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Moody's downgrades Israel's credit rating, changes outlook to negative

Gaza, rubble, destroyed buildings, Palestine
© AP / Tsafrir AbayovFILE: Rubble from buildings destroyed in Israel's ground operation in Gaza, February 1, 2024.
US-based credit rating agency Moody's downgraded Israel and changed the country's outlook to negative due to the ongoing war in Gaza, according to a report published on Friday.

Moody's changed the rating to A2 from A1, concluding a review that began on Oct. 19, almost two weeks after the Hamas attack on Israel.

"The main driver for the downgrade of Israel's rating to A2 is Moody's assessment that the ongoing military conflict with Hamas, its aftermath and wider consequences materially raise political risk for Israel as well as weaken its executive and legislative institutions and its fiscal strength, for the foreseeable future," the report said.

Comment: Western media is spinning the downgrade as mostly due to the 'ongoing' war, but its economy was tanking even before its escalation, and it's becoming increasingly clear that Israel will never be the same again, with its status as multipolar world pariah only just beginning, alongside that of its creditors and genocide facilitators in the US, UK, and EU, and their economies:


Cowboy Hat

Tucker madness is good for America

Tucker Carlson à Moscou, février 2024
Tucker Carlson in Moscow, February 2024
The former Fox News talk show host-turned independent media phenomenon, Tucker Carlson, is in Moscow, where he has committed the mortal sin of interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin. The interview is scheduled to air at 6 pm eastern time on Thursday, February 8. Let there be no doubt — Tucker Carlson has pulled off one of the most memorable journalistic accomplishments in modern history, and when the interview does air, it will — literally and figuratively — break the internet.

As someone who has travelled to Russia twice in the past year to engage in "people's diplomacy" designed to advocate for better US-Russian relations, I applaud Tucker Carlson's decision to go to Moscow and get this interview. The American people have been infected with a virulent case of Russophobia transmitted to them via a political and economic elite who have built a model of American relevance predicated on the need for an enemy capable of sustaining a military industrial and congressional complex by justifying an expansive budget that leaves America weaker and shareholders wealthier.

Comment: Ritter's assessment, now that the interview has transpired:




War Whore

Ukraine has frontline soldier shortage - WaPo

soldier
© Scott Peterson/Getty ImagesA Ukrainian soldier warms himself beside a fire in a dugout bunker in the southern Donbass.
Many units are understrength and dealing with low morale, field commanders have told the newspaper...

The Ukrainian Army is facing a "critical" deficit of troops, driving fears that its frontline may soon collapse, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing recent interviews with several officers.

While weapons and ammunition are also scarce - one newly arrived unit reportedly received just ten shells for its two howitzers - the manpower shortages are resulting in "exhaustion and diminished morale" as many units are unable to rotate from the front.

A deputy commander of an infantry battalion, identified only as Nikita, told the outlet:
"We have direct trouble with personnel. I'm talking with my friends, also officers in other units, and those in infantry; it's almost the same situation everywhere."
The Post spoke with "nearly a dozen" officers and soldiers, who concealed their identities fearing retribution.

An unnamed commander of a battalion in a mechanized brigade said his unit currently had less than 40 infantrymen, compared to 200 when fully staffed. Another battalion commander, identified as Alexander, said his infantry companies were staffed at about 35%. His colleague from an assault brigade said this situation was "typical" for combat units.

People 2

Pentagon secretly institutionalized DEI in its K-12 public schools

CIsneros
© screenshot
Extreme curriculum being taught to the 70,000 children of service members...

In a Congressional hearing last spring, Gil Cisneros, then-Under Secretary for Military Readiness, announced that the Pentagon was closing its newly formed Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within its K-12 school system and reassigning its controversial DEI chief after a ten-month internal investigation.

The Pentagon's climb-down was a big win for OpenTheBooks.com. We had worked alongside whistleblowers, journalists, other investigative non-profits, and ranking members of Congress to expose alleged conflicts of interest, violations of military ethics policies, and radical ideologies being forced on the kids of servicemen and servicewomen.

Today, we are announcing Cisneros was actually faking. The radical curriculum was not dismantled. Instead, it was stealthily embedded into the lesson plans and classrooms throughout the entire school system.

The Pentagon, under Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, is preventing details of their DEI policies from coming to light by abusing the Freedom of Information Act. They bamboozled the public with window dressing in Congressional hearings while forcing woke extremism on the roughly 70,000 children of our military service members.

It's critical that taxpayers understand the scope of the DEI philosophy within the DoD's schools - deployed servicemembers often have no alternative but to use the Pentagon-run school system, called the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

Comment: See also: 'Woke warfighters': GOP report claims Biden admin, Pentagon policies weakening military


Cardboard Box

The London stock market's decline is starting to look terminal - The Telegraph

london stock market police
© Matt Cetti-Roberts/LNPFILE: City of London Police guard an entrance to the London Stock Exchange during the Occupy London protest
A top executive at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York recently warned her London counterparts she was on the hunt for more British companies to go public there.

And why not? Nasdaq had successfully persuaded Britain's only real tech champion, Arm, to snub no lesser lobbyist than the Prime Minister and float its shares Stateside.

"We're having a lot of conversations with companies about listing in the US," Karen Snow, Nasdaq's global head of listings, said in the run-up to Christmas.

Comment: The establishment is in its death throes and so before the US implodes, it'll drain, destroy, then subsume its vassals, which is what appears to be happening in Europe, and British banks, businesses, and the taxpayer will be sacrificed in an attempt to postpone the inevitable.


X

Republicans say Haley never stood a chance in 'Trump Country' Nevada

Haley
© Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register/APRepublican presidential candidate Nikki Haley at a campaign stop at the Wild Goose Tavern in Costa Mesa, California • Feb. 7, 2024
The campaign of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained away a disappointing finish in the Nevada primary on Tuesday, noting that she had not spent an "ounce of energy" in the state.

But Republican supporters of Donald Trump say Haley never had a chance, with the former president poised to be awarded Nevada's delegates in the GOP caucuses Thursday night.

Trump is expected to dominate the contest, in which he and relatively unknown candidate Ryan Binkley are the only options for voters. Haley won't be on the ballot, as her campaign claimed the race was "rigged" for Trump.

The state's 26 Republican delegates are apportioned solely by the caucuses and not the state-run primary that took place Tuesday.

"I travel Nevada pretty regularly, and this is Trump country here," Nevada Lt. Gov. Stavros Anthony said.

In fact, he didn't recall any Republicans being upset by her choice to ignore the state, saying, "The people that I talked to are all supporting Trump, and they've been supporting him for a while."

Comment: See also:


Helicopter

Five Marines aboard Navy helicopter that crashed in San Diego mountains are confirmed dead

chopper
© U.S. MarinesThe CH-53E Super Stallion is the heavy-lift chopper most commonly used by the Marines to transport troops and equipment.
Five Marines who were aboard a Navy helicopter that crashed in the southern California mountains during a storm on Tuesday night have been confirmed dead.

Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte, commanding general of 3rd MAW remarked:
"It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and the 'Flying Tigers' while conducting a training flight last night. These pilots and crewmembers were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so. We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service. To the families of our fallen Marines, we send our deepest condolences and commit to ensuring your support and care during this incredibly difficult time."
The identities of the Marines will not be made public until 24 hours after all next of kin are informed, per Marine Corps policy.

Several agencies launched a desperate search early on Wednesday after the chopper was reported missing.
map helicopter
© DailyMail.comNavy helicopter took off from Nevada to San Diego on Tuesday night.
Efforts to recover the remains of the five have begun and an investigation into the crash is underway, according to the statement.

Quenelle - Golden

Ireland women's basketball team REFUSE to shake hands after Israeli team calls them 'anti-semitic' for considering boycott

ireland israel
Ireland stood by their bench - as opposed to the centre of the court - for their national anthem before the match
Ireland women's basketball team refused to shake hands with Israel before their EuroBasket 2025 qualifier in Riga.

Israel player Dor Saar said on Wednesday that the Ireland team is "quite anti-Semitic".


Comment: Apparently that slur applies to anybody who objects to genocide.

Note that the BBC seems to have twisted the order of events - likely intentionally - because it appears that, days before the game, Ireland's team had voiced concerns about playing against Israel; a day before the game, the Israeli team slandered them by calling the entire Irish team anti-semitic, and it was only then, the day of the game, Ireland's team refused to participate in the usual arrangements.


Comment: One would imagine that if the Israeli players had voiced their objections to their government waging genocide in Gaza, which is being done in their names, Ireland's team may not have had to make such a stand.

Whilst western governments want to support and facilitate the slaughter of women and children, that doesn't mean the general public has to, nor do businesses or governments elsewhere across the planet: Firms in Japan and Belgium cut ties with Israeli weapons manufacturer


Alarm Clock

Best of the Web: Tom Luongo: The Great Reset is dead, long live the Great Reset

flooding landslide
"The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed."

- Susan Ivanova, Season 3 Opening Sequence, Babylon 5

When the World Economic Forum rolled out their advertising campaign for The Great Reset it was supposed to be the victory lap for Globalism. Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent global financial crisis unleashed a flood of government funny money that was supposed to buy our way to their perpetual prosperity.

It failed.

Don't take my word for it. Take the word of one of the chief architects of the Great Reset, Klaus von Commie Schnitzel's right hand man, Yuval Noah Harari.

Cookies

China's food prices fall at fastest rate for 15 years, despite Western media spin 'deflation' is good news for profits

china
© Andy Wong/APA giant dragon lantern greets tourists near the frozen Houhai lake in Beijing. China will usher in the year of the dragon for lunar new year on 10 February.
China's consumer prices fell at their fastest pace in 15 years in January, as the world's second-largest economy sank deeper into deflation amid weakening demand.

Data released on Thursday showed that China's consumer price index tumbled last month, falling by 0.8% compared with a year earlier. It marks the fourth consecutive month of declines, as well as the sharpest drop since September 2009, when the global economy was still grappling with aftershocks from the 2008 banking crisis.

Food prices were the biggest drag on the headline inflation figure, having fallen by 5.9% on an annual basis, due in part to a 17% slump in pork prices. Fresh vegetables fell by 12.7%, while fruit dropped by 9.1%.


Comment: It's obviously a complicated issue, made worse by Western media spin, but, for further insight into the implications into the deflationary issue, Asia Times reports:
So-called China deflation is good news for profits

To gauge price behavior, rather than the overall index number, economists look at so-called "core" consumer price inflation that excludes volatile food and energy prices - except when it comes to China.

"China sinks deeper into deflation as prices fall at fastest rate in 15 years" was CNN's headline this morning. But the 0.8% January drop in China's consumer price index reflected a 17% drop in pork prices. Core CPI rose by 0.4% in January. That's 4.7% core inflation at a compound annual rate - hardly consistent with deflation.

Besotted with the notion that China's economy is collapsing, the Western media interpret every economic report from China with that bias - even if it means turning common sense and causality inside out. A simple examination of China's recent price data tells a different story.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) — the cost of wholesale goods - continued to fall while core consumer prices rose. That's a problem for producers of nylon fiber (for example) whose prices have fallen by 12% year-on-year, but it isn't necessarily a problem for the overall Chinese economy.

The good news is that rising consumer prices and falling producer prices boost corporate profits. Industrial enterprises are charging higher prices to consumers - and paying lower prices to suppliers.

China's PPI isn't exactly a proxy for industrial input costs, and core CPI isn't exactly a proxy for final prices, but industrial profits have risen with a falling PPI and a rising core CPI during the past dozen years.

A linear regression equation (using breakpoint analysis) shows that year-on-year changes in core CPI and PPI explain about 76% of the variation in year-on-year industrial profits. The predictive variables are significant after correction for serial correlation.

Broad measures of price performance conceal opposing trends. Auto prices are falling in China due to rising productivity and ferocious competition among automakers, and that's a good thing.

Housing prices are falling, and that's a mixed thing: It's bad for older Chinese who have most of their savings in property and good for young families looking for a home.

But econometric analysis strongly supports the notion that falling producer prices and rising consumer prices are good for industrial profits.