TBR News June 19, 2017

Jun 19 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2017:”Europe has been having more murderous attacks by fanatics against its citizens. One in England was the work of someone attacking Muslim and one in France by a Muslim attacking the Paris police. But on a left-wing news site we see the joyous news that anger against immigrants is “rapidly diminishing.” This sort of nonsense can also be found on feel-good blogs but it is not reality. The reality is that we have point-counterpoint and quite innocent people will be killed because of fanatics on both sides of the fence. Without competent national leadership, this situation will only escalate.”

Table of Contents

  • US coalition shoots down Syrian regime jet
  • Russia warns it will treat US-led coalition jets in parts of Syria as targets after US downed Syrian plane
  • Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with US as of June 19 – Moscow
  • U.S., Russia, Iran draw new red lines in Syria
  • Republican Data-Mining Firm Exposed Personal Information for Virtually Every American Voter
  • Hodgkinson’s Disease: Politics and Paranoia in the Age of Trump
  • Car rams police vehicle on Paris’ Champs Elysees, driver likely dead
  • London attack: man, 47, arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
  • Zero Hedge Revealed
  • The Car Was Repossessed, but the Debt Remains


From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2017, Issue No. 47

June 19, 2017


The National Reconnaissance Office, the U.S. intelligence agency that builds and operates the nation’s spy satellites, says it is all for increased openness, within certain boundaries.

“The NRO takes very seriously its commitment to greater openness and transparency, and makes every effort, in all of its information review and release programs, to release as much information as we can while still protecting our sensitive sources and methods from harm,” the NRO wrote in a newly disclosed report.

But there are practical limits on what can be accomplished, NRO said:

“While the goal of increasing discretionary declassification decisions is a noble one, we believe that such an effort requires a program separate and distinct from the existing systematic, automatic, mandatory, and other release programs; that establishing a new program is counterproductive given our current resource constraints; and that such an endeavor is unnecessary given our current declassification efforts.”

See NRO Responses on Feasibility of Certain Classification Policy Reforms, February 28, 2017, released last week under the Freedom of Information Act. The NRO document was prepared in response to questions posed last year by then-Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr.

While currently operational reconnaissance programs are excluded from declassification review, NRO says it “already examines all [other] classified material that comes up for review for declassification regardless of its age, or under what circumstances it has been requested. If we determine that we cannot articulate harm in release, we consider it for declassification and release.”

In sum, “while we do not look proactively for new items to declassify, we do take a forward-leaning approach to performing declassification reviews by going beyond the ‘can we protect this?’ question to asking ‘do we really need to protect this?'”

NRO said that it could do still more to increase disclosure by reviewing classification guidance, anticipating recurring requests, and improving classification management practices. “We believe these measures, over time, will help eliminate over-classification and make much more material available for public release,” NRO said.

Considering that even the name of the National Reconnaissance Office was considered classified information 25 years ago, until it was declassified by former NRO director Martin Faga in September 1992, the NRO has come quite some distance into the daylight.

It has a substantial presence online, with an electronic reading room featuring numerous declassified records of historical interest. NRO is also the first U.S. intelligence agency to successfully undergo a financial audit.

DNI Clapper had specifically asked last year whether intelligence agencies could do more, consistent with 32 CFR 2001.35, to “declassify information when the public interest in disclosure outweighs the need for continued classification.”

This is harder than it sounds, NRO replied. It presumes that the public interest in disclosure and the need for classification can each be measured, or “weighed,” and then meaningfully compared to determine which is the weightier factor. Neither of those presumptions may be correct. For agency officials, the decision whether or not to declassify is likely to be more of a judgment call than a calculation.

“The CFR does not provide a threshold to assist organizations in determining at what point ‘public interest in disclosure outweighs the need for continuing classification’,” NRO wrote. “The NRO would require clarification and further guidance to assist us in gauging when the public interest outweighs the need to protect our currently classified programs.”

In fact, it is probably not realistic to expect agencies such as NRO to second-guess their own classification decisions on behalf of the public interest. Rather, the authority to exercise a public interest override of classification decisions should be vested in a higher-level body such as the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel that would be empowered to consider and to act on broad national and public interests. If that were done, then new procedures would also be needed for interested members of the public to present a public interest argument to that higher-level body for its consideration.


The U.S. Air Force has upgraded the classification of information pertaining to nuclear weapons inspections performed by the Inspector General, reducing or eliminating public references to the outcome of such inspections.

Until recently, the IG weapons inspections could be described in unclassified reports. Now they will be classified at least at the Confidential level.

An Air Force nuclear surety inspection (NSI) “assesses a unit’s ability to accomplish its assigned nuclear weapons mission and produce reliable nuclear weapons in a safe and secure environment in compliance with applicable directives. Additionally, an NSI inspects a unit’s capability to safely and reliably receive, store, secure, assemble, transport, maintain, load, mate, lock/unlock, test, render safe and employ nuclear weapons.”

The inspections typically result in a “grade” indicating the level of compliance. Whether pass or fail, those grades, too, will now be classified.

The changes were made following the latest revision of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Instruction (CJCSI) 3263.05C, Nuclear Weapons Technical Inspections, issued on March 10, 2017. Though unclassified, the Instruction is “Limited” in distribution and is not publicly available.

Even those nuclear weapons inspections that produce a finding of full compliance cannot be disclosed, and from now on they also cannot be acknowledged in military decorations or unit awards.

“These changes are control measures put in place to prevent revealing potential vulnerabilities to adversary forces,” wrote Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons of Air Force Public Affairs. See “Nuclear inspection grade restricted in evaluation, decoration and award comments,” June 14, 2017.

The results of nuclear weapons inspections have been published for decades, noted Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, without any reported adverse effect on national security. So an alternate explanation for the new classification policy seems wanted. “The change sure looks handy for preventing the public from knowing embarrassing information about when Air Force units fail nuclear inspections,” he said.


The Trump Administration requested $57.7 billion for the National Intelligence Program in Fiscal Year 2018, up from a requested $54.9 billion in FY 2017.

The Administration requested $20.7 billion dollars for the Military Intelligence Program in FY 2018, up from a requested $18.5 billion in FY 2017. (The amounts actually appropriated in FY 2017 have not yet been disclosed.)

The intelligence budget request figures were published last week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and by the Department of Defense.

The annual disclosure of the requested amount for the National Intelligence Program was mandated by Congress in the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2010. So disclosure is required regardless of the preferences of the current Administration. “As directed by statute,” wrote DNI Dan Coats this year in advance of his confirmation hearing, “I will ensure that the public release of figures representing aggregate funds requested by and appropriated for the IC is completed annually.”

Interestingly, however, there is no corresponding statutory requirement for disclosure of the requested amount for the Military Intelligence Program. The practice of voluntarily disclosing the MIP budget request was initiated by Gen. James R. Clapper when he was Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence).

“I did that,” said then-DNI Clapper in December 2015. “I thought the public had a right to know.”

US coalition shoots down Syrian regime jet

The US has for the first time shot down a Syrian warplane, while Iran launched ballistic missiles into Syria. In reponse, Russia warned it would treat US jets west of the Euphrates as targets.

June 18, 2017


A US fighter jet shot down a Syrian government warplane on Sunday after the aircraft had dropped bombs on US-backed forces fighting so-called “Islamic State” (IS) fighters, the Pentagon confirmed.

Earlier, Syria had said that one of its SU-22 jets had gone missing after what it called “flagrant aggression.”

“The so-called international alliance today (Sunday) noon targeted the jet over the area of al-Rasafa in the southern countryside of Raqqa while it was on a combat mission against the terrorist Daesh,” the Syrian army said, using the Arabic shorthand for IS.

The US Central Command later commented that they had been compelled to shoot down the aircraft “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” meaning fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias.

“The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat,” said a statement from the Joint Task Force.

The SDF said it had come under attack near Tabqa and the adjacent dam, Syria’s largest, which the US-backed alliance captured from IS in May.

Iranian show of force

The jet downing came as Iran launched mid-range ballistic missiles from western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan, targeting what it said were IS militants near the eastern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour, some 700 kilometers (435 miles) away.

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, which has troops in Syria supporting the Assad regime, said six Zolfaghar missiles targeted an IS command center in response to this month’s IS terror attacks in Tehran.

But the missile launch was also a show of force directed at the US and Saudi Arabia, sending the signal Tehran could upet US and Saudi interests across the Middle East.

“The Saudis and Americans are especially receivers of this message,” Revolutionary Guard General Ramazan Sharif told state television in a telephone interview. “Obviously and clearly, some reactionary countries of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, had announced that they are trying to bring insecurity into Iran.”

Major escalation

The US jet downing and Iranian missile strike mark a major escalation in the Syrian conflict, as a multitude of forces maneuver to control the Iraq-Syria border as IS is pushed out of the Euphrates River valley.

The US has already attacked pro-regime forces three times in the last month and shot down a Syrian or Iranian drone in what Central Command said was in response to pro-regime forces threatening US-backed rebels at a base in al-Tanf, a key transit point on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The US says the force at al-Tanf is key to pushing north against IS as another the SDF assaults IS-held Raqqa.

But the eastern desert region is highly contested, raising the possibility of mistakes or miscalculation that could quickly escalate between multiple armed actors on the ground.

The Assad regime has not controlled Syria’s border with Iraq for three years, and is pushing to take control of the border before US- backed forces from the north and south converge. On the opposite side of the border in Iraq, Iran-backed Shiite militia known as Popular Moblization Units have pushed back IS and secured large sections of the border. Shiite militia leaders in Iraq have suggested they may next move into Syria.

For Iran and Hezbollah, both of which back the Assad regime, controlling the border would create a land corridor running from Tehran to Beirut, something the United States is seeking to block.

Meanwhile, the Assad regime has held out in Deir el-Zour, which has been surrounded by IS for several years. The regime seeks to punch out of Deir el-Zour to control surrounding oil wells as well as connect the city to government-controlled areas further west.

Russia responds

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded to the jet downing by calling on the US to respect Syria’s territorial integrity and refrain from unilateral actions against Syrian government forces.

Russia, along with Iran, is a key backer of Assad, providing the regime with military and economic support.

On Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced it was ending cooperation with the US designed to prevent accidents between the two countries’ air forces in Syria and warned that any US aircraft flying west of the Euphrates would be considered “airborne targets.”

“Repeated military actions by US aircraft against the lawful armed forces of a United Nations member state, under the guise of a ‘fight against terrorism,’ are a profound violation of international law and, in fact, military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.


Russia warns it will treat US-led coalition jets in parts of Syria as targets after US downed Syrian plane

June 19, 2017

by Luis Martinez

abc news

The Russian Defense Ministry blasted the U.S.’ shooting down of a Syrian regime fighter jet as a “massive violation of international law” and said it will begin treating U.S.-led coalition jets flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria as targets.

The ministry’s comments Monday came after a U.S. Navy fighter jet on Sunday shot down a Syrian fighter jet that had dropped bombs on Syrian rebel forces who are fighting ISIS in the country.

It was the first time the U.S. has engaged in air-to-air combat in Syria, signaling an escalation of the conflict. It is is also the first time an American aircraft has shot down any other country’s aircraft in air-to-air combat since 1999 during the Kosovo air campaign when a U.S. Air Force F-16 shot down a Serbian Mig-29.

Russia, which is backing the Syrian government regime in its civil war against rebel forces, slammed the U.S. action as a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

“Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the U.N. are a massive violation of international law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The Ministry also warned that any coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates “will be tracked by the Russian ground and air anti-aircraft defense systems as air targets in the areas where Russian aviation is on combat missions in the Syrian sky.”

Sunday’s downing of the Syrian jet occurred in an area southwest of the Euphrates River. And the U.S.-led coalition conducts missions in areas west of the Euphrates River near Manbij and Al Bab, two towns retaken from ISIS by U.S.-backed rebel forces.

The coalition said in a statement that its focus is on fighting ISIS, not the Syrian regime or Russian forces, but that it will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces coming under attack.

The incident occurred in the town of Ja’Din, south of Tabqa, Syria, which had recently been retaken from ISIS by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces supported by the U.S. in the fight against the terrorist group.

SDF came under attack from regime forces in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad around 4:30 p.m. Syria time. A number of SDF fighters were wounded in the assault, and the SDF soon left Ja’Din.

Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force overhead that stopped the initial pro-regime advance towards the town.

“Following the pro-Syrian forces’ attack, the coalition contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established ‘deconfliction line’ to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing,” said a statement from Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS.

“At 6:43 p.m., a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet,” said the statement.

The Syrian pilot is believed to have been able to eject from the aircraft, according to a U.S. official.

But the Russian Defense Ministry contradicted the coalition claim that the air-safety hotline had been used and noted that there were Russian aircraft in the area when the Syrian plane was shot down.

The Ministry said it would stop its participation in the deconfliction line, much as it did following American cruise missile strikes in Syria in April. But at that time, U.S. and Russian military forces continued use of the air safety hotline for Syria despite Russia’s announcement that it would stop participating.

Ja’Din, where Sunday’s incident occurred, is approximately two kilometers north of an established deconfliction area.

The U.S.-led coalition in its statement stressed its goals in Syria and that it will defend its partnered forces.

“The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat,” it said. “The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.”

The downing of the Syrian jet is the latest escalation between the U.S.-led coalition and pro-regime forces in the country.

Over the last four weeks, the U.S. has conducted three airstrikes on pro-regime Assad forces backed by Iran that have moved into a de-confliction zone around the town of at Tanf in southwest Syria, which is the location of a coalition training base for local forces fighting ISIS.

Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with US as of June 19 – Moscow

June 19, 2017


The Russian Defense Ministry announced it is halting cooperation with its US counterparts in the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria following the coalition’s downing of a Syrian warplane.

The ministry has demanded a thorough investigation by the US military command into the incident with the Syrian government military jet, with the results to be shared with the Russian side.

“In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated.

Downing the military jet within Syrian airspace “cynically” violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian military said.

The actions of the US Air Force are in fact “military aggression” against Syria, the statement adds.

The ministry emphasized that Russian warplanes were on a mission in Syrian airspace during the US-led coalition’s attack on the Syrian Su-22, while the coalition failed to use the communication line to prevent an incident.

“The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.”

The ministry considers the move “a conscious failure to comply with the obligations under the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria,” and is thus halting cooperation with the US within the memorandum framework as of June 19, the statement concluded.

Earlier Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov condemned the attack, branding it an act of aggression which actually helped the terrorists the US is fighting against.

The US-led coalition downed the Syrian government warplane on Sunday. At the moment of the attack the jet was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) some 40km from Raqqa, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The pilot ejected from the plane above IS-controlled territory and is still missing.

U.S., Russia, Iran draw new red lines in Syria

June 19, 2017

by Tom Perry and Babak Dehghanpisheh


BEIRUT-Russia, Iran and the United States are drawing new red lines for each other in Syria, with Moscow warning Washington on Monday it would treat any U.S.-led coalition planes in its area of operations as potential targets after the U.S. air force downed a Syrian jet.

Tensions escalated on Sunday as the U.S. army brought down the jet near Raqqa and Iran launched missiles at Islamic State targets in eastern Syria – the first time each state has carried out such actions in the multi-sided Syrian war. A pro-Damascus commander said Tehran and Washington were drawing “red lines”.

Russia, like Iran an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, issued a warning of its own to the United States in response to the downing of the Syrian jet, saying on Monday it would view as targets any planes flying west of the Euphrates River, though it stopped short of saying it would shoot any down.

The incidents reflect mounting competition for areas of Syria where Islamic State (IS) insurgents are in retreat, leaving swathes of territory up for grabs and posing the question of what comes next for U.S. policy that is shaped first and foremost by the priority of vanquishing the jihadists.

The United States said the Syrian army plane shot down on Sunday had dropped bombs near fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters battling to capture the city of Raqqa from IS.

Russia’s Defense Ministry responded on Monday by suspending cooperation with the United States aimed at avoiding air incidents over Syria, where the Russian air force is bombing in support of Assad’s campaigns against rebels and IS.

The Syrian army said the jet was shot down while flying a mission against Islamic State.

The SDF however accused the Syrian government on Monday of attacking its positions using planes, artillery and tanks. “If the regime continues attacking our positions in Raqqa province, we will be forced to retaliate,” SDF spokesman Talal Silo said.

The Syrian government this month marched into Raqqa province from the west but had avoided conflict with the U.S.-backed SDF until the latest incident.

“The SDF is getting big-headed,” said the pro-Damascus military commander, a non-Syrian who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. “There could be problems between it and Soheil Hassan,” said the commander, referring to the Syrian officer leading the government offensive in Raqqa province.


The United States has said its recent actions against Syrian government forces and allied militia have been self-defensive in nature, aimed at stopping attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces or their local allies.

These have included several air strikes against pro-government forces that have sought to advance towards a U.S. military base in southeastern Syria near the border with Iraq, where the U.S. military has been training rebels to fight IS.

The area is of strategic significance to Tehran as it seeks to secure a land corridor to its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and establish a “Shi’ite crescent” of influence that has long concerned U.S.-allied states in the Middle East.

The missiles fired by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Sunday targeted IS in Deir al-Zor province, fast becoming the jihadists’ last remaining foothold in Syria and a declared military priority of Tehran’s allies in the Syrian government.

The attacks have showcased the depth of Iran’s military presence in Syria: Iranian drones launched from areas around Damascus allowed Revolutionary Guard commanders to assess the damage done by the missiles in real-time.

Two top Revolutionary Guard commanders said that the strikes were intended to send a message to the perpetrators of militant attacks in Tehran last week – claimed by Islamic State – that killed 18 people, as well as their supporters.

“I hope that the clear message of this attack will be understood by the terrorists as well as their regional and international supporters,” said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace unit, according to the website of Iranian state television.

Six missiles with a range of between 650 to 700 kilometers (400-435 miles) were fired from western Iran, soaring over Iraqi territory and striking the targets in Deir al-Zor.

State TV posted black and white aerial video on their website on Monday which they labeled as the moment of impact of the attack. A projectile can be seen hitting a building followed by thick black smoke billowing out. State TV repeatedly aired video footage of the beginning of the attack Monday, showing several missiles streaking across a dark night sky.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defended the attack in a Twitter post on Monday. “Iran’s missile capability protects its citizens in lawful self-defense & advances common global fight to eradicate (IS) & extremist terror,” he wrote.

Other Iranian officials were more blunt in their assessment of the attack. “This attack, before being a message for the terrorists, is a message for the supporters of terrorism in the region which are symbolized by the Saudi regime and the Americans,” the state television website quoted Iranian parliamentarian Javad Karimi Qoddousi as saying.

Analysts say that more robust U.S. military action in Syria since President Donald Trump took office in January has resulted from his decision to give the military more autonomy in how it pursues the war on Islamic State.

“The (Syrian) regime is always testing and pushing the boundaries,” said Yezid Sayigh, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.

“I don’t think the Americans are testing the red lines. They are saying ‘we have a red line here and if you are going to test it we will respond, but it doesn’t mean we are now shifting strategy’ because they also want to reassure the Russians.”

(Additional reporting by Laila Bassam and Ellen Francis in Beirut; writing by Tom Perry; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Republican Data-Mining Firm Exposed Personal Information for Virtually Every American Voter

June 19 2017

by Sam Biddle

The Intercept

The GOP’s 2016 presidential upset wasn’t surprising just because it put Donald Trump in the White House; it also proved the party had vastly improved its ability to exploit data, including precision ad targeting campaigns on Facebook. Now comes the fallout of all that information hoarding: A California-based security researcher says Republican-linked election databases were inadvertently exposed to the entire internet, sans password, potentially violating the privacy of almost every single registered voter in the United States.

The data trove was apparently made public by accident by one of the data-mining companies that compiled it. It includes a mix of private information and data gleaned from public voter rolls: “the voter’s date of birth, home and mailing addresses, phone number, registered party, self-reported racial demographic, voter registration status” as well as computer “modeled” speculation about each person’s race and religion, according to an analysis provided by to The Intercept.

The leak was discovered by Chris Vickery, an analyst at the U.S. cybersecurity firm UpGuard, who last year discovered an enormous breach of Mexican voter data and in 2015 a 300GB leak of records of 191 million voters. This new incident is more extensive, according the analysis, written by UpGuard:

UpGuard’s Cyber Risk Team can now confirm that unsecured databases containing the sensitive personal details of over 198 million American voters was left exposed to the internet. The data, which was stored in a publicly accessible cloud server owned by Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics, included 1.1 terabytes of entirely unsecured personal information compiled by DRA and at least two other contractors, TargetPoint Consulting, Inc. and Data Trust. In total, the personal information of nearly all of America’s 200 million registered voters was exposed, including their names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details, as well as voter ethnicities and religions as “modeled” by the firms’ data scientists.

(DRA, TargetPoint, and Data Trust were not immediately available for comment.)

Two of the firms linked to the database, Deep Root Analytics and Target Point, were among three firms hired by the RNC to do most of its data modeling and voter scoring in 2016, according to a December Ad Age story, with a mandate to shore up unconvinced Trump-leaning voters, sway weak Hillary Clinton supporters, and capture undecided voters.

What UpGuard appears to have discovered, sitting on an Amazon cloud storage drive with no password or username required for access by anyone on the internet, was terabytes of the data used to map the voter proclivities and demographics key to finding voters in those buckets. Beyond personal information like religion, age, and probable ethnicity, certain database files among those made public include individual scores for nearly 50 different beliefs, according to UpGuard’s analysis:

Each of fields under each of the forty-eight columns signifies the potential voter’s modeled likelihood of supporting the policy, political candidate, or belief listed at the top of the column, with zero indicating very unlikely, and one indicating very likely.

Calculated for 198 million potential voters, this adds up to a spreadsheet of 9.5 billion modeled probabilities, for questions ranging from how likely it is the individual voted for Obama in 2012, whether the agree with the Trump foreign policy of “America First,” and how likely they are to be concerned with auto manufacturing as an issue, among others.

Most Americans would likely be disturbed that this kind of information was generated about them in the first place, to say nothing of the fact that it was accidentally made public by the very companies being paid by the Republican Party to make it, with essentially zero security precautions of any kind taken with how it was stored in the cloud.

Update: June 19th, 2017

Bill Daddi, apparently handling public relations for Deep Root Analytics, provided the following message to The Intercept:

As you can understand, we can’t comment on much here as we are not at liberty to discuss the details of work on behalf of any entity that might be a client, nor provide specifics of our proprietary data and analysis.

There is a general statement that has been released, which is below. This hopefully addresses some of your questions.

To help you understand what Deep Root Analytics does, we inform local television ad buys for advertisers.  We don’t make the buys, nor engage in any digital marketing or targeting outreach.  We help entities understand what local TV ad buys to make.

As indicated in the below, we have engaged Stroz Freidberg to conduct a thorough review, and that process is underway.  Based upon this review we have determined that the access that was made without our knowledge happened because of a change that was made in the files’ asset access protocols.  We are in the process of determining how that change was made and take full responsibility for the change, but suffice to say we have updated the settings to prevent further access. We believe the change that was made happened post June 1 2017, which was when we last evaluated and updated our security settings. We do not believe that our systems have been hacked. To date, the only entity that we are aware of that had access to the data was Chris Vickery.



Deep Root Analytics has become aware that a number of files within our online storage system were accessed without our knowledge.

Deep Root Analytics builds voter models to help enhance advertiser understanding of TV viewership. The data accessed was not built for or used by any specific client. It is our proprietary analysis to help inform local television ad buying.

The data that was accessed was, to the best of our knowledge this proprietary information as well as voter data that is publicly available and readily provided by state government offices.  Since this event has come to our attention, we have updated the access settings and put protocols in place to prevent further access.  We take full responsibility for this situation.

Deep Root Analytics maintains industry standard security protocols. We built our systems in keeping with these protocols and had last evaluated and updated our security settings on June 1, 2017.

We are conducting an internal review and have retained cyber security firm Stroz Friedberg to conduct a thorough investigation.  Through this process, which is currently underway, we have learned that access was gained through a recent change in asset access settings since June 1, 2017.  We accept full responsibility, will continue with our investigation, and based on the information we have gathered thus far, we do not believe that our systems have been hacked. To date, the only entity that we are aware of that had access to the data was Chris Vickery. “

Hodgkinson’s Disease: Politics and Paranoia in the Age of Trump

A would-be assassin was incited and validated by the media and the Democratic leadership

June 19, 2017

by Justin Raimondo


James T. Hodgkinson, the would-be assassin of Republican congressmen, wasn’t a radical. If you look at his published output – a series of letters to his local newspaper in Belleville, Illinois, as well as the majority of his Internet postings – it’s mostly about matters nearly every progressive cares about: taxes (the rich don’t pay enough), healthcare (the government must provide), income inequality (it’s all a Republican plot). All in all, a pretty unremarkable worldview that any partisan Democrat – either a Bernie Sanders supporter, as Hodginkinson was, or a Hillary fan – could sign on to.

So what drove him over the edge?

One of his more recent Facebook posts was a link to a petition that called for “the legal removal of the President and Vice-President, et. al., for Misprision of Treason.” Hodgkinson had signed it and he was asking his readers to follow suit: “Trump is a Traitor,” he wrote, “Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”  He was also a big fan of Rachel Maddow, who – incredibly — has spent the majority of her airtime ranting about “The Russian Connection,” as this Intercept piece documents. Hodgkinson was also a member of a Facebook group ominously dubbing itself “Terminate the Republican Party,” an appellation Hodgkinson apparently took quite literally. The group has over 13,000 members. The main page of the Terminators is adorned with a cartoon of Putin manipulating Trump like a puppet.

When Hodgkinson left his home and his job to travel to Alexandria, Virginia, he told his wife he was going to “work on tax issues.” But is that what motivated his murderous spree? Do “tax issues” really seem like something that would inspire someone to plan and carry out an assassination attempt that, but for the presence of Capitol police on the scene, would have certainly resulted in a massacre?

Hodgkinson clearly believed that the President of the United States was an agent of a foreign power. He had signed on to the idea that Trump not only benefited from a Russian campaign to discredit Hillary Clinton, but that he is engaged in a war against his own country. As Maddow put it in one of her more unhinged broadcasts:

“If the presidency is effectively a Russian op, right, if the American Presidency right now is the product of collusion between the Russian Intelligence Services, and an American campaign, I mean, that is so profoundly big. This is not part of American politics; this is not, you know, partisan warfare between Republicans and Democrats. This is international warfare against our country.”

“International warfare” – and Hodgkinson, a soldier in that fight, saw it as his duty to use the sort of weapons that are commonly used in international warfare. That’s why he sprayed that baseball field with a hail of gunfire – over fifty rounds. And when his rifle ran out of ammunition, he took out his handgun and continued firing. Because “this is not, you know, partisan warfare between Republicans and Democrats. This is international warfare against our country” – and it’s the obligation of patriotic citizens to take up that fight and take out the enemy.

This sort of craziness is usually reserved for the farther fringes of the American polity. Back in the 1960s, far-right groups like the Minutemen – who believed the United States government was effectively under the Kremlin’s control – armed themselves to prepare for the day when they would “liberate” America. Indeed, this sort of lunacy has traditionally been a fixture of extreme right-wing politics in this country: that it has now appeared on the left – and not the far-left, but in the “mainstream” of the Democratic party, which has taken up the Russia-gate conspiracy theory to the virtual exclusion of all else — is the proximate cause of what I call Hodgkinson’s Disease: the radicalization of formerly anodyne Democrats into a twenty-first century version of the Weathermen.

How did this happen? Democratic party leaders, in tandem with their journalistic camarilla, have validated an unconvincing conspiracy theory for which not a lick of definitive evidence has been provided: the idea that the Russians “stole” the election on behalf of Trump, and that the Trump campaign cooperated in this treasonous effort.

Yet that hasn’t stopped the Democratic party leadership from taking this ball and running with it. As Jennifer Palmieri, a top official in the Clinton campaign, put it, Democrats should push the “collusion” issue “relentlessly and above all else. They should talk about it in every interview.” The New York Times writes about this conspiracy theory as if it is uncontested fact. Democratic officeholders have declared that the alleged “hacking” of the election was an “act of war” – with the NeverTrump Republicans echoing the party line – and the Twitterverse’s conspiracy theorists are having a field day with the dangerously loony contention that we are at war with Russia. What’s more, the wildest imaginings of the nutjob crowd are being taken up and amplified by “respectable” people like constitutional lawyer Laurence Tribe.

In this way Hodgkinson’s Disease was incubated, its toxicity penetrating the mind of a suggestible and embittered little man until the poison had accumulated to such an extent that it burst through to the surface in an explosion of uncontrollable rage. Rachel Maddow is the theory: James T. Hodgkinson is the practice. The ultimate result is civil war.

That such a conflict would be born out of a full-scale delusional system that resembles a third-rate cold war era thriller just adds a Bizarro World cast to the whole sorry spectacle. The “Russia-gate” conspiracy theory that has consumed the energies of the media, the Congress, and President Trump is an elaborate hoax. This farrago of falsehood rests on a fallacious assumption: that the Russians necessarily “hacked” the DNC and John Podesta’s emails. The contention is that the methods supposedly utilized by the alleged hackers were similar to those used in the past by “suspected” Russian hackers, and that this makes the case. Yet this argument ignores the fact that these tools and methods were already out there, available for anyone to use. This is a textbook example of what cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr calls “faith-based attribution,” which amounts to, at best, an educated guess, and at worst is the end result of confirmation bias combined with the economic incentive to tell a client what they want to hear. In the case of the DNC/Podesta “hacks,” the company hired to investigate, CrowdStrike, had every reason to echo Hillary Clinton’s contention that the Russians were the guilty party. CrowdStrike, by the way, never gave US law enforcement authorities access to the DNC’s servers: indeed, the FBI’s request for access was rebuffed.

The “Russia-gate” hoax has injected a pernicious and highly dangerous theme into our political discourse: the accusation that the Trump administration is a traitorous cabal intent on “destroying democracy,” as Hodgkinson put it, and handing over the country to the tender mercies of a foreign power. Taken seriously, this theme necessarily and inevitably leads to violence, which means there’s a good chance we’ll see more Hodgkinsons in the headlines.

And standing behind it all is the Deep State – the leakers (with access to all our communications) who are feeding disinformation to the Washington Post and the New York Times in order to bring down this presidency. One prong of this operation is embodied in the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, whose investigation was provoked and fueled by Deep State leakage. The other prong consists of the useful idiot crowd, those who believe the propaganda and can be mobilized to take to the streets.

The Deep State types don’t have to get in direct contact with people like Hodgkinson in order to provoke violence against this administration or Trump’s supporters. They have only to continue to do what they’ve been doing since before Trump even took office, covertly spreading the idea that Trump is “Putin’s puppet,” as Mrs. Clinton put it: radicalized useful idiots like Hodgkinson will do the rest. It is eerily similar to the methods the CIA has used to overthrow foreign governments: spread rumors, utilizing their journalistic sock-puppets, and indirectly motivate and mobilize mobs to carry out their “regime-change” agenda. The only difference now is that they’re doing what they’ve always done on the home front instead of in, say, Lower Slobbovia.

Yes, that’s where we are right now – we’ve become Lower Slobbovia. Get used to it, folks, because it won’t end until the Deep State is defeated and dismantled.

Car rams police vehicle on Paris’ Champs Elysees, driver likely dead

June 19, 2017

by Michel Rose and Marine Pennetier


PARIS-A driver deliberately rammed his car into a police van as it drove down Paris’ Champs Elysees avenue and was probably killed, police said, adding that no officers or bystanders were injured and the situation was under control.

The Paris prosecutor’s counter-terrorism unit said it had opened an investigation into the incident, which occurred only a short walk away from the Elysees presidential palace and the U.S. embassy.

The car hit the front of the police van as it was overtaking it and caught fire, a police spokeswoman told reporters.

“It appears to have been a deliberate act on the part of the individual,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet.

Brandet told reporters the driver, who was armed, was “most likely dead”, adding that it was difficult to say for sure while the area where he was lying was being checked for explosives.

A report on France’s BFM TV said the man was known to security services and had been carrying a gas bottle in the car.

France has been on high security alert following a series of militant Islamist attacks in recent years, including the shooting of a policeman in an Islamic State-claimed attack on a police bus on the Champs Elysees in April. [nL8N1HS6BF]

(Reporting by Michel Rose and Marine Pennetier; Editing by Leigh Thomas and Andrew Callus)

London attack: man, 47, arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

One dead and eight injured after van ploughs into Muslims near Finsbury Park mosque

June 19, 2017

by Vikram Dodd and Matthew Taylor

The Guardian

A man has died and eight others have been injured after a van ploughed into a group of people near a north London mosque in an attack police are treating as terrorism.A 47-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Two people hit by the van were said to be “very seriously injured”.

The prime minister, Theresa May, who was woken to be told of the early morning attack in Finsbury Park, said in a statement from Downing Street that the “hatred and evil” of the kind seen in the attack would never succeed.

May said the attack had “once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives – this time, British Muslims as they left a mosque, having broken their fast and prayed together at this sacred time of year”.

She added: “Today we come together, as we have done before, to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed.”

May said the attack on Muslims was “every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life” as the recent string of attacks apparently motivated by Islamist extremism, adding: “We will stop at nothing to defeat it.”

It is the fourth terrorist attack to hit the UK in the past three months.

Deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism, said the van hit a crowd of people who had gathered around a man who had collapsed on the pavement.

Basu said it was too early to say whether the man’s death was a direct result of the attack.

“No matter what the motivation proves to be, and we are keeping an open mind, this is being treated as a terrorist attack and the counter-terrorism command is investigating.

“This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause.”

Witnesses said the man who died had been taken ill outside the Muslim Welfare House, a few hundred metres away from Finsbury Park mosque.

A small crowd had gathered round to try and help him when the van was driven into them at around 12.20am.

One witness said he and his friends had stopped to help the “elderly man” who was lying on the ground.

“In seconds this terrible thing happened,”’ he said. “Literally within a minute, a van with speed, turned to where we were and ran over the man who was laying on the floor and the people around him, around eight people or 10 people got injured, some of them seriously. Thank God I’m safe, but my friends got injured.”

Witnesses said the driver then got out of the van and shouted “I want to kill Muslims” before onlookers pinned him to the ground.

Abdikadar Warfa, said he and and others caught hold of the van driver, who threw kicks and punches as he tried to escape. He said: “He tried to run away, he tried to escape. Some people were hitting him. He was fighting to run away.”

One witness, who gave his name only as Abdulrahman, said: “I managed to get [the suspect] to the ground, and me and some other guys managed to hold him until the police arrived, for about 20 minutes I think, until the police arrived.

“People were very upset, people were shouting, people were saying ‘where’s the police, where’s the ambulance?’ People were saying ‘keep him on the ground’. People were asking questions, saying ‘why did you do this?’ People were laying down on the floor.”

Abdulrahman said the driver shouted “kill me” as he held his head on the ground.

“I said, ‘Tell me why did you try driving to kill innocent people?’ When he went into the [police] van he made gestures, he was laughing. He deliberately did this. He caused this incident.”

Police confirmed that members of public had detained the suspected driver and praised Mohammed Mahmoud, an imam, for his attempts to calm the chaotic situation and calls for people not to harm the attacker.

Basu said: “Their restraint in the circumstances was commendable.”

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, denounced the incident as “a horrific terrorist attack on innocent people. We don’t yet know the full details, but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

“While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.”

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said: “London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us.

“Terrorists will not succeed in their attempts to divide us and make us live in fear. Extra officers are on duty in the area to help reassure the local community. They will be there for as long as they are needed.”

The vehicle involved in the attack was hired from Pontyclun Van Hire in south Wales. A woman who answered the phone on Monday at the hire company’s offices said: “We’re not allowed to make any comment.”

The Muslim Council of Britain’s secretary general, Harun Khan, , said: “During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. My prayers are with the victims and their families.”

The incident happened in the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency.

He later visited the mosque, saying that the apparent targeting of the Muslim community at the height of Ramadan had shocked the community.

“A lot of the time people are saying Islamophobia isn’t real, but this time it’s actually killed someone and injured others … There are kids who grew up (watching this) on TV and never expected it to happen in their own backyard.”

The Finsbury Park attack comes after two attacks in London in which pedestrians were struck by vehicles. The first was in Westminster in March and and the second was a fortnight ago in London Bridge. In May a suicide bomber targeted a pop concert in Manchester, killing 23 people.

The latest attack took place during Ramadan, and worshippers were out on the streets in the Finsbury Park area, which is home to two mosques.

Among Britain’s Muslim communities there are fears they are being targeted for Islamophobic hate crimes and that the authorities do not take such incidents seriously enough.

A spike in hate crimes was reported after the London Bridge attack. Security officials and senior police officers are in private acutely aware of the need to protect Muslim communities from any backlash. Extremists on the far right and those following jihadist ideology want to drive a wedge between British Muslims and other communities.

Zero Hedge Revealed

June 19, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

Zero Hedge is a very eccentric Austrian economics-based finance blog run by a pseudonymous founder who posts articles under the name “Tyler Durden,” after the character from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. It has accurately predicted 200 of the last 2 recessions.

“Tyler” claims to be a “believer in a sweeping conspiracy that casts the alumni of Goldman Sachs as a powerful cabal at the helm of U.S. policy, with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve colluding to preserve the status quo.” While this is not an entirely unreasonable statement of the problem, his solution actually mirrors the anatagonist in Fight Club: Tyler wants, per Austrian school ideas, to lead a catastrophic market crash in order to destroy banking institutions and bring back “real” free market capitalism.

The site posts nearly indecipherable, and generally bizarre, analyses of multiple and seemingly unrelated subjects that are intended  to point towards a consistent theme of economic collapse “any day now.” “ Tyler” seems to repeat The Economic Collapse Blog’s idea of posting blog articles many times a day and encouraging people to post it as far and wide as humanly possible. “Tyler” moves away from the format of long lists to write insanely dense volumes filled with generally contradicting jargon that makes one wonder if the writers even know what the words actually mean. The site first appeared in early 2009, meaning that (given “Tyler’s” psychotic habit of deenying each and every positive data point), anyone listening to him from the beginning missed the entire 2009-2014 rally in the equities market.

The only writer conclusively identified is one Dan Ivandjiiski, a Bulgarian former medical student, who conducts public interviews on behalf of Zero Hedge. This hysterical blog came online several days after he lost his job at Wexford Capital, a Connecticut-based hedge fund (run by a former Goldman trader). And Ivandjiiski chose his pen name from a nihilistic psychotic delusion.

Zero Hedge is not quite the NaturalNews of economics, but not for want of trying.

This entertaining nonsense is in the same category as the pompous, and often rewritten, political blog, the Drudge Report and the “Sorcha Faal” screeching about the fictional “Planet X.” And for even more light-weight entertainment, look at the conspiracy blogs of “Dr.” Paul Fetzer and Tom Hengehan.

Since the media has virtually done away with comic strips, these are all that is left to entertain a bored reader. These sort of babblings also entertain a legion of the feeble-minded conspiracy freaks that flock to the strange Internet sites like flies to shit.

The Car Was Repossessed, but the Debt Remains

June 18, 2017

by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery

New York Times

More than a decade after Yvette Harris’s 1997 Mitsubishi was repossessed, she is stil

She has no choice. Her auto lender took her to court and won the right to seize a portion of her income to cover her debt. The lender has so far been able to garnish $4,133 from her paychecks — a drain that at one point forced Ms. Harris, a single mother who lives in the Bronx, to go on public assistance to support her two sons.

“How am I still paying for a car I don’t have?” she asked.

For millions of Americans like Ms. Harris who have shaky credit and had to turn to subprime auto loans with high interest rates and hefty fees to buy a car, there is no getting out.

Many of these auto loans, it turns out, have a habit of haunting people long after their cars have been repossessed.

The reason: Unable to recover the balance of the loans by repossessing and reselling the cars, some subprime lenders are aggressively suing borrowers to collect what remains — even 13 years later.

Ms. Harris’s predicament goes a long way toward explaining how lenders, working hand in hand with auto dealers, have made billions of dollars extending high-interest loans to Americans on the financial margins.

These are people desperate enough to take on thousands of dollars of debt at interest rates as high as 24 percent for one simple reason: Without a car, they have no way to get to work or to doctors.

With their low credit scores, buying or leasing a new car is not an option. And when all the interest and fees of a subprime loan are added up, even a used car with mechanical defects and many miles on the odometer can end up costing more than a new car.

Subprime lenders are willing to take a chance on these risky borrowers because when they default, the lenders can repossess their cars and persuade judges in 46 states to give them the power to seize borrowers’ paychecks to cover the balance of the car loan.

Now, with defaults rising, federal banking regulators and economists are worried how the strain of these loans will spill over into the broader economy.

For low-income Americans, the fallout could, in some ways, be worse than the mortgage crisis.

With mortgages, people could turn in the keys to their house and walk away. But with auto debt, there is increasingly no exit. Repossession, rather than being the end, is just the beginning.

“Low-income earners are shackled to this debt,” said Shanna Tallarico, a consumer lawyer with the New York Legal Assistance Group.

There are no national tallies of how many borrowers face the collection lawsuits, known within the industry as deficiency cases. But state records show that the courts are becoming flooded with such lawsuits.

For example, the large subprime lender Credit Acceptance has filed more than 17,000 lawsuits against borrowers in New York alone since 2010, court records show. And debt buyers — companies that scoop up huge numbers of soured loans for pennies on the dollar — bring their own cases, breathing new life into old bills.

Portfolio Recovery Associates, one of the nation’s largest debt buyers, purchased about $30.2 million of auto deficiencies in the first quarter of this year, up from $411,000 just a year earlier.

One of the people Credit Acceptance sued is Nagham Jawad, a refugee from Iraq, who moved to Syracuse after her father was killed. Soon after settling into her new home in 2009, Ms. Jawad took out a loan for $5,900 and bought a used car.

After only a few months on the road, the transmission on the 10-year-old Chevy Tahoe gave out. The vehicle was in such bad shape that her lender didn’t bother to repossess it when Ms. Jawad, 39, fell behind on payments.

“These are garbage cars sold at outrageous interest rates,” said her lawyer, Gary J. Pieples, director of the consumer law clinic at the Syracuse University College of Law.

The value of any car typically starts to decline the moment it leaves the dealer’s lot. In the subprime market, however, the value of the cars is often beside the point.

A dealership in Queens refused to cancel Theresa Robinson’s loan of nearly $8,000 and give her a refund for a car that broke down days after she drove it off the lot.

Instead, Ms. Robinson, a Staten Island resident who is physically disabled and was desperate for a car to get to her doctors’ appointments, was told to pick a different car from the lot.

The second car she selected — a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica — eventually broke down as well. Unable to afford the loan payments after sinking thousands of dollars into repairs, Ms. Robinson defaulted.

Her subprime lender took her to court and won the right to garnish her income from babysitting her grandson to cover her loan payments.

Ms. Robinson and her lawyer, Ms. Tallarico, are now fighting to get the judgment overturned.

“Essentially, the dealers are not selling cars. They are selling bad loans,” said Adam Taub, a lawyer in Detroit who has defended consumers in hundreds of these cases.

Many lawyers assisting poor borrowers like Ms. Robinson say they learn about the lawsuits only after a judge has issued a decision in favor of the lender.

Most borrowers can’t afford lawyers and don’t show up to court to challenge the lawsuits. That means the collectors win many cases, transforming the debts into judgments they can use to garnish wages.

The lenders argue that they are just recouping through the courts what they are legally owed. They also argue that subprime auto lending meets an important need.

And collecting on the debt is a critical part of the business. The first item on the quarterly earnings of Credit Acceptance, the large subprime auto lender, is not the amount of loans it makes, but what it expects to collect on the debt.

The company, for example, expects a 72 percent collection rate on loans made in 2014 — the year that a used 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan was repossessed from Nina Lysloff of Ypsilanti, Mich.

With all the interest and fees on her Credit Acceptance loan factored in, the car ended up costing her $28,383. Ms. Lysloff could have bought a brand-new Volkswagen Tiguan for $22,149, according to Kelley Blue Book.

When Ms. Lysloff fell behind, the trade-in value on the car was a fraction of what she still owed. Last year, Credit Acceptance sued her for $15,755.

The strategy at Credit Acceptance, which has a market value of $4.4 billion, is yielding big profits. The Michigan company said its return on equity, a measure of profitability, was 31 percent last year — more than four times Bank of America’s return.

Credit Acceptance did not respond to requests for comment.

Some of the people who got subprime loans lacked enough income to qualify for any loan.

U.S. Bank is pursuing Tara Pearson for the $9,339 left after her 2011 Hyundai Accent was stolen and she could not pay the fee to get it from the impound lot. When she purchased the car in 2015 at a dealership in Winchester, Ky., Ms. Pearson said, she explained that her only income was about $722 from Social Security.

Her loan application listed things differently. Her employer was identified as “S.S.I.,” and her income was put at $2,750, court records show.

Citing continuing litigation, U.S. Bank declined to comment about Ms. Pearson.

Auto lending was one of the few types of credit that did not dry up during the financial crisis. It now stands at more than $1.1 trillion.

Despite many signs that the market is overheating, securities tied to the loans are so profitable — yielding twice as much as certain Treasury securities — that they remain a sought-after investment on Wall Street.

“The dog keeps eating until its stomach explodes,” said Daniel Zwirn, who runs Arena, a hedge fund that has avoided subprime auto investments.

Some lenders are pulling back from making new loans. Subprime auto lending reached a 10-year low in the first quarter. But for those borrowers already stuck with debt, there is no end in sight.

Ms. Harris, the single mother from the Bronx, said that even after her wages had been garnished and she paid an additional $2,743 on her own, her lender was still seeking to collect about $6,500.

“It’s been a nightmare,” she said.








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