First Sponsor Pulls Ad Dollars From The NFL

It begins. We suspect NFL owners, and their media lapdogs, may be about to start paying attention to what President Trump (and the fans of the game) are saying (and doing).

First, Bloomberg reported overnight that fans who agree with Trump shared lists of advertisers on social media networks while calling for boycotts along with hashtags like #PunchThemInTheWallet.

Richard Levick, a crisis communications expert, says the NFL deftly navigated the weekend’s challenges but expects no shortage of hazards ahead.

“They showed a high level of unity and independence, respecting those who participated in the protests and those who didn’t,” says Levick.


“In this era of hyper politicization — which is being driven by the White House into everything from the Boy Scouts to the NFL — there is no safe middle of the road.”

But now, following President Trump's warning yesterday that…

"I think The NFL is in a box, the only thing that is doing well for The NFL is the pre-game…


They can’t have people disrespecting the national anthem. The NFL has to change or their business is going to go to hell."

At least on major company has pulled his company's advertising and sponsorship moneyAs The Times Free Press reports, two years ago, Cleveland businessman Allan Jones was proudly showing off his newly acquired Hardwick Clothing-brand suits by providing the wardrobe for NBC's on-air talent during the network's broadcasts of NFL football games.

But after NFL players and coaches challenged President Donald Trump and many took a knee during the national anthem played before their games over the weekend, Jones said he is through sponsoring the wardrobes or advertising on stations that air the National Football League.

"Our companies will not condone unpatriotic behavior!" said Jones, CEO of the payday lending chain Check Into Cash and owner of Hardwick Clothes – America's oldest suit maker.


"For the 29 states we operate in, this isn't much to them, but it's a lot to us. The Tombras Group is our ad agency in Knoxville and our national media buyer for both TV and radio (for Check Into Cash) and don't look for Hardwick on the NFL either."


Jones, a strong supporter of Trump, directed his media buyer, the Tombras Group in Knoxville, to remove any commercials for Check Into Cash, Buy Here Pay here USA, or U.S. Money Stores from airing during NFL games "for the entire season."

As a reminder, the league and its 32 teams made $1.25 billion from corporate partners and advertisers last year, according to ESP Properties. For decades, big companies paid vast amounts of money to bask in the associative glow of the NFL’s perceived dynamism, passion and vigor. Now they’re paying vast amounts of money to bask in the fiery hell-broth of the culture wars.

Ethereum (ETHUSD) Rejected Near 50% Fib Retrace of ~400-200 Fall

Ethereum (ETHUSD) Weekly/Daily

Ethereum (ETHUSD) is showing fatigue after about 2 weeks of bouncing off roughly 200, with the selloff today intensifying after failing to hold the psychologically key 300 whole figure level.  300 also represents the 50% Fib retrace of the fall from roughly 400 to 200.  With daily RSI and Stochastics tiring, and the weekly Stochastics and MACD turning down, the weekly Tombstone forming is increasingly ominous for bulls.  ETHUSD continues to be relatively weaker than Bitcoin (BTCUSD), with ETHUSD serving as a leading indicator for BTCUSD price momentum.  Risk:reward will further improve for bears once the daily MACD blue line flattens and begins tilting lower.


ETHUSD (Ethereum) Weekly Technical Analysis



ETHUSD (Ethereum) Daily Technical Analysis


Bitcoin (BTCUSD) Weekly/Daily

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) is showing fatigue after about 2 weeks of bouncing off roughly 3000, with the selloff today intensifying after failing to hold the 61.8% Fib retrace of the fall from roughly 5000 to 3000.  With daily RSI and Stochastics tiring, and the weekly MACD trying to negatively cross, BTCUSD could be in the early stages of forming a downchannel (on the daily and weekly chart).  Risk:reward will further improve for BTCUSD bears once the daily MACD blue line flattens and begins tilting lower.


BTCUSD (Bitcoin) Weekly Technical Analysis


BTCUSD (Bitcoin) Daily Technical Analysis

Click here for today’s technical analysis on EURUSD

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Glenn Greenwald: Yet Another ‘Major’ Russia Story Falls Apart…

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

The biggest purveyors of “fake news” and irresponsible journalism are the news media outlets complaining most about it.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is at the forefront of the latest fake news on Russia.

Maddow’s Rant

The story went viral of course.

Another Story Falls Apart

Today, Glen Greenwald reports Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

LAST FRIDAY, most major media outlets touted a major story about Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems, based exclusively on claims made by the Department of Homeland Security. “Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states in the run-up to last year’s presidential election, officials said Friday,” began the USA Today story, similar to how most other outlets presented this extraordinary claim.


MSNBC’s Paul Revere for all matters relating to the Kremlin take-over, Rachel Maddow, was indignant that this wasn’t told to us earlier and that we still aren’t getting all the details. “What we have now figured out,” Maddow gravely intoned as she showed the multi-colored maps she made, is that “Homeland Security knew at least by June that 21 states had been targeted by Russian hackers during the election. . .targeting their election infrastructure.”


So what was wrong with this story? Just one small thing: it was false. The story began to fall apart yesterday when the Associated Press reported that Wisconsin – one of the states included in the original report that, for obvious reasons, caused the most excitement – did not, in fact, have its election systems targeted by Russian hackers.



The spokesman for Homeland Security then tried to walk back that reversal, insisting that there was still evidence that some computer networks had been targeted, but could not say that they had anything to do with elections or voting.


Then the story collapsed completely last night. The Secretary of State for another one of the named states, California, issued a scathing statement repudiating the claimed report:



This has happened over and over and over again. Inflammatory claims about Russia get mindlessly hyped by media outlets, almost always based on nothing more than evidence-free claims from government officials, only to collapse under the slightest scrutiny, because they are entirely lacking in evidence.


The examples of such debacles when it comes to claims about Russia are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. I wrote about this phenomenon many times and listed many of the examples, the last time in June when 3 CNN journalists “resigned” over a completely false story linking Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci to investigations into a Russian investment fund which the network was forced to retract.


Remember that time the Washington Post claimed that Russia had hacked the U.S. electricity grid, causing politicians to denounce Putin for trying to deny heat to Americans in winter, only to have to issue multiple retractions because none of that ever happened?


Or the time that the Post had to publish a massive editor’s note after its reporters made claims about Russian infiltration of the internet and spreading of “Fake News” based on an anonymous group’s McCarthyite blacklist that counted sites like the Drudge Report and various left-wing outlets as Kremlin agents?


Or that time when Slate claimed that Trump had created a secret server with a Russian bank, all based on evidence that every other media outlet which looked at it were too embarrassed to get near?


Or the time the Guardian was forced to retract its report by Ben Jacobs – which went viral – that casually asserted that WikiLeaks has a long relationship with the Kremlin? Or the time that Fortune retracted suggestions that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN’s network?


And then there’s the huge market that was created – led by leading Democrats – that blindly ingested every conspiratorial, unhinged claim about Russia churned out by an army of crazed conspiracists such as Louise Mensch and Claude “TrueFactsStated” Taylor?


And now we have the Russia-hacked-the-voting-systems-of-21-states to add to this trash heap.


Each time the stories go viral; each time they further shape the narrative; each time those who spread them say little to nothing when it is debunked.


Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. Just look at how many major, incredibly inflammatory stories, from major media outlets, have collapsed. Is it not clear that there is something very wrong with how we are discussing and reporting on relations between these two nuclear-armed powers?

Hello Rachel Maddow!

My Quick Take


“What’re They For, Exactly?” $100 Million Bridge-And-Tunnel Towers Baffle New Yorkers

After a summer plagued by hours-long delays and service outages, New Yorkers’ frustration with the city’s rapidly deteriorating subway system has reached a boiling point. But while the MTA is desperately trying to close massive budget shortfalls by hiking fares in lieu  of any kind of meaningful assistance from the State of New York, commuters have noticed that a series of mysterious metal towers have started appearing at the entrances of tunnels and bridges around the city.

And some are expressing frustration with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the MTA for refusing to release any details about the towers' purpose, despite planning to spend $100 million on them.

One New Yorker, Jose Lugo, told CBS that the quickly appeared after the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toll booths came down.

Earlier this month, Reinvent Albany asked the Authorities Budget Office to investigate whether the 'MTA board was fully informed, before approving contracts' related to the construction of the towers. The group is trying to figure out if the MTA board knew what it was doing when it approved a series of contract amendments worth some $47 million worth of expenses for the towers that currently sit at the entrance to the Battery and Queens Midtown Tunnels.

Eventually, the MTA plans to construct 18 such towers, saying only that they will serve some vague anti-terrorism-related purpose.

“It’s a bit mind-boggling that the MTA is approving $100 million for what appears to us to be big, decorative pylons,” says John Kaehny, the leader of the watchdog group Reinvent Albany. “What we’re asking for is transparency from the MTA.”


“What we're asking for is transparency from the MTA.”  

But the individuals in charge are staying tight-lipped about what the towers actually do.

Cedrick Fulton, the head of the MTA's bridges and tunnels, refused to comment to media organizations asking about the towers, and MTA chaiman and former mayoral candidate Joe Lhota said he wasn't at liberty to discuss details of the project, other than to confirm that they would serve some type of anti-terrorism-related purpose.

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the MTA, told Politico that the towers 'host cameras, traffic monitoring and other equipment related to homeland security that would otherwise have been hosted by the former toll booth structures'.

If this is accurate, then $100 million seems like a hefty price tag for such a project.

Citizens aren’t the only ones asking questions about the towers. According to CBS, some MTA board members, including New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, say they know too little about the towers – especially considering that the MTA has already spent $50 million on them.

“It’s a $100 million MTA project shrouded in secrecy, with 18 of them for tunnels and bridges. So, what are they exactly?” Trottenberg said.

Let’s hope – for the MTA’s sake – that these pylons do have some kind of sophisticated functionality, and that this isn’t another classic example of the wasteful spending habits that have contributed to the subway’s present-day troubles.