Buttigieg Blames Private Sector for Formula Shortage


Armstrong Economics Blog/USA Current Events Re-Posted May 17, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the man who suggested everyone immediately switch to electric vehicles to combat the “Putin gas hike,” has a new message for American parents struggling to feed their babies – deal with it.

Buttigieg appeared on CBS and could not contain his utter ignorance and lack of empathy. “This is a capitalist country. The government does not make baby formula, nor should it. Companies make formula. And one of those companies, a company which, by the way, seems to have 40% market share, messed up and is unable to confirm that a plant, a major plant, is safe and free of contamination,” he stated, absolving government of any guilt. The baby formula shortage began BEFORE Abbott had a formula recall.

Luckily reporter Margaret Brennan was able to explain the situation to the confused politician. Buttigieg said the shutdown has nothing to do with a shortage of ingredients. “No, it is a factor that has led to price. Inflation is one of the factors among many that has been blamed for months of problems with baby formula even before the recall in February,” Brennan reminded him. He maintained that the private sector has the ability to make more formula, and Brennan reminded him that right now America is importing baby formula from Europe as its strategy.

The Biden Administration happily sends $40 billion off to Ukraine without hesitation but refuses to fund the problems we are facing at home. This nationwide formula shortage is an extremely serious issue that US politicians simply disregard. A fraction of the money spent on Ukraine could have fixed the Michigan plant that closed after the recall, and it could have been used to create new manufacturing plants and import more formula in the meantime.

Americans More Concerned with Inflation than Abortion


Armstrong Economics Blog/Politics Re-Posted May 17, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Sorry, Democrats, but Americans are more outraged that they cannot afford to live than whether others should be able to terminate pregnancies. A poll by Rasmussen Reports found that both Republicans and Democrats are far more concerned with inflation than any other issue. Nearly 94% of Republicans, 84% of Democrats, and 83% of Independents cited rising prices as their top concern.

Abortion outrage is actually low on the list. Among all voters surveyed, 83% are concerned about violent crime that has increased throughout the country amid relaxed laws and defunded police agencies. Sixty-nine percent are worried about illegal immigration and the absence of border security. Across all political beliefs, inflation is the main concern. It is something that all Americans must grapple with on a daily basis. The Democrats have only exacerbated the problems concerning most Americans by avoiding major issues entirely. At this point, even the most die-hard liberal cannot say with a straight face that we are better now than we were under Trump.

The Democratic Party has become tone-deaf. People fear that they cannot maintain their current standard of living, pay for housing, or feed their families. They feel outraged every time they go to the gas pump or grocery store and only see darker days ahead. Leaking the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade was a FAILED attempt to redirect the public’s attention before the midterm elections.

Pennsylvania Senate Republican Race is a Dead Heat as Candidates Make Closing Arguments


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 16, 2022 | Sundance

The republican primary race in Pennsylvania is essentially a three-way tie going in to voting day tomorrow.  All three of the top candidates are carrying approximately 25 percent of the vote with around 15 percent still undecided.   It really is anyone’s race.

President Trump has sent robocalls into Pennsylvania to support Mehmet Oz as a last-minute effort to push his endorsement over the line. “I’ve just spent a lot of time with him. I did endorse him, and the reason is he’s tough, he’s smart and he really loves our country and he wants to do a great job for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Fox News Sean Hannity also hosted Mehmet Oz on his evening broadcast to deliver his closing arguments, while Fox News Laura Ingraham provided the same opportunity for David McCormick.  In the counterbalancing effort, Steve Bannon hosted Kathy Barnette for an interview Monday providing her the opportunity to speak to the Bannon audience.

The wild aspect to this race is the still high number of undecided voters as the final hours count down.   McCormick representing the party candidate, with both Oz and Barnette splitting the MAGA base.  Pennsylvania undecideds have a tough decision.

Mehmet Oz is not trusted by the base despite President Trump’s endorsement.  Kathy Barnette is the landing place for many base voters who do not want to support the establishment McCormick and cannot bring themselves to vote for Oz.  However, democrats and left-wing media are already showing their intent to weaponize Barnette’s attendance at the J6 rally in Washington DC, if she should win the primary {Video Here}.

As expected, David McCormick’s current position tying all three of them at the top of the polling, appears to have resulted as a splitter strategy from the fractured MAGA base.

Many people just cannot support Mehmet Oz because of his prior positions on issues of importance.  Oz is by far President Trump’s most controversial endorsement of the year.  As an outcome, those who refuse to vote for Oz lean heavily toward Kathy Barnette.

(Via Politico) – […] “You are seeing people move to McCormick because he is a trustworthy conservative,” said James Schultz, a former Trump White House lawyer who is close to McCormick’s campaign. “We have seen for this entire cycle Mehmet Oz’s struggle with the truth. With Barnette, there have been many questions surrounding her truthfulness as well.”

Messaging from McCormick’s campaign on Monday appeared to concede that he is one of multiple candidates crowded at the front of the pack. The campaign wrote in an election eve press release that McCormick would make the case to Republicans that he is “the only front-runner who grew up in Pennsylvania and shares the same conservative values as PA voters.”

A series of other twists in recent days have added to the sense of volatility ahead of Tuesday’s primary election. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the leading Democratic Senate candidate, remains hospitalized after suffering a stroke over the weekend. And Trump, on Saturday weighed in with a last-minute endorsement in the governor’s race, picking Doug Mastriano, the candidate who is publicly backing and campaigning with Barnette.  (read more)

This race will be very interesting to watch on Tuesday as the votes come in.  However, with the race so close, and with all three of the leading candidates willing to request a recount, we might not even know the results tomorrow.


Project Veritas Releases Video of Senior Twitter Engineer Describing Culture and Ideology of The Platform


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 16, 2022 | Sundance 

A senior engineer working for the Twitter social media platform is captured on undercover video explaining the culture and ideology of the people who work within the organization.

In the video Twitter Sr. Engineer, Siru Murugesan, a self-described communist, explains why most of his colleagues are freaked out about Twitter being purchased by Elon Musk and operating as a capitalistic company.  Many might have to work more than 4 hours a week to earn their salary. WATCH:

[NEW YORK – May 16, 2022] Project Veritas published explosive undercover footage on Monday night featuring one of Twitter’s senior engineers discussing the dynamics behind internal reactions to the acquisition of the tech company by business magnate, Elon Musk.

In the video, Twitter Sr. Engineer, Siru Murugesan, says many of his colleagues have voiced “this would be my last day if it happens,” referring to Musk’s high publicized intended purchase of Twitter. He also says employees at Twitter are “stress-eating” and “worried for our jobs.”

More significant than those soundbites are the reasons he says employees at Twitter feel this way. (read more)

The Twitter Bot Inquiry Intensifies as Musk is Seemingly Stiff Armed


Posted Originally on the conservative tree house on May 16, 2022 | Sundance

The ramifications for Twitter surrounding fake users or algorithmic bots are considerable.  One issue is overcharging advertisers for ad impressions based on mDAU’s, which are “monetized Daily Active Users.”  The second issue is an outcome of the first and relates to the valuation of Twitter.  If Twitter bots are higher than Twitter estimates, then the mDAU rate is overstated.

Elon Musk is indicating there may need to be a lowering of the purchase price unless Twitter becomes transparent with how they are calculating the number of bot users at less than 5%.  All outside reviews attempting to estimate the number of fake accounts, or bots, puts the estimations considerably higher than the claims by Twitter.  Elon Musk tweeted:

At “The All In Summit 2022,” Elon Musk gave the impression the purchase price of Twitter may be tenuous.  He said that a deal with a lower price tag is not “out of the question,” Bloomberg reported.  “Currently, what I’m being told is that there’s just no way to know the number of bots… It’s like, as unknowable as the human soul,” Musk said at the Miami conference, per a social media video, Bloomberg added.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrwal has responded to the controversy in a very obtuse twitter thread:

Let’s talk about spam. And let’s do so with the benefit of data, facts, and context…

First, let me state the obvious: spam harms the experience for real people on Twitter, and therefore can harm our business. As such, we are strongly incentivized to detect and remove as much spam as we possibly can, every single day. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just wrong.

Next, spam isn’t just ‘binary’ (human / not human). The most advanced spam campaigns use combinations of coordinated humans + automation. They also compromise real accounts, and then use them to advance their campaign. So – they are sophisticated and hard to catch.

Some final context: fighting spam is incredibly *dynamic*. The adversaries, their goals, and tactics evolve constantly – often in response to our work! You can’t build a set of rules to detect spam today, and hope they will still work tomorrow. They will not.

We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam – if they can’t pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc).

The hard challenge is that many accounts which look fake superficially – are actually real people. And some of the spam accounts which are actually the most dangerous – and cause the most harm to our users – can look totally legitimate on the surface.

Our team updates our systems and rules constantly to remove as much spam as possible, without inadvertently suspending real people or adding unnecessary friction for real people when they use Twitter: none of us want to solve a captcha every time we use Twitter.

Now, we know we aren’t perfect at catching spam. And so this is why, after all the spam removal I talked about above, we know some still slips through. We measure this internally. And every quarter, we have estimated that <5% of reported mDAU for the quarter are spam accounts.

Our estimate is based on multiple human reviews (in replicate) of thousands of accounts, that are sampled at random, consistently over time, from *accounts we count as mDAUs*. We do this every quarter, and we have been doing this for many years.

Each human review is based on Twitter rules that define spam and platform manipulation, and uses both public and private data (eg, IP address, phone number, geolocation, client/browser signatures, what the account does when it’s active…) to make a determination on each account.

The use of private data is particularly important to avoid misclassifying users who are actually real. FirstnameBunchOfNumbers with no profile pic and odd tweets might seem like a bot or spam to you, but behind the scenes we often see multiple indicators that it’s a real person.

Our actual internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5% – based on the methodology outlined above. The error margins on our estimates give us confidence in our public statements each quarter.

Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share). Externally, it’s not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAUs on any given day.

There are LOTS of details that are very important underneath this high-level description. We shared an overview of the estimation process with Elon a week ago and look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you.  (Link to Twitter Article)

Methinks Parag Agrwal doth protest too much….  Especially if you overlay the ideological incentives that Twitter carries into its operational platform.

If you accept that Twitter is manipulating the public conversation intentionally (they are), then Twitter bots would serve an ideological function.  However, the issue of ‘bots’ operating on the Twitter platform is interesting when you consider the cost of platform operation.

On one hand, extensive auto-generated ‘bots’ would be an issue of cost and data-processing, a net negative.  On the other hand, the use of bots would be a manipulative practice for the creation of false impressions to generate advertising revenue.

If the scale of data-processing was subsidized, an outcome of a network of data processing centers -the AWS cloud- linked to government resources, the bots would not be a cost issue for the operation.  Despite the false impressions generated, bots would, however, under this weird situation, be useful for the manipulation of the conversation.

At the root of Elon Musk’s line of inquiry is the need to discover if this suspicion is true.

If the scale of bots has been underestimated (likely by a willfully blind operation) the advertising fees charged by Twitter were potentially fraudulent.  This is another operational reason (mitigating lawsuits from advertisers) for Musk to make the determination prior to the final purchase of the platform.

Taking Twitter private as a company, eliminating bots (which is essentially removing fraudulent users) then carries the potential benefits of both lowering costs and positioning the company to increase genuine ad revenue from authenticated users as real people.

Many people suspect the size of the political left on the Twitter platform is manipulated by programatic bots.  Meaning there seems to be more people on the left side of the spectrum because bots are deployed to give the impression of like-minded users.  I am one of the people who believe this suspicion is accurate, because it would be a typical way the ideological left operates.

The bots would be in addition to the deployment of algorithms that are designed to suppress speech the platform operators do not like.

I have long suspected the Twitter algorithm process is essentially assigning certain users into specifically designed data-processing containers where their voice is suppressed.   Some people call this ‘shadow-banning,’ I simply call it suppression.

Elon Musk represents a threat to the way the platform was/is designed to operate.  If Musk removes the discussion constraints, opens the containers and removes the restrictions, while simultaneously eliminating bots and fake accounts, the entire perspective of the platform could change very quickly.  This is what I think the current board and operators are trying to avoid.

Another rudimentary way to look at it…. Think about the last several months of public opinion polls.   Despite the efforts of a compliant media, repeatedly we see a 75/25 split against Biden and leftist policies.  The 3:4 and/or 4:5 ratio has been a consistent pattern for several months.  That ratio shows up in almost every poll.  However, if you look at Twitter that ratio is not present in the “organic” conversation about the same issues.

As CTH has said for many years, there are more of us than them.  However, Big Tech controls the mechanisms we use to communicate – and as a consequence the scale of our assembly is severely understated.

Twitter user fraud is the digital and social media equivalent to voter election fraud.   The voices raised in opposition to researching both issues are exactly the same.

Suspicious Cat remains, well, suspicious….

Erdogan Will Not Accept Sweden and Finland into NATO Until He Extracts Concessions for Former Positions Against Interests of Turkey


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 16, 2022 | Sundance

Turkey as a member of NATO has always been a thorny and multi-layered geopolitical issue.  In the latest chapter of the dynamic, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, a man with visions of his own grandiose importance as the leader of the next Ottoman empire, has said Sweden and Finland do not warrant entry into NATO because they have held positions adverse to the interests of Erdogan and the Muslim Brotherhood.

As the entry point from the middle east into Europe, Erdogan has long leveraged his gatekeeper status to create an oversized influence of power.  When the EU formally declared the era of multiculturalism was failing 2012, and Islamic extremists were carrying out terrorism attacks all over the NATO alliance, Erdogan leveraged his ability to open the floodgates from Syria to gain additional financial benefits.

On one hand, when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in northern Syria, Erdogan hid behind the skirt of NATO seeking protection from Russian retaliation.  On the other hand, when the U.S. refused to give Turkey missile defense systems, Erdogan buried the hatchet with Putin and purchased Russian missile defense systems.   President Erdogan plays all sides in advancing his interests.

In the latest development, what Joe Manchin is to the leftist agenda of Joe Biden, Erdogan is playing that role toward the globalist agenda of NATO.  The big picture behind Erdogan’s priorities is always connected to the agenda of the Brotherhood.

ISTANBUL (Reuters) -Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Swedish and Finnish delegations should not bother coming to Ankara to convince it to approve their NATO bid.

Sweden’s government has formally decided to apply for NATO membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday, a day after Finnish President Sauli Niinisto confirmed that Helsinki will also apply for membership.

Turkey surprised its NATO allies last week by saying it would not view their applications positively, mainly citing their history of hosting members of groups Ankara deems terrorists.

In a news conference on Monday, Erdogan repeated that Turkey would not approve their bids to join NATO, calling Sweden a “hatchery” for terrorist organisations, and adding it had terrorists in its parliament.

[…]  NATO and the United States said they were confident Turkey would not hold up membership of Finland and Sweden.

Diplomats said Erdogan would be under pressure to yield as Finland and Sweden would greatly strengthen NATO in the Baltic Sea.

Erdogan’s spokesman said on Saturday that Turkey has not shut the door to Sweden and Finland joining NATO but wants negotiations and a clampdown on what it sees as terrorist activities.  (read more)

Recep Erdogan can see the global cleaving underway, and he will position himself to use the geopolitical agenda of the western alliance to build out his continued quest to recreate a new Ottoman empire.  That’s his legacy agenda.

President Erdogan is sketchy and cunning…

Biden Redeploys U.S. Combat Troops to Somalia, Reversing Trump Draw Down


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 16, 2022 | Sundance

Democrats love war, even when they have to go looking for one.  The New York Times is reporting that Joe Biden has signed a Defense Dept order authorizing 700 combat troops to redeploy to Somalia, reversing the Trump-era troop withdrawal.

WASHINGTON — President Biden has signed an order authorizing the military to once again deploy hundreds of Special Operations forces inside Somalia — largely reversing the decision by President Donald J. Trump to withdraw nearly all 700 ground troops who had been stationed there, according to four officials familiar with the matter.

In addition, Mr. Biden has approved a Pentagon request for standing authority to target about a dozen suspected leaders of Al Shabab, the Somali terrorist group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda, three of the officials said. Since Mr. Biden took office, airstrikes have largely been limited to those meant to defend partner forces facing an immediate threat.

Together, the decisions by Mr. Biden, described by the officials on the condition of anonymity, will revive an open-ended American counterterrorism operation that has amounted to a slow-burn war through three administrations. (read more)

Inflation Crippling Low-Income Americans


Armstrong Economics Blog/Inflation Re-Posted May 16, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

We went from a booming economy to staring down the next recession. Inflation has reached 8.3%, and most Americans are troubled that they will no longer be able to afford their standard of living. According to the latest Gallup poll, 52% reported that they are fearful about maintaining their standard of living. Some may say, “So what? The rich will have to sell off one mansion and fly commercial!” The people who will feel the brunt of this economic downturn are lower-income earners.

Among those earning under $40,000 annually, 73% said they no longer believe they can afford basic living necessities, up from 56% a year prior. About 65% of lower-income Americans worry about having enough money to pay their monthly bills, while 59% say they fear they’ll no longer be able to afford housing. In fact, more lower-income renters should be concerned about the rising cost of housing because landlords will pass their increased costs on to their tenants at a time when rental costs are already at an all-time high.

Medical bills, the leading cause of bankruptcy, are of the utmost concern. Seventy-two percent of lower-income earners said they cannot afford an emergency medical event, and 62% cannot afford basic medical care. These fears are not unfounded and we are looking at a major crisis on the horizon.

European Union Pushing for Mass Surveillance


Armstrong Economics Blog/European Union Re-Posted May 16, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Censorship is now normalized in the West. The European Union has concocted its own way to spy on citizens under the pretense of protecting children from predators. The “chat control” law, if passed, would permit the EU to access private, chats, emails, text messages, and calls. The program will even allow the government to view messages sent on gaming systems such as X-Box. We have reached dystopian levels of mass surveillance.

The legislation would allow the government to view communications in real-time. The European Parliament passed a similar law in July 2021 on a smaller scale. This new adoption would no longer be voluntary and will involve the entire population. There were opposing members when the initial measure passed in July, and 72% of EU citizens said they opposed mass surveillance.

German Pirate Party Member of the European Parliament Patrick Breyer called it “totalitarian logic” and warned that “our post, our smartphones or our bedrooms could also be generally monitored. Unleashing such denunciation machines on us is ineffective, illegal and irresponsible.” That day has now come as the union is requesting unlimited access to our private lives.

Edward Snowden warned that this breach of privacy would span across the globe. The government no longer needs warrants or probable cause. If you ever feel alone, remember that the government is always there with you.

Clinton, Epstein, and a Mysterious Death


Armstrong Economics Blog/Corruption Re-Posted May 16, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Reminder: Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself. The media stopped covering Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial but she is still alive and so are her secrets. She is imprisoned for sex trafficking, but not one abuser has been identified or brought to justice. The media failed to mention that she recently agreed to reveal the names of the alleged sex ring members in exchange for a reduced sentence. If she were to produce the names of high-profile clients, such as politicians, that would only help her case.

Epstein likely blackmailed high-profile individuals by using underage girls as bait. Bill Clinton was one of those individuals, allegedly, and the man linking Clinton to Epstein just died under mysterious circumstances. Clinton’s former special advisor Mark Middleton passed away at the age of 59 in a “sudden” death, according to his family. In 1994, the Clinton campaign asked Middleton to seek out funds from Les Wexner, and his money manager was none other than Jeffrey Epstein.

Bill had been linked to Epstein ever since and allegedly granted him access to the White House numerous times. Middleton is the original link between Clinton and Epstein and even flew on the Lolita Express. The Clintons initially disposed of Middleton, politically, in 1995 after they accused him of abusing “access to impress business clients and he was barred from the executive mansion without senior approval” and there was a probe against him the following year.

Middleton left politics entirely and lived a life out of the spotlight. Yet, the connection remained. As soon as Maxwell stated she would reveal her client list, Middleton suddenly passed away. Coincidence? What names will Maxwell reveal, and will the media cover the story?