McConnell And Wife Berated In Packed Restaurant; Diners Side With Mitch

A group of protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife on Friday night at a Louisville, KY restaurant – however the crowd wasn’t having it. 

A woman who recorded the incident said that the protester “slammed his fists on McConnell’s table and threw food out of the restaurant after accusing McConnell of killing people with his views,” according to Fox News

Video obtained by TMZ shows at least one diner berating McConnell on issues such as Social Security at a restaurant in Louisville. The video starts with him yelling at McConnell and arguing with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao — to whom McConnell is married. The outlet reported that four men first confronted McConnell.

“Oh yeh, why don’t you get out of here? Why don’t you leave our entire country,” the protester tells the couple.

As Chao argues with the protester, McConnell appears unperturbed and sips on a drink. But other diners begin yelling at the protester, telling him to “leave him alone” and making shoo-ing gestures. –Fox News

Following the incident, McConnell reportedly thanked some of the supporters, shaking their hands before leaving. 

“The Leader and Sec. Chao enjoyed their meal in Louisville last night and they appreciate those who spoke up against incivility,” McConnell spokesman David Popp said in a statement via Fox News. “They hope other patrons weren’t too inconvenienced by left-wing tantrums. As the Leader often says, the Senate will not be intimidated by the antics of far-left protestors.”

Mitch the magnet

Friday’s incident marks the third time McConnell has been heckled by protesters. In June, several protesters at Georgetown University ambushed Chao and McConnell as they left a dinner, which resulted in Chao shouting at them: “Why don’t you leave my husband alone?”

The man who recorded the video identified as “Roberto,” interned at the Soros-funded “open borders” group, United We Dream. 

And in July, McConnell was confronted by protesters after leaving a Louisville, KY restaurant.  

Instead of retracting into his shell, McConnell tweeted: “I see what they did here. They waited until Elaine wasn’t around. -MM”

Visualizing The 8 Major Forces Shaping The Future Of The Global Economy

Authored by Jeff Desjardins via VisualCapitalist.com,

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

– Jimmy Dean

The world is changing faster than ever before.

With billions of people hyper-connected to each other in an unprecedented global network, it allows for an almost instantaneous and frictionless spread of new ideas and innovations.

Combine this connectedness with rapidly changing demographics, shifting values and attitudes, growing political uncertainty, and exponential advances in technology, and it’s clear the next decade is setting up to be one of historic transformation.

But where do all of these big picture trends intersect, and how can we make sense of a world engulfed in complexity and nuance? Furthermore, how do we set our sails to take advantage of the opportunities presented by this sea of change?

THE INTERSECTION OF DATA AND POWERFUL VISUALS

Interpreting massive amounts of data on how the world is changing can be taxing for even the most brilliant thinkers.

For this reason, our entire team at Visual Capitalist is focused on using the power of visual storytelling to make the world’s information more accessible. Our team of information designers works daily to transform complex data into graphics that are both intuitive and insightful, allowing you to see big picture trends from a new perspective.

After all, science says that 65% of people are visual learners – so why not put data in a language they can understand?

While we regularly publish our visuals in an online format, our most recent endeavor has been to compile our best charts, infographics, and data visualizations into one place: our new book Visualizing Change: A Data-Driven Snapshot of Our World, a 256-page hardcover coffee-table book on the forces shaping business, wealth, technology, and the economy.

The book focuses on eight major themes ranging from shifting human geography to the never-ending evolution of money. And below, we present some of the key visualizations in the book that serve as examples relating to each major theme.

1. THE TECH INVASION

For most of the history of business, the world’s leading companies have been industrially-focused.

Pioneers like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison innovated in the physical realm using atoms – they came up with novel ways to re-organize these atoms to create things like the assembly line and the incandescent lightbulb. Then, companies invested massive amounts of capital to build physical factories, pay thousands of workers, and build these things.

The majority of the great blue chip companies were built this way: IBM, U.S. Steel, General Electric, Walmart, and Ford are just some examples.

But today’s business reality is very different. We live in a world of bytes – and for the first time technology and commerce have collided in a way that makes data far more valuable than physical, tangible objects.

The best place to see this is in how the market values businesses.

As you can see above, companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft have supplanted traditional blue chip companies that build physical things.

The tech invasion is leveraging connectivity, network effects, artificial intelligence, and unprecedented scale to create global platforms that are almost impossible to compete with. The tech invasion has already taken over retail and advertising – and now invading forces have their eyes set on healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and education.

Will atoms ever be more valuable than bytes again?

Interesting Facts:

2. THE EVOLUTION OF MONEY

Money is arguably one of humanity’s most important inventions. From beaver pelts to gold bars, the form and function of money has constantly fluctuated throughout history.

In the modern world, the definition of money is blurrier than ever. Central banks have opted to create trillions of dollars of currency out of thin air since the financial crisis – and on the flipside, you can actually use blockchain technology to create your own competing cryptocurrency in just a few clicks.

Regardless of what is money and what is not, people are borrowing record amounts of it.

The world has now amassed $247 trillion in debt, including $63 trillion borrowed by central governments:

In today’s unusual monetary circumstances, massive debt loads are just one anomaly.

Here are other examples that illustrate the evolution of money: Venezuela has hyperinflated away almost all of its currency’s value, the “War on Cash” is raging on around the world, central banks are lending out money at negative interest rates (Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, etc.), and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are collectively worth over $200 billion.

How we view money – and how that perception evolves over time – is an underlying factor that influences our future.

Interesting Facts:

3. THE WEALTH LANDSCAPE

Wealth is not stagnant – and so for those looking to make the most out of global opportunities, it’s imperative to get a sense of how the wealth landscape is changing.

The modern view is either extremely healthy or bubbly, depending on how you look at it: Amazon and Apple are worth over $1 trillion, Jeff Bezos has a $100+ billion fortune, and the current bull market is the longest in modern history at 10 years.

Will this growth continue, and where will it come from?

Here’s one look based on projections from the World Bank:

Despite these estimates, there is a laundry list of items that the ultra-wealthy are concerned about – everything from the expected comeback of inflation to a world where geopolitical black swans seem to be growing more common.

Here’s why those building and protecting wealth are rightly concerned about such events:

But the wealth landscape is not all just about billionaires and massive companies – it is changing in other interesting ways as well. For example, the definition of wealth itself is taking on a new meaning, with millennials leading a charge towards sustainable investing rather than being entirely focused on monetary return.

How will the wealth landscape look a decade from now?

Interesting Facts:

4. EASTERN PROMISES

The economic rise of China has been a compelling story for decades.

Up until recently, we’ve only been able to get a preview of what the Eastern superpower is capable of – and in the coming years, these promises will come to fruition at a scale that will still be baffling to many.

Understandably, the scope of China’s population and economy can still be quite difficult to put into perspective.

The following map may help, as it combines both elements together to show that China has countless cities each with a higher economic productivity than entire countries.

In fact, China has over 100 cities with more than 1,000,000 inhabitants. These cities, many of which fly below the radar on the global stage, each have impressive economies – whether they are built upon factories, natural resource production, or the information economy.

As one impressive example, the Yangtze River Delta – a single region which contains Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Nantong, Ningbo, Nanjing, and Changzhou – has a GDP (PPP) of $2.6 trillion, which is more than Italy.

Interesting Facts:

5. ACCELERATING TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS

As we’ve already seen, there are many facets of change that will impact our shared future.

But here’s the kicker: when it comes to technological progress, the rate of change itself is actually getting faster and faster. Each year brings more technological advancements than the last, and once the exponential “hockey stick” kicks into overdrive, innovations could happen at a blindsiding pace.

This could be described as a function of Moore’s Law, and the law of accelerating returns is also something that futurists like Ray Kurzweil have talked about for decades.

Interestingly, there is another offshoot of accelerating change that applies more to the business and economic world. Not only is the speed of change getting faster, but for various reasons, markets are able to adopt new technologies faster:

New products can achieve millions of users in just months, and the game Pokémon Go serves as an interesting case study of this potential. The game amassed 50 million users in just 19 days, which is a blink of an eye in comparison to automobiles (62 years), the telephone (50 years), or credit cards (28 years).

As new technologies are created at a faster and faster pace – and as they are adopted at record speeds by markets – it’s fair to say that future could be coming at a breakneck speed.

Interesting Facts:

6. THE GREEN REVOLUTION

It’s no secret that our civilization is in the middle of a seismic shift to more sustainable energy sources.

But to fully appreciate the significance of this change, you need to look at the big picture of energy over time. Below is a chart of U.S. energy consumption from 1776 until today, showing that the energy we use to power development is not permanent or static throughout history.

And with the speed at which technology now moves, expect our energy infrastructure and delivery systems to evolve at an even more blistering pace than we’ve experienced before.

Interesting Facts:

7. SHIFTING HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

Global demographics are always shifting, but the population tidal wave in the coming decades will completely reshape the global economy.

In Western countries and China, populations will stabilize due to fertility rates and demographic makeups. Meanwhile, on the African continent and across the rest of Asia, booming populations combined with rapid urbanization will translate into the growth of megacities, holding upwards of 50 million people.

By the end of the 21st century, this animation shows that Africa alone could contain at least 13 megacities that are bigger than New York:

By this time, it’s projected that North America, Europe, South America, and China will combine to hold zero of the world’s 20 most populous cities. What other game-changing shifts to human geography will occur during this stretch?

Interesting Facts:

8. THE TRADE PARADOX

By definition, a consensual and rational trade between two parties is one that makes both parties better off.

Based on this microeconomic principle, and also on the consensus by economists that free trade is ultimately beneficial, countries around the world have consistently been working to remove trade barriers since World War II with great success.

But nothing is ever straightforward, and these long-held truths are now being challenged in both societal and political contexts. We now seem to be trapped in a trade paradox in which politicians give lip service to free trade, but often take action in the opposite direction.

To get a sense of how important trade can be between two nations, we previously documented the ongoing relationship between the U.S. and Canada, in which each country is the best customer of the other:

With the recent USMCA agreement, the two countries seem to have sorted their differences for now – but the trade paradox will continue to be an ongoing theme in economics and investing at a global level for many years to come, especially as the trade war against China rages on.

Points to Consider:

HOW YOU CAN VISUALIZE CHANGE

The forces behind change are not always evident to the naked eye, but we believe that by fusing data, art, and storytelling together that we can create powerful context on the trends shaping our future.

If you enjoyed our summary above, you can explore these ideas further with our book “Visualizing Change”, which offers 256 pages of infographics, data visualizations, and charts on the future direction of the global economy and technology.

Our book makes a great holiday gift. Get it on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca, or even customize a bulk order with your logo

“Largest Ever Ponzi Scheme In Maryland” Rocks Investors, $345 Million Vanishes

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month the indictment and arrests of three people, including a Baltimore man, involved in the largest-ever Ponzi scheme in Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. 

More than 230 people have been taken for a financial rollercoaster as three men ((Kevin B. Merrill (“Merrill”), Jay B. Ledford (“Ledford”), and Cameron Jezierski (“Jezierski”) raised $345 million, more than $90 million was invested by over 200 individual investors (including small business owners, restauranteurs, construction contractors, retirees, doctors, lawyers, accountants, bankers, talent agents, current and former professional athletes, and financial advisors); approximately $52 million by family officers; and nearly $203 million from feeder funds, said the SEC.

According to an indictment from Federal prosecutors in Baltimore, Merrill and Ledford touted their experience in collecting on and reselling consumer debt to investors, with the promise of significant profits. The pair operated a web of companies they owned and/or controlled, including Defendants Global Credit Recovery, LLC; Delmarva Capital, LLC; Rhino Capital Holdings, LLC; Rhino Capital Group, LLC; DeVille Assets Managment LTD; and Riverwalk Financial Corporation, which they then sold securities to investors. 

Merrill and Ledford used the corporate entities and 55 bank accounts to shift investor money, deceive investors, and continue their Ponzi scheme that only survived with the influx of greater and greater investor cash inflow. 

Here is how the Merrill – Ledford scheme worked: 

Documents show the men used a web lies, forgeries, and fake documents to conduct the fraud since 2013, using investor money for exotic cars, high-end real estate, private jets, private clubs, casinos, and funding their lavish lifestyles. 

“We allege defendants engaged in a brazen fraud, deceiving investors to perpetuate their wrongdoing and line their pockets with ill-gotten gains,” said Kelly Gibson, the associate regional director of the SEC’s Philadelphia office. 

The SEC stated approximately $200 million of the money was used to pay prior investors and deceive current investors that their money was generating high returns. 

Merrill owned five mansions, 25 exotic cars — including Bugattis, Ferraris, and Rolls Royces — private jets, powerboats, and more, according to filings. 

Merrill’s mansions- 

Merrill’s cars- 

  • 2014 Ford Explorer 
  • 2014 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster 
  • 2014 Mercedes-AMG S63
  • 2015 BMW S1000R Motorcycle 
  • 2015 Harley-Davidson VRSCDX Night Rod Special Edition Motorcycle
  • 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
  • 2017 Audi R8 5.2 Plus
  • 2017 Lamborghini Huracan Spyder
  • 2017 Land Rover Range Rover
  • 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S
  • 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn
  • 2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith
  • 2018 McLaren 720s
  • 2008 Bugatti Veyron
  • 2013 Ferrari California 
  • 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe
  • 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  • 2014 Pagani Huayra
  • 2015 Mercedes-AMG S63
  • 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2017 Ferrari 488 Spider
  • 2018 Lamborghini Huracan

Ledford’s cars- 

  • 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
  • 2016 Tesla Model S
  • 2015 Bentley Flying Spur

If Merrill, Ledford, and Jezierski are convicted, their assets, will be seized by the U.S. Government. In the latter stages of a credit cycle, fraud schemes are usually not sustainable and go bust — an ominous sign that an economic downturn is nearing. 

 

As Deep State Hysteria Builds, Trump “Knows This Thing Is Rigged To Blow”

Via USAWatchdog.com,

Radio host Dr. Dave Janda says everybody in Washington knows the next big crash is right around the corner. It’s been 10 years since the Fed reflated the last meltdown, and Dr. Janda says President Trump is already blaming the Federal Reserve for killing the economy that his policies revived.

Dr. Janda explains, “President Trump has been pointing the finger at the Fed. He’s been pointing the finger at the Fed, and that is exactly where he should be pointing…

The globalist syndicate’s tentacle is the central banking system, and, in particular, in the United States, the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is one of the entities that is directly responsible for this financial mess our country is currently in. You would never see Obama or the Bushes, or Bill Clinton, point at the Fed and say what Trump has said.

Trump said, ‘I think the Fed has gone crazy. I think the Fed is making a mistake. They’re so tight with interest rates. I think the Fed has gone crazy.’ Just the other day, Trump said, ‘My biggest threat is the Fed. . . . The Fed is raising rates too fast, and it’s too independent.’ Now, wait a minute, listen to that. It’s too independent. When was the last time a president of the United States said the Fed was too independent? . . . . Banking groups, that is their priority. So, when the President says the Fed is raising rates too fast, and it’s my biggest enemy, and too independent, what he is saying is they are looking out for their own interests. They are not looking out for the interests of our country or for you or for me or for any American, and he’s right. I don’t know of any other president that has had the guts to say this.”

So, what happens next?

Dr. Janda says, “Trump knew this thing was rigged to blow, the economy, the financial system, and when the right time came, he would start pointing the finger at the globalists, the Fed. I believe that’s where we are right now.”

On the Democrats taking back control of the House, Janda says the blue wave will turn into a red tsunami. One Democrat after another, including Hillary Clinton, has threatened violence if Democrats do not take back the House of Representatives. Janda says,

“These are not statements from people that are in positions of power or people that are riding a blue tsunami to victory in the midterm election. These are people that are potentially drowning in a red wave, and they know it because their internals are telling them that. This is why they are acting out.”

On the subject of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the short story is he has flipped and is working on the Trump team.

In closing, Dr. Janda says, “I would say we are winning. The reason I say that is all these judicial appointments…

I believe we have a five to four rule of law majority in the Supreme Court. I believe (DOJ prosecutor) Huber has been working on these indictments behind the scenes, and they will be unsealed as soon as the declassification occurs. I believe military tribunals have been set up and will become more overt in their operation, but that doesn’t mean we have already won. We are winning, and we are in the process of winning. We have not won.

That’s why I believe these midterm elections are so important. This is why we are seeing the hysteria out of the Deep State players that are the mid-level puppets. This is why we see the Bookers, the Clintons, the Obamas and Bidens all lashing out.

They know if people vote for rule of law candidates across the board and don’t buy into this agenda that the globalists are putting forward such as no border security, sanctuary cities, raising taxes, and if you don’t vote for us, we are going to beat the hell out of you, if they don’t buy into that agenda, the Deep State players know the rule of law will be implemented like it’s not been implemented for decades in America. The Deep State globalists are in the crosshairs of a true justice system as opposed to a justice system that is just smoke and mirrors.

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Dr. Dave Janda, host of the popular radio show “Operation Freedom.”

(Program note: The interview is nearly 1:45 minutes long, but it is packed with cutting edge information and analysis.)

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Futures Slide After Report Trump Has No Intention Of Easing China Tariffs

After closing Friday’s session unchanged, S&P futures have slumped 0.6%, or 10 points, to 2,749 dipping below both Thursday’s and Friday’s lows…

Dow down 140 points…

… with the Nasdaq down -0.8% so far in early trading…

… after an Axios report poured cold water over enthusiasm that the upcoming G-20 meeting between Trump and Xi could lead to some progress in the ongoing trade war.

According to Axios, and contrary to recent hopes of a detente in the ongoing trade war between the two superpowers, Trump has no intention of easing his tariffs on China. Instead, Axios’ sources say “he wants Chinese leaders to feel more pain from his tariffs” which he believes need more time to fully kick in.

He wants them to suffer more” from tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods Axios said, citing a source with direct knowledge of Trump’s thinking, and the president believes the longer his tariffs last, the more leverage he’ll have.

In other words, Trump’s trade war with China is at the “beginning of the beginning,” and his team doesn’t expect much from the tentatively planned meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires next month.

So why are the two leaders meeting?

The Trump economic team has done no substantive planning so far for the bilateral meeting’s agenda, largely because the purpose of the meeting is for Trump and Xi to reconnect, eyeball each other, and feel each other out amid their escalating trade war.

“It’s a heads of state meeting, not a trade meeting,” a source with direct knowledge told Axios.

As another source explained, “Trump is thinking about this meeting as a personal reconnection with President Xi, not a meeting that’s going to evolve into detailed discussions” and added that “the sides are very far apart. … Right now, there’s not the common basis for proceeding.”

Reading between the lines suggests that if anything, the G-20 summit could lead to an even worse outcome as Trump isn’t focused on the details of a potential China deal, “he’s focused on creating more leverage” which could mean adding even more sanctions, especially if Trump is content with the outcome of the midterm elections.

One way, perhaps the only way, Trump has been gauging who is hurt most from the trade war is the stock market, and here China – where the Shanghai Composite recently dropped 30% from its January highs, is clearly the biggest loser.

The generic point Trump makes to aides, per a source with direct knowledge: “‘We are strong and they are weak.’ … He believes more pressure will bring them to the table to make a deal.”

That’s unlikely: instead of preparing concessions to Trump, China has been more focusing on boosting investor confidence in the stock market, although the recent rout shows there is much more work left. On Sunday, none other than president Xi Jinping joined this confidence boosting exercise and vowed “unwavering” support for the country’s private sector, the latest response from Beijing to concern over the outlook for the economy.

“Any words and practices that negate and weaken the private economy are wrong,” Xi said in a letter to private entrepreneurs, Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday. “Supporting the development of private enterprises is the Party Central Committee’s consistent policy,” Xi said quoted by Bloomberg.

Xi’s remarks came after top officials moved to shore up confidence with a rare show of coordinated comments on Friday after a furious margin call-driven sell off on Thursday. Among them, Vice Premier Liu He said China would support the development of private enterprises. At a meeting with policy makers on Saturday, he added that authorities need to accelerate the implementation of measures to encourage healthy development of the economy, according to a statement on the State Council’s website.

Meanwhile, the key negotiators have not made any progress whatsoever: while Treasury officials have had contact with key Chinese negotiator Liu He’s camp to exchange information, there’s been “nothing close to real negotiation” sources said.

“There is some contact with mid-level Chinese, but not much. … I wouldn’t overestimate the planning process.”

Worse, Mnuchin’s negotiating team has told the Chinese there’s no point in them floating plans to buy U.S. products as the key priorities — structural issues like IP theft and market access — must be addressed. And since China will never concede on this issue, especially as it would mean admitting US accusations of IP espionage, there is virtually no hope of any resolution in the near-term.

As Axios summarizes, “all signs suggest the trade war between the U.S. and China is just getting started,” and is unlikely to end any time soon because as Axios’ Jonathan Swan notes, “nobody I’ve spoken to has heard Trump express any concerns” over whether his tariffs could backfire due to Chinese retaliation against American consumers or companies – a position Trump will hold until China does retaliate again.

And finally, confirming that there is absolutely no hope of any near term resolution, in an interview with the FT, Larry Kudlow accused China of doing “nothing” to defuse trade tensions ahead of the G20 meeting in Argentina next month. A detailed list of asks “basically hasn’t changed for five or six months. The problem with the story is that they don’t respond. Nothing. Nada.

“It’s really the president and the Chinese Communist party, they have to make a decision, and so far they have not, or they have made a decision not to do anything, nothing. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

And with futures on the back foot, we now await China’s open which after Friday’s furious “verbal intervention” rally are set for another move lower as trade fears re-emerge.