Posted at 4:11 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Governors Pardon Immigrants Convicted of Serious Crimes to Halt Deportation
January 03, 2018

While the nation was preoccupied celebrating the holidays, the governors of two major states pardoned immigrants convicted of serious crimes to shield them from deportation. First, California Governor Jerry Brown pardoned two men on the verge of being deported for committing crimes in the U.S., according to a Sacramento news report. Days later, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo pardoned 18 immigrants convicted of serious crimes so they could remain in the country. The foreigners had obtained legal immigration status in the United States but committed such abhorrent crimes that they faced removal after the completion of their criminal sentence. An official statement issued by the governor’s office refers to the pardoned as “contributing members of society” who face the “threat of deportation and other immigration-related challenges” as a result of their crimes.

Cuomo said the foreign criminals he pardoned had been rehabilitated but the “stigma of convictions” prevented them from gaining legal status or fully reentering society. “While the federal government continues to target immigrants and threatens to tear families apart with deportation, these actions take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York,” Cuomo said in a statement. The state press release also quotes several representatives from open borders groups praising the governor’s pardons. Among them is the president of a group dedicated to eradicating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, who commended Cuomo’s strong display of leadership. “Too many immigrants with prior criminal convictions are subjected to the gratuitous punishment of deportation, despite being longstanding contributing members of our community,” said the president of the Vera Institute of Justice. The director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law also applauded Cuomo, saying “deportation is an out-size punishment for prior criminal convictions when people serve their sentences and go on to become longstanding, law abiding, contributing members of society.”

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JW Spurs New Criminal Investigation of Hillary Clinton
January 5, 2018

At Least 18 Classified Emails Found on Weiner’s Laptop

Big news.

This week we revealed that there are at least 18 classified emails in the 806 documents recently produced by the State Department from the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illicit email system. The emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who is the estranged husband of former Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Abedin was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Weiner is a disgraced former congressman and New York mayoral candidate who pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor. Abedin kept a non-State.gov email account on Hillary Clinton’s notorious email server that she used repeatedly for government business.

There are five new classified emails among 147 new State Department documents released by the State Department on Friday, December 29, 2017.

Thirteen emails containing classified information were also found on the Weiner laptop computer; these had already been released to the public. This classified material includes discussions about Saudi Arabia, The Hague, Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the identity of a CIA official, Malawi, the war in Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, and the PLO.

On two occasions, classified material was sent by Abedin on her clintonemail.com account to Weiner’s laptop (sent to “Anthony Campaign”). On November 25, 2010, an email discusses an upcoming call with Prince Saud of “expected WikiLeaks leaks.” Abedin sent classified information the following day to Weiner’s laptop concerning a call that “Jeff” (presumably then- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman) had with United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Abdullah bin Zayed.

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Justice Department ‘Looking Into’ Hillary Clinton’s Emails— Again
January 4, 2018

Justice Department officials are taking a fresh look at Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of State, The Daily Beast has learned.

An ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is familiar with the thinking at the Justice Department’s Washington headquarters described it as an effort to gather new details on how Clinton and her aides handled classified material. Officials’ questions include how much classified information was sent over Clinton’s server; who put that information into an unclassified environment, and how; and which investigators knew about these matters and when. The Sessions ally also said officials have questions about immunity agreements that Clinton aides may have made.

A former senior DOJ official familiar with department leadership’s thinking said officials there are acutely aware of demands from President Donald Trump that they look into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State—and that they lock up her top aide, Huma Abedin.

For instance, Trump tweeted on Dec. 2, “Many people in our Country are asking what the ‘Justice’ Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and ‘acid washed’ 33,000 Emails? No justice!”

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Again, what took so long?

FBI Launches New Investigation Into Hillary Clinton’s Charitable Foundation
January 6, 2018

An investigation has been launched by the US Justice Department into whether the Clinton Foundation conducted “pay-to-play” politics or illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of State.

FBI agents from Little Rock, Arkansas, where the foundation has offices in former President Bill Clinton’s presidential library, have taken the lead in the probe, The Hill reported.

At least one witness has been questioned in the past month and additional actions are expected in the coming weeks.

The Hill reported that officials, who spoke anonymously, said the investigation was looking at whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favours in exchange for contributions to their charitable efforts.

It will also examine whether donors promised to make donations in return for government outcomes.

The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the foundation complied with tax laws, the newspaper cited the officials as saying.

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Posted at 12:57 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim/Bill,

This is only the beginning, in my opinion.

“This is the biggest trade deficit since January 2012.

Perhaps worse still, ex-Petroleum, this was the biggest trade deficit in US history…”

Just wait until the all the oil contracts start going through China’s gold backed Yuan, eliminating the Dollar.

I can’t imagine what will happen to the Dollar with the world no longer required to purchase Dollars to trade goods.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Trade Deficit Spikes To 6-Year High Despite Tumbling Dollar
January 5, 2018

Don’t show President Trump this chart…

While the equity markets are exuberant, today’s payrolls data suggests all is not awesome, and the US trade balance print is just terrible.

Despite the relative freefall in the US Dollar, the US trade deficit disappointed expectations, spiking above $50 billion.

This is the biggest trade deficit since January 2012.

Imports rose 2.5% to a record $250.7b on more inbound shipments of consumer goods and industrial supplies.

Exports climbed 2.3% to all-time high of $200.2b, led by increased shipments of automobiles, consumer merchandise and capital goods including commercial aircraft.

As Bloomberg notes, the widening trade gap could be a drag on fourth-quarter economic growth, keeping gross domestic product from advancing at least 3 percent on an annualized basis for a third straight quarter. Net exports added 0.36 percentage point to the 3.2 percent gain in third-quarter GDP.

In November, the unadjusted U.S. merchandise shortfall with China climbed to the highest since September 2015, while the gap with European Union countries was the largest in a year

Perhaps worse still, ex-Petroleum, this was the biggest trade deficit in US history…

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Posted at 2:44 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

That’s one way to get rid of old emails. Courtesy of JB.

Jim

Fire breaks out at Hillary and Bill Clinton’s compound in Chappaqua
January 3, 2018

NEW CASTLE – A fire broke out today at a building on the Clintons’ property in Chappaqua and was quickly extinguished.

The small fire started in the second-floor ceiling of a facility used by the Secret Service, which is in a detached structure behind the Clintons’ home, the Secret Service said in a statement.

The fire was put out by fire extinguishers, and firefighters inspected the area to ensure it was completely out, the Secret Service said.

The Clintons were not home at the time of the fire, Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, tweeted.

The fire was reported about 2:50 p.m. at 15 Old House Lane, where former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have lived for nearly 20 years after buying it for $1.7 million in 1999.

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Courtesy of GG.

Jim

ALERT: Major US Dollar Warning As Gold Set To Surge Above $1,400!
January 3, 2018

As we kickoff 2018, the US dollar is flashing a major warning as the price of gold is set to surge above $1,400.

U.S. Dollar Under Pressure Again

January 2 (King World News) – The following is from Andrew Adams at Raymond James: The U.S. Dollar was weak for much of 2017 but appeared to be trying to rally late in the year. However, the recent action has returned to being negative and the overall path of least resistance appears to still be on the downside. Support remains in the 91-92 zone on the U.S. Dollar Index, but a drop beneath there would not be a good sign for the U.S. dollar strength.

US Dollar In Danger!

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Jim/Bill,

…we’ll try our best to not get caught again.

JB

Barclays Apologises For Charging Customers DOUBLE When They Use Their Bank Cards
January 3, 2018

Barclays has apologised for charging customers double when they used their bank cards.

The bank said the duplication payments across an undisclosed number of accounts had been caused by a ‘small technical glitch’.

It said the problem had now been fixed and insisted no customer had been left out of pocket.

However frustrated customers said they were ‘worried’ the duplication of deducted payments had happened again.

A similar problem hit the bank in October 2015 and 2016.

Linda Taylor, 31, a social worker from Milton Keynes, told MailOnline: ‘Barclays Bank have once again had a glitch with their system and duplicated payments. They are cagey as to why this has happened. I had over £300 in duplicated payments – totalling £600.

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Posted at 1:07 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Is this a shock to anyone?

Congressional Investigators Find Irregularities In FBI’s Handling Of Clinton Email Case
January 2, 2017

Republicans on key congressional committees say they have uncovered new irregularities and contradictions inside the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

For the first time, investigators say they have secured written evidence that the FBI believed there was evidence that some laws were broken when the former secretary of State and her top aides transmitted classified information through her insecure private email server, lawmakers and investigators told The Hill.

That evidence includes passages in FBI documents stating the “sheer volume” of classified information that flowed through Clinton’s insecure emails was proof of criminality as well as an admission of false statements by one key witness in the case, the investigators said.

The name of the witness is redacted from the FBI documents but lawmakers said he was an employee of a computer firm that helped maintain her personal server after she left office as America’s top diplomat and who belatedly admitted he had permanently erased an archive of her messages in 2015 after they had been subpoenaed by Congress.

The investigators also confirmed that the FBI began drafting a statement exonerating Clinton of any crimes while evidence responsive to subpoenas was still outstanding and before agents had interviewed more than a dozen key witnesses.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

The German government says “Happy New Year”! I have just one question, who gets to decide what is hate and what is not… for that matter, are they attempting to label something “hate” that is simply true so an ugly truth remains hidden? Goebbels was just too far ahead of the technology curve I guess…

Germany Implements New Internet Hate Speech Crackdown
January 1, 2017

Facebook, Twitter, and Google will need to get used to new rules in Germany from Monday, as a new law comes into effect designed to clamp down on hate speech and illegal content on the internet.J

January 1 marks the end of the transitional period of the “network enforcement law” (NetzDG), which forces any internet platform with more than 2 million users to implement more efficient and effective ways to report and delete potentially illegal content. Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram will all come under the new law, though professional networks like LinkedIn and Xing are expressly excluded, as are messaging services like WhatsApp.

NetzDG has been in force since October, but the government gave companies a three-month grace period to install the new complaint management systems. As of Monday, content such as threats of violence and slander must be deleted within 24 hours of a complaint being received, or within seven days if cases are more legally complex. The companies are also obliged to produce a yearly report detailing how many posts they deleted and why.

If the deadlines are breached, companies can be fined up to €50 million ($60 million), and people can report violations to Germany’s Federal Office of Justice (BfJ), which has made an online form available for the purpose.

Google has also created an online form to report content, while Twitter has added an option to its existing report function that specifies “comes under the NetzDG.” Facebook has set up a more complex system, independent of its reporting options, which requires users to find a special page, take a screenshot of the offending post, and choose one of 20 offenses that the post is allegedly committing. People do not have to be registered users of the network to report content.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

…same comment as for the new German “hate laws”. Who gets to decide? “We” would be fake news had Americans not stepped up and overwhelmed a rigged election…

Macron Wants Anti-‘Fake News’ Law In 2018
January 3, 2017

PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he would overhaul French media legislation this year to fight the “fake news” spread on social media which he said threatened liberal democracies.

Since he was elected last year, Macron has criticized Russian media in particular, openly accusing TV channel RT of sowing disinformation about him via its website and social media during the presidential election.

“If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must have strong legislation,” Macron told a news conference.

Macron said the legislation would concern social media platforms, especially during election periods, and deeply change the role of France’s media watchdog CSA.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Not a recommendation, only posting to show what can actually still happen (.10 cents to $2.50) when good news comes out…Kind of looks like Bitcoin since August except this one may actually have some “real” in the ground?  Stay tuned, “real” is about to become the deal!

 

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Maybe he served some lemonade? You know how these municipalities hate lemonade stands…

Elgin Man Told to Stop ‘Slumber Parties’ for Homeless During Cold, He Says
January 2, 2018

A suburban Chicago resident who was offering up “slumber parties” in his basement for homeless people in his neighborhood during dangerously cold weather says city officials have given him an ultimatum.

Stop the “slumber parties” or the house will be condemned.

Greg Schiller, of Elgin, said he began letting a group of homeless people sleep in his unfinished basement last month during brutally cold nights, offering them food, warm beverages and a cot to sleep on while watching movies.

“I would stay up all night with them and give them coffee and stuff and feed them,” he said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were allowed inside his residence during the evening events.

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Posted at 2:36 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Every step forward for China is a step backwards for the dollar…

China will have a say on all major international issues: Xi Jinping
December 31, 2017

China will have a “say” on all major international issues and actively push its Belt and Road initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his New Year message today.

Xi said China will resolutely uphold the authority and status of the UN, actively fulfil China’s international obligations and duties.

He also said that China will remain firmly committed to the pledges to tackle climate change, actively push for the BRI and always be a builder of world peace, contributor of global development and keeper of international order.

“As a responsible major country, China has something to say,” Xi said in his first New Year address of his second-five year term, telecast live all over the country.

The BRI through which China seeks to build its influence in the world through a host road, rail and port connectivity projects also incorporates China Pakistan Economic Corridor

India has objected to the CPEC as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. China defends it saying that it is a connectivity project and it will not impact its stand on the Kashmir issue.

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Posted at 2:38 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Judicial Watch Statement on State Department Release of Huma Abedin’s Government Documents on Weiner’s Laptop
December 29, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding today’s pending 3:00 pm (Eastern) release by the U.S. Department of State of Huma Abedin’s work-related documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that were found on her estranged husband Anthony Weiner’s personal laptop.

This is a major victory. After years of hard work in federal court, Judicial Watch has forced the State Department to finally allow Americans to see these public documents. It will be in keeping with our past experience that Abedin’s emails on Weiner’s laptop will include classified and other sensitive materials. That these government docs were on Anthony Weiner’s laptop dramatically illustrates the need for the Justice Department to finally do a serious investigation of Hillary Clinton’s and Huma Abedin’s obvious violations of law.

In accordance with a court ordered production of documents, a State Department court filing states: “The State Department “identified approximately 2,800 work-related documents among the documents provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The State Department told the court it expected to complete its review and production of the FBI records by December 31, 2017.

The documents were produced in a May 5, 2015, lawsuit Judicial Watch filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)). Judicial Watch sued after the State Department failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”

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Posted at 2:34 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Heads up from CIGA Dwight. It truly is ALL about DEBT!

Bill

Margin debt continues to provide tailwind for #stocks. ↑ another $19.5bn in Nov. Now ↑ $91.4bn ytd. $SPY $QQQ $IWM