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I am sure their intel ops had other "plans" as well, some real, some decoys.

Maybe the leadership of intel dismissed this one because they had SOME historical experience on a much smaller scale - "Night of the Gliders" in 1987 - and didn't think it could be scaled up.

www.washingtonpost.com - Paragliding fighters flew into Israel. A similar attack happened 35 years ago. |
In 1987, a Palestinian guerrilla pilot killed six soldiers after landing the glider near an army base
- WaPo, Oct 9 2023

#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-12-02 03:07 AM
For starters, the "everyone" and "no one" assertions have to go. Economic forward views are not an "everyone" thing, nor is it a "no one" thing. There are differing views. I see them daily.

Your alias is in your "fifth grade grammar teacher" mode again? I thought we were done with that already last couple of times!

Unless your alias wants to post "everyone who pays attention and is supposed to or knows and understands anything about economy or [insert subject here...]" then, if your alias still doesn't understand non-literal shorthand of "everyone" and/or "no one," that's your alias' comprehension problem, which I and your alias have already discussed a couple of times.

Your alias seems to keep trying to pick a fight, especially at 3 in the morning, for some reason. I would appreciate your alias stop being annoying and not wasting my time with that nonsense again.

From what I've seen of your alias' posts, it should know better than that. Maybe I need to lower my opinion of your alias....

From what I keep seeing lately of your alias, I've been lowering my opinion daily... and I don't really care what your alias thinks about me. As I've already suggested to your alias last couple of times, if your alias has difficulties understanding my posts, which most normal people have no trouble understanding, maybe, just maybe, it would be better for your alias to dial up levels of attention and comprehension and dial down highly unwarranted and unattractive condescension and contentiousness.

Your alias may have been BMOC at one time, but it's not all that...

Yeah, you're gonna need to provide a whole lot more facts to substantiate that.

Actually, I don't - I am not posting here just for your current alias' level of comprehension. I suggest your alias try reading my post again, then your own excerpt at post #1 - particularly where it talks about government spending - and if you still don't understand, do some search in financial/economic resources, not the political which write "differing views that you see daily."

So... the Fed's goal of reducing inflation down to 2% looks to be working, according to your comment. Bringing an over-heated economy back down to 2% inflation is not without consequences.

Outside of being a non-sequitur - I didn't even mention inflation or Fed (except its economic report) - I didn't say anything different in my post, not in the facts nor in opinions I provided.

... your comment seems to criticize, but what solution does it offer ...? Criticism is easy. Solutions are more difficult.

Yet another non-sequitur. Must be your comprehension again or seeing things not in evidence.

Criticism of what? Solutions to what?

Your alias keeps looking for politics. My post doesn't nor does it provide some magical "solutions" to undefined problems. I was providing published and well known facts (apparently not well known to "everybody" and certainly not to people or aliases who are just playing "economist" and looking only for favorable political explanations, ignoring "anything / everything" else that doesn't fit that criteria) about economic numbers for past quarter and more current numbers and projections of industry as well as what they may mean for the current quarter and the year overall.

Your alias has a problem with that... why? If your alias doesn't care about these facts, it missed a great chance to stay quiet.

That prompt's me to ask, what's yer point? Or more specifically, what have ye?

Actually, that would be my question - what was your alias' point? Or more specifically, what possessed your alias to make it?

#2 | Posted by bartimus at 2023-12-01 03:15 PM
I can't wait for the MSM and Republicans to both tell me why this news is bad for America and the Biden Administration.

#3 | Posted by Corky at 2023-12-01 03:37 PM
Their problem is that this economy is only going to improve by November.

I don't speak for "MSM and Republicans" but you are looking far back in a rear-view mirror. Everyone knew Q3 was going to be OK (inflation-adjusted and over weak '22Q3) but slowing down substantially in Q4. No one expects an official recession, but consumers still feel the inflation effects, as in late 1970s - early 1980s "stagflation" or "growflation" period.

(Reuters) - The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter as businesses built more warehouses and accumulated machinery equipment, but momentum appears to have since waned as higher borrowing costs curb hiring and spending.

Upward revision came from increases in nonresidential fixed investment, which includes structures and equipment. The category showed a rise of 1.3%, which was still sharply lower than in previous quarters.

U.S. manufacturing remained subdued in November, with factory employment declining further as hiring slowed and layoffs increased, more evidence that the economy was losing momentum after robust growth last quarter.

Spending by state and local governments was also revised higher. But growth in consumer spending was lowered to 3.6% rate.

IOW, it's still a government (IRA / "Inflation Reduction Act") spending effect - building empty factories and plants we don't need with the money we don't have, i.e., have to borrow at very high rates. Kind of like China in last decade "investing" in building ghost cities well beyond actual demand, only here it's called "investing" in industrial infrastructure in building "green economy" well beyond actual demand.

coachingforleaders.com - "If you build it, they will come" is a lie.

Eventually, some rich corporations or PE companies will buy these structures at a fraction of what it cost the government to build, and will try to use them to make money based on "local" demand.

Meanwhile what's going on in the economy:

New orders continue to decline, at moderate pace
Factory employment decreases as hiring slows down
Manufacturing prices paid went up, while employment went down
Fed's report shows economic activity cooling significantly at the start of the Q4

Manufacturing PMI unchanged at 46.7 in November - 13th consecutive month that the PMI stayed below 50 (which indicates contraction in manufacturing) - the longest stretch since from August 2000 to January 2002.

3 industries - food, beverage and tobacco, transportation equipment and nonmetallic mineral products - reported nominal growth in November. 14 industries reported contraction.

Manufacturers in the ISM survey described inventories as "bloated." Manufacturers of computer and electronic products said the "economy appears to be slowing dramatically." Layoffs in technology sector have accelerated.

Gross domestic income (GDI) contracted at a 0.2% pace on a year-on-year basis - first decline in three years - even after revisions by BEA in September - confirms that average consumer is tapped out, while accumulating above-average credit debt.

So, a nice Q3, and politicians will take credit for it, but the problems with the consumer economy seem to be getting worse, or at best, are not improving.

#13 | Posted by tres_flechas at 2023-11-30 02:11 PM

It's still open.

All employees make a decent wage and have good benefits.

Well, duh, like many in most essential and non-essential government services, they are financed by taxes on other people.

The people there love it.

What choice do they have? Just like in every socialist country that went bust - they had no choice but to "love it" until one day / year they chose not to, and decided to significantly improve their standard of living.

The one in Baldwin, Florida is still open, too.
I know they're not smart enough to figure it out on their own, so I hope no one tells them it's socialism.

You can tell them, so they will know what real "socialism" is - smaller selection, fewer choices, higher prices and subsidies by the city government (to cover chronic losses / deficits) from taxpayers funds that were allocated to some other services that will no longer be met. OPM can buy a lot of goodwill.

"Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money."

And we are talking about an island of so-called "socialism" in a remote town with population of 1600? You really want to scale this "socialism" up to entire state, country? Most people don't.

www.washingtonpost.com - When a deep red town's only grocery closed, city hall opened its own store. Just don't call it 'socialism.' - Nov 22, 2019

... Though the Baldwin Market doesn't need to worry about making a profit, there's considerable pressure to break even in a notoriously low-margin business. The initial loan from the reserve fund still needs to be repaid...

... The town-run market also can't compete with retail giants like Walmart, which Lynch acknowledges can lead to higher-than-average prices... Some residents have taken to the Internet to voice concerns about whether the low-income and elderly people the Baldwin Market is intended to help can afford to shop there. ...

Still, in places where fresh, healthy food is hard to find, it's more common to see nonprofit organizations respond by opening their own stores, or for residents to band together and form food cooperatives... Lang, of The Food Trust, points out that since governments tend to have more resources and be more stable than nonprofits, a municipally owned grocery store could have more longevity than one operated by a community group.

#17 | Posted by tres_flechas at 2023-11-30 03:59 PM
The workers are paying local taxes and therefore, literally, own the means of production. It's absolutely socialism.

No, they don't "own the means of production" - they are buying products from private (some of which are "publicly traded" aka "listed") companies, and are paying "local taxes" just as everyone else in capitalist society.

You, like many on this website, literally have no idea what "socialism" is, but keep redefining and reimagining what you think it is or could be, despite clear definitions and decades of failed history.

reason.com - Government-Run Grocery Store Is Predictably Losing Money | The folly of government-run grocery stores is sadly not a historical relic like the USSR - Oct. 23, 2023

The most famous failure of government-run grocery stores comes, naturally, from the old Soviet Union, where basic consumer necessities were often in short supply.

Posted by lamplighter at 01:31 PM
The Ballooning Subscription Economy Reduces Consumer Choice
The number of products and services we sign up for is ballooning as almost every industry latches onto the subscription business model.

This article is at least two years late to the party - just yesterday my associate and I talked about most of subscription model going bust and dying for most, except near essential or high-end, services and products.

When COVID started, subscription services have just started to be popular because they were convenient and in many cases necessary, and have been heavily subsidized by OPM / VC money to capture and build market share. As people have become more mobile again, and as services started to charge full price, and as novelty wore off and people had house full of toys, socks, clothes, razors and blades and other stuff they no longer needed more of... and as spare "stimulus" money dried up while all other costs went up, people are cancelling non-essential, "luxury" services in droves, just like they've been "cutting the cord" on cable services.

For as long as providers of subscription services can lose money for things it would otherwise cost more to buy retail they will "live" - but SV VCs have already long weaned themselves off the just any subscription services ideas.

Some services lend themselves naturally to subscriptions, vast majority doesn't and will not be profitable.

Recent examples - Blue Apron held on for dear life before being acquired at firesale prices, several large 'ghost kitchens' went bust, Martie decided not to have subscription model to get VC funding etc. etc.

sloanreview.mit.edu - New Threats to the Subscription Model - MIT-Sloan Management Review, Fall 2023

fangtastic.medium.com - Dear Startups: I Hate Subscription Services | "Do we really need all these boxes?" - May 18, 2021

Every startup company these days tries to sell you a subscription.

Paying for junk delivered straight to your doorstep each month is the new, hottest trend in business.

The problem is, the bubble with subscription-based businesses removes consumer options, causes investors to demand companies switch pricing models, and promotes boom and bust businesses that seek to maximize profits in the short term and burn out a la "fast fashion."

Certain products are best sold on a month-to-month basis. Netflix and other streaming services charge for the continued ability to watch millions of shows and movies on-demand without individually paying for each one. ... However, what about a scanner app that charges you $3.99 a week to convert photos to pdf? A notebook that bills you $7.99 a month for the online syncing your default notes app offers for free?

Most of the original subscription model businesses are gone or provide alternative means of delivering service. Capital is no longer blind to the model's problems.

["a lot more" ???]

Should've been ["a lot more" and for how long before landfill ???]

Ever tried to "revive" AA/AAA/car batteries to squeeze some more juice out of them? Even rechargeable batteries have a finite lifespan, with ever-lower "between charges" times.

Not a new concept to begin with, so there could be "aftermarket" but eventually it's a "landfill material":
www.edfenergy.com - All about electric car batteries | Battery capacity explained | Electric car battery life

Once an EV battery loses its capacity to power a vehicle, it can be used to power a home or building by contributing to a battery storage system. A battery energy storage system stores energy from batteries that can be used at a later time. If you power your home with renewable energy such as wind or solar, you can also pair it with an EV battery. You can store it up to use throughout the night when wind and sunlight are reduced. Or even during the day alongside solar or wind energy.

As always, TCO - Total Cost vs Total Benefit over Time Period.

Startup Turns Used EV Batteries into Solar Power Storage
... B2U founder Freeman Hall. "People are skeptical, and they should be, because it's hard to do reuse of batteries. But we've got a robust data set that does prove reliability, performance, and profitability. We're at a point where we really can scale this."
- Nov 27, 2023

Sounds like a perfect VC pitch for another round of funding from a never-ending supply of fool's gold.

www.theregister.com - Used EV car batteries find new life storing solar power in California - Feb 8, 2023

"... B2U CEO Freeman Hall said that he believes the project is the first of its kind selling power on the wholesale market, and claimed the company earned $1 million last year from the Lancaster site."

... That study also found that plugging old EV batteries into the grid could, along with assistance from vehicle-to-grid equipped cars, add between 32 and 62 terawatt-hours to the grid by 2050 - enough to power a lot more homes. ["a lot more" ???]

... But just because they aren't in landfills doesn't mean there's not a risk. Stationary battery problems aren't unheard of, like last year when a Tesla Megapack in California burst into flames after less than six months in operation, and another Tesla battery in Australia spent four days on fire in 2021. Lithium-ion battery packs, the type used in Tesla Megapack batteries, are also used in Toyota and Nissan units repurposed by B2U.

#3 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2023-11-23 10:40 AM
Central planning based on Elon Musk and Tesla stock pumping junk science isn't a great idea.

Apparently not just government's central planning but some CEOs were taken in by Elon, too:

fortune.com - Hertz helped turn Tesla into a $1 trillion megacap stock. Now it's become collateral damage in Elon Musk's price wars - Oct 27, 2023

Rental agency Hertz is learning the hard way that Tesla cars didn't quite turn out to be the appreciating assets Elon Musk famously predicted they would be. And it can blame his strategy of driving volume through price cuts for that...

Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr said its underlying margin in the third quarter nearly dropped by half to 13% in large part owing to problems unique to its EV fleet, in which four out of five cars bear the Tesla badge.

"Had our fleet in Q3 been similarly sized but comprised solely of ICE [internal combustion engine] vehicles, our EBITDA margin would have been several margin points higher," he told investors...

In short, the declining value of the Tesla cars in Hertz's fleet - a decline directly caused by Musk's price cuts - has hit Hertz squarely in its profits.

When Hertz was fresh out of bankruptcy, an announcement by Scherr's predecessor, Mark Fields, in October 2021 to purchase 100,000 Model 3 sedans worth an estimated $4.5 billion in revenue saw Tesla add $100 billion in value overnight.

... The tycoon had famously advised car buyers that it was "financially insane" to buy anything other than a Tesla, since his cars would actually appreciate in value.

Musk acknowledged last week that the carmaker has gotten so large in the meantime that he's exhausted the supply of high-income consumers who want a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y. Now he needs to move further down-market to capture fresh business.

That's why Musk's been on a mission this year to slash sticker prices in order to hit his 1.8 million vehicle sales target - even if it means sacrificing profits.

Hertz now finds itself a casualty of this strategy.

Repair costs double the level of gas-powered cars
Without explaining precisely why, Scherr said Hertz is suffering a higher incidence of damage specifically with its EV fleet, where the repair costs are roughly double that of a comparable gas-fueled car.

Musk's price cuts then become an acute problem when one of the Hertz EVs sustains so much damage that the cost of repair is more than the asset itself. ... Hertz then needs to book a noncash accounting charge. Together with the higher repair costs this led to significant profit margin headwinds.

Fortunately for Tesla, the rental agency remains committed to eventually expanding the 10% share of its fleet that are EVs to a milestone target of 25%...

That's because Scherr wants to further diversify its business through ride-sharing, where many cities are making it hard to get a plate without switching to zero-emission cars.

Electric vehicles open the door to our growing presence in ride-share, where electrification is a fast-approaching requirement...

And now we know why previous CEO got the axe... and this one could soon follow. The stock of "new" post-BK Hertz is at the new low, just got cut in half since September and trading below book value - not surprising considering lower margins and huge debt load, higher interest rates to service it and slowing economy / demand.

#22 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2023-11-23 06:06 PM
Yet "military expert" Sitzbath thinks everything is coming up roses.

That's not what Sitzkrieg accurately described.

Russia is "throwing meat on the barbie" going all out to capture Avdiivka - just like Bakhmut before, but with the great difference that Bakhmut was mostly for PR purposes while Avdiivka is actually strategically significant for Russia as a gateway between Ukraine and Russian-held territories on the edge of the Donbas.

Avdiivka has been fought over for nearly a decade and holds political and strategic importance to Russia given its proximity (~12 miles) to Donetsk. Russian forces have now encircled Avdiivka and are close to Avdiivka's coke and chemical plant, which is also a key tactical position to the north of the town.

There are currently two asymetrical battles - one on the north and eastern fronts where Russians are attacking and grinding out yards by using "meat waves" of mobiks; and another in the south where Ukrainians continue to grind the wedge through the center of Surovikin Lines, and Crimea which is important to Putin both strategically and politically.

Given the situation in US Congress where MAGA Republicans are holding up the combined $14B aid to Ukraine (and Israel) the UKR forces are not getting essential munitions to hold the east while trying to make progress in the south.

Makes you wonder where he gets his info.

The info is very well known and understood if you followed the news from outside of this website for the last month or so.

Related headlines and news:

Ex-Russian Commander Mounts Presidential Run Against Putin From Jail - Former FSB officer Igor "Strelkov" Girtin, imprisoned since July, was a self-appointed "Governor of Donbas region" in 2014 when he was dismissed after issuing command to shoot down Malaysian Airlines MH17 which killed 298 people.

Report: Russia prepared to steal food supplies from Ukraine months before it launched its full-scale invasion
Russia shuts down Leningrad nuclear plant reactor unit near St Petersburg after malfunction

Russia's former top air defense commander Vladimir Sviridov and his wife die mysteriously

Russia's rising artillery losses in Ukraine leave forces "totally depleted"
Russia headed for disappointment in battles along Dnieper

Russia pulls warships from Sevastopol, Crimea
Ukraine has upper hand in Black Sea as Russia warships "hide"
Ukraine's advance puts Putin's prize possession Crimea at risk

Ukraine will soon receive a single new long-range HIMARS and additional ammunition as part of $100M package

Russia's new Scalpel UAV is cheaper and more advanced than Lancet drone
Russia's new modified RBK-500 cluster bombs hit Ukraine's positions

Putin's main propagandist Vladimir Solovyov lashes out at China: "We are ahead of China in terms of military technology"
Russia and China on collision course as China rejects Russia's price hikes

Mass protests against Putin's mobilization planned in Russia

Russian oligarchs confront Putin over creeping nationalization

Russian economy about to 'hit the ice,' Putin's 'favorite oligarch' Oleg Deripashka warns - general drop in commodity prices could negatively impact the country's economy. Deripaska warned that next year's budget could be short 10"12 trillion rubles (USD$112.8 - USD$135.36 billion. He also blamed "the tyranny of state capitalism, raising prices for all its products and services, drawing subsidies and subsidies from the budget."

Putin Has Unleashed a Twisted New Wave of Antisemitism

www.politico.eu - Hamas' gift to Putin: Russia is relishing - and fueling - chaos in a series of global flashpoints that divert the West's energies from Ukraine

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-11-22 11:26 PM
Whoa, this is significant.
So Pres Putin is now willing to end the war he started, and admit that his excursion (for now, let's call it that) into Ukraine has been a tragedy?

The only significant thing here is that he is running this shell game in front of virtual G20 summit, trying to convince "world leaders" who are tired of war to pressure Ukraine to make peace by giving up territory, and before the 2024 elections, after he ensured that there are no other viable candidates, like jailing his critic Igor "Strelkov" Girkin.

He also gets to shift the blame to Ukraine for "not negotiating" what is essentially a surrender, and to accuse Washington of "escalating the conflict."

Putin at G20 on 2023-11-22: "Yes, of course, military actions are always a tragedy... And, of course, we must think about how to stop this tragedy."

Putin's always been "willing to [temporarily] end the war" provided Ukraine and the world concede and enshrine in international law that Crimea - which he is deathly afraid to lose - and his other "annexed" territories are declared belonging to Russia. In other words, a "cease-fire" where he gets to "freeze" the Russia's "new borders" on his terms.

What is really significant is that none of that has changed, and it's not even a new tactic. He is becoming very unpopular in Russia, as repressions continue and more people are dealing with sanctions and bad (not necessarily from Putin's point of view) news from the front.

I have follow-up questions, along the lines of ... why do the people of Russia apparently want this apparent self-admitted failure to govern them?

Apparently, fewer and fewer people want this war to go on, as they realize what it is really about, but just like Palestinians can't openly say anything against Hamas or "ascend to heavens" with no 'martyr compensation' to their families, they mostly keep to themselves, otherwise they go to prison for 10 years - it's the law.

Putin recently enacted additional changes to the country's election laws, including amendments that restrict independent media coverage and stringent rules on what platforms candidates can use to campaign in the upcoming election.

Poll by Russian Field group from Oct. 21 - Oct. 29, 1611 Russian citizens: 48% of respondents indicated that they believe their country needs to move on to peace negotiations with Ukraine. 39% said they were in favor of Russia continuing its military operation. That is the largest support for a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine since the group began public opinion polls in February 2022. 74 percent would support Putin if he signed a peace agreement "tomorrow," compared to just 18 percent who said they would not support a stop to the war. According to Russian Field's findings, public support for a swift peaceful solution is almost at its highest since the start of the war. However, in a scenario where ending the war would include Russia returning the Ukrainian territories it currently occupies and has annexed, only 34 percent of respondents said they still support swift negotiations. Support for Putin's invasion of Ukraine reached an all-time low in polls from September, with just 38 percent of respondents saying they support Russia's actions in Ukraine.

While Zelensky had recent 81% approval, after surviving multiple Russian assassination attempts, even as elections are postponed due to marshal law.

#2 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2023-11-18 10:34 AM

... [Osama bin Laden] sought to eradicate opium poppies from Afghanistan... something the Taliban is up to again. This is probably just an opening salvo. Republicl0wns never met a war on drugs they didn't profit from losing.

Yeah, the "good" Taliban is waging the "war on heroin" and abandoning poppies only because it gives them more control over poorer tribes, when they don't get the cut... and because it has become far less, if at all, profitable than synthetics, like fentanyl, distribution and production of which they can control. Capitalist Taliban understands the nature of "business."

www.politico.eu - Taliban poppy ban puts Europe on fentanyl alert -
Drug users could switch to more dangerous synthetic opioids as heroin supply dries up.
- Politico, March 30, 2023

Europe's heroin market could soon be in for a supply shock, and experts fear the gap could be filled by something much worse.

Almost all heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghanistan, where the Taliban have imposed a ban on poppy cultivation that will take effect in the coming weeks.

The likely poppy shortage could make it more profitable for criminals to manufacture synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, to be sold to desperate addicts denied their hit of heroin."

That in turn presents a serious public health risk, as synthetic opioids tend to be much stronger than natural heroin - 50 times stronger in the case of fentanyl. That means it's much easier to overdose: fentanyl claims tens of thousands of lives in America each year.

... "It seems strange to say this, but almost in terms of synthetics, the high availability of heroin at the moment is ... arguably a protective factor," said Griffiths.

History backs up his fears. The Taliban previously banned opium in 2000, causing a heroin shortage in Europe. Not long after, fentanyl surfaced for the first time on the continent. ...

For an idea of just how dangerous synthetic opioids can be, look to America. More than 58,000 people died from fentanyl overdoses there in 2020, compared to 97 in the EU. By 2022, the U.S. figure for synthetic opioid deaths, mostly attributed to fentanyl, had increased to 68,000. ...

... "We are very upset. Wheat earns us less than a quarter of what we used to make from opium. I can't meet my family's needs. I've had to take a loan. Hunger is at its peak and we haven't got any help from the government."

... How do they feel about destroying a source of income for their own people who are going hungry, we ask Toor Khan.

"It is the order of our leader. Our allegiance to him is such that if he told my friend to hang me, I would accept it and surrender myself to my friend," he says.

But once we left the "war" in Afghanistan - and the bases east of Iran - we don't pay much attention to the plight of their citizens, particularly barbaric treatment of women and girls (something they have in common with Palestinians) - "we don't talk about Bruno" no mo'?

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2023-11-17 08:16 AM

Um, you don't think Iran is wise and sensible to view nuclear states Israel, Pakistan, and India as much bigger threats that they ought to be able to deter?
Not to mention Russia?

No, nobody thinks that. This sounds about as credible as Russia's pretext for invasion of Ukraine, where it claims that they just had to deter a threat because it has been "surrounded" by NATO countries.

And also that's why Saudis and other theatre neighbors want the US help in developing nuclear weapons as deterrence to Iran, which would spread proliferation of such weapons.
www.csis.org - The Saudi Request for U.S. Nuclear Cooperation and Its Geopolitical Quandaries

en.wikipedia.org - Saudi Arabia and weapons of mass destruction
... According to some reports, Riyadh has an alleged deal with Pakistan regarding nuclear weapons projects. In 2018 Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman confirmed on 60 Minutes that Saudi Arabia would develop nuclear weapons if Iran successfully detonated one...

Iraq (and Libya) no longer have active or dormant NBC WMD programs since... about 2003.

assets.pewresearch.org - The "Shia-Sunni Divide" goes back 14 centuries [Image]

Come on, man. Get serious.

I would suggest you take your own advice, but it will never happen.

#27 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-11-16 05:59 PM |
@#26 ... Why didn't they just raise prices before Covid? ...

----- I have suggested in the past that Big Oil was raising prices and obtaining record profits in order to make Pres Biden look bad and to get a Republican back in the White House, a Republican that is sympathetic towards Big Oil.

Oh no, not the Big Oil conspiracy again!

First of all, there is no such thing. Outside of maybe OPEC+ (which has not been doing great lately), oil and gas are global commodities which are responsible for less than 5% of global GDP and about 8% of total composite (direct and indirect US GDP) - out of 12 major Integrated Oil and Gas companies on US stock exchanges (and not counting Saudi Aramco, Russian Gazprom and Lukoil, several giant Chinese oil companies like CNOOC and CNP etc.) only two, Exxon and Chevron are US-registered, the rest are 3 Canadian, 2 British, 1 each from France, Norway, Brazil, Italy and Colombia.

All of them conspired against Biden?

Like most essential global commodities, the prices of oil and gas are driven by supply and demand and therefore fluctuate widely.

If "Big Oil" had such a (political) control over prices of oil and gas then why in the last two months alone the price of Brent and TWI crude fell from USD$98 / $93 to USD$77 / $73 respectively?

Natgas prices, which crashed in 2019 from USD$4 to USD$2 went up in 2022 to USD$10 after Russia invaded Ukraine and threatened Europe with supply disruption, but dropped almost 80% in early 2023 back to $2 level and is now up almost 50% at about $3.

Why, when 3 times in the last year Saudis announced (and Russia echoed) that they will reduce supply of oil, the markets jumped initially and then almost immediately, within weeks slumped to previous, or even lower levels? Why are they at the price level of 2018 - Trump administration?

If "Big Oil" companies really have "record profits" their stocks wouldn't be at the level of 2013-2014 (Obama administration) and were flat to 25% down during 2017-2020 period? Refineries like Valero or Marathon did even worse during Trump administration, with stocks down 60%-80% over 3-4 years. Why didn't any of them just raise prices to get magical mythical "record profits" if they could do so at will?

Increased supply (as Republicans want) leads to lower prices, restricted supply (as Democrats supposedly want, to promote "clean" / "renewable" energy) lead to higher prices - it's basic market economics. Which ones would lead to "record profits"?

Very few companies now, outside of "Magnificent Seven" have annual "record profits," especially if they're adjusted for inflation.

The weakness in energy prices (and in recent CPI/PCE "headline inflation" baskets) is much more likely due to overall, possibly recessionary, weakness in economy - consumers are tapped out and are using more of BNPL, credit cards and other forms of debt, as well as dipping into their 401(k) accounts for "hardship" withdrawals.
www.marketwatch.com - 401(k) hardship withdrawals jumped 36% in the second quarter - Aug. 12, 2023
www.marketwatch.com - Hardship distributions are on the rise. The economy may be to blame - Nov. 7, 2023

"If this is happening during a boom, what will the picture look like when the U.S. next enters a recession?"

McConnell has emerged as perhaps the strongest advocate in Congress for sending billions of dollars in American assistance to Ukraine ...

He and many Republicans in the Senate (and quite a few in the House) understand that we are in a war and this is not the time to play retail internal politics. He and Chuck Schumer have a bipartisan Senate bill on emergency funding for Ukraine and Israel - it's all one war, against the same "Union of Tyrants" alliance / Axis.

www.thedailybeast.com - Putin Launches 'New Evil Empire' With North Korea and Hamas - Oct. 23, 2023

Vladimir Putin's pals have been boasting about Russia's backing of Hamas; critics say they are one of a number of notorious anti-Western allies being used to distract from Ukraine.

"Putin - the real Hamas ally - has defined the lines of the big confrontation: Hamas, Iran, Russia, China on one side, and Israel, Ukraine and the United States on the other," said Natan Sharansky.

Sharansky, who was a jailed dissident during the Soviet era before emigrating and moving into Israeli politics, said President Vladimir Putin was honing a "new evil empire" to take on the West.

Kremlinologists in Ukraine, Israel, and Russia told... about an increasingly dangerous global game being played by Putin as he tries to draw eyes away from his war on Ukraine.

... there is a firm consensus in Kyiv that Putin played a role in the well-prepared Hamas operation. "The chief of the [Ukrainian] defense intelligence made it clear to us that the Kremlin had known about the attack on Israel by Hamas," Musayeva told The Daily Beast. "Russia continued to bomb us in the east and south, killing hundreds of civilians but Ukraine disappeared from the top headlines. Even after Russia bombed the funeral in Groza village killing people from every second house, all the news focused on Israel and Hamas war, which obviously played into Putin's hands." ...

Middle East will not see peace until Ayatollah and his mullahs in Iran are removed from power - it's as simple as that.

Theocratic Iran has been sabotaging any peace overtures and agreements with Arab countries and financing Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, PLFP, DLFP, al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades, Jenin Brigades and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen who have been using "Free Palestine" as cover for the Islamist goal of destroying "Little Satan" Israel before the ultimate goal of destroying "Big Satan" USA.

Of course, billions of dollars designated to aid the welfare of Palestinians were skimmed by the leaders of these organizations, from PLO's Arafat to current Hamas billionaires Khaled Mashal, Ismail Haniyeh, and Saleh al-Arouri living in luxury in Qatar, UAE and Turkey.

Yet democratic Iran would be quite an asset in the Middle East, and a loss for imperial Russia.


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-11-10 11:57 PM
But the House GOP has apparently given Rep Gaetz a power-broker position.

With the unfortunate assist from House Democrats who had a chance to neuter "Gaetz and Nuts" caucus when it came time to vote against Gaetz (by simply abstaining) during McCarthy speakership vote - which would cut Gaetz down to size and likely lead to his expulsion - and instead joined "Gaetz Eight" in voting against McCarthy, who was ready to send Biden's emergency Ukraine funding bill and general government funding CR up for easy vote.


#31 | Posted by madbomber at 2023-11-09 02:38 PM
At least he is honest about it. And he didn't get rich embezzling money that was intended to be charitable.

Not for lack of trying - www.nytimes.com - "Trump Pays $2 Million to 8 Charities for Misuse of Foundation. Under a settlement, the president admitted he had used his charity to bolster his campaign and settle business debts." - NYT, Dec. 10, 2019

nymag.com - Trump Fined $2 Million Over Fishy Veterans Fundraiser - NYMag, Nov. 7, 2019

Eric Trump, of "The of Trump Crime Family" had his own "small time" charitable foundation's troubles : www.forbes.com - How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business - Forbes, June 6, 2017

I get your gist, though - he definitely didn't get rich by defrauding the charities, that was small time - he didn't have to.

He got rich first by inheritance, then defrauding investors by transferring his own personal loans and debts into his public companies - which all later went bankrupt - while he was earning fat licensing and management fees, and still later by selling condo properties for 2x-4x their pre-crash worth to money-laundering Russians at the height of "housing winter" post-GFC of 2007-2010.

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