The always shady Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving to fast track an Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) for the President that would allow for unrestricted warfare against ISIS. There would be no time or geographic restrictions on this authorization. Rather than being a favor to President Obama, this is primarily a means to ensure that whoever takes control in 2017 receives a blank check for unrestrained militarism with no expiration date. This is terrifying.
Given that self-regulation worked so well in the financial services industry, The United Nations, according to AP, has decided to allow Iran to use its own inspectors to investigate a site accused of being used to develop nuclear bombs. While the Obama administration was "confident in the agency's technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran's former program," John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said of the 'secret agreement' - since The UN normally does this work itself - "trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless."
Having unveiled his non-boots-on-the-ground strategy in September, President Obama's "promise" was quickly proved fragile when General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, indicated to the House of Representatives armed services committee that the strength of ISIS relative to the Iraqi army may be such that he would recommend abandoning Obama’s oft-repeated pledge against returning US ground troops to combat in Iraq. It seems another promise is about to be broken as Bloomberg reports Senator John Cornyn said President Obama told congressional leaders during meeting today at White House he would seek authorization for military force on Islamic State. Boehner’s office, in separate statement after meeting, said Republicans would work with him to build support.
While everyone knows Obama's position and stance on everything which is either his way or the potholeway, here is how the other side sees Obama's inability to lead, i.e., reach a consensus. As The Hill reported, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) blasted President Obama for killing a bipartisan tax deal. “The president seems to be positively allergic to compromise and good faith negotiations,” Cornyn said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “His actions are dividing the country.”
In just 800 words Pat Buchanan exposes the sheer juvenile delinquency embodied in Washington’s current Ukrainian fiasco.
What motivates Putin seems simple and understandable. He wants the respect due a world power. He sees himself as protector of the Russians left behind in his “near abroad.” He relishes playing Big Power politics. History is full of such men. But what motivates those on our side who seek every opportunity to restart the Cold War? Is it not a desperate desire to appear once again Churchillian, once again heroic, once again relevant, as they saw themselves in the Cold War that ended so long ago? Who is the real problem here?
It has been a mixed overnight session, following data out of China first showing that any hopes of ongoing PBOC tapering are dead and buried, following the June report showing money and loan creation (1.08 trillion Yuan up from 871 billion in May and above the 980 billion expected) in China soared, slamming expectations and indicating that Beijing is once again set on masking slowing growth with a surge in money creation. Should the Chinese not so secret any more money laundering channel be plugged this means local inflation may be set to surge in the coming months. More worrying was the release of a big drop in the German ZEW Survey expectations print at 27.1, down from 29.8 and below the expected 28.2. The low print has prompted several banks to warn that Europe's growth spurt has finally ended and there may be substantial downside surprises ahead, and certainly even more cuts to the IMF "forecast" for European growth. Finally, the Portuguese situation may be out of sight, but it is certainly not out of mind as the stock of BES continues to tumble and now the contagion has finally moved over to Espirito Santo Financial Group whose shares dropped to the lowest since 1993. Keep a close eye on this "not so lonely" cockroach.
Well over a week after the disappearance of flight MH370 - which now is the longest official disappearance of a modern jet in aviation history - with no official trace of the missing plane yet revealed, the investigation, which as we reported over the weekend has focused on the pilots and specifically on Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, earlier today revealed that on his home-made flight simulator had been loaded five Indian Ocean practice runways, among which those of Male in the Maldives, that of the US owned base at Sergio Garcia, as well as other runways in India and Sri Lanka - all notable runways as all are possible landing spots based on the flight's potential trajectories. The Malay Mail Online reported, "The simulation programmes are based on runways at the Male International Airport in Maldives, an airport owned by the United States (Diego Garcia), and three other runways in India and Sri Lanka, all have runway lengths of 1,000 metres."
Frustrated by constant republican opposition to pass Obama candidate nominations, Harry Reid may finally invoke the "nuclear option" and end the GOP's ability to filibuster nominees. Politico reports that this may take place as soon as today. Politico reports: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may move toward a historic change in the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster on most nominations as soon as Thursday, according to senior Democratic aides. Reid is strongly considering calling up one in a group of blocked nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for another round of votes, furious that Republicans have thwarted the nominations of Robert Wilkins, Nina Pillard and Patricia Millette. If a second go-round fails on that judicial pick, Reid would likely unilaterally move to change the rules of the Senate by a majority vote — the “nuclear option,” Senate sources said." This is not the first time Reid has threatened to go nuclear: "Privately, Senate Democratic leaders insist they prefer confirmation of Obama’s nominees rather than a rules change. And lawmakers have been at this point before." However, it appears that this time he means business.
Of course, equity markets can only hear one thing (for fear of the consideration of Plan B) but as The Washington Post notes, the Senate Republicans can't agree on how their meeting with Obama went.
- Good - Sen. Bon Corker: "I was pleasantly surprised, I think there's a gelling that's beginning to take place."
- Bad - Sen. Susan Collins: "I don't want to give the impress that he endorsed it, but he indicated there were 'elements' with which he agreed."
- Ugly - Sen John Cornyn: "...what could have been a productive conversation was instead another predictable lecture from the President that did not lay out a new path forward."
Summing it all up (and mixing metaphors) - it's a Goldilocks meeting for stocks.
We’d like to say that the following is unbelievable, but it’s not. Unfortunately, it is all too believable.
Spoiler Alert: They’re mostly still in office (so much for building suspense).
On October 3, 2008, 338 elected officials (263 House reps, 74 Senators and 1 President) took it upon themselves to save America from certain financial doom by passing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, completely ignoring the will of the American people, opting instead to fulfill a Thomas Jefferson prophesy:
“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
What's Happening with the web Censorship Bills?