Sidney Powell Wants to Fight for Donald Trump—But His Aides Won't Let Her, She Says – Newsweek

  1. Sidney Powell Wants to Fight for Donald Trump—But His Aides Won’t Let Her, She Says  Newsweek
  2. President Trump and first lady wish Americans a Merry Christmas  Fox News
  3. Christmas Eve travel: Millions on the move in US despite COVID-19 outbreak  WLS-TV
  4. The Trump administration wants to take credit for a covid vaccine. Trump supporters are undermining it.  The Washington Post
  5. WHITE HOUSE invites GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania to lunch  WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Sidney Powell Wants to Fight for Donald Trump—But His Aides Won’t Let Her, She Says – Newsweek

Goldman's Four Lessons From 2020

Goldman’s Four Lessons From 2020

In what is likely his last note of the year, Goldman’s chief economist Jan Hatzius takes a look at what 2020 has taught him about the economy and the practice of economic forecasting, and writes that “at this early stage, we see four lessons with potentially more general implications. First, incorporating real-time data into a standard GDP and employment framework can yield large benefits, especially in a crisis. Second, forecasters need to be flexible and eclectic in order to add value, especially in a crisis. Third, Keynesian policy prescriptions have now triumphed in two successive crises [ZH translation: one can always “fix” debt with more debt, until one day everything comes crashing down]. Fourth, people and market economies have a remarkable capacity to adapt.

Amusingly, Hatzius starts off rather humble – for a change – admitting that pretty much everything he predicted a year ago would happen… was dead wrong:

We recently reviewed our ten questions for the US economy in 2020, the answers we gave a year ago, and what actually happened. Most of our answers were wrong because the pandemic pushed the economy into its deepest (though probably also shortest) recession on record.

Of course, to those managing money based on the bank’s recos and forecasts, this admission will hardly help offset the losses, but just so the introspective Goldman chief economist can demonstrate his true contrition for having been wrong again, he has published a note in which he promises that he has learned his lesson. Or rather four:

… while holding ourselves accountable for last year’s predictions is always important, a more interesting question might be what we can learn from the way 2020 unfolded after the pandemic had appeared on the radar screen—from the earliest reported Chinese cases in January to the start of the global vaccination campaign in December.

At this early stage—and we emphasize that our conclusions might change once the pandemic is truly behind us—we see four lessons with broader implications for economic forecasting.

Said lessons are listed below, as follows:

1. The benefits of real-time data, which of course is actually useful compared to seasonally adjusted, goal-seeked and manipulated “government data” whose only purpose is political validation and propaganda.

When the pandemic hit China in January, we were slow to recognize its global scale. Well into February, we focused on the “spillover” effects from economic weakness in China on US growth, working through trade links, tourism, and supply chain disruptions. Only at the end of February—after the lockdowns in northern Italy—did we start to treat the virus like the global shock it was.

But that downgrade set the stage for a series of dramatic further cuts over the following month, as shown in Exhibit 1. At the same time, we held on to a relatively optimistic view of the shape of the rebound after the initial plunge, lifting our 2021 GDP growth forecast to far above-trend rates.

One key reason why we felt confident in slashing our Q2 GDP numbers so aggressively was the timely and granular information about the real-time performance of the economy from cellphone locations, credit and charge card transactions, worker panels, and other real-time data sets. This information was available publicly, but we invested a substantial amount of resources in making it compatible with standard economic measures such as GDP and payroll employment. Once the economy hit bottom in April, the framework confirmed that the recovery was proceeding swiftly in the short term, which also raised our confidence in the optimistic longer-term view, with a sharp rebound in Q3 and ongoing strength in 2021. The broader lesson is incorporating real-time data into a standard economic accounting framework can yield large benefits, especially in a crisis.

2. It’s better to be a fox than a hedgehog, or the “we get our best lessons from books” excuse.

Professor Philip Tetlock of the University of Pennsylvania is best known as the co-author of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction and the founder of the Good Judgment Project. In an earlier book on forecasting, he introduced his distinction between two forecaster archetypes, “hedgehogs” and “foxes”. Hedgehogs use a single model to explain the world across a large range of different states in a deductive manner. By contrast, foxes are inductive decisionmakers who don’t believe in an all-encompassing model, use several different approaches to analyze the situation, and then triangulate between them to come up with a view. Tetlock focuses on political predictions such as the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of Apartheid, and documents that foxes generally outperform hedgehogs.

We certainly have our share of strongly held views about how the economy works. We think that a financial deficit—an excess of total spending over total income—exposes the private sector to a greater risk of retrenchment in response to negative shocks. We think many financial market moves are driven by sentiment rather than economic fundamentals, which means that shocks to financial conditions are often exogenous drivers of growth and it makes sense to look at measures such as our FCI impulse. We adhere to the broadly Keynesian view that the ups and downs of the labor market often amplify business cycle impulses, reinforcing growth in a boom and constraining it in early recovery. And we think that fiscal tightening—especially in a zero-rate environment where it is harder for the Fed to react—often weighs heavily on growth in the short to medium term.

But 2020 was not a time to dig into these views like a hedgehog. In March, we took little comfort from the private sector surplus or the initially solid labor market momentum, as these positive forces paled in importance relative to the dramatic escalation of the pandemic. In April and May, we didn’t build a negative FCI impulse or self-feeding labor market weakness into our forecasts, as this would have made them too extrapolative at a time when the progress in containing the pandemic clearly dominated any driver of growth. And in August, we kept our concern about the growth effects of the fiscal tightening in check, reasoning that the exceptionally high personal saving rate would cushion the impact on spending. These decisions all proved correct (although more recently we seem to have overestimated the short-term impact of the renewed rise in infections on the economy).

3. Perhaps the funniest “lesson” according to Goldman is that what happened in 2020 was “another Keynesian triumph”; here Hatzius is either trolling his readers (again) or he is truly oblivious to the fact that the global economy is now constantly on the verge of collapse and needs constant central bank interventions precisely because of such “Keynesian triumphs” that will push global debt to surpass a third of a quadrillion dollars in the next few years, leaving central banks with hyperinflation as the only recourse to restore some normalcy to a world where money printing is now the norm.

Some forecasters who view themselves as Keynesian overemphasized the multiplier effects from the labor market collapse in April, as well as the growth hit from the fiscal tightening in the fall. But these misses should not obscure the fact that the 2020 crisis was another triumph for Keynesian economic policy—a framework that prescribes aggressive monetary and fiscal support in response to negative shocks, especially those that look clearly temporary. The extent to which policymakers turned to Keynesian solutions is probably best illustrated by Exhibit 2. In Q2, the combination of expanded unemployment insurance, tax rebates, and small business support delivered the biggest increase in real disposable income on record, in a quarter that also saw the biggest decline in real GDP on record.

Fears in some quarters that stimulus on such a scale would lead to a destabilizing increase in inflation expectations or a run on the currency proved unfounded; on the contrary, most commentators now think that these aggressive policies were essential for stabilizing both the financial markets and the real economy in a moment of extreme peril, and they prevented what otherwise would probably have been dramatically negative second-round effects. The 2020 crisis thus adds to the evidence from the 2008 crisis that monetary and fiscal policymakers should be very aggressive in delivering demand-side stimulus when faced with a major downturn.

Right, and just in case central banks should also inject a few trillion for good measure, not allowing a crisis to go to waste, and making the 0.1% the richest they have ever been.

Which brings us to Goldman’s fourth and final lesson, one which we actually agree with:

4. People and market economies have a remarkable capacity to adapt.

The other economic lesson of 2020 has a more classical flavor: market economies are highly adaptable. The abrupt shift from office-based work to at-home work proved much less disruptive than anticipated, at least from the employer’s perspective (though many employees might beg to differ). The move from in-store shopping to online shopping was similarly seamless; indeed, US retail sales had returned to the pre-pandemic level as early as June, when in-store shopping was still down 35% relative to normal. The supply side of the economy has proven remarkably resilient so far, with fewer bankruptcies than feared, greater new business formations than before the crisis, and a rapid decline in joblessness so far (though labor market slack remains sizable). And each successive virus wave (scaled by the increase in new infections) has had a smaller—and smaller than expected—impact on economic activity. This is partly because improved treatments have gradually made the virus itself less lethal and partly because both governments and private individuals have gradually learned to restrict those activities that pose the highest risk of infection relative to their economic value and adjust others in ways that reduce risk, e.g., through mask mandates and better ventilation.

Such adaptation measures remain very important in the near term in view of the continued high level of infections. However, they will probably become less necessary next year as the population is successively vaccinated. If this process unfolds reasonably smoothly—obviously still a big if—the story of how the scientific and pharmaceutical community developed and distributed safe and effective vaccines so soon after the discovery of the virus will look like the biggest triumph of human adaptation and ingenuity in the entire story of the 2020 pandemic.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 12/24/2020 – 18:30

Source: Zero Hedge, Goldman’s Four Lessons From 2020

Coronavirus surge slams L.A. hospitals, forcing ER rationing – Los Angeles Times

  1. Coronavirus surge slams L.A. hospitals, forcing ER rationing  Los Angeles Times
  2. California becomes ground zero for holiday COVID-19 surge  Yahoo News
  3. ‘We’re In The Middle Of A Horrific Surge’: LA Reports Highest Number Of COVID-19 Deaths In One Day  CBS Los Angeles
  4. California becomes 1st state to record 2 million virus cases  WeAreGreenBay.com
  5. California Is 1st State To Hit 2 Million Cases, And Hospitals Are Out Of ICU Beds  NPR
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Coronavirus surge slams L.A. hospitals, forcing ER rationing – Los Angeles Times

The Bachelorette's Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark Head Off to Celebrate Christmas in New York – E! Online

  1. The Bachelorette’s Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark Head Off to Celebrate Christmas in New York  E! Online
  2. The Bachelorette ‘s Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark Head Off to Celebrate Christmas in New York  Yahoo Entertainment
  3. What Is the Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time? We’ve Got Some Contenders  extratv
  4. The Bachelorette’s Ben Smith Gets Candid About Tayshia Adams’ Engagement to Zac Clark  E! Online
  5. The Bachelorette’s Tayshia and Zac Answer Burning Finale Questions: From Engagement to Ivan’s Exit  Entertainment Tonight
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, The Bachelorette’s Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark Head Off to Celebrate Christmas in New York – E! Online

The Bachelorette 's Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark Head Off to Celebrate Christmas in New York – Yahoo Entertainment

  1. The Bachelorette ‘s Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark Head Off to Celebrate Christmas in New York  Yahoo Entertainment
  2. The Bachelorette’s Tayshia and Zac Answer Burning Finale Questions: From Engagement to Ivan’s Exit  Entertainment Tonight
  3. The Bachelorette’s Ben Smith Gets Candid About Tayshia Adams’ Engagement to Zac Clark  E! Online
  4. What Is the Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time? We’ve Got Some Contenders  extratv
  5. 28 Of The Funniest “Bachelorette” Tweets From The Finale  BuzzFeed
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, The Bachelorette ‘s Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark Head Off to Celebrate Christmas in New York – Yahoo Entertainment

Sasse slams Trump pardons; Bacon says president threw GOP lawmakers under the bus – Lincoln Journal Star

  1. Sasse slams Trump pardons; Bacon says president threw GOP lawmakers under the bus  Lincoln Journal Star
  2. Trump issues 26 new pardons, including for Stone, Manafort and Charles Kushner  CNN
  3. Paul Manafort: Handmaiden to dictators | TheHill  The Hill
  4. The most ‘loathsome and disgusting’ of Donald Trump’s pardons  The Arizona Republic
  5. Litman: Trump’s pardons trample on core American principles  Los Angeles Times
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Sasse slams Trump pardons; Bacon says president threw GOP lawmakers under the bus – Lincoln Journal Star

Leslie West, Guitarist Of Rock Band Mountain, Dead At 75 – HuffPost

  1. Leslie West, Guitarist Of Rock Band Mountain, Dead At 75  HuffPost
  2. Leslie West, ‘Mississippi Queen’ Rocker, Is Dead at 75  The New York Times
  3. Legendary rockers react to guitar great Leslie West’s passing | Gallery  Wonderwall
  4. Rockers Pay Tribute to the Mountain Man, Leslie West  Best Classic Bands
  5. ACE FREHLEY Mourns Death Of LESLIE WEST: ‘I Lost A Dear Friend Yesterday’  BLABBERMOUTH.NET
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Leslie West, Guitarist Of Rock Band Mountain, Dead At 75 – HuffPost

Syrian air defenses respond to ‘Israeli aggression’, explosions heard over Hama countryside – state media

Syria’s air defenses have been activated to repel a suspected ‘Israeli attack’ in the Hama Governorate, as the country’s state media report blasts in skies over Masyaf.

The alleged strikes came on Friday morning, in the early hours of Christmas Day, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency. The attack reportedly targeted military sites near the city of Masyaf, located some 23 miles (37km) west of Hama.

Unconfirmed footage of Syria’s defenses in action has circulated online.

Soon after the strikes on Syria, videos purporting to show Israeli warplanes flying low over Beirut, Lebanon also surfaced on social media. Though the IDF has not confirmed Friday’s strikes, Israeli operations have previously been conducted from Lebanese airspace.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to deliver a “crushing blow” to “whoever tries to harm us,” singling out both Iran and Syria by name.

“We will continue to act against attempts by Iran and its proxies to establish military bases in Syria. We will not compromise on this issue,” Netanyahu said, echoing Tel Aviv’s long-held position that it reserves the right to strike ‘Iranian targets’ regardless of where they are located.

Also on rt.com

USS Georgia transits the Strait of Hormuz accompanied by guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal, December 21, 2020.
US nuclear submarine sails into Persian Gulf as Israel sends own sub through Suez Canal in ‘message to Iran’

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Source: RT, Syrian air defenses respond to ‘Israeli aggression’, explosions heard over Hama countryside – state media

Johnson refuses to rule out national lockdown as UK death toll rises by 574

Total number of UK deaths from Covid-19 now 69,625, with further 39,036 daily cases recorded

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out another national lockdown as the UK death toll from coronavirus rose by 574, with a further 39,036 cases.

Thursday’s figure, covering people who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, brings the total number of UK deaths to 69,625.

Continue reading…

Source: The Guardian Politics, Johnson refuses to rule out national lockdown as UK death toll rises by 574

Ohio police chief recommends firing Columbus officer who fatally shot Andre Hill – NBC News

  1. Ohio police chief recommends firing Columbus officer who fatally shot Andre Hill  NBC News
  2. Body cam video leaves questions unanswered in Columbus police shooting of Andre Hill  USA TODAY
  3. Body cam footage shows fatal police shooting of unarmed Black man in Columbus, Ohio  CNN
  4. 15-year-old injured in shooting in northeast Columbus  ABC6OnYourSide.com
  5. Clip and save in the event of another Columbus police shooting  Columbus Alive
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Ohio police chief recommends firing Columbus officer who fatally shot Andre Hill – NBC News

With choir in hard hats, fire-ravaged Notre-Dame rings in Christmas

December 24, 2020

PARIS (Reuters) – For the first time since a fire that nearly destroyed it, the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris played host to a Christmas Eve choral concert, an annual tradition in France.

In a concession to the fact that the Gothic cathedral is still being rebuilt, the choristers wore construction hard hats and boiler suits, and there was no audience.

The concert was recorded at the cathedral earlier this month, and was broadcast on French television just before midnight on Thursday.

The choristers performed classical pieces by composers Mozart and Schubert, but also a more light-hearted repertoire, including “Jingle Bells.”

“It was very moving,” said cellist Gautier Capucon, describing the experience of recording the concert. Along with an organist, he provided the musical accompaniment for the choir.

“It was the first time we had all been back at Notre-Dame cathedral since the fire, so it was a moment full of emotion,” he said in an interview with television station franceinfo.

The cathedral, a landmark of Gothic architecture dating to the 13th century and a major tourist attraction, caught fire on April 15, 2019. The blaze destroyed the spire and roof.

French President Emmanuel Macron undertook to restore the cathedral within five years.

But to date, most work on the site has focused on making the building safe, including clearing up toxic lead from the roof and spire that melted in the fire.

In the meantime, Notre-Dame is closed to the public and masses are cancelled.

In April this year, seven people were allowed to attend a religious ceremony in the cathedral to mark Good Friday, when Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ.

(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Wish America a Merry Christmas

President Trump and our First Lady Melania Trump send America a Merry Christmas message:

America’s greatest President and most beautiful First Lady stand tall in the face of the unspeakable election fraud coming out of the 2020 election. China, the Democrats and world elites created more than 20 million fraudulent ballots in order to steal the election from President Trump who set the record for the most votes in US history.

This Christmas please pray for American, the Presidential family and our future generations so that we will overcome all enemies foreign and domestic.

The post President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Wish America a Merry Christmas appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.



Source: The Gateway Pundit, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Wish America a Merry Christmas

"DeJoy is the real life Grinch": Postmaster General's pre-election sabotage fuels Christmas delays – Salon

  1. “DeJoy is the real life Grinch”: Postmaster General’s pre-election sabotage fuels Christmas delays  Salon
  2. Baltimoreans report long delays at post office on Christmas Eve  WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore
  3. Gephardt: Can the US Postal Service refuse to deliver your mail?  KSL.com
  4. Samuel Benson: The election didn’t sink USPS, but Christmas might  Deseret News
  5. USPS letter carrier brings 25 days of packages, mail and ‘good vibes’  WPTV News – FL Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, “DeJoy is the real life Grinch”: Postmaster General’s pre-election sabotage fuels Christmas delays – Salon

Man Behind Pfizer Vaxx Warns COVID-19 'Will Be With Us For The Next 10 Years'

Man Behind Pfizer Vaxx Warns COVID-19 ‘Will Be With Us For The Next 10 Years’

Ugur Sahin, CEO of Germany’s BioNTech – which partnered with Pfizer to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year – says the virus could still be causing outbreaks 10 years from now, according to Yahoo News.

“The virus will stay with us for the next 10 years,” Sahin said during a Tuesday press conference, adding “We need to get used to the fact that there’ll be more outbreaks.”

“We need a new definition of normal,” he continued, suggesting that this doesn’t necessarily mean countries will have to go into perpetual lockdown – something which could stop “by the end of the summer.” 

“This winter, we will not have an impact on the infection numbers,” he said, “But we must have an impact so that next winter can be the new normal.”

Sahin also urged caution on whether 60-70% of the world’s population being vaccinated would be enough to prevent further outbreaks.

If the virus becomes more efficient…we might need a higher uptake of the vaccine for life to return to normal.” –Yahoo News

Sahin’s comments come as BioNTech and Moderna scramble to see if their vaccines work against the new “mutant” COVID-19 strain spreading throughout the UK. He added that it will take another two weeks to know if his vaccine works on it, but is hopeful that it will.

“Scientifically it is highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine can also deal with this virus variant,” he continued. “The vaccine contains more than 1,270 amino acids, and only nine of them are changed (in the mutant virus). That means that 99% of the protein is still the same.”

On Saturday, UK chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said that vaccines appear ‘adequate’ in generating an immune response to the new strain.

The ‘new normal’ for Sahin, meanwhile, is being filthy rich(er).

Tyler Durden
Thu, 12/24/2020 – 18:00

Source: Zero Hedge, Man Behind Pfizer Vaxx Warns COVID-19 ‘Will Be With Us For The Next 10 Years’