As China Settles In For A Long Trade War, Economic Pressure On Trump Continues To Grow

The trade war between the United States and China is increasingly weighing on the global economy, but unfortunately it does not appear that it will end any time soon.  Many pundits in the U.S. originally believed that the trade war would be short because the economic pain would be too much for the Chinese to handle.  But the truth is that the Chinese are not nearly as motivated by short-term concerns as we are.  They have always been long-term planners, and they are not afraid to set goals that may take multiple generations to achieve.  So they are not going to allow an angry American president that may be voted out of office by the end of next year to greatly alter their long-term economic strategies.

If an acceptable agreement could have been reached with Trump, the Chinese would have jumped at that opportunity.  But right now the two sides are so far apart that they are basically not even on the same playing field, and any additional “negotiations” are not going to change that.  However, the Chinese are likely to try to keep talks with the Trump administration alive in an attempt to prevent the trade war from escalating even more.  In essence, the Chinese are trying to minimize the damage while running out the clock on the Trump presidency.

So for China, this trade war has become an exercise in endurance, and this is something that a Fox Business article recently discussed…

Researchers from Deutsche Bank wrote a note over the weekend, explaining how they believe China appears to have shifted its strategy from a focus on “resolution to one of endurance.”

“We think China is neither aiming to quickly reach a trade deal, nor trying to hit back at the U.S. as hard as it can,” Deutsche Bank China Economist Yi Xiong wrote in a report. “Rather, China seems to have internalized the trade war as a given fact, and is trying to preserve China’s economic resilience under rising tariffs.”

Here in the U.S., we have become quite accustomed to sacrificing our long-term prosperity in order to avoid short-term pain, but the Chinese are simply not going to do that in this case.

Instead, they are going to work extremely hard to do what they can to bolster the Chinese economy internally while they wait for a more “reasonable” U.S. president to get elected.  The following comes from the South China Morning Post

China will “enhance countercyclical measures in macroeconomic policies … to ensure sufficient liquidity and reasonable growth in credit,” according to a statement by the government’s Financial Stability and Development Commission on Sunday. The wording marked a subtle change from previous policy statements that called only for “appropriate” fine-tuning of monetary policy.

The statement did not mention the trade war with the US, but included specific guidelines on what China should do to manage its economy in the coming months. It urged financial institutions to help sell local government special bonds, with proceeds to be used for government-backed investment projects, while it also told local authorities to “fully tap investment potential”.

Unlike Chinese officials, President Trump has an upcoming election that he must deal with, and the longer this trade war persists the worse his re-election chances are going to become.

As I detailed yesterday, signs of economic trouble are erupting all around us, and the pain from this trade war is only going to become more intense as each new month passes.

So Trump is going to become increasingly desperate to get China to come to an agreement, and that may lead to some very rash decisions.  For example, it is being reported that he “wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods” after the Chinese responded to recent U.S. tariffs by imposing some of their own…

President Donald Trump wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods last month after Beijing’s latest retaliation in a boiling trade war before settling on a smaller increase, three sources told CNBC.

The president was outraged after he learned Aug. 23 that China had formalized plans to slap duties on $75 billion in U.S. products in response to new tariffs from Washington on Sept. 1. His initial reaction, communicated to aides on a White House trade call held that day, was to suggest doubling existing tariffs, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Unfortunately for Trump, no amount of pressure is going to get the Chinese to budge.

Yes, the Chinese will “talk” to U.S. officials as a delaying tactic, but they have already decided that they will never accept the sort of deal that Trump wants.

Meanwhile, our economic numbers just continue to deteriorate.  On Tuesday, we learned that a key measure of U.S. manufacturing just fell to the lowest level in three years

A key U.S. factory gauge unexpectedly contracted for the first time since 2016, sending stocks and bond yields lower and boosting expectations for interest-rate cuts as global manufacturing woes deepen.

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index fell to 49.1 in August, weaker than all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, data released Tuesday showed. Figures below 50 indicate the manufacturing economy is generally shrinking. The group’s gauge of new orders dropped to a more than seven-year low, while the production index hit the lowest since late 2015.

In response to that number and more troubling news about the trade war, U.S. stocks were sharply down

Stocks fell on Tuesday, the first trading day of a historically tough month, after the world’s two largest economies began imposing new tariffs on each other’s goods. Weak manufacturing data also dented investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 285.26 points lower, or 1.1%, at 26,118.02. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% to end the day at 2,906.27 while the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 1.1% to 7,874.16.

We have reached an absolutely critical moment in modern American history.  The largest financial bubble in our entire history is on the verge of bursting, and many believe that we could be on the precipice of an economic downturn even worse than what we experienced in 2008 and 2009.

A trade deal with China would greatly help the short-term outlook, but the Chinese are not willing to give Trump what he desires.  So the only way one will happen is if President Trump completely caves in, but I don’t see that happening.

That means that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead, and the American people are completely unprepared for that.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

President Trump Is Preparing An Executive Order That Will Crack Down Hard On Social Media Censorship Of Conservatives

It appears that President Trump is getting ready to bring down the hammer on the big social media companies.  According to Politico, the Trump administration is in the process of drafting an executive order that will “tackle Silicon Valley’s alleged anti-conservative bias”.  And it is very much in President Trump’s own self-interest to do this.  Social media played a key role in helping him win in 2016, but since that time we have seen an unprecedented wave of censorship on the major social media platforms, and most of that censorship has been directed at conservative voices.  If President Trump doesn’t do something, it is hard to see how he will win in 2020, and of course that is precisely what the leftist executives at the big social media companies want.

Ultimately, it would take an act of Congress to do everything that needs to be done, but President Trump should be applauded for trying to do what he can on his own.  Apparently Politico was able to speak to three separate sources that are familiar with the drafting of this new executive order, and after speaking to all of them Politico came to the conclusion that the Trump administration is very serious about “wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley”

The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies, according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter — a month after President Donald Trump pledged to explore “all regulatory and legislative solutions” on the issue.

None of the three would describe the contents of the order, which one person cautioned has already taken many different forms and remains in flux. But its existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.

It is not clear if such an executive order would hold up in court, and undoubtedly there will be legal challenges right away.  Of course those legal challenges will take a long time to play out, because we all know how quickly our legal system moves.

But for the short-term, what really matters is what effect this will have on the behavior of the big social media companies.  The goal should be to scare them into doing the right thing, and hopefully the wording of this executive order will be as forceful as possible.

Since some of these big tech companies have contracts with the federal government, in his executive order Trump could try to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against customers based on their political views.  A similar approach has been attempted a couple of times before

One potential approach could involve using the government’s leverage over federal contractors, a tactic the Obama administration used to advance LGBT rights. A 2014 executive order prohibited federal contractors from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Trump earlier this year signed an executive order meant to promote free speech on college campuses by requiring schools to agree to promote free inquiry in order to receive federal research funding — something the schools were already supposed to do.

We’ll see what happens, but hopefully Trump can get this executive order issued quickly, because the 2020 election season has already begun.

Of course liberals are upset about this potential executive order, and many of them continue to insist that conservatives are not being specifically targeted by the social media companies.  For example, just check out this excerpt from a Vox article

As Recode and other outlets have reported, there has been no evidence to prove that companies such as Google and Twitter have anti-conservative bias baked into their products. Regardless, the president and Republican lawmakers have continued to make such claims, emboldened in part by a recent claim by a former Google engineer that he was fired for his conservative political views. (Google says the employee was fired for misusing company equipment; other reports indicate that he shared emails internally in which he defended white supremacist groups.)

Seriously?

Because of what I do, I have connections throughout the conservative media, and just about everyone I know has been censored, banned, shadowbanned or deplatformed in some way, shape or form.  Over the past two and a half years we have witnessed the greatest purge in the history of the Internet, and it has been absolutely brutal.

Some conservative voices are still able to use social media, but the heavy hand of censorship is always present.  For example, every time Dr. Michael Brown posts a video on YouTube, it is immediately “flagged as unsuitable for most advertisers”

To this moment, the instant one of my YouTube videos is posted—and I mean the very instant—it gets flagged as unsuitable for most advertisers, which we then have to contest by calling for a manual review. At that point, you genuinely have no idea what the reviewer will decide.

Of course other conservative voices have been targeted for elimination from social media altogether.  Mike Adams of Natural News is an incredibly genuine guy and one of the most articulate conservative voices on the entire Internet, and he has been deplatformed by just about every social media platform that exists

In response to a coordinated, heavily-funded smear campaign against Natural News and myself, the Health Ranger, Facebook has now permanently banned Natural News from posting content. The channel name that has been banned is Facebook.com/healthranger, which was our primary channel reaching over 2.5 million people.

This is on top of the permanent bans of Natural News content from Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google News, Apple and other techno-fascists that now represent the greatest threat to human freedom the world has ever seen.

There is no reason why Mike Adams should have ever been banned by anyone.  I have had the opportunity to sit down with him in person, and he is someone that cares deeply for America and for those around him.  What the big social media companies have done to him is absolutely disgusting.

But of course he is far from alone.  One study found that since the 2016 presidential election, social media traffic to a group of some of the most conservative websites on the Internet was down by 93 percent.  You can find the full study right here, and it is definitely worth reading.

In the end, it is very simple.  The leftists that run the big social media companies hate what we believe, and they don’t want us to get the truth out.  The don’t believe in a free marketplace of ideas, because their ideas always lose.

So the only way that they can win is by shutting us up, and that is precisely what they have been attempting to do.

The social media giants built multi-billion dollar empires by giving everyone a voice, but now that they have such a dominant position on the Internet they have decided that many prominent conservative voices should be completely silenced.

They want to control what ideas people are exposed to, thus shaping the overall direction of the country as a whole.

If they are allowed to get away with it, they will greatly alter the political future of America far beyond the 2020 election.

Something needs to be done immediately, and so let us hope that President Trump gives this executive order some really strong teeth.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

When President Trump Was Asked About The Epidemic Of Human Feces On Our Streets, Here Is How He Responded…

If you go visit Japan, I guarantee that you won’t see a single person defecating on the sidewalk.  It just doesn’t happen over there, or in most other highly civilized nations on the planet.  But here in the United States, we have such a problem with human waste on our city streets that even the president of the United States is talking about it on national television.  President Trump has been known to comment on the deplorable conditions in other nations from time to time, but during an interview on Monday night Fox host Tucker Carlson asked Trump about the horrific conditions in some of our own cities.  In particular, Carlson noted that unlike New York and Los Angeles, there is “no one going to the bathroom on the streets” in Japan

Trump sat for an interview with Tucker Carlson during his trip to South Korea over the weekend. The Fox News host observed that cities in Japan, host of the Group of 20 summit, had “no graffiti” and “no one going to the bathroom on the streets,” and said New York City and Los Angeles had a “major problem with filth.”

In response, President Trump blamed the liberals that are running those big cities for the current conditions, and he described what some homeless people are going through as “living in hell”

The president described cities in a dire state, claiming police officers are “getting sick just by walking the beat,” and some people are “living in hell.”

Some people may be tempted to think that Trump was exaggerating, but the truth is that conditions on the streets of some of our major cities just continue to deteriorate at a very rapid pace.

For example, just consider the following excerpt from a Los Angeles Times article that was published about a month ago

I’ve seen so many rats the last two weeks in downtown Los Angeles, I have to suspect they’re plotting a takeover of City Hall, which vermin infiltrated last year.

The city of Los Angeles has become a giant trash receptacle. It used to be that illegal dumpers were a little more discreet, tossing their refuse in fields and gullies and remote outposts.

Now city streets are treated like dumpsters, or even toilets — on Thursday, the 1600 block of Santee Street was cordoned off after someone dumped a fat load of poop in the street. I’m not sure when any of this became the norm, but it must have something to do with the knowledge that you can get away with it.

Of course similar things could be said about Seattle, Portland, Denver or just about any major city out west.

When authorities cleaned up the homeless camps that had popped up on a two mile stretch along a bike trail in Orange County last year, this is what they hauled away

  • 404 tons of debris
  • 13,950 needles (approximate number based on what disposal containers hold)
  • 5,279 pounds of hazardous waste (human waste, propane, pesticides and other materials)

It literally took months to clean everything up, and that was just one very small two mile stretch of southern California.

But when it comes to human feces, nobody can even come close to San Francisco.

According to Forbes, there have been more than 118,000 officially reported cases of human feces on the streets since 2011…

Since 2011, there have been at least 118,352 reported instances of human fecal matter on city streets.

New mayor, London Breed, won election by promising to clean things up. However, conditions are the same or worse. Last year, the number of reports spiked to an all-time high at 28,084. In first quarter 2019, the pace continued with 6,676 instances of human waste in the public way.

This is supposed to be one of the wealthiest cities on the entire planet, and yet it has become a giant human manure pile.

Of course much of this is being fueled by drugs.  Addicts are often so zombiefied that they don’t care who or what is around when it comes time to use the potty.  In the U.S. today, more people die from drug overdoses than from traffic accidents, and even the New York Times admits that we are in the midst of the “worst drug crisis in American history”.

But for many others, being homeless has nothing to do with drugs at all.  The middle class is being eviscerated all around us, and poverty is growing with each passing day.  And it turns out that several of the counties with the most unaffordable housing in America just happen to be in California

ATTOM Data Solutions published its 2Q19 US Home Affordability Report, which reveals median home prices last quarter weren’t affordable for the average American in 74% (353 of 480 counties) of the counties analyzed.

The most unaffordable counties, the reported noted, were in Los Angeles County, California; Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; San Diego County, California; and Orange County, California.

There is never going to be any sort of a permanent solution to the homelessness crisis in California until there is a lot more affordable housing, and right now liberal policies are standing in the way of that happening.

Unfortunately, the entire country is likely to see a substantial rise in homelessness as this new economic downturn continues to escalate.  At this point things have already gotten so tight that a third of all Americans have cut spending within the last 12 months

A third of Americans say they’ve cut spending in the last year, and that percentage is about the same no matter the demographic. Reasons for spending less ranged from a loss of household income and new debt to fear of recession, job loss or large medical bills from an unexpected illness or injury.

Considering the fact that 59 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck, the truth is that most of us are just a couple of bad breaks away from financial disaster.

So instead of looking down on homeless people, the rest of us should be working harder than ever so that we can survive the very rough times that are coming.

Nobody plans to fall into poverty, and nobody actually wants to be homeless.

But tonight more than 550,000 Americans do not have a home, and that number is only going to keep rising.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Top U.S. Officials Gather To Discuss “Military Options” In Venezuela As Russia Warns Of “Grave Consequences” If America Invades

On Wednesday afternoon, senior U.S. officials gathered at the White House to discuss possible military options for Venezuela.  Meanwhile, the Russians are warning of grave consequences if the U.S. invades, and so the stage is being set for a potential showdown between the world’s two foremost military powers.  Previously, administration officials had hoped that the Venezuelan people would rally around Juan Guaido to such a degree that it would not require military intervention to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but that hasn’t happened.  In fact, Guaido’s big push to start a revolution in the streets over the past few days has ended up being a total flop.  The following comes from Yahoo News

Guaido had called for the “largest march” in Venezuela’s history and said on Twitter that “millions of Venezuelans” were in the streets in “this final phase” of his move to oust Maduro.

But by late afternoon, many of the protesters in the capital Caracas were drifting home.

Despite Guaido’s calls for the military to support him, the armed forces leadership has so far remained loyal to Maduro, who has been in power since 2013.

In the long-term, the situation in Venezuela isn’t going to change much if the U.S. is able to replace one socialist president (Maduro) with another socialist president (Guaido).  Socialism always ends badly, and the people of Venezuela are going to have to decide for themselves that they don’t want socialism any longer.

But that isn’t what this is about.  U.S. officials have decided that it is time to impose their will on the people of Venezuela, and they have determined that Maduro must go.  If Guaido cannot create a successful internal revolution, then other options will be explored.

And as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, there was a very, very important gathering of top U.S. officials at the White House on Wednesday afternoon

Senior U.S. administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, and National Security Advisor John Bolton, will meet at the White House Wednesday afternoon. With the situation on the ground still “extraordinarily fluid,” according to Shanahan, the U.S. says it is still weighing military options.

Don’t you wish that you could have been a fly on the wall for that meeting?

Of course we already know what Pompeo and Bolton are thinking.  This is what Pompeo just told Fox Business

“Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”

In other words, if Guaido can’t get the job done, our boys and girls are going in.

And John Bolton has repeatedly insisted that “all options are on the table” regarding Venezuela, and he just told reporters the following about potential Russian interference

“This is our hemisphere,” he told reporters outside the White House. “It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering. This is a mistake on their part. It’s not going to lead to an improvement of relations.”

So precisely what would Bolton like us to do about it?

The Russians already have troops and military equipment in Venezuela, and they are there with the permission of the Venezuelan government.  Does Bolton really want us to attack and risk a war with Russia?

And for what?  Venezuela certainly has a lot of oil, but the truth is that there is no fundamental national security interest at stake in Venezuela.

Unfortunately, there is a growing consensus in Washington that something must be done about Venezuela, and the hysteria has already reached absolutely ridiculous levels.  For example, just consider the words of U.S. Senator Rick Scott

“Here is what is going to happen. We are in the process, if we don’t win today, we are going to have Syria in this hemisphere. So, we can make sure something happens now, or we can deal with this for decades to come. If we care about families, if we care about the human race, if we care about fellow worldwide citizens, then we’ve got to step up and stop this genocide.”

Did you catch that?

Apparently, if you are not in favor of a U.S. invasion of Venezuela, you don’t “care about families” and you don’t “care about the human race” either.

In response to those comments, this is what Tucker Carlson had to say

When was the last time we successfully meddled in the political life of another country? Has it ever worked? How are the democracies we set up in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria, and Afghanistan right now? How would Venezuela be different? Please explain — and take your time.

Are we prepared for the refugees a Venezuelan war would inevitably produce? A study by the Brookings Institution found that the collapse of the Venezuelan government could force eight million people to leave the country. Many of them would come here. Lawmakers in this country propose giving them temporary protected status that would let even illegal arrivals live and work here, in effect, permanently, as many have before, with no fear of deportation. Are we prepared for that?

If we are going to ask members of our military to shed their blood, it had better be for a really, really good reason.

And switching out one socialist leader for another socialist leader in Venezuela definitely does not qualify.

Of course that is the best case scenario.

In a worst case scenario, a U.S. military invasion of Venezuela would spark a war with Russia, and the Russians are making it very clear that there will be “grave consequences” if we attack…

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Pompeo by phone on Wednesday that further “aggressive steps” in Venezuela would have grave consequences, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is getting dangerously close to war with Iran as well.  The Iranians are threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for Washington cutting off all their oil exports, and if the Strait of Hormuz gets shut down all hell could break loose.

U.S. officials want to “get tough” with all of our enemies around the world, and that is fine as long as you know what are you doing.

Because even one miscalculation can result in missiles flying back and forth, and once peace is taken from the Earth things could get wildly out of control very rapidly.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail, because right now we are quickly approaching a tipping point.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

2 Aircraft Carriers Have Left Port – Are The USS Eisenhower And The USS Roosevelt Headed South Toward Venezuela?

Juan Guaido has initiated a violent uprising in an attempt to overthrow Nicolas Maduro, and it appears that the U.S. may be preparing to intervene in the conflict militarily.  The USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker accurately tracks the current positions of U.S. naval assets, and according to them the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has left port on the east coast and the USS Theodore Roosevelt has left port on the west coast.  In both cases, each aircraft carrier was originally slated for “training” exercises, but now there is lots of speculation that they are both steaming south toward Venezuela.  Since there has been no official confirmation from Washington, let me stress that once again that any talk about the potential destination of these carriers is just speculation.  But considering what is taking place in Venezuela at this moment, it certainly would not surprise anyone if the waters off Venezuela is precisely where they are heading.

Earlier today, the Intel_Radar Twitter account created quite a stir with a series of seven tweets

BREAKING: US Navy deploys two aircraft carriers, both southbound, one from each coast, amid Venezuela crisis.

Update 1 : Eisenhower left Virginia headed South, on the same day Roosevelt deployed out of San Diego headed for the Panama Canal.

Update 2 : US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (MMSI:368962000|CS:NIKE) departed Norfolk ~2019-04-26, was off AIS for 4 days, and seems to be headed South, off the US East Coast.

Update 3 : American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) RoRo Integrity (IMO:8919934|MMSI:367063310) departed Mexico with a fake destination, “hiding their destination”.

Update 4 : USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has earned a number of awards, including the Battle “E” in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2006 and 2012 as the most battle efficient carrier in the Atlantic Fleet.

Update 5 : 6248 kHz LSB Venezuela naval freq still active. Also morse code in background.

Update 6 : A US Navy fast combat support ship departed Norfolk just a little bit ago.

If all of this information is true, it would certainly seem to indicate that something is up.

Could it be possible that the U.S. is about to go to war with Venezuela?

If you are not familiar with what happened in Venezuela on Tuesday, here is a pretty good summary

It was a ploy that from its outset felt like a long shot. Before dawn Tuesday, Juan Guaido, flanked by his political mentor Leopoldo Lopez and a handful of soldiers who had broken ranks, issued a message to Venezuela and the world: The time to topple Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian regime was right now.

By dusk, with Maduro still firmly in control of the military command, Lopez had sought refuge in the Chilean ambassador’s residence in Caracas and the streets were beginning to empty of the protesters who had heeded Guaido’s call to join what he called Operation Liberty.

Either Guaido is completely suicidal, or he is coordinating with the U.S. and he believes that U.S. military help in on the way.

The second option seems more likely, and on Tuesday John Bolton even admitted that “a deal had been struck” with key members of Maduro’s regime…

The whole episode was so bizarre — with Guaido seemingly lacking the military might to have any chance at all — that it was hard to understand the day’s events. One explanation, as related by National Security Adviser John Bolton, was that a deal had been struck behind the scenes and that key members of Maduro’s regime had agreed to flip, paving the way for Guaido to easily assume power.

Well, either Bolton was bluffing or those officials double-crossed him, because it just hasn’t happened.

And perhaps that would help to explain this very angry tweet from Bolton

.@vladimirpadrino, @Ivanr_HD, @MaikelMorenoTSJ: Your time is up. This is your last chance. Accept Interim President Guaido’s amnesty, protect the Constitution, and remove Maduro, and we will take you off our sanctions list. Stay with Maduro, and go down with the ship.

In response to Bolton’s tweet, one top Venezuelan official posted the following

Dream on … Not today!

Subsequently, Bolton once again told the press that “all options are on the table” when it comes to Venezuela…

Bolton later told reporters that the U.S. would consider intervening in Venezuela.

“We want, as our principal objective, the peaceful transition of power, but I will say again as the president has said from the outset and as Nicolas Maduro and those supporting him — particularly those who are not Venezuelan — should know, is all options are on the table,” Bolton said.

But if the U.S. goes into Venezuela, it will be a full-blown war against a seasoned military with more than 300,000 troops in a country twice the size of Iraq.

In addition, the Russians and the Cubans already have troops there, and they have no intention of pulling their forces out.

In other words, an invasion of Venezuela could potentially spark World War 3.

But John Bolton doesn’t seem fazed by any of that.  He is a hardcore war hawk, and he has been calling for military conflict for years.  If you will remember, he actually called for a pre-emptive war against North Korea just two months before joining the Trump administration

For John Bolton, the national-security adviser, the summit represented a conundrum. Two months before he entered the White House, in April, 2018, he had called for preëmptive war with North Korea. During the past two decades, Bolton has established himself as the Republican Party’s most militant foreign-policy thinker—an advocate of aggressive force who ridicules anyone who disagrees. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he argued that Kim’s regime would soon be able to strike the United States with nuclear weapons, and that we should attack before it was too late. “The threat is imminent,” he wrote. “It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.”

We truly live in ominous times, and many are deeply concerned that Bolton seems to have so much influence over U.S. foreign policy right now.

Ultimately, we don’t know what is going to happen next, but it is interesting to note that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also used the phrase “all options are on the table” during an interview with Maria Bartiromo…

“The only messages I think we are trying to get out there is that we want to make sure the Russians and the Cubans know they are not supposed to get involved and that we do and have said a bunch of times that all options are on the table” said Mulvaney during a conversation with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo from the Milken Institute Global Conference Opens a New Window.

They are making it very clear that a full-blown invasion of Venezuela is a real possibility, and most Americans have absolutely no idea what that would mean.

We are talking about a conflict that would be several magnitudes greater than the Iraq war, and it could be right around the corner.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Mainstream Media Is Hyping Up The Release Of The Mueller Report As If It Were Some Sort Of Key Historical Event

Are you ready for the biggest non-event in recent American political history?  The mainstream media is treating Thursday’s release of the Mueller report as an event of critical historical importance, but it isn’t.  Unless Attorney General William Barr was lying to us in his summary of the report, there aren’t going to be any major bombshells.  Of course anti-Trump forces will be sifting through the report for any nuggets that they can possibly use, but in the end it will be a fruitless exercise.  Trump never colluded with the Russians, and Mueller didn’t find enough to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.  So please feel free to skip reading the full 400 page report, because you can undoubtedly put that time to much better use in some other way.

This whole sordid ordeal once again has shown us that Democrats are a bunch of morons.  Once the Stormy Daniels scandal broke wide open, Democrats were given a bright, shiny gift on a silver platter, but they largely ignored it and kept hammering the Russian collusion angle because they are a bunch of idiots.

And of course most of our politicians don’t really want to talk about Stormy Daniels, payoffs and adultery anyway because they have been doing similar things behind the scenes themselves.

Somehow the idea that “Trump colluded with the Russians” became gospel for Democrats, and almost everyone on the left followed the herd because they are a bunch of sheeple.  There were a few dissenting voices on the left, but they were drowned out by the hordes of zombies that let CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times do their thinking for them.

The truth is that it has always been obvious that Trump never colluded with the Russians, and that is what the Mueller Report will show when it is released tomorrow morning

Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will hold news conference Thursday just before Congress receives a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016.

The news conference will be at 9:30 a.m. EDT, said Kerri Kupec. The report is expected to go to Congress between 11 a.m. and noon EDT and likely will be released to the public around the same time.

But the mainstream media is trying to squeeze every ounce of false hype out of this story that they possibly can, and their endless coverage has helped push copies of the Mueller report to number one on Amazon in several categories.

And we aren’t going to get to see the entire report anyway.  As USA Today has noted, the report is being heavily redacted for a variety of legal reasons…

Barr has said Justice officials, including members of Mueller’s team, have been working to remove secret grand-jury evidence, classified information, material related to ongoing investigations spun off from the special counsel’s probe and personal information about individuals who were not charged as part of the inquiry.

In a curious move, in recent days officials from the Justice Department have been discussing the conclusions of the report with White House lawyers, and this is something that has infuriated Democrats because they believe that this is unfair.

The following comes from the New York Times

Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the conclusions made by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.

But even after being briefed, the White House seems quite unconcerned about what the report will show.

In fact, one White House spokesperson just told the press that “the outcome is still the same”

Meanwhile, ahead of the report, the White House insisted that it would exonerate Trump.

“Regardless of how Democrats and the media try to twist the report, the outcome is still the same: No collusion, no obstruction – complete and total exoneration,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

Ultimately, the big mainstream news networks will spend dozens of hours talking about the release of the Mueller report, but it will be a giant waste of time.

Yes, there might be some semi-interesting nuggets in the report, but it is highly unlikely that we are going to learn anything extremely important that we don’t know already.

As I have said from the very beginning, the Mueller investigation was a giant witch hunt, and it should have been shut down long ago.

But in America today, it has become fair game to try to personally destroy your political opponents.  And from now on, presidents and other high profile political figures are likely to be subjected to an endless barrage of investigations no matter which political party is in power.  This is going to make our country increasingly ungovernable, and it will lead us down a path from which we may never be able to return.

For Trump, this is definitely not the end of his legal troubles, because many other investigations are still ongoing

Prosecutors in a half-dozen federal, state and city jurisdictions are pursuing overlapping inquiries focused on how Trump operated his namesake business empire, how a porn star was paid off in the final weeks of his campaign and how his inaugural committee raised money. New York state alone has three agencies conducting investigations.

At least six congressional committees are studying Trump’s personal finances, his inauguration committee, his business practices before he took office and his conduct since assuming the presidency, seeking evidence of what senior Democrats have called corruption or abuse of his office.

Even if Trump wins in 2020, he will still be dealing with ongoing investigations, and when all of them eventually run their course I am sure that the Democrats will just start some new ones.

Our political system is literally in the process of self-destructing, and it is a horrifying thing to watch.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Chair Of The Federal Reserve Just Used The Term “Slowdown” To Describe What Is Happening To The U.S. Economy

Now even the Federal Reserve is publicly admitting that the U.S. economy is slowing down.  And that is quite remarkable, because usually the Federal Reserve is extremely hesitant to say that an economic slowdown is taking place.  As I pointed out the other day, in 2008 former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke kept insisting that a recession was not coming, but we found out later that a recession had already begun when he was making those statements.  Normally the Federal Reserve tries very hard to paint a rosy picture of our economic future, and one of the big reasons for that is because they want us to believe that they are doing a good job and that they have everything under control.  So it was quite stunning to hear Fed Chair Jerome Powell use the term “slowdown” to describe what is coming for the U.S. economy on Wednesday…

Citing a more modest outlook for the economy, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday held interest rates steady and signaled it did not plan to raise rates at all this year and would bump them up just once in 2020, providing a road map for a sustained period of easy-money policy.

“The U.S. economy is in a good place,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference, adding policymakers foresee “a modest slowdown, with overall conditions remaining favorable. We see no need to rush to judgment (by lifting or cutting rates).”

Admittedly, he did only say that it would be a “modest slowdown”, and so to most people that won’t sound that bad.

But this is the very first time that Powell has talked like this, and the truth is that the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model is currently forecasting that U.S. growth in the first quarter will be less than half a percent.  Fed officials are hoping that growth will be better in the second quarter, but there is also a very strong possibility that the economy will continue to decelerate.

Because the economy is entering a “slowdown”, the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it does not anticipate any more interest rate hikes for the rest of the year.

Normally Wall Street would experience a huge surge of euphoria upon hearing such news, but stocks were actually down on Wednesday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary-policy announcement dragged Treasury yields lower, pushing bank shares down.

Goldman Sachs led the 30-stock Dow to end the day down 141.71 points at 25,745.67. The S&P 500 closed 0.3 percent lower at 2,824.23. The Nasdaq Composite eked out a gain, closing 0.1 percent higher at 7,728.97.

This certainly could not have been the reaction that the Federal Reserve was hoping for.

Could it be possible that bad news for the U.S. economy is no longer good news for Wall Street?

Without a doubt, we are witnessing a huge wave of pessimism in the business community right now.  Yesterday, I noted that Federal Express is talking as if a global recession had already started, and other corporate leaders are making similar statements.

For example, just consider what the CEO of banking giant UBS just said

The head of UBS was among the latest to blame the world’s backdrop for weaker-than-expected results. CEO Ermotti told a conference in London on Wednesday that it “one of the worst first-quarter environments in recent history,” Reuters reported. The Swiss bank slashed another $300 million from 2019 costs after revenue at its investment bank plunged. Investment banking conditions are among the toughest seen in years, especially outside the U.S., he said.

And the CFO of BMW told investors on Wednesday that BMW’s earnings may be exposed to “additional risks” from the global economy in the months ahead…

“Depending on how conditions develop, our guidance may be subject to additional risks; in particular, the risk of a no-deal Brexit and ongoing developments in international trade policy,” CFO Nicolas Peter said in BMW’s quarterly earnings report Wednesday.

Last, but certainly not least, the co-CEO of Samsung just said that his company is anticipating “slowing growth in major economies” for the remainder of 2019…

“We are expecting many difficulties this year such as slowing growth in major economies and risks over global trade conflicts,” Samsung Co-Chief Executive Kinam Kim said.

Here in the United States, whoever is in the White House at the time usually gets most of the credit or most of the blame for how the economy is performing.

But the truth is that President Trump did not create the financial bubble that caused the boom on Wall Street.

The Federal Reserve did.

And President Trump is not going to be responsible when that bubble bursts either.

The Federal Reserve has far, far more control over the performance of the U.S. economy than either the president or Congress does.  And since the Federal Reserve was initially created in 1913, there have been 18 distinct recessions and/or depressions, and now we are heading into the 19th one.

If we want to finally get off this economic roller coaster ride permanently, we need to abolish the Federal Reserve.  But this isn’t even part of the national political discussion at this point.

However, that could soon change.  In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, we witnessed a huge backlash against the Federal Reserve system.  Eventually that backlash subsided, but now that we are entering a new crisis, perhaps it is time to start dusting off all of those old “End the Fed” signs.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

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