Friday, October 14, 2016

A New Spy Scandal Exposes the Corruption of Privatized Intelligence Friday October 14th, 2016 at 5:48 PM

A New Spy Scandal Exposes the Corruption of Privatized Intelligence

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Protesters block the street outside McDonald's in downtown Portland, Oregon, during a nationwide day of action against prison slavery. (AP Photo / Sipa)
Since September 9, inmates in at least 29 prisons (maybe as many as 50) have staged labor strikes, hunger strikes, and various kinds of protests. The actions took place in at least 12 states and involved at least 24,000 inmates (and potentially many more). Taken together, the past month has seen one of the largest, if not the largest, prison protest in US history. Organized across facilities and states and planned for the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, the actions have disrupted incarceration-as-usual across the country. And yet few people outside inmate solidarity networks have heard anything about it.1
The national awareness gap boils down to the particular nature of prison strikes, and how inmates remain largely at the mercy of prison guards and officials, even when it comes to getting the word out about their protests. Many of the actions that outside organizers have been reporting to the media remain unconfirmed: Public awareness can lag months, years, and sometimes decades behind events and conditions inside prisons. Public information officers can stonewall journalists, and prison officials sometimes deny actions, despite strong evidence that they have occurred, within their facilities. That’s why The New York TimesThe Washington Post, MSNBC, and CNN, among others, have all failed to cover the actions.2
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the extent of the strikes, and of the retaliation occurring behind bars. But strikes and actions did happen, and in many cases are ongoing.3
What We Know So Far
Even before the actions were scheduled to kick off on September 9, organizers in multiple prisons were transferred, put in solitary confinement, or had their privileges restricted. In South Carolina, in the weeks leading up to the strike, officers took preemptive measures to “isolate, transfer, [and] place in solitary” inmate organizers, according to Dee (a pseudonym), a jailhouse lawyer and an inmate in the Perry Correctional Institute. Jason Walker, an inmate in the Clements unit in Texas, wrote to me, “They just trying to cover their asses in case that strike really does happen. So in other words, it’s pre-damage control.” Walker later wrote: “At 3:00AM 9-5-16 they put the prison system on lockdown.”4
On September 7, at least 400 inmates in Florida’s Holmes Correctional staged an uprising, followed by strikes, protests, and uprisings in at least four other Florida facilities in subsequent days. Inmates refused orders, refused to work, took over dorms and cellblocks, and damaged buildings. Riot squads attempted to subdue the uprising with canisters of gas. According to reports from The Miami Herald, understaffing, excessive heat, and incidences of violence have plagued Florida’s prisons for years. Kimberly Schultz, president of Teamsters 2011, the union representing Florida’s correctional officers, expected that “These riots will continue to increase in frequency.”5
In Michigan the day after prisoners went on strike in conjunction with the nationwide work stoppage on September 9, according to Evelyn Williams, the fiancée of Anthony Bates, an inmate in Kinross Correctional Facility, striking inmates who were marching peacefully in the yard, after discussing their demands with the warden, were accosted by a tactical team with “guns, rifles, tear gas, and shields.” Approximately 150 inmates were handcuffed with zip ties and left out in the rain for five or six hours. Some were also allegedly tear-gassed in the face. As reported in the Detroit Free Press, prison officials initially tried to downplay the loss of control and extent of the damage, and there are still disputing narratives, but what is clear is that “inmates set at least one fire, smashed numerous windows…and left at least one unit temporarily unlivable.” It was the first time in over 35 years that the state sent armed officers into the prison to regain control.6
In Wisconsin, inmates in Waupun Correctional Institution, who were already on hunger strikes by September 9 in protest of long-term solitary confinement, were bolstered by the national strikes, according to IWOC organizer Ben Turk. Some of the inmates were being force-fed through a nasal tube prior to and continuing after September 9. At least 15 inmates in Waupun were continuing their hunger strike as of September 23, according to an inmate letter.7
In Texas, one of the states where past strikes have received the most attention, multiple prisons went on lockdown on or before September 9, though officials denied that there was strike activity. One family member, however, reported that, in response to a September 9 strike in the Allred Unit, “Guards in riot gear showed up and blasted tear gas and physically restrained and assaulted several inmates.” I spoke with the wife of one Texas inmate who told me that her husband had planned to participate in a September 9 strike in the Michael unit, which, as of October 2, was on lockdown due to “shortage of staff,” according to a receptionist at the prison. In the Coffield unit, another of the lead national organizers, Malik Washington, was placed in long-term solitary confinement on September 15. Washington writes: “This step was taken in response to my peaceful organizing of prisoners for the September 9 National Prison Work Stoppage.” Another lead inmate organizer, Jason Walker, in Clements unit, wrote to me that his unit went on lockdown on Labor Day, and remained locked down until, at least, September 19. He drew a picture of his breakfast, which, he said, was typical during a lockdown and inadequately portioned. “Nobody deserves to get fed like this,” he wrote. In Alabama, last May, inmates accused prison officials of “bird feeding,” giving them, during a lockdown, a purposefully low-calorie diet of non-nutritional and sometimes disgusting food.8
An inmate’s drawing of the meager food given to inmates at William P. Clements Unit in Texas.
In California, around 100 inmates in Merced County Jail went on hunger strike on September 9. Inmates in Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara County Jail planned to join the hunger strike on October 1.9
In South Carolina, there were repeated moments of tension throughout the month. At least one inmate died in the state’s McCormick facility after an inmate-on-inmate stabbing, prompting what one inmate called an “active rebellion.” The prison reportedly went on lockdown. (Officials didn’t return my calls for a statement).10
On September 29 in North Carolina, four prison officials were attacked by inmates. It is unclear if these uprisings were related to organizing around September 9, but incidences of violence in the Carolinas seem to be on the rise. Dee, the jailhouse lawyer in South Carolina’s Perry Correctional Institution, told me, “There is much more collective unity among the prisoners” after September 9. Another inmate in South Carolina said, “The spirit of Attica is in the air.”11
In Alabama, where the movement for the September 9 action began, inmates in Holman Correctional Facility shut down the prison for at least a day. According to inmate organizer Kinetik Justice, even prison guards joined the strike on Saturday, September 24, to protest unsafe conditions. (Officer Kenneth Bettis was stabbed by an inmate at the facility on September 1, and died from his injuries on September 16). The day after the guards joined the strike, on September 25, Justice said, there was an “emergency situation…and the warden was wheeling the meal cart to serve the prisoners dinner.” Justice, as well as outside organizers from the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), told me that though the work strike has ended, protests continue, and tension in Holman remains high.12
Although the Alabama Department of Corrections officials denied that guards joined the strike—confirming only that at least nine guards did not report for their shifts on September 24—Justice told me that almost no guards were working at the prison that day, and “that the violence was beginning to erupt again.”13
Justice said: “They [the guards] won’t go in the dormitory [anymore]” where inmates are confined. There have been reports of multiple inmate-on-inmate stabbings in Holman, and, according to Justice, “Authorities have no control of a maximum security prison.” According to Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, spokesperson for FAM, at least two of the striking officers he spoke with cited understaffing as connected to the death of officer Bettis. Glasgow also told me that striking guards “agree with the inmates [that] Admin is creating a hostile environment.”14
When Bettis was stabbed, according to Justice, he was the only officer in charge of approximately 230 men in the dining hall. In the last three months, according to Justice, over 20 corrections officers have quit their jobs. Holman has seen three different wardens in the past 10 months; the previous warden, Carter F. Davenport, was stabbed by an inmate in March and retired shortly afterwards—FAM had been calling for him to step down since April. ADOC officials confirmed that Holman is understaffed. On October 2 there were more reports that officers were once again striking. According to ADOC spokesperson Bob Horton, six officers did not report to work, but “There was no strike.”15
Perhaps one of the few things preventing Holman from descending into total chaos is that leaders of FAM and other prison organizations, including prison gangs, convened an inmate Peace Summit last month to take control of prison security, which was being neglected by the guards. One of the participants in the Peace Summit said, addressing fellow inmates: “We are not enemies. These COs have no power to change laws or effect change on the senseless administrative policies. They are not the real enemy. The laws have us oppressed.”16
On October 6, likely in response to the strikes, the Justice Department announced it will be conducting an investigation into the conditions of prisons in Alabama, citing the constitutional requirement that prisons “provide humane conditions of confinement,” and that “All citizens, even those who are incarcerated, should expect sanitary conditions of habitation that are free of physical harm and sexual abuse.”17
Working to Sustain the Movement
There were reports of other protests, uprisings, labor strikes, and hunger strikes in multiple other states, but details and confirmation are still lacking. Outside of prisons, actions organized by FAM, IWOC, Anarchist Black Cross groups, and other allied organizations, took place in dozens of states. There are already calls for renewed strikes and protests inside prisons from October 15 to October 22, as well as a planned “Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March” in Washington, DC, for August of 2017.18
Siddique Abdullah Hasan, an inmate in Ohio State Penitentiary, summed up to me the inmate-organizing efforts in an e-mail: “We understand that [this] movement is a protracted struggle and it’s going to take more than one national demonstration to break the back of the prison-industrial complex, a powerful and oppressive system. Nevertheless, our ultimate goals are to abolish prison slavery, mass incarceration, super economic exploitation of prisoners and their families, and end police brutality in poor and minority communities.”19
Though inmates in multiple states are protesting a range of injustices, they have found common ground against what they see as a brutal, retaliatory, racist system of criminal justice and mass incarceration. Continued inmate organizing could incite further federal investigations into—as well as increasing public attention of—America’s prison system, which is the largest in the world. After the uprising in the Attica prison, in 1971, it has taken decades for the truth of what happened within the prison’s walls to make the light of day—as this year’s publication of Heather Ann Thompson’s book,Blood in the Water, shows. Hopefully, the public’s understanding of today’s conditions and the protest movement behind prison bars won’t lag so far behind.20
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The Russian secret behind Ukraine’s mini 'republic' - France 24

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And you can watch it online as early as Friday.
Latest update : 2016-10-14

The Russian secret behind Ukraine’s mini 'republic'

    Two years after pro-Russian separatists declared the "Donetsk People's Republic", fighting between the Ukrainian army and separatist forces continues. But who is arming the separatists of this self-declared republic? And who is financing the reconstruction? Our reporters follow the trail of weapons and money and lay bare Donetsk's best-kept secret.

    In eastern Ukraine, the separatists of the "Donetsk People's Republic" clash daily with Ukrainian forces, despite the ceasefire signed in September 2014.
    Russia denies any involvement with the separatists, which makes this conflict a war of communication and misinformation. The involvement of Moscow appears nevertheless obvious, not just on the battlefield but also in many sectors of the economy.

    Issues That Matter: Gen. Michael Hayden on national security - YouTube

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    Published on Oct 14, 2016
    One of the most critical talking points for the 2016 presidential nominees is national security. In this edition of Issues That Matter, we take a look at the threats the next president will have to confront. Retired four-star Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who served as director of the CIA and the NSA, as well as principal deputy director of national intelligence, joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss why he thinks Russia is trying to erode confidence in the U.S. political processes, and how we should address threats from countries including Syria and North Korea.

    Issues that Matter: Retired General Michael Hayden on Russia, foreign policy issues in 2016 race

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    One of the most critical issues facing the 2016 presidential nominees is national security. In this installment of “Issues That Matter,” retired four-star Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden – who served as director of the CIA and the NSA, as well as principal deputy director of national intelligence – takes a look at the threats the next president will have to confront.

    The Obama administration is “confident” that Russia is trying to interfere in the presidential election – and so is the former CIA and NSA director, Gen. Michael Hayden. Though Russia has denied the allegations, Hayden says he thinks Russia is trying to “erode” Americans’ larger confidence in the political process.
    “The Clinton campaign has said they’re doing it to pick a winner. I don’t think that’s true,” Hayden, a retired four-star Air Force general, told “CBS This Morning” Friday. “It’s to mess with our heads. It’s to do to us what he thinks we do to him and his political processes. It’s a way of his pushing back against what he views to be American pressure.”
    Hayden believes Russian criminal gangs, directed by the Russian state, are behind the hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails. Clinton has vowed as president to fight cyberattacks like any other assault on the country, with “serious political, economic and military responses.” Hayden agrees, but thinks cyberattacks should be examined in a larger context.  
    “Don’t put this in the ‘cyber problem’ box. Put this in the ‘Russian problem’ box,” Hayden said. “Put this in that box with all these other indicators – actual Russian behavior to which we should respond – in my view, respond more robustly than we’ve responded.”
    Hayden said the Obama administration’s response to the Russia’s intervention in Syria has been “too light,” agreeing with criticism that the U.S. has created a “vacuum” in the war-torn country. Hayden suggested different ways U.S. actions could be “more robust” to create a “tectonic shift in a Russian pressure point.”
    “Can we be more robust in Ukraine, with regard to what we may or may not provide them? Can we be more robust in Syria, with how much space we give the Russians to operate?” Hayden said. “Getting out of the narrow box, why don’t we make it American policy to wean the Europeans off of Russian gas? Why don’t we simply say, ‘We got it, we’re going to exploit it, and we’re going to ship it.’”
    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have found little common ground on issues in the presidential campaign, but both have suggested setting up some form of safe zones in Syria. Hayden agreed, but said it would be complicated to do – especially given Russia’s presence there – and suggested creating “relatively thin zones” along the Turkish and Jordanian borders.
    “And here’s where it really gets tough, all right? And at this point you actually got to say to all the players,’We’re serious. This is a safe zone.’ Now we got responsibilities. We can’t let one side or the other operate out of there and conduct attacks. That’s our policing function, it’s not yours, you can’t go there,’” Hayden said.
    Hayden – who has yet to endorse either candidate but has said Trump was not qualified to be president – said he agreed with Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence’s statement that the U.S. should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime, if Russia continues to be involved in airstrikes.

    “I thought (that) was far more robust. Unfortunately, he was disowned by his own presidential candidate,” Hayden said, referring to Trump’s claim in the second presidential debate that hedisagreed with his running mate on the Syrian matter.
    “But I do think on a raw, humanitarian basis, we’ve got to do more,” Hayden said.
    Hayden also addressed other critical foreign policy issues confronting the next president, ranking them on a timeline according to “how bad is it, how much time do you have?” Hayden set terrorism – cyberattacks included – first on the timeline, then, three to five years from now, threats from “ambitious, fragile and nuclear” states including North Korea, Pakistan, Iran and Russia.
    “And then… when I run the timeline out here about ten years, I got this bubble way up here that’s really important and that’s the Sino-American relationship,” Hayden said. “Not saying China’s an enemy, but if we don’t get that right, over the long term, that’s pass-fail.”
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    Gen. Michael Hayden: Russia launches cyberattacks to "mess with our heads" - CBS News

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    Gen. Michael Hayden: Russia launches cyberattacks to "mess with our heads"
    CBS News
    One of the most critical issues facing the 2016 presidential nominees is national security. In this installment of “Issues That Matter,” retired four-star Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden – who served as director of the CIA and the NSA, as well as ...

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    Итоговые эпизоды российско-сербского учения «БАРС-2016» высоко оценил начальник Генерального штаба Вооруженных сил Сербии

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    В течение недели совместные авиационные экипажи отрабатывали полеты в различное время суток, перехват воздушных целей, ближний воздушный бой, сложный и высший пилотаж.

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    Page 2

    Anti-Americanism is ‘Cult of Putin’s Russia’ with All the Consequences Thereof, Pastukhov Says

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    Paul Goble

    Staunton, October 14 – “Anti-Americanism,” Vladimir Pastukhov says, “is the Marxism of ‘the Russian spring’ and the religion of the ‘post-modern’ post-communist rebirth. It is the guide to any action and at the same time a universal indulgence” and explanation of all problems Moscow faces.

    It is in short, the Russian historian at the London School of Economics says, “the new cult of Putin’s Russia,” reflecting the fact that “Russia no longer loves America but as before cannot live without her. If the Americans did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them” (

    This cult is “not simply a continuation of an old trend,” he suggests, but rather “a transition to some completely new quality,” containing as it does “something neurotic” and in some cases as “poorly concealed hysteria.” And like any other hysteria, it has “earthly and rational” roots in three things: folly, rage and jitters.

    The Kremlin wants to replay “the Soviet spectacle ‘We will bury you,’” Pastukhov says, and it is prepared to engage in “a fantastic bluff” to force the West to back down and “’leave us in peace, don’t interfere with our affairs, and yield to us as a protectorate the territory of the former Empire.’”

    These demands seem to the Kremlin “so simple, clear and in its understanding just that the failure of the West to agree is literally driving the leadership of Russia mad.”  But Russia is divided between those who are prepared to become like North Korea and those who want to be like South Korea, and both groups suffer from Russia’s diminished status in the world.

    Putin doesn’t want to give either the chance to succeed, but the Kremlin by its approach may end by being like North Korea and not the South.

    “One of the most surprising aspects of Russian political culture,” Pastukhov says, “is the ability of the elites to push themselves into a state of self-hypnosis,” starting by trying to deceive others and ending by deceiving themselves.  “Anti-Americanism was developed as a political tool, but literally before our eyes, it was transformed into an end in itself.”

    In part, this reflects a revival of “good old Soviet anti-Americanism,” and in part, it reflects the impact of “‘the Versailles syndrome’” and imperial nostalgia. And that has led to a fundamental contradiction within this new mix because the US “at one and the same time is dying and enslaving others, the only super power and a geopolitical lame duck.”

    That combination has been informing Russian elite thinking for some time, but in the last month, the level of hysteria has reached unprecedented levels and produced jitteriness among the elites, something hitherto absent, the historian says. This is because the elites fear the economic crisis may be a more serious test than they admit and sanctions more serious in their impact.

    In this situation, Pastukhov says, “the times when the foreign policy of Russia was a continuation of its domestic policy have passed. Now everything is just the opposite: all the life of Rsusia is subordinate to the realization of its new global foreign policy goal: to frighten the West and force it to retreat, lift sanctions, and open the capital market for the regime.

    The Kremlin faces no domestic threats, but its survival depends on a status quo which in turn depends on the West – “and above all the US” – and the sanctions regime is maintained or expanded there is the risk that “Russia will inevitably follow the path of the USSR,” collapse and disintegrate.

    It is thus “no surprise,” Pastukhov says, that the Kremlin is following the US election campaign so closely given that the next president will “hold in his hands” the power to affect Russia. But given that, the Kremlin’s obvious preference for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton “seems insane” given that the latter is likely to be more gentle and predictable than the former.

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    Opinion: Donald Trump's downtrodden supporters have been abandoned by the Republican Party - MarketWatch

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    Opinion: Donald Trump's downtrodden supporters have been abandoned by the Republican Party
    NEW YORK (Project Syndicate) — As I have traveled around the world in recent weeks, I am repeatedly asked two questions: Is it conceivable that Donald Trump could win the U.S. presidency? And how did his candidacy get this far in the first place?

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    Trump camp says it's waiting for 'appropriate time' to disprove allegations - USA TODAY

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    CBS News

    Trump camp says it's waiting for 'appropriate time' to disprove allegations
    Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence say they have evidence to dispute the recent allegations of sexual assault against the Republican presidential nominee — but they're holding it until an “appropriate time.” "These claims are all fabricated ...
    Mike Pence: 'I don't understand' why Michelle Obama denounced Trump's 'sexually predatory behavior'Raw Story

    all 156 news articles »

    Politics|House Republicans in Close Races Worry Trump's Problems May Hurt Them - New York Times

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    New York Times

    Politics|House Republicans in Close Races Worry Trump's Problems May Hurt Them
    New York Times
    Like many Republican candidates, Representative Barbara Comstock is trying to prevent Donald J. Trump's problems from becoming hers. Early on, she supported Senator Marco Rubio's presidential bid. In ensuing months, she remained resolutely reticent ...

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    At odds but bound together, Europe and Russia struggle over Syria - Christian Science Monitor

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    Christian Science Monitor

    At odds but bound together, Europe and Russia struggle over Syria
    Christian Science Monitor
    The war of words over Syria – including accusations of Russian war crimes in Aleppo – has relations between Moscow and Brussels at their worst in years. But both sides recognize that nothing can be done without the other.
    Assad: Syria now a war between Russia and WestSky News
    UK and US both consider military options amid warnings Russia will 'flatten' AleppoThe Independent
    Putin ratifies deal for Russia to use Syria base indefinitelyReuters
    Sputnik International -Pravda -BBC News
    all 3,255 news articles »

    The Daily 202: Why it is so difficult for Democrats to win the House 

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    The best pick-up opportunities are in the most expensive media markets

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    Tough on Trump in the primary, Fox News now strains to defend him 

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    Some of the network's programming has veered into an alternate universe where facts and logic don't matter.

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    Sketchpad: Trump outlines his endgame 

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    Donald Trump is a man-baby | Susan Campbell

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    When Michelle Obama said six-year-olds have more maturity than the Republican nominee, she was being kind. As a grandmother, I can tell you that toddlers know better
    Remember when the closest a politician got to a baby was when he got to kiss one, for the photographers?
    Me neither. Nothing is as it used to be in American politics. The Democratic candidate is a woman – a first for a major American political party.
    Continue reading...

    Trump spews crazy talk - and he's not alone 

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    What Republicans should learn from Trump's failed war on the media 

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    Americans really hate Trump 

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    Page 4

    Clinton’s national security allies rip Trump for not condemning Russia’s alleged role in email hacking

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    A visual history of how presidential elections affect US financial markets — Quartz

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    Stress over the this year’s election has reached the level of an unhappy fever dream. An editorial in the Los Angeles Times warned that a Trump victory could prompt a coup. A New York Times bestseller compared Trump’s battle against Clinton to Armageddon. If there is one thing we know about panicky people, it’s that they generally don’t make great choices with their money. Observers such as Bill Maher and Mark Cuban have speculated that a Trump victory could spark a stock market crash. Cut to an image of millions of people stuffing cash into their mattresses.
    History suggests such a dramatic outcome is unlikely. In fact, there is little evidence that the markets react much at all to elections in the short-term. In the charts below we’ve plotted how major US markets, ranging from treasuries to gold, have been affected by the last six presidential elections.
    The results are, for the most part, underwhelming. There is no obvious trend, nor are there are any clear outliers except for 2008, when the election took place in the middle of an ongoing economic meltdown.
    It’s human nature to spot trends, especially in things as omnipresent as politics and financial markets. For example, some pundits made a big deal of a sharp market decline after President Obama was re-elected in 2012. However, such affects are usually transient. The market recovered from that downturn within 30 trading days.
    Of course, none of these charts say that the election of a new president won’t affect markets at all. Over the long term, policy choices made by a new president will have a major impact on US businesses. Heavily regulated industries are the most likely to be affected. Clinton’s negative statements about drug pricing have already caused tumult in biotech stocks, a sector that is sensitive to changes in federal policy.
    It’s crucial to remember that markets are fundamentally unpredictable. Panics and manias happen from time to time. Donald Trump is a new kind of candidate. It is not a cliche to report that anything is possible. However, that doesn’t mean that we should expect financial fireworks on election day. The data show that markets are more resistant than we tend to give them credit for.

    How Donald Trump destroyed the GOP

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    America has never seen a stranger presidential debate than the town hall that took place in St. Louis Sunday night.
    Don't buy the spin (or the expressions of jittery relief from Republicans) for a second: Trump didn't "win." He didn't transform himself into a new, improved, and appealing candidate. On that stage, Trump was very much himself: a know-nothing demagogue who does one thing very well, which is channel and amplify the ill-informed, maniacal rage of one faction of his party.
    When a party is functioning well, the passions of individual factions get subsumed into and sublimated by the institution as a whole. But in order to function, the party's leadership and its factions need to speak the same language and understand themselves to agree on certain core ideals, strategies, and tactics.
    None of this is true about the GOP today. No, the GOP is burning to the ground, and Donald Trump is fanning the flames.
    From the moment he launched his campaign for president, Donald Trump demonstrated that he did unmodulated, contemptuous fury better than any of his 16 opponents. Our immigration policy was adisaster, he said. As was ObamaCare. And the Iran deal. And the Iraq War. And the economy. And our conduct of the war on terror. Complete disasters, all of them. Pathetic.
    To those members of the party whose view of the world has been shaped for more than 20 years by rabblerousers on talk radio and cable news, Trump sounded like a long-awaited savior. Finally someone to tear it all down — the Democrats, yes, but also the Republicans who run the party.
    Back in 1968, George Wallace ran a populist kamikaze campaign not entirely dissimilar to Trump's. He championed the grievances of members of the Democratic Party who dissented from its social liberalism and embrace of the civil rights movement. But he did this as a third-party candidate. Trump is doing something similar — channeling the rage of voters who feel disrespected and ignored by the Republican leadership — from within the Republican Party itself. This is a problem.
    Trump is destroying the GOP in order to rebuild it in his own image and the image of the angry faction he now leads — and there's nothing the party's leadership can do about it. They endorse him and he humiliates them. They denounce him and he doubles down. They beg, implore, plead with him: Please stop insulting people. Please apologize and show contrition for bragging about sexual assault in the most vulgar terms possible. Please don't go after your opponent by humiliating her for her husband's behavior.
    Please stop behaving like a tabloid sleaze-monger and start acting like a president.
    Trump's response? He holds a press conference with Bill Clinton's accusers before the start of the debate, seats them in the hall with his own family, and injects them into the debate itself. He declares that if he wins the election, he would throw his opponent in jail. He praises Vladimir Putin right after he's asked a question about credible evidence that the Russian government hacked the servers of the Democratic National Committee in an effort to interfere with the presidential election. He stands by Syria's Bashar al-Assad right after he's asked a question about the ongoing bloodbath in Aleppo. He asserts, apropos of nothing in particular, that Hillary Clinton "has tremendous hate in her heart." He throws his own running mate under the bus for daring to speak critically of Putin.
    And of course, he spoke of disasters, disasters everywhere: the economy, ObamaCare, Syria, ISIS, Libya, NAFTA. He spewed lies and blatantly misleading exaggerations. The performance was at once sordid and cartoonish in its extremism. The Trump faction of the GOP must have been thrilled.
    But a faction is not a party, and a faction isn't capable of winning a national election.
    Donald Trump has destroyed the GOP. It will be up to those who come after his ill-fated reign of devastation to figure out how to put it back together again.
    Read the whole story
    · · ·

    ‘This Doesn’t Throw Me’: Trump Backers Unfazed by Claims of Bad Behavior