a presage for economic weakness ahead. However, it recovered handsomely in the following months and just printed the highest number in two years.

A significant reversal to the upside was also observed in the latest National Federation of Independent Business (“NFIB”) Optimism Index for Small Businesses – the real wealth generators in the economy, which after some weakness mid-year just printed the highest level since the Financial Crisis of 2008.

Not to be outdone, US investors have pushed equities to new historical highs, as shown in the graph above (by finviz.com).

So things are looking up in the US right? Perhaps so… but the railroads aren’t feeling it.

Rail intermodal traffic registers the long-haul movement of shipping containers and truck trailers by rail whenever combined with (a much shorter) truck movement at one or both ends. It covers a broad range of goods that Americans consume regularly, from laptops to frozen chickens, and is thus a great indicator of how consumers are doing. Given the huge importance of consumption for the US economy as a whole, for us this is the most revealing category.

The grey cloud in our rail shipment graphs (in units) depicted henceforth shows the maximum and minimum volume range recorded for the same week over the five years prior (2011-2015). The green line shows the readings for 2016, now for the full year.

After a strong start of the year, rail intermodal traffic started to underperform, although some pickup was observed later in the year. Aggregating the numbers by year provides a clearer picture, and here are the figures since 2006 (in MM units):

For the first time since the lead up to the 2009 recession, yearly values are down versus the prior year. In percentage terms the 2015-16 decline is almost the same as the 2007-08 decline, when the Financial Crisis was raging.

While clearly not a good sign this is just a warning given the still high transactional levels compared to prior years. If weakness persists in this category into 2017 then we will start getting really, really worried about the broader condition of the US economy.

What about housing, another key industry? The forest products category includes lumber, a major input of house construction, and is shown in the graph below:

Volumes were generally weak throughout the year, setting new five year lows. However, as per US Census Bureau data privately-owned housing completions in November came out at a very solid 15% (±13.5%) above the revised October estimate and a whopping 25% (±15.0%) over the prior year. How can these two seemingly disparate trends be reconciled?

The answer might be in the brackets after the percentage growth figures. These statistics are estimated from sample surveys, so the Census Bureau provides a standard error to indicate a range where the real number might actually lie. And quite a wide one in fact. As such, the actual year-on-year figure could be somewhere in the range +10% to +40%. Given falling volumes transported by the railways even the lower estimate from these surveys looks optimistic. Another category to keep a close eye on.

The motor vehicles and parts graph shown below includes all sorts of vehicles (used and new), passenger car and bus bodies, parts and accessories and other related equipment:

This industry is of course very important for US manufacturing. Last July we noted that it had been the bright spot out of all the categories, recording new cycle highs up until then. And while that persisted for a while longer some weakness sipped in towards the end of the year.

Still, volumes reached the highest level in 2016 since the go-go days of 2007. Not bad at all, but hopefully that year-end weakness is nothing to worry about… because as we shall see other industries – particularly in the primary sector – continue to struggle.

After a terrible performance through 2015, metallic ores (shown above), which include all kinds of ores (iron, copper, lead, zinc and so forth) and waste scrap, managed to do even worse in 2016. Not much reason for optimism here (unless as a contrarian).

The same can be said about coal, with volumes collapsing since the start of the year. Not even the recovery in the second half could avoid a miserable performance overall.

What about oil production?

Using rail shipments of crude oil and refined products to gauge production levels is a little tricky because volumes can be diverted to pipelines and/or the mix can change. That being said, the declines in rail shipments throughout 2016 are consistent with the drop in US production as reported by the IEA, shown in the graph below (in MM bopd):

The silver lining is that the weekly oil rig count as reported by Baker Hughes has responded positively to the recent recovery in crude oil prices, as shown in the graph below (with WTI pushed forward a number of weeks):

So we may see some pickup in activity going forward, as long as prices continue to hold. Other than that it’s pretty safe to say that the US extractive sector as a whole had another miserable year.

And last but certainly not least, here are the rail shipments of grains:

Volumes exploded higher in the second half of the year. The flipside of such volume increases was a continued correction in grain prices, particularly in corn and wheat (soybeans managed to hold up). Great news for consumers, but terrible for farmers: according to the latest USDA estimates in 2016 net farm income dropped to the lowest level in six years.

***

If so many industries continued to struggle in 2016, with some key ones even deteriorating towards year-end, how come small businesses are so wildly optimistic?

Perhaps the graph above, taken from the same NFIB small business report, provides the answer: while actual sales have languished expectations of future activity have gone through the roof. And that differential between actual versus expectations reached the highest level in many years.

It is hard to dissociate this from all the economic promises of the incoming Administration. That may explain why small business owners across the US – and indeed stock investors – have become so optimistic. However, the hard goods-traded reality continues to show some concerning signs of weakness.

Whether or not the new economic policies will prove to be successful the railways will likely feel it before anyone else. That’s why we will continue to keep an eye on the data.

And with that, here’s our economic wish for 2017: Make Railways Great Again!