"Everyone has their price. What's surprising is...how low it is" -- Napoleon

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A Jan. 6 protester who spent 18 seconds inside the Capitol building during the protests has been sentenced to 24 months of probation with 30 days of home detention.

Angelo Pacheco, a 24-year-old man from Kansas City, will also have to pay $500 restitution for damages done to the Capitol building that day, which the federal government says totaled more than $2.73 million, according to an April 8, 2022, court filing.

Mr. Pacheco’s sentencing was held before Judge Randolph D. Moss on Jan. 31 via video conference in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

He faced a maximum sentence of six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, and five years of probation.

According to the Jan. 6, 2021, criminal complaint, Mr. Pacheco was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.

As stated in the July 14, 2023 Statement of Facts, “The FBI received a tip from a confidential human source (CHS)” that Mr. Pacheco “was on the U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021.”

While the informant did not know Mr. Pacheco, the CHS “identified him by comparing images on his Facebook and Instagram pages with open-source photos from January 6, 2021.

Claire's Observations:  FOR A BLOODY 18 SECONDS?!?!?

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Ukraine is going through a crisis in civil-military relations which will have a tremendous impact on how it goes forward regarding the ongoing conflict with Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly summoned the commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valerie Zaluzhny, to a meeting on Monday, January 29, 2024, where he informed his military commander that he was being relived from his position. According to accounts that have appeared in western media, Zaluzhny refused to step down. As of Friday, February 2, 2024, the precise status of General Zaluzhny remains uncertain amid a swirl of rumors regarding his imminent dismissal.

The rift between Zelensky and Zaluzhny represents a serious blow to one of the fundamental principles which underpins democratic society—a civil-military relationship predicated on the simple proposition that a democratically elected civilian leadership is the final authority on all matter, including military, and in the case of disputes between the civil and military leadership, civilian authority retains supreme authority.

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The Pentagon has commenced retaliation strikes in response to a drone attack that killed three US troops at a secretive base in Jordan, targeting dozens of sites in Iraq and Syria linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups.

“Our response began today” and “will continue at times and places of our choosing,” US President Joe Biden announced on Friday night. The airstrikes started around midnight on Saturday local time and hit more than 85 Iranian-linked targets, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

The bombings come nearly one week after a drone packed with explosives struck Tower 22, a US base in Jordan located near the Syrian and Iraqi borders, killing three soldiers and wounding more than 40 others. The attack, which the US blamed on the Iranian-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq, marked the first deaths of American troops in a wave of assaults triggered by the Israel-Hamas war.

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President Biden's planned trip to East Palestine, Ohio, is pure politics as the election cycle begins. The White House plans to do a victory lap on its response to the train derailment that nuked the small town with toxic chemicals one year ago. Yet, a new report reveals the federal government's response has been sub-par, with cancer-causing chemicals still found in surrounding rivers and streams. 

One year after the Norfolk Southern train derailment, NewsNation found toxic chemicals in rivers and streams around East Palestine. This comes even as the Environment Protection Agency has given residents the all-clear to return. 

Claire's Observations;  Once the election-year euphoria dies down, people will still be dying from the cancer-causing chemicals which fouled the soil and water from that derailment.   And no one in Fed-Land will give a rat's anus as to how their  lousy management contributed to these deaths.   Federal response to any emergency like this is to make it look like "something concrete has been done" to rid the area of its toxicity, when in fact, nothing  has really been done by way of an intelligent clean up, which might have prevented some of these cancers.  And the EPA giving the residents the "all clear" to return?!?  THAT, folks, will be the final "coup de grace" for many of this area's residents.

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Last month, the Supreme Court shocked the nation when it ruled against Texas. Even though millions of illegal aliens have swarmed the border, the court allowed the Biden administration to remove barriers put up by the state.

This has only increased tensions between Texas and the federal government. Gov. Abbott has vowed to continue putting up wire and other barriers to defend his state.

Numerous Republican governors spoke out to defend Texas. Some vowed to send more razor wire to protect the border from invasion. And now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be defying the Supreme Court by sending even more.

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Donald Trump is leading in the GOP primaries. But Nikki Haley has vowed the fight is “far from over.” Polling suggests she will have a hard time overcoming Trump’s popularity. And she is losing donors who had hoped she could defeat the former president.

But recently, Haley made a post that might end up hurting her more than her previous gaffes.

The Republican candidate posted two images of letters from fans. Both claimed to be voters who were urging her to continue fighting Donald Trump. But it didn’t take long for keen users to notice a few problems with these “letters.” And they were quick to pounce.

From The Post Millennial:
Presidential candidate and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is under fire after posting “kind words” that she has received from what she claimed were Americans supportive of her campaign against Trump in the Republican primary…

Users on the platform, however, were quick to point out obvious flaws with the two messages that had been screenshotted.

One was written in what appears to be an email box that has not been sent yet, with the top of the email box stating “new message.” The other appears to be a hand-written note, but with closer inspection appears to be a font style that has the appearance of being written by hand.

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The decline of America’s major cities has been widely documented in recent years. Thanks, it seems, to progressive mayors, blue cities have suffered unchecked rioting, crime, homelessness, and drug abuse.

It seems that, despite this decline, Democrat mayors refuse to make changes to turn things around. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Americans are fleeing these places.

One blue city is known for unchecked violence. The city is reeling from thousands of migrants, while crime continues to rise. And now, its mayor has just agreed to a policy that could put students at risk.

From Daily Wire:
Chicago Democrat Mayor Brandon Johnson told reporters he agrees with the city’s Board of Education that police officers should be removed from the city’s high schools…

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It’s becoming increasingly clear that Democrats are fighting over the war in Israel. Far-left progressives have turned on their party. They have called Israel an “oppressive” regime and accused Biden of complying with “genocide” for supporting it.

Democrats are in big trouble. They cannot turn on Israel, since it is a top ally. But Biden cannot afford to lose progressives.

His campaign will have to scramble to win over these voters. In the meantime, the conflict is heating up. While Biden made a campaign stop in blue Michigan. Protesters were on hand to greet him with this chant.

From The Post Millennial:
On Thursday, President Biden failed to receive a warm welcome during a campaign stop in Michigan. The Democrat president was met with furious pro-Palestinian activists screaming, “F*ck Joe Biden,” in support of Gaza.

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It hit the headlines last week after crashing down to the lunar surface upside down

But it seems that all is not lost for Japan's moon lander. 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has revealed that its SLIM lander has unexpectedly sprung to life. 

'Communication with SLIM was successfully established last night, and operations resumed!' JAXA delighted on X (formerly Twitter).

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China Poised To Take Further Control Of Iraq's Key Southern Oil Assets

  • China is over the halfway mark in completing its strategically vital oil project in the critical Iraqi energy hub of Nasiriyah.
  • This facility will act as a storage hub and supply conduit for 3.0-3.5 million barrels of crude oil.
  • Even before the huge strategic importance of the new Nasiriyah facility, China will benefit from its massively enhanced presence there in the matter of increasing its oil supplies from southern Iraq, with the DhiQar Province being home to several huge fields

China is over the halfway mark in completing its strategically vital oil project in the critical Iraqi energy hub of Nasiriyah, at the heart of the some of the country’s biggest oil and gas fields and close to its main export terminal of Al Fao in Basra. According to the Iraq Ministry of Planning, the China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Company (CPPEC) is now over 55 percent complete on the construction of the country’s biggest crude oil storage facility, located in Nasiryah city in DhiQar province.

This facility will act as a storage hub and supply conduit for 3.0-3.5 million barrels of crude oil that will then either go to export out of Basra Port or will be transported through pipelines to refineries and power plants in central and northern Iraq. It will also act as a logistical command centre for all of China’s extensive oil and gas projects in Iraq and for the build-out of multiple non-oil projects connected to the all-encompassing ‘Iraq-China Framework Agreement’.

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Executive Order 14057 justifies the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions as necessary to counteract the existential threat of climate change. The program’s comprehensive and prohibitively expensive initiative proposes to transform the operational military by achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2045, purportedly on firmly established “science-based” targets that are validated by computer models and consensus within the scientific community.

The narrative that the earth’s climate balances precariously on the brink of catastrophe and merits the distinction of a national security priority is constantly presented to the public in familiar, apocalyptic terms. President Biden warns that global warming is the greatest threat to national security. DOD Secretary Austin alerts the public of existential climate threats, including an ice-free Arctic Ocean, although as of January 2023 the Arctic sea ice pack is at its highest since 2003. The DOD and high ranking officials from the navy, army, and air force proclaim that it is incumbent upon the armed services to implement net zero without delay to avert a worldwide catastrophe. Despite the incessant fearmongering, no one appears to pause and consider that the DOD produces only 1 percent of the United State’s CO2 emissions, which in turn is responsible for 13 percent of the world’s total. Even if the DOD achieves net zero, eliminating 0.13 percent of the world’s CO2 output would not detectably reduce global temperatures.

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Food inflation may not be dead. 

Cocoa prices climbed to a 46-year high this week in New York as concerns about dry conditions across West Africa could reduce yields for the Ivory Coast, the world's largest producer of cocoa beans, ahead of the mid-crop in April. 

In the US, a rapidly shrinking cattle herd, now at the lowest levels in seven decades, has pushed the supermarket price of beef to a record of $5.21 per pound. Rising food prices are the central bank's worst enemy. 


To end the week, breakfast lovers will be disappointed to learn robusta bean prices in Vietnam, the world's largest producer of the bean, are absolutely out of control. 

Local robusta prices in Vietnam hit a record on Thursday, topping nearly 80,000 per kilogram. 

"That's threatening to push prices in London up further, even after the benchmark capped its own all-time high this week at $3,336 a ton," Bloomberg said, adding the surge in prices was primarily due to farmers "hoarding" the bean. 

To recap this week, cocoa bean, beef, and robusta bean prices have been marching higher.

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While pressure has continued to mount on US President Joe Biden to take action in response to Israel's war on Gaza, he has instead set his sights on the occupied West Bank. Activity by Israeli settlers has dramatically increased since the beginning of the Gaza war on October 7 and a number of governments have begun imposing penalties and bans on those suspected of violent or illegal activity.

On Thursday, the US government said it had imposed financial sanctions on four Israeli settlers for violence against Palestinians to "promote accountability for certain harmful activities that threaten the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank". 

Claire's Observations:  More sound and fury, courtesy of By-di-Bye's minions, signifying absoflippinglutely nothing.

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On the surface, it was an blockbuster jobs report, certainly one which nobody expected. Starting at the top, the BLS reported that in January the US unexpectedly added 353K "jobs" - the most since January 2023 (when the print was 482K compared to 131K) , double the consensus forecast of 185K and more than the highest Wall Street estimate (300K from Natixis). In fact, this was a 4-sigma beat to estimate, unheard of in the past year.

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The headline data was stellar across the board, starting with the unemployment rate which once again failed to rise - denying expectations from "Sahm's Rule" that a recession may have already started - all the way to average hourly earnings, which unexpectedly spiked from 4.1% (pre-revision) to 4.5%, the highest since last September, and a slap in the face to the Fed's disinflation narrative...

... or it would be if one didn't think of checking how the average rose: well, it turns out that, since average hourly earnings is a fraction, it did not rise due to a jump in actual wages but - since it is earnings over a period of time - "rose" because the BLS decided to sharply slash the number of estimated hours that everyone was working, from 34.3 to just 34.1, which may not sound like a lot until one realizes that the last time the workweek was this low was when the economy was shut down during covid.  Excluding the covid lockdowns, one would have to go back to 2010 to find a workweek that was this anemic.

Claire's Observations:  Hey, the Fed wouldn't possibly be lying to us because it's an election year, would they?!?

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The US has a $6 trillion problem over the next twelve months

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by Sovereign Man

Friday, Feb 02, 2024 - 6:43

by James Hickman via Schiff Sovereign

Yesterday the Treasury Department announced that they expected to increase the national debt by a whopping $760 billion this quarter alone… and another $202 billion next quarter.

In short that means almost $1 trillion added to the national debt just in the first half of this year. And, again, these are the Treasury Department’s own estimates.

Obviously, that’s a pretty horrible result; even a senior Treasury official acknowledged that they have “significantly increased” their bond sales and the national debt. Not that they’re doing anything to stop the trend.

But there’s an even greater risk that the Treasury Department faces this year that is hardly being discussed anywhere.

Over the next twelve months, more than $6 trillion in existing US government debt is set to mature… and will need to be paid back somehow.

So, to give you an example, back in 2014, the federal government issued $264 billion in 10-year Treasury notes.

Well, it’s now 2024, i.e. ten years later. Meaning that $264 billion worth of 10-year notes issued in 2014 will become due and payable this year.

In 2017, they issued $368.8 billion worth of 7-year notes. And those 7-year notes issued in 2017 are due and payable this year.

Now, this doesn’t actually increase the national debt. If they borrow $6 trillion in new bonds, but then pay back $6 trillion in old bonds, the net change to the debt is ZERO.

So, what’s the problem?

The problem is that interest rates are MUCH higher than they were 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years ago when those old bonds were first issued

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Bankruptcy is a developing twenty-first century theme in America. We see bankruptcy in federal government policy and spending, many corporate boardroom decisions, nonprofit and religious groups’ overspending and arrogance, individuals, some United States cities and counties, and the territory of Puerto Rico. The federal bankruptcy law consisting of Chapters 7, 9, 11, and 13 allow bankruptcy filings for local governments, individuals, nonprofit groups, and for-profit businesses, but it does not allow bankruptcy filings for states and the federal government.
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Mortgage demand fell to a new 30-year low in January 2024, down 54% from the pandemic peak. Mortgage demand is down 14% over the last year and 40% from pre-pandemic levels.
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