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In December 2021, the US federal debt ceiling was raised by $2.5 trillion to $31.381 trillion, a figure which is expected to last until at least July 2023.
Shortly after Republican Kevin McCarthy prevailed in the battle for the post of House Speaker, debates on whether the US should raise its national debt ceiling returned to the fore.
Let's take a closer look at the matter that has long been a bone of contention for US economists and lawmakers.
What is the US Debt Ceiling?
The debt ceiling is the total maximum amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations. These include Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments.
What May Happen if the Debt Limit is Hit?
Breaching the debt limit may lead to a first-ever default for the US government, which in turn is expected to throw the country’s economy into a tailspin.
Whenever the US approached the debt limit – something that has been in place 17 times since 2001 - Congress has voted to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.
Following the addition of the infamous Dr. Blair Peters to its team, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) has announced an expansion to its “gender-affirming services,” which will now include castration for the purpose of vaginoplasty and the rollout of “neo-penises” made from the skin and flesh of forearms.
Bringing Peters in allowed for a “considerable expansion of OHSU’s gender affirming services,” the hospital announced, adding that the “notable expansion” will allow for more “advances in the robotic vaginoplasty program” as well as the phalloplasty program.
Despite the fact that both surgeries have extraordinarily high complication rates, OHSU is proud to offer them to children – and not just proud but “incredibly proud,” to quote the facility, which wrote in a tweet just after Christmas:
“Wishing each of you a safe and happy New Year. We have every reason to be incredibly proud of the work we’ve accomplished in 2022! Our most recent On The Cutting Edge highlights some of the accomplishments of our team.”
OHSU added that “[m]ultiple divisions continue to grow with new recruits and programs.” (Related: Vanderbilt launched a “Trans Buddies” program to bully more doctors into supporting the transgender mutilation of children.)
At the end of December, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s Executive Officer David Solomon announced in a traditional year-end message to staff that headcount reduction was just weeks away. As early as this week, thousands of Goldman employees are expected to be fired, Bloomberg reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.
By mid-week, Goldman will begin the process of firing 3,200 employees -- more than a third of those terminated will be from the investment bank's core trading and banking units. The firings are expected to be the largest ever in its operational history.
Goldman is also expected to reveal the financials of a new credit card and installment-lending business unit that could record more than $2 billion in pretax losses.
The expected cuts come as Solomon (or 'DJ D-Sol' by night) went on a hiring spree in recent years. Since the end of 2018, the headcount at the investment bank has humped 34% to more than 49,000.
And here comes the firing cycle.
All eyes are on Bakhmut (Artyomovsk), a Donbass city-turned-meat grinder for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which are sustaining heavy losses there. Mark Sleboda, a US military veteran and international affairs and security analyst, has explained to Sputnik why the city is so important for both sides of the conflict.
“First of all, from a level of its significance, one of the Russian military priorities was to secure all the Donbass, to secure the liberation of the entirety there,” Mark Sleboda told Sputnik. “And that being kind of right in the center of the Donetsk region, Bakhmut has often been called the key to Donetsk. So, of course, all of that area has to be liberated (…) Bakhmut is also a major transport and logistical hub because it’s got two highways that intersected and railroads that run north all the way to Moscow and then they go through south and then bend around down into Donetsk city.”
Second, Bakhmut is the linchpin of the entire second line of defense of the Kiev regime, the US military veteran continued.
“After that, there’s only one last defensive line in Donetsk of any major node between Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, further to the west,” Sleboda noted.
Third, taking Bakhmut threatens further advances and flanks in other directions due to its geographical location. Finally, it would allow greater control of the Donetsk-Seversky Canal, which provides water to Donetsk city, according to the analyst. Sleboda pointed out that the Kiev regime cut off the water supply to Donetsk five years ago. “They did it in Crimea as well,” the analyst added. “Cutting off water is what they do.”
This report gives further credibility to increasing statements from leading medical scientists, not part of the pro-life movement, nor known to be particularly religious, that the apparent sole logical explanation for the dangerous nature of the COVID injections, irrational mandates, and continuing promotion of them is that they are part of a global depopulation program. That explanation should not be rejected considering that most of the leading promoters of these unnecessary jabs are persons and organizations known to falsely believe the world is dangerously overpopulated and allegedly threatening the planet and all species on it. That especially includes advocates of the WEF’s “Great Reset” which also includes the Pope Francis-led Vatican.
On the morning of 27 December 2022 at the Amazon DEN4 warehouse in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 61-year-old Rick Jacobs died on the job after experiencing a cardiac event, right before a shift change. What happened next has angered his former colleagues.
Witnesses say a makeshift barrier around the deceased worker using large cardboard bins was used to block off the area on the outbound shipping dock where the incident occurred, and workers criticized the response and lack of transparency about the incident. Amazon denied boxes were used to cordon off the area, but said managers stood around to make sure no one came near for privacy and security.
As workers arrived for their day shift, they say they were not notified about what was going on and continued working as usual while a deceased colleague remained in the facility and emergency responders awaited the arrival of a coroner.
“Finding out what had happened after walking through there had made me feel very uncomfortable, as there is a blatant disregard of human emotions at this facility. Management could have released those employees affected by offering [voluntary time off], so that they did not need to use their own time, but nope, that did not happen,” said an Amazon employee at the warehouse who works the day shift. They requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.
A damning indictment of the Net Zero political project has been made by one of the world’s leading nuclear physicists. In a recently published science paper, Dr. Wallace Manheimer said it would be the end of modern civilisation. Writing about wind and solar power he argued it would be especially tragic “when not only will this new infrastructure fail, but will cost trillions, trash large portions of the environment, and be entirely unnecessary”. The stakes, he added, “are enormous”.
Dr. Manheimer holds a physics PhD from MIT and has had a 50-year career in nuclear research, including work at the Plasma Physics Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He has published over 150 science papers. In his view, there is “certainly no scientific basis” for expecting a climate crisis from too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the next century or so. He argues that there is no reason why civilisation cannot advance using both fossil fuel power and nuclear power, gradually shifting to more nuclear power.
There is of course a growing body of opinion that points out that the Emperor has no clothes when it comes to all the fashionable green technologies. Electric cars, wind and solar power, hydrogen, battery storage, heat pumps – all have massive disadvantages, and are incapable of replacing existing systems without devastating consequences.
Children struggling with obesity should be evaluated and treated early and aggressively, including with medications for kids as young as 12 and surgery for those as young as 13, according to new guidelines released Monday.
The longstanding practice of "watchful waiting," or delaying treatment to see whether children and teens outgrow or overcome obesity on their own only worsens the problem that affects more than 14.4 million young people in the U.S., researchers say. Left untreated, obesity can lead to lifelong health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.
"Waiting doesn't work," said Dr. Ihuoma Eneli, co-author of the first guidance on childhood obesity in 15 years from the American Academy of Pediatrics. "What we see is a continuation of weight gain and the likelihood that they'll have (obesity) in adulthood."
Webmaster addition: Ah yes, the solution is more money to doctors. Frankly, the solution to the obesity epidemic is to ban food companies from adding chemicals to food that make people eat more, purely for added profit.
A federal agency may look to ban gas stoves over concern about the release of pollutants that can cause health and respiratory problems, according to a new report.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is set to open public comment on the dangers of gas stoves sometime this winter. The commission could set standards on emissions from the gas stoves, or even look to ban the manufacture or import of the appliances, commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg News.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka told the outlet. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
The stoves, which are used in about 40 percent of homes in the U.S., emit pollutants including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter at levels deemed unsafe by the EPA and World Health Organization. The emissions have been linked to illness, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and other health conditions. More than 12 percent of current childhood asthma cases are linked to gas stove use, according to peer-reviewed research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health last month.
Kumail Nanjiani says Hollywood is still limiting the kinds of roles that actors of color can play.
The Eternals, Big Sick and Silicon Valley actor, who is promoting his recent Hulu limited series Welcome to Chippendales, said in a new interview that decision-makers are reluctant to cast nonwhite actors in villain roles.
“I think that Hollywood now — even though they’re trying to be more diverse — is still weird,” the actor told Esquire UK. The article notes Nanjiani believes that the problem is “good intentions can sometimes lead to misguided solutions: If the bad guy is a brown guy, what message is that sending?”
South African farm attacks last month included murders, torture, shootings, stabbings, and people being bound with wire.
- Johan and Pam Kok survived a farm attack in Warden, Free State province of South Africa.
Reports say assailants broke through two gates before breaking into the Kok’s farm house. Johan called authorities as the criminals were kicking in the home’s door. Once they entered the house, he fired a warning shot.
It took police about 25 minutes to respond.
[Farm attack, couple survive as man fires warning shot from behind bedroom door, Warden, attributed to Oorgrens veiligheid, southafricatoday.net, November 3, 2022]
- Two farms were raided near Polokwane in the Limpopo province.
Assailants used an axe to break down a door at one of the farm houses. Two farmhands were handcuffed together and forced to help the intruders carry loot. Power cables were ripped out of the house. Also stolen were lights, solar panel, its battery, and inverter.
The workers were then taken to a second house and forced to carry stolen property to the road. However, the owner was driving on the road at the time and, seeing the assailants, flashed his lights. The thieves fled, leaving most of the stolen property behind.
What started as a common bacterial infection ended in death for fifteen children infected with Strep A in Britain.
Health authorities have issued a dire warning to parents in the UK as the number of child deaths caused by the infection continues to rise. The latest victim, a five-year-old girl from Ireland, became severely ill last week before dying from Strep A-related complications on Monday.
Although pediatric patients usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes, complications may arise when the infection gets into the bloodstream, leading to a potentially deadly illness known as Invasive Group A strep (iGAS).
In the US, iGAS cases decreased during the pandemic, but the CDC told The Independent on Wednesday that doctors in the US have informed the agency about a possible recent increase, which is now actively being monitored.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev has issued ultra-provocative words claiming that it's not fundamentally Ukraine that Russia is at war with, but that the Russian military is facing all of NATO inside Ukraine.
"The events in Ukraine aren’t a clash between Moscow and Kiev. It’s a military confrontation of NATO, first of all the US and Britain, with Russia. Fearing a direct engagement, NATO instructors push Ukrainian men to certain death," he said in a fresh interview with state-owned newspaper aif.ru.
Patrushev continued by describing Russia's military as geared toward seeking to "free its regions from occupation and must put an end to the West’s bloody experiment to destroy the fraternal people of Ukraine."
"We are not at war with Ukraine because we can’t have hatred for ordinary Ukrainians by default," he stressed. He then presented Russian and Ukrainian heritage and closely bound up together, according to state media:
"Get this: the Ukrainian language is one of the official languages in Crimea. Ukrainian cultural centers, Ukrainian folk song and dance groups continue to exist in many cities. A considerable number of people in the south of the Far East regard Ukrainian culture as their own, given a large proportion of migrants from the times of Stolypin," he said, referring to Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister of the Russian Empire in the early 1900s, who oversaw a resettlement policy.
... a soap opera. In fact, as usual, it begins to look increasingly risible.
The U.S. is considering sending Stryker armored combat vehicles to Ukraine in an upcoming aid package to help Kyiv fend off an expected Russian spring offensive, according to two people familiar with the discussion. The news follows the Biden administration’s announcement last week that it will send 50 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, a powerful tracked armored vehicle that carries an autocannon, a machine gun and TOW missiles. ...While Strykers are not as powerful or protective as tanks, the eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle built by General Dynamics Land Systems can operate in snow, mud and sand, though off-road mobility is somewhat limited by its lack of tracks.
Ah, yes. Anything but modern Abrams tanks.
Crude oil prices could exceed $140 per barrel yet this year if China’s economy fully reopens, hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand said on Friday.
Andurand sees the possibility of crude oil demand growing by more than 4 million barrels per day this year—a 4% increase over last year. This far exceeds crude demand growth set out for 2023 by other oil market forecasters.
“I think oil will go upwards of $140 a barrel once Asia fully reopens, assuming there will be no more lockdowns, Andurand said, adding that the “market is underestimating the scale of the demand boost that it will bring.”
Andurand’s forecast goes against the trend that crude oil prices set so far this year. During the first week of the year, crude oil prices tumbled by 9% in the first two trading days in what was the worst start to a year since 1991.
Last week, Andurand said in a tweet that oil demand could increase between 3 and 4 million bpd this year, aided by the switch from oil to gas.
House Republicans on Tuesday will take the first step in the new Congress toward boosting oversight of both the Chinese government and the Biden administration.
China is widely viewed as America’s most immediate threat economically, militarily and strategically. China’s grip on the global supply chain and strategic resources has been growing for years, and China has been making major acquisitions around the world that experts say enhance both its economic prowess and its military capability.
On Tuesday, Republicans will call up a resolution from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and China.
The committee’s mission will be to “investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.”
Today is our day off, but this just came across and we wanted you all to see it before we wrote on it. Early this morning Bloomberg did a post describing the “who” bought all the gold recently. TD Securities did a more comprehensive report on it today1, including the “why” part.
Just now Zerohedge also posted an excellent write up of that report. In doing so they provide insight as why this gold is being hoarded. From: 'A Sanctions-Evasion War-Chest Ahead Of Taiwan Invasion' - Why Is China Hoarding Gold Again?
[T]he role of gold may be changing as first Russia, then other countries (China) seek to force out the petrodollar and replace it with petrogold, a move which would finally lead to substantial price upside for the yellow metal which has gone nowhere in the past 2 years.
Certainly if an invasion or threat of one were to happen, China would have to shore up its FX reserves with Gold.
Shipping rates in the Black Sea have risen by 20% since the start of the year as war risk insurance premiums increase, Reuters reported, citing unnamed industry sources.
What’s more, some insurers have stopped providing coverage for ships and planes moving goods to and from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Reinsurers have also pulled out of the region on heightened risks, the report noted.
The Black Sea, which is shared by Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, and Turkey, is a major oil and oil product shipping artery.
“The effect of (the exit of reinsurers) is reducing (underwriting) capacity in the market for war risk and will mean people will pay more this year,” one of the Reuters sources explained.
Russia has ramped up oil production from the Sakhalin-1 project and expects the field to soon pump at the full level of 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) after the project’s previous operator, U.S. supermajor ExxonMobil, quit Russian operations, an industry source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Monday.
Currently, oil production at Sakhalin-1 is around 150,000 bpd, or 65% of its capacity, according to Reuters’ industry source. Output is set to hit the 220,000 bpd peak level in “three to four weeks,” the source added.