Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey has, according to Politico, asked The National Defense University to establish an essay and research competition focused on the Middle East in honor of Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah. How very generous for America's top uniformed military leader to recognize such a leader of another nation... Though no details of the prize are available, we thought we would take a stab (figuratively) at an essay...
The more detached from reality American culture becomes the more strictly ceremonial leadership gets, as illustrated by the raft of bromides Barack Obama floated past the assembled vassalage of government last week in another grand effort to avoid the necessities of the moment. Those necessities include freeing a hostage public from the tyrannical clutches of corporate despotism — the evil empire of big boxes, big burgers, big pharma, Big Brother — and the atrocious rackets fostered by them that masquerade as an economy. The template of the life we have known is broken and the pieces within are flying apart, and no amount of wishing or promising can keep them going. If this society is even going to survive, the people have to smash their way out of this template prison, probably against the efforts of the people and organizations now running it merely for their own benefit.
Israel indicated earlier today that it has finally had it with Obama, with the above sequence of events culminated in what Haaretz described was a reciprocal snub of the "leader of the free world" by Israel's president Reuven Rivlin, who declined a White House invitation to meet with Obama during his upcoming US trip: After consultations, Rivlin finally declined the American suggestion. His advisers explained to the Americans that the two leaders’ schedules do not overlap, because Rivlin is expected to return to Israel before Obama gets back to Washington. “At this stage, it has been agreed not to hold a meeting during his visit, due to the schedule constraints of both leaders, and that a meeting would be scheduled at a later date,” the statement said.
The government’s health insurance website is quietly sending consumers’ personal data to private companies that specialize in advertising and analyzing Internet data for performance and marketing... but it's for your own good - The Obama administration says HealthCare.gov’s connections to data firms were intended to help improve the consumer experience.
- Saudi Arabia’s New King Probably Will Not Change Current Oil Policy (BBG)
- Saudi King’s Death Clouds Already Tense Relationship With U.S. (WSJ)
- Oil Pares Gains as New Saudi King Says Policies Stable (BBG)
- Kuroda Says BOJ to Mull Fresh Options in Case of More Easing (BBG)
- U.S. pulls more staff from Yemen embassy amid deepening crisis (Reuters)
- Putin Said to Shrink Inner Circle as Hawks Beat Billionaires (BBG)
- A Few Savvy Investors Had Swiss Central Bank Figured Out (WSJ)
History proves a government can’t be fiscally responsible and the policeman of the world. All great empires were befallen by the inability of resources to keep up with ambition. From Alexander the Great to Rome to the great British Empire, hegemony doesn’t last forever. The U.S. government guarantees security to over 35 countries and has troops stationed in over 146 countries. Does such an astounding presence – completely unmatched by previous empires – really sound all that sensible?
- Obama Targets Income Gap in Address That Shapes 2016 Election (BBG)
- Republicans Reject Obama’s Main Economic Proposals (WSJ)
- Senate’s Shelby Says White House Bank Tax Is Dead on Arrival (BBG)
- Is Dollar Next? Investors Reassess After Swiss Shock: Currencies (BBG)
- Bank of Japan Cuts Price Forecast, Maintains Record Stimulus (BBG)
- Pound Weakens After BOE Policy Makers Drop Call to Raise Rates (BBG)
- Putin not flinching on Ukraine despite economic crisis (Reuters)
- Indonesia will not make public full preliminary AirAsia crash report (Reuters)
- Party Hasn't Stopped for Russians at Davos Even With Ukraine Sanctions (BBG)
During his State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening, Barack Obama is going to promise to make life better for middle class families. Each January, he gets up there and tells us how the economy is “turning around” and to believe that much brighter days are right around the corner. And yet things just continue to get even worse for the middle class. The numbers that you are about to see will not be included in Obama’s State of the Union speech. They don’t fit the “narrative” that Obama is trying to sell to the American people. But all of these statistics are accurate. They paint a picture of a middle class that is dying.
"Why stand on formalities? Let's get the ball rolling right now," Mr. Obama said at a recent stop in Tennessee. In previous years, As Dow Jones reports, the content of the speech was a closely guarded secret, leaving reporters, politicians, lobbyists and interest groups scrambling for tidbits and gossip in the days and weeks leading up to the event. But this year, much of Mr. Obama's policy wish list and broad themes will be well-known when he walks onto the House floor next week. Here is what the president is widely expected to focus on in his address next week...
Once again the mainstream media peddled the spoon-fed propaganda that world leaders "led the march" to honor the victims of the Paris shootings last week. Glorious photo-ops of Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko, David Cameron (oh, and not Barack Obama) were smeared across front pages hailing the "unity in outrage." However, as appears to be the case in so many 'events' in the new normal managed thinking in which we live, The Independent reports, French TV has exposed the reality of the 'photo-op' seen-around-the-world: the 'dignitaries' were not in fact "at" the Paris rallies but had the photo taken on an empty guarded side street...
The “war on terror” is the best thing to happen to power hungry politicians since a fire of questionable origin destroyed the Reichstag building in Berlin on February 27, 1933. Not only does the “war on terror” represent big business for shady crony capitalists; it gives politicians, i.e., professional authoritarians, an excuse to destroy civil liberties and implement a total surveillance system to ensure the plebs don’t get out of line. This is not just an unfortunate trend that has developed organically due to a dangerous world, these are the goals of the oligarch class and they will do whatever it takes to achieve them.
The French are disarmed and utterly socialized. Millions of them march in Paris in a display of solidarity, but solidarity behind what solution? Even more government; the same government that created the problem in the first place? Even more centralization? The globalization of despotic security policies? The French have dug their grave, and now they are going to have to lie down in it. Americans do not have to follow the same path. We do not need more government. We do not need more surveillance, more police militarization or more troops on the streets. Make no mistake, many illusions are about to be shattered. You can be caught up in the storm as a helpless spectator and victim or you can become a barrier.
Do you know what an “extremist” is? In the wake of the horrible terror attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in France, Barack Obama is speaking very boldly about the need to win the war against “extremists”, and he has announced plans to host a major global summit on “extremism” next month. And on the surface that sounds great. But precisely how are we supposed to determine whether someone is an “extremist” or not? What criteria should we use?
It is that time of the year when the President of the United States delivers his annual "State Of The Union" address. Despite the nation's voting choice in November, President Obama's retooled message is, "The American resurgence is real... Don't let anybody tell you otherwise." The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President's new message? Before he takes to the podium with his bullish optimism, he might want to consider the following charts...
- Oil Drops Below $45; U.S. Stockpiles May Speed Collapse (BBG)
- Pound Drops as Traders Write Off Higher Rates on Inflation Slump (BBG)
- Oil prices down again as UAE defends holding production (Reuters)
- The Politics Behind the ECB's Threat to Cut Greece Funding (BBG)
- France dispatched thousands of police and military personnel to protect synagogues and Jewish schools, as the government warned of continued terror threats after three days of deadly violence (WSJ)
- Chinese Car Dealers Find Days of ‘Printing Money’ Ending (BBG)
- Gold Rises to Highest Since October as U.S. Rate Outlook Weighed (BBG)
- Divers retrieve crashed AirAsia jet's cockpit voice recorder (Reuters)