Senate Passes Critical Motion To Advance Obamacare Repeal Efforts

Update 3:  Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote and the motion passed.

Senate

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Update 2:  With just two Republicans, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voting ‘no’, the Senate has just passed a critical “Motion To Proceed” bill which will allow for debate to officially begin on a repeal of Obamacare.  The official tally included 50 ‘yes’ votes which will allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding tie breaker vote to put Republicans over the edge.

Senate

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Update 1:  With 50 votes cast so far, two Republicans, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have voted ‘no’, and Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Johnson (R-WI) have yet to vote.  Both Senators will need to vote in ‘yes’ in order for the Motion to Proceed to pass.

Apparently Senator Johnson has still not made up his mind as he’s currently huddling with Mitch McConnell on the sidelines and McCain’s whereabouts is currently unknown.

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After months of debate and wasted time on efforts to draft an Obamacare ‘repeal and replace’ bill, moments from now the Senate will vote on a procedural motion that could result in a “skinny repeal” of Obama’s most controversial piece of legislation, without the replacement part, later this week.

While Republicans still don’t know exactly what they’ll be voting on, The Hill noted that a‘skinny repeal’ would likely include a repeal of the individual and employer mandates as well as the medical device tax as a way to bridge to a conference committee with the House. 

Senate Republicans are considering passing a dramatically scaled-down version of their ObamaCare repeal bill as a way to pass something and set up negotiations with the House, according to GOP aides.

The measure, known as a “skinny bill,” is intended to be something all Republicans can agree on, so they can pass a bill and move to a conference committee with the House.

Aides say the scaled-down bill would likely just repeal ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.

That would be a far narrower measure than the most recent Senate replacement bill, which also scaled down ObamaCare’s subsidies and cut Medicaid.

Senator Rand Paul, who was a vocal critic of the Senate’s last ‘repeal and replace’ bill (see: New Op-Ed From Senator Rand Paul Blasts GOP Decision To “Keep Obamacare”), has confirmed that he will vote in favor of “whatever version of CLEAN repeal” can be passed with just 50 votes.

Paul tweeted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told him the upper chamber would take up the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill previously passed by Congress.

“If this is indeed the plan, I will vote to proceed and I will vote for any all measures that are clean repeal,” Paul said

Paul has pushed for a vote on the 2015 bill, which repeals large parts of ObamaCare’s requirements and regulations, instead of the GOP repeal-and-replace plan that Republicans have been working on this year.

If that measure can’t get the 60 votes it needs, which is unlikely, Paul said he would support “whatever version of CLEAN repeal we can pass.”

And, in a stunning series of last minute reversals, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have also confirmed they’ll support the motion to proceed.

Meanwhile, adding to the dramatics of today’s critical vote, Senator John McCain has returned from Arizona, after being diagnosed with brain cancer, specifically to participate in the process.

Tune in below for a live feed of the vote:

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Time Is Running Out” – China Is Planning For A Crisis Along North Korean Border

Despite Chinese officials reassurance that “military means shouldn’t be an option,” WSJ reports that China has been bolstering defenses along its 880-mile frontier with North Korea and realigning forces in surrounding regions to prepare for a potential crisis across their border, including the possibility of a U.S. military strike.

While all eyes in America are once again distracted by “Russia”-related narratives and the dismal GOP efforts to replace, repeal, re-who-knows-what Obamacare, the threat of North Korea has not gone away… and neither has China’s preparations. As President Trump stepped up the rhetoric, pressuring China to do more to ‘solve’ the North Korean problem, and threatening military action to halt Kim’s nuclear weapons program ambitions, it is clear that China has used this crisis to not just prepare for potential problems with North Korea but to reinforce military forces elsewhere.

The Journal writes that a review of official military and government websites and interviews with experts who have studied the preparations show that Beijing has implemented many of the changes in recent months after initiating them last year.

Recent measures include establishing a new border defense brigade, 24-hour video surveillance of the mountainous frontier backed by aerial drones, and bunkers to protect against nuclear and chemical blasts, according to the websites.

China’s military has also merged, moved and modernized other units in border regions and released details of recent drills there with special forces, airborne troops and other units that experts say could be sent into North Korea in a crisis.

They include a live-fire drill in June by helicopter gunships and one in July by an armored infantry unit recently transferred from eastern China and equipped with new weaponry.

China’s Defense Ministry didn’t respond directly when asked if the recent changes were connected to North Korea, saying only in a written statement that its forces “maintain a normal state of combat readiness and training” on the border.

While Chinese authorities have been preparing for North Korean contingencies – including economic collapse, nuclear contamination, or military conflict – according to U.S. and Chinese experts who have studied Beijing’s planning, perhaps more intriguing, as Mark Cozad, a former senior U.S. defense intelligence official for East Asia, now at the Rand Corp, explains..

China’s contingency preparations “go well beyond just seizing a buffer zone in the North and border security.”

In other words, China is not letting a good crisis go to waste. Coad goes to note:

“Once you start talking about efforts from outside powers, in particular the United States and South Korea, to stabilize the North, to seize nuclear weapons or WMD, in those cases then I think you’re starting to look at a much more robust Chinese response.”

“If you’re going to make me place bets on where I think the U.S. and China would first get into a conflict, it’s not Taiwan, the South China Sea or the East China Sea: I think it’s the Korean Peninsula.”

As The Journal further notesBeijing also appears to be enhancing its capability to seize North Korean nuclear sites and occupy a swath of the country’s northern territory if U.S. or South Korean forces start to advance toward the Chinese border, according to those people. That, they say, would require a much larger Chinese operation than just sealing border, with special forces and airborne troops likely entering first to secure nuclear sites, followed by armored ground forces with air cover, pushing deep into North Korea. It could also bring Chinese and U.S. forces face to face on the peninsula for the first time since the war there ended in 1953 with an armistice – an added complication for the Trump administration as it weighs options for dealing with North Korea.

China has long worried that economic collapse in North Korea could cause a refugee crisis, bring U.S. forces to its borders, and create a united, democratic and pro-American Korea. But as WSJ’s Ben Kesling  reports, China’s fears of a U.S. military intervention have risen since January as Pyongyang has test-fired several missiles, including one capable of reaching Alaska. In a notably outspoken article written in May, retired Maj. Gen. Wang Haiyun, a former military attaché to Moscow now attached to several Chinese think tanks, made his view clear (while carefully noting he did not speak for the PLA)…

China should “draw a red line” for the U.S.: If it attacked North Korea without Chinese approval, Beijing would have to intervene militarily.

“Time is running out,… We can’t let the flames of war burn into China.”

China should demand that any U.S. military attack result in no nuclear contamination, no U.S. occupation of areas north of the current “demarcation line” between North and South, and no regime hostile to China established in the North, his article said.

“If war breaks out, China should without hesitation occupy northern parts of North Korea, take control of North Korean nuclear facilities, and demarcate safe areas to stop a wave of refugees and disbanded soldiers entering China’s northeast,” it said.

Beijing’s interests “now clearly extend beyond the refugee issue” to encompass nuclear safety and the peninsula’s long-term future, said Oriana Skylar Mastro, an assistant professor at Georgetown University who has studied China’s planning for a North Korean crisis.

China’s leaders need to make sure that whatever happens with (North Korea), the result supports China’s regional power aspirations and does not help the United States extend or prolong its influence,” Ms. Mastro said.

In other words, China may appear to be preparing for a North Korean crisis… but is really building its capabilities should President Trump decide the time is right for more international distractions.

Rexit? Tillerson Reportedly Considering Early Exit Amid Trump Administration Chaos

Perpetual chaos within the Trump administration is apparently starting to take it’s toll on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, at least according to some anonymous sources, and has prompted rumors that he may depart his post before the end of the year.  According to various media outlets, Tillerson has grown frustrated with his lack of autonomy, constant internal policy contradictions and public disputes between the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, among other things.  Per Reuters:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told friends he will be lucky to last a year in his job, according to a friend, while two officials said national security adviser H.R. McMaster was frustrated by what he sees as disorganization and indiscipline on key policy issues inside the White House.

A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that Tillerson was “very upset at not having autonomy, independence and control over his own department and the ability to do the job the way the job … is traditionally done.”

The source said he had heard nothing about any possible departure, but added: “The situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and in some respects appears to be getting worse.”

According to CNN‘s anonymous sources, Tillerson has told friends outside of Washington that he’d like to remain in his post through the end of the year though those same sources question whether another 5 months will be possible.

For weeks, conversations with Tillerson friends outside of Washington have left the impression that he, despite his frustrations, was determined to stay on the job at least through the end of the year. That would allow time to continue efforts to reorganize the State Department and would mean he could claim to have put in a year as America’s top diplomat.

But two sources who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity over the weekend said they would not be surprised if there was a “Rexit” from Foggy Bottom sooner that that.

Both of these sources are familiar with Tillerson conversations with friends outside Washington. Both said there was a noticeable increase in the secretary’s frustration and his doubts that the tug-of-war with the White House would subside anytime soon. They also acknowledged it could have been venting after a tough week, a suggestion several DC-based sources made when asked if they saw evidence Tillerson was looking for an exit strategy.

Tillerson

 

Of course, Tillerson recently suffered an embarrassing contradiction from the White House over Qatar.  Following last month’s move by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to boycott Qatar, which they accuse of financing extremist groups and supporting terrorism, Tillerson publicly asked the nations to ease their blockade, and put the onus on both sides to end the crisis.

Unfortunately, less than 90 minutes later, Trump accused Qatar of being a “high level” sponsor of terrorism in a press conference and suggested he had helped plan the Qatar action with Arab leaders.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Tillerson has also grown increasingly frustrated over internal criticisms surrounding the Iran deal.

Tillerson scored a policy win last week when the administration certified, albeit reluctantly, that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal under which Tehran agreed to restrain its atomic program in exchange for sanctions relief.

He was upset, however, by fierce internal criticism from Trump, as well as his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and White House aide Sebastian Gorka, over the decision, said another U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The secretary does not feel that White House staff members should be in a position to conduct hostile cross-(examinations) of Cabinet officials,” the official said.

Hammond disputed the account of harsh discord between Trump and Tillerson regarding recertifying the Iran nuclear deal, saying: “I don’t buy this whole thing that there are tensions. Developing public policy is about vetting out ideas,” he said.

Not surprisingly, Tillerson’s spokesman has so far denied that the Secretary of State is considering an early exit…

R.C. Hammond, Tillerson’s spokesman, denied Tillerson was considering leaving or that his frustrations were boiling over, saying he had “plenty of reasons to stay on the job, and all of them are important to America.”

“There’s a desperate need for American leadership in the world and that’s where the secretary’s focusing his attention,” he said.

…so what say you?  Fake news or is Tillerson in a race with Sessions to see who will exit their post first?

Politics Of The Next 4 Years: Part 1 (Rise Of The “Dirtbag Left”)

A lot of people remain in denial about the current political environment. Whether it’s a neocon Never Trumper, or a manic Hillary dead-ender, what these people all have in common is they firmly and passionately think their world is somehow coming back. They still don’t understand that the party’s over.

In our foolish apathy, we entrusted the country to these “very smart people” and they handed the entire thing over to crooked oligarchs, while simultaneously cheerleading us into a never-ending stream of reckless, inhumane imperial wars. They hollowed out and feasted on the entire nation and now, incredibly enough, have rebranded themselves as leaders of a toothless resistance to the mess they created. Delusional doesn’t even begin to describe these people. They genuinely think Trump’s rise represents some bizarre historical blip, and once the hideous blemish is removed, things can carry on as they were. That’s not going to happen.

Before I get into the thick of it, I want to revisit something I wrote a couple of weeks ago in the post, The Center Cannot Hold – Decentralize or Die:

In order to understand the long-term implications of these emails on the future of the nation, you need a good understanding of the primary warring factions in American politics today. We have Donald Trump supporters/voters, Hillary Clinton supporters/voters, and a resurgent left inspired and energized by the principles and ideals espoused by Bernie Sanders. The first two have absolutely zero overlap and pretty much hate each other, while the third group can sometimes identify with either camp depending on the issue, but pretty much think they’re both crazy and dangerous. The key point I’m trying to make is that there is no “center” in American politics anymore, and any discussion of this is pure fantasy. Moreover, any remaining center that still exists, is unlikely to exist at all in a year or so as more and more people feel forced to choose sides. When you create an environment as charged as this one where everyone is accusing their political opponents of treason, this is what you get; and it’s only going to get worse. A lot worse…

If what I wrote above rings true to you on any level, it has dire implications for the future of these United States. The first two groups, Trump supporters and Hillary supporters have absolutely nothing in common and that’s not going to change. In fact, it’s probably going to get much, much worse. Trump supporters think the Democrats and the media have been gunning for a way to remove him from office since the day he was elected, while Hillary supporters think he’s a treasonous puppet of Vladimir Putin. How can these two warring factions come to any sort of agreement on anything? The answer is, they can’t and they won’t. Meanwhile, Bernie supporters are likely to largely stay on the sidelines hoping these two sides destroy each other in their madness.

In a gross oversimplification, the above implies that the political environment going forward will be defined by a vicious battle between the Trump faction and the Hillary faction. While I think this will probably be true for much of the rest of 2017, there’s a good chance that a year from now, the union of Hillary donors, Never Trump neocons and the corporate media will find themselves increasingly irrelevant, on their way to being wiped off the political landscape forever. In its place, a more genuine opposition political movement will take form and face off against Trump on real issues.

This movement was first really seen on the national level with the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, but it takes on many different forms. The one aspect I want to discuss today due to its growing influence and potential for explosive growth, is a faction that has become known as the “Dirtbag Left.”

To get a sense of what I’m talking about, you should read an article published earlier this month at Maclean’s titled, The Rise of the Internet’s ‘Dirtbag Left.’ Here are a few excerpts:

Nagle sees the rise of the violent, hateful, and often deliberately confounding culture of the alt-right tied up inextricably with failures of the left. Where the internet was once viewed as a utopian space for free expression, and experimentation with thought and identity, it eventually became colonized by a calcified leftist sameness, thanks to sites like Tumblr and Twitter, where buzzwords and ideologies multiply and spread like viruses. There was also a certain sanctimonious and self-righteous tone that came to dominate these conversations. Certain strains of leftism—and especially those that valued identity above all other social and political categories—began to monopolize the free market of ideas, making the experience of being online if not entirely oppressive in its patrolling of ideas and verbiage, then certainly much less fun.

Many who were alienated by this culture drove deeper underground, to sites like 4chan and Reddit, where new mutations of far-right, anti-feminist, racist, Islamophobic, white supremacist ideologies—with their focus on memes, jokes, trolling and pushing back against political correctness—restored, for them, the earlier anarchic promise of the Internet. As Nagle writes, the emerging alt-right “had little in the way of a coherent commitment to conservative thought or politics, but shared an anti-PC impulse and a common aesthetic sensibility.”

The culture of call-outs and one-upping “wokeness”—a condescending term used to describe an overstated performance of political correctness—was diagnosed as far back as 2013 by British blogger and political theorist Mark Fisher. In his essay “Exiting the Vampire’s Castle,” Fisher decried the “stench of bad conscience and witch-hunting moralism” that emanated from the online social-justice set. He also identified the collective paralysis among those on the left who disagreed with those tactics, a “fear that they will be the next one to be outed, exposed, condemned.” Fisher, predictably, became a target of such condemnation after his essay was published; many ghouls returned to mock him when he committed suicide earlier this year.

“Anyone on the left with any independence of mind has experienced this backlash,” says Nagle. “People will look back at this period as a moment of madness—if it ends. I feel like there’s much more of an exciting, funnier left-wing culture emerging around people who are critics of it. That’s not a coincidence. You can’t be a puritanical purger and have a sense of humor.

Enter a new culture of the online left. It’s a reinvigorated wing that’s simultaneously anti-alt-right, anti-PC and anti-SJW, anti-centrist and against liberal-democratic line-toeing. It’s a movement that uses many of the tactics of the online alt-right—humour, memes, Twitter trolling and open animosity—while remaining committed to progressive leftist ideology. It’s sometimes called the “alt-left” or the “vulgar left,” or the “Dirtbag Left”—a term coined by Brooklyn based writer, podcaster, and activist Amber A’Lee Frost.

Frost is a co-host of the popular politics podcast Chapo Trap House. Founded by politically savvy Twitter jokers Will Menaker, Felix Biederman and Matt Christman, Chapo Trap House gained massive traction during the 2016 U.S. presidential primaries among online factions of “Weird Twitter” and “Left Twitter” who were eager to push back against the ascendency of war-hawk Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and stem the tides of #ImWithHer memes. “Twitter was poised to examine the primaries in a way that the established media either would not or could not,” Frost writes in an e-mail. “This was a great moment in terms of consciousness-raising and communication.”

From my seat, there are three really important aspects of the “Dirtbag Left” that makes it a very potent political phenomenon.

First, it doesn’t hold back or pay tribute to the PC speech-policing cultists. People across the political spectrum are sick and tired of people pushing this idea that “language is violence” in order to censor not just political speech, but also comedy. In fact, what attracted many people to the “alt-right” or “alt-light” was simple rebellion against the increased stupidity of political correctness even if they didn’t have much in common with the political positions of Trump. The dirtbag left is quickly taking that advantage away.

The second is humor. When was the last time Alex Jones made you genuinely laugh with clever wit as he delivered a political point? Political ideas are powerful, but political ideas coupled with humor are virtually unstoppable.

Third, this faction of leftism is waging war against Clinton neoliberal frauds and Trump’s fake populism at the exact same time. Not an easy thing to do, but I think there’s a huge and growing unsatisfied demand for such a perspective.

A lot of you will discount the appeal of this movement because many of its most high-profile members are unabashed socialists. This is a big mistake. Remember, Donald Trump won the Presidency not because he was especially great or loved, but because his opponent was terrible, he talked in populist terms, and people just wanted to give a middle finger to the political establishment and corporate media. If that’s right, what’s to stop a movement from winning power if it promises to flip the bird to both Trump and Clinton while also making you laugh? Not much.

I think the “DirtBag Left” will catch the Trump team completely off guard over the next few years. The reason Trump’s prospects look pretty good right now for a second term is because there’s no real organized opposition to him. By real organized opposition, I mean a movement driven by actual ideas and passion that is also working on a plan to run a competitive candidate in 2020. The current “resistance” consists of Hillary donors, neocons, the corporate media and elements of the deep state. While Trump complains about this opposition constantly, he doesn’t realize how good he has it. The American public hates those factions more than they hate Trump, and nobody wants to vote for that discredited garbage in 2020.

The best possible thing for Trump in 2020 would be another opponent with no ideas who focuses on stupid slogans ad identity politics. He’d love to once against face off against an empty suit (pantsuit?) who enthusiastically serves as a poodle for billionaire financiers and an assortment of other oligarchs. Trump can be a fake populist his entire first term and still win that race. What presents him a much bigger challenge would be a genuine populist challenger backed by a dynamic, grassroots movement. This is where the “DirtBag Left” comes into play.

This faction isn’t trying to compromise with hopeless #ImStillWithHer clowns. Like myself, 40% of the country is independent and this demographic remains up for grabs in a national election. This is the target audience. People who see that the country continues to circle the toilet bowl, and understand that Trump is a total phony. The best thing Trump has going for him is the media is seen as his primary adversary. As long as he can continue to frame the debate as him vs. the corporate media, he wins. Confronting a competing populist message that wants to deal with oligarchy will be much harder for him, and would in fact push him toward actual populist polices if he wants to win reelection. Just like being against Trump was’t enough for Hillary, being against the media won’t be enough for Trump either, IF a competing message that resonates emerges.

In order to understand the next political wave that will sweep across America, you need to understand the dirtbag left; and if you want to understand the dirtbag left, you need to get to know Chapo Trap House. Below is a clip discussing Hillary’s loss shortly after the election.

If you think politics is crazy now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Tomorrow I’ll discuss how Democrats can either become economic populists, or die as a political party.

Libya’s Oil King Won’t Be Stopped By OPEC

Conflict-torn Libya, divided between rival factions in the east and the west, recently reached 1 million bpd of crude oil output – for the first time since 2013.

The oil production recovery has put in the spotlight the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla, whom analysts see as a central figure in the oil sector, wearing the hats of both a diplomat and an oil minister. It will be Sanalla who will leadLibya’s delegation at the upcoming meeting of the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Russia, at which he will argue his country’s position and share production plans for the immediate future.

And the monitoring committee will be eager to find out how much Libya’s plans could further offset the cartel and friends’ production cuts, from which the African nation is—for now at least—exempt.

Winning exemption at the time of the November OPEC deal wasn’t difficult for Libya, whose production was at the mercy of the civil strife and port blockades that plagued Libya over the past few years.

Libya’s production averaged 390,000 bpd throughout 2016 and 404,000 bpd in 2015, according to OPEC’s secondary sources. In the fourth quarter last year, output increased slightly to an average of 574,000 bpd.

Since then, the lifting of port seizures and blockades and the June interim deal with Germany’s Wintershall to immediately resume production in concession areas and related fields, which unblocked 160,000 bpd worth of output—has helped Libya to nearly double production.

The recovery of Libya and Nigeria’s crude oil production in the past two months has rekindled fears that rising supply from those two exempt African producers is offsetting a large part of the reductions and is depressing crude oil prices, alongside rising U.S. shale output.

Libya’s oil production recovery is the primary goal of NOC’s chairman Sanalla, who said in an opinion piece in the New York Times in June, referring to the country’s internal power struggles:

“Between 2013 and last September, these blockaded nearly all of Libya’s main oil ports and tried to leverage that chokehold into ransom money and political power. That cost the country over $120 billion in lost revenues and most of its financial reserves.”

Arguing that the country’s oil and gas resources should not be held hostage to power struggles and fractious politics, Sanalla noted:

“Caught between those rivals, we at the N.O.C. intend to remain neutral until there is a single legitimate government we can submit to.”

Geoff Porter, founder of the North Africa Risk Consulting, said in an interview with Bloomberg, commenting on Sanalla’s role in the Libyan oil sector:

“His job is to produce as much oil as possible while he can and I think that’s what he is going to continue to try to do.”

However, years of neglect and attacks on facilities have damaged the output capacity, and infrastructure needs investments if Libya were to return to producing 1.6 million bpd, its output level before the 2011 revolution that toppled Muammar Ghaddafi.

Libya may be close to its capacity, and possibly has a short-term “implicit” ceiling of just above 1 million bpd, Mattia Toaldo, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Bloomberg.

So Libya could ‘cap’ not because OPEC asks it to, but because of infrastructure limitations.  

Unlike fellow exempt producer Nigeria—which has signaled that it could cap production when its production reaches a stable 1.8 million bpd—Libya has not specified any output level for a possible ceiling.

Last week, Sanalla told Reuters in comments sent via email:

“Libya’s political, humanitarian and economic situation needs to be taken into account if we are going to talk about production caps.”

“Accurate information will remove uncertainty and help the market understand and respond to future supply levels,” NOC’s chairman noted.

The OPEC/non-OPEC monitoring committee will receive the latest updates regarding Libya’s production and plans—and get more information about expected supply from the cartel—at the OPEC meeting this weekend. Despite the fact that the monitoring committee is only making recommendations to the larger group, it may consider whether further actions are needed in view of the latest supply figures and forecasts for the coming months.

UN Document From 2000 Exposes Global “Migration Replacement” Solution To Developed World Demographics

Ever wondered why so many western elites are so vehemently supportive of mass immigration? Ever question how willfully blind the establishment is to the costs (human and capital) of allowing any- and everyone into the heart of European nations? Well wonder no more…

As a reminder, the world faces decades of depopulation. Our present economic issues began decades ago.  To understand what is happening economically, simply check the headwaters of (de)population (excluding Africa) under way since 1990…the chart below shows the 0-5yr/old population (excluding Africa) vs. the 0-5yr/old population of Africa.

World 0-5yr/old population change (excluding Africa):

  • 1950–>1990 + 234m
  • 1990–>2015 <-47m>
  • 2015–>2050 <-67m> (UN med. est.)

Africa 0-5yr/old population change:

  • 1950–>1990 + 71m
  • 1990–>2015 +75m
  • 2015–>2050 +95m (UN med. est.)

Population growth is responsible for the majority of GDP growth…so a downturn in population growth matters…particularly when population growth shifts from wealthy or developing nations to the poorest.  I’m not describing something that may happen in the future…I’m describing what has already happened that is continuing to send progressively larger tsunamis swamping the world economy and has the central bankers doing everything and anything to try to sustain the unsustainable.

Which means, as Econimica’s Chris Hamilton recently noted, the next business cycle recession will be unending and is very likely to run years into decades and perhaps a century or more.  A declining population already indebted with record debt and zero interest rates will consume less…meaning overcapacity and excess inventories will never be fully cleared before the next downturn…and on and on and on.

But the absence of a growing consumer base isn’t just a US issue…this is a global problem.  The annual growth of the 0-64yr/old population of the combined OECD nations (most the EU, US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Japan, S. Korea, Australia / New Zealand) plus China, Brazil, and Russia show the growth that has driven nearly all economic growth has come to an end…and begins declining from here on.

And when importers are shrinking, exporters have no one to export to…and on and on and on. The depopulation we are now facing is not simply a demographic issue that so many believe; the end of growth is the start of the SHTF scenario in which we now find ourselves.  While this situation offers short term nirvana to investors, the economic repercussions are ultimately disastrous.

*  *  *

And so with that as background – and as noted above, a crisis that has been foreseeable on the horizon for years – it appears, based on a recently exposed United Nations report from the year 2000, that the ‘new world order’ envisioned a ‘final solution’ to this demographic dilemma of a collapsing consumer base for the west’s credit-based economies

The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has released a new report titled ?Replacement Migration: Is it a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations??. Replacement migration refers to the international migration that a country would need to prevent population decline and population ageing resulting from low fertility and mortality rates.

United Nations projections indicate that between 1995 and 2050, the population of Japan and virtually all countries of Europe will most likely decline. In a number of cases, including Estonia, Bulgaria and Italy, countries would lose between one quarter and one third of their population. Population ageing will be pervasive, bringing the median age of population to historically unprecedented high levels. For instance, in Italy, the median age will rise from 41 years in 2000 to 53 years in 2050. The potential support ratio — i.e., the number of persons of working age (15-64 years) per older person — will often be halved, from 4 or 5 to 2.

Focusing on these two striking and critical trends, the report examines in detail the case of eight low-fertility countries (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States) and two regions (Europe and the European Union). In each case, alternative scenarios for the period 1995-2050 are considered, highlighting the impact that various levels of immigration would have on population size and population ageing.

Major findings of this report include:

  • In the next 50 years, the populations of most developed countries are projected to become smaller and older as a result of low fertility and increased longevity. In contrast, the population of the United States is projected to increase by almost a quarter. Among the countries studied in the report, Italy is projected to register the largest population decline in relative terms, losing 28 per cent of its population between 1995 and 2050, according to the United Nations medium variant projections. The population of the European Union, which in 1995 was larger than that of the United States by 105 million, in 2050, will become smaller by 18 million.
  • Population decline is inevitable in the absence of replacement migration.Fertility may rebound in the coming decades, but few believe that it will recover sufficiently in most countries to reach replacement level in the foreseeable future.
  • Some immigration is needed to prevent population decline in all countries and regions examined in the report. However, the level of immigration in relation to past experience varies greatly. For the European Union, a continuation of the immigration levels observed in the 1990s would roughly suffice to prevent total population from declining, while for Europe as a whole, immigration would need to double. The Republic of Korea would need a relatively modest net inflow of migrants — a major change, however, for a country which has been a net sender until now. Italy and Japan would need to register notable increases in net immigration. In contrast, France, the United Kingdom and the United States would be able to maintain their total population with fewer immigrants than observed in recent years.
  • The numbers of immigrants needed to prevent the decline of the total population are considerably larger than those envisioned by the United Nations projections. The only exception is the United States.
  • The numbers of immigrants needed to prevent declines in the working- age population are larger than those needed to prevent declines in total population. In some cases, such as the Republic of Korea, France, the United Kingdom or the United States, they are several times larger. If such flows were to occur, post-1995 immigrants and their descendants would represent a strikingly large share of the total population in 2050 — between 30 and 39 per cent in the case of Japan, Germany and Italy.
  • Relative to their population size, Italy and Germany would need the largest number of migrants to maintain the size of their working-age populations. Italy would require 6,500 migrants per million inhabitants annually and Germany, 6,000. The United States would require the smallest number — 1,300 migrants per million inhabitants per year.
  • The levels of migration needed to prevent population ageing are many times larger than the migration streams needed to prevent population decline. Maintaining potential support ratios would in all cases entail volumes of immigration entirely out of line with both past experience and reasonable expectations.
  • In the absence of immigration, the potential support ratios could be maintained at current levels by increasing the upper limit of the working-age population to roughly 75 years of age.
  • The new challenges of declining and ageing populations will require a comprehensive reassessment of many established policies and programmes, with a long-term perspective. Critical issues that need to be addressed include: (a) the appropriate ages for retirement; (b) the levels, types and nature of retirement and health care benefits for the elderly; (c) labour force participation; (d) the assessed amounts of contributions from workers and employers to support retirement and health care benefits for the elderly population; and (e) policies and programmes relating to international migration, in particular, replacement migration and the integration of large numbers of recent migrants and their descendants.

The problem with this cunning plan to immigrant-ize western nations to backfill the domestic demographic decline is that the immigrants – as a whole – are a drag on growth (via politically-correct benefits, extra policing, and border enforcements) as opposed to the economy-improving growth dynamos that the United Nations assumed any sentient-credit-consuming-being would be in the year 2000.

Even the world’s richest man is starting to get the joke that the new world order’s cunning plan is not working…

Europe will be devastated by African refugees if they don’t “make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent,” and the solution lies in European nations committing billions of taxpayer money towards overseas aid.

According to Gates, the combination of explosive population growth in Africa combined with Europe’s notoriously generous open-border migrant welfare programs – as illustrated by the ‘German attitude to refugees’ have incentivised migrants to flood into Europe.

“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees, but the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this – which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa.

While Germany has been one of the pioneers of the open door policy, it cannot “take in the huge, massive number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”

Thus Gates advised European nations to take action in order to make it “more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes.”

–Bill Gates

Five Weird Conspiracy Theories From CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo sounds increasingly unhinged when talking about Russia, Wikileaks and the media.

In a tirade against Russia based news outlets RT and Sputnik, Donald Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo blasted Russia for interfering not only in the 2016 US Presidential election but “the one before that and the one before that”. This would imply that Russia helped install Barack Obama in the White House even after his severely anti-Russian foreign policy became well known.

These statements are blasted by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the following way:

If (Pompeo’s) statements mean that we interfered in the elections in 2008 and 2012 that means that President Obama owes us his victories. I’ll refrain from comment. In my opinion, this crosses the lines of what is reasonable.

Pompeo’s assertion came after a tirade in which he said that Russia’s current Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov helped develop a ‘propaganda’ strategy which underlies RT and Sputnik’s alleged purpose. Pompeo further asserted that Gerasimov did this in the early 1970s. According to Pompeo:

His (Gerasimov’s) idea was that you can win wars without firing a single shot, with firing a very few shots in ways that are decidedly not militaristic. And that’s what happened

What changes is the cost to effectuate change through cyber and through RT and Sputnik, the news outlets and through other soft means has just really been lowered. It used to be expensive to run an ad on a television station. Now you simply go online and propagate your message, so they have found an effective tool, an easy way to go reach into our systems and into our culture to achieve the outcome they are looking for.

The ludicrousness of this claim can be easily debunked when one learns that General Gerasimov was born in 1955. If one can conservatively say that 1973 was the ‘early 1970s’, this means that Gerasimov developed a communications strategy that relied on the internet being up to 2017 standards when he was 18 years of age. There is simply no logic in Pompeo’s assertions.

This is the same Mike Pompeo who has told some rather strange tall-tales about Wikileak’s founder Julian Assange while simultaneously calming that RT is part of Wikileaks.

In April of 2017, Pompeo stated:

It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence—the GRU—had used WikiLeaks to release data of US victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.

He then stated:

No, I am quite confident that had Assange been around in the 1930s and 40s and 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history.

So to recap, the following are Mike Pompeo’s most ludicrous conspiracy theories:

1. Russia’s current Chief of the General Staff invented the concept of RT and Sputnik, one which relies on the power of the internet in 2017, in the early 1970s when he was in his late teens and still in the equivalent of high school.

2. Russia interfered in the US elections in 2008, 2012 and 2016, meaning that Russia supported Barack Obama who was the most anti-Russian US President in modern memory, but no one noticed this Russian interference at the time.

3. RT collaborates with Wikileaks which is a hostile intelligence agency rather than an on-line publisher.

4. Julian Assange, a self-styled free speech advocate and anti-war activist would have supported Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s.

5. RT and Sputnik are supported by Russia because they are cheaper than going to war. This is ostensibly a bad thing in Pompeo’s view.

Mike Pompeo seems like less of an intelligence chief than a simplistic conspiracy theories.