Paul Craig Roberts Slams The NSA: “It’s A Blackmail Agency”

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

The main function of the National Security Administration is to collect the dirt on members of the house and senate, the staffs, principal contributors, and federal judges.

 

 

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The dirt is used to enforce silence about the crimes of the security agencies.

The blackmail mechanism was put into gear the minute the news reported that the House Intelligence Committee had assembled proof that the FBI, DOJ, and DNC created Russiagate as a conspiracy to unseat President Trump. Members of Congress with nothing to hide demanded the evidence be released to the public.

Of course, it was to be expected that release of the facts would be denounced by Democrats, but Republicans, such as Rep. Mike Conaway (R, Texas), himself a member of the committee, joined in the effort to protect the Democrats and the corrupt FBI and DOJ from exposure. Hiding behind national security concerns, Conaway opposes revealing the classified information. “That’d be real dangerous,” he said.

As informed people know, 95% of the information that is classified is for purposes that have nothing to do with national security.

The House Intelligence Committee memo has no information in it related to any security except that of Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Hillary, Obama, Mueller, Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, the DNC, and the presstitute media.

The logical assumption is that every member of Congress opposed to informing the American public of the Russiagate conspiracy to unseat the President of the United States is being blackmailed by the security agencies who planned, organized, and implemented the conspiracy against the President of the United States and American democracy.

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American insouciance is a great enabler of the ability of the security agencies and their media whores to control the explanations.

The Mobile Web Development Buffet

In modern Mobile Web Development, there is an unlimited number of platforms, solutions, and frameworks that areavailableto web developers. Frameworks like Angular and React are extremely popular and offer a lot of out of the box features, as well as theenterprise level support. However, they also require you to load […]

“I Have To Apologize” – Contrite Pope Sorry For Accusing Child Sex-Abuse Victims Of Lying

A day after Pope Francis ended his trip to Chile by publicly defending a bishop who victims have accused of covering up widespread pedophilia in the country, by attacking the credibility of child sex abuse victims in a shocking move made at the end of a trip which he had hoped to ‘heal’ the wounds of said abuse, The Holy See has stunned Catholics again… and apologized.

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As we detailed over the weekend Associated Press reported that Francis made the shocking comments in a discussion about Rev. Fernando Karadima who has been found guilty of sexually abusing a slew of minors as a member of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis accused victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.

“The day I see proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk. There is not a single piece of evidence against him. It is all slander. Is that clear?” the pope replied in a snippy tone.

The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011.

A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.

And now, as Reuters reports, Pope Francis, in an extremely rare act of self-criticism, apologised to victims of clerical sex abuse on Sunday, acknowledging he had “wounded many” in comments defending a Chilean bishop who is under scrutiny.

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However, while the pope was sorry for his choice of words, he hastily added that he was certain that the prelate, Juan Barros, who has been accused of being complicit in the cover-up of the disgusting acts, was innocent.

“I have to apologise,” an unusually contrite pope told reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome from a week-long trip to Chile and Peru, saying he realised he had “wounded many people who were abused”.

“I apologise to them if I hurt them without realising it, but it was a wound that I inflicted without meaning to,” he said. “It pains me very much.”

But, in the latest twist to a saga that has gripped Chile, Francis said Barros, who is accused of protecting a notorious paedophile, would remain in his place in the diocese of Osorno because there currently was no credible evidence against him.

Francis said on the plane: “I know how much they (abuse victims) suffer in hearing the pope say to them ‘bring me a letter with the proof,’ I realise that it is a slap in their faces, and now I realise that my expression was an unfortunate one”.

In his comments on the plane, the pope disclosed that Barros had offered to resign twice in recent years but Francis rejected the offers.

“I can’t condemn him because I don’t have evidence and because I am convinced he is innocent,” Francis said.

He said Barros would remain in his place unless credible evidence is found against him.

Juan Carlos Claret, a spokesman for anti-Barros Catholics in Osorno, southern Chile, said during the trip that he worried the pope’s response to the reporter before the apology would discourage more victims from speaking out.

“What incentive will victims have to come forward when even if the courts and the Vatican have said they are right, in the end the pope says they are pure lies?” he said in an telephone interview.

#SeeToo?

FBI Agents Discussed “Secret Society” Within DOJ And FBI Working To Undermine Trump

Congressional investigators learned from a new batch of text messages between anti-Trump FBI investigators that a “secret society of folks” within the Department of Justice and the FBI may have come together in the “immediate aftermath” of the 2016 election to undermine President Trump, according to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) who has reviewed the texts.

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The new texts were included in a 384-page DOJ document release to Congressional investigators last Friday – during which Congress was notified in the cover letter that that five months of text messages from December 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017 have gone missing (If only the NSA had copies). 

Ratcliffe was joined by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to discuss the latest developments with Fox News host Martha McCallum, when Ratcliffe said: 

What we learned today in the thousands of text messages that weve reviewed that perhaps they may not have done that (checked their bias at the door). There’s certainly a factual basis to question whether or not they acted on that bias. We know about this insurance policy that was referenced in trying to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president.

We learned today from information that in the immediate aftermath of his election that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include Page and Strzok to be working against him.

Watch: 

Rep. Gowdy deflected a question over a second special counsel, but mentioned “a text about not keeping texts,” and “more manifest bias against President Trump all the way through the election into the transition,” and finally Gowdy said he saw a text that “Director Comey was going to update the President of the United States about an investigation” which would have been Obama – and may, Gowdy speculates, have been about the Trump team.

Regarding the “secret society,” Gowdy said “You have this insurance policy in Spring 2016, and then the day after the election, what they really didn’t want to have happen, there is a text exchange between these two FBI agents, these supposed to be fact-centric FBI agents saying, ‘Perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society.’ So I’m going to want to know what secret society you are talking about, because you’re supposed to be investigating objectively the person who just won the electoral college. So yeah — I’m going to want to know.”

As we have been reporting over the last two days, the FBI “lost” five months of text messages between anti-Trump FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. 

The explanation for the gap was “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.

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The missing texts conveniently span the period between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 – the day Robert Mueller was appointed to take over the FBI’s probe of alleged Trump-Russia collusion, and during the period in which the FBI would ostensibly have been hard at work on their “insurance policyagainst a Trump victory – and during the period in which the “secret society” Rep. Ratcliffe referred to would have been hard at work

A controversy also emerged following the revelation over the missing “textgate” – in that the DOJ’s internal investigative unit, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) wrote a letter in December of last year specifically stating that they had obtained text messages from Strzok and Page covering the “missing” period revealed last Friday. 

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Alas, it appears the Inspector General Michael Horowitz made this statement in error, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a Monday statement that Horrowitz was in fact the one who discovered the FBI’s system failed to retain text messages for approximately 5 months,” which was confirmed by Fox News. 

A Justice Department spokesperson told Fox News that the Departments Office of Inspector General also does not have any text messages between the two during that time period.

Not to worry – the DOJ, known for its honesty, will leave “no stone unturned.”

“We Can’t Pretend Interest Payments Aren’t Rising Anymore…”

Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com,

Is anyone paying attention? I don’t know, but the cost of carrying debt has been rising and it’s already showing measurable impacts despite the Fed Funds rate still being very low.

My concern of course is that the global debt construct will bring global growth to a screeching halt (see also The Debt Beneath).

As the 10 year is already piercing above the 2.6% area now I want to pay attention to the data coming in as the Fed is dot plotting more rate hikes to come:

After all the Fed has hiked 5 times off the bottom floor in the past 2 years:

Can we see any measurable impact? You bet we can.

Here are personal interest payments for consumers:

Mind you we are still near the lows of the previous cycle and already total interest payments are near record highs.

The driver of course is record consumer debt and credit card debt (see also macro charts). But despite rates still being historically low this rise in interest rates has an impact on the consumer.

Already we see this:

“The big four US retail banks sustained a near 20 per cent jump in losses from credit cards in 2017, raising doubts about the ability of consumers to fuel economic expansion. “People are using their cards to get from pay cheque to pay cheque,” said Charles Peabody, managing director at the Washington-based investment group Compass Point. “There’s an underlying deterioration in the ability of the consumer to keep up with their debt service burden.” Recently disclosed results showed Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo took a combined $12.5bn hit from soured card loans last year, about $2bn more than a year ago.”

I repeat: “There’s an underlying deterioration in the ability of the consumer to keep up with their debt service burden.”

That’s a problem given the Fed’s dot plot. Before you know it consumers will be handing over a good portion of their tax cuts to credit card companies. Winning.

Is the government carrying record debt immune to this? Nope.

Here’s the latest monthly Treasury statement:

Interest on debt alone was $32B for 1 month.

During the same month the year prior it was $25B:

That’s a 28% increase year over year. Perhaps the data is lumpy month to month, we’ll see confirmation in the next few months. But much of this US government debt has to be refinanced in the next few years, meaning it will be subject to much higher rates and the US needs to continue to add to its debt to keep itself financed..

Indeed the recent tax cuts only exacerbate an already existing debt sale schedule:

“Economists with Deutsche Bank expect the extra debt the Treasury must issue to fund President Donald Trump’s tax package and the amount of debt the Federal Reserve plans to redeem at maturity this year will bloat issuance to about $1tn in 2018. That’s up more than 50 per cent from a year earlier and, when coupled with a 30 per cent rise in the amount of corporate debt that’s due to mature, leaves questions of who the eventual buyer will be.

A good question indeed.

That’s a lot of debt issuance:

Somebody has to buy it or the pain is real:

“If demand for US fixed income doesn’t double over the coming years then US long rates will move higher, credit spreads will widen, the dollar will fall, and stocks will probably go down as foreigners move out of depreciating US assets,” Torsten Sløk, an economist with the bank, said.

No, we can all pretend rising rates don’t have an impact, we can also pretend deficits don’t matter, and we can also pretend money grows on trees.

But we can’t pretend interest payments aren’t rising. Because they are. Right now.