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Ukraine’s American Finance Minister is aiming to force a haircut on all creditors, including Russia

Ukraine’s American Finance Minister has announced a broad restructuring plan with a wide range of severe haircuts for creditors, and she wishes to include Russia in the group of creditors who are about to get their heads shaved.

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Post originally appeared on The Automatic Earth blog, and it is well worth the reading.

When money managers talk outside their narrow field, nonsense is guaranteed to ensue. No better example than this Bloomberg piece on Ukraine’s ‘debt restructuring’ plans, which are as much a political tool as they are anything else at all. Ukraine’s American Finance Minister has announced a broad restructuring plan with a wide range of severe haircuts for creditors, and she – well, obviously – wishes to include Russia in the group of creditors who are about to get their heads shaved.

And despite all obvious angles to the issue that are not purely economical, Bloomberg presents a whole array of finance professionals who are free to spout their entirely irrelevant opinions on the topic. If you didn’t know any better, you’d be inclined to think that perhaps Russia is indeed just another creditor to Kiev.

Putin Plays Wildcard as Ukraine Bond Restructuring Talks Begin

As Ukraine begins bond-restructuring talks, it finds itself face-to-face with a familiar foe: Russia. President Vladimir Putin bought $3 billion of Ukrainian bonds in late 2013. The cash was meant to support an ally, then-President Yanukovych.

That is, for starters, a far too narrow way of putting it. Russia simply wanted to make sure Ukraine would remain a stable nation, both politically and economically, because A) it didn’t want a failed state on its borders and B) it wanted to ensure a smooth transfer of its gas sales to Europe through the Ukraine pipeline systems. Whether that would be achieved through Yanukovych or someone else was a secondary issue. Putin was never a big fan of the former president, but at least he kept the gas flowing.

While his government fell just two months later, Russia was left with the securities. Now, those holdings take on an added importance as Putin’s stance on the debt talks could affect the terms that all other bondholders get in the restructuring. Russia, which is Ukraine’s second-biggest bondholder, has maintained that it won’t take part in any restructuring deal. Here are the three most likely tacks – as seen by money managers and analysts – that Putin’s government could pursue.

Here’s the biggest issue here, one which Bloomberg conveniently omits. Not only was Russia left with the securities after the Maidan coup (or revolution if you must), but the money provided through them to Ukraine began to be used to organize and fund various battalions and other groups, thrown together into a Kiev ‘army’, that started aiming for and at the Russian speaking population in East Ukraine. 6000 of them did not survive this.

The same would have happened in Crimea (Moscow is convinced of this) had not Putin made it part of Russia before that could happen. Do note that one of the very first decrees issued by US installed PM Yatsenyuk and his ‘cabinet’ was one that banned Russian to be used as an official language by millions of people who speak only Russian. That Yats withdrew the decree within a week didn’t matter anymore, the game was on right then and there.

Ukraine, after gaining a lifeline from the IMF, included Russia’s bond among the 29 securities and enterprise loans it seeks to renegotiate with creditors before June. Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko has promised not to give any creditor special treatment. The revamp will include a reduction in the coupon, an extension in maturities as well as a cut in the face value, she said.

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said March 17 that the nation isn’t taking part in the debt negotiations because it’s an “official” creditor, not a private bondholder. If the Kremlin maintains this view, it would be “negative” for private bondholders as “other investors will be more tempted to hold out as well,” according to Marco Ruijer at ING. He predicts a 45% chance of a hold out, while Michael Ganske at Rogge in London says it’s 70%.

Here’s where we get into la-la land, with money managers speaking out on things they don’t know anything about. Which can then be used to lead up to a goal-seeked conclusion, as we will see. Because of the situation I painted above, Russia cannot and will not take part in the ‘debt negotiations’ the west tries to shove down its throat through Jaresko’s restructuring plans.

If only because as soon as the restructuring has given Kiev some financial breathing space, is will use it to reinforce its troops and go after its Russian speaking compatriots again. It’s a not a finance issue at all, it’s life and death, and that makes percentages thrown around by money guys behind desks in high rises not just futile, but positively inane.

There is little precedence of sovereigns and private bondholders taking part in the same talks, given that a nation’s debt considerations include a “foreign-policy dimension,” according to Matthias Goldmann at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. Ukraine and Russia may need to find an “appropriate forum,” such as the Paris Club, for separate negotiations, he said.

Holding out can lead to two outcomes: Russia gets paid back in full after the notes mature in December, or Ukraine defaults. The former option is politically unacceptable in Kiev, according to Tim Ash at Standard Bank, while the latter would likely start litigation and delay the borrower’s return to foreign capital markets, which Jaresko expects in 2017. “Russia will be holdouts, to try and force a messy restructuring,” Ash said by e-mail on March 19.

No, Russia is not interested in a ‘messy restructuring’. It will simply refuse to throw Kiev’s aggression against its own people a lifeline, and it will insist on finding that “appropriate forum”, instead of the one Jaresko tries to force it into. Russia will demand to be paid in full, and if that means a Ukraine default, it is fine with that. Don’t forget that the $3 billion in bonds is by no means the only debt Ukraine owes Moscow. There are many billions in unpaid gas purchases, and undoubtedly many other bills.

If Russia holds out and litigates, there is a “real threat” that Ukraine will deem the Eurobond an odious debt, Lutz Roehmeyer at Landesbank Berlin said. This refers to a legal theory that a nation shouldn’t be forced to repay international obligations if they don’t serve the best interests of the country and its citizens.

Nice theory. Why don’t we have Greece use it too? Russia would obviously never accept this. At the very minimum, gas would stop flowing through Ukraine to Europe.

The chance of Russia joining the talks is about 10%, according to ING’s Ruijer and Rogge’s Ganske. If Russia joins it would be “somewhat positive as all investors will be treated equally, and then it can be resolved quicker,” Ruijer said.

These guys really have no idea what’s going on. They see the planet exclusively in dollar terms. And they have no idea why they said 10%, might as well have been 5% or 25%. Hot air.

Bank of America said in a note last week that Ukraine will seek a principal reduction of about 35% in its opening salvo, which may be rejected by creditors. It said that bond valuations around 40 cents on the dollar, indicate a probability of a 20% reduction in principal as well as a reduction in interest rates. Ukraine’s benchmark 2017 dollar notes traded at 37.8 cents on the dollar on Thursday.

Sounds like things in the real world are already much worse than in BoA notes.

“By participating in the talks, Russia would have a better chance of getting a deal it wants,” Liza Ermolenko at Capital Economics, said. “However, it seems that politics, rather than economics, will be behind whatever Russia decides to do.”

No kidding, Liza.

There is no collective-agreement clause which could make any deal binding for Russia, Anna Gelpern, a Georgetown law professor, said.

And there we get to the core of the matter. If Jaresko wants to force anything on Russia, she’ll have to move outside of the law. Which I’m sure she, and the US cabal that rules Kiev, would be more than willing to do, but it would mean a default no matter what happens, simply because time is of the essence, and the issue would drag on for a long time.

The restructuring of each bond must be agreed to by a majority of its holders, according to Olena Zubchenko, a lawyer at Lavrynovych & Partners, a legal adviser to Ukraine during the bond issue to Russia in December 2013. The Eurobonds are governed by English law and traded on the Dublin Exchange. The Russian bond has a covenant allowing the holder to call it if Ukraine’s public debt tops 60% of economic output, which the IMF said took place last year.

Another noteworthy detail: Russia could have called the bonds quite a while ago, but has so far decided against that. They could still do it at any moment, though. And since the IMF has approved another loan to Ukraine recently, and Capitol Hill has agreed to send deadly offensive weapons to Kiev, they have good reason to do it. The Jaresko idea of ‘we will saddle you with losses, so we can go kill more Russian speaking people’ will certainly not appeal to Moscow, not will it be condoned.

“It’s a kind of nuclear option, evaporating their leverage,” Rogge’s Ganske said. “If Russia accelerates, then Ukraine has to pay or default on it — i.e. game over.”

This bond issue is of course just one of many ways in which the west seeks to aggravate Russia. If and/or when the US starts shipping arms to Kiev, and the internal civil war restarts, Russia will have to take measures. Which is exactly what the west has been trying to provoke it to do for at least a full year now. It is therefore Russia’s task to find those measures that take ‘the other side’ by surprise and leaves it scrambling for answers.

Over the past year and change, after the Kiev putsch and the subsequent aggression on the side of the newly installed ‘government’ against its own citizens in East Ukraine, Russia has always insisted on talking about the EU and US as its ‘partners’, even as the language thrown at it deteriorated at a rapid clip. It must already be about a year ago that Hillary Clinton first referred to Putin as Hitler. As for the anti-Moscow utterances by the Kiev ‘government’, let’s not even go there.

The Russians have shown recently that they understand very well what the intentions are behind the NATO build-up and all the hollow accusations and innuendo in the western media. They have also made clear that they are ready and prepared to activate any and all defense systems, including nuclear, at their disposal.

Russia sees the world as one in which multiple major powers can govern together. The US sees Russia as a power that must be defeated by any means necessary, and subdued. One of these worldviews must prevail in the end. Perhaps we won’t know which one that will be until the third power, China, raises its voice. What we do know is that Russia will back down only so far, and then it will no more.

References:

http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/03/kiev-moscow-bonds-and-haircuts/

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Hillary Clinton: Democrats have been TOO CIVIL with GOP (VIDEO)

Civil war becomes more likely as Clinton calls for greater civil unrest after weeks of absolutely insane behavior from leftist activists.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Former presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton just called for an end to civil behavior towards Republicans and conservatives. In an interview with Christiane Amanpour of CNN expanded on in a piece by USA Today, the failed candidate had this to say:

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about… That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and / or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

Clinton said that Senate Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., “demeaned the confirmation process” and “insulted and attacked” Christine Blasey Ford – who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about a sexual assault she alleges Kavanaugh committed in 1982 – along with other “women who were speaking out.”

It should be pointed out here that Clinton told a lie. The Senate Republicans did everything possible to hear out Dr Ford’s testimony, and no one has gone on record with any sort of insults or demeaning comments about her. Every Republican Senator who stated anything agreed that something happened to her, but they also agreed that there was no corroboration showing that Judge Kavanaugh was actually involved in any misdoings. USA Today’s piece continues:

Clinton compared the handling of Kavanaugh’s confirmation to “Republican operatives shutting down the voting in 2000,” the “swift-boating of John Kerry,” attacks on former Arizona Sen. John McCain in the 2000 Republican primary and “what they did to me for 25 years.

“When you’re dealing with an ideological party that is driven by the lust for power, that is funded by corporate interests who want a government that does its bidding, you can be civil but you can’t overcome what they intend to do unless you win elections,” she told Amanpour.

Clinton compared Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony at the White House on Monday to a “political rally” that “further undermined the image and integrity of the court.”

She told Amanpour the effect on the court “troubles” and “saddens” her “because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government.”

“But the President’s been true to form,” Clinton added. “He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign – really for many years leading up to the campaign. And he’s continued to do that inside the White House.”

Here, Clinton told at least two more incendiary whoppers.

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First, no one has been specifically after her, and second, President Donald Trump’s record with women including in the White House has been nothing short of stellar and gentlemanly. Nikki Haley, who supported Marco Rubio in the 2016 campaign and has at times been openly critical of Donald Trump, yesterday announced her full support of his 2020 campaign and her intent to campaign with and for him.

By all accounts, Mrs. Haley is a woman.

The first American Civil War had economic policy and states’ rights as its central focus. Slavery was a part of that issue, though slavery was practiced in the North as well in the South before this war began.

Now a new civil war is coming, but perhaps it should be called the American Social War. It is not about any real policy matter at all. It is hysteria, but it appears to be hysteria with a purpose.

The first American Social War has two apparent sides and allying forces and groups:

The Left:

  • pro-gay marriage
  • pro-death (in other words, pro-abortion)
  • anti-Christian, especially Christianity that says these first two issues are wrong
  • anti-GOP / Republican / Conservative
  • “victim class” – feminists, some millenials
  • supporters of legalized use of mind-altering / mood-altering drugs
  • appears to support overreaching socialist style government, featuring “fair” wages, such as a $15.oo minimum wage
  • anti-traditionalist
  • Mainstream media is strongly allied here
  • George Soros is a supporter
  • social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter are supporters through “scrubbing” of media content
  • anti-white, anti-male, and if you are white, male and Christian, look out. You are Enemy Number One
  • supports and executes violence against all these people they are against, including family members.
  • very zealous, and very monolithic in terms of alignment and energy

The Right:

  • Conservatives
  • people who generally want the government to leave them alone
  • generally favors life, considering abortion tragic and to be avoided, though some consider that it should be made illegal
  • marriage has always been between one man and one woman and it should not be redefined to fit the whims of a few
  • God is sovereign (though many conservatives would never make this connection)
  • No real animus against the left, but at the same time, fed up with being hectored by the left all the time, as we saw in Senator Lindsey Graham’s explosive confrontation against Senate Democrats
  • Generally Republican by party affiliation, though many libertarian and conservatives are also present as well as a number of conservative democrats.
  • seeks to avoid violence. While there do exist a very few neo-Nazi types, their numbers are infinitesimal, and their behavior is rejected by the Right
  •  generally against drug use, though many have unfortunately moderated on the matter of actual illegality

The main characteristic of this approaching war, as stated before, is little more than some sort of outrage over identity politics and perceived victimization. This is something both new and old, as there is always a party in any war that claims that they are fighting because they are in fact the aggrieved party, under the other side’s aggression and suppression.

That factor exists with this war too. However, the reality of that aggression or suppression is that it does not exist, and this makes it very difficult for the “perceived aggressors” to ramp up the zeal needed to carry out the fight.

This factor is often very maddening for conservative people. As a whole they do not wish to fight. They wish to be left alone. The left on the other hand insists that everything must be fought for because the right has somehow managed to take it away from them, or is keeping it away from them.

This is purely fiction but it is almost impossible to convince a leftist that this is so. Tucker Carlson expands on this matter in this report. He makes reference at 6:37 about how Hillary Rodham Clinton is now openly calling for civility to the GOP to end (as if it hasn’t already!), but the entirety of this report begs to be seen to give perspective to the look and feel of this crisis:

This is unfamiliar territory in many ways, and it is unclear how far this will go. But one this is clear: it is testing all available limits, and it may come to real fighting, and real killing, for no reason better than perceived victimization.

It should be understood that the advocates for violence are all people that reject God and traditional values openly. There is certainly a connection.

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Hillary and Holder are hurting Democrat Party with their rhetoric

Democrat-written opinion piece points out the fact that the party has radicalized so much it has left its own supporters behind.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News ran an opinion piece written by Douglas E. Schoen early Sunday. It points out how radicalized the Democrat Party has become, and it is noteworthy because Douglas Schoen is a Democrat himself. He writes (emphasis added):

As Democrats campaign for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, they have plenty of legitimate criticisms to level at President Trump and Republicans who control the House and Senate. But Democrats were hurt in recent days by amazing and disgusting comments made by Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

As a Democrat, I want my party to win as many seats as possible in the House and Senate and to capture as many governorships and other state offices as it can. But the Clinton and Holder remarks do not advance that effort – they hurt it.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton said Tuesday that “you cannot be civil with” the Republican Party because it “wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She added that “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

But even worse than Clinton’s comments were those of Eric Holder, who said at a recent campaign event in Georgia that Democrats should abandon the advice of former first lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that her party and mine should respond positively to negative attacks from the GOP.

Mrs. Obama said that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

Holder argued just the opposite, saying: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later said he wasn’t advocating violence – not literal kicking.

I beg to differ with both Clinton and Holder.

The only way the Democrats can regain the majority in either or both houses of Congress is by being civil, and pointing out the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issues.

This is the real issue that should govern elections. Rather than the politics of popularity, one needs to consider policy points and which side offers points that are actually achievable, believable, concrete, desirable and specific. Calling President Trump and his administration names does not offer any constructive dialogue on policy matters.

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Conservatives and Trump supporters know this and it is precisely because of this that Donald Trump won the White House.

While the mainstream media (and here we can include Fox News largely) tried every possible way to ridicule Donald Trump’s candidacy, the people that actually listened to what he had to say found him very impressive on policy as much as his ability to speak as the voice of the people. The recent hysteria around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court was hysteria up front, driven by real policy fears from the deep core of liberals, as they know that this Justice is likely to form an effective wall against liberals ramming their agenda through the courts since their efforts fail legislatively so often.

Mr. Schoen continues:

As a centrist Democrat, the issue that strikes me most is the degree to which the national debt and the deficit are now out of control.

America faces uncertain and unstable times financially. Yet we are seeing a Republican-controlled Congress that has largely failed to do anything besides provide tax cuts for major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. This is by no means certain to have fundamentally altered the path of the economy or to provide economic growth.

Put another way, what the Trump administration has failed to do is to fix health care and cover pre-existing conditions more fundamentally; lead America in a fiscally responsible way; and pass tax cuts that help the average American. The Trump tax cuts have driven up the national debt and endangered funding for programs that benefit millions of people in our country.

So, here are policy points. Now we can begin to have a debate. Is Mr. Schoen right, or wrong in his information? This is far different than name-calling!

Democrats have long argued the need for a centrist agenda that focuses on:

  • Providing health-care benefits – whether private or public – to all Americans to cover expansively all pre-existing conditions.
  • Protecting the environment from the policies of the Trump administration that have only encouraged –and I dare say exacerbated – environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Promoting a pro-growth, inclusive agenda that seeks to put working people first, and the interests of Washington insiders and economic elites second. President Trump claims that he is doing this – he calls it “draining the swamp” – but this has not happened.

There is no justification for the angry rhetoric of Clinton and Holder, which only feeds into Republican claims that Democrats are an angry mob that can’t get over Clinton’s loss to Trump two years ago.

And Holder looks particularly bad because he was once the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, yet now sounds like he is effectively advocating what appears to be either illegal activities, or metaphorical initiatives that run counter to our traditions and our politics.

Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for office again, but Holder has said he may run for president in 2020. Whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be needs to be a responsible and respectable opponent – not one who calls for kicking the GOP or for incivility.

We should have learned from the Senate confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that resisting for the sake of resisting doesn’t work. In fact, Democratic attacks on Kavanaugh may well have backfired, recent polls show.

The Democratic Party itself is lost now, without a message, a direction, a strategy, or agenda to confront a Republican Party that is seen as in many ways as having let the American people down.

We need change – but it must be constructive change. This Democrat believes that the comments that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton made are wrong, counterproductive, and deserve to be rejected by the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Perhaps Fox News ran this opinion piece because Douglas Schoen is the first rational Democrat contributor to say anything in some time. However, it also appears that Mr. Schoen is a minority in his own party. It is a greatly logical approach to argue policy, as he has and as anyone who really understands American government should. But it is unclear as to whether the bulk of the Democrat Party even has reasonable people remaining.

If they do, it may well be that they are being betrayed by their party’s increasingly leftist and radical positions. The Party apparatus seems focused, but it also seems to have left people like Mr. Schoen behind.

Who knows? Maybe that will bring them into the Trump camp.

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Kavanaugh circus displayed how radicalized the Left is in America

Media begins to indicate concern for life-threatening acts of political outrage, as Alinsky-esque radicalization around Kavanaugh dominates.

Seraphim Hanisch

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On Saturday, October 6, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh officially became Associate Justice Kavanaugh of the United States Supreme Court. His accession to the Court marked two extremely significant events in American history.

The first is the return of the Court to what is being called a “conservative majority”, where five of the justices are actually strict constitutional constructionists that accept the US Constitution as it stands without trying to “adapt it” to the present whims of society. The remaining justices are reputed to do precisely this, through their language of the Constitution as a “living document” that implies malleability.

In short, it appears that the days of imposing things, like legalized abortion and homosexual marriage through the manipulation of the Court System rather than through the passage of legislation, are probably over, or at least significantly hampered. We need one more liberal judge to retire or die for President Trump to seal the deal, but this is the first time the court has had a conservative majority in at least fifty years.

The second significant event is actually very interesting because its existence was largely brought on by the prevalence of the activist Court over these last fifty years. That is the extraordinarily aggressive and activist Left, which, rightly sensing their immediate doom, came out in droves and did everything possible to block and destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s chance at nomination.

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It should be known that they did have successes:

  • Breitbart.com, The New York Post and other sources on October 2 noted that Judge Kavanaugh will no longer be teaching at Harvard Law School. This came about after a reported “outcry” from hundreds of alumni:

Hundreds of alumni signed a letter calling on law school Dean John Manning to “rescind” Kavanaugh’s position as lecturer and prohibit him from teaching a three-week class titled “The Supreme Court Since 2005” this winter.

“We believe that Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment as an HLS lecturer sends a message to law students, and in particular female students, that powerful men are above the law, and that obstructive, inappropriate behavior will be rewarded,” says the letter, which the newspaper said is available online. “Judge Kavanaugh is not leadership material, and he is not lectureship material. HLS would be tarnished to have him on campus in any position of authority.”

The Crimson reported that the letter had 700 signatures by Monday, including alumni who graduated from as far back as 1959.

“I understand the passions of the moment. But I would say to those senators, your words have meaning,” he said. “Millions of Americans listened carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything, to make any physical threat against my family, to send any violent email to my wife, to make any kind of allegation against me and against my friends, to blow me up and take me down.”

But the liberals also ran a significant risk of overplaying their hand. Indeed, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson of Fox News stated as much in their commentaries one can see by clicking the above linked names.

However, the question that is presently unanswered about American politics is “how deep does this go?”

We have seen blatant, outrageous and some would say, mindless, displays of leftist radicalism in regard to Judge Kavanaugh. For the first time, we even saw conservative leadership speak back with force, as done several times by Senator Lindsey Graham, who promises to continue to drive his points home about this. See his anger here:

And indeed both Democrats and Republicans claim that the Kavanaugh controversy has energized the voters as the final month before the November Congressional midterms approaches. At the present time, the GOP side appears to be enjoying the larger boost in voter interest and committment, but there is still a full month to go.

That means that there is a great deal of time for the liberal activist side to cook something up to try to discredit and dissuade GOP and Trump supporters while at the same time ginning up the liberal / Democrat base.

However, the level of unhinged radicalism on display through the Kavanaugh proceedings was very high, and honestly, untested for its approval among the average American voters. The media was all for it with comments coming from late night show writers like Ariel Dumas, who writes for the Stephen Colbert program:

This is only one sample. All of Hollywood went in against Kavanaugh, feminists did, many deluded men (probably cowed into it by the feminists in their lives; for more on that read Paul Craig Roberts’ opinion piece here) and women who appeared to use their own real or perceived traumas as the basis for some sort of attempt at a logical argument against the judge, whose allegations proved 100% uncorroborated. 

The craziest thing about this is that the allegations and ensuing circus got very far indeed. What is not known yet is if this is strong enough to make it to the ballot boxes in November. If it does, then the notion of “innocent until proven guilty” has been swept aside by the court of public opinion, or more honestly speaking, the mob.

Mobs are fickle. A mob greeted Christ and wanted to make him king, only to be successfully turned against him five days later, screaming for his crucifixion. Mobs destroyed books in Hitler’s Germany and in the early days of the Communist Revolution, and manipulation of the masses sent hundreds of thousands of people, even tens of millions, to the death camps and to the grave. It is easy to say it cannot happen in the United States, but there is plenty of evidence to show that it not only can happen, but that it is presently happening. It may look civilized now, but death threats are often followed up, and there have been plenty of these going around lately.

Rush Limbaugh was asked months ago about how he thought these midterms would go, and his response at the time was to say that the issue that determines the outcome of the midterms had not occurred yet, so he didn’t know. Last week on Mr. Limbaugh’s radio program, the talk-show host noted that he believed the Kavanaugh issue was in fact that determining issue:

I just need to ask if any of you remember who it was who’s been saying all these months that the issues that would decide the midterm elections hadn’t happened yet. That would be me back in April, May, June, July, August. That’s right, Mr. Snerdley. That would be me. Now, here is Harwood. I think… Folks, I think just based on the way I’m watching liberal reporters talk about this today, I’m getting a sense of a bit of panic setting in.

I really believe that they thought that no matter how this Kavanaugh thing went, they would win. I think they thought they’d persuade people Kavanaugh was a reprobate and if he got confirmed it was really firepower their base that a mugger and a rapist and all this stuff’s on the court. If they lost it, ditto, same thing. I think the one thing they didn’t count on is rejuvenating and reviving the Republican base they think is happening, they think it’s happening. Here’s Harwood. He went out and talked to some voters, and this is that report.

He also noted that the level of threats against Senators supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation have been relentless:

I have been made privy to some of the comments, not just on social media, but to the offices that many Republican senators are getting. They are being deluged, their entire families are being threatened. Their grandchildren are being threatened. Their wives, their husbands, barmaids, everybody they know being threatened.

It’s enormous; it is never ending; the phones don’t stop ringing; the threatening emails and tweets do not stop arriving; it is unhinged; it is vile, and it is evil. And it’s not just Flake and Collins and Manchin. It’s all the Republicans are hearing. It is one of the most disgusting things many of these people say they’ve ever seen. In that regard, Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, I think they have to be credited for doing the right thing.

…It’s unhinged. Much of it is insane and deranged and is made up of the psychological disorders that I believe constitute now the mainstream of the Democrat Party. The protesters are paid. Their signs are all the identically manufactured, the same phrases all over them. And these people… I don’t know if you’ve received threats and I don’t know if you’ve been barraged by them, but if you have and if you believe them, they can unnerve you.

There is still a whole month to go, and only patience and dedication will win the day.

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