Not following?  Try to keep up with the class here:Russian-led troops in Donbas attack Ukraine 38 times in last day, says this report.

It’s axiomatic that presidents don’t launch missiles while the market is open.  So we are reasonably confident that as soon as the market (and after hours) ends this week, things will heat up in the area of Syria.  And that means Ukraine.

We also know how those dominoes are set to fall:  After the markets are closed for the weekend, the US will likely launch cruise missiles from fleet in the Med.  This could be responded-to by the Syrians by going after a US guided missile cruiser with torpedoes.  And while Trump revels in that disaster being avoided, Russia would be coming over the border into Ukraine.  So by Monday, we see odds climbing that the whole world will be on a quick slide into global conflict that could escalate nuclear.  Neat, huh?

(Continues below)

 

Any number of readers have asked “Syria’s not worth fighting over…is it?”

No. But Ukraine sure as hell IS and the US corporatized media, which not only can’t ask hard questions of Mueller, Rosenstein, et al. turns out also aren’t very good followers of how chess is played.  Russian grandmaster’s ring a bell?  Think Putsky’s feint.

Here’s the “real deal” near as we can project it.

Russia is now ready to sweep up the rest of Ukraine.  A sampling of headlines reveals just how deep and dangerous this part of the globalist swamp really is. For instance:  Did you know Ukraine has seized a Russian ship?

Ever read Maritime Bulletin?  Russian Belize-flagged freighter arrested in Ukrainian port: here’s why…

Putin can use this as an excuse for military intervention to go in and “rescue hostages” being held by Ukraine.  And then stay a while….

All this is going on at the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny which is just east of Odessa.

We have found the coverage by UNIAN pretty good.  Try “Ukrainian interest. Chemical Kremlin, Washington’s new sanctions, and Orban’s all-in

On the Western side, Ukraine is being fast-tracked into NATO, but they aren’t – yet.  And as a result, NATO is not in position to invade Ukraine to keep Russia out. EU doesn’t have a military team…

And since there’s the matter of the Dnieper-Donets petroleum basin, which Russia and the West both lust after,  this is at least as important as Syria, but likely more-so.  You absolutely must read the USGS 2011 Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Dnieper–Donets Basin Province and Pripyat Basin Province, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.”

In our in-house economic modeling, we keep waiting for BIG news to “fill-in” and for the markets to come tumbling down.

Toss Trump Trade War – Ukraine hopes to hold talks with US into your thinking.

What better fit than for Trump to get sucker-punched into Syria – which would set up a big distraction over not very valuable lands – while the better chess player (Putin et al.) march in and take the rest of Ukraine before all the military and economic angles close it off to Russian domination – forever.

Could that chess game explain Russia Says the Syrian Government Is Now in Control of Douma, Site of Suspected Chemical Attack, for example?

This being the age of the Manufacturer’s Resource Wars, I can’t think of a better fit.

I’m not wading in on the short side of the market yet, but truth is, this has crossed my mind.  Essentially, it’s a “things don’t work out well by end of next week” bet.  We’ll see how troop movements and Ukraine border region rumbles run in the next 24-hours.  Run-up in the market in the closing hours tomorrow might be a hint, too…

Oh, my:  You also remember the world is supposed to end April 23rd, right?

Daily Data Dose

Import-Export Prices just out from Labor:

“U.S. import prices recorded no change in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following a 0.3-percent rise in February. Higher nonfuel prices offset declining prices for imported fuel in
March. Prices for U.S. exports advanced 0.3 percent in March, after rising 0.2 percent the previous month.

Imports

All Imports: Import prices recorded no change in March following rises of 0.3 percent in February and 0.8 percent in January. The index has not declined on a monthly basis since decreasing 0.2 percent in July 2017.
Prices for U.S. imports rose 3.6 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. The last 12-month decline in import prices was a 0.2-percent drop for the period ended October 2016.

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices fell for the second consecutive month, declining 1.6 percent in March following a 1.0-percent drop in February. The March decrease was the largest monthly decline since the index dropped 3.6 percent in June 2017. Lower prices for both petroleum and natural gas drove the decline in fuel prices. Prices for imported petroleum declined 1.3 percent and natural gas fell 9.5 percent. Despite the decrease in March, fuel import prices advanced 18.7 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. The price index for petroleum imports rose 19.4 percent over the past 12 months. Prices for imported natural gas increased 20.0
percent over the same period.”

Dow futures are up almost 150 at 45-minutes before the open.  So you go, markets.  Mr. Bear is watching.

Trade wars are not over.  See China says it will fight back if U.S. escalates trade spat if you doubt me.

A Class in Fake News

Let’s be serious about what we think “news” is, in the modern digital age.  Just because something appears on a “news” site doesn’t mean it’s really news.

One of the attributes of “fake news” is that it can’t be traced back to a source.  It’s just named as “sources” and such.

When such claims are made (often spectacularly) real news outfits (like the Associated Press, New York Times, Reuters, et al.) use multiple unnamed sources and a senior editor puts his name, reputation, and career on the line when they represent a “fact” as alleged in the story.

There’s no analog to this in “web news.”

We have a marvelous example to trace through this morning for those who are interested in sorting out the wheat from the chaff in the mediastream’s modern-day gibberish.

We begin with a headline on the www.drudgereport.com site: Republican Congressman Rips Trump: ‘Evil, F****** Stupid Forrest Gump’…

Hmmm… doesn’t reveal which congressman, though, does it?

If you hit the link, it flips you over to Mediaite.com:  “GOP Congressman Rips Trump in Insane Tirade to Journo: ‘Evil, Really F*cking Stupid Forrest Gump’.

Problem for Ure’s truly?  We still don’t know the name of the congressman. Just an asserting that they regularly appear on Fox News.  Well, that’s no help.

We do learn that the story originated with Erik Erickson who has a post “A Congressman’s Profanity Laced Tirade in a Safeway Grocery Store.

I read the story pretty carefully.

Still no name of the specific congressman.

And that, dear reader, circles us back to why we ponder slotting this as “fake news.”

You see, I’m a pretty serious journo.  Brought up doing real reporting –  cop shop overnights, mass shootings (look up Wah Mee sometime, that was on my watch), plane crashes, grand juries…all the reporting that follows the principles in the Associated Press Stylebook on serious points of reporting like, oh, you know….ATTRIBUTION!

What attribution does is give the reader a way to go back to the source of the (in this case purported) comments and ask “Did you say that…really?”

But in this case, I couldn’t figure out how to do it.  So I can’t pick up the and run a similar story myself.  No follow up because it’s a dead-end.

Because the congressman is not named.  Without a specific NAME OF THE DAMN CONGRESSMAN, or any other newsmaker, please don’t believe everything you read.

Especially on the internet where “shock value” and “page views” are what’s monetized.  Not the quality of the reporting.

I would recommend to anyone who reads news – even just in passing – take the time  somewhere in life to sort out issues like “attribution.” Easiest way to do this is to read the AP Style book.  $10-bucks for Kindle and devices.  See The Associated Press Stylebook 2017: and Briefing on Media Law (Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law).

Attribution is meaningful.  It’s why we have so damn many, time-consuming – links on this site.  Attribution!

Another simple question to ask of those writing spectacular claims:  Over your career as a writer, how much did you make on AP stringer fees?  Those who don’t may be more opinion that news.  Just saying.

Thank you for attending today’s class which we hope will help in spotting fake news.  This class was presented by a very old and very cynical but still active member of the National Association of Newspaper Columnists.

Another Soapbox

Yee gads…more?  ‘Fraid so…

Then  we have the new James Comey book. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership on Amazon.

Bounced as FBI Director, he’s doing what high name recognition people do  – he has written a book.

ABC: Comey compares Trump to mob boss,” says this report at Axios.

Would I watch?  No..  Why?  The “reporter” involved is George Stephanopoulos.

And if that seems biased on my part, you bet! Read a bit about George  S. from Wikipedia.  Like this part:

“George Robert Stephanopoulos (born February 10, 1961) is an American journalist, political commentator and former Democratic political operative and advisor.[1][2] Stephanopoulos is currently the chief anchor and the chief political correspondent for ABC News, a co-anchor of Good Morning America, and the host of ABC’s Sunday morning This Week.[3][4] Stephanopoulos is a regular substitute anchor for ABC World News Tonight.

Prior to his career as a journalist, Stephanopoulos was an advisor to the Democratic Party. He rose to early prominence as a communications director for the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and subsequently became White House communications director. He was later senior advisor for policy and strategy, before departing in December 1996.[5] Stephanopoulos is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.”

So, let’s see:  ABC offers a former Democrat operative, who’s a Bill Clinton protégé is interviewing an anti-Trump (and we presume sour-grapes) FBI director who is monetizing his version of a den of senior officials leaking to the press, pursuing their own inside Justice Deep State agenda which is distinctly anti-Trump agenda that continues to this day.

Can’t see how Comey’s going to out the love-birds…if you’ve been following.  So with the operative and the out, what’s the point?

Hmmm…snap judgement: not worth my time watching.  Your time may not be as valuable or context so clear.

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