A case can be made that the Beltway – neocons and neoliberalcons alike - do not want a hot war with Russia. What they want, apart from racking in more cash for the Pentagon, is to raise the ante to such a high level that Moscow will back down - based on a rational cost analysis. Yet oil prices will inevitably rise later in 2016 – and under this scenario Washington is a loser. So we may see a raise of interest rates by the Fed (with all the money continuing to go to Wall Street) trying to reverse the scenario. Russia does not want – and does not need – war.. but The Aegis changes the game in the sense that it qualifies as a launch area for US missile defense.
Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. At the peak of their glory, the petro-states played an outsized role in world affairs. That, of course, was then, and this is now. While these countries still matter, what worries these presidents and prime ministers now is the growing likelihood of civil violence or even state collapse.
U.S. foreign policy is such a disastrous joke, trying to keep up with it is essentially a full time job. In case you still had any doubt as to why ISIS and other assorted terrorists seemed virtually unstoppable in Syria until Russia became involved, the following piece should clear things up.
Today’s presidential hopefuls must jump through a series of hoops aimed at selecting the candidates best suited to serve the interests of the American police state. Candidates who are anti-war, anti-militarization, anti-Big Money, pro-Constitution, pro-individual freedom and unabashed advocates for the citizenry need not apply. The carefully crafted spectacle of the presidential election with its nail-biting primaries, mud-slinging debates, caucuses, super-delegates, popular votes and electoral colleges has become a fool-proof exercise in how to persuade a gullible citizenry into believing that their votes matter. Yet no matter how many Americans go to the polls on November 8, “we the people” will not be selecting the nation’s next president.
Poorer oil-producing countries which took out loans to be repaid in oil when the price was higher are having to send three times as much to respect repayment schedules now prices have fallen. But while these already poor and corrupt OPEC nations were the biggest losers, one country was a huge winner, the country that provided the billions in virtually risk-free, oil-collateralized loans to any country that requested them. China.
In what has turned into a never-ending saga, we learned yesterday of the acquittal of one of the Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest of Freddie Gray. As The New York Times reported: “Officer Edward M.
- Asian stocks near 11-week lows, dollar bounces on Fed rate view (Reuters)
- Poll Finds Lack of Enthusiasm for Clinton and Trump (WSJ)
- Oil falls for fifth day as focus returns to growing exports (Reuters)
- The Hedge Fund That Couldn't Stay Open Long Enough for a Big Payday (BBG)
- French police break up refinery blockade in anti-reform showdown (Reuters)
An EU plan that would extend visa-free travel privileges to Turkey as of July 1 will be delayed over worries Ankara won't meet the key conditions on time. Deutsche Welle adds that "Chancellor Angela Merkel is in no mood to budge" in what is the first actual indication of resistance by the German to the increasingly more whimsical demands by the Turkish president.
Six months ago we explained why the neocons hate Donald Trump and with his meteroric rise that dislike has only grown stronger and more desperate (and we suspect Trump's view of the hawkish warmongers has risen right alongside it). In fact, as The Hill reports, the rise of Donald Trump is threatening the power of neoconservatives, who find themselves at risk of being marginalized in the Republican Party. Whereas neoconservatism advocates spreading American ideals through the use of military force, Trump has made the case for nationalism and a smaller U.S. military footprint. Trump, for all his contradictions, gives voice to the “isolationist” populism that neocon confederates despise, and which is implanted so deeply in the American consciousness. Why us? Why are we paying everybody’s bills? Why are we fighting everybody else’s wars? It’s a bad deal! And that is why neocons hate The Donald.
Not only does Hillary Clinton insist that social security benefits are sacrosanct and actually need to be increased, along with lowering the Medicare age to 50 years, she also insists that Washington remain the world’s policeman and imperial hegemon. In a word, a Clinton presidency would mean Big Government on both sides of the Potomac - a combined Warfare State and Welfare State that would positively bankrupt the nation during the next decade.
"We created chaos. We abandoned that chaos... We created ISIS!"
At a time when large numbers of Americans say they are fed up with politics and politicians, why is it that the nation’s chief politician, President Obama, seems to skate above it unscathed? Reporters who criticize or dig too deep are cast by the administration as spoilsports or, worse, cut off from sources. With Donald Trump now the media obsession—and most in the media don’t like him—it is easy to see why Mr. Obama’s performance over the past seven-plus years is still not a major issue in the 2016 campaign. And that’s the way he likes it.
Following two days of searching, Egyptian crews have located the data recorders for EgyptAir Flight 804 close to an area where human remains and debris from the crashed flight have been found, CBS News reports citing government sources. Also on Saturday morning, the Egyptian military posted new photos of debris on its spokesman's Facebook page. They included what appeared to be parts of a seat, a lifejacket and what looks to be a pink and purple children's blanket.
There are 2.3 million Americans in prison or jail. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of its prisoners. One in three black men can expect to spend time in prison. There are 2.7 million minors with an incarcerated parent. The imprisonment rate has grown by more than 400 percent since 1970, and that increased incarceration has had a very limited effect on crime over the past two and a half decades. So... with that in mind, here is a little more crazy to end the week from Senator Tom Cotton...
Refugees have little or no respite today in the world and that’s a telling tale of the type of world that we have created around us.