Operation Choke-Point Is Worse Than We Thought

Operation Choke Point is an initiative of the DoJ that was announced in 2013 which investigates bank interactions with certain businesses believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering. When first disclosed it was heavily criticised for bypassing due process with critics warning that "it's a thinly veiled ideological attack on industries the Obama administration doesn't like, such as gun sellers," and precious metals dealers. However, as Mike Maloney explains, it is far worse than that... "it violates the most fundamental principles of the rule of law and accountable, transparent government."

Is Japan Preparing For War?

Back in 1940, the US plan was to "entrap" Japan to declare war on the US - a declaration which the US would have long anticipated - which would then allow America to engage Europe and Hitler as part of its broader entry into World War II from which it had been previously separated. The plan worked out when just over a year later, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Today, some 75 years later, is that same plan being redrawn?

What Russians Think Of Western Sanctions

Parsing the Russian media (corporate and social) illustrates the stunningly different way the issue of western sanctions is discussed. As we show below, there are six notable factors that leave an entirely unavoidable conclusion: western sanctions have exactly zero chance of achieving any change at all in Russian foreign policy and exactly zero chance of weakening the current regime. In fact perhaps the opposite.

"No Means No" Caption Contest

When Obama interrupted the Grammy's to discuss sexual abuse and rape victims, he probably did not have this in mind...

State Dept: "We Can't Beat ISIS By Killing Them..." They Need Jobs

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf explains to no lesser pillar of unbiased reporting than Chris Matthews that - as opposed to President Obama's 'bomb them into oblivion' perspective, "we can't kill our way out of this war [with ISIS]... we must address the root causes - like joblessness." Even Matthews is stunned at this perspective, exclaiming "we're never going to chieve that in 50 lifetimes, there'll always be poor muslims." But, as the administration appears to be suggesting, even every radical muslim deserves $10.25 an hour to work at Baghdad McDonalds...

Obama To Allow "Moderate" Syrian Rebels Call In B-1B Bombers For Air Support

While Obama desperately tries to stick to his now crushed "Nobel peace prize winner" image, by not succumbing to an all-out land war in the one nation where his progressive "pacifism" brought him fame (and according to some, the presidency), namely Iraq, the rest of militant, "interventionist" US foreign policy is rapidly starting to resemble that waged by the most brutally rabid, neo-con Republican leader. Case in point an absolute stunner reported minutes ago by the WSJ, according to which the White House has decided to provide pickup trucks equipped with mounted machine guns and radios for calling in U.S. airstrikes to some moderate Syrian rebels aided by American B-1B bombers!

Retail Sales & The Market's Looming "Gotcha" Moment

The "conundrum" between lower gasoline prices and retail sales is not really one at all. Furthermore, the real story behind the weakness in retail sales also suggest that something is "amiss" within the broader economic backdrop. When combined with the deterioration in earnings, the risk of a "gotcha" moment in the market has risen markedly.

Stockman To Obama: Butt Out Of The Greek Crisis - You've Dispensed Enough Keynesian Poison At Home

Our clueless President observed, "You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression. At some point there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts..." No, paying off their debts is exactly the wrong medicine. You do not kick the can and extend and pretend that Greece can service its crushing debt. Instead, you permit it to default, and then to rebuild it’s economy and credit the old fashioned way. In any event, its a problem for the Europeans and the Greeks to resolve. Obama should stop sending Keynesian witch doctors to spread more policy poison around Europe.

Moment of Brutal Honesty: Political Commentator Quits Over HSBC Coverage, Accuses Telegraph Of "Fraud On Readers"

What happens when the "impartial and independent" media puts its relationship with advertisers (especially when said advertisers are admitted criminal consortiums among whose chief sources of revenue in recent decades has been facilitating tax evasion and "laundering the world's drug money") above the interests of its readers and the presentation of "imperatial and independent" facts? This: "The coverage of HSBC in Britain's Daily Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril."

"Optimistic" Putin Says US Already Supplying Arms To Ukraine

Vladimir Putin says he is "more optimist than pessimist" on Ukraine, but warns that there will be "no end to war if Kiev believes in a military solution." Noting that he believes there has been an "overall decrease" in military activity, he notes that Debaltseve was "possible to forecast," and then proclaims:

*PUTIN SAYS U.S. ARMS ALREADY BEING SUPPLIED TO UKRAINE

Of course, we already have "YouTube" proof of American military presence in Ukraine (which for Washington would have been good enough to wage war) but Putin offers no specific proof and adds rather pointedly that "most Ukraine troops want no part of fractricidal war."

Holder Gives 90 Day Ultimatum To Bring "Financial Crisis" Cases Against Bankers

Speaking in Washington this morning, US Attorney General Eric Holder made some rather disturbing (at least for financial market participants) statements, that made him appear to be 'cracking-down':

HOLDER SAYS HE HAS GIVEN U.S. ATTORNEYS 90-DAY DEADLINE TO BRING CASES AGAINST INDIVIDUALS FOR THEIR ROLE IN FINANCIAL CRISIS

Of course, the question is - does that mean after 90-days all bets are off (and everyone goes home free)?

Failed Discipline, Failed Reforms And Grexit: Why The Euro Failed

It's not that difficult to understand why the euro is doomed to fail. Given its structure, there is no other possible outcome but failure. Greece's exit (Grexit) will simply be the first manifestation of the inevitable structural failure of the euro. To understand why this is so, we have to start with two forms of discipline: the market and the state.

Ukraine "Truce" Fails: Withdrawal Deadline Passes, Debaltseve Situation Deteriorating

UPDATE: *POROSHENKO SAYS UN MUST NOT ALLOW FULL-SCALE WAR IN EUROPE

As the game of chicken between Greece and the Eurogroup hots up, it appears another - potentially far more deadly - is escalating in Ukraine as neither side is willing to follow through on the terms of the Minsk Summit peace deal - removing heavy weaponry from the frontlines - as a key deadline passes without agreement. As The Guardian reports, The Ukrainian military have stated that "as soon as the militants cease fire, the Ukrainian side will begin to withdraw heavy weaponry from the frontline," and the pro-Russian separatists proclaim, "We do not have the right [to stop fighting for Debaltseve]," adding that as far as the truce, "we have everything ready for a mutual withdrawal. We will not do anything unilaterally – that would make our soldiers targets."