• williambanzai7
    09/16/2014 - 12:16
    I have tons of good stuff to post, but this morning I'm feeling something like this...

Barack Obama

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U.S. Targets Islamic State's Lucrative Oil Smuggling Operations





Smuggled oil could be a pivotal issue for the U.S. as it seeks to destroy IS. The militant group sells oil at a reduced price – perhaps around $25 per barrel. At first, it sold the oil to middlemen, who moved the oil to Iran, Syria, Jordan and Turkey. But as IS’ operations grew, they forced out the middlemen, beat back other militant groups, and are now providing security to their own convoys of oil tanker trucks heading out of their territory to market. Air strikes may succeed in destroying vehicles and other military equipment under IS control, but cutting off the flow of money – specifically from oil smuggling – will likely go further in weakening the Islamic State.

 
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Preparing For All Out Iraq War: Joint Chiefs Of Staff Back US Troops In Combat "If Necessary"





Who could have seen this coming? In yet another example of untruthiness, it appears, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning, President Obama would back U.S. advisers accompanying Iraqi troops in battle to combat Islamic State militants if necessary. For now, Dempsey noted, Iraqi security forces are "doing fine," but as Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe noted, "it is foolhardy for the Obama administration to tie its hands and so firmly rule out the possibility of special operators on the ground." Following Hagel's remarks that the fight will "not be an easy or a brief effort," Dempsey said if it doesn’t succeed, he would not rule out advising Obama to use U.S. ground forces.

 
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Obama To Send 3,000 Ebola-Fighting Boots-On-The-Ground To Africa; CDC Warns America "Now Is The Time To Prepare"





On the heels of yesterday's almost unbelievable forecasts of the exponential rise in Ebola case counts - and warnings of a 20% chance of Ebola reaching the USA by year-end, WHO officials have confirmed that their previous forecasts of 20,000 cases "does not seem like a lot today." This has, according to Reuters, the United States announced on Tuesday that it would send 3,000 troops to help tackle the Ebola outbreak as part of a ramped-up response including a major deployment in Liberia, the country where the epidemic is spiralling fastest out of control. Perhaps even more worrisome - for those who explained how 'contained' Ebola was - is the CDC's release of an Ebola checklist warning American healthcare workers "now is the time to prepare."

 
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Frontrunning: September 15





  • Snow is coming: OECD Cuts Economic Growth Forecasts (WSJ)
  • World waits for white smoke from U.S. Fed (Reuters) - Understandable error: they meant "green"
  • Scots Breakaway at 45% Odds as Economists Warn of Capital Flight (BBG)
  • Ukraine President Poroshenko Faces Backlash Over EU Trade Deal Delay (WSJ)
  • German Anti-Euro Party Advances in Merkel Homeland Voting (BBG)
  • Clinton Hints at 2016 Run as Super-PAC Packs Iowa Steak Fry (BBG)
  • Air France, Lufthansa Hit by Strikes in Fight for Future (BBG)
  • U.S. sees Middle East help fighting IS, Britain cautious after beheading (Reuters)
  • Ex-Billionaire Charged by Brazil With Financial Crimes (BBG)
 
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"Moderate" Syrian Rebels Sign Non-Aggression Pact With ISIS; Iraq Defies US





First it was the 'broad coalition' that appeared a little narrower than President Obama explained to the world last week. Today, 2 more crucial aspects of the 'strategy' appear to be faltering. Despite the promise of $500 million to train "moderate" Syrian terrorist/rebels to fight ISIS, GlobalPost reports Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State have agreed a non-aggression pact for the first time. Under the deal, "the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime." Not exactly what Obama and Kerry had in mind. But it is John Kerry's trip to Iraq that appears to have had blowback already as Reuters reports the newly installed US-friendly PM al-Adadi ordered his air force to halt strikes on civilian areas, "even in those towns controlled by ISIS," just a day after Kerry's visit (which left Turkey explaining how it would not support US airstrikes either). So far, so good?!

 
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Obama’s ISIS War Is Not Only Illegal, It Makes George W. Bush Look Like A Constitutional Scholar





"Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing."  While critics have been questioning the legality of U.S. military campaigns consistently since the end of World War II, one trend has become increasingly clear. With each new President and each new war, we have witnessed those who hold the office act more and more like dictators, and less and less like constitutional executives. One very important, and up until recently, overlooked point about Obama’s latest “war on ISIS” is that this is not at all just more of the same. This crosses yet another very important line of shadiness, and if we as as American public allow him to do so, we will suffer grave long-term consequences to our economic future as well as our liberties. This is very serious stuff.

 
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Barack, We Hardly Knew Ye





Here’s the giant flaw in Obama’s incendiary strategy. The Peshmerga can be counted upon to ferociously defend Kurdistan against ISIS encroachment, and the Shiite militias will doubtless accomplish the same in their own territories. But no one with a modicum of historical knowledge would think it sane to send them up into the Sunni lands of the Euphrates valley to mop-up after the American bombs, missiles and drones. In short, once Washington is in full bombs away mode there will be no Free Syrian Army or reconstituted Iraqi army to finish the job. So what Obama actually launched last evening was Operation Blowback - Washington's stupidest military campaign yet.

 
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Obama's Broad Coalition Cracks - UK, Germany Won't Support Airstrikes In Syria





Well that didn't take long. After espousing his strategy last night of leading a broad coalition against ISIS, it appears President Obama's "allies" are backing away from the plan. As The WSJ reports, Germany and the U.K. on Thursday ruled out carrying out air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria. It appears the Europeans, realizing the ire that these actions will likely cause to Putin, are stepping back - "We haven't been asked, nor will we do it," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters and his U.K. counterpart Philip Hammond explicitly ruled out air strikes in Syria, after the U.K. parliament struck down such a move last year. So that leaves the French?

 
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Frontrunning: September 11





  • Obama orders U.S. airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State (Reuters)
  • Obama Relying on Mideast Allies to Counter Islamic State (BBG)
  • Scotland Nationalists Claim U.K. Oil in 40-Year Campaign (BBG)
  • Scottish Polls Embolden Catalans Pushing Rajoy for Vote (BBG)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland: RBS will leave Scotland if voters back independence (Guardian)
  • Most Hedge-Fund Managers Are Overpaid, Unigestion Says (BBG)
  • China Inflation Softens to Four-Month Low (WSJ)
  • Munger Hosts Groupies, Mocks Wall Street, Praises Buffett (BBG)
 
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President Obama Unveils The "It's Different This Time" ISIS Strategy - Live Feed





Previewing tonight’s televised prime-time address to the nation, The Onion reports that White House aides confirmed that President Obama will reassure Americans that the impending military campaign against ISIS will be the exact same type of open-ended, drawn-out conflict that they are used to. “The president’s message is clear: This will be just another one of our routine intractable engagements in the region - it’s going to be unending, it’s going to be expensive, and it’s going to affect our credibility within the international community. There will not be any surprises for folks to worry about.”

And in The President's own words, "But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

 
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Obama Tells Congress To Respect His Authority - Caption Contest





The White House says President Barack Obama has told congressional leaders he has the authority he needs to take the action against the Islamic State militants that he will outline Wednesday night, according to AP. Following the meeting, the White House said Obama still welcomes action by Congress that would "aid the overall effort" and demonstrate to the world that the United States is united in defeating the threat from the Islamic State. So that's that then... does he also have 'authority' to fund the $5bn (or more) he needs for this crusade?

 
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Frontrunning: September 8





  • Scotland split jitters send sterling to 10-month low (Reuters)
  • S&P 500 Beating World Most Since 1969 Doesn’t Spark Flows (BBG)
  • Happy ending guaranteed: Vietnam building deterrent against China in disputed seas with submarines (Reuters)
  • China Posts Record Surplus as Exports-Imports Diverge (Bloomberg)
  • Russia, U.S. to hold talks on 1987 arms accord (Reuters)
  • Halcon’s Wilson Drills More Debt Than Oil in Shale Bet (BBG)
  • Deadly Disappointment Awaits at Ebola Clinics Due to Lack of Space (WSJ)
  • Latinos furious at Obama on immigration delay, vow more pressure (Reuters)
  • Japan GDP Shrinks at Fastest Pace in More Than Five Years (WSJ)
 
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UK Spends $80 Million On Massive "Ring Of Steel" to 'Protect' Politicians At NATO Summit





Last week, many woke up to news that the UK had raised its terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe.” Considering the competence and trustworthiness of the nation’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, there must be some specific threat they’re concerned about to justify instilling fear in a population of 65 million. Nope. Although the new threat level rates the risk of an attack on the UK to “highly likely,” Home Secretary Theresa May stated that “there was no evidence to suggest one was imminent.” Well then. It makes you wonder if the the change in threat level is being used in part to justify the extraordinary $80 million sum spent on building a fortress around the Newport and Cardiff city centers in Wales, which many are describing as “similar to the Berlin Wall,” or a “zoo,” in an unprecedented display of protection for many of the world’s most corrupt politicians.

 
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Is This Why Obama Is Rushing To This Week's NATO Summit?





As is well-known, tomorrow, September 4, a NATO summit begins in Wales to discuss and coordinate the western response to ongoing "Russian intervention" in Ukraine (not to be confused by US intervention in Ukraine meant to remove an standing, democratically-elected president), a summit for which Barack Obama has demonstrated impressive enthusiasm following his blitz tour of Europe, a continent reeling on the edge of a recessionary abyss courtesy of the "costs" Obama has imposed on Germany Russia in the aftermath of the Victoria Nuland-instituted local Kiev government. Perhaps it has something to do with this...

 
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If You Like Your "Boots On The Ground", Here's Even More - Obama To Send 350 Troops To Iraq





Just hours after the beheading of a 2nd American journalist, The White House has issued a statement:

*U.S. TO SEND ABOUT 350 MILITARY PERSONNEL TO IRAQ: WHITE HOUSE
*WHITE HOUSE SAYS ADDITIONAL FORCES WON'T SERVE IN A COMBAT ROLE

With American non-combat, humanitarian, advisers now being dispersed to the four corners of the world for non-combat, humanitarian, advisory roles; one wonders how long it will be before someone asks President Obama just what these peace-keeping non-combat personnel will be doing in their role "to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad."

 
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