Daily Archives: April 14, 2019

April 14 The Blood of Christ

Scripture Reading: John 1:19–29

Key Verse: John 1:29

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Christian doctrine features several terms that are essential in comprehending the importance of the blood of Christ shed on the cross of Calvary:

  • Redemption: Believers have been redeemed and forgiven. Our salvation has been purchased through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God who died for our sins and took upon Himself our guilt and penalty for those sins (Ephesians 1:7).
  • Justification: God has justified us, or declared us not guilty, because by the gift of faith we have accepted Christ as Savior. He also has declared us righteous in His sight, applying the righteousness of Christ to our accounts (Romans 5:9, 17).
  • Reconciliation: Jesus’ blood makes it possible for God to bring us back into a right relationship with Him. The Bible says we were enemies of God until we accepted Christ. Christ’s blood is the bridge, the peace offering, that reconciles us to God (Colossians 1:19–22).
  • Sanctification: Sanctification is God’s cleansing and setting us apart unto Himself for His purposes and His will. He sanctified us when we were saved, and He continues to sanctify us to make us clean vessels properly prepared for His good works (Hebrews 12:14).
  • Access: Finally, we would not have access to God’s throne of grace without the shedding of Christ’s blood. The reason we can cry out and be heard by God is Christ’s sacrificial death.

Praise the Lord for the glory of the blood (Hebrews 10:19).

Heavenly Father, thank You that I am redeemed, justified, reconciled, sanctified, and that through the blood, I have access to You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 109). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Michelle Obama Dons $18,000 Sparkly Outfit on ‘Becoming’ Book Tour — The Gateway Pundit

Getty Image

Michelle Obama arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark to kick off the European leg of her ‘Becoming’ book tour in an $18,000 sparkly outfit.

Obama wore a $2,300 Stine Goya pantsuit paired with $16,000 diamond hoop earrings.

Via The New York Post:

For the first stop on the European leg of her book tour, the former FLOTUS, 55, arrived at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, wearing a millennial pink suit embellished with bursts of crystals by local label Stine Goya. The blazer retails for $1,350, while the matching pants go for $960.

But the bestselling author didn’t just relegate the glitz to her apparel; she finished things off with a pair of mega-carat earrings. Obama wore a pair of $16,250 diamond hoops from Vhernier’s “Pop” collection, currently available for purchase at the label’s boutiques nationwide.

Michelle Obama shows she is down with the struggle by wearing outrageously expensive brand names and bling.

The former First Lady previously wore $4,000 sequin Balenciaga over-the-knee boots with an ill-fitting mustard yellow dress.

via Michelle Obama Dons $18,000 Sparkly Outfit on ‘Becoming’ Book Tour — The Gateway Pundit

Sunday Talks: Lindsey Graham Discusses Three Immigration Fixes…. — The Last Refuge

Senator Lindsey Graham appears on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo to discuss his proposal for three legislative immigration fixes to help the border crisis.


via Sunday Talks: Lindsey Graham Discusses Three Immigration Fixes…. — The Last Refuge

Conspiracy Media CNN and MSNBC Still Down in Ratings Since Mueller Report — The Gateway Pundit

Guest post by Mike LaChance at American Lookout

Now that the Mueller Investigation has ended with a thud, viewers on the left are not tuning in to CNN and MSNBC every night to find out when Trump will be removed from office.

It has hurt the ratings and the bottom line for both of the far left networks and particularly Rachel Maddow.

The Daily Caller reports:


MSNBC and CNN’s ratings have not recovered from a massive drop after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into Russia collusion.

CNN delivered its second-lowest rated week of the year in total day and primetime between April 1 to April 7, according to Nielsen Media Research, while MSNBC had its second-lowest rated week of the year in the key 25-54 age demographic.


1. FNC (2,339,000)

2. MSNBC (1,642,000)

3. HOME AND GARDEN TV (1,223,000)

4. USA NETWORK (1,153,000)

5. TBS NETWORK (1,033,000)

Here are some other related numbers which are pretty brutal:

FOX News on the other hand, is booming.

Via FOX:

Fox News Channel’s prime-time viewership beats CNN again during Thursday’s Julian Castro town hall

Fox News Channel’s primetime viewership numbers beat out the cable news competition once again on Thursday night.

According to Nielson Media Research’s early numbers, FNC bested CNN numbers even during the network’s own town hall event with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro.

Averaging 2.7 million viewers and nearly 500,000 in the 25-54 age demographic, “The Ingraham Angle” numbers more than quadrupled CNN’s town hall in total viewers and almost tripled CNN in the 25-54 age category. CNN town hall’s brought in 654,000 average viewers and 174,000 in the age range.

CNN’s latest town hall ranked third in both categories and was down 41% in total viewers and down nearly 50% in the key 25-54 age demo. Thursday night’s special event for Castro also marked the second lowest-rated weekday primetime town hall in cable news history.

You have to wonder if the liberal media will ever recover from this.

via Conspiracy Media CNN and MSNBC Still Down in Ratings Since Mueller Report — The Gateway Pundit

Sunday Talks: Sarah Sanders -vs- Chris Wallace — The Last Refuge

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appears on Fox News to play dodgeball with Chris Wallace as he throws left-wing talking points for thirteen minutes.

OrangeManBad has threatened to resettle illegal aliens in sanctuary cities and Wallace is mighty angry at the audacity of the proposal.

via Sunday Talks: Sarah Sanders -vs- Chris Wallace — The Last Refuge

African American Tribalism: An Enemy of Christian Unity | Reformed Reasons

What is tribalism? According to the dictionary, tribalism is the behavior and attitudes  that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group. Tribalism is essentially the exaltation of one group above other groups. A tribe is a group of people who has a particular identity. They share common beliefs, principles, practices, and values. There is nothing wrong with belonging to a tribe in and of itself so long as there is nothing in that tribe that is inherently immoral. Belonging to a drug gang or a motorcycle gang whose identity entails unlawful practices would be an example of how one could sin just by belonging to a tribe.

Over at The Atlantic, Allene, an African American female marks some honest and startling observations about the very real racism within the African American community. She observes,  Modern-day black activists (hell, a whole lot of black folks in general), require other black people to be BLACK first—that is, to tote around on their bent backs and black shoulders the eons of tortured black history as if that history is a current-day reality while denying who they are as individuals.

Anyone paying attention to the behavior and listening to the conversations on race today know that this is true. It is an indisputable fact of reality. What I do not know and cannot answer is why it is an indisputable fact of reality. Before you scream, I will admit that it isn’t true across the board but it is true enough to generalize with controversy. Allene asks another question: Black people desire equal rights, to be sure, but when young black people go to racially-mixed high schools and colleges, exactly why are all black students required to only support black student organizations? Why are there black student organizations in the first place? Should there be a student organization for every ethnic group? Seriously? Asians, English, Irish, German, Jewish, and so forth? Why lump all Asians together? Shouldn’t we respect their own people groups? I don’t have the answer. But I think it is a question that deserves some sort of attention.

Allene continues: I don’t know why black activists feel that each and every black person in America must be black before any other aspect of their personalities and lives. I have been called an Oreo Cookie because of the way I speak, where I live, and the people I choose to have/share my life with. These are great observations and even better questions. I am puzzled why black Christian leaders are not contributing to the conversation in this way by asking these kinds of questions and making such penetrating and honest observations.

Allene couldn’t be more right when she points out, “What many blacks do not accept about white America is that there are millions of poor white folks in this country without opportunities just like legions of poor blacks. The reality for all of these people, both black and white, is that poor is poor and being poor isn’t easier just because your skin is white.” I know this to be true. I grew up about as poor as anyone could in this country.

This is not a photo of where I grew up, but this house is not much different from the one I grew up in until I reached teenage years and things turned only slightly up for my dad. I know what it is like not to have running water in the house until 5th grade. I know what it is like to finally be old enough to go with uncles to purchase and bring in loads of coal and wood for the coming winter. I know what it is like to sleep in a house with two coal-fired stoves that would lose their fire ever night and to get up in a house without heat, in January, in the mountains. To make matters worse, I lived on the north side of the mountain which meant that the sun would not hit our house but for only a couple of hours a day. Our property would always have snow on the ground when everyone else’s had melted away. It was cold in the winter.

Allene’s observations continue cut against the mainstream: I can not and do not carry the burden of my ancestors’ bondage anymore than I carry the scars of being disenfranchised in an alien land that robbed my people of a language, a culture, a land. As a black American, I cannot return to Africa. In Africa I am also considered to be untrustworthy, a bastardized offshoot of a people long ago sold into slavery by people with skin the same color as mine. This is a mindset and it is a healthy one. I admire Allene’s desire to help those she cares about. Her observations, questions, and attitudes offer more hope than most black Christian leaders I know.

Allene concludes her observations with this summary: So, if America is not my home, am I supposed to accept that I am just a stranger in a very strange land without the hope of ever being accepted as merely human? Well, in this world today, it appears that my simple desire to merely be accepted as human is something rejected by a lot of Americans—white people, but also by black people who require me to only be black! Allene is right. We are all human beings created in the image of God to be like him. Whatever we are after that is not nearly as important.

Allene’s comments reflect a serious problem in the African American community. It is called Tribalism. Tribalism is different from belonging to or being proud to belong to a tribe. Tribalism elevates the tribe to the place of extreme importance, to the place of idolatry. When your tribe becomes the heartbeat of your identity, be it African, Chinese, Irish, German, English, whatever, it enters a very godless and dangerous place. This is the place where ideas come to eventually blossom into wars.

Calestous Juma, a professor at Harvard wrote an article in 2012 dealing with this same phenomenon: Viewpoint – How Tribalism Stunts African Democracy. Juma writes, The challenge to democracy in Africa is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of identity politics to promote narrow tribal interests. It is tribalism. Isn’t it fascinating how the rhetoric around race relations in America has risen exponentially as of late and along with it we have witnessed a corresponding rise in identity politics? One has to wonder who is exporting which ideas to whom?

Juma also notes, Leaders often exploit tribal loyalty to advance personal gain, parochial interests, patronage, and cronyism. This is just as true with those leaders outside the church as it is with those on the inside. What are Christians to think about tribalism? Tribalism is a deadly and dangerous sin that each one of us must guard against. Tribalism is based in an idolatrous pride that elevates one human over another based on things like geography, physical traits or characteristics, and cultural practices and customs. But as I ranted about recently, there exists in the human race a diversity of depravity among the cultures, the people groups, the tribes of humanity.

Just like it is the case that not all white people are racists, it is the case that not all African Americans have bought into the idolatry of tribalism. I expect idolatry to run rampant among the pagans regardless of their ethnicity. They are dead in their trespasses and sins and as such are God-haters by nature. But when this disease begins to take hold in the churches, someone has to stand up and say something. If you love the church, stand up for her, defend her, protect her purity and purge diseases like tribalism from her membership.

We are all dead in our trespasses and sins. We are all held in bondage under sin. Every one of us, regardless of our tribe, is in need of redemption. There isn’t a pure tribe on the planet, excepting one: Christianity. The Christian tribe is only pure because of the blood of Christ, the Savior. There is only one tribe that is pleasing and acceptable to God.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Source: African American Tribalism: An Enemy of Christian Unity

Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, & Fake Politics | Zero Hedge

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https://www.zerohedge.com, by Jim Kavanaugh

On the core mandate of the investigation, given to Special Counsel Mueller by Rod Rosenstein as Acting Attorney General in May of 2017—to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”—the takeaway conclusion stated in the Mueller report, as quoted in the Barr summary, is that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

In the footnote indicated at the end of that sentence, Barr further clarifies the comprehensive meaning of that conclusion, again quoting the Report’s own words: “In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign ‘coordinated’ with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined ‘coordination’ as an ‘agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference’.”

Barr restates the point of the cited conclusion from the Mueller Report a number of times: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election…the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA [Internet Research Agency, the indicted Russian clickbait operation] in its efforts.”

Thus, the Mueller investigation found no “conspiracy,” no “coordination,”—i.e., no “collusion”—“tacit or express” between the Trump campaign or any U.S. person and the Russian government. The Mueller investigation did not make, seal, or recommend any indictment for any U.S. person for any such crime.

More than 10,000 illegals in U.S. from terrorist countries | WND

Hamas terrorists (Wikimedia Commons)

More than 10,000 illegal aliens from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism are living in the United States, according to federal data.

The countries of origin include Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan, said the Immigration Reform Law Institute, or IRLI, which referenced the data in a study reported by Breitbart News.

The illegal aliens either have been ordered deported or have pending deportation orders, despite remaining in the U.S., Breitbart said.

A total of more than 1.7 million illegal aliens remain in the U.S. despite having been ordered deported or having pending deportation orders.

IRLI Executive Director Dale Wilcox spoke to Breitbart News Tonight radio program on Sirius of the “very dangerous situation.”

“We have 10,000 aliens … some of them are criminals and that’s why they’ve been ordered removed,” he said. “You could have some that might have come into the country legally at some point. However, they’ve committed crimes and they’ve been ordered removed.”

Of the 10,000 from terror-sponsoring countries, about 6,000 are from Iran, Wilcox pointed out.

He noted that California, a “sanctuary” state that shields illegal aliens from federal immigration authorities, has the largest population of Iranians outside of Iran.

“We’ve had hearings here recently in Congress where U.S. intelligence officials have stated there are Iranian sleeper cells inside the United States, ready and waiting for the order,” he said.

The first attack on the World Trade Center, the New York subway bombing conspiracy and the 9/11 were plots perpetrated by immigration violators, said Wilcox.

“We saw on 9/11 the damage that only 19 sleeper cell terrorists could cause,” Wilcox said. “This is just the latest example of the disaster of sanctuary laws, which force ICE agents to operate with one hand tied behind their backs while making our communities inherently more dangerous.”

Source: More than 10,000 illegals in U.S. from terrorist countries

April 14 The Record Book of Sin

Scripture Reading: Romans 6:15–23

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:21

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

At a strict private school, the administration used a demerit system of discipline. Whenever students broke a rule or failed to carry out instructions, they were given demerits worth a certain number of points. Punishments were handed out according to the points, which were tallied each week in a black register.

One day, the principal called a special assembly. In several swift motions, he tore the book apart and scattered the pieces on the floor. The students stared in astonishment as he explained his actions: “All of you are completely pardoned. There’s no more record of your past wrongs. You don’t deserve this forgiveness; your behavior was still wrong. I did this out of my love for you to show you a picture of what Jesus does when you accept His forgiveness.”

On the cross, Jesus tore up the record book of your sin and took the punishment for you. His blood covers your sin forever. Jesus sees you as absolutely spotless and righteous, washed of all guilt.

Is your slate clean? It can be today. Receive Christ as your Savior, and He erases all your sin. That’s what His love is all about.

Dear Lord, how I praise You that there is no record of my sin. It is cleansed by the blood of Calvary. Thank You for Your forgiveness that makes me spotless, righteous, and cleansed from all guilt.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 109). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Pirro to Comey: Enjoy Your Freedom While You’ve Got It | Breitbart News

Saturday on Fox News Channel’s “Justice,” host Jeanine Pirro contended “the chickens have come home to roost,” referring to the left and the media reaction to Attorney General William Barr’s claim before the House Appropriations Committee last week that the U.S. government spied on the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

Pirro criticized a number of those associated with the alleged effort, including former FBI Director James Comey.

“Jim, don’t act so pompous saying we don’t spy,” she said. “That the word should be the human source and act like you didn’t do what you did. And I don’t care if you call it a spy, human source, intelligent seeker, gather or a ghost — a spy is a spy. And rose by any other name is still a rose. And by the way, in the first application, that you signed, it says that not only do foreign powers engaged in spying the U.S. to obtain information but that Russia has tried to influence elections since the 1960s.”

“I’ll bet you never tried to wiretap Barack Obama’s campaign,” Pirro continued. “You couldn’t get Barr to recuse himself in your liberal friends couldn’t either. So, the liberal faculty circus will attempt to destroy him. I got the news. That’s never going to happen. The days of no accountability and no consequence are over. Jim, history will not work kindly on you. Bill Barr is everything you are not: a quiet professional, someone who understands that lady justice is blindfolded for a reason. The days of lies and coverups are over. Enjoy your freedom, Jim while you’ve got it.”

Source: Pirro to Comey: Enjoy Your Freedom While You’ve Got It

Conservative Pundit: Media Refuses To Admit Trump Campaign Was Spied On Because They Were Complicit In Hoax (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Guest post by Michael LaChance at American Lookout.

Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist has been one of the best journalists covering the Russia conspiracy since the beginning. During an appearance on the Laura Ingraham show this week, Hemingway explained why the media can’t admit that the Trump campaign was spied on.

Real Clear Politics has a partial transcript:

LAURA INGRAHAM: The media reaction to barr was what you would expect. Three outlets, particularly burned by the shifting Mueller narrative, were quick to paint the AG’s comments as purely political. CNN’s Manu Raju tweeting: “Barr’s comments here bound to please Trump.” “The Washington Post” Aaron Blake tweeting: “The use of ‘spying’ is obviously a loaded term and one Trump favors.” An MSNBC legal analyst Cynthia Oxney offered this: “I think that is crazy.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: It is interesting if you watch Attorney General Barr, he is so calm, so sober, so evenhanded. He is not saying anything extreme, just stating the facts as they are known, and contrary to what we just heard, there is no dispute about whether there was spying or not. That is a common way to describe what happened. They use multiple human informants. There were wiretaps and other electronic surveillance, there were national security letters. If it were about anything other than the Trump campaign, we would all acknowledge that is spying. That is a good word to use to sum up what was going on there.

The media can’t use that word because they were complicit in this operation in two ways. One, the perpetuated the Russia collusion hoax. They accepted these leaks. They were not critical about them at all. They claimed they had all these bombshells. On one side, they gave into the hoax. On the other hand, they never covered what was troubling about the actions by these federal agents, not just the FBI, but other agencies, to go against domestic political opponents.

That is so spot on.

Watch the video:

via Conservative Pundit: Media Refuses To Admit Trump Campaign Was Spied On Because They Were Complicit In Hoax (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, & Fake Politics | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Jim Kavanaugh via Counterpunch.org,

So the Mueller investigation is over. The official “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” has been written, and is in the hands of Attorney General William Barr, who has issued a summary of its findings. On the core mandate of the investigation, given to Special Counsel Mueller by Rod Rosenstein as Acting Attorney General in May of 2017—to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”—the takeaway conclusion stated in the Mueller report, as quoted in the Barr summary, is that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

In the footnote indicated at the end of that sentence, Barr further clarifies the comprehensive meaning of that conclusion, again quoting the Report’s own words: “In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign ‘coordinated’ with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined ‘coordination’ as an ‘agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference’.”

Barr restates the point of the cited conclusion from the Mueller Report a number of times: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election…the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA [Internet Research Agency, the indicted Russian clickbait operation] in its efforts.”

Thus, the Mueller investigation found no “conspiracy,” no “coordination,”—i.e., no “collusion”—“tacit or express” between the Trump campaign or any U.S. person and the Russian government. The Mueller investigation did not make, seal, or recommend any indictment for any U.S. person for any such crime.

This is as clear and forceful a repudiation as one can get of the “collusion” narrative that has been insistently shoved down our throats by the Democratic Party, its McResistance, its allied media, and its allied intelligence and national security agencies and officials. Whatever one wants to say about any other aspect of this investigation—campaign finance violations, obstruction of justice, etc.—they were not the main saga for the past two+ years as spun by the Russiagaters. The core narrative was that Donald Trump was some kind of Russian agent or asset, arguably guilty of treason and taking orders from his handler/blackmailer Vladimir Putin, who conspired with him to steal the 2016 election, and, furthermore, that Saint Mueller and his investigation team of patriotic FBI/CIA agents were going to find the goods that would have the Donald taken out of the White House in handcuffs for that.

Keith Olbermann’s spectacular rant in January 2017 defined the core narrative and exemplified the Trump Derangement Syndrome that powered it: an emotional, visceral hatred of Donald Trump wrapped in the fantasy—insisted upon as “elemental, existential fact”—that he was “put in power by Vladimir Putin.” A projection and deflection, I would say, of liberals’ self-hatred for creating the conditions—eight years of war and wealth transfer capped off by a despised and entitled candidate—that allowed a vapid clown like Trump to be elected. It couldn’t be our fault! It must have been Putin who arranged it!

Here’s a highlight of Keith’s delusional discourse. But, please watch the whole six-minute video below. They may have been a bit calmer, but this is the fundamental lunacy that was exuding from the rhetorical pores of Rachel, Chris, and Co. day after day for two+ years:

The military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum, who are beholden to scum, Russian scum! As things are today January 20th will not be an inauguration but rather the end of the United States as an independent country. Donald John Trump…is not a president; he is a puppet, put in power by Vladimir Putin. Those who ignore these elemental, existential facts—Democrats or Republicans—are traitors to this country. [Emphases in original. Really, watch it.]

This—Trump’s secret, treasonous collusion with Putin, and not hush money or campaign finance violations or “obstruction of justice” or his obvious overall sleaziness—was Russiagate.

Russiagate is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!

And it still is. Here’s the demonstration in New York last Thursday, convened by the MoveOn/Maddow #Resistance, singing from “the hymnal” about how Trump is a “Russian whore” who is “busy blowing Vladimir”:

This is delusional lunacy.

Here are the three lines of excuse and denial currently being fired off by diehard Russiagaters in their fighting retreat, and my responses to them.

1. The Mueller Report is irrelevant, anyhow. ‘Cause either A) Per Congressional blowhard Adam Schiff: There already “is direct evidence” proving Trump-Russia collusion, dating from before the Mueller Investigation, so who cares what that doesn’t find; or B) (My personal favorite) Per former prosecutor and CNN legal expert Renato Mariotti: Of course there is no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and it’s “your fault” for letting Trump fool you into thinking Mueller’s job was to find it. (The Mueller “collusion” investigation was a red herring orchestrated/promoted by Trump! I cannot make this up.)

Mueller’s report will almost certainly disappoint you, and it’s not his fault. It’s your fault for buying into Trump’s false narrative that it is Mueller’s’ job to prove “collusion,” a nearly impossible bar for any prosecutor to clear.

My piece in @TIMEhttps://t.co/VQ2WhhC996

This is, of course, the weakest volley. It’s absurd, patent bad faith, for Russiagaters to pretend that they knew, thought, or suggested the Mueller investigation was irrelevant. It is they who have been insisting that the integrity and super-sleuthiness of the “revered” Robert Mueller himself was the thing that would nail Donald Trump for Russian collusion. To now deny that any of that was important only acknowledges how thoroughly they have been fooling the American people and/or themselves for two years. Either Adam Schiff had the goods on Trump’s traitorous Russian collusion two years ago, in which case he’s got a lot of explaining to do about why he’s been stringing us along with Mueller, or Schiff is just bluffing. Place your bets.

2. The Mueller Report didn’t exonerate Trump entirely. It was agnostic about whether Trump was guilty of “obstruction of justice,” and there are probably many nasty things in the report that may not be provably criminal, but nonetheless demonstrate what a slimeball Trump is.

No, Russiagaters will not get away with denying that the core purpose of the Mueller investigation was to prove Trump’s traitorous relation to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, which helped him win the 2016 election. They will not get away with denying that, if the Mueller investigation failed to prove that, it failed in its main purpose, as they constantly defined and reinforced it, with table-pounding, hyperventilating, and—a few days ago!—disco-dancing to “the hymnal.”

They will not get away with trying to appropriate, as if it were their point all along, what the left critics of Russiagate have been saying for two+ years—that Donald Trump is a slimeball grifter whose culpability for politically substantive and probably legally actionable crimes and misdemeanors should not be hard to establish, without reverting to the absurd accusation that he’s a Russian agent.

These are the left critics of Russiagate and Trump, whom Russiagaters deliberately excluded from all their media platforms, in order to make it seem that only right-wing Trump supporters could be skeptical of Russiagate—the left critics Russiagaters then excoriated as ”Trump enablers” and “Putin apologists” for speaking on the only media platforms that would host them. Among them, Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté (who just deservedly won the I.F. Stone prize for his Russiagate coverage) were the most prominent, but many others, including me, made this point week after week (Brian Becker, Dave Lindorff, Dan Kovalik, Daniel Lazare, Ted Rall, to name a few). As I put it in an essay last year: “There are a thousand reasons to criticize Donald Trump…That Donald Trump is a Russian agent is not one of them. There are a number of very good justifications for seeking his impeachment…That he is a Kremlin agent is not one of them.”

So, it’s a particularly slimy for Russiagaters to slip into the position that we Russiagate skeptics have been enunciating, and they have been excluding, for two years, without acknowledging that we were right and they were wrong and accounting for their effort to edit us out.

3. But we haven’t seen the whole Mueller Report! Barr may be fooling us! Mueller’s own team says so! You are now doing what you accused us of doing for two years—abandoning proper skepticism about Republicans like Barr and even Mueller (Yup. He’s a suspicious Republican now!), and assuming a final result we have not yet seen.

This is the one the Russiagaters like the most. Gotcha with your own logic!

Well, let’s first of all thank those who are saying this for, again, recognizing that we Russiagate critics had the right attitude toward such an investigation: cautious skepticism as opposed to false certainty. And let’s linger for a moment or more on how belated that recognition is and what its delay cost.

But let’s also recognize that what’s being expressed here is the last-minute hope on the part of the Russiagaters that the Mueller report actually does contain dispositive evidence of Trump’s treasonous Russian collusion. Because, again, that is the core accusation that hopeful Russiagaters are still singing about, and nobody ever argued that evidence of other hijinks was unlikely.

Well, that hope can only be realized if one or both of the following are true: 1) Barr’s quotes from the report exonerating Trump of collusion are complete fabrications, or 2) Mueller both wrote those words even though they contradict the substance of his own report and declined to indict a single U.S. person for such “collusion” even though he could have.

Sure, in the abstract, one or both of those conditions could be true. But there is no evidence, none, that either is. The New York Times (NYT) report that set everyone aflutter about the “concern” from “some members of Mr. Mueller’s team” is anonymous, unspecified, and second-hand. Read it carefully: The NYT did not report what any member of Mueller’s team said, but what “government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations” said. Those “officials and others interviewed [not members of the Mueller team itself] declined to flesh out” to the NYT what “some of the special counsel’s investigators” were unhappy about. To that empty hearsay, the NYT appends the phrase “although the report is believed to examine Mr. Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation”—suggesting, but not stating, that obstruction of justice issues are the reasons for the investigators’ “vexation.” The NYT cannot state, because it does not know, anything. It is reporting empty hearsay that is evidence of nothing, but is meant to keep hope alive.

“[T]he report is believed to examine” is a particularly strange locution. Is the NYT suggesting that the Mueller report might not have examined obstruction of justice possibilities? Or is it just getting tangled up in its attempt to suggest this or that? Hey, it could just as well be true that Barr’s characterization of what the Mueller Report says about “obstruction of justice” is a misleading fabrication. Maybe Mueller actually exonerated Trump of that. If you mistrust Barr’s version of what the Mueller Report says about collusion, why not equally mistrust what it says about obstruction of justice?

There is no evidence that Barr’s summary is radically misleading about the core collusion conclusion of the Mueller Report. The walls are closing in, alright, on that story. The I’m just being as cautious now as you were before! line is the opposite of the reasonable skepticism is claims to be; it’s Russiagaters clinging to a wish and a belief that something they want to be true is, despite the determinate lack of any evidence.

It’s not just the words; it’s the melody, and the desperation in the voices. The core Trump-blowing-Vladimir collusion song that #Resisters are still singing is a fantastical fiction and the people still singing it are the pathetic choir on the Russiagate Titanic. And while they’re singing as they sink, Trump is escaping in the lifeboat they have provided him. The single most definite and undeniable effect of the Mueller investigation on American politics has been to hand Donald Trump a potent political weapon for his 2020 re-election campaign. A real bombshell.

It would be funny, if it weren’t so funny:

But it’s worse than that. The falsity of the Trump-as-a-Russian-agent narrative does not depend on any confidence in Mueller and his report or Barr and his summary. The truth is there was no Russiagate investigation, in the sense of a serious attempt to find out whether Donald Trump was taking orders from, or “coordinating” with, Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

No person in their right mind could believe that. Robert Mueller doesn’t believe it. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t believe it. Adam Schiff doesn’t believe it. John Brennan, James Clapper, and the heads of intelligence agencies do not believe it. Not for a second. No knowledgeable international affairs journalist or academic who thinks about it for two minutes believes it. Sure, some politicians and media pundits did work themselves up into a state where they internalized and projected a belief in the narrative, but few of them really believed it. They were serving the Kool-Aid. Only the most gullible sectors of their target audience drank it.

With some exceptions, to be sure (Donald Trump among them), the people in the highest echelons of the state-media-academic apparatus are just not that stupid. And, most obvious and important, Vladimir Putin is not that stupid, and they know he is not. Vladimir Putin would never rely on Donald Trump to be his operative in a complex operation that required shrewdly playing and evading the US intelligence and media apparatuses. Nobody is that stupid. Thinking about it that way for a second dissipates the entire ridiculous idea. (Not to mention that Trump ended up enacting a number of policies—many more than Obama!—contrary to Russian interests.)

The obvious, which many people in the independent media and none in the mainstream media (because it is so obvious, and would have blown their game) have pointed out, is that any real investigation of Russiagate would have sought to talk with the principals who had direct knowledge of who is responsible for leaking the infamous DNC documents: Julian Assange and former British ambassador Craig Murray (“I know who leaked them. I’ve met the person who leaked them.”). They were essentially two undisputed eyewitnesses to the crime Mueller was supposed to be investigating, and he made no effort to talk to either of them. Ipso facto, it was not really an investigation, not a project whole purpose was to find the truth about whatever the thing called “Russiagate” is supposed to be.

The Eternal Witch-hunt

It was a theater of discipline. Its purpose, which it achieved, was to discipline Trump, the Democratic electorate, and the media. Its method was fishing around in the muck of Washington consultants, lobbyists, and influence peddlers to generate indictments and plea bargains for crimes irrelevant to the core mandate. Not hard, in a carceral state where prosecutors can pin three felonies a day on anyone.

The US establishment, especially its national security arm, was genuinely shocked that their anointed candidate, Hillary, who was, as Glen Ford puts it “’all in’ with the global military offensive” that Obama had run through Libya, Syria, and the coup in Ukraine, was defeated by a nitwit candidate who was making impermissibly non-aggressive noises about things like Russia and NATO, and who actually wanted to lose. For their part, the Democrats were horrified, and did not want to face the necessary reckoning about the complete failure of their candidate, and the best-of-all-possible-liberaloid-worlds strategy she personified.

So, “within 24 hours of her concession speech” Hillary’s campaign team (Robby Mook and John Podesta) created a “script they would pitch to the press and the public” to explain why she lost. “Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.” A few months later, a coalition of congressional Democrats,, establishment Republicans, and intelligence/natsec professionals pressured Trump (who, we can now see clearly, is putty in the hands of the latter) to initiate a Special Counsel investigation. Its ostensible goal was to investigate Russian collusion, but its real goals were:

1) To discipline Trump, preventing any backpedaling on NATO/imperialist war-mongering against Russia or any other target. Frankly, I think this was unnecessary. Trump never had any depth of principle in his remarks about de-escalating with Russia and Syria. He was always a staunch American exceptionalist and Zionist. Nobody has forced him (that’s a right-wing fantasy) to attack Syria, appoint John Bolton, recognize Israeli authority over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, or threaten Iran and Venezuela. But the natsec deep state actors did (and do) not trust Trump’s impulsiveness. They probably also thought it would be useful to “send a message” to Russia, which, in their arrogance, they think they can, but they cannot, “discipline,” as I’ve discussed in a previous essay.

2) To discipline the media, making “Russian collusion,” as Off-Guardian journalist Kit Knightly says, “a concept that keeps everyone in check.” Thus, a Russophobia-related McCarthyite hysteria was engendered that defined any strong anti-interventionist or anti-establishment sentiment as Russian-sown “divisiveness” and “Putin apologetics.” This discipline was eagerly accepted by the mainstream media, which joined in the related drive to demand new forms of censorship for independent and internet media. The epitome of this is the mainstream media’s execrable, tacit and sometimes explicit acceptance of the US government’s campaign to prosecute Julian Assange.

3) To discipline and corral the Democratic constituency. Establishment Dems riled up outraged progressives with deceptive implied promises to take Trump down based on the collusion fiction, which excused Hillary and diverted their attention from the real egregious failures and crimes that led their party to political ruin, and culminated in the election of Trump in the first place. This discipline also instituted a #Resistance to Trump that involved the party doing nothing substantively progressive in policy—indeed, it allowed embracing Trump’s most egregious militarism and promoting an alliance with, a positive reverence for, the most deceptive and reactionary institutions of the state.

Finally, incorporating point 2, perhaps the main point of this discipline—indeed of the whole Mueller enterprise—was to stigmatize the leftists and socialists in and around the party, who were questioning the collusion fiction and calling critical attention to the party’s failures, as crypto-fascist “Trump enablers” or “Putin’s useful idiots.” It’s all about fencing out the left and corralling the base.

Note the point regarding the deceptive implications about taking down Trump. Though they gave the opposite impression to rile up their constituents, Democratic Congressional leaders, for the reasons given above and others I laid out in a previous essay, did not think for a second they were going to impeach Trump. They were never really after impeaching Trump; they were and are after stringing along their dissatisfied progressive-minded voters. They, not Trump, were and are the target of the foolery.

We should recognize that Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation achieved all of these goals, and was therefore a great success. That’s the case whatever part of the Mueller Report is summarized and released, and whoever interprets it. The whole report with all of the underlying evidence cannot legally be released to the public, and the Democrats know that. So, even if the House gets it, the public will only ever see portions doled out by various interested parties.

Thus, it will continue to be a great success. There will be endless leaks, and interpretations of leaks, and arguments about the interpretations of leaks based on speculation about what’s still hidden. The Mueller Investigation has morphed into the Mueller Report, a hermeneutical exercise that will go on forever.
The Mueller Investigation never happened and will never end.

It wasn’t an investigation. It was/is an act of political theater, staged in an ongoing dramatic festival where, increasingly, litigation substitutes for politics. Neither party has anything of real, lasting, positive political substance to offer, and each finds itself in power only because it conned the electorate into thinking it offered something new. That results in every politician being vulnerable, but to a politically vacuous opposition that can only mount its attacks on largely politically irrelevant, often impossible to adjudicate, legalistic or moralistic grounds. Prosecutorial inquiry becomes a substitute for substantive political challenge.

It’s the template that was established by the Republicans against Bill Clinton, has been adapted by the Democrats for Trump and Russiagate, and will be ceaselessly repeated. What’s coming next, already hinted at in William Barr’s congressional testimony, will be an investigation of FISAGate—an inquiry into whether the FISA warrants for spying on the Trump campaign and administration were obtained legally (“adequately predicated”). And/or UkraineGate, about the evidence “Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have…of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes,” involving Tony Podesta (who worked right alongside Paul Manafort in Ukraine), Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Joe Biden and his son, et. al. And/or CampaignGate, the lawsuit claiming that Hillary’s national campaign illegally took $84 million of “straw man” contributions made to state Democratic campaigns. And/or CraigGate, involving powerful Democratic fixer and Obama White House Counsel, Gregory Craig, who has already been referred to federal prosecutors by Mueller, and whose law firm has already paid a $4.6 million-dollar fine for making false statement and failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act—for work he did in Ukraine with—who else?—Paul Manafort.

There are Gates galore. If you haven’t heard about any of these simmering scandals in the way you’ve heard incessantly about, you know, Paul Manafort, perhaps that’s because they didn’t fit into the “get Trump” theme of the Mueller Investigation/Russiagate political theater. Rest assured the Republicans have, and will likely make sure that you do. If you think the Republicans do not have at least as much of a chance to make a serious case with some of these as Mueller did with Trump, you are wrong. If you think the Republicans will pursue any of these investigations because they have the same principled concern as the Democrats about foreign collusion in US elections, or the legality of campaign contributions or surveillance warrants, you are right. They have none. Like the Democrats, they have zero concern for the ostensible issues of principle, and infinite enthusiasm for mounting “gotcha” political theater.

Neither party really wants, or knows how, to engage in a sustained, principled debate on substantive political issues—things like universal-coverage, single-payer health insurance, a job guarantee, a radical reduction of the military budget, an end to imperialist intervention, increasing taxes on the wealthy and lowering them for working people, a break from the “overwhelming” and destructive influence of Zionism, to name a few of the policies the Democratic congressional leadership could have insisted on “investigating” over the last two years..

Instead, both parties’ political campaigns rely on otherizing appeals based on superficial identity politics (white-affirmative on the one hand, POC-affirmative on the other) and, mainly, on bashing the other party for all the problems it ignored or exacerbated, and all the terrible policies it enacted, when it was in power—and for the version of superficial, otherizing identity politics it supposedly based those policies on (the real determinants of class power remaining invisible). What both parties know how and will continue to do is mount hypocritical legalistic and moralistic “investigations” of illegal campaign contributions, support from foreign governments, teenage make-out sessions, personal-space violations, et. al., that they are just “shocked, shocked” about.

It’s Investigation Nation. Fake politics in the simulacrum of a democratic polity. Indeed, someone, of some political perspicuity, might just notice, if only for a flash, that the people who do pretty well politically are often the ones who frankly don’t give a crap about all that. Maybe because they’re talking to people who don’t give a crap about all that. But we wouldn’t want to confuse ourselves thinking on that for too long.

Which brings us to the last point about Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation mentioned above. It may not (or may!) have been an intended goal, but it has been its most definite political effect: The Mueller Investigation has been a great political gift to Donald Trump. #Resisters and Russiagaters can wriggle around that all they want. They can insist that, once we get the whole Report, we’ll turn the corner, the bombshell will explode, the walls will close in—for real, this time. Sure.

But even they can’t deny that’s the case right now. Trump is saying the Mueller investigation was a political counterattack against the result of the election, masquerading as a disinterested judicial investigation; that it was based on a flimsy fiction and designed to dig around in every corner of his closets to find nasty and incriminating things that were entirely irrelevant to the ostensible mandate of the investigation and to any substantive, upfront political critique—a “witchhunt,” a “fishing expedition.” And he is right. And too many people in the country know he’s right. At this point, even most Russiagaters themselves know it—though they don’t care, and will never admit it.

So now Trump, who could have been attacked for two years politically on substance for betraying most of the promises that got him elected—more aggressive war, more tax cuts for the wealthy, threatening Medicare and Social Security—has instead been handed, by the Democrats, the strongest arrow he now has in his political quiver. As Matt Taibbi says: “Trump couldn’t have asked for a juicier campaign issue, and an easier way to argue that ‘elites’ don’t respect the democratic choices of flyover voters. It’s hard to imagine what could look worse.”

You might think the Democratic Party would be horrified at this result, which one conservative analyst calls: “one of the greatest self-defeating acts in history.” You might think Democrats would now move quickly and decisively toward a strategy of offering a substantive political alternative, and abandon this awful own-goal Mueller/Russiagate tack that has already helped Trump immensely (and which they are not going to turn their way). That is obviously what would happen if the Democrats’ main goal was to defeat Trump. But it isn’t.

As discussed above, the Democratic establishment’s’ main goal throughout this was not to “get” Trump, but to channel its own voters’ disgust with him into support for some halcyon, liberal, status quo ante-Trump, and away from left demands for a radical change to the social, economic, and political conditions that produced him and his clueless establishment opponent in 2016. The Democrats’ goal was, and is, not to defeat Trump, but to stave off the left.

What they are doing with the Mueller Investigation/Russiagate is what they did in the primaries in 2016: Then, they deliberately promoted Trump as an opponent, while working assiduously to cheat their own leftist candidate; now, they gin up a fictional spy story whose inevitable collapse helps Trump, but on which they will double down, in order to continue branding “divisive” leftists who challenge any return to their version of status-quo normalcy as the Kremlin’s “useful idiots.”

The Democrats’ main goal in all this is not to impeach, or stop the re-election of, Donald Trump; it’s to prevent the nomination and election of Bernie Sanders, or anyone like him.

Russiagate Forever

Here’s Tim Ryan’s presidential campaign kickoff speech in Youngstown, Ohio, a poster city of late American capitalist deindustrialization, explaining to the voters what is causing the destruction of their lives and towns. After complaining that “We have politicians and leaders today that want to divide us. They want to put us in one box or the other. You know, you can’t be for business and for labor,” he elaborates:

Yup, it’s those Russians, you see, sowing division through certain “politicians and leaders,” who are preventing us from fixing our healthcare, education, economic and government systems. This—doubling down on Russiagate—is the centrist Democrats’ idea of a winning political appeal. I consider it utterly delusional.

I heard last week from a friend in Western Pennsylvania, not too far from Youngstown. She’s a good person who is trying to organize Democrats in the area to beat Trump in 2020, and, pleading for advice, she expressed her exasperation: “They’re leaving the party!”

You mean the five million people who voted for Obama in 2012, in the 90% of counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012, but would not vote for Hillary in 2019, aren’t streaming back into – are indeed still streaming out of – the Democratic Party, despite all the Mueller investigation has done for them? Imagine that.

What has Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation wrought? It’s either a shrewd political gambit sure to take down Trump, or it’s ridiculous political theater leading Democrats, and the country, over another cliff. Double-down or leave that table?

Place your bets.

Source: Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, & Fake Politics

Can You Really Trust the Bible? A Thought-Provoking Response to Atheists | CBNNews.com

Can human beings truly trust the Bible? Is it reliable? One of the most frequent criticisms made by atheists and skeptics against the Old and New Testaments is that the texts are dated, antiquated and contradictory — and that they are a collection of books written by mere men.

But Mark Spence, vice president of outreach at California-based Christian ministry Living Waters, believes it’s entirely possible to put these critiques to rest, and that Christians shouldn’t be afraid to engage with those who question the merits of their faith.

READ ALSO: Want to Know How to Answer Atheists? Check This Out

“Christianity’s intelligent. We have all the answers on our side,” he recently told PureFlix.com’s “Pure Talk.” “We don’t need to run away.”

Spence believes “we can trust the Bible,” and he pointed to its interconnected history and reliable contents to bolster his point.

“This is not one book. This is 66 books written over a period of 1,500 years, by 40 different authors, three different continents with one central main theme: How does man avoid hell and come into relationship with his maker?” he said.

Watch Spence break down the Bible’s reliability below:

Spence is slated to equip Christians to learn more about the Bible when he speaks at the PureFlix.com sponsored Answering Atheist conference (April 17-21) this Easter at the Ark Encounter attraction in Williamstown, Kentucky. It’s a conference that promises “four days of solid biblical teaching to equip you to stand confidently on God’s word.”

“We are going to come together and give people … some very practical ammunition to really think through their worldview — defend their worldview and be on the offense,” Spence said.

He noted that a young man once approached him and questioned why someone would trust in the Bible, especially since it’s a book written by men.

READ ALSO: Inside the Incredible Story Behind Lifesize Replica of Noah’s Ark

“I said, ‘Well, you’re a man. Are you saying I can’t trust anything you say?’” Spence recounted, noting that the young man then said it’s more about being skeptical of things that have been put into writing.

From there, Spence asked how the man proves his age to others, and the teen said he has a license and birth certificate. That’s when the apologist noted that these items — much like the biblical text — were encoded in writing. His point? These arguments don’t pass muster.

He also addressed another barrier some find to God: The existence of pain. Spence said it’s important to try and understand the motivation behind a question like, “Why does God allow pain?”

“When someone asks me a question I usually respond with, ‘Why do you ask?,’” he said, noting that this helps him understand what’s really sparking the question. He gave the example of a woman who once came up to him and asked why there is so much suffering in the world.

When Spence asked why she was asking the question, he learned that she had been diagnosed with cancer and both of her parents had died. In that moment, he realized the importance of being there for her rather than “philosophizing.” Without asking, he wouldn’t have known.

READ ALSO: Apologist Breaks Down Why ‘Atheism is So Attractive’ to Some

“Sometimes people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” he said. “I want to give people answers, but I always want to give people hope — and that hope is found in Jesus Christ alone.”

Want to see Spence share his views on faith and atheism in person? You’re invited to attend the Answering Atheists conference this April. You can learn more here.

This article was originally published on Pure Flix Insider. Visit Pure Flix for access to thousands of faith and family-friendly movies and TV shows. You can get a free, one-month trial here.

Source: Can You Really Trust the Bible? A Thought-Provoking Response to Atheists

‘Vulnerable to catastrophe’: One market bear explains why stocks will crash 30% by the end of 2019 — and then completely flatline for the next 12 years | Business Insider

  • Stocks are almost back at a new record high, and investors may think they dodged a bullet following the late-December market meltdown.
  • John Hussman — the outspoken investor and former professor who’s been predicting a stock collapse — says overconfident traders are being lulled into a false sense of confidence.
  • He explains why he sees the benchmark S&P 500 tumbling 30% by the end of 2019 before trading completely sideways for the next decade or so.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

With the S&P 500 back within 1% of an all-time high, you may be thinking stocks are headed for another lengthy period of strong gains.

After all, the ongoing 10-year equity expansion stared a bear market in the face on Dec. 24 and rebounded with aplomb. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Wrong, says John Hussman, the former economics professor who is now president of the Hussman Investment Trust.

For months, even years, he’s been telling anyone that will listen that stocks are just as overvalued now as they were ahead of the 1929 and 2000 market crashes. And he views the post-December rebound as the latest in a long series of bullish head fakes built on irrationally exuberant sentiment.

Hussman says it’s that overconfidence that will ultimately be the market’s demise. In his mind, the recovery since the Dec. 24 bottom is exactly the type of development that makes investors put their blinders up.

“Full-cycle risks have a way of emerging in ways that investors wholly rule out at market peaks,” he wrote in a recent blog post. “Glorious half-cycle market advances leave investors vulnerable to catastrophe, because investors hold contempt for anyone who suggests there may be a cliff on the other side of the mountain.”

Read more: JPMorgan quant guru Marko Kolanovic shared with us the often-overlooked force dictating market returns — and revealed what it’s saying about the future

What kind of catastrophe is Hussman expecting? His expectation for a two-thirds loss in total market value is well-documented at this point. But he has an updated forecast that calls for stocks to drop 30% by the end of 2019.

To make matters more ominous, Hussman says the market’s ability to reach a new record high is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. And that’s just the first half of his bearish call.

The S&P 500 will lose “an additional 50% of its remaining value over the rest of the down-cycle,” Hussman said. “That, after all, is how a market loses 65% of its paper value.”

He continued: “That’s not so much a forecast as a based case. A 65% loss, unfortunately, would presently represent a run-of-the-mill cycle completion from current valuation extremes.”

But what about the following decade? That’s where Hussman’s forecast gets even more dire. He says that the S&P 500 will see total returns averaging roughly zero over the next 12 years.

The scatter plot below offers a look at how Hussman is thinking about the matter. It shows the relationship between the ratio of market cap to corporate gross-value added, relative to subsequent 12-year returns. As you can see, that ratio is currently close to the lowest on record.

When faced with all of that evidence, a more bullishly inclined investor might argue that valuations can normalize on the fly as fundamental growth catches up to prices.

Hussman isn’t buying it.

“The main reason it’s unlikely is that it would require the absence of even a single period of severe risk-aversion among investors, for at least a decade or more,” he said. “Another reason is that the question vastly underestimates the length of time that would be required for fundamentals to ‘catch up’ with current valuations.

Read more: Credit Suisse studied 20 years of Warren Buffett’s acquisitions to replicate his approach — and it’s identified 12 stocks you should buy right now

So there you have it. Hussman is staunchly refusing to give up his bearish stance. He does, however, acknowledge that investor speculation can be an uncontrollable runaway train of sorts — something that can defy market signals for uncomfortably long, frustrating bulls like himself. That’s why he’s taking his foot off the brake somewhat.

“All of this effort to jam the speculative bit back into the horse’s teeth requires us to adopt a rather neutral outlook here, until we observe fresh deterioration in market internals,” Hussman said.

He continued: “Given the late-stage condition of the financial markets and the economy, my sense is that, as in 1929, they may just run this poor horse straight up and over the cliff.”

Hussman’s track record

For the uninitiated, Hussman has repeatedly made headlines by predicting a stock-market decline exceeding 60% and forecasting a full decade of negative equity returns. And as the stock market has continued to grind mostly higher, he’s persisted with his calls, undeterred.

But before you dismiss Hussman as a wonky permabear, consider his track record, which he breaks down in his latest blog post. Here are the arguments he lays out:

  • Predicted in March 2000 that tech stocks would plunge 83%, then the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index lost an “improbably precise” 83% during a period from 2000 to 2002
  • Predicted in 2000 that the S&P 500 would likely see negative total returns over the following decade, which it did
  • Predicted in April 2007 that the S&P 500 could lose 40%, then it lost 55% in the subsequent collapse from 2007 to 2009

In the end, the more evidence Hussman unearths around the stock market’s unsustainable conditions, the more worried investors should get. Sure, there may still be returns to be realized in this market cycle, but at what point does the mounting risk of a crash become too unbearable?

That’s a question investors will have to answer themselves. And one that Hussman will clearly keep exploring in the interim.

Source: ‘Vulnerable to catastrophe’: One market bear explains why stocks will crash 30% by the end of 2019 — and then completely flatline for the next 12 years

China, Russia “Spread Disorder” And “Corruption” In Latin America: Pompeo | ZeroHedge News

Speaking Friday in Chile upon the start of his three-day South American tour, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out China and Russia for spreading “disorder” in Latin America through failing investment projects that only fuel corruption and undermine democracy, especially in places like Venezuela.

According to Bloomberg, Pompeo specifically listed a failing dam project in Ecuador, police advisory programs in Nicaragua, and Chinese loans to the Maduro government, which goes further back to Chavez.

Pompeo with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, via Reuters

Pompeo asserted Chinese loans in Latin America “often injects corrosive capital into the economic bloodstream, giving life to corruption, and eroding good governance.” Both Beijing and Moscow have ultimately spread their economic tentacles into the region to “spread disorder,” he added.

In what appears an effort to sustain momentum toward pressuring regime change in Caracas, America’s highest diplomat met Chilean President Sebastian Pinera earlier Friday, and will hit Paraguay, Peru next, and finally on Sunday will travel to a Colombian town on the border with Venezuela.

Pompeo and Piñera also generally discussed the U.S.-China trade war and Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative, with Pompeo suggesting he was optimistic about solving the tariff war with China. But the focus remained finding a US-desired outcome to the Venezuela crisis.

According to Bloomberg:

As part of the broader pressure campaign on Maduro, Pompeo said the U.S. has revoked visas for 718 people and sanctioned over 150 individuals and entities. On Friday, the U.S. sanctioned four companies it says transport much of the 50,000 barrels of oil that Venezuela provides to Cuba each day.

Late last month Pompeo had even more directly addressed Moscow, calling on Russia to “cease its unconstructive behavior” after it deployed a small troop contingency to Caracas to service existing military equipment contracts. Notably, Venezuela also has Russia’s S-300 air defense missile system, which over the past month have been reported deployed to a key airbase south of the capital of Caracas.

And in February Pompeo claimed in an interview with Fox News that “Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela” — an assertion that has seemed to disappear from the spotlight of late.

China, for its part, has proactively offered to help Venezuela with its failing power grid, after a series of devastating mass outages over the past month has resulted in “medieval” conditions amidst an already collapsing infrastructure. Beijing also recently denied it has deployed troops to Venezuela after media reports a week ago cited online photos which appeared to show a Chinese military transport plane deployed to Caracas.

Source: China, Russia “Spread Disorder” And “Corruption” In Latin America: Pompeo

Russophobia, A WMD (Weapon Of Mass Deception) | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Jean Ranc via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Russophobia, as psycho-social-political pathology, is diagnosed as a disorder in The West since before the 1000-year-old Roman-Orthodox religious schism and most recently manifested with a vengeance in the course of the 2013-14 with Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance by the US and its covert activities leading to the Ukraine coup with Russophobia used thereafter as a weapon of mass deception to inflame this latent pathology in the public.

After more than a year since we first heard the BBC “breaking news” about the “Russians Poisoning the Skipals”, all we have are allegations, but there is still no real evidence to present before a judge and jury for a just trial, only media propaganda which has provoked even more fear and hysteria meant to distract people from the government’s bungling and high level of anxiety over Brexit by once again blaming Russia. Never-the-less, it prompted politicians to administer instant sanctions against Russia as punishment. That first day, the “evidence”, presented in the usual clipped, “authoritative” British accents, included interviews with a conservative British MP, then the former US Ambassador to Russia, Alexander Vershbow (2001-05), now with the notoriously hawkish US-based think tank, the Atlantic Council. Thus, the three of them: the BBC “journalist” and the two “experts”, colluded to transform false allegations into “facts”… fueled, as always, by their perpetual prejudice, RUSSOPHOBIA, in the course of their propaganda war to force Russia to surrender to American-led Western Domination or else: have their economy destroyed & their people suffer. Indeed, it is a threat to the whole world played to the discord of rattling nuclear swords with a chorus of vindictive Russian oligarchs, whom Putin expelled for robbing the Russian people. So, now living in London as expats, they would seem to be the more likely culprits. All the while elsewhere in London, thanks to our “special US-UK relationship”, Julian Assange has been excommunicated and imprisoned in a tiny “cell” at the Ecuador embassy for revealing embarrassing American secrets via Wikileaks.

There we have it: the poisoning of our minds by the media and politicians which are owned and controlled by the US-UK-EU 1%, who benefit from Western Hegemony. So, these deluded few are now desperately defending it from the rising powers led by Russia and China with India not far behind demanding a multi-polar, democratic world order.

My search for the roots of this particularly vicious and extremely dangerous hate campaign began in a Dartmouth College Russian Foreign Policy course, which led me to the book, “Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy” by San Francisco State University Professor Andrei P. Tsygankov (2009). And there, the detoxification of my mind began as I studied his deft, well-documented deconstruction of the political propaganda disseminated “by various think tanks, congressional testimonials, activities of NGOs and the media” (preface p. XIII)

Read more: Russophobia, A WMD (Weapon Of Mass Deception)

April 14 All Is Provided

Scripture reading: John 7:37–39

Key verse: John 4:10

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

A scene from a children’s musical depicts a group of angels discussing the believers on earth. One angel turns and asks the others, “Don’t they know how much the Father loves them? Do they realize how much He cares?”

God promises to provide for our needs. But we must trust Him and seek His wisdom. Obedience is a condition of the heart. It proves that we know God cares about us and that we care about Him. Every need of Adam was attended to, but he disobeyed God by falling to a temptation he was warned to avoid.

Many times Satan tempts us into thinking that we have needs when in reality God has provided all. All that the Israelites could ever dream of obtaining was theirs, yet they abandoned their faith in God, thus setting the stage for disobedience to rule their hearts.

Throughout history, a discomforting glitch has remained in the heart of mankind. We have continued to seek the pleasures of other gods while pushing away what God offers so freely—His love and devotion.

The guarantee of love and provision He offers us is the same one He gave to Abraham, Isaac, David, Mary, and the disciples: “Come to Me … Drink.”

Trace His provision through the Bible. Start with Genesis, and follow it through to Revelation. All you need He provides!

Father, all I need, You have already provided. Thank You for Your love for me and Your concern for my desires.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 109). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Paying the price for peace (Documentary Video)

Paying the price for peace

Vietnam veteran S. Brian Willson paid the price for peace by nearly being killed by a military train during a non-violent protest. Since then, he has not stopped calling attention to the US government’s defiance of international law through waging endless illegal wars.

Paying the Price for Peace exposes the truth about the United States’ addiction to war, and the lies it perpetuates in order to wage ongoing violence, through the life and times of Air Force veteran S. Brian Willson and other veterans.

Other peace activists in the film include: Alice Walker, Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Ron Kovic, Bruce Gagnon, Cindy Sheehan, Martin Sheen, Blase Bonpane, Phil Donahue, David Hartsough, and others.

To learn more about Brian and his work, please visit Brian’s website at http://www.brianwillson.com/. Brian has also published the book, “Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson.”

Due to copyright restrictions, this video can only be viewed on RT’s live feed. Time of broadcast is available on RT’s schedule page.

HE KNOWS SOMETHING: Attorney General William Barr Is About To Drop The Hammer On The Deep State And Make Them Regret The Attempt To Remove Trump In Coup — These Christian Times

William Barr is about to go nuclear. He is about to drop a bombshell on the Deep State that will leave them reeling for years. The attack on the President to remove him by coup my come back to haunt them. Former Special Counsel Ken Starr believes The Attorney General is about to drop the hammer on the deep state

Ken Starr: Here is my take, Bill Barr knows something Laura. He knows something. He says, I have a concern and I believe I have a basis for that concern. Anyone who knows Bill Barr knows he doesn’t just say things. He thinks about them. He’s careful with what he says. And I think if Bill Barr says I think there is a basis for my concern, he doesn’t say what it is, that is a “stay tuned America.”

via HE KNOWS SOMETHING: Attorney General William Barr Is About To Drop The Hammer On The Deep State And Make Them Regret The Attempt To Remove Trump In Coup — These Christian Times

SANCTUARY CITY SHOWDOWN: President Trump Threatens To Flood Sanctuary Cities With Illegal Aliens — These Christian Times

President Donald Trump said on Friday he was considering sending illegal immigrants in the country to so-called sanctuary cities, prompting U.S. mayors to accept such an offer as the battle over border security raged.Frustrated by rising numbers of undocumented immigrants arriving at the southern border and a failure to get Congress to fully fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall, Trump taunted Democrats by dangling the possibility of an influx of illegal immigrants into their communities.

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

President Trump is about to make the Democrats eat their own words.

via SANCTUARY CITY SHOWDOWN: President Trump Threatens To Flood Sanctuary Cities With Illegal Aliens — These Christian Times