Putin Formally Announces 2024 Election Bid

Putin Formally Announces 2024 Election Bid

As was long anticipated, Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a formal announcement saying he’s seeking re-election in 2024 – a vote that will be held between March 15 and March 17, 2024. The winner will be inaugurated in early May. Assuming a Putin victory, it would be his fifth term as head of state, and this would put him in office until 2030, after already approaching nearly a quarter-century in power.

Interestingly, the Kremlin cast Putin’s declaration as part of “spontaneous” remarks which followed an award ceremony honoring war veterans…

I won’t hide it from you — I had various thoughts about it over time, but now, you’re right, it’s necessary to make a decision,” Putin said in a video released following the event. “I will run for president of the Russian Federation.”

Russian state media is already previewing that newly annexed territories of the Donbas would vote in the election:

The Russian leader made his remarks at a ceremony where he awarded Hero of Russia medals to servicemen who had taken part in the special military operation against Ukraine. Hero of the Donetsk People’s Republic Artyom Zhoga, who was recently named speaker of the Russian federal subject’s parliament, asked if he would run in 2024 and he replied in the affirmative.

The footage from the ceremony shows Zhoga shaking hands with Putin and telling him that the entire Donbass would like him to participate in the election. “Thanks to your actions… we became free, we got the opportunity to choose… You are our president… We are your team, we need you, Russia needs you,” he said.

The legal path was paved for this expected fifth term when in 2020 the Russian population voted to overwhelmingly approve an overhaul to the national constitution. Assuming he would again win by a landslide, this means that 71-year old Putin could theoretically stay in power until even 2036 if he wanted to go that far (assuming two more back-to-back terms). He would be 83-years old that year.

In power since 2000, those prior changes to the law allow him to run for two more terms in the Kremlin once his current term ends in 2024. The law now in effect basically “resets” his number of terms already served, which considerably stretch all the way back to 2000 (excepting Dmitry Medvedev’s stint as president, 2008-2012). 

One early indicator of Putin’s intentions was on display all the way back in 2020, when he told reporters while discussing at that time the proposed constitutional changes, “I do not rule out the possibility of running for office, if this comes up in the Constitution. We’ll see.” He has also said at the time, “I have not decided anything for myself yet,” according to the prior state television interview statements.

Via AP

Very likely, the Russian population will rally around desiring a ‘strong’ and ‘proven’ leader that can stand up to the West, and to Washington and NATO in particular, again especially given the proxy war nature of what’s happening in Ukraine, and given it remains clear that the Russian side is ‘winning’. But it remains that among some sectors, the war is unpopular given reports of a huge Russian death toll. The numbers of young men coming back either in coffins or severely maimed from war has certainly had an impact among many common Russian families.

It’s been many years since Putin actually had any significant challengers who had major name recognition in Russia (even during Medvedev’s rule, Putin was seen as the ‘real power’ while in the prime minister’s role). The West would chalk this up to the Kremlin oppressing or locking up any political rivals or oppositionists (like Navalny, who never actually polled very high regardless) – while many Russians would see in Putin national unity and strength. Following last summer’s Wagner armed rebellion, his power is consolidated now more than ever.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 19:20

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Senate Votes Down Resolution To Withdraw Troops From Syria: “Another Regional War Without Debate”

Senate Votes Down Resolution To Withdraw Troops From Syria: “Another Regional War Without Debate”

Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

The Senate on Thursday voted down a resolution that would have directed President Biden to withdraw all US troops from Syria, where US forces have come under frequent attack in response to President Biden’s support for Israel’s Gaza onslaught.

The bill failed in a vote of 13-84 and received support from seven Democrats, five Republicans, and one Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT). The resolution was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who argued the US occupation of eastern Syria risks a major regional war.

Getty Images

“Keeping 900 US troops in Syria does nothing to advance American security. Rather, our intervention puts those servicemembers at grave risk by providing an enticing target for Iranian-backed militias,” Paul said.

“Our continued presence risks the United States getting dragged into yet another regional war in the Middle East without debate or a vote by the people’s representatives in Congress. Congress must cease abdicating its constitutional war powers to the executive branch,” he added.

Paul’s bill would have given the president 30 days to withdraw from Syria unless he was able to get authorization from Congress. The resolution received support from Robert Ford, who was the US ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014 when the US first threw its weight behind the regime change effort against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“We owe our soldiers serving there in harm’s way a serious debate about whether their mission is, in fact, achievable. Absent a debate and authorization of such a mission, our troops should be removed. Consideration of S.J. Res. 51 is an important opportunity for the Senate to take a step towards that necessary outcome,” Ford said.

The US has launched several rounds of airstrikes against Shia militias in Syria and Iraq in response to the rocket and drone attacks that have targeted US bases since October 17. The US bombings, which have killed dozens of militia members, have not deterred further attacks, and the region has turned into a powder keg.

Via Artishok Interactive/EA Worldview

The US maintains that its presence in eastern Syria is about fighting ISIS remnants, but the occupation is part of a broader campaign against Damascus and its allies, which includes Iran. The US maintains crippling economic sanctions on Syria that are designed to prevent the country’s reconstruction, and the area the US occupies is where most of Syria’s oil and gas fields are located.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 19:00

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Vivek Vivisects Van Jones Over ‘Great Replacement’ Hypocrisy

Vivek Vivisects Van Jones Over ‘Great Replacement’ Hypocrisy

Vivek Ramaswamy has seriously kicked the hornet’s nest – drawing harsh rebuke from MSM over his fiery debate performance on Wednesday, where he;

  • Called Nikki Haley a ‘fascist’ for thinking “the government should identify every one of those individuals with an ID”

  • Slammed Haley and Biden for being two of the last “neocons” supporting “pointless war” in Ukraine

  • Fat shamed Chris Christie

  • Said he was the “only candidate” who would raise questions regarding the Jan. 6 riot, Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11 and more

  • Suggested the 2020 election was stolen

  • Said that the “Great Replacement Theory is not some grand, right-wing conspiracy theory,” but rather a “basic statement of the Democratic Party’s platform” and that the 2020 was “stolen by Big Tech.”


It was the “great replacement theory” that really got the hornets buzzing – with the NY Times writing that it was a “racist idea that minorities, sometimes manipulated by Jews, want to replace white Americans,” none of which Ramaswamy articulated.

The “great replacement theory” has been creeping into the conservative mainstream, popularized by hosts like Tucker Carlson, and has been referenced by several mass shooters. -NY Times

CNN host Van Jones got in on the feeding frenzy, calling Ramaswamy a “demagogue” for discussing said great replacement theory.

Except, Jones himself is a big fan of it, which Vivek fired back in Jones’ face with a 2021 video of the race hustler saying “The request from the racial justice left: we want the white majority to go from being a majority to being a minority and like it. That’s a tough request, and change is hard.”


The replies were priceless…


Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 18:40

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“A Constant State Of Sticker Shock” – Here Is Proof That Inflation In The US Is Wildly Out Of Control

“A Constant State Of Sticker Shock” – Here Is Proof That Inflation In The US Is Wildly Out Of Control

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Do you believe the politicians in Washington or do you believe your own eyes? 

The politicians keep telling us that “inflation is low”, but everyone can see that everything sure does cost a lot more than it once did.  Our standard of living just keeps going down, and even JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is admitting that “inflation is hurting people”.  But how can inflation be “hurting people” if it is under control?  Of course the truth is that it isn’t under control.  If the official rate of inflation was still measured using the formula that was in place in 1980, it would be well into double digit territory right now.  Prices have been rising much faster than paychecks have, and that is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on the more than 60 percent of U.S. adults that currently live paycheck to paycheck.

Vox is a website that leans very far to the left, and even they are complaining about inflation.

In fact, a recent article posted on Vox boldly declared that life in 2023 “means being in a constant state of sticker shock”

Life in 2023 means being in a constant state of sticker shock.

You walk out of the grocery store feeling like you’re not really sure what happened, but somehow, your normal fare ran you $50 more than you swear it should have. Did Diet Coke always cost that much? Or eggs? Maybe you’ve been putting off buying that new car in the hope prices go back to where they were pre-pandemic, but you’re starting to feel like the wait is awfully long. Or, the morning after a post-work happy hour, you’re left scratching your head. You swear you had two glasses of wine, but the size of your credit card receipt makes you wonder if it wasn’t four. “How expensive everything is today” is a top theme of conversation. The whole situation can be infuriating.

I don’t care for Vox much, but those two paragraphs are quite accurate.

Prices have reached absurd heights, and most of us really are “in a constant state of sticker shock” these days.

And the cold, hard numbers back this up.

According to a report from Republican members of the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee, the typical household in this country “must spend an additional $11,434 annually” in order to have the same standard of living that it did when Joe Biden entered the White House…

The typical American household must spend an additional $11,434 annually just to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed in January of 2021, right before inflation soared to 40-year highs, according to a recent analysis of government data.

So let me ask you a question.

Has your household income gone up by $11,434 a year since January 2021?

If you are like most Americans, your income has barely moved.

As I discussed last week, half of all American workers made less than $40,847.18 last year.

If you are one of those workers, life is not easy in 2023.

Even really basic things just cost so much at this point.  For example, a Big Mac value meal will now set you back 18 dollars in some parts of the country…

A Big Mac burger, a medium beverage, and a medium fry meal now costs 18 dollars in some locations, up $10 from 2018 when former President Donald Trump was president.

Visiting McDonald’s has become something that only wealthy people can afford to do on a regular basis.

Of course it isn’t just fast food that has become painfully expensive

  • A pound of ground beef now costs $5.23 on average, up from $3.89 in January 2020.

  • Coffee is up some $2 a pound. Prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are nearly 14% higher.

  • At one point, the price of a carton of eggs was triple its pre-pandemic price.

When I was growing up, my mother would feed us ground beef all the time.

Now it is considered to be a luxury item.

Let me give you another example of how inflation is killing us financially.

The cost of auto insurance and the cost of home insurance are both going through the roof

The skyrocketing cost of auto and home insurance is increasingly weighing on cash-strapped Americans.

In 2022, the average price of both types of insurance saw its biggest spike in more than five years.

And this year rates are projected to grow by an even greater amount, according to analysis from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Within the first seven months, both had already jumped by double-digit amounts.

When you combine both expenses, the average American household is now spending over $3,700 a year

According to the latest analysis from Forbes Advisor, the average cost of home insurance is $1,582 a year for a policy with $350,000 coverage. And typical motorist pays $2,150 a year for full coverage car insurance.

That means on car and home insurance alone a household can expect to spend more than $3,700 a year.

How can anyone afford that?

And don’t get me started on health insurance.

Our system is so broken that only those with lots of money can afford a decent health insurance policy that actually has adequate coverage.

Needless to say, Joe Biden doesn’t want to take the blame for any of this.  Last week, he was accusing large corporations of “price gouging”

President Joe Biden delivered remarks from the White House on Monday to announce the new council’s creation. He touted the lower inflation rate and falling grocery prices but admonished American companies for, in his view, not going far enough.

“Let me be clear: To any corporation that has not brought their prices back down—even as inflation has come down, even as supply chains have been rebuilt—it’s time to stop the price gouging,” Biden warned, imploring them to “giv[e] the American consumer a break.”


Other liberals are actually blaming you for inflation…

People hate inflation, just not enough to spend less: This is one of the central tensions of today’s economy, in which things are going great yet everyone is miserable. And in some ways, Americans have nobody to blame but themselves.

No matter how high prices go, most of us still have to pay the bills and put food on the table.

So there is only so much that we can “cut back” on our spending.

However, one recent survey did find that approximately a quarter of the U.S. population has been engaged in “doom spending”

Nearly all Americans, 96%, are concerned about the current state of the economy, according to a recent report by Intuit Credit Karma.

Still, more than a quarter are “doom spending,” or spending money despite economic and geopolitical concerns, the report found.

A lot of people figure that if everything is about to fall apart they may as well enjoy things while they still can.

But I think that a much wiser approach would be to use the resources that you have to get prepared for the tremendous chaos that is ahead of us.

Economic conditions are going to get a whole lot rougher from here.

So enjoy these relatively stable times while you still can, because they will not last indefinitely…

*  *  *

Michael’s new book entitled “Chaos” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 18:20

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US Mulls Military Action Against Houthis After Officials Angered At Lack Of Response

US Mulls Military Action Against Houthis After Officials Angered At Lack Of Response

The US says it is in talks with regional allies to establish a joint naval task force to protect commercial vessels traversing the Red Sea, following several attacks on commercial ships and even the hijacking of one Israeli-linked ship.

The White House has said it’s in “active conversations” with allies about setting up such escorts. “We are in talks with other countries about a maritime task force of sorts involving the ships from partner nations alongside the United States in ensuring safe passage,” US national security advisor Jake Sullivan said earlier this week.


The US position is that even though Houthi rebels out of Yemen had “their finger on the trigger” – also after declaring war on Israel – it remains that the Shia Muslim group’s Iranian sponsors are ultimately responsible.

By the end of the week, fresh Bloomberg reporting confirmed the following on Friday:

The US has been consulting with Gulf allies about potential military action against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels in response to their increasingly brazen attacks on ships in the Red Sea, according to several people with knowledge of the discussions.

The talks are at a preliminary stage and both the US and partners still favor diplomacy over direct confrontation, said the people, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. That said, the fact the discussions are taking place at all underscores how seriously the US takes the threat, the people added.

This follows several Pentagon officials complaining to US media outlets over the lack of response from President Biden over the increased attacks from the Houthis.

Defense leaders are said to be “frustrated” and handcuffed by US political leadership’s lack of action at a moment US warships are under direct threat in the region. Politico described the growing anger and pushback from the Pentagon this week as follows: 

Senior Biden administration officials agree that striking Houthis in Yemen is the wrong course of action for now, per three U.S. officials, even though some military officers have proposed more forceful responses to the militants’ attacks in the Red Sea.

There’s high-level consensus within the administration that it does not make sense for the U.S. military to respond directly to the Houthis, the officials said. Although the missile and drone attacks on three civilian vessels on Sunday drew a U.S. Navy warship into an hours-long firefight, U.S. intelligence officials have not determined that the warship was the target.

The Biden White House has further been accused of “downplaying” the threat:

Some current and former military officials were frustrated by the administration’s initial response to the Houthis’ Sunday attacks on the ships. The Houthis launched four drone and missile attacks on three ships; the destroyer USS Carney, responding to the distress calls, shot down three drones in its vicinity. Those current and former officials say the Iran-backed group’s increasingly aggressive behavior poses a significant risk to American forces in the region, and took issue with the administration’s public statements on Monday, which they say downplayed that threat.


The dissenters worry that lack of meaningful response could only embolden Iran-backed forces in the region, which also includes militia groups across Syria and Iraq, where Americans have also been coming under fire.

All of this serves to highlight that positioning Americans in the region – which includes the now years long occupation of Syria to put pressure on Assad – leaves troops incredibly vulnerable. Indeed Iran might see them as ‘easy targets’ – and with little to no strategic advance for Washington whatsoever.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 18:00

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Elon Musk Appeals SEC Case To US Supreme Court, Alleges Violation Of Free Speech Rights

Elon Musk Appeals SEC Case To US Supreme Court, Alleges Violation Of Free Speech Rights

Authored by Gary Bai via The Epoch Times,

Elon Musk asked the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a part of a deal he made with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that required vetting of his online posts, alleging that the deal violates his free speech rights, Mr. Musk’s lawyer, Ellyde Thompson, confirmed with The Epoch Times on Thursday.

The billionaire businessman asked the high court in a Dec. 7 petition to hear his appeal of a lower court’s decision in May that upheld a 2018 consent decree that he negotiated with the SEC, escalating a years-long feud between the industrialist and the powerful regulatory agency to the nation’s highest court.

The consent decree resulted from settlement negotiations of a 2018 lawsuit brought by the federal agency against Mr. Musk, which alleged that Mr. Musk made “false and misleading” statements to investors when he posted on Twitter (now X) in August of that year that he had “funding secured” to take private his electric car company, Tesla.

The terms of the consent decree, to which Mr. Musk agreed, stipulate that Mr. Musk steps down as the then-chairman of Tesla; Mr. Musk and Tesla each pay a civil penalty of $20 million; and that Mr. Musk obtain pre-approval from a securities lawyer before publishing written statements about Tesla or its shareholders.

In February 2019, the SEC alleged that Mr. Musk violated that deal when he posted on Twitter, “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019,” and sought contempt sanctions, which included fines and potential imprisonment.

After a few court proceedings, the two parties resolved the contempt sanctions, but Mr. Musk sought to quash the SEC’s consent decree, arguing that the SEC had exploited the decree to “punish protected speech” because Mr. Musk is an “outspoken and much-followed critic of the government generally, and the SEC specifically.”

A Manhattan-based federal district court and later a federal appeals court both ruled in favor of the SEC, on the rationale that Mr. Musk could not revisit the speech-vetting deal because he previously agreed to the deal in the settlement with the SEC.

“Parties entering into consent decrees may voluntarily waive their First Amendment and other rights,” wrote a three-judge panel in the Manhattan-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in an August decision. “Had Musk wished to preserve his right to tweet without even limited internal oversight concerning certain Tesla-related topics, he had ‘the right to litigate and defend against the [SEC’s] charges’ or to negotiate a different agreement—but he chose not to do so.”

Mr. Musk’s Thursday filing takes issue with this point of law, contending that despite having agreed to the consent decree after negotiations with the SEC, the agency had no right to impose, as a condition of settling, a “gag rule” that they contend violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment constraints on governmental limits on free speech.

The petition asks the court to rule that “government settlements are not immune from constitutional scrutiny,” a decision Mr. Musk’s lawyer says would benefit “the hundreds of defendants who settle cases with the SEC each year” because they cannot afford to litigate.

The SEC consent decree “restricts Mr. Musk’s speech even when truthful and accurate,” Mr. Musk’s lawyers wrote in the petition to the Supreme Court. “It extends to speech not covered by the securities laws and with no relation to the conduct underlying the SEC’s civil action against Mr. Musk. And it chills Mr. Musk’s speech through the never-ending threat of contempt, fines, or even imprisonment for otherwise protected speech if not pre-approved to the SEC’s or a court’s satisfaction.”

The district and appeal courts’ ruling “squarely conflicts” with past U.S. Supreme Court decisions,” they added, “and it vests administrative agencies with intolerable power to coerce private parties into relinquishing their constitutional rights.”

Four of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices would need to agree to hear the case for it to advance to oral arguments.

Separately, the New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to reconsider its March decision that Musk violated federal labor law by posting on Twitter in May 2018 that Tesla employees would lose stock options if they joined a union. The Fifth Circuit is set to hear arguments in the case in January 2024.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 17:40

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“Trumpism Created This” – Former NOLA Mayor Says DEI Depts Not Responsible For Jewish Safety On Campus

“Trumpism Created This” – Former NOLA Mayor Says DEI Depts Not Responsible For Jewish Safety On Campus

Reflecting on the now viral testimony from the various Ivy League presidents this week – variously refusing to condemn calls for genocide against Jews on campus – CNBC anchor Sara Eisen dared to go there with former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial asking him what he made of their comments in light of the growing antisemitism on American campuses.

Morial claimed that he “did not see the testimony” but was careful immediately make it clear he is not an anti-semite and condemns all hate, adding the ubiquitous statement that “I believe in free speech, but free speech is not hate speech.”

Eisen was not done, asking:

“Given your experience with DEI departments, do you think that something has gone a little rotten in some of these programs at campuses… and whether they really are ‘all-inclusive’ when it comes to protecting diversity, equity, and inclusion?”

Morial snapped back that “I think that type of argument is a diversion.”

“It is scapegoating programs that have at their core the necessity to include all people,” and then he drops the narrative-hammer…

“…what has created all this is… Trumpism.”

Of course, how stupid of us all! It had to be Trump, as Morial then claimed the actions on January 6th and in Charlottesville have created this antisemitic ground-swell on campuses.

But, the CNBC anchor halted his diatribe earlier, asking pointedly”

“…then why can’t these DEI departments protect Jewish students on campuses right now and make them feel safe?”

Morial immediately exposed the reality of these virtue-signaling programs in one damning sentence:

“The responsibility to protect Jewish students is not with the DEI departments,” adding that it is on the board of trustees and leaders of universities before falling back to the old trope that “free speech is not hate speech.” (for multiple definitions of ‘hate’).

So, now you know – Jewish students should not count on the help of the departments set up to ensure the safety and inclusion of various religions (except Judaism), races, and nationalities (except Israelis).

Watch the full exchange below:

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 17:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/I3w5EZ1 Tyler Durden

White House Delays Implementing Ban On Menthol Cigarettes Until At Least 2024

White House Delays Implementing Ban On Menthol Cigarettes Until At Least 2024

Authored by Stephen Katte via The Epoch Times,

White House officials are reportedly taking more time to review a sweeping plan from U.S. health regulators to ban menthol from all cigarettes.

According to a Dec. 6 updated regulatory agenda, the review process will now continue into 2024, with a current target date of March to possibly implement the ban.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been developing a rule to eliminate menthol as a characterizing cigarette flavor since 2022. The federal agency estimates a ban on the flavor additive could prevent 300,000 to 650,000 smoking deaths over several decades. They claim most of the preventable deaths would be among minority groups and Americans of African descent, who disproportionately smoke menthol cigarettes.

In the proposed rule, the federal agency said the new product standard would reduce the appeal of cigarettes, particularly to youth and young adults, and possibly decrease the likelihood of them progressing to “regular cigarette smoking.” If the rule is successfully implemented, cigarette companies will have one year to phase out menthol. It’s unclear if they would face any penalties for failing to adhere to the new rule.

“In addition, the tobacco product standard would improve the health and reduce the mortality risk of current menthol cigarette smokers by decreasing cigarette consumption and increasing the likelihood of cessation,” the FDA rule reads.

According to the FDA, menthol is a flavor additive with a mint taste and aroma that aids in reducing the harshness and irritation of smoking. It says the additive also helps boost the appeal of cigarettes and makes the menthol variants interact with nicotine in the brain, enhancing the nicotine’s addictive effects.

Anti-smoking groups have been backing the FDA’s efforts since the beginning. Following the updated rule implementation date, some of the anti-smoking groups warned the delay could see the effort to phase out menthol held up indefinitely.

The FDA estimates there were 18.5 million menthol cigarette smokers aged 12 and above in the United States in 2018, and there were particularly high rates of use by youth, young adults, and Americans with African ancestry and other racial and ethnic groups.

“Any delay in finalizing the FDA’s menthol rule would be a gift to the tobacco industry at the expense of Black lives,” Yolanda Richardson, CEO of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a media statement.

“We urge the administration to keep its promise and issue a final rule by the end of this year,” she added.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, menthol is the only cigarette flavor still allowed in the United States after a 2009 law was passed by Congress that prohibited all other cigarette flavors.

FDA officials reportedly sent their final version of the regulation to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in October. Generally, this is the last before a rule is released. However, the White House has agreed to hold meetings with groups and corporations opposing the FDA’s rule, including civil rights advocates, business owners, and law enforcement officials, before making a decision. More than 60 meetings have been scheduled at this stage, with final discussions expected to stretch into January.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 17:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/BuAHMIW Tyler Durden

US Bank Deposit Outflows Continue To Surge As Regional ‘Stress’ Accelerates

US Bank Deposit Outflows Continue To Surge As Regional ‘Stress’ Accelerates

Yesterday we found out that inflows to money-market funds continue to be huge ($290BN in six weeks), and more importantly, regional banks’ usage of The Fed’s BTFP bailout facility surged to a new record high (even as regional banks surged

Source: Bloomberg

And so, with that shitshow in mind, we await the glorious manipulation of The Fed’s bank deposits data to reinforce that equity confidence.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, banks saw a $53.7BN deposit outflow…

Source: Bloomberg

However, on a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, deposits rose by $27BN

Source: Bloomberg

And even with the outflows (SA), the divergence between soaring money-market funds and bank deposits continues to widen…

Source: Bloomberg

Excluding foreign bank deposits, domestic banks saw the third week of the last four of deposit outflows (-$40.6BN SA) with Large banks -$35BN (SA) and Small banks losing $5.7BN (SA). On an NSA basis, domestic banks saw inflows of $36.5BN last week with Large banks adding $32BN and Small banks adding $4BN…

Source: Bloomberg

That adds up to $88BN (SA) of deposit outflows in the last four weeks (bank to its lowest total since May…

Source: Bloomberg

And on the other side of the ledger, despite deposits declining SA, loan volumes increased (SA) for the third week in a row with Small banks adding $2.1BN and Large banks adding $3.8BN…

Source: Bloomberg

Finally, the key warning sign continues to trend ominously lower (Small Banks’ reserve constraint), supported above the critical level by The Fed’s emergency funds (for now)…

Source: Bloomberg

As the red line shows, without The Fed’s help, the crisis is back (and large bank cash needs a home – green line – like picking up a small bank from the FDIC).

Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 16:40

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/f3mewZx Tyler Durden

“Similarities Between Late-’80s USSR & Present-Day USA Are Uncanny…”

“Similarities Between Late-’80s USSR & Present-Day USA Are Uncanny…”

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The New Nation Pastime: Blob-Ball

“The similarities between the late 1980s USSR and present day USA are uncanny — the endless lies, the corruption, the hollowing out of institutions, the censorship, and the decrepit leadership that is despised by the public.”

 – Dr Toby Rogers

The blob ran a clever third down lawfare play deep in its own territory Thursday night, a sort of double-reverse statue of liberty counter-switcheroo in its game-plan to “save our democracy,” as it calls its agenda of suppressions, persecutions, swindles, bad trips, and mind-fucks laid on the sore-beset people of this land. Blob special prosecutor David C. Weiss finally managed to indict Hunter Biden on tax evasion charges so flagrant and obvious that all the ham sandwiches convicted for the Jan 6 “insurrection” watched in awe from their prison cells.

You understand, this was months after Mr. Weiss concocted a cream puff plea deal for the president’s beloved son that blew up embarrassingly in the Delaware federal court when Judge Maryellen Noreika discerned a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free clause buried deep in the document, at about the same time that two IRS whistleblowers revealed the malfeasant incompetence of Mr. Weiss’s initial five-year-long dawdling investigation that, oops, let the statute of limitations run out on many of the pending charges.

That fiasco was followed by Mr. Weiss and AG Merrick Garland contradicting each other in House testimony about who had investigative authority where in the federal court matrix. And finally, the tax evasion matters landed in the Biden-friendly Los Angeles federal district, where Hunter officially lives (when not hiding out in the Lincoln bedroom), emerging from a grand jury Thursday night as a bill for three felonies and six misdemeanors.

The indictment, a public document, contains some interesting particulars, such as Hunter attempting to write off as business expenses $683,212 in fees for the unspecified services of “various women” (much as the services rendered by Hunter’s Owasco PC shell company were never specified in million-dollar legal retainer agreements made with Chinese “clients”). The curious can consult the website https://bidenreport.com, a.k.a. “Macro Polo” for a photographic record of Hunter B’s sex trafficking capers, such as:

Of course, buried in this hairball of sleaze is another cute dodge that will permit Hunter to take a pass on his subpoenaed closed-door deposition scheduled for December 13th with Rep. James Comer’s House Oversight Committee on the grounds that he is under indictment and would only repeat his 5th Amendment rights ad infinitum. Smooth move, DOJ. While it confers a short-term field advantage to the DC blob, few will misunderstand that behind all of this procedural stagecraft is the somewhat greater matter of Hunter’s dad, President “Joe Biden,” being a paid agent of the Chinese Communist Party (and several other entities not favorably disposed to the USA’s national interests). That is: hanging over all this is the question of treason, attending the question of bribery, both being gold-standard impeachable offenses, and one them a capital crime.

That is the place to which all this rigmarole is tending, and so the pretense that “Joe Biden” is actually running for reelection grows more preposterous by the day. But it is just one of a thousand other things that the DC blob — i.e., our government — lies about incessantly to the peril of the people suffering its governance. What’s actually happening is that “Joe Biden,” our Flying Dutchman president, is barely clinging to office long enough to pardon his son and accomplices in the influence-peddling racket he ran at the center of which was “Joe Biden’s” strangely fortuitous blobular selection as Democratic Party nominee and subsequent “victory” by blatant fraud in the 2020 election. Some people knew the fix was in.

The pathetic thing about the Biden family business is that for all that trouble and all those jet plane rides, and tedious dinners with men reeking of too much cologne, and all the cozying up to foreign poohbahs and kissing their hirsute asses, shlepping the family brand from one sad-sack national capital to the next: Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Romania, the Biden clan only grossed about $25-million, maximum, over many years — which is to say about equal to one year’s salary-and-bonus of a mid-level shlub at the commodities desk of a hedge fund. I mean, when you consider the billions accumulated by the likes of Larry Fink at BlackRock, or Bezos at Amazon, or the obscene fortunes of the wonder boys at Google and Facebook.

Side note: Senator John Kennedy, usually witty and agile, had a go at FBI Director Christopher Wray this week in a Judiciary Committee session. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Wray how come, in the fall of 2020, with the election on, and The New York Post’s scoop on the existence of a Hunter Biden laptop, and the subsequent psy-op by 51 former intel maestros saying the laptop story was Russian disinfo — Mr. Kennedy asked, “Why didn’t the FBI just come out and say, hey, the laptop’s real?”

Mr. Wray gave a bullshit answer of course… “an ongoing investigation, blah, blah….”

I have a better question that Senator Kennedy might put to Christopher Wray about this matter.

In fact, the FBI had the Hunter Biden laptop hard-drive in its possession as early as December 2019, just as the first Trump impeachment trial commenced.

Had they bothered at that time to examine its contents, and if not, why not?

And if they had looked around inside and seen the multitudinous emails concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealings with other countries, Ukraine especially, and in particular with Mykola Zlochevsky’s Burisma company, why did Mr. Wray not alert President Trump’s attorneys that he was in possession of possibly exculpatory evidence regarding the president’s supposedly nefarious phone call to newly elected Ukraine President Zelensky that kicked off the impeachment? Huh? Just wondering.

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Tyler Durden
Fri, 12/08/2023 – 16:20

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