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Key Events This week: CPI, PPI And The All-Important SLOOS

Key Events This week: CPI, PPI And The All-Important SLOOS

With the bulk of Q1 corporate earnings now in the history books – and coming in…



Key Events This week: CPI, PPI And The All-Important SLOOS

With the bulk of Q1 corporate earnings now in the history books - and coming in much stronger than most, certainly permabear Mike Wilson, had expected - and with the key central bank decisions and econ data out of the way for the near future, two calendar highlights stand out this week: Wednesday's CPI report in the US and today's senior loan officer opinion survey (SLOOS).

While we believe that today's SLOOS will be the week's most important event, many still are focusing on the CPI report, which according to economic consensus will rise by 0.4% leading to an annual increase of 5.0%; for core inflation, consensus expects a 0.3% print, and a 5.5% annual increase. Within core inflation, BofA expects core goods inflation rose by 0.2% m/m and core services inflation increased by 0.4% m/m.

One day after the CPI, on Thursday we get the PPI where consensus expects a 0.3% M/M headline PPI increase following the 0.5% drop in March. This would result in the y/y rate falling to 2.5% from 2.7%. The increase should be driven by a rise in energy and food prices. Excluding food and energy, core PPI will rise by a modest 0.2% m/m, reversing the prior month’s decline. However, this would lead the y/y rate to fall to 3.3% from 3.4%. Trade services (margins) were a big drag on core PPI in March, declining by 0.9% m/m, but BofA expects a more modest decline of 0.2% m/m this month. Last, look for core-core PPI, which excludes food, energy and trade services, to rise by 0.2% m/m or 3.4% y/y.

Turning to the all important SLOOS, which as Michael Hartnett shows last Friday is a leading indicator to virtually every key US data metric...

... Goldman expects that the lending standards measure for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans in the Fed’s April Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey tightened by 15.4pt to 60.2, reflecting an increase of 33.3pt to 77.0 for small banks and a more modest increase of 10.3pt to 56.0 for large banks. This would bring the SLOOS’s measure of C&I lending standards to a level tighter than the dot-com crisis, if still less extreme than during the financial crisis or the height of the pandemic. A few more bank failures, however, and we will have a new record print. The April SLOOS typically reflects responses collected between the last week of March and the first week of April.

A day by day recap of the biggest global events is below courtesy of Rabobank

  • Today: has the minutes of the BOJ March meeting, NAB business confidence/conditions in Australia along with building approvals. Germany has industrial production, seen -1.5% m-o-m. The ECB’s Lane speaks, and the Fed releases a senior loan officer opinion survey and the --ironic-- 2023 financial stability report. The Fed’s Kashkari speaks on US minimum wages.
  • Tuesday: has Aussie Westpac consumer confidence and Q1 retail sales ex-inflation as a feed into GDP, seen -0.5% q-o-q. China has trade data excepted to underline that it exports lots and imports less, and runs a staggering surplus that it sits on. The ECB’s Rehn, Centeneo, Lane, Vasle, Vujicic, and Schnabel all speak. We also get the Aussie budget, with the usual flourish of political theatre. The US NFIB small business survey has less flourish but is often as political – let’s see what it says about credit availability. The Fed’s Jefferson and Williams speak too. Chinese aggregate financing data will be out at some point from Tuesday onwards.
  • Wednesday: sees final April German CPI, Canadian building permits, and the week’s highlight – US CPI, where the y-o-y headline is seen sticky at 5.0%, and the m-o-m is seen up 0.4% vs. just 0.1% in March. Core CPI is seen even higher at 5.8% vs. 5.6% in March, albeit up 0.3% m-o-m vs. 0.4% last time. The ECB’s Centeneo speaks again, and the US monthly budget statement is out.
  • Thursday: has Chinese CPI, seen falling from 0.7% to just 0.3% y-o-y – which is what happens when supply vastly exceeds demand both at home and abroad. PPI is seen dipping from -2.5% to -3.2% y-o-y. Yes, deflation is an emerging problem in China. Imagine what happens if the US fully adopts industrial strategy and/or mercantilism! The ECB’s De Cos, Schnabel, and Guindos all speak, and the BOE meet to set rates. The US has weekly initial claims data and PPI, seen 0.2% m-o-m and 0.3% core, 2.5% and 3.3% y-o-y.
  • Friday: closes the week with Kiwi inflation expectations, UK monthly GDP and March industrial production and trade data, and provisional Q1 GDP (seen 0.1% q-o-q, 0.2% y-o-y). The BOE’s Pill speaks, and we shall see how many he manages to offend this time round. The US has import and export prices, and Michigan consumer sentiment for May. The Fed’s Daly, Bullard, and Jefferson all speak.  

Next, here is a visual recap of the main US events this week:

... and a detailed summary from Goldman which notes that the key economic data release this week is CPI inflation on Wednesday and SLOOS today. There are several scheduled speaking engagements by Fed officials this week, including remarks by New York Fed President Williams on Tuesday and by Fed Governor Waller on Thursday.

Monday, May 8

  • 10:00 AM Wholesale inventories, March final (consensus +0.1%, last +0.1%):
  • 02:00 PM Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, banks tightening C&I loans for large and middle-market firms, April (GS 60.2, last 44.8): We expect that the lending standards measure for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans in the Fed’s April Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey tightened by 15.4pt to 60.2, reflecting an increase of 33.3pt to 77.0 for small banks and a more modest increase of 10.3pt to 56.0 for large banks. This would bring the SLOOS’s measure of C&I lending standards to a level tighter than the dot-com crisis but less extreme than during the financial crisis or the height of the pandemic. The April SLOOS typically reflects responses collected between the last week of March and the first week of April.
  • 04:45 PM Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari (FOMC voter) speaks: Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will moderate a panel discussion on the minimum wage hosted by the Minneapolis Fed. On April 11th, President Kashkari argued that “it could be that our monetary policy actions and the tightening of credit conditions because of this banking stress leads to an economic downturn. … I’m not hoping for that, [but] … it would be unambiguously worse if we failed to get inflation back down.”

Tuesday, May 9

  • 06:00 AM NFIB small business optimism, April (consensus 89.5, last 90.1)
  • 08:30 AM Fed Governor Jefferson speaks: Fed Governor Philip Jefferson will take part in a virtual event hosted by the Atlanta Black Chamber. Moderated Q&A is expected. On May 1ˢᵗ, the media reported that the White House was likely to nominate Governor Jefferson to be Vice Chair of the Fed. In a speech on February 24th, Governor Jefferson noted that “labor compensation has started to decelerate somewhat over the past year but is still running too high to be consistent with returning inflation to 2 percent in a timely and sustainable fashion.” Governor Jefferson also stressed that a key difference between the current inflationary episode and the Great Inflation of the late 1960s and 1970s was that the Fed was now “addressing the outbreak in inflation promptly and forcefully to maintain credibility and to preserve the "well anchored" property of long-term inflation expectations.”
  • 12:05 PM New York Fed President Williams (FOMC voter) speaks: New York Fed President John Williams will speak to the Economic Club of New York. Text and moderated Q&A are expected. On April 19th, President Williams noted that he still expected “growth to be positive this year, for the fourth quarter to fourth quarter GDP growth, but really modest. That’s where I come out by balancing an economy that seems to have still good momentum [with] the effects of tighter monetary policy here and abroad, and also the likely effects of tighter credit conditions.”

Wednesday, May 10

  • 08:30 AM CPI (mom), April (GS +0.50%, consensus +0.4%, last +0.1%); Core CPI (mom), April (GS +0.47%, consensus +0.3%, last +0.4%); CPI (yoy), April (GS +5.09%, consensus +5.0%, last +5.0%); Core CPI (yoy), April (GS +5.59%, consensus +5.5%, last +5.6%): We estimate a 0.47% increase in April core CPI (mom sa), which would leave the year-on-year rate unchanged at 5.6%. Our forecast reflects a 4% jump in used car prices reflecting the auction-price strength in Q1, as well as a 0.8% increase in apparel prices reflecting a rebound in clothing spending and positive residual seasonality. We also expect another gain in the car insurance category as carriers continue to offset higher repair and replacement costs. However, we assume a pullback in travel categories (airfares -2%, hotel lodging -1%) due to softness in webfares and negative residual seasonality. We believe the March slowdown in shelter categories was genuine and reflects a waning boost from post-pandemic lease renewals. Accordingly, we look for similar monthly readings in April (we estimate rent +0.50% and OER +0.52%). We estimate a 0.50% rise in headline CPI, reflecting higher food and energy prices.

Thursday, May 11

  • 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended May 6 (GS 245k, consensus 245k, last 242k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended April 29 (consensus 1,820k, last 1,805k): We estimate that initial jobless claims edged up to 245k in the week ended May 6. While the annual seasonal factor revisions that took place earlier this month appear to have resolved most of the seasonal distortions in initial claims, we believe the revisions may have intensified the distortions in continuing claims. Those distortions have likely contributed to the decline over the last few prints, and we estimate they could exert a cumulative drag on the level of continuing claims of up to 400k between April and September.
  • 08:30 AM PPI final demand, March (GS +0.3%, consensus +0.3%, last -0.5%); PPI ex-food and energy, March (GS +0.2%, consensus +0.2%, last -0.1%); PPI ex-food, energy, and trade, March (GS +0.3%, consensus +0.3%, last +0.1%)
  • 10:15 AM Fed Governor Waller speaks: Fed Governor Christopher Waller will discuss financial stability and climate change at a conference in Madrid. Text and moderated Q&A are expected. On April 14th, Governor Waller noted that “because financial conditions have not significantly tightened, the labor market continues to be strong and quite tight, and inflation is far above target, monetary policy needs to be tightened further.” Governor Waller also stressed that “how much further will depend on incoming data on inflation, the real economy, and the extent of tightening credit conditions.”

Friday, May 12

  • 08:30 AM Import price index, April (consensus +0.3%, last -0.6%)
  • 10:00 AM University of Michigan consumer sentiment, May preliminary (GS 64.0, consensus 63.0, last 63.5): University of Michigan 5-10-year inflation expectations, May preliminary (GS +3.0%, consensus +2.9%, last +3.0%): We expect that the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 64.0 in the preliminary May report. We expect that the report’s measure of long-term inflation expectations remained unchanged at 3.0%, reflecting the modest rebound in gasoline prices and uncertainty related to banking stress.
  • 02:20 PM San Francisco Fed President Daly (FOMC non-voter) speaks: San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly will deliver a commencement address to the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. On April 12th, before the FOMC’s May meeting, President Daly noted that “while the full impact of this policy tightening is still making its way through the system, the strength of the economy and the elevated readings on inflation suggest that there is more work to do.” Still, President Daly emphasized that “how much more time and how much additional slowing is coming is unclear.”
  • 07:45 PM Fed Governor Jefferson and St. Louis Fed President Bullard (FOMC voter) speak: Fed Governor Phillip Jefferson and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will take part in a panel discussion on monetary policy strategy at a conference hosted by the Hoover Institution. Text for Governor Jefferson’s remarks and audience Q&A are expected. On May 5th, President Bullard noted that the FOMC’s decision to hike by 25bp in May was “a good next step.” President Bullard also argued that “regional banks will do just fine coming out” of the current turmoil, and that a recession was “not the base case” in his forecast.

Source: Rabobank, BofA, Goldman

Tyler Durden Mon, 05/08/2023 - 10:40

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“We Can’t Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code” Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology

"We Can’t Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code” Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch…



"We Can't Force The Human Body To Accept Foreign Genetic Code'' Dr. McCullough On mRNA Technology

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough warned that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines inject “foreign genetic code” into human beings, which the body fails to break down or expel for a prolonged period of time.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (purple) infected with a variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (pink), isolated from a patient sample. (NIAID via The Epoch Times)

Research on mRNA “has been going on for decades,” Dr. McCullough said during an Oct. 5 interview. The 2023 Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to two scientists for making “messenger RNA long-lasting in the human body,” he said. “I mean, it has been tested in multiple applications … It's an absolute bust. It was just the worst idea ever to install the genetic code for a lethal protein without being able to shut it off. It wasn't the fact that it was rushed; it's just ill-conceived from the very beginning.”

We can't force the human body to accept foreign genetic code and produce a foreign protein … Messenger RNA for vaccines is a completely failed concept. It’s a dangerous concept, and the U.S. government wasn't honest. They should have been honest. Trump should have come out and said, ‘Listen, it's on our website; our military's been working on this since 2012.’”

During a testimony at the European Parliament last month, Dr. McCullough said, “There's not a single study showing that the messenger RNA is broken down” in the human body once it is injected.

There's not a study showing it leaves the body.” Since the vaccines are “made synthetically, they cannot be broken down.”

He added that the lethal protein from the [COVID-19] vaccines found in the human body after vaccination was found to be circulating “at least for six months, if not longer.”

In the case of seasonal jabs, that is, taking an injection or booster at the end of six months as recommended by the authorities, “there's another installation in more circulating potentially lethal protein.”

Scientist Drew Weissman, who won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his role in developing mRNA technology, warned in a 2018 paper that not only did clinical trials of mRNA vaccines produce “more modest [results] in humans than was expected based on animal models,” but that the “side effects were not trivial.”

Dr. Mccullough’s comments come as the Gates Foundation is spending $40 million on countries in Africa and other economically backward nations to produce new mRNA vaccines in efforts to prevent diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.

Concealing a ‘Global Security Threat’

In the Steve Deace interview, Dr. McCullough said that the ineffectiveness of the technology was not unknown to the government since they’ve been testing it for nearly 40 years.

He referred to a February 2023 paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which cited that the U.S. government has been investing billions of dollars in developing messenger RNA technology since 1985.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began investing in mRNA tech in 2011. DARPA then launched the Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) program in 2016 that sought to produce “relevant numbers of doses” against infections within 60 days of identifying them.

The ADEPT P3 was a program by the U.S. military “to end pandemics in 60 days.” There is no other technology “that our government has invested more in,” Dr. McCullough said.

Dr. McCullough cited another paper that stated there were “over 9,000 patents on messenger RNA. And all the patent assignees are big entities. At the top is Sanofi, then Cervavac, BioNTech, Moderna, and the U.S. government. No single person invented messenger RNA. Someone who comes up in 2021 and says, ‘You know I invented it’. That's impossible. This has been going on for decades.”

Dr. McCullough pointed out that the United States and China have been in “collaboration for years” in their research on infectious and lethal coronavirus.

However, officials like Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Francis Collins, the former head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and “a whole cadre of scientists, they collaborated to conceal this global security threat.”

“They actually intentionally lied to the world and said the virus came out of nature. They knew it came out of the Wuhan lab,” he said, citing a research paper by Ralph Baric and Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi that was published in the Nature journal in 2015.

Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi is affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, while Mr. Baric is from the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

They said they created SARS-CoV-2 virus. They called it the Wuhan Institute of Virology 1 virus. That was the prototype SARS-CoV-2. So, that's in 2015. Instead of bringing Ralph Baric out [and asking] ‘Dr. Baric, how do we get ourselves out of this disaster,’ you masterminded this virus funded by the US.”

‘Pull All COVID-19 Vaccines Off the Market’

In his interview, Dr. McCullough made three recommendations. “I say number one, I've called in the US Senate [and] now the European Parliament [to] pull all COVID-19 vaccines off the market before anyone else is harmed.”

“Number two, US, EU and all westernized Nations [should] pull out of the WHO. They're not trustable. And number three, I'm following the World Council for Health. I am recommending a halt on all childhood vaccines, the entire vaccine schedule until this is clarified since messenger RNA is now on the schedule without any concerns for safety.

Cardiologists Dr. Aseem Malhotra (left) and Dr. Peter McCullough (right) in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 29, 2022. (Bao Qiu/The Epoch Times)

While some studies related to the safety of COVID-19 vaccines have shown the jabs to be safe, others have raised concerns about the safety of the shots.

A December 2022 study analyzed trials comparing vaccine recipients with individuals who did not receive a vaccine or were given a placebo.

It concluded that “compared to placebo, most vaccines reduce, or likely reduce, the proportion of participants with confirmed symptomatic COVID-19, and for some, there is high-certainty evidence that they reduce severe or critical disease.”

However, a June 2022 study that looked at mRNA vaccinations found that “Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest (AESI).”

“The excess risk of serious adverse events of special interest surpassed the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group in both Pfizer and Moderna trials.”

‘Shedding’ the Infection

During the interview, Mr. Deace asked about hearing issues that he and his colleague suffered and whether they had any ties with the vaccines. While he did not take a COVID-19 shot, the colleague was vaccinated. Mr. Deace asked if this was “further proof that basically the last few years Peter everybody was a lab rat whether you took the vaccine or not.”

Syringes and vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be administered at a drive-up vaccination site in Reno, Nev., on Dec. 17, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

“It's true, nearly all of us have been exposed to the Wuhan spike protein,” Dr. McCullough replied. “When I see patients in the office, we check antibodies against the spike protein. Invariably, they're elevated. Rarely, I'll find somebody who hasn't been exposed.”

Dr. McCullough pointed out that there are “clear-cut papers” showing individuals suffering hearing loss after taking COVID-19 jabs. “It's all related to the spike protein,” he said. mRNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body to produce the spike protein found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus.

Once vaccinated, an individual’s muscle cells begin producing spike protein pieces, displaying them on cell surfaces, which end up triggering the immune system to create antibodies. When such an individual gets infected with the COVID-19 virus, these antibodies will then fight the virus.

Dr. McCullough warned that even people who have not received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can eventually get affected by messenger RNA through a vaccinated individual via “shedding.”

Shedding means that one has been exposed to the spike protein or to the messenger RNA from close contact with another individual. We know both of them can travel via exosomes which are small phospholipid packets that can be exhaled [via] breath, through sweat, [and] various forms of body fluid, typically you know very close contact.”

“There was a big project called the Eva project in the UK showing 78 percent of women who take a vaccine—they actually have menstrual abnormalities. And those who even didn't take a vaccine, they end up having menstrual abnormalities. There's been plenty of these reports that have occurred.”

Dr. McCullough cited an interview he did with scientist Helene Banoun, an expert on shedding, who believes such things “clearly happens, for sure, in people who've taken the vaccine within 30 days, close contact.”

“Now, two studies—one in the United States, one in Japan—[show] the messenger RNA comes through breast milk. The spike protein may be shedded potentially for a much longer duration of time. It's been shown in the human body now for months, maybe even years afterward. And that's the rationale for what our recent proposal to actually undergo spike protein detoxification.”

The cardiologist pointed out that “every signal” related to cardiovascular disease, neurologic disease, blood clots, immune disease, and cancer “is up.”

“There can be debates on why all these chronic diseases are up, all-cause mortality up in every single area of the world,” he said. “The two big exposures we've had are COVID-19 infection and now COVID-19 vaccines, and I think both mechanisms have led to this wave of disease.”

“I think more powerfully with the vaccines since the vaccines are largely genetic, they're given every six months, and they install the genetic code for the disease-promoting and lethal Wuhan spike protein.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 22:10

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Why Do Democrats Keep Farting On Camera?

Why Do Democrats Keep Farting On Camera?

Authored by Ben Sellers via Headline USA (emphasis ours),

Last week, Rep. Alexandrio Ocasio-Cortez…



Why Do Democrats Keep Farting On Camera?

Authored by Ben Sellers via Headline USA (emphasis ours),

Last week, Rep. Alexandrio Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) hopped on a livestream to give a 'very fine people on both sides' damage control speech regarding the situation in Israel, after the Democratic Socialists of America came out for Hamas following last weekend's brutal attack on Israelis.

She did anything but clear the air... as Twitter followers couldn't help but notice that during the 45-second livestreamed social-media broadcast, the socialist lawmaker unmistakably appeared to break wind around the 38 second mark.

It came at a particularly awkward moment, during which “AOC” happened to be accusing Israel of genocidal war crimes after it struck back for the slaughter of more than a thousand innocent civilians—including the rape and torture of many—and the kidnapping of roughly 150 others whose fate remains unknown.

“[T]he United States has a responsibility to ensure accountability to human rights to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and to ensure that horrors do not happen in the names of victims who do not want their [fart] tragedy used to justify further violence and injustice,” she said.

But while few would have predicted it to be the next development in a story that has shocked the world and fueled global anxieties like never before about the outbreak of World War III, it is not the first time farts have become an unwanted diversion for AOC.

One of her first acts as a freshman lawmaker was to draft the “Green New Deal,” a multi-trillion-dollar framework for revamping the entire U.S. economy in order to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

Unfortunately, the plan was widely ridiculed for its outlandish proposals—not the least of which was its fixation on regulating cow farts.

Despite the popular rejection of it at the time, leftists and globalists have continued to push the Green New Deal agenda under different labels, including President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan and the “smart city” initiatives being coordinated by the World Economic Forum.

And at least one nation—New Zealand—has attempted to impose a tax on cow farts—although it is unclear how they are assessed.

In all likelihood, Ocasio–Cortez, who let the video remain up on her Twitter site as of Friday morning, felt no sense of shame over her own methane emission.

She has performed other acts of public humiliation before, including dancing to bongos while enraged citizens jeered her at a town-hall meeting.

However, the Bronx boofer may have doomed her future presidential aspirations if history offers any indication.

At least two past Democratic presidential candidates who have publicly cut the cheese went on to bomb in the ballot box.

Hillary Clinton left the normally loquacious Sens. John Edwards and Barack Obama practically speechless after a burst during a November 2007 CNN debate ahead of the Democratic primary.

Although Clinton was by far the better known name and widely considered to be the frontrunner at the time, Obama wound up closing the gap and going on to win the election—and two terms in office—while Clinton would go on to win the nomination in 2016 only to lose the general election.

In 2019, while conducting an on-camera interview with then Hardball! host Chris Matthews, Rep. Eric Swalwell, considered to be a serious political upstart with a bright future and a formidable political adversary for then-President Donald Trump, appeared to shift a bit in his seat.

Shortly thereafter, Swalwell let out a ripper that reared back his shoulders, but continued to make his point without missing a beat.

At that point Swalwell already had launched and failed a short-lived presidential campaign, which lasted only about three months. However, the fart—and subsequent news of an affair with a Chinese honeytrap spy named Fang Fang—not only raised serious concerns about Swalwell’s judgment and integrity, but also made it hard to take him seriously.

In January, Swalwell was one of three Democrat lawmakers who was stripped of his committee assignments due to concerns that he was unfit to serve on the House Intelligence Committee since he was potentially a compromised Chinese asset.

And who could forget when Rahm Emanuel farted on the Charlie Rose show?

Or when Rep. Jarrold Nadler (D-NY) may have duked in his diapers.

How much did he poop? Depends...

Rudy toot toot?

It's not just Democrats...

And last but not least, current independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was caught in a fart scandal in July, but not one of his own making.

While attending a private dinner with several members of the New York media at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan, RFK Jr. was upstaged by the evening’s host, literary agent Doug Dechert (a conservative), who began to argue about global warming while several cups deep into the evening’s libations.

When the debate with his friend across the table became too tiresome, Dechert shut it down with a “loud, prolonged fart,” wrote Page Six reporter Mara Siegler, “while yelling, as if to underscore his point, ‘I’m farting!’”

The moment apparently left many at the table shell-shocked, but perhaps not RFK Jr.’s campaign manager, Dennis Kucinich, who had dealt with public flatulence at least once before.

Kucinich also was a candidate in the 2008 Democratic primary and was onstage during the Hillary Clinton incident.

Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 21:35

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US Confirms 2nd Carrier Group En Route To “Deter Hostile Actions Against Israel”

US Confirms 2nd Carrier Group En Route To "Deter Hostile Actions Against Israel"

Update (2100ET): The Pentagon has ordered a second carrier…



US Confirms 2nd Carrier Group En Route To "Deter Hostile Actions Against Israel"

Update (2100ET): The Pentagon has ordered a second carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to two US officials, as Israel prepares to expand its Gaza operations.

The first carrier strike group, led by the USS Gerald R. Ford, arrived off the coast of Israel earlier this week.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Saturday night that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrying nine aircraft squadrons, as well as two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser, will soon join the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier group in the region to “deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war following Hamas's attack on Israel.”

The Biden administration made clear that the carrier, and its accompanying force, are not there to engage in combat activities on behalf of Israel but rather to deter others from entering the conflict, including Hezbollah.

“The increases to US force Posture signal the United States' ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and our resolve to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this war,” Austin stated.


Additionally, the US administration has so far ruled out sending military personnel into Gaza as part of any Israeli ground invasion or attempt to free American hostages there, only aiding the IDF with intelligence and operation planning.

*  *  *

Update (1330ET): The Israeli military has announced it is prepared for a coordinated air, ground and naval offensive in the Gaza Strip "very soon," according to reports from AP.

In a nationally broadcast address Saturday night, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari issued a new appeal to residents to move to the southern Gaza Strip.

“We are going to broadly attack Gaza City very soon,” he said.

He accused Hamas of trying to use civilians as human shields.

Meanwhile, the social media rhetoric between leaders has gone to '11'...

Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei expects a "complete victory"...

Calling on all Muslims to join the fight...

Israeli PM Netanyahu made his views very clear:

Live feeds below on Gaza: 

*  *  *

Israeli media is reporting a "greenlight" has been given for the expected major Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip as massive convoys of Palestinian civilians have been observed fleeing to the southern part of the densely populated strip. So far there has been limited ground incursions by the army into the strip, targeting Hamas operatives and reportedly to gain intelligence on the whereabouts of hostages. 

The United Nations has issued a report saying at least 423,000 Palestinians have already been internally displaced within Gaza and this massive figure is expected to ratchet further. Likely it has surpassed a half-million as of Saturday, following the Israeli-issued evacuation order, which included dropping thousands of leaflets and warnings over Gaza City. 

Via The Guardian

The UN said it "considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences." Middle East Eye and other regional sources have said over 700 Palestinian children were killed in one week of fighting. As of Friday Israel authorities tallied that over 1,300 Israelis were killed by the Hamas terror attacks on the southern settlements and the music festival, and rocket fire, with at least 3,200 wounded. 27 among the dead were Americans.

Middle East Eye on Saturday reports the following of the mounting Palestinian death toll in both Gaza and the West bank as follows:

Israel has killed at least 2,215 people in Gaza over the past week, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Of those killed, 724 are children and 458 are women. Some 8,714 people have been wounded in the besieged enclave in that time, it added. 

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed 54 people and wounded 1,100 others in the occupied West Bank.

According to a review of the last hours of developments, the population is about to run out of water as the remaining supply dwindles after Israel cut off external supply sources

  • UN agency for Palestinian refugees says its shelters in Gaza “are not safe anymore” as it warns water running our for besieged enclave’s residents.
  • More than 320 Palestinians have been killed in the past 24 hours, including many women and children killed in Israeli air raids on convoys fleeing Gaza City, according to health officials.
  • The rising toll comes as Israel continues bombing Gaza a day after telling 1.1 million residents to head south ahead of a looming ground offensive following Hamas’s attack inside Israel last week.
  • At least 2,215 Palestinians have been killed and 8,714 wounded in Israeli air attacks on Gaza. The number of people killed in Israel has reached 1,300, with more than 3,400 wounded.
  • In the occupied West Bank, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the past week has topped 50. More than 1,000 have been wounded and hundreds arrested.

The fate of the estimated 100 to 200 hostages in Hamas captivity still remains largely unknown, but Hamas in statements which have been underreported in Western press has claimed that over two dozen of the hostages have been killed by the IDF's ongoing aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip

Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said nine more captives were killed in indiscriminate Israeli shelling in the last 24 hours, including a number of foreigners

Qassam has previously announced the death of 17 captives in Israeli air stikes in Gaza over the past week. 

Sky News and others are also reporting, based on Israeli sources, that bodies of hostages have been recovered after some of the initial IDF infantry cross-border raids which began Friday into Saturday:

Raids carried out on the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces discovered human remains of those who had been missing since Hamas's attack last weekend, local media is reporting.

According to Haaretz, armed forces entered an enclave where it is thought up to 200 people were being held hostage by Hamas, and retrieved the bodies of several people.

Items belonging to the missing people were also discovered. 

The US said Friday it chartered its first successful evacuation flight, with talk of more to come.

TOI: A military official at the forensic center at the Military Rabbinate's headquarters in Ramle stands in front of the remains of the victims of Hamas's October 7 shock onslaught in Israel, October 13, 2023. Flash90

There are Americans (many of them likely dual nationals) among the population of Gaza, which Washington says it is trying to facilitate safe exit for as Israeli airstrikes continue. Dangerously, the lone Raffah border crossing into Egypt has at this point been bombed several times. 

But regional media is reporting there's been a diplomatic breakthrough on this front, as Israel, Egypt, and the United States have forged an agreement to let foreigners residing in Gaza pass through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt.

Scene from the frontlines as the IDF build-up outside Gaza continues:

Huge civilian convoys have been witnessed fleeing to the southern half of Gaza, creating bottlenecks...

The Times of Israel cites a senior Egyptian official as follows:

The official says Israel has agreed to refrain from striking areas the foreigners would pass through on their way out of the besieged Palestinian territory. He adds that Qatar was involved in the negotiations and the participants received approval from the Palestinian terror groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The agreement  does not deal with hostages being held by Hamas.

A second official at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing point says they received “instructions” to reopen it on Saturday afternoon for foreigners coming from Gaza.

But Egypt is by and large not letting Gazans exit, even erecting bigger concrete barriers of extra border protection, amid what's setting up to be a catastrophic humanitarian crisis as the Israeli pressure ratchets.

The IDF says it is about to attack the northern half of the Gaza Strip with "great force" - while the US and other countries are urging for caution regarding Palestinian civilians. Below is rare footage of an elite Israeli rescue squad in action (intentionally blurred by IDF sources):

Washington has still all the while said it "stands with Israel" - and has not tried to actually halt the unrelenting IDF bombardment of civilian areas.

Meanwhile, things continue ratcheting in south Lebanon, with reports of new strikes being exchanged between Israel and Hezbollah, and other pro-Palestinian factions.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 21:00

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