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Antifa Is Playing Right Into The Hands Of A Burgeoning Police State

September 2, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Many people involved in politics swear by the notion that “the ends justify the means,” which is typically the sign of a self-serving actor attempting to justify questionable if not downright evil action in order to get what he or she wants. While pursuit of “the greater good” is often put up for public consumption, the driving force behind this sort of action is almost always personal gain of some sort. This is what most politicians do for a living, which is why they are justifiably hated by the general public.

 

The moment you justify one very wrong action to achieve a noble goal, what’s to stop you from next even more unethical action, or the next and the next? Nothing. This is what’s so dangerous about going down such a path. Indeed, those who fight monsters often end up becoming the exact thing they claim to be fighting. The world doesn’t benefit from this, only the person who has gained power as a result does, at least superficially. Ultimately, even that person doesn’t benefit when all is said and done. A person who attains their goal by sacrificing principles is a tormented, miserable person. They may seem to “have it all” from the outside, but deep down they hate themselves and what they’ve become. There is no peace. I believe karma eventually catches up to everybody one way or the other.

 

– From May’s post: Do Ends Justify the Means?

One of the primary motivating factors that drove me to start writing publicly on a daily basis, was a recognition that the chaos and cultural lack of cohesion resulting from the thievery of the financial crisis and the increasingly corrupt, socioeconomic paradigm we live under would provide the pretext for “the state,” whether governed by a Democrat or Republican, to further dismantle civil liberties and usher in a country increasingly defined by less freedom. This was a motivating concern under Obama and it remains a motivating concern under Trump.

As I’ve warned repeatedly over the years, at some point the “war on terror” would be brought home to the good ol’ USA, with all enemies suddenly being labeled domestic terrorists. This is happening right now, thanks in large part to all the media hysteria about antifa and neo-Nazis.

Personally, I try to keep things simple and think it’d be wise if others did did the same for the sake of our future. I believe offensive violence is almost never justified, while self-defense almost always is. The purported objective of any group is irrelevant. The worst tyrants in the world always claim to be working for “the people” as they lock people up in gulags or concentration camps to torture and kill them. Ends don’t justify the means. The means are everything.

The reason I’m writing this post is to demonstrate that antifa is playing right into the hands of those who wish to further the objectives of a burgeoning police state. They provide fuel for unconscious people on the other side of the political spectrum who see their thuggishness and then squeal to the government to “do something about it.” If I didn’t know better, I’d assume antifa were probably a bunch of deep state operatives trying to convince the groveling public to cry out for a strong hand government solution. Since I have no evidence to back this up, I’ll just go ahead and call them useful idiots.

Importantly, it’s not just those dressing up like ninjas punching people for wearing polo shirts who are the only useful idiots. Those on the “right” begging the government to call them terrorists are just as foolish. As I tweeted yesterday:

Don’t use words the government wants you to use.
The government wants us to start calling each other terrorists.
Don’t do it.

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) August 31, 2017

For more on that angle, see my recent article titled: Stop Asking the Federal Government to Label Groups You Dislike ‘Terrorists.’

Unfortunately, it seems this train has already left the station. The results for those of us who love freedom might not be pretty.

As Politico reported earlier today:

Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.

 

Since well before the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly, DHS has been issuing warnings about the growing likelihood of lethal violence between the left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacist and nationalist groups.

 

Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.

 

Those reports appear to bolster Trump’s insistence that extremists on the left bore some blame for the clashes in Charlottesville and represent a “problem” nationally. But they also reflect the extent that his own political movement has spurred the violent backlash.

 

“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” said one senior law enforcement official tracking domestic extremists in a state that has become a front line in clashes between the groups. “These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”

 

Almost immediately, the right-wing targets of the antifa attacks began fighting back, bringing more and larger weapons and launching unprovoked attacks of their own, the documents and interviews show. And the extremists on both sides have been using the confrontations, especially since Charlottesville, to recruit unprecedented numbers of new members, raise money and threaten more confrontations, they say.

The way to stop this is actually pretty simple. Don’t get sucked in. Don’t pick “a side,” and don’t pressure others to do so. It’s just gang warfare and it won’t lead to anything good.

Moreover, we must denounce offensive violence as a political tactic and marginalize those who advocate it. 90% of people don’t want anything to do with street violence irrespective of how much you despise the system, and believe me, I despise it. Don’t give into the negative energy. Negative energy creates negative outcomes.

Now back to Politico.

Even before Charlottesville, dozens and, in some cases, hundreds of people on both sides showed up at events in Texas, California, Oregon and elsewhere, carrying weapons and looking for a fight. In the Texas capital of Austin, armed antifa protesters attacked Trump supporters and white groups at several recent rallies, and then swarmed police in a successful effort to stop them from making arrests.

 

Rallies are scheduled over the next few months across the country, including in Texas, Oregon, Missouri and Florida. Authorities are particularly concerned about those in states where virtually anyone, including activists under investigation for instigating violence, can brandish assault rifles in public.

 

“Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” said former New York City police officer Brian Levin, who has been monitoring domestic militants for 31 years, now at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. “It’s an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation.”

 

Some of the DHS and FBI intelligence reports began flagging the antifa protesters before the election. In one from last September, portions of which were read to POLITICO, DHS studied “recent violent clashes … at lawfully organized white supremacist” events including a June 2016 rally at the California Capitol in Sacramento organized by the Traditionalist Workers Party and its affiliate, the Golden State Skinheads.

 

According to police, counter-protesters linked to antifa and affiliated groups like By Any Means Necessary attacked, causing a riot after which at least 10 people were hospitalized, some with stab wounds.

“By any means necessary” is basically the dictator’s blueprint. Anyone who espouses such ideology is an unconscious threat to society.

At the Sacramento rally, antifa protesters came looking for violence, and “engaged in several activities indicating proficiency in pre-operational planning, to include organizing carpools to travel from different locations, raising bail money in preparation for arrests, counter-surveilling law enforcement using three-man scout teams, using handheld radios for communication, and coordinating the event via social media,” the DHS report said.

 

Several state law enforcement officials said that all of those accelerating factors have come to pass. And recent FBI and DHS reports confirm they are actively monitoring “conduct deemed potentially suspicious and indicative of terrorist activity” by antifa groups.

 

The two agencies also said in their April 2016 assessment that many of the activities the groups engaged in “are not within the purview of FBI and DHS collection” due to civil liberties and privacy protections, including participating in training camps, holding meetings and communicating online.

Read the above paragraph over and over until you get it. The feds will claim they need the public to give up more civil liberties to fight “domestic terrorists.” If you’re dumb enough to give into this, I don’t know what to tell you.

All that said, I will not stand here and tell you that unconscious gangs fighting in the street isn’t a threat. It’s certainly becoming an issue, but we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and not respond emotionally. Indeed, I think the recent approach voiced by the mayor of Berkeley is wise. He suggests treating groups like antifa as gangs.

Here’s some of what he said:

BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arreguin on Monday said it is time to confront the violent extremism on the left by treating black-clad Antifa protesters as a gang.

 

“I think we should classify them as a gang,” said Arreguin. “They come dressed in uniforms. They have weapons, almost like a militia and I think we need to think about that in terms of our law enforcement approach.”

This is a preferable approach to using the word “terrorist” since the latter definition causes people to lose their minds and justify a destruction of the Constitution. Let’s not be stupid.

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Crypto-Carnage – Bitcoin Plunges To Pre-Korea-Missile-Launch Levels After Topping $5000

September 2, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Shortly after topping $5,000 (according to several exchanges), Bitcoin began to tumble dramatically – now down almost $500 – erasing all the post-North-Korea missile anxiety gains.

 

Ethereum crashed even more…

 

In fact, 9 of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies are all plunging this morning…

 

While there is no specific catalyst for this drop, we note that in the last few days, regulators in Russia, and China, and now the US have begun cracking down on ICOs.

 

It’s starting. pic.twitter.com/ZpfW8Kb9jT

— BitCrypto’ed???? (@Bitfinexed) September 1, 2017

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Kelly Looks to Oust Omarosa from White House for TRIGGERING Trump with News

September 2, 2017 The_Real_Fly 0

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

The head leaker in chief at the NY Times, beneficiary of her father’s 40 yr career at the paper, Maggie Haberman reported yesterday that Trump and his new chief of staff, John Kelly, are grinding each other’s gears — citing an incident where the President publicly humiliated Kelly in front of staff.
Source: NY Times

President Trump was in an especially ornery mood after staff members gently suggested he refrain from injecting politics into day-to-day issues of governing after last month’s raucous rally in Arizona, and he responded by lashing out at the most senior aide in his presence.
 
It happened to be his new chief of staff, John F. Kelly.

Mr. Kelly, the former Marine general brought in five weeks ago as the successor to Reince Priebus, reacted calmly, but he later told other White House staff members that he had never been spoken to like that during 35 years of serving his country. In the future, he said, he would not abide such treatment, according to three people familiar with the exchange.

Haberman hems and haws through a garrulous article, more gossip than anything else, extolling the many virtues of John Kelly, even suggesting that he and Mattis are trying, desperately, to keep transgenders inside the military, ‘slow walking’ Trump through the process.

Mr. Kelly is close to Mr. Mattis and supported the Pentagon’s decision to slow-walk Mr. Trump’s order to ban transgender troops from serving in the military, opting for the creation of a panel to study the matter before implementing a policy that is highly popular with the president’s conservative base.

She concluded her gossip column, loyal to her chimerical bias against the President, pejoratively stating: “But one associate who spoke to Mr. Kelly last month said the former commander had remarked that his current assignment was by far the hardest job he had ever had. His favorite gig, he jokes, was his first: Marine grunt.”

This all ties in nicely with the Daily Beast’s “breaking story” today, saying Omarosa Manigault is the next one to be dismissed by Kelly. Her crime: providing the President with negative news article that would ‘trigger’ him and make him go fucking crazy around the White House, throwing Oscar in the trashcan tirades — which haven’t served the President’s best interests.

Source: Daily Beast

Multiple sources in and outside the Trump White House told The Daily Beast that, until recently, it was common practice for aides to slide into the Oval Office and distract and infuriate the president with pieces of negative news coverage. Manigault, they say, was one of the worst offenders.

“When Gen. Kelly is talking about clamping down on access to the Oval, she’s patient zero,” a source close to the Trump administration said.

The stories Manigault would present to Trump, often on a phone or printed out, would often enrage the president, and resulted in him spending at least the rest of the day fuming about it. For example, one White House source noted that Manigault was one of the people who would bring to President Trump’s attention online articles concerning MSNBC hosts, and former Trump pals, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski “slagging him, and his administration.”

This contributed, at least in small part, to the president’s mounting rage against the MSNBC couple, which exploded in late June when Trump attacked them and tweeted that, among other things, Brzezinski “was bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

To understand why Kelly would want to isolate the President you first have to understand who he keeps company with, a small group of people and at the meridian of that group of former Obama defense secretary, Leon Panetta. It’s becoming exceedingly difficult to give the President a pass for alleged ‘deep state’ swampers, when in fact he’s the one who’s hiring them.

More from the satanic online news rag:

Kelly “is not thrilled by any means by [Manigault],” a West Wing official told The Daily Beast. “He is, however, thrilled that he has been able to stop staffers including Omarosa from bolting into the Oval Office and triggering the president with White House [palace] intrigue stories.”

Of particular concern for Kelly were stories from conspiratorial right-wing websites that occasionally whipped Trump into a frenzy over issues such as the West Wing’s press leak problem. In Manigault’s case, sources said, the stories generally originated at more obscure, gossipy websites, and concerned White House palace intrigue, media personalities, or prominent Republicans in Congress.

Ever since Kelly instituted the new regime, Trump’s former reality-TV co-star’s capacity to influence her boss during the work day has taken a hit.

“She’s not happy about it,” another White House source said. “She has a bond that goes back years with [Trump] and resents being cut off like everyone has.”

To be sure, the president still uses his private cellphone to speak with and solicit advice from a small inner circle of longtime aides and friends, Manigault among them. Though Kelly has sought to limit and streamline the pipeline of information into the Oval Office, there’s not much he can do about the president’s penchant for calling up his closest advisers, even at odd hours, once his staffers depart for the evening.

As Kelly has clamped down on the information that reaches the president through official channels, Trump’s inner circle has increasingly reverted to phone calls with the president directly. The sense is that Kelly is essentially powerless to block Trump off from a coterie of friends and allies that predate the White House by years.

This story is indeed rich with irony, with The Daily Beast attempting to sockdolager the President’s access to ‘gossipy’ websites, when in fact the entire report is kitschy coffee talk. The foreboding winds that sweep in and around Trump are festooned with cheap regalia, harkening back to an era when parvenus beer swillers would profit from the power exerted out of DC. Now that their vainglorious schemes have been upbraided, they’ve resorted to Wagnerian styled outbursts — tangentially scattered about like children commiserating in a lonely and sad room for having their toys taken away.

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How To Beat The Market – Buy The F**king Tuesday

September 2, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Dmitri Speck via Acting-Man.com,
Recurring Phenomena
Many market participants believe simple phenomena in the stock market are purely random events and cannot recur consistently. Indeed, there is probably no stock market “rule” …

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How Society Grew Cold. Dependence on Cold Institutions

September 2, 2017 TDB 0

Via The Daily Bell

The downfall of freedom and happiness: dependence on institutions out of your control.

I’ve always blamed the government.

Governments start the wars, carry out the genocides, steal from the people. Governments lay the foundation of an unjust society, by creating a hierarchy from the beginning. Some make the laws, and some must live by them.

But the government is only half of the picture.

I always trusted in the power of the free market.

The free market is the true democracy which responds to the people. It is controlled by demand and quelled by consumer pressures. Economic self-interest ensures a proper check on the wealthy from becoming too evil.

But there is no free market on a macro level. There is only the collusion of the government and industry.

They have positioned themselves as the mother and the father of society. How? By destroying the institutions which once stood in their place.

The Marriage of Government and Industry

In his book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari describes a human transition. Populations went from farming societies inherently based on the sun and seasons, to industrial societies of assembly lines and time tables.

This caused many upheavals. Warm organic institutions–like family and community–were replaced by cold calculated ones–like factories and welfare. “Most of the traditional functions of families and communities were handed over to states and markets.”

Of course, this meant dependence on government and industry for survival. The roles of family and community had been outsourced. Now the government would take care of you, and industry would sell you fulfillment. All the structures humans evolved with quickly melted away, or became diluted.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the daily life of most humans ran its course within three ancient frames: the nuclear family, the extended family and the local intimate community. Most people worked in the family business – the family farm or the family workshop, for example – or they worked in their neighbours’ family businesses. The family was also the welfare system, the health system, the education system, the construction industry, the trade union, the pension fund, the insurance company, the radio, the television, the newspapers, the bank and even the police.

When a person fell sick, the family took care of her. When a person grew old, the family supported her, and her children were her pension fund. When a person died, the family took care of the orphans. If a person wanted to build a hut, the family lent a hand… But if a person’s illness was too grave for the family to manage, or a new business demanded too large an investment, or the neighbourhood quarrel escalated to the point of violence, the local community came to the rescue.

The community offered help on the basis of local traditions and an economy of favours, which often differed greatly from the supply and demand laws of the free market. In an old-fashioned medieval community, when my neighbour was in need, I helped build his hut and guard his sheep, without expecting any payment in return. When I was in need, my neighbour returned the favour. At the same time, the local potentate might have drafted all of us villagers to construct his castle without paying us a penny. In exchange, we counted on him to defend us against brigands and barbarians. Village life involved many transactions but few payments. There were some markets, of course, but their roles were limited. You could buy rare spices, cloth and tools, and hire the services of lawyers and doctors. Yet less than 10 per cent of commonly used products and services were bought in the market. Most human needs were taken care of by the family and the community.

On a small scale level like that, people were held accountable when they leached off the system. Families and communities were also the enforcement structure of this social insurance. Gossip was an important function of accountability. You can bet people talked if someone balked at their duties. The next time they needed something, they might find themselves in a bind.

But in addition to the obvious replacements like police, welfare, and corporate jobs, there was the matter of replacing the emotional aspects family provided. Governments and industry teamed up to give us a solution.

Markets and states do so by fostering ‘imagined communities’ that contain millions of strangers, and which are tailored to national and commercial needs. An imagined community is a community of people who don’t really know each other, but imagine that they do. Such communities are not a novel invention. Kingdoms, empires and churches functioned for millennia as imagined communities…

The two most important examples for the rise of such imagined communities are the nation and the consumer tribe. The nation is the imagined community of the state. The consumer tribe is the imagined community of the market. Both are imagined communities because it is impossible for all customers in a market or for all members of a nation really to know one another the way villagers knew one another in the past…

Consumerism and nationalism work extra hours to make us imagine that millions of strangers belong to the same community as ourselves, that we all have a common past, common interests and a common future. This isn’t a lie. It’s imagination. Like money, limited liability companies and human rights, nations and consumer tribes are inter-subjective realities. They exist only in our collective imagination, yet their power is immense. As long as millions of Germans believe in the existence of a German nation, get excited at the sight of German national symbols, retell German national myths, and are willing to sacrifice money, time and limbs for the German nation, Germany will remain one of the strongest powers in the world.

But we can keep what we like about government and markets, and do away with what we don’t. We can form new “tribes” that give us actual mutual aid which communities once gave. We can move to or create villages that match our needs and desires.

That way, we interact with warm institutions. Structures we are a part of and can influence. They are made up of people we know, and have real relationships with.

The government gives us imagined communities in order to control us. Nationalism makes sure we are ready to fight the next war, providing bodies and wealth to fuel political ambitions.

The market gives us imagined communities as a way to sell to us. Apple users are part of an exclusive club that signal they are wealthy and hip. Doesn’t that make you feel fulfilled?

But what about a community of people who are all passionate about farming, making their own products, and trading goods and labor? We can keep our smart phones and internet access, just like 10% of the village economies of the past relied on outside merchants. But when it comes to our water, electricity, food, hygiene products, and even entertainment, it is already quite easy to provide all that on a community level.

Now that the world has been so voluntarily centralized by the internet, we can decentralize in ways that benefit us. We can create little communities without becoming hermits. We will be free to come or go as we please, no forced labor, false choices, or communist utopia. Just voluntary groups who offer warm alternatives to dictatorial and industrial institutions.

I don’t want my barber to remove my appendix when I get appendicitis. But I wouldn’t at all mind my neighbor providing my children’s education, with the help of the countless resources on the internet.

We are now in a position to meld the best of both worlds. We can reach back and choose what was great about pre-modern community governing structures. And we can hold onto the technology and civilization that we like in today’s world.

Society is like a pendulum which swings from one extreme to another. But each sway loses some energy and brings us closer to equilibrium.

The advance of industry gave mankind countless benefits. But at some point, it went too far. We need to learn how to reintegrate warm institutions into our lives, without doing away with the benefits that large scale industry has provided.

In a sense, humanity was once so dependent on small scale warm institutions that we stagnated, and could not advance. People suffocated as the pendulum stopped and reversed.

Once we finally did break free, we lost all touch with warm institutions. Cold institutions replaced the family, and now many feel alienated and depressed.

Can we find an equilibrium? Can we meld markets and governance into family and community life in a way that both frees us from the tyranny of government and corporations, but allows us to remain free individuals?

The Pendulum is Ready to Swing Back

Radical experimentation in governance is required to heal society and correct the trajectory. Stagnation is the best we can hope for with the current model of government and corporate collusion.

We need to restore the community structures of the past. We cannot simply do away with institutions people rely on and expect no turmoil. Rather, a model of a better society needs to be created.

This is why the next movement that will drastically improve civilization will be a period of decentralization of institutions, marked by voluntary association.

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Trump Asks That $8 Billion Harvey “Down Payment” Be Added To Debt-Ceiling Bill

September 2, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Shortly after President Trump backed away from his demand that $1.6 billion in funding for his border wall be included in a continuing-resolution bill to avert a government shutdown, the White House late Friday sent a request for $8 billion in emergency funding for the Hurricane Harvey cleanup effort, and asked that the money be tied to a bill to raise the US debt-ceiling limit. Trump’s request that the two legislative priorities be combined in one bill likely won’t go over well among Congressional Republicans, according to Bloomberg.

Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the leader of the House Freedom Caucus and perhaps Trump’s most intransigent political adversary, urged lawmakers on Thursday not to bundle the two legislative priorities. In a tweet, Meadows said it’d be “inappropriate” and “would send the wrong message” to use Harvey funds as leverage to force conservatives to vote for a debt-ceiling increase.

The aid money will be needed to shore up the nearly bankrupt FEMA’s finances before some 450,000 Texans file requests for aid. The rising toll of flood-related property damage is expected to quickly deplete the $10 billion left in the coffers of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Using #Harvey relief spending to pass a separate, unrelated bill would be inappropriate and send the wrong message https://t.co/DwHxp6IphB

— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) August 31, 2017

Here’s Bloomberg:

“In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan requesting the storm aid, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney stops short of explicitly asking for the two to be linked. But the letter makes clear that the emergency spending will accelerate the timetable for raising the limit and conveys the idea that failure to pay obligations could imperil essential government services.

 

The White House disaster aid request includes $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $450 million for the Small Business Administration. The request is intended primarily to cover funding demands through the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30.”

The administration intends to ask Congress to allow the aid to be disbursed in one lump sum, rather than parceling out in monthly installments.

“The White House will ask Congress to provide FEMA with $6.7 billion in that legislation, and provide the full funding upfront, rather than pro-rating the appropriation out over the entire fiscal year, an administration official said. That request, if adopted by lawmakers in a vote likely to come at the end of the month, would provide FEMA with additional flexibility to fund Harvey relief efforts in the new fiscal year.”

Republicans are expected to vote on disaster relief next week after they return from summer recess. Congress is already facing a grueling legislative calendar in September with only 12 working days to pass a continuing resolution, disaster relief, a debt-ceiling increase and, potentially, their effort to repeal and replace Obamacare after the Senate Parliamentarian informed party leaders that the provisions allowing them to pass their health-care bill with a simple majority will expire at the end of the month.

“The administration’s move will test the willingness of Republicans in Congress to link the two must-pass pieces of legislation. House GOP leaders plan to vote next week on Trump’s request in initial disaster relief funding but they don’t plan to include a U.S. debt-limit increase in the legislation, two GOP congressional aides said before Mulvaney’s letter was sent.

 

“The president visited Texas on August 29, 2017 to reassure the people of Texas that the Federal Government would help them rebuild from the catastrophic flooding and damage to affected communities,” Mulvaney said in the letter. “This request is a down-payment on the President’s commitment to help affected States recover from the storm, and future requests will address longer-term rebuilding needs.”

According to Bloomberg, citing unnamed Congressional aides, the Senate might be more willing to combine both measures in a bill, and the House, bizarrely, might be more willing to pass a bundled bill if it makes it through the Senate first. Despite the reported rift between Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican has promised to cooperate with the president. He hasn’t said whether he’d prefer to combine, or separate, Harvey funding and the debt-ceiling increase.

“‘Working closely with the President and the House of Representatives, the Senate stands ready to act quickly to provide this much-needed assistance to those impacted communities, and support first responders and volunteers,’ he said.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan has also been conspicuously silent about how the House intends to pass Harvey relief…

As families & communities begin long recovery from Hurricane Harvey, House will act quickly on @POTUS request for emergency relief funding.

— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) September 2, 2017

…though he recently told a Wisconsin newspaper that Congress “will not default” on its debts.

“Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, though, that Congress has until October to act on the debt limit.

 

‘We will not default,’ the Wisconsin newspaper quoted Ryan as saying. ‘We’ve got a lot of options on our plate. We’re going to assess those options. We have until October to figure that one out.’”

We probably won’t have a clear picture of the combined bill’s chances. For what it’s worth, Goldman is optimistic that a compromise can be reached. It recently lowered its odds of a government shutdown to 15%, down from 50% last week.

Goldman: the probability of a government shutdown has declined further from our prior assessment of 35% and now put it at around 15%.

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 1, 2017

Let’s hope, for the disaster victims’ sake, that the squid is right.

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Wasserman Schultz Aide Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ As Prosecution Drops Hints About A Broader Probe Of Awan

September 2, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

By Jamie Dupree of PBP.

Former U.S. House IT aide Imran Awan pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges that he and his wife lied on an application for a home equity loan, as prosecutors dropped hints about a broader probe of Awan and his family members related to their computer work in recent years for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and a series of other Democratic lawmakers in the Congress.

A federal judge also agreed to return $9,000 seized from Awan when he was arrested at Dulles Airport in late July, as the feds and Awan’s legal team agreed to ensure that the money is used only to pay for the cost of Awan’s legal defense.

While the existing case against Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, is related to whether they did not tell the truth on a loan application to a Capitol Hill credit union – documents in the matter again suggested at a larger investigation, possibly relating to more than just matters of bank fraud.

In a letter about evidence in the case, U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips described the probe as one that involved, “voluminous discovery,” citing items that were found in a Congressional office building back in April, which seemingly may have belonged to Awan.

This “laptop bag” found in April could well be the piece of equipment that had drawn the interest of Rep. Wasserman Schultz earlier this year, when she verbally berated the Capitol Hill Police chief at a House budget hearing, demanding that an item be returned to her office.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way,” Wasserman Schultz said bluntly, as she told the chief that he should “expect that there will be consequences.”

The chief said he was not returning the piece of equipment that officers had found, because it was part of an investigation, which he did not detail.

From prosecutors, this evidence letter was the first official confirmation that there were items found on Capitol Hill which had a direct link to Imran Awan.

Still unclear is what exactly that earlier investigation has uncovered.

In a hearing before Federal Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, the judge refused to allow a citizen investigator from Indiana to join the case; he claimed he could provide evidence to the feds that shows a broader misuse of government resources by Awan and his family during their Capitol Hill employment.

Judge in #Awan hearing wants request to grant Awan more freedom in writing. Will issue ruling by Oct 6

— BuckTheSystem (@RiggedSys) September 1, 2017

Awan, his wife, and several of their relatives were barred from the Congressional IT system in February, as Democratic lawmakers quickly fired them from part-time IT jobs – but Capitol Police and investigators have still not formally said what problem led to that decision.

Unlike other Democrats who had employed the family members, Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were kept on the payroll by Rep. Wasserman Schultz – Alvi until she returned to Pakistan with their children in early March, while Awan was paid until he was arrested and charged with bank fraud.

Newly released payroll figures from the U.S. House of Representatives show that Awan was paid $5,000.01 as a “shared employee” in the second quarter of 2017 by Wasserman Schultz.

That was more than the $1,494.45 that Wasserman Schultz had paid Awan in the first quarter of this year.

At today’s hearing, Awan’s lawyers asked that he be allowed to venture up to 100 miles from home, as he evidently is now driving for Uber, as a way to make money.

The judge asked for written arguments to be filed on that request. The next hearing for Awan is set for October 6.

 

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