European Spring? Germany Braces For Major Strikes While France Burns

European Spring? Germany Braces For Major Strikes While France Burns

The “winter of discontent” that has been sweeping across Europe has now escalated into a “spring of discontent,” with strikes and protests set to spread from France, Greece, and other surrounding countries to Germany. 

According to Reuters, Germany’s Verdi union and the railway and transport union EVG are preparing to unleash paralyzing strikes on the country’s airports and railways next Monday.

Verdi is negotiating for 2.5 million public sector workers, including ones at airports and other public transport hubs. The union has demanded higher wages due to persistent inflation pressures. EVG is negotiating for 230,000 employees at railway company Deutsche Bahn and bus companies. 

Meanwhile, a recession looms for Europe’s largest economy, which finds itself in the midst of an inflationary crisis. After experiencing a 0.4% GDP contraction in the fourth quarter of 2022, it’s anticipated that the economy will once again contract in the first quarter. 

“German economic activity will probably fall again in the current quarter,” the Bundesbank said. “However, the decline is likely to be less than in the final quarter of 2022.”

Two consecutive quarters of negative growth indicate recession and come as inflation weighs heavily on consumption. The combination of the two crushes living standards and is sparking a wave of discontent. 

While Germany braces for strikes and protests next week, France, Europe’s third-largest economy, is already burning as President Emmanuel Macron rammed through unpopular pension reform. 

With growing instability in Western nations and the threat of a broadening banking crisis, the primary concern is whether NATO is adequately equipped to handle future conflicts.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/22/2023 – 02:45

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NATO Shouldn’t Trust Hungary And Turkey, Claims German Newspaper Die Welt

NATO Shouldn’t Trust Hungary And Turkey, Claims German Newspaper Die Welt

Authored by Denes Albert and John Cody via Remix News,

Hungary is “authoritarian” and NATO should consider withholding sensitive information from Turkey and Hungary, Die Welt foreign policy commentator Clemens Wergin writes

German newspaper Die Welt claims in an opinion piece that Turkey and Hungary should not be trusted within the NATO alliance. The paper writes that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to block Sweden’s NATO accession, and Hungary wants EU money in exchange for approving the membership of both nations.

The author of the piece, Clemens Wergin, also claims that both nations have developed “unseemly” ties to Russia and then asks whether NATO should even share sensitive data with both countries.

“And in their turn toward authoritarianism, Ankara and Budapest have also distanced themselves significantly from the community of values ​​for which NATO stands. The alliance is therefore well advised to treat both as partners with reservation. This should include, for example, no longer necessarily sharing certain sensitive data with Turkey and Hungary within NATO,” Wergin writes.

When Wergin, the chief foreign policy correspondent for Die Welt, refers to “authoritarianism,” he makes no mention of the fact that French President Emmanuel Macron is facing mass protests in his country after ramming through pension reform without even a vote in parliament, or that he then banned protests in certain areas of Paris following the decree. In Germany itself, the current government is looking to ban one of the country’s top opposition parties, Alternative for Germany (AfD), even as the party soars in popularity. Such an authoritarian move would be met with an outcry from Brussels and Berlin if Orbán were to even consider banning opposition parties in Hungary.

Regarding the “blackmail” Wergin claims Hungary is subjecting NATO to, it should be noted that the EU first “blackmailed” Hungary, demanding the country make rule-of-law changes in order to unlock billions in EU funds. Arguably, the Hungarian government has more of a democratic mandate than the German government, with Orbán’s Fidesz party receiving such high levels of support that it resulted in yet another landslide victory last year and a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Wergin argues that Finland is likely to join NATO soon, as Erdoğan has given up his opposition to that country’s NATO membership. That means Finland is likely to join NATO without Sweden. He posits that this is because the Turkish decision is putting considerable pressure on the Hungarian government, which is also blocking membership, to agree to at least Finnish membership as well.

“As a result, it has now become more likely that at least Finland, which is particularly vulnerable due to its long land border with Russia, will be able to join NATO in the near future. Sweden, on the other hand, will probably have to wait at least until after the elections in Turkey. Northeastern Europe would thus become an area of divided security for the time being, with the Finns inside the NATO umbrella and the Swedes on the outside,” he argues.

He continues by writing that both states had turned the Nordic countries’ urgent application for membership, triggered by the Russian war, into a “farce” and prevented admission for extraneous reasons. Erdoğan wanted Sweden to impose a tougher policy on Turkish opposition groups and had also been outraged by an anti-Islam action by right-wing provocateur Rasmus Paulson, who had burned a Quran in Stockholm. He claims Paulson was funded by Russia but offers no evidence in support of his claim.

On his recent trip to Turkey, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán repeated his country’s stance for immediate peace talks to end the war in Ukraine, saying that Europe was suffering from “war psychosis,” with the continent drifting further into war day by day.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/22/2023 – 02:00

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The Crusade Against ‘Malinformation’ Explicitly Targets Inconvenient Truths

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

Last month, I noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had repeatedly exaggerated the scientific evidence supporting face mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook attached a warning to that column, which it said was “missing context” and “could mislead people.”

According to an alliance of social media platforms, government-funded organizations, and federal officials that journalist Michael Shellenberger calls the “censorship-industrial complex,” I had committed the offense of “malinformation.” Unlike “disinformation,” which is intentionally misleading, or “misinformation,” which is erroneous, “malinformation” is true but inconvenient.

As illustrated by internal Twitter communications that journalist Matt Taibbi highlighted last week, malinformation can include emails from government officials that undermine their credibility and “true content which might promote vaccine hesitancy.” The latter category encompasses accurate reports of “breakthrough infections” among people vaccinated against COVID-19, accounts of “true vaccine side effects,” objections to vaccine mandates, criticism of politicians, and citations of peer-reviewed research on naturally acquired immunity.

Disinformation and misinformation have always been contested categories, defined by the fallible and frequently subjective judgments of public officials and other government-endorsed experts. But malinformation is even more clearly in the eye of the beholder, since it is defined not by its alleged inaccuracy but by its perceived threat to public health, democracy, or national security, which often amounts to nothing more than questioning the wisdom, honesty, or authority of those experts.

Taibbi’s recent revelations focused on the work of the Virality Project, which the taxpayer-subsidized Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) launched in 2020. Although Renée DiResta, the SIO’s research manager, concedes that “misinformation is ultimately speech,” meaning the government cannot directly suppress it, she says the threat it poses “require[s] that social media platforms, independent researchers and the government work together as partners in the fight.”

That sort of collaboration raises obvious free speech concerns. If platforms like Twitter and Facebook were independently making these assessments, their editorial discretion would be protected by the First Amendment. But the picture looks different when government officials, including the president, the surgeon general, members of Congress, and representatives of public health and law enforcement agencies, publicly and privately chastise social media companies for not doing enough to suppress speech they view as dangerous.

Such meddling is especially alarming when it includes specific “requests” to remove content, make it less accessible, or banish particular users. Even without explicit extortion, those requests are tantamount to commands, because they are made against a backdrop of threats to punish recalcitrant platforms.

The threats include antitrust action, increased liability for user-posted content, and other “legal and regulatory measures.” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said such measures might be necessary when he demanded a “whole-of-society” effort to combat the “urgent threat” posed by “health misinformation.”

In a federal lawsuit filed last year, the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, joined by scientists who ran afoul of the ever-expanding crusade against disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation, argue that such pressure violates the First Amendment. This week, Terry A. Doughty, a federal judge in Louisiana, allowed that lawsuit to proceed, saying the plaintiffs had adequately alleged “significant encouragement and coercion that converts the otherwise private conduct of censorship on social-media platforms into state action.”

Doughty added that the plaintiffs “have plausibly alleged state action under the theories of joint participation, entwinement, and the combining of factors such as subsidization, authorization, and encouragement.” Based on that analysis, he ruled that the plaintiffs “plausibly state a claim for violation of the First Amendment via government-induced censorship.”

Whatever the ultimate outcome of that case, Congress can take steps to discourage censorship by proxy. Shellenberger argues that it should stop funding groups like the ISO and “mandate instant reporting of all communications between government officials and contractors with social media executives relating to content moderation.”

The interference that Shellenberger describes should not be a partisan issue. It should trouble anyone who prefers open inquiry and debate to covert government manipulation of online speech.

© Copyright 2023 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

The post The Crusade Against 'Malinformation' Explicitly Targets Inconvenient Truths appeared first on

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The People Vs. The Fed: What Political Movement Will Silicon Valley Bank’s Failure Spark?

The People Vs. The Fed: What Political Movement Will Silicon Valley Bank’s Failure Spark?

Authored by  Athan Koutsiouroumbas via RealClear Wire,

In bucolic Indiana, Pennsylvania, residents have started an “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival.”

The town’s Christmas celebration commemorates both favorite son Jimmy Stewart, who starred in the iconic movie, and the story’s message of redemption and hope.

In the film, a bank run threatens to devastate an affordable-housing business run by George Bailey, Stewart’s character. The Great Depression has come to Bedford Falls. With over 9,000 banks failing during that period, bank runs were common.

For nearly 100 years since that fictional Beaver Falls bank run, the federal government has insured bank depositors for the purpose of stopping bank runs, which have historically triggered economic depressions. That decision was part of a sweeping political movement in response to the financial crisis of the 1930s: the New Deal.

Could a political movement arise from the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank, which collapsed in mere hours? That question may be best answered by looking to the distant past.

In what came to be known as the “Bank War,” President Andrew Jackson made it his mission to dismantle the U.S. National Bank, which many blamed for triggering the Panic of 1819. Elected in 1828, just forty years after George Washington was inaugurated, the nation’s first populist president consolidated a political base against federal overreach. He succeeded by stopping the bank from being rechartered.

Near the end of the nineteenth century, the Panic of 1893 catapulted an unknown congressman from Nebraska to the Democratic Party’s 1896 presidential nomination. Comparing the economic plight of common Americans to a crucifixion, William Jennings Bryan heralded the arrival of the Progressive Era, which would legislate against the excesses of the Gilded Age.

A decade and a half later, the Panic of 1907 gave Democrats momentum to seize unified control of Congress and the White House. Signed into law in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the Federal Reserve Bank created a nationalized system to regulate banking. Wilson’s presidency would be the pinnacle of the Progressive Era.

In 1929, the stock market’s Black Tuesday triggered a series of bank runs that cratered the American economy. The ensuing destitution deeply scarred a generation of Americans and realigned the electorate, which chose Franklin D. Roosevelt to implement the New Deal – the largest expansion of the federal government in American history.  

A half-century later, stagflation – inflation without economic growth – during the Carter administration culminated with a run on First Pennsylvania Bank in 1980, resulting in the third-largest bank bailout in American history. Voters’ response was to launch the Reagan Revolution, which would attempt to pare back some of the New Deal. A former New Dealer himself, Reagan advocated for the restoration of federalism as the key to economic stability and growth.

The Great Recession of 2008 was triggered by a banking failure totaling trillions of dollars. The federal response, the Troubled Assets Relief Program, sought to backstop the failing financial system – but its massiveness also helped give rise to the Tea Party, which preached a small-government ethos. In 2016, that conservative political movement would help elect Donald Trump, who campaigned against the excesses of a federal government in which millions of Americans had lost faith.

Each of these six major financial panics launched a political movement. Americans were evenly split on choosing conservative and liberal solutions to the financial challenges they faced. The response to the Panic of 2023 will be the tiebreaker.

One thing is clear. At $319 billion and counting, the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank alone in the last two weeks are already on par with the entire 2008 financial crisis, which saw 25 banks failing, with $373 billion in combined assets. And with $620 billion of unrealized losses that triggered this crisis still pending, we may be just getting started.

What path policymakers will choose this time around is unclear. The country has never been more evenly split politically. Meanwhile, the regulatory system has attempted to stem the tide without the involvement of Congress or the White House. A political reconciliation, in other words, has been deferred.

Political issues come and go, but financial panics create political movements because they hit Americans directly, in their bank accounts. Voters pay attention.

The movement that results from this panic will depend ultimately on whom voters blame for it. That scapegoat, whether real or imagined, will determine where on the political spectrum the movement leans.

Many Americans continue to identify government itself as the top non-economic issue they face. Inflation, a problem created by government, is their top economic problem. Most Americans believe the federal government is too big and doing too much. In places like real-life Indiana, Pennsylvania or fictional Beaver Falls, it is abundantly clear that Americans have lost faith in their leading institutions.

“You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money,” George Bailey tells his antagonist in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Bailey was referring to the machinations of a powerful banker, but his words are fitting in an unintended sense, too: in American politics, realignments begin because the world revolves around voters and their money.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/22/2023 – 00:05

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Bill Gates Says “The Age Of AI Has Begun”

Bill Gates Says “The Age Of AI Has Begun”

In an op-ed titled “The Age of AI has begun” on “The Blog of Bill Gates,” Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates discussed the upcoming paradigm shift in technology. Having been instrumental in developing personal computers several decades ago, the billionaire seems to know a thing or two about technological innovation. He believes that OpenAI’s language generation artificial intelligence tools will be at the forefront of the next technological revolution. 

Gates wrote, “I’ve seen two demonstrations of technology that struck me as revolutionary.” 

“The first time was in 1980, when I was introduced to a graphical user interface—the forerunner of every modern operating system, including Windows,” he said. 

Gates said the second big surprise came last year with the impressive advancement in OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

“The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone,” he said. “It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other.”

Gates said he’s been in contact with OpenAI since 2016 and last year challenged the team to train the chatbot to pass the Advanced Placement biology exam. A few months later, he said the bot could pass a college-level biology course. 

After seeing the results, Gates began to contemplate the future and how AI will be intertwined with humans on a day-to-day basis, just like computers and smartphones.

“This inspired me to think about all the things that AI can achieve in the next five to 10 years.”

Gates has emerged as a significant player in the AI arms race, as Microsoft, the company he founded, has pledged over $10 billion in funding to OpenAI.

However, like any new technology, there’s always a concern. Gates addressed some of those issues:

“Any new technology that’s so disruptive is bound to make people uneasy, and that’s certainly true with artificial intelligence. I understand why—it raises hard questions about the workforce, the legal system, privacy, bias, and more.”

On the bias issue, there have been numerous complaints about AI trainers skewing ChatGPT toward answering questions with a left-leaning spin. This has been such a significant problem that Elon Musk is allegedly taking on — in a new project to develop a ‘non-woke’ alternative chatbot. 

Even the co-creator of ChatGPT warned that the world might not be “that far away from potentially scary” AI. 

… and what’s disturbing — is if AI is programmed to enforce the truths determined by figures like Gates, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, and the federal government. 

While Gates expresses enthusiasm about the potential of AI to be game-changing for humans, there is a flip side to it. The technology could become a tool for extreme censorship, which could make the Twitter censorship program seem trivial in comparison.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/21/2023 – 23:45

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Deficit Hawk Hypocrites And Warmongers Unite, Apparently Hoping To Start WWIII

Deficit Hawk Hypocrites And Warmongers Unite, Apparently Hoping To Start WWIII

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

The WSJ wants to send long-range missiles to Ukraine, Lindsey Graham discusses WWIII, and Republicans want defense spending to rise 5 percent more than inflation

Long-Range Missiles 

The WSJ editorial board says the best response Russian drones is to Send Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine.

The Pentagon on Thursday released footage of a Russian fighter jet that harassed, dumped fuel on and then collided this week with an American reconnaissance drone. The provocation warrants a U.S. response, and the right one is giving the Ukrainians the sophisticated and long-range weapons they need to defeat Vladimir Putin’s military.

President Biden now has more reason to do what he could have done long ago: Give Ukraine the weapons needed to win. Priority No. 1 is the Army tactical missile system, which would allow strikes deeper into Russian positions in Ukraine to gain momentum on the ground.

Question One: Oh, I suppose Russia will sit back and let that happen in its backyard just like the US allowed Russian missiles in Cuba. Right? 

Lindsey Graham: The Only Way to Avoid World War III Is to Start It

The American Conservative reports Lindsey Graham: The Only Way to Avoid World War III Is to Start It

It’s not atypical for Russian jets to intercept U.S. aircraft flying so close to its airspace. Russian aircraft have intercepted U.S. and allied aircraft over the Black Sea and off the coast of Alaska in years past. These interceptions have become more common as the U.S. and its allies continue to provide Ukraine with military and security assistance in the war against Russia, according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. Kirby said that almost all of these common interceptions have occurred without incident. The Tuesday incident, however, is drawing the eyes of the Biden administration and others in Washington not only because it resulted in the downing of an unmanned drone but because of the bizarre tactics employed by the Russian pilots, which Kirby called “unsafe and unprofessional.”

Russia’s Ministry of Defense has denied any wrongdoing on the part of its pilots. In a statement, the Ministry said the Russian Air Force scrambled fighter jets to identify the drone, which allegedly had its identifying transponder off. 

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show last night and said the U.S. should shoot down Russian jets that intercept U.S. aircraft, manned or not.

“We should hold them accountable and say that, ‘If you ever get near another U.S. asset flying in international waters, your airplane will be shot down,’” Graham claimed. Graham went on to employ the tactic that every Republican uses when trying to make a bad idea sound like a good idea: invoking the name of Ronald Reagan. “What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our assets.” Later, addressing Biden, Graham said, “If you don’t change your game and up your game, we’re going to have World War III.”

Graham’s big-brained idea is that the only way to avoid World War III is to start it? To state the obvious, killing Russian pilots would bring the U.S. into direct confrontation with Russia. The United States would effectively be at war with Russia, and when Russia responds, the U.S. will feign surprise and drag the rest of NATO into the conflict. Entangling alliances are back, and so would the great war that follows them.

Graham, the neocons, and the liberal interventionists may claim the foreign policy mantle of Reagan, but their knowledge only goes so far as “peace through strength” and the USSR is an “evil empire.” In reality, Reagan responded to acts much more reckless and violent than the downing of an unmanned drone with restraint. When the Soviet Union shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 on September 1, 1983, killing all 269 people, including sixty-one Americans and one member of Congress, Reagan did not start striking Russian assets or shooting down Russian military planes. Rather, Reagan’s first instinct was, in his own words from a National Security Meeting, “to protect against overreaction. Vengeance isn’t the name of the game.”

 “If you don’t change your game and up your game, we’re going to have World War III,” graham said addressing Biden.

Question Two: Would shooting down manned Russian aircraft near the Russian border stop WWIII or help start it?

Deficit Hawk Hypocrites 

If you think Republicans really want fiscal constraint, you aren’t thinking. 

Biden proposes a defense department increase of 3.2 percent, but the Budget Draws GOP Criticism, Sets Up Spending Clash.

“The president’s defense budget is woefully inadequate and disappointing,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He and other Republican leaders are advocating for military spending to increase at a minimum rate of 5% above inflation.

Fancy that. Republicans want spending 5% above inflation. 

Of course, Democrats are ready, willing and able to go along.

Democratic leaders welcomed Mr. Biden’s proposal Thursday as a good starting point, but they said they would insist that any military-budget boost require a corresponding bump in domestic spending.

Question Three: Has everyone gone mad?

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Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/21/2023 – 23:25

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Where Biden Stands Vs. Trump, Obama On 6 Major Issues: Gallup

Where Biden Stands Vs. Trump, Obama On 6 Major Issues: Gallup

The latest Gallup poll reveals that President Biden’s standing on six major issues vs. his two predecessors is not great. See below for his Biden scores when it comes to; the economy, immigration, foreign affairs in general, and relations with Russia and China. A sixth chart compares Biden and Trump on the pandemic response.

Via Gallup:

1. The Economy: Not Biden’s Strongest Suit

Biden’s latest job approval rating on the economy is about halfway between the worst ratings Trump and Obama each received. Both of his predecessors’ low points on the economy came toward the beginning of their presidencies, after which they saw strong improvement. This holds out some hope for Biden that he could follow a similar trajectory. Indeed, his 34% rating in February is slightly improved from his own low point of 31% in August 2022.

2. Foreign Affairs: A Quick Decline

Like Obama, Biden began his term in office with a majority of Americans approving of the job he was doing on foreign affairs in general. Yet, Biden’s approval ratings for handling foreign affairs have been 43% or lower since late 2021, including 41% now. However, Biden remains above the lowest points for both of his predecessors on the issue — 31% for Obama and 33% for Trump.

3. Immigration: Lower Than Trump

As recently highlighted in our weekly newsletter, Biden has mostly fared worse than his recent predecessors on the issue of immigration. Fewer Americans approve of the job he is doing on immigration than ever did for Trump. Obama received low approval on immigration at points in his first and second terms but saw some improvement by the end of his presidency.

4. Handling Russia: Similar to Obama and Trump

With the Russia-Ukraine war, which started over a year ago, being a major foreign policy focus of his presidency, Biden has spent a lot of time communicating to the American public about Russia. Today, Biden stands virtually tied with Trump’s last reading on handling U.S.-Russia relations, and his 37% approval rating on Russia matches Gallup’s only rating of Obama on the matter, from 2014.

5. Relations With China: Room for Improvement

For the third year in a row, Americans see China, more than any other country, as the United States’ greatest enemy in the world. As relations with China have soured, Biden’s marks on how he is handling it have worsened. Rising tensions between the nations in the past two years may also be a factor in the decline of Biden’s marks.

Gallup measured Obama’s approval on relations with China (39%) just once, in 2012, while it did so on three occasions for Trump, ranging from 40% to 47%.

6. Response to COVID: A Strong Point

COVID-19 emerged as a global pandemic in 2020 and thus has only been an issue of concern for Biden and Trump. This is one area Biden has generally outperformed his predecessor, with approval ratings ranging between 47% and 67%. After an initial high of 60% for Trump at the beginning of the pandemic, his ratings were between 36% and 44% in the summer and fall of 2020.

To stay up to date with the latest Gallup News insights and updates, follow us on Twitter.

Explore President Trump’s approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/21/2023 – 23:05

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Alan Dershowitz: Trump Can Serve As President “From Prison”

Alan Dershowitz: Trump Can Serve As President “From Prison”

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz suggested that former President Donald Trump could run for office or even serve as president if he is convicted in connection to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office investigation.

Alan Dershowitz, an attorney for President Donald Trump, answers a question during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Trump announced on social media this past weekend saying he believes he’ll be arrested soon in connection to District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s probe into whether he was involved in allegedly making hush money payments to during the 2016 campaign. Unnamed sources have also told news outlets that the former president may be indicted, but Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Dershowitz, an attorney who has represented controversial clients including O.J. Simpson and Jim Bakker, told Newsmax that he believes Trump will be indicted in New York City because of what he described as an unfair legal system in the Democrat-dominated city. But if Trump is convicted and sentenced to a prison term, the U.S. Constitution will allow him to serve in that capacity.

“He will be indicted,” Dershowitz, who also provided legal counsel to Trump during his first impeachment trial, told Newsmax. “In New York, you can indict a ham sandwich. In New York City, you can convict a ham sandwich because the jury pool is so unfair. Even if he’s convicted, he can run for president. He can run for president from prison; he can even serve as president from prison.”

The U.S. Constitution doesn’t bar felons from holding elected office, including the presidency. The Constitution’s text only lists three criteria to run for president: a candidate has to be age 35 or older, be a natural born citizen, and they must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.

In a separate interview with Chris Cuomo, Dershowitz asserted that “Trump can run from prison, the way [Boston] Mayor [James] Curley did, and he could win, and he can govern from prison.” Curley, a Democrat who served as mayor of Boston four times in the early part of the 20th century, was convicted twice and notably served time in prison during his fourth term in office.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for an event at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa, on March 13, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Trump has previously stated that he will continue to run for president in 2024 even if he is charged. Later this month, Trump is slated to hold his first 2024 rally in Waco, Texas.

There has been no public announcement of any time frame for the Manhattan grand jury’s secret work in the case. At least one additional witness is expected to testify, further indicating that no vote to indict has yet been taken, according to a person familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to publicly discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A Trump-affiliated lawyer, Robert Castello, told media outlets on Monday that he testified in front of a Manhattan grand jury and sought to denigrate testimony put forth by Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney who has been described as a key witness in the case. Castello said that Cohen, who was sentenced to federal prison on a range of charges, is an unreliable witness.

Meanwhile, Bragg’s office has issued few public statements in connection to the investigation. A spokesperson for the district attorney issued a response to the Washington Post regarding a House Republican demand for information and testimony in connection to the Trump probe, merely saying that claims that New York City is dealing with a surge in violent crime is not true.

A Trump lawyer, Susan Necheles, told The Associated Press that Trump’s weekend Truth Social post was “based on the media reports,” and another Trump spokesperson said there had been “no notification” from Bragg’s office, though the origin of Trump’s Tuesday reference was unclear. The Epoch Times has contacted Bragg’s office for comment.

Trump’s aides and legal team have been reportedly preparing for the possibility of an indictment. Should that happen, he would be arrested only if he refused to surrender. Trump’s lawyers have previously said he would follow normal procedure, meaning he would likely agree to surrender at a New York Police Department precinct or directly to Bragg’s office.

The indictment of Trump, 76, would be an extraordinary development after years of investigations that yielded essentially nothing. It would also be the first time a current or former president was indicted.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/21/2023 – 22:45

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SCOTUS Overturns Appeals Court Upholding Abortion Without Parental Consent

SCOTUS Overturns Appeals Court Upholding Abortion Without Parental Consent

Authored by Matthew Vadum via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Supreme Court threw out a federal appeals court decision on March 20 that upheld the right of a minor to go to court for permission to pursue an abortion without notifying her parents.

Then-Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson watches the Senate vote on her nomination to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court, from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on April 7, 2022. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was the sole member of the Supreme Court to file a dissenting opinion in the case, Chapman v. Doe, court file 22-312.

In the case, the court vacated the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and remanded the case to that court with instructions to dismiss the proceeding as moot. Jackson objected to the specific manner in which this was done because it erased any precedential value the circuit court ruling may have had.

In the case, a pregnant minor, Jane Doe, visited her local courthouse to apply for a dispensation allowing her to bypass parental consent for the planned abortion. The office of the petitioner, Michelle Chapman, circuit clerk for Randolph County, Missouri, told her she couldn’t file a bypass petition without notifying a parent.

Doe got an abortion in Illinois after a court there authorized it, absent parental notification.

Doe filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal district court for damages, claiming that Chapman violated her 14th Amendment rights. Chapman took the position that she was immune to lawsuits because she followed a Missouri statute and a judge’s directions.

Chapman also claimed that Doe’s right to a bypass hearing wasn’t clearly established and that she therefore couldn’t have violated Doe’s rights.

In what was perceived as a victory for the pro-abortion movement, the district court ruled against Chapman, finding that the statute didn’t require prehearing notification of the minor’s parents to obtain judicial authorization for an abortion.

The 8th Circuit later determined that Doe’s claim must be allowed to proceed, finding that the right to bypass the parents was clearly established under the 14th Amendment.

But in September 2022, Chapman asked the Supreme Court to review the case after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, finding there was no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution and returning the regulation of abortion to the states.

In its June 24, 2022, ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the high court also reversed a related 1992 precedent, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which affirmed Roe and declared that a woman had a right to obtain an abortion before fetal viability without undue interference from the state.

“Doe’s claims rely on the proposition” that requiring parental notification of a judicial bypass proceeding must satisfy the undue burden test announced in Casey, Chapman said.

Read more here…

Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/21/2023 – 21:25

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Rent Inflation Approaches Two-Year Low Amid Cooling Market

Rent Inflation Approaches Two-Year Low Amid Cooling Market

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and his entire team should be cognizant of the fact that rents have been declining for many months. Despite this, Powell has been examining laggard data that persistently appears inflated. 

The latest CoreLogic report adds to the mounting evidence of leading rental market indicators showing rent inflation has been cooling for the ninth consecutive month in January, as the yearly growth rate slid to the lowest point since 2021. 

Single-family homes across the US experienced a 5.7% increase in value compared to the previous year. Each of the 20 major metropolitan regions monitored by CoreLogic saw annual rent growth in the single-digit range for the first time since the end of 2020.

Despite the high-frequency rent data from CoreLogic and other research firms indicating a clear deceleration, this slowdown has not yet been reflected in the Fed’s consumer-price data due to delays in the calculation process. 

Back in September, when looking at various leading rental market indicators, we reported that “Manhattan Apartment Rents Finally “Plateau” After Red-Hot Summer” a trend reversal that was also observed at the national level as we observed in “Nationwide Rents Drop For First Time In Two Years.” With rents peaking in August, two months later, the rental drop accelerated, as we discussed in “Just Tumbled The Most On Record As Economy Craters.” 

Last month we penned a note, “Apartment Rents Slide Across All US Cities Amid “Crush” Of New Supply,” but outlined the Fed’s shelter inflation data is well behind the curve (as usual). 

The good news is that with a long delay, the coming supply of new apartments – especially in places where housing inventory remains unusually low to the benefit of home sellers – will give renters more choices, making it not only more difficult for landlords to hike rents at rates seen last year. 

Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/21/2023 – 21:05

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden