Hot

A billion.

That’s what Trump wanted in the funding bill. A billion is a LOT of money to you and I, but in the grand scheme of a huge government it’s nothing.

Yet for Paul Ryan and the rest of the cowards who constantly follow him off the political cliff it appears just too damn much. For Paul Ryan this is what we’ve come to expect. But for Trump? All very confusing to say the least.

Is Trump caving? It unfortunately appears that may be the case. And Rush Limbaugh agrees.

 

RUSH: I’m not happy to have to pass this on. I’m very, very troubled to have to pass this on. And I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case. But it looks like, from here, right here, right now, it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall on the border with Mexico.

The Democrats are threatening a government shutdown. It’s the same old same old, and I was hoping that Trump would throw this shutdown thing right back in their face and have everybody realize they’re the ones engineering these shutdowns that nobody would notice anyway unless a big hullabaloo was made about it. The Democrats seem to have successfully used this stupid, silly threat of a government shutdown to get their way. What Trump is saying is if we need to get this done, then I’ll delay the spending on the wall until September. And it’s just a measly billion dollars.

But the problem here, folks, is one of politics. If this happens, if Trump does — and I use the word “cave” guardedly. Trump, I’m sure, does not ever think he caves on anything. But outward appearances are what they are. And the bottom line is that if he is willing to withdraw a demand of his for a measly billion dollars for the wall because the Democrats are threatening a shutdown then the Democrats will have just learned that this threat works on Trump, too, not just all the other Republicans.

We know that the threat of a government shutdown, once it’s even whispered in the Drive-By Media, paralyzes the Republican Party. And then they spring into action trying to assure everybody that we’re not gonna shut down the government. And whatever the Democrats need, the Democrats, the losers in the last election, whatever they need, whatever they need is what we’re gonna do if we have to avoid a government shut down, because the media’s gonna blame us even though we’re not responsible for it and the country is gonna hate this and we can’t afford this. And so we can’t have a government shutdown.

And not having a shutdown has been the single focus of Republican policy for I don’t know how many years now. And it has translated into the Democrats being able to deny Republicans most of what they want and Democrats to get what they want. You know, once they get away with it, they’re gonna keep trying. And if they get away with it once, they’re just going to keep using it.

Of course, as we pointed out earlier, Trump doesn’t need Paul Ryan to build the wall. He already has full authority to do so on his own.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the U.S. military has started moving equipments of the controversial THAAD anti-missile defense system into its planned deployment site in South Korea.

The positioning began early Wednesday morning at the Sungju golf club in Sungju County of South Korea, where trailer trucks carrying parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system entered the site on what had been a golf course.

Predictably, the locals were quite unhappy, and Yonhap adds that the transport of radars and other military gear caused local residents to clash with police forces. At 4:30 am on Wednesday, the police blocked 500 some protesters in front of Sogongri Village Hall in Choseon-myeon, Seongju-gun, which is the entrance to Seongju Golf Course.

The THAAD has been a point of contention among not just residents and law enforcement. Beijing has been an outspoken critic of the THAAD system in South Korea.

The US military is expected to move all of its vehicle-mounted mobile launchers, radars, interceptor missiles, and combat control stations that have been stored in Busan and Chilgok.

The United States and South Korea had agreed to deploy THAAD in response to threat of missile launches by North Korea but China has opposed the move saying it helps little to deter the North while destabilizing regional security balance, reuters notes.

While the US began moving the first elements of the advanced missile defense system into South Korea in early March after the North test-launched four ballistic missiles, the U.S. and South Korean militaries had been reluctant to publicly discuss the progress of the deployment as candidates in a May 9 presidential election debated whether the move should go ahead or be delayed until after the vote.

The THAAD is a ground-based missile interceptor system primarily designed to thwart medium range missile threats. Chinese government officials see THAAD as an encroachment of US military might in the nation’s backyard.

It was not immediately clear if the deployment is an indication that the US and South Korean militaries anticipate an imminent escalation in the conflict with North Korea.

Story courtesy of Zero Hedge.

South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun recently let a statement go public that should have all Americans on high alert. “The South Korean and U.S. militaries are fully ready for North Korea’s nuclear test,” Moon said.

Full ready.

What exactly that means is currently only known by the Pentagon and top military brass. But considering that a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group is nearly at its destination in Korean waters one can assume it means war planners are likely preparing for war.

North Korea, of course, isn’t thrilled with the news. Here’s their take in it via OAN.

Angered by the approach of the USS Carl Vinson carrier group, a defiant North Korea said on Monday the deployment was “an extremely dangerous act by those who plan a nuclear war to invade”.

“The United States should not run amok and should consider carefully any catastrophic consequence from its foolish military provocative act,” Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, said in a commentary on Monday.

“What’s only laid for aggressors is dead bodies,” the newspaper said.

What has the carrier strike group been up to as it makes its way to Korean waters? A lot.

“Full ready” training with Japan and South Korea, to be exact. Just days ago two Japanese Destroyers worked with the carrier group for war training and reports suggest South Korea is about to do the same.

In other words, the United States, Japan and South Korea are all fully preparing for war as an alliance against North Korea. This isn’t just posturing. This isn’t just putting a ship somewhere to send a message. This is a plan coming together with all the training necessary to ensure it can be properly implemented.

A general alert is out for something major in the near or immediate future. Hopefully, it is just another false alarm, instead of another false flag. Either way, and danger is at hand.

Given all that is going on in the world, it is downright eerie to discover that the federal government is once again staging mock disasters that draw disturbing parallels with current world events.

In just a few days, during April 24-26th, Operation Gotham Shield will commence.

It is a tabletop, joint agency exercise involving FEMA, Homeland Security and a myriad of law enforcement and military agencies. WMD, chemical and biological units will all be on hand as a response is tested for a “simulated” nuclear detonation over the United States’ foremost urban center, in the iconic and densely populated island of Manhattan and nearby shores of New Jersey.

The potential for a more explosive false flag to spin out of control, by hijacking and ‘converting’ the simulated actions, is all too real.

This is closely related to the mechanism that many researchers believe was at work on the day of 9/11, nesting a false flag attack inside of a series of large-scale training operations which invoked emergency powers and simulated attacks in locations that were actually hit.

According to the Voice of Reason:

On April 18th thru May 5th, 2017, state, local, and federal organizations alike are planning for Operation Gotham Shield 2017 — a major nuclear detonation drill in the New York-New Jersey area, along with the U.S.-Canadian border. During this exercise, 4 nuclear devices, 2 of which are rendered “safe” during the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Vital Archer Exercise, and one successful 10kt detonation in the NYC/NJ area, along with one smaller detonation on the U.S./Canadian border are to take place.

Among the organizations involved are:

– U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

– U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)

– U.S. Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO)

– U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

– U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

– U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM)

– State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management

– State of New York Office of Emergency Management

– City of New York Office of Emergency Management

The following document comes form The Nevada National Security Service. Their primary role with the government is to help ensure the security of the United States and its allies by supporting the stewardship of the nuclear deterrent, providing emergency response capability and training, and contributing to key nonproliferation and arms control initiatives.

Will anything catastrophic happen during or after that window of time? Will North Korea really attack the U.S. mainland? Will someone else do so, and blame their overseas enemies?

No one who knows the answers to these questions is willing to talk. For now, all we can do is watch, wait and listen.

Don’t jump to fear and speculation, but don’t lie down or look away either.

These will be trying times.

Originally published at SHTFPlan.

The 2018 campaign cycle will kick off towards the end of this year and Republicans are terrified of voter backlash. For years Republicans promised a full repeal of Obamacare. Last year we were told a border wall would be funded. We were told massive tax reform for ALL (not just businesses) would happen. We were told spending would be brought under control. We were told the swamp would be drained.

As it stands right now Republicans may have to explain why they failed on all of it.

Not content to go into campaign mode without at least some sort of talking point to spin their side of the story, Republicans appear to be close to a deal that will amend Obamacare in a largely insignificant way. Reports suggest moderate Republicans, liberal house speaker Paul Ryan and yes… even the House Freedom Caucus is on board.

The amendment is called the MacArthur Amendment and is plotted out as follows.

This would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious. The amendment reinforces that essential benefits be reinstated as the federal standard and it allows for state based waivers to be applied for and integrated into a high risk pool.

HotAir has more.

Under the deal, states would still have to make sure that people with preexisting conditions are eligible for some sort of coverage. Insurers wouldn’t be allowed to drop them entirely. To obtain a federal waiver from the relevant ObamaCare regs, a state would either have to join a federal high-risk pool for those consumers or set up one of their own. In that sense, the GOP compromise (between the conservative Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group) is a mirror image of O-Care itself. That law gave states the power to set up their own insurance exchanges, provided that if they declined to do, their residents would be able to participate in the federal exchange instead. In this case the GOP would be giving states the power to set up their own system for covering preexisting conditions — or, by doing nothing, they can continue to have their residents governed by federal regulations.

The amendment does nothing to repeal Obamacare, its mandates and its monstrous control over our economy/healthcare industry.

But you can pretty much guarantee Republicans will soon start thumping their chests, claiming they’re doing everything they can to roll back the damage Obamacare does to our nation.

This little nonsense amendment will be spun as a repeal and replace. It will be featured in pro-incumbent TV ads, radio spots and mail pieces.

And the media will cover them at every turn.

Good grief. 

I work in conservative social circles. Conservative social environments that my libertarian streak sometimes puts me at odds with on a small range of important positions.

For example, I do not support war with North Korea or Syria. No, I’m not an isolationist. Not at all. If one of those two nations were to fire directly at the United States I say we convert their lands to glass. But until then, or until there is absolute evidence that is what they intend to do, count me out in support of war.

In Syria we would instantly be at war with Putin/Russia. While the media and politicians won’t say it… I will. Putin is never going to let the U.S. control natural gas pipelines through Syria into Turkey and Eastern Europe. Not without a major fight. And let’s not kid ourselves… that’s what it’s all about.

Syria itself is no challenge. Syria, Iran and Russia allied in a single location? Brace for impact.

Now on the North Korea front I’m shocked at how many conservatives believe we would just roll right over them without much of a fight. Really? Do you honestly believe that a dictatorship where millions upon millions of people are brainwashed and believe it is their duty to fight will just fold after a few bombs drop from the sky?

Not only would war with North Korea be extremely challenging, it may not even be winnable at all. Unless, of course, the U.S. were to just decimate the nation with nuclear weapons. But that isn’t likely.

Tyler Durden has a good summary of what we would face and I recommend you read it all.

The following are the key points made in the post.

North Korean Air Defense

The North Koreans spent the better part of the last war with the U.S. being heavily battered by air bombardments. They have had plenty of time since then to consider this problem and prepare. Even the most gung-ho American military minds are forced to admit that using only air based attacks in North Korea is not practical. And where we have been spoiled by steady video streams of laser guided hell dropped on Iraqi and Afghani targets in the past, don’t expect things to go so easily in North Korea.

While North Korea is still rife with economic problems (like every other communist and socialist nation), they still have an industrial base and produce many of their own arms. This includes and extensive missile net backed by a maze of radar systems. Their air force is by all accounts obsolete, but as I have mentioned in the past, advanced missile defense is the wave of the future. It’s cheaper and can render expensive enemy air force and naval units impotent.

North Korea uses an indigenous built surface-to-air missile (SAM) system called the KN-06 which is as capable as some Russian SAM systems. They also field huge numbers of MANPAD (man-portable air defense) units against planes and helicopters attempting to dodge radar defenses at low altitudes. This is layered on top of a vast array of anti-aircraft artillery. And, most of this anti-air apparatus is either mobile or based underground.

What this means is, a ground invasion is the ONLY way to attack North Korea effectively and make room for air units to strike interior targets.

Underground Facilities

The Pentagon estimates at least 6,000 to 8,000 underground military facilities in North Korea. New bases are being discovered all the time.  While “bunker buster” bombs can possibly damage these facilities, it is unlikely that they would be completely destroyed or rendered ineffective. There is also an estimated 84 large tunnels through mountains on the southern border which would allow an immediate invasion by North Korean ground forces into South Korea. Only four of these tunnels exits have been found and blocked by South Korea.

It is important to remember that underground infrastructure has always been the bane of the modern western military. These facilities will not be taken by air. They will have to be taken the hard way — with ground troops.

North Korean Infantry

In 2013 the Department of Defense reported North Korean ground forces at around 950,000. This, of course, does not count their nearly 8 million infantry reserves. They also boast over 200,000 highly trained paramilitary soldiers. North Korea has no means whatsoever to project these forces overseas against the U.S. or anyone else other than South Korea. The only way they can do damage to U.S. forces is if we show up on their doorstep.

Since a ground invasion is the only way to proceed with what will obviously be “regime change” in North Korea, U.S. forces will be facing an endless mire of mountain warfare worse than Afghanistan with limited air support options. If it comes down to a war of attrition rather than superior technology, victory will be impossible in North Korea.

The Nuclear Option

The consensus view among military analysts is that North Korea will never attempt to use nukes offensively because the resulting retaliation by the U.S. would be devastating.  But you often do not hear much discussion about NK using nukes defensively, and what that would mean for an invading army.

I agree that though the mainstream media is bombarding us constantly with images of a psychotic dictatorship, North Korea is not insane enough to use nukes against the U.S. or its allies outright. If such an event did occur, I would immediately suspect the possibility of a false flag because there would be zero gain for North Korea. That said, in the event of a ground invasion into North Korea, the use of nuclear weapons becomes highly advantageous for Pyongyang.

Consider this, with vast numbers of U.S. ground forces operating in the region, nuclear retaliation by the U.S. is simply not going to happen.  A pullout of most troops would have to take place. North Korea needs only one nuke strike to destroy a U.S. fleet or hit a large civilian target in South Korea killing potential millions or hit a U.S. troop base in South Korea killing tens of thousands of American soldiers.

Once we commit ground troops into the region, we make a nuclear attack USEFUL to North Korea, when it never would have been useful before. This is why the preemptive strike rhetoric based on a rational of stopping a “more nuclear capable” North Korea is either pure stupidity or an engineered crisis in the making.

Our media only shows us the chubby, crazy dictator parading around in propaganda videos. All designed to make us believe he’s a cranky nut with a stick to swing. Can that stick hit us here at home? Maybe, maybe not. But that stick is much bigger than most believe. And it will absolutely hit us hard if he swings it at us while we’re in his yard.

Food for thought, folks. Now back to banging the war drums…

I claim no special power here, nor any inside information.  This is simply arithmetic coupled with logic.  I’ll give you a “decision tree” sort of format with the critical points outlined.

Note that if you’re going to mitigate any of what I see coming around the bend you need to do it right damn now, not wait.  By the time you get to those critical points it’s too late.  For many people it’s already too late, but if you’re not in that batch then you need to make your lifestyle changes today.

I am operating on the premise that the rank corruption that I outlined in the Ticker here will not be addressed.  It will not be addressed for the same reason the 17th Amendment will be cited as the reason the American political experiment failed when the book on America is finally closed, as that Amendment permanently removed the ability of the States to call a hard-stop on any expansion of Federal Power they did not consent to.  That was designed in to our government by the founders and it was removed intentionally by the 17th Amendment.  That balance of power can never be restored absent a Revolution because to do so The Senate would have to literally vote themselves out of a job at a supermajority level which they will never do and there is no means to compel them to do so.

For the same reason the 30-year trend in Medicare and Medicaid spending will not be stopped.  It may be tinkered with around the edges but it won’t be stopped because to stop it without literally throwing people into the street and letting them die you have to break the medical monopolies and in doing so you will inevitably (1) destroy the graft machine that drives a huge part of DC and at least half of the jobs inside the Beltway, along with the asset values they support, (2) create an immediate and deep (15% of GDP, but temporary) recession on purpose which neither Congress or Trump will ever voluntarily initiate as it would cause a guaranteed 70% stock market crash along with the immediate detonation of about 1/3rd of all in-debt corporations in the United States and (3) expose the outrageous theft of trillions of dollars from taxpayers over the last several decades to fund the medical scam machine at all levels.

The latter is perhaps the most-serious of all since were the people to experience still having health care at 10% of what they were spending before without health insurance and also without the $12,000+ a year they were spending on that worthless “insurance” there is a very real risk that they might lynch the entire set of 535 + 9 + 1 inside the Beltway and all of their associates as the only form of justice for the theft of their funds over the last 30 years that they are able to exact.

Congress knows all of the above.  Trump knows too.  So does the Supreme Court; after all, Roberts not only rewrote Obamacare (which he had no authority to do) twice but did so into a blatantly unconstitutional format which, incidentally, Congress knew they couldn’t do and thus evaded in the first instance (an unapportioned direct tax, which is directly unconstitutional.)

The only reason they would ever take this issue on is if it was their only alternative — if the risk of not doing so was higher.  Since it’s literally impossible to get as few as a hundred people to show up in DC and raise hell for a single day on bank bailouts, say much less the medical scams, there is exactly zero risk to Congress, Trump and the rest of the Government from sticking up the middle finger to the American public on the issue of true Health Reform — as they have been doing for the last 30+ years.

Therefore, on the math, we have roughly 5 years before the US Federal Government will attempt to spend $2 trillion a year between Medicare and Medicaid annually, $600 billion more on a yearly basis than it spends now.  It may try to forcibly shift some of the Medicaid spending to the States (as the AHCA did) but the bottom line will continue to expand at its ~9% annualized rate.

That cannot be financed.

It is mathematically impossible to do so, and thus it will not happen.

If the government tries to “print” it (via Fed machinations) doing so will further depress productivity which will go negative from its already-suppressed levels (as a result of the last ten years of deficit spending) and at that point GDP collapses and so do asset prices and tax revenue.

So they won’t do that either because unlike in 2007 when the total between those two programs was $830 billion they can’t get away with it at nearly three times the price.

What they’ll probably do instead, therefore, is unilaterally and sadistically cut people off.

If you’re one of them you will either suffer, die or (probably) both and they’ll target those who are both fat and sick figuring, quite properly, that you’ll be physically unable to do anything about it.

The low-hanging fruit, where a full 25% of the spending happens today, is on Type II diabetes.

If you’re Type II diabetic you better fix that if you can, right now.

If you’re overweight and especially if you’re obese you had better fix that too, right now, because that has a very high probability of leading to Type II diabetes.

It is my prediction that this is where they’ll target first.

Fortunately, if you do it before you get abruptly cut off you probably can either massively mitigate the care you require as a result of that condition or regain sufficient blood sugar control to not be diabetic at all, and you do so at zero cost.  Right here, right now.

But most of Americans won’t.

Within a couple of years of the cutoff 10 million Americans will die as a result of their refusal to act today.

In a couple more that count will be 30 million.

And all of them will die horribly.

Along with them will go the housing markets and credit related to it as population shrinks for the first time in American history and massive oversupply rears its head.

Right behind that will be the rest of asset prices.

This will be the “dip” that won’t come back.

The worst part of it is that this doesn’t end the problem, it only delays the worst of it by another 3 or 4 years.  Market recognition of that, when it occurs, will finish the economy and asset prices off.

And maybe our form of government.

You’re welcome — now are you going to do what you can to stop being one of the dead?

That is the only remaining question because we’ve already answered whether or not you’ll do whatever is necessary to stop the corruption in DC generally and in the medical field specifically — and that answer is no.

Originally published at Market Ticker.

Earlier today we reported that China has halted all flights to North Korea. This suggests to many that China believes something big may be on the horizon this weekend. Either they think North Korea is going to do something or the U.S. is going to act to prevent it.

Now we’re seeing reports that the U.S. is holding massive military exercises in Japan. And it’s all happening with a very public show of forced as part of the design.

Fox News has more.

U.S. Air Force officials made it clear to North Korea they were not messing around, launching a surprise military exercise with full combat air power in Japan Wednesday.

The jets in the arsenal of the 18th Wing, which conducted the exercise, include HH-60 Pave Hawks, F-15 Eagles, E-3 Sentries and KC-135 Stratotankers. Military officials call it the Air Force’s largest combat-ready wing.

In regards to North Korean nuke testing, a report earlier this week made it clear there are plenty of signs that a sixth nuclear test is indeed about to be underway.

Satellite imagery shows activity at the Punggye-ri testing site, analysts from 38 North, a U.S. research institute that monitors North Korea, wrote on its website Wednesday.

Foreign journalists inside the country were told to prepare for a “big and important event” Thursday, Reuters reported.

The analysts added that there was movement around one of the portals and in the main administrative area of the site as well as personnel seen at the command center.

We’re monitoring the wire this weekend and will update the site with any updates as they become available.

There are no publicly confirmed U.S. military actions taking place, or planned to take place against North Korea. What is publicly known and what is privately known are two very different things.

What North Korea and China know (or believe they know) appears to have them all a bit spooked. North Korea has started an evacuation of Pyongyang, for example, and now China’s national airlines is suspending all flights to North Korea.

More via Reuters:

China’s national airline, Air China, suspended flights from Beijing to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, from late on Friday, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.

It did not say why the flights, which operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, were being suspended.

CCTV did not give a source for its news report published on its website and Air China could not immediately be reached for comment after business hours.

The last flight between the two cities took place on Friday, with the return flight to Beijing arriving in the early evening, the broadcaster said.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials are saying that if North Korea triggers a nuke test or full launch, the U.S. military will immediately act. Officials are reporting that two U.S. destroyers carrying tomahawk missiles are in the region and heavy bombers are at the ready in Guam. Last week the Pentagon announced that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group was being sent to the region.

This would suggest that both China and North Korean officials might believe a nuke test or strike is on the horizon. This considering it’s the only act U.S. officials are saying will provoke immediate and harsh military response.

If there was no realistic threat of nuclear weapons being tested or launched by North Korea, one can assume China would not take the action it currently appears to be taking.

Many of President Trump’s biggest supporters haven’t been thrilled with the way he seems to have let Clinton get away with a lot of the legal trouble she was in towards the end of the 2016 campaign. During the campaign, I’ll remind you, Trump essentially said that if he was President Hillary Clinton would be in jail.

What Trump said before the election vs. what he said following inauguration are two very different things. Of course, this could simply be a matter of priorities. Trump is still a new President, after all, and his list of things to get done is vast.

But while Trump has previously remained silent on Clinton, that all just changed with a huge proclamation on Fox Business this morning. In the interview Trump blatantly claimed that Clinton was “guilty of every charge” read out by FBI Director Comey in 2016.

“When he was reading those charges, she was guilty of every charge, and then he said she was essentially OK.”

Will this translate into further action on Clinton investigations? Only time will tell. But it’s now certain that Trump doesn’t believe she is innocent.

Full segment below.

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