Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday roundup (07-20-18)

Merkel: Germany can’t rely 'on the superpower of the US' anymore (The Hill)

America's Debt Dilemma: Annual deficits are once again projected to hit $1 trillion, but long-term solutions are elusive. (U.S. News and World Report)

Trump says he's 'ready' to put tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese goods imported to the US (CNBC) Republican Senators Ratchet Up Pressure on Trump Over Tariffs: Trump ally Sen. Orrin Hatch urges president to reconsider; if not, Hatch warns, he’ll work ‘to curtail Presidential trade authority’ (The Wall Street Journal)

Dick Bove: Trump poised to take control of the Federal Reserve (CNBC) Trump hits the Fed again in tweet: 'Tightening now hurts all that we have done' (CNBC)

Risky behavior: 1 in 3 millennials dipped into 401(k) or IRA to finance home purchase (USAToday)

GOP Senators Begin To Push Back On Trump’s Migrant Family Separations (TalkingPointsMemo)

White House morale tanks amid Helsinki fallout: Staffers are considering accelerating their departures in the wake of the president's equivocations on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (Politico)

The entire Republican Party is becoming a Russian asset (The Washington Post blogs)

Avenatti: Bumping into Cohen in NYC yields a 'lengthy' and 'frank' discussion (CNN)










Stirewalt: Michael Cohen Just Sent a 'Serious Shot Across the Bow' at Trump: Trump recorded discussing payment to Playboy model. (FoxNewsInsider) Michael Cohen has tapes of Trump. Here’s why this isn’t a distraction. (The Washington Post blogs) Michael Cohen Secretly Taped Trump Discussing Payment to Playboy Model (The New York Times) 2 troubling questions for Trump in light of the new Michael Cohen tape revelation (The Washington Post) Vanity Fair Reporter: Michael Cohen’s Team Thinks Trump Threw Him Under The Bus With Today’s Leak (HotAir)
















Mueller's attorneys want to question former Roger Stone employee known as 'Manhattan Madam' (The Hill)




Four reasons we’ve reached a tipping point on Trump (The Washington Post blogs)

A Theory of Trump Kompromat: Why the President is so nice to Putin, even when Putin might not want him to be. (The New Yorker)

Donald Trump Is Not Homosexual, But He Is Definitely Homosocial (HuffPost)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday roundup (07-19-18)

Europe and Asia Move to Bolster Global Systems That Trump Has Attacked (The New York Times)

Erdogan, Flush With Victory, Seizes New Powers in Turkey (The New York Times)

North Korea yet to make good on promise to return US soldiers' remains (FoxNews)

North Korea is global capital of 'modern slavery' with 2.6 million forced laborers, says watchdog group (The New York Daily News) North Korea has 2.6 million ‘modern slaves,’ new report estimates (The Washington Post) Modern slavery most prevalent in North Korea (The Associated Press)

We need a Plan B for North Korea (The Washington Post)

Trump criticizes Fed, breaking 25-year precedent and jeopardizing economy, expert warns (USAToday) Trump criticizes Federal Reserve, breaking long-standing practice (The Washington Post)

Food-Stamp Use Is Still at Recession-Era Levels Despite Job Gains (Bloomberg)

Perry's bailout plan for coal, nuclear could cost more than $34 billion, study says (Chron) US coal and nuclear plant bailout could cost $16.7 billion: study (S and P Global Platts)

“No Way to Run a Superpower”: The Trump-Putin Summit and the Death of American Foreign Policy (The New Yorker)










Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do?: Lawmakers must keep the American people informed of the current danger, writes a Republican congressman from Texas. (The New York Times) If this is not treason, then what is it? (The Washington Post)




Trump inviting Putin to Washington this fall (CNN)

Senate votes 98-0 to reject Putin proposal to send ex-US ambassador back to Russia (CNN) Republicans Tell White House To Reject Russia's 'Absurd' Request To Question Americans: "To even entertain this shows to me how naive they are about what’s actually going on in Russia," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). (HuffPost) Outrage erupts over Trump-Putin ‘conversation’ about letting Russia interrogate ex-U.S. diplomat Michael McFaul (The Washington Post)

Those sought by the Russians were reportedly:
Svetlana Angert, US Special Agent at Bureau of Immigration and Customs (investigated Natalia Veselnitskaya);
Bill Browder, financier who lobbied for the Magnitsky Act;
Todd Hyman, US Special Agent (investigated Natalia Veselnitskaya);
David Kramer, Former Assistant Secretary of State;
Michael McFaul, Former US Ambassador to Russia;
Bob Otto, Senior US State Department official;
Kyle Parker, Former Congressional Staffer who drafted Magnitsky Act;
Alexander Schwarzman, US Special Agent (investigated Natalia Veselnitskaya);
Christopher Steele, Former British Intelligence Officer;
Jonathan Weiner, Former Chief of Staff to Sen. John Kerry;
Ziff brothers Dirk and Robert (and perhaps Daniel), investors who worked with Broder

Sources for the list include: (Bloomberg) (CNN) (The New York Times) (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) (Twitter) (Verkkouutiset)










As Russians describe ‘verbal agreements’ at summit, U.S. officials scramble for clarity (The Washington Post)

[Meanwhile,] White House: Trump Asked Bolton To Invite Putin To DC In The Fall (The Associated Press)

‘That’s going to be special’: Tensions rise as Trump invites Putin to Washington (The Washington Post) US intelligence chief Dan Coats: 'I don't know what happened' in Trump-Putin meeting (CNBC) The intelligence community has never faced a problem quite like this (The Washington Post) Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks at the Aspen Security Forum (Youtube)


















Three senior cyber officials at FBI retiring: report (The Hill) Three of the top FBI cybersecurity officials are retiring [The Wall Street Journal via] (Marketwatch)










[In rare move,] McConnell Withdraws Trump Judicial Pick Minutes Before Confirmation Vote (The Associated Press)

Trump rips ‘Fake News Media’: Many of the stories are ‘total fiction’ (The Hill)

Huge GOP majority backs Trump’s Putin performance (Axios) Poll: only 32 percent of Republicans think Russia interfered in the 2016 election: Trump’s opinions appear to be trickling down to his base. (Vox) A New Talking Point From the Pro-Trump Fringe: A new line of punditry is bubbling up among the president’s followers online: It was a positive thing that the Russians hacked the 2016 election. (The Atlantic)







Manafort's Mansion, Benz on Tap as Mueller Readies Tax Case ["He’s in huge trouble" -- former federal prosecutor] (Bloomberg)

Why hasn't Robert Mueller subpoenaed Trump? Three theories about the Russia investigation: There are several reasons why Mueller may decide to forgo a presidential grand jury subpoena altogether. (NBCNews)

Printer Company Lexmark Plans About 1,000 Layoffs: Lexmark says it's planning to lay off about 1,000 employees _ about one-ninth of its global workforce _ over the next year in the latest restructuring of the printer company. (The Associated Press)

[In the UK,] Gaucho closes Cau chain and cuts 540 jobs (The BBC)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Initial jobless claims (Weekly report, 07-19-18)

The purpose of this weekly post is to watch how initial jobless claims in the United States are trending (up or down) and to keep track of whether the numbers are holding below 500,000, which would indicate at least the appearance of a fairly healthy economic situation.

According to the report released today:

"New claims dropped by 8,000 to 207,000 in the seven days ended July 14." (Marketwatch)

US weekly jobless claims drop to the lowest level since 1969 [Reuters via] (CNBC)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday roundup (07-18-18)

Ex-White House stenographer: Trump is ‘lying to the American people’ (The Hill)

There’s No Defending Trump Anymore: The spectacle in Helsinki is over. Now it’s time for Congress—and the American people—to act. (The Atlantic)

From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered (The New York Times)













Trump fundamentally undermines NATO, says 'aggressive' Montenegro could attack Russia to start World War III (The Business Insider)













White House says Trump to discuss allowing Russia to question US citizens (The Hill) Putin Asked Trump to Let Russia Question [Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael] McFaul, White House Says (Bloomberg) U.S. Officials ‘at a Fucking Loss’ Over Latest Russia Sell Out: The White House’s refusal to rule out turning over former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul to the Russians has current and former State Department officials seeing red. (The Daily Beast)




[Former US Secretary of State:]



[Former US National Security Adviser and US Ambasador to UN:]






[Former US Ambassador to Israel:]


















As Russians describe ‘verbal agreements’ at summit, U.S. officials scramble for clarity (The Washington Post)




In His Latest Account of His Meeting With Putin, Trump Says He Laid Down the Law (The New York Times)







[Meanwhile,] NSA and Cyber Command to coordinate actions to counter Russian election interference in 2018 amid absence of White House guidance (The Washington Post)

Trump's explosive comments with Putin reportedly angered his closest aides so much that Republicans were given permission to speak out (The Business Insider) GOP rep.: 'I don't really care' about repercussions of criticizing Trump (CNN) The Unwinding of Donald Trump (The New Yorker)







Trump plays semantics on Russian meddling: The president appeared Wednesday to walk back his walk-backs on Kremlin interference in the 2016 election. (Politico)

Trump's military parade expected to cost nearly as much as 'tremendously expensive' canceled war games (CNN)

Judge Orders Maria Butina, Linked To Russian Spy Agency, Jailed Ahead Of Trial (National Public Radio) Maria Butina Loved Guns, Trump and Russia. It Was a Cover, Prosecutors Say. (The New York Times) ‘She was like a novelty’: How alleged Russian agent Maria Butina gained access to elite conservative circles (The Washington Post) Gov’t: Butina An ‘Extreme Flight Risk’ Who Was In Contact With Russian Intel (TalkingPointsMemo) Meet The [Republican Party] Operative Who Was Alleged Conduit Between Mariia Butina And GOP (TalkingPointsMemo) Accused Russian Spy’s Boy Toy Is a Serial Fraud: Lawsuits: Long before Paul Erickson was introducing a bogus Russian ‘gun rights activist’ around Washington, he was peddling bogus investments, angry former business partners said in court. (The Daily Beast)




I Led the F.B.I. Mueller Is Just Doing His Job: Faith in the justice system and in our intelligence agencies cannot be collateral damage in a partisan grudge match, says the former director of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. (The New York Times)

Report: VA Purging, Reassigning Career Employees Suspected Of Disloyalty (TalkingPointsMemo)

Trump’s migrant fiasco diverts millions from health programs: HHS is forced to prioritize migrant crisis over medical research and other goals. (Politico)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday roundup (07-17-18)

White House budget projects $1 trillion deficit in 2019 (The Hill)

Powell: 'Rising chorus of concern' from business over tariffs (CNBC)

‘To what end?’: Trump’s disruptive diplomacy inspires fears over U.S. standing abroad (The Washington Post)

“This Was the Nightmare Scenario”: The West Wing Revolts After Trump Embraces Putin: As Trump grappled with his error, Chief of Staff John Kelly went into overdrive to get Trump to walk it back. ["With seemingly only Rand Paul, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson in his corner, Trump decided to backtrack."] (VanityFair) Facing heavy criticism, Trump now says he misspoke over Putin-friendly remarks (The Los Angeles Times) Donald Trump Put Himself First, America Last (Time)































[Chief strategist for Huntsman presidential campaign in 2012:]












Trump’s Performance With Putin Creates a Career Dilemma for His Aides: The president’s deferential posture toward Russia highlights his staffers’ lack of influence. (The Atlantic)

Trump's performance at summit with Putin was 'unprecedented,' experts say (CNBC)







Trump is dead wrong on why US-Russia relations are so poor (The Washington Examiner)

Trump and Putin: Two Bullshit Artists Enter Helsinki, One Comes Out Victorious: The American president walked out to the podium and sided consistently and passionately with the Russian president against America's interests. by Republican strategist Rick Wilson (The Daily Beast) At Trump-Putin summit, Trump's behavior was so un-American that Republicans in Congress should censure him: The GOP must stand up to the president's egregious debasement of America, its institutions and our allies. by Republican strategist Evan Siegfried (NBCNews)

Even Fox News hosts were aghast after Trump’s summit with Putin (The Washington Post) [Fox Business anchor] Maria Bartiromo On Trump's Putin Presser: 'The Low Point Of The Presidency So Far' (Crooks and Liars blog) Trump should have publicly called out Putin on US election meddling: Gen. Jack Keane (FoxBusiness) Fox Business Host Trish Regan Calls Trump Performance at Putin Presser ‘Unpatriotic’ (Mediaite)

[Fox News senior political analyst:]






[Fox anchor Chris Wallace asks hard questions of Vladimir Putin:]









MSNBC conservatives call for Congress to censure Trump and strip McConnell of power after Putin appeasement in Helsinki (Raw Story)




[Republican] James Comey Calls on Americans to Vote for Democrats in the Midterms: ‘History Has Its Eyes on Us’ (Mediaite)

Trump officials embarrassed by Putin show (Axios)

Russia hackers pursued Putin foes, not just US Democrats (The Associated Press)

Paul Ryan: Russia ‘Did Interfere In Our Elections… No Doubt’ (NBC News)









Russia’s Plan to Buy Off the GOP Began Before the Rise of Trump: Republicans placed an anti-patriot in the Oval Office—just as the Russians bet they would. (The Daily Beast)

Mueller Asks Manafort Judge to Immunize Five Witnesses (Bloomberg)







     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday roundup (07-16-18)

The $247 trillion global debt bomb (The Washington Post)

IMF issues DIRE warning for Eurozone and warns TRADE WARS set to ESCALATE: THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Eurozone growth could be derailed by escalating trade wars and the threat of more tariffs on goods from the US. (The Express)




Trump is threatening the Western alliance. And Republicans have no will to stop him. (The Washington Post) Dystrumpia: Donald Trump’s Dark Future Now (LobeLog)




Europe 'can't completely rely on White House,' says German foreign minister (CNN)

EU official urges Trump, Putin not to destroy global order (The Associated Press)

Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly. [Editorial] (The Washington Post)

Trump sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit (The BBC)
Putin again denies Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election; Trump calls probe a ‘disaster for our country’ (The Washington Post) Joint News Conference by Trump and Putin: Full Video and Transcript (The New York Times) Trump’s extraordinary press conference was not normal (Axios) Trump’s Appeasement Summit with Putin (The New Yorker) Trump’s Own Team: He ‘Looked Incredibly Weak’ Next to Putin: The president, former advisers say, is driven by a deep sense of insecurity about the election. And so he will never really confront his Russian counterpart. (The Daily Beast)


























[Thread:]


Trump praises Putin's 'incredible' offer for special counsel investigators to 'come and work' with Russia on probe (CNBC)




Spy chief Dan Coats shoots back at Trump for refusing to side with him over Putin on election meddling (CNBC)










Intel Chiefs Won’t Say if They’ll Resign Over Trump’s Betrayal: The president all but said he trusts Vladimir Putin more than own intelligence agencies. Will the heads of those agencies quit as a result? (The Daily Beast)




Trump's sickening silence in Helsinki: What the President failed to say about Russia (The New York Daily News)

If you work for Trump, quit now (The Washington Post) Helsinki Summit: A Time for Choosing—Three observations by former senior CIA officer (JustSecurity)

[Fox News says that] Putin eats Trump's lunch in Helsinki -- This is no way to win against Russia (FoxNews) [Fox Business Network host] Neil Cavuto: Trump press conference with Putin was ‘disgusting’ (The Hill) Another Fox News Host Comes Out Against Trump After Putin Presser (TalkingPointsMemo)




[Fox News Contributor:]



[Fox News Senior Political Analyst:]



[Fox News anchor:]



Top Republicans in Congress break with Trump over Putin comments (CNN) 'Bizarre' and 'shameful': Republicans lead responses to Trump news conference with Putin (ABCNews)










[GOP member of House Intelligence Committee and former CIA officer:]



Paul Ryan: Trump ‘Must Appreciate That Russia Is Not Our Ally’ (TalkingPointsMemo)

McCain blasts Trump for 'one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory' in extraordinary, blistering statement (The Business Insider)





[Republican Senator] Burr: Trump shouldn't believe Putin denial on Russian election meddling (The Citizen-Times of Ashville, North Carolina)


Republican Sen. Ben Sasse: Trump should declare Russia an 'enemy of America' (CNN)

Romney: Trump's remarks at Putin summit 'disgraceful and detrimental to democratic principles' (The Hill)




Putin’s Attack on the U.S. Is Our Pearl Harbor: Make no mistake: Hacking the 2016 election was an act of war. It’s time we responded accordingly. (Politico)

What Robert Mueller Knows—and 9 Areas He'll Pursue Next: The special counsel has collected a mountain of evidence in the Trump-Russia investigation, but so far only a tiny amount of it has been revealed in official indictments. Here are nine areas where we should expect answers as the inquiry unfolds. (Wired)

Tracing Guccifer 2.0’s Many Tentacles in the 2016 Election (The New York Times)

Maria Butina, Russian gun-rights advocate who sought to build ties with NRA, charged with acting as a covert Russian agent (The Washington Post) Timeline: The odd overlap of Maria Butina, the gun-rights movement and the 2016 election (The Washington Post) The Kremlin and GOP Have a New Friend—and Boy, Does She Love Guns: Depending on who’s asking, Maria Butina is either a Russian central bank staffer, a gun rights advocate, or a connection between D.C. Republicans and Russia. [Feb. 23, 2017] (The Daily Beast) The Very Strange Case of Two Russian Gun Lovers, the NRA, and Donald Trump: Here’s what we uncovered about an odd pair from Moscow who cultivated the Trump campaign. (MotherJones)







[Thread:]



U.S. lawmakers shown backing fake kindergarten gun scheme in Sacha Baron Cohen satire (Reuters)




Judge temporarily halts Trump admin from deporting reunited families (The Hill)

With Trump in the White House, candidates who sound like him hit the campaign trail (The Washington Post)

FCC Chair Pauses Sinclair’s Tribune Acquisition Over ‘Serious Concerns’ (TalkingPointsMemo) How Sinclair lost Trump's FCC: ‘Sinclair’s style in Washington is exhibit A of how to squander the most favorable regulatory environment in decades,’ said one industry official. (Politico)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.