It’s All Coming out in the Open

  • A couple people who don’t give a toss about U.S. elections
  • The WH no longer needs to cover up deplorable energy policies
  • Michigan’s “Queen of Hearts” and the “CIA Democrats”
  • Update: Binance quakes after looking over FTX books
  • Nice try, no cigar: Bill Barr’s looong deep state history… Dusting off Ayn Rand… and More!

Here are a couple of people who couldnt care less about the U.S. elections…

the indian express

India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was in Moscow yesterday to meet with Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

By the end of the meeting it was clear India — the world’s third-biggest oil consumer after America and China — is not on board with Western sanctions against Russian oil. “It is our fundamental obligation,” said Jaishankar, “to ensure that the Indian consumer has the best possible access on the most advantageous terms to international markets.”

If only American leaders thought that way, right?

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, India imported about 2% of its oil from Russia. Now it’s about 23%. Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Iraq as India’s biggest oil supplier.

Back in these United States, Election Day is in the rearview and Democratic losses are less than expected: The White House no longer needs to cover up” the worst impacts of its energy policies.

One example from Jim Rickards: “The U.S. typically has a 30-day supply of diesel that is continually topped up by new deliveries from oil refineries. Today that supply is under 25 days. Critically, the refineries can’t keep up with demand so the supply is dwindling by the day and cannot easily be replenished.”

Reminder: Diesel powers all the trains and trucks that bring consumer goods to your favorite store, or your front door. No diesel, no deliveries.

“Government officials are yelling at refinery operators to produce more but they cannot. The U.S. has not added any refinery capacity since 1977. Some refineries have even been closed recently.

“There’s no inclination to invest in new refinery capacity because the Biden administration has threatened to destroy the U.S. oil and gas industry. Why invest in an industry that’s targeted for destruction by the White House?”

The economic and investment impacts of what Jim calls “Biden’s Cold Coverup” are about to make themselves felt — painfully. Now that Election Day is over, events will move quickly. If you haven’t watched Jim’s Emergency Election Briefing — Road to Ruin, we’re taking it offline tonight at midnight. Beyond today, it might be too late to act.

So what else is there to say about the election? The front page of this morning’s New York Times seems somehow disappointed that legions of “insurrectionists” didn’t disrupt the proceedings…

election

In the interest of keeping our team accountable, we’ll note that the makeup of the new Congress probably won’t line up with Jim Rickards’ projections here last week.

Jim forecast a Republican majority of 245-190 in the House. Looking at Politico’s projections this morning, Republicans have won 203 seats and Democrats 176. That leaves 56 seats still up in the air; a GOP majority is still likely, but not a huge one.

In the Senate, Jim was looking for a 53-47 GOP majority. Per Politico, Democrats already have secured 48 seats with Pennsylvania flipping to the “D” column. Republicans have 49. Three remain up for grabs — Arizona, Nevada and Georgia. Georgia is headed to a Dec. 6 runoff.

So what happened? Here’s some insight from a handful of spots around the country you probably won’t read about elsewhere — including the state your editor has called home for several years now.

By all rights, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Queen of Hearts” Whitmer should have been a vulnerable incumbent on her way out.

She was, after all, architect of the most arbitrary and capricious lockdown measures among all 50 states — and Michigan is not a deep-blue state like California, Illinois or New York.

But during the primaries, the two leading GOP contenders were both disqualified because there were scads of bogus signatures on their nominating petitions. (Both relied on the same signature-gathering contractor — hmmm.)

So the Republican nomination fell by default to a C-list radio talk show host who was tripped up from the get-go by her opposition to abortion rights even in cases of rape and incest. Her campaign was woefully underfunded, as the Michigan GOP was riven by divisions between Trumpers and Never-Trumpers.

republicians

Whitmer, for her part, played it smart — knowing Michigan isn’t a deep-blue state. She carefully calibrated just how far she could go without losing the consent of the governed.

Thus, for all intents and purposes, the indoor mask mandate ended here in May 2021 — while it dragged on months longer in Illinois and elsewhere.

It was a wipeout for the GOP in the Great Lakes State: Democratic incumbents prevailed in the races for secretary of state and attorney general as well… and control of both houses in the legislature flipped to the Dems for the first time since the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, in swing House districts throughout the land, the CIA Democrats” have become a force to be reckoned with.

The backdrop: During the last midterms in 2018, journalist Patrick Martin noticed an unusual number of U.S. House candidates with backgrounds in intelligence, the military or national security — all running as Democrats in competitive districts.

In a series of deeply researched articles for the World Socialist Web Site — you never know where you’ll find quality news analysis! — Martin counted 46 such candidates he dubbed “the CIA Democrats.” Of those 46 candidates, 30 won their primaries and 11 won in the general election — the critical margin that handed Democrats control of the House.

Five of the 11 were women, including two who were ex-CIA. Both of them — Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin and Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger — were revered in Big Media articles as the “badass women” of the 2018 freshman class.

Were it not for the CIA Democrats, Donald Trump’s first impeachment might have never happened. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was cool to the idea throughout 2019 — until seven of the 11 CIA Democrats signed an open letter calling for proceedings to begin.

Again, these were competitive districts in 2018. No more. In 2020, 10 of the 11 CIA Democrats won reelection. This year, nine were running again. Only two lost — ex-Navy commander Elaine Luria in Virginia and former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski in New Jersey. The rest, including Slotkin and Spanberger, appear to be entrenched for the long haul.

➢ One bright spot: In southwestern Washington state, ex-Green Beret Joe Kent is running as a Republican for an open seat — and one of the key planks of his platform is full-throated opposition to D.C.’s “forever wars.” This race is still undecided, but the pundits give Kent the edge. (We realize it’s the West Coast, but how could only 65% of the votes be counted as of 9:00 a.m. PST?)

Which brings us to the interminable amount of time its taking to count votes — but only in certain places.

michael

As we mentioned last week, the president said up-front in a speech that “it takes time to count all legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner.”

“Why does it suddenly take so long to count votes in this country?” wrote independent journalist Matt Taibbi a few days ago. “Biden implied ‘it’s always been’ that way, but it hasn’t.

“A sitting president first warning that his opponents are a violent existential threat and then announcing in advance that counting votes may take a long time, especially in the context of unfavorable polling, is certain to elevate conspiratorial doubts about coming results.”

Especially if control of the Senate remains up in the air for weeks on end.

Perhaps that uncertainty is why Wall Street is selling off today. Or not — unlike the financial media, we don’t glom onto facile “explanations” for the market’s day-to-day movements.

In any event, the major indexes are all down 1% or a little more. The Dow has lost its grip on 33,000 and the S&P 500 has slipped below 3,800. Disney is down 12% after disappointing on both earnings and revenue; Facebook parent Meta is up 7.3% now that rumors are confirmed that Mark Zuckerberg is cashiering 11,000 personnel.

Precious metals are steady — gold at $1,712, silver at $21.28. With the release of the Energy Department’s weekly inventory numbers, crude is down hard — nearly $2.50 — to $86.51.

But if its real thrillz-n-chillz you want, its in the crypto space again.

We could devote our entire 5 Mins. to the screwy saga of the FTX exchange and its near-collapse. For now, suffice it to say Binance might well walk away from its acquisition of FTX, announced yesterday.

Exactly how FTX got into a “significant liquidity crunch” in the first place remains murky, so we won’t speculate here. But according to the CoinDesk site, Binance has been looking over FTX’s books… blanching at what it’s seeing… and inclined to back out of its nonbinding deal.

If there’s no deal, there’s no guarantee FTX’s customers will be made whole.

Thus the fear that ripped through the crypto market starting on Saturday, only to recede with yesterday’s announcement, is ripping again today. Bitcoin is about to crack below $17,000 for the first time in two years. Ethereum has already given up the $1,200 level, the lowest since July.

To the mailbag, where a reader attempts to call us out for being too little too late” in yesterday’s edition.

“So back in 2019, when Billy Barr was performing as Trump’s own personal attorney, contrary to all conventional constitutional wisdom, you said nothing about his failure to protect Mr. Epstein. After all, Trump was caught on tape more than once in Epstein’s company. Nor did you mention Barr’s obvious cover-up of the Mueller report.

“But now, almost two years after Barr’s resignation and outing of the election lies that Trump made up, Barr has become the villain. How convenient!”

The 5: Nice try, no cigar: We said Barr should resign in disgrace while Epstein’s body was still lukewarm.

In addition, we went on record earlier in that summer of 2019 as having zero confidence Barr would figure out the origins of “Russiagate.” Reason being, the dude is as Deep State as they come — having helped cover up both Iran-Contra and Ruby Ridge during his time as AG under Poppy Bush.

But we realize those facts don’t neatly line up with partisan loyalties, so it doesn’t surprise us when people see only what they want to see. Sigh…

Todays political/business landscape laid out in 1957,” says the subject line of our final reader correspondence today.

“I put reading Atlas Shrugged on my bucket list some years ago and now that I’m probably in my eighth or ninth inning I have gotten serious about it.

“To my amazement, Ayn Rand laid out those many decades ago the dangerous political/social/business situation so accurately, the very morass we find ourselves in now.

“If you love freedom and free enterprise, you must invest the considerable time to read it. It will crystalize your thoughts and be worth your while. A remarkable book growing more valuable with time.”

The 5: We get what you’re saying about the parallels to the present situation — except for one critical detail: Where are the Randian heroes? The Dagny Taggarts, the Hank Reardens, the John Galts?

We look around the business world and all we see are James Taggarts, Robert Stadlers and Wesley Mouches.

Anyway, your editor read it as a teenager. Not sure I’ll ever get around to it again — even though it might be enlightening to do so, knowing now about all the psychodrama going on in Rand’s life during the decade she wrote the thing. There are just too many other books I haven’t read the first time…

Best regards,

Dave Gonigam

 

 

 

Dave Gonigam
The 5 Min. Forecast

Dave Gonigam

Dave Gonigam

Dave Gonigam has been managing editor of The 5 Min. Forecast since September 2010. Before joining the research and writing team at Agora Financial in 2007, he worked for 20 years as an Emmy award-winning television news producer.

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