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‘Panic Feeds Panic’: Mnuchin Spooks Markets With Pre-Christmas Message That Was Supposed to Inspire Confidence

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‘Today Could Be a Bloodbath’

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, from his Mexico vacation in Cabo San Lucas as the federal government was shutdown, Sunday night issued a statement that was supposed to help calm jittery investors.

It did not. In fact, it did the opposite.

The Trump stock market has tumbled over the past weeks, losing all of its 2018 gains and more, pulling into bear market territory. Last week was the worst in a decade and the markets are tending to have the worst December since he Great Depression. Investors are worried and some average Americans, especially those with 401(k) retirement plans, are panicked.

When the markets first started to drop, despite what the Federal Reserve and others say is essentially a strong economy with low unemployment and low inflation, President Trump issued a statement, saying the market was just “taking a little pause.”

Since that October 30 claim, the markets have plunged.

Trump blames his hand-picked Federal Reserve Chief, Jerome Powell, who has been raising interest rates, costing the president personally big bucks – not to mention American taxpayers.

There are reports Trump has talked about firing him, which would be unprecedented. It’s unclear that he even has the authority to do so, something Mnuchin announced last week in an attempt to calm investors.

While that did little to help, Mnuchin’s Mexico message has spooked the markets.

Mnuchin announced in a statement posted to Twitter, that he had just spoken with the CEOs of several of the nation’s top banks, and they told him, “they have ample liquidity available for lending to consumer, business markets, and all other market operations.”

The Treasury Secretary went on to say, “they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly.”

Well, that’s great news, but no one was worried about the stability of the banks.

Until Mnuchin mentioned it.

“Mnuchin startled financial analysts, bankers and economists,” The Washington Post reports, with his “unusual statement.”

Market economists denounced the move.

“Panic feeds panic and this looks like panic in the administration,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told the Post. “Suggesting you might know something that no one else is worried about creates more unease.”

“It’s going to raise the question of whether Treasury and Mnuchin know something the markets don’t,” said Brian Gardner, Washington research director at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. “Without clarifying further, it’s going to weigh on the markets.”

“If this weren’t the end of December, I would have thought it was April Fools,” added Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden. “The markets are already nervous enough. It’s like sending out a message saying our space shields can intercept incoming asteroids. Uh, I didn’t know there were any coming our way.”

Even Trump’s advisors know Mnuchin’s move was bad.

“No one thought we were at crisis level,” one of his advisors told the Post. “It’s going to create more of an issue than we had already.”

The Post’s Damian Paletta separately adds via Twitter, “today could be a bloodbath.”

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Image of SEc. Mnuchin: US Mint via Twitter

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Watch: House Republicans Gang Up on Democrat as They Try to End 1/6 Insurrection Hearing With FBI Director

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House Republicans on Tuesday tried to derail a hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Donald Trump’s January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. As California Democratic U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna was speaking to Wray, Republicans tried to end the proceedings.

As Khanna is berating Director Wray, who told the House Oversight and Reform Committee the FBI did not have advance knowledge there would be a deadly attempt to overturn the election in a violent attack on lawmakers, one GOP Congressman  interrupted.

“Madam Chair, I move to adjourn,” the Republicans says, interrupting Rep. Khanna, and violating the rules in the process.

Khanna, looks around to see who interrupted him, asks, “Madam Chair, if I could pause…”

As he speaks another Republican interrupts him.

“There’s been a motion, Madam Chair.”

Another person in the chamber, presumably a Democratic Congress, stunned, says, “HGe doesn’t have the floor,” meaning the Republican has no right to speak.

“The gentleman is not recognized,” the Chair tells the Republicans. “It is Mr. Khanna’s time.”

“We had an insurrection, we don’t need disruptions here,” Khanna said, addressing the Republicans. “Can we allow the democratic process to continue please?”

Republicans insisted they had a right to motion to adjourn, but the Chair told them they were “out of order.”

Democrats called for order as Republicans walked around the dais.

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Stephen Miller Says He’s Fighting ‘Transgender Ideology’ Because Schools Are Teaching ‘People Are Whatever They Want to Be’

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Stephen Miller, advisor to the former president, attacked on Wednesday what he calls “transgender ideology,” claiming it is so concerning to a democratic society it impacts “what it means to have and maintain a country,” and will force all Americans to “adopt a transgender viewpoint.”

He did not explain what that means.

Miller says he’s fighting to protect America’s “Judeo Christian heritage” and “Western Civilization,” although he never specifies from what, just transgender people in general.

A white supremacist who served as Senior Advisor to then-President Donald Trump and continues in that role, Miller told Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, on his Real America’s Voice web show, that he is fighting an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case, claiming that the EEOC failed “to include a constitutionally required religious exemption.”

Miller started his own far right wing law firm, America First Legal, from which he says he is battling the EEOC “so that people can speak their truth.” That apparently excludes transgender people.

“So they will be forcing religious Americans, religious believers, people of faith, to violate their deeply held beliefs, their own private conscience rights and to adopt a transgender viewpoint,” Miller claims. “This is really an issue about science, it is about religion, but also about science because the undisputed biological definition of sex, really, is being turned upside down because of a radical agenda that really now is beginning in our elementary schools teaching young people, that there are no boys and girls, men and women, but in fact, people are whatever they want to be, which has profound implications for medicine for culture, for religion, and for truth itself,” Miller said.

(For decades if not longer Americans have told their children they can be “whatever they want to be.”)

“We are a country whose ethical, religious and moral heritage is Judeo Christian,” Miller said. “What it means is that Judeo Christian values, form the bedrock of our declaration. Our constitution, our civil rights, our moral character, who we are as a people who we are as a country, we inherit from our founders that deep religious faith that deep cultural attachment to these principles, and when they are under assault, our whole nation is under assault, we ought to be teaching and inculcating into our children these fundamental values and principles that made us who we are, that makes Western civilization what it is that is critical to having not just a great present, but an amazing future for this country.”

“My personal view is that this is a failed ideology that is destined to topple in on itself. For this agenda to succeed for the transgender ideology to succeed, they need people to be scared and quiet and not to speak the plain truth. Because once people say I’m not going to bow down to something I know is untrue. I’m not going to be afraid I am going to speak my mind respectfully tastefully, honestly, it’s not going to hold it will crumble the edifice will collapse.”

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For $500 You Can Get a Personalized Video Message From Donald Trump Jr. – and Support Mercenary Soldiers

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Donald Trump Jr. is selling personalized video messages on Cameo for $500, where he will say (presumably) just about anything you want.

“George, this is Donald Trump Jr. Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen, that’s absolutely amazing,” he says in one message on the site. “Joseph tells me that your ceremony didn’t include the usual welcome message from the President so while I’m not the President obviously I’d like to personally wish you a heartfelt congratulations. I look forward to having you here participating in the American process, and the American dream. Congratulations once again man and maybe we’ll see you at a MAGA rally sometime in the not too distant future. Have a good one.”

Cameo is a five-year old platform that allows celebrities to make money by selling video messages to fans. The Independent reports Trump Jr. was “complaining about ‘millions’ in legal bills in from [the] New York AG probe.”

Messages are available up to a week after booking, but for $787 supporters can get turnaround in under 24 hours.

In another message for a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary Trump Jr. plugs his family’s golf course, and says he hope he’ll see them there.

The son of the former U.S. president has chosen a unique charity to support, and one that would help him in whatever possible future political campaigns he might wage. He says “a portion” of the proceeds will be donated to the Shadow Warriors Project, a nonprofit that supports wounded mercenaries – also known as soldiers for hire, or soldiers of fortune. That charity is listed at Charity Navigator as too new to rate.

The group says it is “dedicated to the support of private military security contractors, conducting paramilitary security operations in some of the world’s most dangerous areas.”

Users who pay for a video message can rate them. George gave Don Jr. 5 stars.

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