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Mnuchin Visits Fort Knox, Says “Gold Is Safe”

August 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a busy day today: shortly after warning once again that a US debt ceiling deal has to be done by late September or else the country would run out of cash and suffer a technical default, roughly around the time he hinted that Trump may keep carried interest tax breaks for some firms that create jobs (while eliminating it for hedge fund managers), the former hedge fund manager and Hollywood producer paid a rare official visit to Fort Knox to check out the nation’s gold stash on Monday, while – as Bloomberg put it – keeping an open mind for future film projects.

“I assume the gold is still there,” Mnuchin told an audience in Louisville, Kentucky some 40 miles north of the biggest U.S. Bullion Depository (except of course for the foreign gold stash at the NY Fed). “It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.” It’s unclear if Mnuchin was envisioning a comedy or a drama.

After the visit, Mnuchin who was the first US Treasury Secretary to visit Fort Knox in nearly 70 years, playfullyreassured Americans the treasure was still secure.

“Glad gold is safe!” he wrote in a post on Twitter.

Thanks to @usmint staff for hosting at #FortKnox #USBD. First @USTreasury Secretary to visit since John Snyder in 1948. Glad gold is safe!

— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) August 21, 2017

Mnuchin, whose action-film credits include ‘‘Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Suicide Squad,” according to Bloomberg, said that he would be only the third secretary of the Treasury to go inside the vault since it was created in 1936 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“We have approximately $200 billion of gold at Fort Knox,” said Mnuchin. “The last time anybody went in to see the gold, other than the Fort Knox people, was in 1974 when there was a congressional visit. And the last time it was counted was actually in 1953.

Which is why the American public is so lucky it can take the word of a former Goldman partner without any trace of doubt… 

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In Angry Tweetstorm, Ron Paul Lashes Out At “Neocon” Trump

August 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Roughly around the time Trump started his Afghanistan speech, Ron Paul tweeted out a cautiously optimistic note: “Hoping for the best in tonight’s @realDonaldTrump speech but fearful that foreign intervention is only going to get worse.  #Afghanis…

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“Democrats Badly Need Barack Obama” In 2018; Party Insiders Long For Former Leader’s Return

August 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

“Help us Barack Obama, you’re our only hope,” is the call from The Left.

As Democrats’ struggle to find a new champion to lead them in next year’s battle to wrestle back control of the Senate and possibly the House – otherwise known as the 2018 midterms – party insiders are quietly hoping that the former president will step up and play a leading role in stumping for embattled Democratic candidates across the country, according to the Hill.

Since leaving the White House, the former president has been reticent about his plans for the future, though he has occasionally broken his silence to lob a critical tweet or two at his successor. Recently, one of Obama’s tweets, which depicted him smiling at three ethnically mixed toddlers above the message that read “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” became the most popular tweet of all time. 

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017

The party’s enthusiasm for its former leader is at odds with the president’s desire to remain on the sidelines and allow the next generation of party talent to takeover. Though judging by Democrats’ performance since the beginning of the Trump era, it appears they have a pretty shallow bench.

Here’s the Hill:

“Democrats are already nostalgic for Obama as they battle against President Trump’s agenda. When he talks, they listen, as evidenced this week by a tweet from Obama about Charlottesville that became the most popular in the history of the platform.

 

The tricky question now facing the party is how much should it rely on the former president to boost candidates’ profile in 2018.

 

 “Some Democrats are pushing for Obama to have a more elevated role, but the president  has made clear he is wary of sliding back into the role of party leader, which could preve nt new leaders from emerging.”

But given the party’s waning popularity – recent polls show Democrats are even less popular with the American public than Republicans – it doesn’t look like they have much choice. Without their greatest political asset, the party will likely be doomed to another embarrassing defeat.  

“Democrats badly need Barack Obama,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist. “He offers such a vivid contrast to Trump in behavior and temperament.”  

 

“He always sounded reasonable and acted responsibly even if you disagreed with him,” Bannon continued. “None of the potential Democratic presidential candidates have the visibility or credibility to be effective.”

Another strategist said it’s “unconscionable” how little Obama has done to help the Democrats since President Trump’s upset victory in November.

“Brent Budowsky, a former Democratic aide and columnist for The Hill, said Obama “should play a far more aggressive role, starting today, to win back the House and Senate in 2018.”

 

“America faces an enormous political crisis and it is unconscionable how little Obama and other former top officials have done to help Democrats since Trump began his ugly abuses of power.”

Still, others argue that it wouldn’t be wise to push Obama into the role of Trump’s “sparring partner,” and that when campaigning begins, the former president should play an important but “understated” role to help give the next round of party leaders some room to develop.

“Democratic strategist Christy Setzer agreed, saying while the Democratic nostalgia is “deep and real,” it isn’t wise to have Obama become Trump’s sparring partner.

 

“For Democrats, never has the contrast been stronger between what we just gave up and what we have now,” Setzer said.

 

But she added that for potential 2020 candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to truly move into the political spotlight, “Obama has to remain in the shadows.”

 

While Democrats may be in a different place a year from now, she added, ‘right now, we’re still trying to figure out who the next leaders of the party are. Until that’s more clear, Obama can’t be as prominent.’”

To be sure, Obama has already been involved in fundraising for the party, and is expected to begin campaigning in the fall, according to the Hill. The broader question is, should the Democrats fail to find a new champion by the midterms, will desperate Dems turn to Michelle Obama, who already polls higher than many of the party’s other most prominent figures?

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