Friday, November 18, 2016

Structural Adjustments

Treading Water,

There is a basic structural problem with supporting 100+ million non-employed adults.
Given the vast expansion of public and private debt since 2008, it's clear that we are not supporting the populace out of cash flow, so to speak; we're borrowing trillions of dollars from future workers/ taxpayers to generate the temporary illusion of solvency.   Charles Hugh Smith

Syrian President Assad responds to aggressive European interviewer, stating Syria's position with clarity and grace. (Transcript)

Will Donald Trump end the American (global empire) "Unipolar Movement"?
(It is unsustainable, so he can get in a little ahead of the collapse and avoid some of the floundering. At least he doesn't want WW-3 with Russia. "Good negotiator"? Let's see it.)

Italy looks like it has to leave the Euro next; unavoidably. Italy must devaluate the Lira, but it needs to go back to the Lira first. The EU is dumping on Italians pretty badly, and they are fed up. Empire crumbling... Thanks Eleni.

More people than ever are drowning in the Mediterranean, 4500 so far this year, trying to get to Italy lately. (Thanks empire...)

Completely-wrong-footed NATO fumbles to get ready for President Trump (and the collapse of the EU?) "For the first time," says a German NATO officer, "a withdrawal from NATO by the United States is on the table, or at least a threat."

Director of National Intelligence, General James Clapper, 75, will retire with Barack Obama, having been in government for 50 years. This was always his plan. Trump will appoint his replacement.

Mike Pompeo, close to VP-elect, Mike Pence, will be Trump's CIA Director.
Pompeo is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. He’s a supporter of the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk data collection program and sought to restore the agency’s access to the data it had already collected under the Patriot Act from its inception through late last year. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Harvard Law School. He’s also a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Pompeo, who grew up in the traditionally Republican enclave of Orange County, California, founded Thayer Aerospace, a company that made parts for commercial and military aircraft. After selling Thayer, he became president of Sentry International, a company that manufactures and sells equipment used in oil fields.
Retired General Michal Flynn will be Trump's National Security Advisor.  Flynn has emphasized his view that the threat posed by ISIS requires a more aggressive U.S. military, as well as his belief that Washington should work more closely with Moscow.
Senator Jeff Sessions will be Attorney General. (Lots of opening offers to negotiate-down are apparent here.)
The 69-year-old, four-term Alabama Republican is a hard-liner on free trade and immigration, arguing that prospective immigrants don’t have constitutional protections. He has opposed efforts to overhaul prison sentencing, back off the war on drugs and legalize marijuana. Sessions, a former federal prosecutor, was one of the few lawmakers to defend Trump after he proposed a complete shutdown on Muslims entering the U.S. He told Stephen Bannon on a radio show in 2015 that Trump was "treading on dangerous ground" but it is "appropriate to begin to discuss" the issue.
Donald Trump tweeted “Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky -- no Mexico."
Japanese PM, Shinzo Abe says, "I am convinced that President Elect Trump is a leader we can trust,... he made time for me, even though he is busy with personal matters", after they meet for an hour in Trump's Tower.
“We don’t want the U.S. government purchasing companies in the United States, why would we want the Chinese Communist government purchasing companies in the United States?”
Bernie Sanders, appointed to the Senate Democratic Leadership team, maintains his brand after being illegally prevented from getting the Democratic nomination. He's an "Independent". (Democratic Party; not much of a brand right now.)
Sour Grapes America, courtesy of George Soros and Move On (I don't see any staying power) "Networks like CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post are still reluctant to report how within hours of the election result, the Soros-tied NGO issued a press release calling for nationwide protests. This was followed by petitions to “Abolish the Electoral College.”
Ellen Brown looks at the Trump $-Trillion infrastructure proposal. It could be a lot of corporate giveaways, based on more debt. (I think it will take form gradually and politically, and will be as good a dog's dinner as we dogs can realistically expect. 100 million dogs need to work, right? They can't all do construction. There will need to be other productive jobs, too.)
Caterpillar sales have declined for 47 consecutive months. Not much infrastructure being contracted for lately.
US Geological Survey finds the biggest oil deposit on record in the US, in West Texas. It's shale oil and gas, so the economic feasibility of extraction remains to be seen. It's huge, but how much can actually be extracted before it wastes more than it gets, is the question.
Don't forget the $-Trillion Platinum coin concept to get America out of debt:
India suddenly demonitized the two largest bank notes, taking 88% of Indian cash out of circulation. India has a 97% cash economy, and most savings are in cash. The economy is crashing. Why do this? Analysis here.  Our entire monetary system depends on trust. A banknote is a piece of paper that says the RBI will give the bearer another similar piece of paper, or make an entry in an electronic ledger for that amount. The system works because everybody believes that those pieces of paper will be accepted by everybody else and therefore, money serves as an useful medium of exchange. This move has shaken that trust.
A 4 acre teaching farm in a food desert in Knoxville for 20 years.  “The main thing is teaching people how to grow food — teaching them organic, sustainable and environmentally-friendly living and then addressing hunger by growing food and donating it,” “We’ve actually come to terms with the fact that people are going to take produce and that doesn’t really bother us so much, but we hope that the people who are taking it really need it,” Rodina says.  
Will Work For Food

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