“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hey Trump, Want to Really Shake up Globalism and Make a Great American Revival? Import Replacement 101


What Jane Jacobs Can Teach Us About the Economy

Late urban champion's notions about decline and imports newly resonant during this recession.

How is that economic stimulus package working for you? Think TARP was worth those billions? Perhaps our financial system is back from the brink, but just how far — or how long until we're staring down that same precipice — is not clear. Aside from healthy investment-house bonuses and the fact that General Motors still exists, most have seen little change. While our financial pundits are still scratching their heads over why our financial structure plummeted so spectacularly let alone what to do about it, many economic thinkers are turning to urban pioneer Jane Jacobs.


Most know Jane Jacobs as the ultimate champion of cities, who stood up against neighborhood demolition and saw a vibrant ballet where others saw urban squalor. But three years since her death — and a year into a downturn marked by bailouts, foreclosures and sky-high unemployment — her economic vision has come into the spotlight.

"People in economic policy and development are looking carefully at Jacobs' work," says David Boyle, an author and researcher at the New Economics Foundation, a London-based independent economic think tank. "She's been very influential, but subtly so. People aren't always aware of where the ideas come from. This is true from the right and left."

In the landmark The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs called out the folly of urban "improvement" projects that left city districts barren. (Who guessed that people liked to see their neighbors, and that vacant courtyards and hallways invited crime?) In the same way, her 1984 book, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, zeroes in on how well-intended subsidies can deplete growth and block innovation. Wealth, she argues, is not merely a matter of assets but rather the capacity to 1) engage those assets in production and 2) adapt to changing circumstances and needs.

According to Jacobs, the engine of economic life is "import-replacement." What this somewhat clunky term means is making the products you have been buying. For example, much of New England, where I live, is rich in hardwood forest. But there is no large-scale furniture manufacturing here. Aside from what a few artisans produce for a mostly upscale market, it's imported: Our tables, chairs and bed frames are made from fast-growing trees in Southeast Asia, shipped over and stained to look like oak, maple or cherry. If made here, we'd no longer be dependent on furniture from elsewhere; workers here would apply their own innovations to create their own products and techniques and we'd have more products to trade with other places.

This process, replicated over and over and on a large or small scale, invigorates the economy. Workers gain skills, capital gets invested in new equipment, trading partners emerge, consumer taste gets more sophisticated, etc.

This does not happen when a large corporation plunks a factory down in a derelict neighborhood or rural outpost. But that has been the favored approach to perk up an area's economy. The upshot is that the population becomes reliant on one industry that may not be appropriate for the setting. Supplies get shipped in from elsewhere and other wealth-producing activity languishes.

"Jacobs pointed out that to boost an area's economy, the normal plan is to bring in a branch of some big business. But then you have an industry without roots. They're not using local accountants and local printers," says Susan Witt, executive director of the E.F. Schumacher Society in Great Barrington, Mass., which, since its inception in 1980, maintained a close working relationship with Jane Jacobs. "It's through those roots that you get the economic multiplier effect of small businesses. And a branch or factory based elsewhere can leave as easily as it arrived."

Michael Shuman, research and public policy director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, says research suggests that subsidies to attract and retain development are not effective at jumpstarting economies. One unpublished study he led recently looked at the three largest economic development programs in 15 states and found that fewer than 10 percent of companies involved devoted even a small majority of expenditures to local businesses; in most cases 90 percent of the money spent went out of state.

"The economic developers I speak to no longer even try to defend these subsidy strategies," Shuman says. "They've run out of excuses except for the fact that the politicians like them. Politicians get more mileage from one big deal that brings 1,000 jobs than an entrepreneurship program that generates 10 jobs in 100 local businesses. Even when the rhetoric has shifted to the importance of local, in terms of where the money goes, it's still following an old and entirely discredited mode of economic development."

As for the stimulus bill, Shuman says it has "the worst features of economic development on steroids. If in a typical year, millions [are] spent on pork, this year more than a trillion is spent on pork." Even if the stimulus package is a success, he says, the program "could have been more successful with less money if we had followed Jane Jacobs' ideas" of local resilience through import-replacement.

She wasn't omniscient, and her modern acolytes aren't claiming that. "Where was Jane Jacobs wrong?" Shuman asked. "What she didn't anticipate was the Internet. The argument that cities were the only important economic engines is weakened considerably by Web-based businesses, which have diversified and strengthened rural economies. Another thing she didn't entirely anticipate was climate change, which makes trade as a tool of growth a little more suspect."

Cities and the Wealth of Nations came out 25 years ago. But the dynamics described are eerily familiar. Take, for instance, what Jacobs called "transactions of decline" — trade encouraged to prop up the economy. An example she uses is ongoing, entrenched military production. This appears productive, but it sucks the oxygen out of the economy. Innovation and entrepreneurship (import-replacing processes) slow down, there's less inter-city trade to spark new products and ideas, and the economy loses complexity and the ability to adapt. Entire regions become dependent on military spending; they need a war for growth to occur.

The real estate market crash followed a similar trajectory, says Sanford Ikeda, associate professor of economics at SUNY Purchase. "Look at all the incentives in the run-up to the bubble," he says. "People were encouraged to take more risk than optimal, and [many were] making money on unproductive transfers. Not only is this not productive, but it's an obstacle to growth."

One could look at the derivatives market in the same way, as all the entrepreneurial energy goes into the transactions themselves rather than productivity.

The economic downturn has prompted many to question assumptions about growth. "There is a new focus on what happens on the local level, on import-replacement businesses and what it takes to encourage them," says Schumacher's Witt. "Chambers of commerce are putting more into networking and training for small businesses. There's less talk of tax incentives. These are all Jane Jacobs concepts."

Judy Wicks, founder of the White Dog Café in Philadelphia, and the founder and chairman of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, says her business decisions have been informed by Jacobs' economic vision. "I took seriously the notion of 'local supplies with local labor for local consumption,'" she says. "I asked, 'What are we importing that we can make locally?' That's what builds community wealth. Instead of starting another White Dog in another location, I started a Black Cat because there was no store nearby that focused on locally made and fair-trade products."

Jane Jacobs was an advocate of decentralization; her belief that economies function on a regional, as opposed to national, level has helped spur recent interest in launching local currencies.

But her suspicion of bigness was pragmatic rather than ideological: In her view, the larger and more complex the institution or economy, the less accurate the feedback it provides. And accurate feedback is crucial for a system to self-correct. One way to look at our financial near-crash is as the result of crisscrossing feedback loops: mixed messages coming from GDP, foreign exchanges, the stock exchange, housing sales, the data from different parts of the country contradicting each other so that when policy adjusts for one area it destabilizes another like a seesaw that veers up and down but never finds equilibrium.

With so many layers in our financial system, feedback gets lost.

"A large economy is floated by so many factors," says Mary W. Rowe, who runs the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation, and for several years directed Ideas That Matter, a Toronto institute based on Jane Jacobs' work. "The more opportunity you have to see feedback, the better you can course-correct. This is what the sustainability movement is doing-tightening up feedback loops so that people are aware of [a product's] real costs, such as the environmental impacts, and true costs, of their production, consumptions and disposal."
One advantage of local, as opposed to centralized, production, is that there's more transparency, she says. Efficiency, in the sense of economies of scale, does not always promote wealth and productivity, she says. "You don't want so much control in one place. Most innovation happens on the grassroots level."
It's easy to lapse into theory with economics. But money matters get very real when people are losing their jobs. Could these ideas — import-replacement, adaptation, small feedback loops — help put people back to work? Wicks says yes: "If we start making products at home then we can start dealing with the problem of unemployment."

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  1. Globalism or Local?

    Obviously, there is no one solution, but a national goal of import replacement that affected 10-20% of the US economy, put in place over a ten to twenty year period would be a realistic goal. Being totally dependent on foreign imports from a single communist country which has a callous disregard for a whole list of standards has had catastrophic consequences for many. The great financial gains have been to a few creating an absurdity that half the global wealth is controlled by 2% of the population.

  2. “Buy local” may raise welfare in the event that the local community wishes to raise the profits of local producers. Consumers pay a higher price for local food. They do so not to promote efficiency but rather to encourage local production and consumption. In this case, the buy local movement has a compelling case.

    While “buy local” may raise the profits of local producers however, it decreases welfare of other regions. Similarly, if all regions “buy local,” then all regions are hurt because of the absence of trade. The benefits of specialization disappear. In other words, a region should produce what it is relatively good at producing and then trade with others. It simply does not make sense to buy oranges produced in Michigan or coffee grown in Nebraska. If all residents of Michigan bought their oranges only from neighbors, they will hurt Florida producers and Michigan consumers. If other regions have the advantage to grow and produce foods, let them grow where it makes the most economic sense.

    Recognizing the role of each is critical when analyzing the welfare effects of “buy local.” A theoretical model offers a useful, although not definitive, framework to consider the welfare effects of “buy local.”

    Does “buying local” help communities or conflict with basic economics?

  3. For years I have expressed the opinion that open and free trade in the Americas made sense, as well as trade among like-minded free nations. It never made sense with China and now we have the consequences of unwinding a bad trade.

  4. BEIJING — China unveiled plans Friday for tariffs against $3 billion in goods, after President Donald Trump moved to impose punitive measures on Chinese exports.

    China’s Commerce Ministry released a list of U.S. imports, from fruit to pork and recycled aluminum and steel pipes that would be subject to higher tariffs. In a statement, the ministry said the penalties are being imposed in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products, which it said violate global trade rules.

    On Thursday, Trump announced additional penalties on up to $60 billion worth of Chinese imports intended to penalize China for what the administration says are policies that force transfers of technology and other unfair trade practices.

  5. Buy nationally/internationally - sell locally.

    Buy: ear corn at Wal-Mart 25 cents/ear

    Sell: Moscow Farmer's Market - $1.00/ear

  6. .

    We Report. You Decide

    Saudi Prince Denies he has Jared Kushner "in his pocket".

    That kind of relationship “will not help us” and does not exist, he said. Speaking in a meeting with Washington Post editors and reporters, Mohammed denied U.S. media reports that he had claimed Kushner was “in his pocket,” or that, when the two met in Riyadh in October, he had sought or received a green light from Kushner for massive arrests of allegedly corrupt members of the royal family and Saudi businessmen that took place in the kingdom shortly afterward.

    The detentions were solely a domestic issue and had been in the works for years, the prince said...

    This is in response to printed reports like this from the Times of Israel and others from domestic sources in the US.

    Saudi crown prince reportedly bragged he had Jared Kushner ‘in his pocket’

    Kushner, who is the son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, and the Saudi crown prince, had a late October meeting in Riyadh...

    According to the report, Mohammed told confidants that he and Kushner discussed Saudis identified in the classified brief as disloyal to Mohammed. While it is likely that Prince Mohammed could independently learn who were his critics, he may have wanted to let it be known that Kushner shared that information with him in order to show his close relationship with the United States, the unnamed US official said.

    If Kushner discussed the names with the Saudi prince without presidential authorization, he may have violated federal laws around the sharing of classified intelligence, according to the Intercept...

    The Saudi crown prince bragged to the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and others that he had Kushner “in his pocket,” an unnamed source who talks frequently to confidants of the Saudi and Emirati rulers told The Intercept...

    There are numerous reasons for interest in the Saudi relationship, the Saudi push for development of a nuclear program, US support fort the Saudis in their war on Yemen, the Saudi roles in supporting 'militant' groups around the world, Jerusalem and the Saudi role in the Palestinian negotiations, business interest and investments in S.A., and arms sales like this one...

    Trump Administration Approves $1 Billion Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia


  7. .


    Earlier Thursday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the prince that Saudi Arabia was "part of the solution" in Yemen, where the Saudis are leading a U.S.-backed military campaign against Houthi rebels that has been heavily criticized for inflicting civilian casualties.

    Earlier this week the Senate debated and then shelved a resolution calling for an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Mattis had opposed the measure, saying it would be counterproductive by increasing civilian casualties, jeopardizing counterterrorism cooperation and emboldening Iran to increase its support for Houthi rebels...

    So far, the Saudi air campaign has killed 5,000 civilians and their blockade of food and drugs starves and kills thousands more.

    Perhaps it is time for Mattis to go. His noodle appears to be a bit overcooked.


    1. You cursed Shiite.

      You wish to impose an Iranian backed theocracy on Yemen.

      You have no noodle to cook !

    2. All this is a precursor to Iran stirring up the Shia in Saudi Arabia.

    3. .

      Good lord, Bob, don't you know that Saudi Arabia is the self-proclaimed sole authority on Islam. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt all vie for that recognition.

      An Iranian backed theocracy on Yemen. What about the Saudi sponsored theocracy in Yemen?


    4. I have home grown organic sweet corn no pesticides for sale.


      How many you want ?

    5. I'd choose, right now, a Sunni theocracy in Yemen.

      Many of the Sunnis seem to be giving up the idea of wiping the Little Satan, not to mention the Great Satan (YOU) off the face of the earth.

    6. .

      Saudi Arabia and the tens of billions of dollars they have spent over the years putting up mosques and madrassas all over the world that teach Wahhabism and radical Islam has been the driving source for most of the radical groups we have seen in the last half century.

      When that flood of refugees hit Europe a few years back, countries were contributing money to try and help the crisis it created. Saudi Arabia offered $200 million. It was designated for building mosques and madrassas to the new arrivals. SA said it was to help meet their spiritual needs. I say it was a proselytizing efforts on a grand scale for spreading Wahhabism.

      The reasons the Balkans have a problem with radical Islam right now is the massive investment in mosques and madrassas S.A. invested in after the Serbian war.

      90% of Muslims are Sunni. Al Qaeda, Isis, Al Shabaab, all Sunni terrorist organizations. Yet, you ignore them and point to Iran.


    7. .

      I have home grown organic sweet corn no pesticides for sale.

      I've seen corn around here too. I know I'm showing my ignorance but isn't a little early for corn?


    8. Just let them all kill one another then.

      That is what Uncle Ed out at the Casino advised.

      His son was over there then.

    9. Worked in Syria.

      To hell with 'No Fly Zones' !

  8. from Never Trust A Man With A Moustache

    Report: Bolton Told Trump He “Wouldn’t Start Any Wars” If Named NSA

    Trump and Bolton have been discussing for weeks how he could replace McMaster. According to what a source familiar with those negotiations told me, Bolton promised Trump “he wouldn’t start any wars” if he selected him as the new national security adviser....

  9. .

    Spending Bill - Government Shutdown

    The Senate and House compromised on the already bloated budget by adding another $100 billion. Both houses signed the bill, sent it to the president, and went home.

    Yesterday, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said Trump was 'looking forward to signing the bill'.

    Today Trump tweet that he is 'thinking about vetoing the bill'. Why does he do this? Will he shut down the government at the 11th hour? No one seems to think so but who knows?


  10. .

    Your Government at Work

    In late-night drama, Senate passes $1.3 trillion spending bill, averting government shutdown

    The bill abandons GOP claims of fiscal discipline in a stark reversal of the promises many Republicans ran on in capturing control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014 as they railed against what they described as a profligate President Barack Obama.

    And in another about-face, House GOP leaders tossed aside their own rules and past complaints about Democrats to rush the legislation through the House ahead of a Friday night government shutdown deadline. Lawmakers of both parties seethed, saying they had scant time to read the mammoth bill, which was released less than 17 hours before they voted.
    Nonetheless, House leaders of both parties declared victory following the 256-to-167 vote, and at the White House, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Trump would sign the bill...

    The legislation funds the federal government for the remainder of the 2018 budget year, through Sept. 30, directing $700 billion toward the military and $591 billion to domestic agencies. The military spending is a $66 billion increase over the 2017 level, and the nondefense spending is $52 billion more than last year...

    Trump is a change agent?


    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

    They are all dicks.

    Not even a point in worrying about it anymore. It's an autonomous car speeding down the road to hell. :o)


    1. He's getting his boost in military spending but not much else.

      Now Drudge is saying he may veto the whole damn thing.

      I think he is just blowing hot air but who knows ?


      The bill is passed and on his desk.

    3. Maybe he'll just let it become law without signing or vetoing it.

    4. It's the Republicans who voted for it that look shitty.

      Chuckie Schumer was saying how great it was.

    5. Breaking: Trump Tweets That He May Veto Omnibus Bill After All
      ED MORRISSEYPosted at 9:21 am on March 23, 2018

      Wouldn’t this just be a perfect end to a depressing week? And by “perfect,” I mean equally depressing, but just in an entirely different way. After Congress finally passed a stinker of an omnibus bill, complete with public buy-in from the White House, Donald Trump threatened to veto it this morning over its lack of border-wall funding and a fix to the DACA program.

      SEE ALSO: The student ethanol indoctrination program

      Government shutdown, here we come!....



    The No Testosterone Policies of Cadet Bone Spur are garnering big wins ...
    For the Russians.

    Promises Made - Promises Broken


  12. One remarkable feature of Stormy Daniels' chess match with Trump is that shame — this White House's usual instrument against its adversaries — isn't working. Porn stars don't find shame especially useful, and Daniels is no exception.

    This poses a problem for the president: Daniels (aka Stephanie Gregory Clifford) is utterly unembarrassed about profiting off her connection to him. She's unembarrassed in general.

    As the president's most virulent defenders have come after her, she's parried their attacks with jokes that defang them. Cracks about her age earn GILF humor, cracks about her being a prostitute have her crowing with glee. She's so good at this that her attackers often end up deleting their tweets; it's just not worth it.

    The real funny thing ....
    Stormy isn't even part of the punchline

    1. .

      For some reason, I just like the lady and it has nothing to do with Trump. IMO she is playing a dangerous game but she is doing it with flair and gusto.


  13. Sen. James Risch’s Decades-Old Grudge Briefly Derailed The Big Spending Bill

    According to two congressional aides familiar with the dispute, Sen. James E. Risch (R-Idaho) demanded that a provision renaming the White Clouds Wilderness in central Idaho after former four-term governor Cecil D. Andrus, who died last year, be removed from a fast-moving omnibus appropriations bill.

    The request generated all sorts complications as Senate leaders sought to clear the 2,232-page $1.3 trillion spending bill ahead of a Friday-night government shutdown deadline. Among them: Changing the bill would require a House vote as well — many hours after the House passed the bill and members left Washington for a two-week recess.

    Aides to Risch did not respond to a message seeking comment on his objections. Risch would not comment outside the Senate chamber early Friday morning: “What part of ‘No’ don’t you understand?” he said. “Do I have a problem with my English? I don’t have any comment.”....

    Even though Andrus was a decent guy by my standards, it shouldn't be renamed, and, the naming dispute certainly has no place in a budget bill.

    1. According to two congressional aides familiar with the dispute

      I can certainly believe there are only two congressional aides familiar with this local dispute.

      And White Clouds Wilderness certainly sounds better than Cecil D. Andrus Wilderness Area for goodness sake.

    2. Presidential News Conference in a few minutes.

      Save The White Clouds Wilderness Designation !!!!

      Veto the Omnibus spending bill !!!!

      Ho ho !!

    3. Shut down the Government ?

      Are we worse off with it, or without it ?

      Ask Quirk....

    4. 'But this is the only time I'm signing something like this!'

    5. I use American Thinker to keep Quirk up to date on what is really going on -

      March 23, 2018
      Bombshell reveal: A grand jury already is hearing evidence on DOJ and FBI scandals
      By Thomas Lifson

      We are on the verge of a huge political explosion. While there have been calls for a special counsel to investigate the DOJ and FBI scandals, and many conservatives have been outraged at the seeming passivity of "Gentleman Jeff" Sessions (aka Sessionzzz in some quarters), it now is clear (as I have already figured) that a grand jury far outside the Beltway already is hearing evidence dug up by DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz, whose report is now believed to be coming in April. Following release of that report, expect heads to explode all over the media, all over the Deep State, and among NeverTrumps.

      The first hint that the wheels of justice already are turning came on March 7, when A.G. Sessions revealed to Shannon Bream:....

    6. My own suspicion is that the grand jury already has quietly heard testimony from cooperating witnesses who have struck deals with the prosecutor because the evidence against them is so strong that their best strategy is to minimize their criminal liability and prison time. That list of possible witnesses would include Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, and Bruce Ohr, which would explain why they continue to draw salaries.

      Lay in a supply of popcorn. This is going to make Watergate look like the petty burglary it was.

      heh Heh HEH

  14. .

    Trump Bump/Trump Dump

    Has anyone noticed there hasn't been much talk about the market here in the last week or two?

    All the gains YTD have been wiped out. Half the gains since Trump took office have been wiped out. We are at the 200 day moving average and Monday can go either way.

    And right in the middle of a slow bleed on the market, Trump tosses out a head fake on the spending bill. Why?

    He's a genius?

    I don't think so.


    1. Most of us aren't elated when things begin going downhill ?

      Half the gains since Trump took office are still on the board.

      Is the cup half empty, or half full ?

      Your call.

      You must be hoping Stormy has a pic of naked Donald in the embrace of naked Stormy, as her lawyer implied today.


      Saudi Arabia opens airspace to Israel for first time....DRUDGE

    2. There is Deuce's coveted debtor in possession approach to consider - a sell-off in American Treasuries, just as more borrowing is required, could spell trouble. How's DIP supposed to work here Deuce?

    3. Stormy Daniels' lawyer posts photo of mystery disc in safe, teasing a 'picture'....DRUDGE

    4. There are a lot of ways. I'll do a post.

    5. .

      You're diverting again, Bob.

      Two separate subjects, Stormy and the market.

      Also, you imply I am happy Trump is screwing with an economy that when he got it was moving along just fine. The markets? You don't have any money in them. I do. I'm not cheering this decline. I'm not that much of a masochist.

      Get some perspective.


    6. I look forward to it Deuce!

  15. Veto was Trump's last chance.

    1. Mad Dog wanted the money.

      Bolton too I imagine.

      What's an honest patriotic Prez to do ?

    2. Trump could not veto. How much more Democrat created chaos could his administration stand?

      After Obama was elected, I heard Republican after Republican parroting the concession that "He is my president now."

      After Trump won, it was "impeach 45". He has been under assault since he announced the entrance to the race. Trump was set up. The Republicans will lose the House and what difference does it mean if the Republicans "control" the Senate?

      The Republicans tried to screw Trump since the day he started the race.

    3. .

      Poor Trump.

      Nobody likes him.

      The Deep state is out to get him. The GOP is out to get him. The Dems set him up. Poor guy.

      Days like today couldn't have anything to do with it.


  16. James Woods to Trump After $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Bill Passes: ‘Dems Gave You the Rope and You Just Hanged Yourself’

    James Woods is a huge supporter of President Trump, and like many of us, he’s angry about the omnibus bill.

    On Thursday, James Woods said what we are all thinking about the RINO’s.

    I never imagined I could loathe the @GOP more than the I loathe @TheDemocrats, but they got me with this suck-ass budget. I hope they get what they asked for in November. When will these RINO wimps stop sticking their asses in the air for the Democrats to violate?

    Woods is wrong about taking it in the ass:

    We take it in the ass as the Republicrats take their orders and money from the lobbyists.

    1. Jeez, give the guy a break.

      He signed it: reluctantly

    2. .


      You boys are hysterical.

      Trump: "I'm the king of debt. I love debt."

      Blaming the Dems for this budget? Good lord Trump wrote the budget.

      Where have you guys been for the last year?


    3. "Good lord Trump wrote the budget."


      Quirko Psychedelics.


  17. Law-enforcement officers raid Cambridge Analytica's headquarters in London

    There is a danger in using foreign assets in electoral conspiracies, then denegrating the government of that country.

    As with Stormy, Cadet Bone Spur's bluff is being called.

    He can't shame PM May.
    Not after the nerve agent attack.

  18. .

    Cambridge Analytica

    John Bolton's PAC is big customer of Cambridge Analytica

    A political action committee run by President Trump's incoming national security adviser relied on research from Cambridge Analytica, the voter profiling firm that Facebook has accused of unauthorized use of its user data.
    The John Bolton Super PAC, founded by the former ambassador to the United Nations, paid Cambridge Analytica more than $811,000 for "survey research" during the 2016 campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Overall, the PAC paid the British firm nearly $1.2 million over two years, according to The New York Times.

    Bolton's PAC was one Cambridge Analytica's first customers when it hired the data firm in August 2014, reportedly for the specific purpose of creating psychological profiles on voters based on the Facebook data harvested from millions of users without their knowledge...


  19. .

    And Who Funds the 'John Bolton PAC'?

    Bob Mercer

    ...But there's one name on the top 10 list of midterm donors most people won't recognize: Robert Mercer.

    Better known as "Bob," Mercer is co-head of Renaissance Technologies, a secretive hedge fund firm that manages $25 billion using fast-trading computer programs from its headquarters in a quiet hamlet on Long Island.

    Thanks both to looser campaign finance rules and his promotion to help lead one of the largest hedge funds in the world, Mercer has quietly become a major player in politics since 2010. He donated more than $8 million this election cycle alone, putting him behind only Singer as the second-largest Republican booster. And Mercer was fourth overall regardless of party after hedge fund manager-turned environmentalist Tom Steyer and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics...



  20. Avenatti said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the disc contains evidence proving the porn star's claims about her alleged affair with Trump.
    "I want to be really clear about this: It is a warning shot. And it's a warning shot to Michael Cohen and anyone else associated with President Trump that they better be very, very careful after Sunday night relating to what they say about my client and what spin or lies they attempt to tell the American people," Avenatti said

    That woman has no shame

    Ain't that grand

  21. Heroic French officer Arnaud Beltrame dies after switching himself for hostage in France supermarket

    Gunman shot dead after taking hostages in Trebes, France
    Attacker named as petty criminal Redouane Lakdim, 26
    At least two people killed in store and dozen more wounded
    Attacker also shot a driver in the head and stole his car
    Gunman 'shouted Allahu Akbar' and 'said he supported Isil'
    Military officer, 45, dies in hospital after swapping himself for hostage

    1. The incident in Trèbes came as France is still on high alert after suffering a string of terror attacks since January 2015.

      Lakdim began his shooting spree in his home town, whose huge medieval castle makes it a tourist hotspot, around 10 am local time when he hijacked a car, shooting dead a passenger and seriously injuring its driver.

      Then he fired at a group of CRS riot policemen who were jogging near the castle in Carcassonne and wounded one of them.