Will Barack Obama Delay Or Suspend The Election If Hillary Is Forced Out By The New FBI Email Investigation?

barack-obama-and-hillary-clinton-in-the-white-house-public-domainJust when it looked like Hillary Clinton was poised to win the 2016 election, the FBI has thrown a gamechanger into the mix. On Friday, FBI Director James Comey announced that his agency has discovered new emails related to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information that they had not previously seen. According to the Associated Press, the newly discovered emails “did not come from her private server”, but instead were found when the FBI started going through electronic devices that belonged to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner.  The FBI has been looking into messages of a sexual nature that Weiner had exchanged with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, and that is why they originally seized those electronic devices.  According to the Washington Post, the “emails were found on a computer used jointly by both Weiner and his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, according to a person with knowledge of the inquiry”, and according to some reports there may be “potentially thousands” of emails on the computer that the FBI did not have access to previously.  Even though there are less than two weeks to go until election day, this scandal has the potential to possibly force Clinton out of the race, and if that happens could Barack Obama delay or suspend the election until a replacement candidate can be found?

Let’s take this one step at a time.  On Friday, financial markets tanked when reports of these new Clinton emails hit the wires.  The following comes from CNN

After recommending earlier this year that the Department of Justice not press charges against the former secretary of state, Comey said in a letter to eight congressional committee chairmen that investigators are examining newly discovered emails that “appear to be pertinent” to the email probe.

“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote the chairmen. “I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

At this point, we do not know what is contained in these emails.  But without a doubt Huma Abedin is Hillary Clinton’s closest confidant, and I have always felt that she was Clinton’s Achilles heel.  Journalist Carl Bernstein (of Watergate fame) is fully convinced that the FBI would have never made this move unless something significant had already been discovered

We don’t know what this means yet except that it’s a real bombshell. And it is unthinkable that the Director of the FBI would take this action lightly, that he would put this letter forth to the Congress of the United States saying there is more information out there about classified e-mails and call it to the attention of congress unless it was something requiring serious investigation. So that’s where we are…

Is it a certainty that we won’t learn before the election? I’m not sure it’s a certainty we won’t learn before the election.

One thing is, it’s possible that Hillary Clinton might want to on her own initiative talk to the FBI and find out what she can, and if she chooses to let the American people know what she thinks or knows is going on. People need to hear from her…

If the FBI has indeed found something explosive, would they actually charge her with a crime right before the election?

It is possible, but we also have to remember that government agencies (including the FBI) tend to move very, very slowly.  If there are thousands of emails, it is going to take quite a while to sift through them all.  And of course Barack Obama has lots of ways that he could influence, delay or even shut down the investigation.

So those that are counting on this to be the miracle that Donald Trump needs should not count their chickens before they hatch.

But if Hillary Clinton were to be forced out of the race by this FBI investigation, the Democrats would have to decide on a new candidate, and that would take time.  The following is from a U.S. News & World Report article that examined what would happen if one of the candidates was forced out of the race for some reason…

If Clinton were to fall off the ticket, Democratic National Committee members would gather to vote on a replacement. DNC members acted as superdelegates during this year’s primary and overwhelmingly backed Clinton over boat-rocking socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

DNC spokesman Mark Paustenbach says there currently are 445 committee members – a number that changes over time and is guided by the group’s bylaws, which give membership to specific officeholders and party leaders and hold 200 spots for selection by states, along with an optional 75 slots DNC members can choose to fill.

But the party rules for replacing a presidential nominee merely specify that a majority of members must be present at a special meeting called by the committee chairman. The meeting would follow procedures set by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee and proxy voting would not be allowed.

It would be extremely challenging to get a majority of the members of the Democratic National Committee together on such short notice.  If Clinton were to drop out next week, it would be almost impossible for this to happen before election day.

In such a scenario, Barack Obama may attempt to invoke his emergency powers.  Since the election would not be “fair” until the Democrats have a new candidate, he could try to delay or suspend the election.  There would be a lot of controversy as to whether this is legal or not, but Barack Obama has not let the U.S. Constitution stop him in the past.

Meanwhile, new poll numbers show that the Trump campaign was already gaining momentum even before this story about the new emails broke.  According to a brand new ABC News/Washington Post survey, Donald Trump is now only trailing Hillary Clinton by 4 points after trailing her by as much as 12 points last weekend.

And CNBC is reporting on a highly advanced artificial intelligence system that accurately predicted the outcomes of the presidential primaries and which is now indicating that Trump will be the winner in November…

An artificial intelligence system that correctly predicted the last three U.S. presidential elections puts Republican nominee Donald Trump ahead of Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.

MogIA was developed by Sanjiv Rai, founder of Indian start-up Genic.ai. It takes in 20 million data points from public platforms including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the U.S. and then analyzes the information to create predictions.

The AI system was created in 2004, so it has been getting smarter all the time. It had already correctly predicted the results of the Democratic and Republican Primaries.

Without Hillary at the top of the ticket, the odds of a Trump victory would go way, way up.

So if Hillary is forced out of the race by this investigation, Barack Obama and the Democrats will want to delay or suspend the election for as long as possible if they can.

At this point there is probably not a high probability that such a scenario will play out, but in this crazy election year we have already seen that just about anything can happen.

Why Is Obama Threatening Russia With World War 3 Right Before The Election?

nuclear-war-public-domainIt sure seems like an odd time to be provoking a war with Russia.  As I write this, we stand just a little bit more than three weeks away from one of the most pivotal elections in U.S. history, and Barack Obama has chosen this moment to strongly threaten the Russians.  As I wrote about on Friday, Reuters is reporting that Obama is contemplating “direct U.S. military action” against Syrian military targets, and the Russians have already indicated that any assault on Syrian forces would be considered an attack on themselves.  The rapidly deteriorating crisis in Syria has already caused tensions with Russia to rise to the highest level since the end of the Cold War, but now Obama is adding fuel to the fire by publicly considering “an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia”.  Apparently Obama believes that Russian hackers are interfering in the election and so he wants payback.  The following comes from an NBC News article entitled “CIA Prepping for Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia“…

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.

The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation.

Somebody should tell Obama that he is not playing a video game.  A cyber attack is considered to be an act of war, and the Russians would inevitably retaliate.  And considering how exceedingly vulnerable our cyber infrastructure is, I don’t know if that is something that we want to invite.

At the end of last week, Vice President Joe Biden also publicly threatened the Russians

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden met “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd for an interview that has raised serious concern in Russia.

Without bothering to question the authenticity of the claims, Todd took the allegations of Russian hacking at face value, opening his interview with a loaded question: “Why haven’t we sent a message yet to Putin?”

After a moment of stunned silence, Biden responded, “We’re sending a message. We have the capacity to do it and it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”

When Todd asked if the public will know a message was sent, Biden replied, “Hope not.”

The Russians firmly deny that they had any involvement in the hacking, and so far the Obama administration has not publicly produced any firm evidence that the Russians were behind it.

Perhaps the Obama administration privately has some evidence, but at this point they have not shown that evidence to the American public.

So for Joe Biden to be making these sorts of threats is a very dangerous thing.  The Russians are taking these threats very seriously, and they are preparing to protect their interests

‘The threats directed against Moscow and our state’s leadership are unprecedented because they are voiced at the level of the US vice president.

‘To the backdrop of this aggressive, unpredictable line, we must take measures to protect (our) interests, to hedge risks,’ a Kremlin spokesman said, according to RIA Novosti news agency.

Here in the United States, most people don’t even realize that we could be on the verge of a major conflict with Russia.

But over in Russia things are completely different.  Talk of war is everywhere, and the potential for war is the number one topic in the Russian media right now.  Just check out some of the recent Russian media headlines about the conflict between our two nations…

-“Bad News for Washington: Syrian Conflict Revealing New World Order

-“US anti-Russia rhetoric goes nuclear with threats of covert cyber-attacks

-“Who can win World War Three if it can be won at all?

-“In Contrast to Clinton, Trump Has No Appetite for War With Russia

And one Russian television network recently instructed their viewers to locate the nearest bomb shelter in case a nuclear war between the United States and Russia suddenly erupts…

A terrifying Russian television broadcast explicitly told civilians to find out where their nearest bomb shelter is and repeatedly asked viewers if they were ready for nuclear war.

One apocalyptic broadcast told viewers on Moscow’s state-owned TV channel NTV: “If it should one day happen, every one of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is. It’s best to find out now.”

I don’t believe that the Russians are crazy to be thinking that a war might be coming.

To me, it almost seems as though Obama wants one.

Could it be possible that a conflict with Russia will be used to alter, change or influence the upcoming election in November?

The truth is that it isn’t going to take much for the shooting to begin.  If Obama orders airstrikes against Syrian forces, the Russians have said that they will shoot back

Ash Carter has threatened Russia with “consequences”. After blowing up the ceasefire, the Pentagon – supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff — now is peddling “potential strikes” on Syria’s air force to “punish the regime” for what the Pentagon actually did; blow up the ceasefire. One can’t make this stuff up.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, sent a swift message to “our colleagues in Washington”; think twice if you believe you can get away with launching a “shadow” hot war against Russia. Russia will target any stealth/unidentified aircraft attacking Syrian government targets – and they will be shot down.

The only serious question then is whether an out of control Pentagon will force the Russian Air Force – false flag and otherwise — to knock out US Air Force fighter jets, and whether Moscow has the fire power to take out each and every one of them.

I discussed the potential for war with Russia in my latest video.  Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and war with Russia will be put off…

But without a doubt the crisis in Syria is not going to be resolved any time soon because it is one giant mess.  Most people don’t realize that the Syrian civil war has essentially been a proxy war between Sunni Islam and Shia Islam from the very beginning.  Jihadist rebels that are being armed and funded by Saudi Arabia and Turkey are fighting Hezbollah troops that are being armed and funded by Iran.  And now Turkish forces have invaded northern Syria, and this threatens to cause a full-blown war to erupt between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.  Of course ISIS is right in the middle of everything causing havoc, blowing stuff up and beheading anyone that doesn’t believe in their radical version of Sunni Islam.

It is absolutely insane that the United States and Russia could potentially go to war because of this conflict.  Both sides are determined to show the other how tough they are, and one false move could set off a spiral of events from which they may be no recovery.

The American people very foolishly elected Barack Obama twice, but up until now the consequences have not been quite as dire as many had been projecting.

However, right here at the end of his second term Obama is facing a moment of truth.  If he ends up dragging us into a war with Russia, the American people will ultimately bitterly regret putting him into the White House.

Barack Obama Is On Track To Be The Only President In History To Never Have A Year Of 3% GDP Growth

Barack Obama Giving A Speech - Public DomainWe just got another extremely disappointing GDP number.  It was being projected that U.S. GDP would grow by 2.5 percent during the second quarter of 2016, but instead it only grew by just 1.2 percent.  In addition, the Census Bureau announced that GDP growth for the first quarter of 2016 had been revised down from 1.1 percent to 0.8 percent.  What this means is that the U.S. economy is just barely hanging on by its fingernails from falling into a recession.   As Zero Hedge has pointed out, the “average annual growth rate during the current business cycle remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949”.  This is not what a recovery looks like.

In addition, Barack Obama remains solidly on track to be the only president in all of U.S. history to never have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent.  Every other president in American history, even the really bad ones, had at least one year when U.S. GDP grew by at least 3 percent.  But this has not happened under Obama even though he has had two terms in the White House.

The following are the yearly GDP growth numbers under Obama.  They come directly from the official website of the World Bank

2009: -2.8 percent

2010: 2.5 percent

2011: 1.6 percent

2012: 2.2 percent

2013: 1.5 percent

2014: 2.4 percent

2015: 2.4 percent

Does that look like a “recovery” to you?

Of course not.

And many are anticipating that this latest extremely disappointing GDP number will discourage the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates any time in the near future

The disappointing report could keep the Federal Reserve on hold longer as it considers another interest rate hike. The Fed lifted its key rate in December for the first time in nine years but has held it steady since.

According to the pundits in the mainstream media, this was supposed to be the year when the U.S. economy finally returned to “normal”, but that has not happened at all.  In fact, in recent days we have gotten a spate of bad news about the economy.  We just learned that the homeownership rate in the United States has hit the lowest level ever, and Gallup’s U.S. economic confidence index has fallen to the lowest level so far this year.

With the election coming up rapidly, this is the kind of news that Hillary Clinton definitely does not need.  She needs to be able to sell the American people on the idea that the Obama years have been very good for the U.S. economy.  If things take a sharp turn down in the coming months, that may be enough to cost her the election.

So far, Hillary Clinton’s economic agenda has not received that much scrutiny, but the truth is that she hopes to increase taxes in a whole bunch of ways which would be very harmful for the economy.  The following comes from an excellent piece by John Kartch and Alexander Hendrie

Hillary has endorsed several tax increases on middle income Americans, despite her pledge not to raise taxes on any American making less than $250,000. She has said she would be fine with a payroll tax hike on all Americans, she has endorsed a steep soda tax, endorsed a 25% national gun tax, and most recently, her campaign manager John Podesta said she would be open to a carbon tax. It’s no wonder that when asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos if her pledge was a “rock-solid” promise, she slipped and said the pledge was merely a “goal.” In other words, she’s going to raise taxes on middle income Americans.

Hillary’s formally proposed $1 trillion net tax increase consists of the following:

Income Tax Increase – $350 Billion: Clinton has proposed a $350 billion income tax hike in the form of a 28 percent cap on itemized deductions.

Business Tax Increase — $275 Billion: Clinton has called for a tax hike of at least $275 billion through undefined business tax reform, as described in a Clinton campaign document.

“Fairness” Tax Increase — $400 Billion: According to her published plan, Clinton has called for a tax increase of “between $400 and $500 billion” by “restoring basic fairness to our tax code.” These proposals include a “fair share surcharge,” the taxing of carried interest capital gains as ordinary income, and a hike in the Death Tax.

Taxes tend to be a pet peeve of mine, so looking at that list of proposed taxes definitely makes me cringe.

If Donald Trump wants to hit the Democrats really hard on the economy, all he has to do is point out the fact that Barack Obama is going to be the only president in American history to never see 3 percent economic growth for an entire year, and he had two entire terms in which to try to turn things in a positive direction.

Sadly, things are very likely going to be worse for the economy no matter who wins the election.  Under Obama, our national debt, our trade deficit, and most of our other long-term economic problems have gotten much, much worse, and so the table is set for a major economic disaster during the next presidential administration.

And if what I have to share about the future of America in my new book is correct, we are definitely moving into a “perfect storm” that will not just be economic in nature.  The things that are coming are going to shake this nation to the very core, and I believe that we will soon face the consequences for decades of exceedingly foolish decisions.

So in the end, we may look back and long for the days of 1.2 percent economic growth, because what is on the horizon is going to make that look like a Sunday picnic.

Barack Obama Warns Americans ‘To Be Prepared For A Disaster’

Barack Obama At FEMA - Public DomainWhen Barack Obama speaks to the public, it is very rare that he does so without a specific purpose in mind.  So why is he urging Americans “to be prepared for a disaster” all of a sudden?  On May 31, Obama took time out of his extremely busy schedule to deliver an address at the FEMA National Response Coordination Center in Washington.  During his speech, he stressed that every American is responsible for preparing for disasters, and that includes “having an evacuation plan” and “having a fully stocked disaster supply kit”.  These are basic steps that I have been encouraging people to do for years, but if they won’t listen to me, perhaps they will listen to the man currently residing in the White House.  The following excerpt from Obama’s speech comes directly from the official White House website

One of the things that we have learned over the course of the last seven and a half years is that government plays a vital role, but it is every citizen’s responsibility to be prepared for a disaster.  And that means taking proactive steps, like having an evacuation plan, having a fully stocked disaster supply kit.  If your local authorities ask you to evacuate, you have to do it. Don’t wait.

This speech was timed to coincide with the beginning of the hurricane season, although hurricanes have not posed much of a threat lately.

In fact, a major hurricane has not made landfall in the United States for 127 straight months.

But without a doubt, we all need to be preparing for disaster.  Hurricanes can create a short-term emergency that can last for a few days, but there are other threats that could create a major emergency that could potentially last for an extended period of time.  That list of potential threats includes a major volcanic eruption, a natural or engineered pandemic, a west coast earthquake, a New Madrid earthquake, a tsunami on either the east or west coasts, a meteor impact, Islamic terror, war, an EMP burst that takes down the power grid, cyberwarfare, economic collapse, and civil unrest resulting in the imposition of martial law.

Of course the items that I just mentioned are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, in different scenarios we could actually see multiple events happen in rapid succession.

It is interesting to note that during his speech Barack Obama also noted that the American people seem to have become very complacent about getting prepared…

And what we’ve been seeing is some public complacency slipping in; a large portion of people not having preparedness kits, not having evacuation plans.

This is exactly what I have been noticing as well.  There appears to be a tremendous amount of apathy out there, and relatively few people really seem to feel much urgency to get prepared these days.

My contacts in the emergency preparedness industry have been telling me that sales are way down right now.  There was a big peak last fall, but since then it is like interest in prepping has just fallen off the map.

Ultimately, those companies are going to be okay because interest will pick back up shortly as global events begin to spiral completely out of control.  However, of much greater concern is the fact that people have not been using this period of relative calm constructively.

Just like we have seen in Venezuela, time to prepare eventually runs out.  And someday there will be millions of parents that are absolutely horrified when their children come to them crying out for food and they don’t have anything to give to them because they didn’t heed the warnings and they didn’t get prepared.

When that day arrives, many of those families may be forced to turn to whatever help the government is offering at the time.

One more thing that I found particularly noteworthy about Obama’s speech was that he said that there is now “a FEMA app” that can direct you to the nearest “FEMA shelter” in the event of a major emergency.

If you need information about how to put together an evacuation plan, how to put together a disaster preparedness kit, as Craig said, we’ve got an app for everything now.  We have a FEMA app in English and in Spanish to help you prepare your family for a disaster.  You can update the National Weather Service alerts.  You can get safety tips for more than 20 kinds of hazards.  It provides you directions to nearby shelters.

Could you envision yourself and your family having to take refuge in a “FEMA shelter” someday?

If not, you should do what you can to get prepared now.  Over the next couple of days, my wife and I will be releasing a couple of new videos about preparation on our YouTube channel.  In fact, I just checked and the first one is already up

Unlike Venezuela, it looks like we may still have a little bit more time to prepare for what is ahead.  Some people will relax and use this time to party, but those that are wise will work diligently and will do what they can to get ready for the exceedingly challenging times that are rapidly approaching.

Hopefully you are listening to the warnings and are heeding what the watchmen are saying.

If not, the consequences for what will happen to you and your family will ultimately be on your own hands.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

It’s Official: Over A Trillion Dollars A Year Will Be Added To The Debt During Obama’s Presidency

America Is BrokeUnder Barack Obama, the U.S. national debt has risen from $10,626,877,048,913.08 on January 20th, 2009 to $18,795,033,928,275.59 on December 21st, 2015.  That means that the debt that we are passing on to future generations has increased by 8.16 trillion dollars since Barack Obama was inaugurated.  There is still a little more than a year to go in Obama’s presidency, and it is already guaranteed that Obama will add more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt during his presidency.  In fact, when you do the math, we are stealing more than 100 million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day.  It is a crime of a magnitude that is almost unimaginable, and at this point it is mathematically impossible for the U.S. government to pay off all of this debt.  To say that we are in trouble would be a massive understatement.

And of course not all of the blame goes to Obama.  The Republicans have had control of the House of Representatives for all but two years while Obama has been in the White House, and they have gone along with all of this reckless spending.  Without the approval of the House, Obama could not spend a single penny, but the Republicans have consistently chosen not to stand up to him.  In fact, the Republicans in Congress just approved another massive 1.2 trillion dollar spending bill that essentially gave the Democrats every single thing that they wanted.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even admitted that the Republicans “were willing to concede so much” during the negotiations.

So why do we even have a Republican Party?  They always just go along with pretty much whatever the Democrats want anyway.  Why shouldn’t we just disband the Republican Party and let the Democrats completely run things?  How would Washington D.C. be any different if the Republicans didn’t even exist?

At this point, even Rush Limbaugh is completely disgusted with the Republican Party…

I have a headline here from the Washington Times:  “White House Declares Total Victory Over GOP in Budget Battle.” That headline’s a misnomer.  There was never a battle.  None of this was opposed.  The Republican Party didn’t stand up to any of it, and the die has been cast for a long time on this.  I know many of you are dispirited, depressed, angry, combination of all of that. But, folks, there was no other way this could go. Because two years ago when the Republican Party declared they would never do anything that would shut down the government and they would not impeach Obama, there were no obstacles in Obama’s way and there were no obstacles in the way of the Democrat Party.

Do you remember when Republican politicians were running around promising that they would defund Obamacare?

That didn’t happen.

Do you remember when Republican politicians were running around promising that they would defund Planned Parenthood?

That didn’t happen.

Do you remember when Republican politicians were running around promising that they would defund Obama’s refugee program?

That didn’t happen.

In this new spending deal, the Republicans got nothing.  It was a sham, a farce and a total insult to the American people.  Here is more from Rush Limbaugh

It fully funds Planned Parenthood.  That, to me, is unforgivable, with everything now known about what goes on behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood, and that the federal government, led by a Republican Party, sees fit to pay for it.  It is beyond comprehension, and it is a total squandering of moral authority to fully fund the butchery at Planned Parenthood.  This spending bill fully pays for Obama’s refugee plans, fully.  This spending bill, this budget bill quadruples the number of visas Obama wants for foreign workers.  This is even a slap at American union workers.  Not the leaders.  The union leaders seem to be in favor of it, but blue-collar people, known as working people, have been sold down the river along with everybody else here.

This spending bill even fully pays for every dime asked for by Obama on all of this idiocy that’s tied up into climate change.  Everything Obama wanted, everything he asked for, he got.  You go down the list of things, it’s there.

Even after watching all of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos that came out over the past year, the Republicans in Congress still voted to fund the harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies.

And surveys have found that the American people support the continued funding of Planned Parenthood by about a 2 to 1 margin.  After everything that we have seen, the vast majority of Americans still want to continue giving those butchers hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year.

No wonder so many people are comparing America to Nazi Germany these days.  We truly have become an exceedingly wicked nation.

We like to think that we are an “example” for the rest of the planet, but in reality the only example that we are is a bad one.  Our guilt has been put on display for all the world to see, and yet we just continue to race toward even more evil.

Not only did the Republicans not defund Planned Parenthood, the truth is that not a single pro-life amendment of any sort even got into the bill thanks to Paul Ryan.  The following comes from lifesitenews.com

“The bill failed to include a single major pro-life policy rider, despite the requests of over 120 members of Congress and the disturbing revelations about Planned Parenthood brought to light this year,” said Congresswoman Diane Black, R-TN, who voted against the bill.

The House Freedom Caucus offered a series of amendments to the bill defunding Planned Parenthood, strengthening conscience protections for pro-life physicians and organizations, and ending all U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The House Rules Committee rejected these riders earlier this week, as Speaker Paul Ryan said he did not want conservative amendments added to the bill that would drive away his Democratic colleagues.

The committee also rejected an amendment to increase vetting of refugees who enter the United States from the terrorist hotbeds of Syria and Iraq, which had previously passed the House, with 47 Democrats adding strong bipartisan support.

Like I said, the Republicans completely capitulated, just like they always do.

Now the U.S. national debt is nearly double the size that it was just before the last financial crisis struck, and our leaders continue to borrow and spend as if there is no tomorrow.

Perhaps they have convinced themselves that there will never be any consequences for acting so foolishly.

Perhaps they believe that in the end everything will turn out okay somehow.

Perhaps they are able to rationalize the theft of more than a hundred million dollars an hour from future generations of Americans.

But nothing can erase what they have done to us.  The promising future that our children and our grandchildren should have had has been completely wiped out, and the leading edge of the greatest economic crisis that any of us has ever known is now upon us.

If we had done things differently, things wouldn’t have had to turn out this way.  But now the die is cast, and we are all going to pay a very high price for the mistakes that have been made in Washington.

The Bitter, Crushing Poverty Of Appalachia Is A Preview Of What Is Coming To The Rest Of The Country

Appalachia - Photo from the Appalachian Regional CommissionWhat do you say to people that have completely lost all hope that things will ever get any better?  The mountains of Appalachia stretch all the way from southern New York to northern Mississippi, and nestled within those mountains are dozens upon dozens of little towns that are so impoverished that they look like they have been through a war.  Thanks to Barack Obama’s relentless assault on the coal industry and the ongoing collapse of our industrial infrastructure, Appalachia has lost millions of good paying jobs over the past several decades.  Today, more than 40 percent of the population is living in poverty in some areas of eastern Kentucky, and addiction to “hillbilly heroin” (Oxycontin) is absolutely out of control throughout the region.  Yes, poverty is on the rise all over America, but it has especially been cruel to those that make the mountains of Appalachia their home.

An article that was published in the Guardian on Thursday profiled the deeply impoverished town of Beattyville in eastern Kentucky.  Life is very hard in Beattyville today, and it seems to be getting harder all the time…

The town’s poverty rate is 44% above the national average. Half of its families live below the poverty line. That includes three-quarters of those with children, with the attendant consequences. More than one-third of teenagers drop out of high school or leave without graduating. Just 5% of residents have college degrees.

Surrounding communities are little better. Beattyville is the capital of Lee County, named after the commander of the Confederate army of Northern Virginia in the civil war, General Robert E Lee.

Five of the 10 poorest counties in the US run in a line through eastern Kentucky and they include Lee County. Life expectancy in the county is among the worst in the US, which is not unconnected to the fact that more than half the population is obese. Men lived an average of just 68.3 years in 2013, a little more than eight years short of the national average. Women lived 76.4 years on average, about five years short of national life expectancy.

Because life can be so bitter in little towns like Beattyville, many have chosen to turn to alcohol and drugs in an attempt to escape reality.  The following description of what life is like in the region today comes from Kevin D. Williamson

Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the endless scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings up on the hill, the federally funded ritual of trading cases of food-stamp Pepsi for packs of Kentucky’s Best cigarettes and good old hard currency, tall piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, the draw, the recreational making and surgical unmaking of teenaged mothers, and death: Life expectancies are short — the typical man here dies well over a decade earlier than does a man in Fairfax County, Va. — and they are getting shorter, women’s life expectancy having declined by nearly 1.1 percent from 1987 to 2007.

Many of you that are reading this article know exactly what Williamson is talking about, because you are living in one of those communities.  It can be absolutely soul crushing to look into the hollow eyes of those that have long since given up on life day after day.  There are some communities in America where you can feel the bitterness the moment that you drive into them.  It is almost as if all of the life has been sucked out of the entire town.  If you have ever experienced this, you know what I mean.

If there is hope, most people can endure just about anything.  But when there is no hope, that is when deep depression sets in.  And for many of those living in Appalachia, hope has long since departed.  Just consider the words of long-time Beattyville resident Ed Courier

“It’s bad. I don’t think rural America has a future,” said Courier. “The advantage rural areas had in the past of cheap labour is gone. We used to have a lot of little factories in this area but they’ve gone to Mexico or China. In rural areas housing is cheap but everything else costs more. Utility rates are higher. Food and transport are higher. Management doesn’t want to live in rural areas. Education is horrible here. This is a third-world county. My kids grew up here until they were eight or nine, then they went to school in Louisville [a 145-mile drive away]. I wouldn’t send them to school here.”

Sadly, what has already happened in Appalachia is slowly happening to the rest of the country as well.  There is a chronic lack of good jobs, poverty is exploding, and more Americans than ever are giving into depression.

As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, people are starting to become more desperate.  In many large cities, crime rates are already up by double digit percentages in 2015, and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is beginning to disappear.  For example, down in Tampa it is being reported that there is an epidemic of house squatting going on right now…

Crooks find empty houses all over Tampa Bay and make themselves at home. And now, 8 On Your Side uncovered training manuals on the internet. They teach how to get away with squatting.

The handbooks are brazen. A pamphlet for sale on Amazon for $61.20. An entry on Wiki-How entices tells squatters how to “take a whole house from someone if you’re willing to take the risk.”

It points out the best areas to squat and even advises to spruce up the home to throw off suspicious neighbors.

And a tragic incident that just happened in Indianapolis really touched my heart.  The following comes from ABC News

A family in Indianapolis was torn apart when Amanda Blackburn, 28, died after being shot in the head by a mystery gunman.

Her husband, Pastor Davey Blackburn, returned to their home from the gym Tuesday and found his home broken into and his wife on the ground, officials said.

She died Wednesday, 12 weeks pregnant.

The couple, who have a child, appeared to be madly in love, posting YouTube videos on the way to a “romantic getaway” in Chicago and Amanda even offering marriage advice: “You can lead your wife best, by just being a really, really good Godly example to her.”

Please pray for Pastor Davey.

I can’t even imagine the pain that he must be going through right now.

Meanwhile, there are more signs that this new economic downturn that we are experiencing is about to get even worse…

-Four large U.S. energy companies with combined debt of 4.8 billion dollars have been warned that they are all on the verge of totally collapsing and falling into bankruptcy.

-Unfortunately for all energy companies, the price of oil is not likely to go up significantly any time soon.  The amount of oil being stored offshore has approximately doubled from earlier this year, and more supertankers full of unsold oil are joining the party almost every day

While the crude oil tanker backlog in Houston reaches an almost unprecedented 39 (with combined capacity of 28.4 million barrels), as The FT reports that from China to the Gulf of Mexico, the growing flotilla of stationary supertankers is evidence that the oil price crash may still have further to run, as more than 100m barrels of crude oil and heavy fuels are being held on ships at sea (as the year-long supply glut fills up available storage on land).

-The amount of goods being shipped by rail, freight and air inside the United States continues to decline.  For the month of October, the Cass Shipping Index was down 5.3 percent on a year over year basis.

-And it also looks like a new housing crisis is beginning to emerge.  From September to October, the number of newly initiated foreclosures in the United States rose by 12 percent.

-Of course the elite understand what is happening, and they are working hard to get prepared.  According to Bloomberg, global central banks are buying up gold “at a near-record pace”…

Central banks and other institutions boosted gold purchases to the second-highest level on record in the quarter to September as countries including China and Russia sought to diversify their foreign-exchange reserves.

Net purchases were 175 metric tons, nearing the record 179.5 tons in the same quarter a year earlier, and up from 127.9 tons in the preceding three-month period, the World Gold Council said in a report on Thursday. Still, over the first nine months central banks’ net purchases dropped 6.7 percent to 425.8 tons, according to the council.

When you add these items to the list that I shared with you yesterday, a very disturbing picture begins to develop.

We are clearly heading into an extremely difficult economic period, and that means that the suffering in Appalachia and elsewhere in America is about to get even worse.

The Calm Before The Storm

Storm - Public DomainHave you noticed that things have gotten eerily quiet in the month of October?  After the chaos of late August and early September, many had anticipated that we would be dealing with a full-blown financial collapse by now, but instead we have entered a period of “dead calm” in which things have become exceedingly quiet in almost every way that you can possibly imagine.  Other “watchmen” that I highly respect have made the exact same observation.  Even though the economic numbers are screaming that we have entered a global recession, they aren’t really make any headline news.  A whole host of major financial institutions around the planet are currently in danger of collapsing and creating the next “Lehman Brothers moment”, but none of them has imploded just yet.  And of course Barack Obama seems bound and determined to start World War III.  On Monday, it was announced that he is sending a guided missile destroyer into Chinese waters in the South China Sea.  The Chinese have already stated that they might just start shooting if this happens, but Barack Obama doesn’t seem to care.  But until the shooting actually begins, that is not likely to upset the current tranquility that we are enjoying either.

To me, what we are experiencing at the moment would best be described as “the calm before the storm”.  If you are not familiar with this concept, this is how it is defined by How Stuff Works

Have you ever spent an afternoon in the backyard, maybe grilling or enjoying a game of croquet, when suddenly you notice that everything goes quiet? The air seems still and calm — even the birds stop singing and quickly return to their nests.

After a few minutes, you feel a change in the air, and suddenly a line of clouds ominously appears on the horizon — clouds with a look that tells you they aren’t fooling around. You quickly dash in the house and narrowly miss the first fat raindrops that fall right before the downpour. At this moment, you might stop and ask yourself, “Why was it so calm and peaceful right before the storm hit?”

Like so many others, I believe that a great storm is coming, and yet right at this moment things seem so peaceful.

Unfortunately, this period of peace and quiet is not going to last for long, and most Americans know deep down that something is seriously wrong with our nation.  In fact, a new WND/Clout poll has found that 85.3 percent of all likely voters in the United States believe that our country is going in the wrong direction…

The poll found 92.6 percent of those who identified themselves as conservative believe the nation is on the wrong track. Among those who call themselves liberal, 90.9 percent said it is going the wrong direction.

When asked what they think of the American economy after seven years of Obama’s leadership and economic policies, nearly 80 percent described it as “very fragile” or “somewhat fragile.”

Self-identified Democrats, Republicans, liberals and conservatives were in general agreement, with about 75 percent to 80 percent describing the economy as “somewhat fragile” or “very fragile.”

But even though we are steamrolling in the wrong direction, we haven’t suffered any incredibly serious consequences for it yet.

For the moment, this is allowing the mockers to have a field day.  They are fully confident that Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve knew what they were doing after all, and they are gleefully taunting those of us that have been warning of the great disaster that is heading our way.

However, those that are wise are getting prepared.

I think that we could all learn some lessons from what Overstock.com Chairman Jonathan Johnson is doing. The following is an extended excerpt from a recent Zero Hedge article

*****

One week ago Johnson, who is also candidate for Utah governor, spoke at the United Precious Metals Association, or UPMA, which we first profiled a month ago, and which takes advantage of Utah’s special status allowing the it to use gold as legal tender, offering gold and silver-backed accounts. As a reminder, the UPMA takes Federal Reserve Notes (or paper dollars) which it then translates into golden dollars (or silver). The golden dollars are based off the $50 one ounce gold coins produced by the Treasury of The United States. They are legal tender under the law and are protected as such.

What did Johnson tell the UPMA? Here are some choice quotes:

We are not big fans of Wall Street and we don’t trust them. We foresaw the financial crisis, we fought against the financial crisis that happened in 2008; we don’t trust the banks still and we foresee that with QE3, and QE4 and QE n that at some point there is going to be another significant financial crisis.

So what do we do as a business so that we would be prepared when that happens. One thing that we do that is fairly unique: we have about $10 million in gold, mostly the small button-sized coins, that we keep outside of the banking system. We expect that when there is a financial crisis there will be a banking holiday. I don’t know if it will be 2 days, or 2 weeks, or 2 months. We have $10 million in gold and silver in denominations small enough that we can use for payroll. We want to be able to keep our employees paid, safe and our site up and running during a financial crisis.

We also happen to have three months of food supply for every employee that we can live on.

*****

Why would such a seemingly intelligent and successful CEO of a large Internet company do such things?

It is because he can see the writing on the wall.

This period of calm will not last.  A great storm is coming, and when it does arrive those that have not prepared for it are going to suffer tremendously.

Most people have no idea just how fragile our system really is.  Today, some of these “too big to fail” banks supposedly have trillions of dollars in assets, but if you want to withdraw $10,000 or more in cash you have got to give them 24 hours notice to get enough money

This is just the beginning. As anyone can tell you, it’s all but impossible to move large amounts of money into cash in the US. Even the large banks will routinely ask you for 24 hours notice if you need $10,000 or more in cash. These are banks will TRILLIONS of dollars worth of assets on their books.

And with each passing day we see even more signs of the global economic slowdown that is emerging all around us.  For example, we just learned that the China Containerized Freight Index has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded.  China accounts for more global trade than anyone else, and so this is a very clear sign that global economic activity is slowing down dramatically…

By early July, the index dropped below 800 for the first time in its history, which started in 1998 when the index was set at 1,000. It soon recovered to about 850. And just when bouts of hope were rising that the worst was over, it plunged again and hit even lower levels.

The latest weekly reading dropped another 1.7% from the prior week to 752.21, the worst level ever. The CCFI is now 30% below where it had been in February this year and 25% below where it had been 17 years ago at its inception.

But for those that don’t want to believe that hard times are on the way, they can take comfort in the eerie period of calm that we are experiencing right now.

What they don’t realize is that this truly is “the calm before the storm”, and the global economic crisis that is ahead of us is going to be far beyond what most people ever dared to imagine was possible.

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