Badlands News Brief
The President of Precedent & a Trapped Economy
The News Cycle is almost impossible to track these days. At least, to do so fully.
That’s where we come in.
In the Badlands News Brief, the Badlands Media team hand pick news items of interest from the previous days to give you an overview of the biggest goings-on relevant to the Truth Community.
Some items feature original (and subjective) commentary. Feel free to follow the corresponding link to see our writers’ corresponding Substack accounts and check out their other work.
Now, onto the news from Tuesday, February 6 …
A three-judge appeals panel flatly rejected Trump’s argument that he could not be charged in the case because he was president at the time of the alleged crimes.
“We cannot accept that the office of the Presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter,” said the panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” the panel wrote in a 57-page opinion. “But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution.”
The ruling is the latest major legal loss for Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. — CNBC
Our Take: “DC Circuit court affirms Judge Chutkan's decision to deny Donald Trump's claims of immunity.
Supreme Court, here we come!” —
Donald Trump has called for debates between himself and Joe Biden to be held as soon as possible, “for the good of the country.”
Appearing on Dan Bongino’s podcast, Trump made the call, urging that more Americans need to be made aware that Biden “can’t do anything.”
“He can’t talk. He can’t do anything. He’s ruining our country and I don’t think he’s going to run,” Trump stated.
He continued, “I don’t know if it’s donors or otherwise. It might be his family. It might be something. I don’t think he’s going to run.”
“I’d like to call for immediate debates. I’d like to debate him now because we should debate. We should debate for the good of the country,” Trump further declared, adding “I am officially going to do that.
Trump also repeated an earlier offer to take Biden’s interview spot at the Super Bowl, proclaiming “We’ll get very good ratings.” — Modernity News
Our Take: “If Joe Biden actually ends up accepting Trump’s challenge to live, televised debates ahead of the 2024 election, it will be one of the most firm and somewhat absurd mappings of the ‘Patriots in Control’ refrain that we’ve seen in the Info War, as any person with a mildly functioning brain would see the attempt as futile from the Establishment’s perspective.
Trump largely solidified his standing as the champion of the people with his televised performances against Hillary Clinton in 2016, and he smoked Biden leading up to 2020. Obviously, most of us believe the 2020 election was stolen, and that the Deep State will try to steal this one as well. Leaving aside whether or not they’ll be successful for the time being, at a bare minimum, the Establishment wants to be able to convince a large enough subset of the American population of the story of Biden the actual winner of the 2024 election.
Allowing him to be savaged by Trump in front of the entire world does not fit that agenda.” —
Republican National Committee chief of staff Mike Reed is set to step down from his role later this month.
Reed had served as chief of staff at the committee since Jan. 2022. In an email to staff on Tuesday, obtained by POLITICO, he said that he wanted to focus on his “growing family [that] needs and deserves my attention.”
Two people familiar with Reed’s move say it has been in the works for around a year. They said he accepted his new job with Cornerstone, a government relations and public affairs firm, last fall but chose to remain at the RNC through the committee’s winter meeting last week in Las Vegas.
But the move also comes amid growing speculation that former President Donald Trump, the strong frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination, will push for a shakeup in leadership at the committee. And Reed himself acknowledged that timing element in his note to staffers.
“I know the timing of this news comes as many rumors in the press swirl and we prepare to merge with the presumptive nominee. I assure you, the RNC is in an incredibly strong position,” Reed wrote. — Politico
Our Take: “It’s Trump’s party. That’s the takeaway.
The headline is that Ronna’s chief of staff is leaving, it’s been in the works for over a year, and it doesn’t signal anything more broadly. Sure.
The deeper story shows that shake ups are expected in RNC leadership following the South Carolina primary, and those shake ups are being directed by President Trump.
Politico has tempered its language, and all the institutions appear to be bracing for the return of 45.
Can you feel it?” —
It appears that financial markets, especially in the United States, voracious beasts: They never appear to be satisfied even when they get what they want.
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell in his “60 Minutes” interview, which aired on Sunday, confirmed what the markets apparently already knew as of last Wednesday. That is, the Fed is pivoting toward cutting interest rates — not in March but sometime later in the year — and the central bank is expecting to reduce short-term interest rates three times in 2024.
In fact, Powell told “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley that many of the members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee think the time for rate cuts is approaching.
“All but a couple of our participants do believe it will be appropriate to, for us to begin to dial back the restrictive stance by cutting rates this year,” Powell said, according to a transcript of the interview. “And so, it is certainly the base case that, that we will do that. We’re just trying to pick the right time, given the overall context.”
“This is a good economy,” the Fed chief told Pelley.
Despite the subsequent jump in interest rates on Monday and the S&P 500′s pullback from record levels, both Wall Street and Main Street should be celebrating the Fed almost openly declaring victory in the post-pandemic war on inflation. — CNBC
Our Take: “Trump took a break from ridiculing the political Establishment directly over the last few days to turning his ire on the Central Bankers, namely the Federal Reserve.
When he made his 'rate cut' comments to Bartiromo, I said he was executing a bluff charge on the Bank, and even the financial media is starting to pick up on it, even if they're leaving aside Trump's role in the narrative trend.
While Trump is publicly projecting that the FED will cut interest rates in the short term, thereby provoking a temporary surge in the surface-level economy, the fact that such a cut would be followed by a fairly rapid instance of inflation the likes of which the US has never seen has given the Central Controllers pause.
The thing is, the longer they wait to execute said cuts, the more claims of election interference will dog them.
Furthermore, if they decide to hold steady at current rates, or even to raise them further, they're putting the squeeze on their own banking system.
Pincer Move.” —
Tucker Carlson Explains Why He Is Interviewing Putin: "Most Americans Are Not Informed... We're Here Because We Love The US"
As the left freaks out about Tucker Carlson's upcoming interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former Fox News host (who can now be found at tuckercarlson.com) has published a pre-interview explainer over why he's interviewing Putin - which boils down to an uncurious Western media, which has resulted in a grossly uninformed public.
"Here's why we're doing it. First, because it's our job. We're in journalism. Our duty is to inform people. Two years into a war that's reshaping the entire world, most Americans are not informed. They have no real idea what's happening in this region, here in Russia or 600 miles away in Ukraine. But they should know, they're paying for much of it in ways they might not fully yet perceive. The war in Ukraine is a human disaster. It's left hundreds of thousands of people dead. An entire generation of young Ukrainians. And has depopulated the largest country in Europe. But the long-term effects are even more profound."
Carlson notes that the Ukraine was has "utterly reshaped the global military and trade alliances" and "upended the world economy."
He also hits on the dire state of the Post-WWII (Bretton Woods) economic order, noting that it's "coming apart very fast," along with "the dominance of the US dollar."
The failures of corporate media
Carlson notes that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky has been the beneficiary of softball, curated, Western interviews which he calls "prep sessions."
"That is not journalism. It is government propaganda," said Carlson. — ZeroHedge
(CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO WATCH THE FULL STATEMENT ON X)
Our Take: “Tucker’s latest endeavor is genius, and signals a new phase of Con, Inc disclosures.
DeSantis’ bid for the presidency revealed many never-Trumpers in America First clothing, but not all of them. There are many who remained Trump loyalists during the fake primary, but are now clutching their pearls at the thought of Americans hearing from the Russians first hand. A lot of effort and resources have gone into the Russia! narrative, and Tucker interviewing Putin threatens to undermine all of it.
That brings me to Sebastian Gorka, the so-called America First champion, losing his mind over the coming interview.
‘I remember when Americans didn’t do PR for KGB colonels. Well, without being agents of the Kremlin,’ Gorka tweeted upon hearing the news of Tucker’s pursuit.
So, Tucker is ostensibly an agent of the Kremlin? This is from a self-proclaimed conservative who should, by definition, value the First Amendment and the institution of free and independent journalism. Why doesn’t Gorka want Americans to hear the Russian side of things?
I’m sure his answer is some variation of, ‘It’s for your safety.’ That’s what the authoritarians always say.
Pay close attention to your favorite influencers in the coming days, and consider whether they still represent your values.
Awakening, accelerate.” —
Although Bank of America pledged in 2021 to no longer finance any new coal mines and plants, or Arctic oil drilling, such projects will now face "enhanced due diligence" from the company, according to its "Environmental and Social Risk Policy Framework" from December 2023.
Bank of America’s December 2021 "Environmental and Social Risk Policy Framework" stated the company "will not directly finance new thermal coal mines or the expansion of existing mines," including, "petroleum exploration or production activities in the Arctic," The New York Times reported.
It added it would also not "directly finance the construction or expansion of new coal-fired power plants," with certain caveats.
But those statements were removed from the 2023 version.
Bank of America told FOX Business in a statement, "We have a risk-based process for client transactions. Certain client relationships or transactions that carry heightened risks will continue to go through an enhanced due diligence process involving senior level risk review."
The change comes as some states, like New Hampshire, Texas and West Virginia, have passed laws to prevent banks from refusing to finance coal projects, and have even sought to criminalize what is called, "environmental, social and governance" principles within companies, according to The Times. — FOX Business
US thermal coal exporters recorded more than $5 billion in overseas sales in 2023, shipping upwards of 32.5 million metric tons of the high-polluting power fuel, according to Reuters, citing data from ship-tracking firm Kpler. These coal export earnings were the second highest since 2017, trailing only behind 2022's $5.7 billion. This comes as US utility coal usage for electricity generation tumbles to the lowest in this century.
Reuters points out diverging trends between sliding domestic coal use at power plants and a surge in coal exports. They called this "hypocrisy, given the country's ambitions to become a global leader in energy transition and pollution reduction efforts."
In 2023, India was the largest destination for US coal shipments, with 11.8 million tons delivered, accounting for 36.3% of total US thermal exports. Kpler data showed that volume was up 130% from 2022, and the south Asian nation is the world's largest coal producer and consumer after China.
"India is expected to remain a keen buyer of international coal as the country's domestic reserves are being depleted and power firms rely on coal for about 75% of India's electricity," Reuters said.
This comes as major US companies, such as Apple, have been shifting manufacturing supply chains from China to India - a move called 'friendshoring'. — ZeroHedge
Our Take: “You know ... sometimes, it seems like there are patriot ghosts in the media machine, who watch the theories this community pass around, waiting for the opportunity to inject not-so-subtle confirmations into the War of Stories in order to encourage us.
And if that seems like wishful thinking, we're not the only ones engaging in it; in fact, amidst the overwhelmingly negative news cycle that has persisted for the entirety of the Biden Admin, I maintain that some of the most promising (long term) economic and domestic trends we've seen in ages have been continued under this Admin, and have even accelerated, which is one of the biggest directional Devolution proofs we have.
Today, as the Bank of America backs off of its former ESG commitments and commits instead to backing the development of new domestic coal production projects, compiled shipments data demonstrates that US exporting (and thus, production) of 'archaic fossil fuels' is only increasing of late.
Winning is everywhere.” —
President Biden took the border fight directly to former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday, blaming his predecessor and putative challenger for torpedoing a bipartisan immigration agreement out of crass politics at the expense of national security.
Weighing in forcefully after months of largely staying out of the fray, Mr. Biden called on congressional Republicans to “show some spine” and stand up to Mr. Trump. But he effectively acknowledged that the deal negotiated over several months was doomed and vowed to make it a campaign issue against the opposition.
“All indications are this bill won’t even move forward to the Senate floor,” Mr. Biden said in a speech televised from the White House. “Why? A simple reason. Donald Trump. Because Donald Trump thinks this is bad for him politically.”
The president said Mr. Trump would “rather weaponize this issue than actually solve it” and has leaned on Republicans to block it.
“It looks like they’re caving,” he added. “Frankly, they owe it to the American people to show some spine and do what they know to be right.” — The New York Times
In an escalation of a standoff over her firing from The Mandalorian, Gina Carano is suing Disney and Lucasfilm for discrimination and wrongful termination in a lawsuit that opens another front in the battlefield for influence over Hollywood that has drawn in corporate America.
Carano, in a complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court, alleges she was fired for voicing right-wing opinions on social media and seeks a court order that would force Lucasfilm to recast her. Elon Musk, making good on a promise to foot the legal bill for users who claim they have been discriminated against due to their activity on his platform, is helping fund the suit through X.
In a statement, X’s head of business operations Joe Benarroch said, “As a sign of X Corp’s commitment to free speech, we’re proud to provide financial support for Gina Carano’s lawsuit, empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination.” — The Hollywood Reporter
We hope you enjoyed this brief look back at the major news items you might have missed in this ever-escalating and ever-accelerating news cycle as the Information War continues to rage on around us.
As always, if you have any thoughts on these news items or the MANY others swirling in the digital ether, drop into the comments below to share them with your fellow Badlanders.
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