It was a good weekend for the friends and family of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl: after five years of being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan, on Saturday morning it was reported that the 28-year-old native of Hailey, Idaho was finally freed. In exchange for his freedom, the US agreed to also set free five Taliban militants held at Guantanamo. In other words, this was a pre-negotiated settlement or, stated otherwise, a negotiation. Adding fuel to the fire is the realization that Obama was transacting largely alone: instead of abiding by a legal requirement to give Congress advance notice when prisoners are released from the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Obama once again took unilateral action. Actually it wasn't completely unilateral: it was revealed that the deal was bartered by America's new middle east BFFs (courtesy of the false flagged Syria conflict): officials from Qatar who agreed to keep the detainees in their country for a year.
And then the media circus took over.
There was much said in last week's primetime interview between Edward Snowden and NBC's Brian Williams. But perhaps more interesting than what was said in the one hour time-slot, was what was contained in the three extra hours of conversations that were not broadcast, such as Snowden's questioning of the American intelligence community’s inability to stop the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One such segment, as transcribed by RT, involves the former NSA contractor's response to a question from Williams on how to prevent further attacks from Al Qaeda and other "non-traditional enemies" in which Snowden suggested that United States had the proper intelligence ahead of 9/11 but failed to act.
“Pervasive, Pre-Criminal Surveillance Where the Government Wants To Watch What You’re Doing Just to See What You’re Up To ..."Submitted by George Washington on 05/30/2014 13:49 -0400
This evening's interview between Edward Snowden and NBC's Brian Williams is already stirring up controversy. In one excerpt, Snowden blames the State Department for "stranding him" in Russia, saying he "never intended" to wind up there. John Kerry has been quick to react to this "For a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, frankly," Kerry said. "If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we'll have him on a flight today." In an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC, Kerry called Snowden a "coward" and a "traitor," adding that "he should man up and come back to the United States," the secretary of state said. There is a live special at 11ET (below) after the televised interview.
Have you ever given food to a homeless person? Well, if you do it again in the future it might be a criminal act depending on where you live. Right now, there are dozens of major U.S. cities that have already passed laws against feeding the homeless.
The stock markets are booming, the economy is booming, and the main stream media is booming with stories about both. Yet, as IceCap Asset Management's Keith Dicker warns, if one looked closely between all of this booming, one would find that everything isn’t quite booming after all.
Just 3 days short of the one year anniversary of Lois Lerner refusal to testify about the IRS' improper targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, House Republicans have voted to hold her in contempt of Congress, and
- *HOUSE VOTES TO ASK FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE IRS
As NBC reports, In a partisan 231-187 vote, the House passed the contempt resolution, sending the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. However, as The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) repidly noted, "Unfortunately, we don't expect the Attorney General to move forward with this case, he has put politics above the enforcement of the law on numerous occasions and unfortunately that is likely to occur again."
At this point it is clear that Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 which has been missing for two months will almost certainly never be found: whether due to the nature of the disappearance, or because it is a cover up stretching all the way to the very top (recall that it was disclosed by none other than NBC that the released air traffic control recording with the plane was edited, suggesting that the government itself is complicit in whatever happened), the plane will forever be entombed in the annals of history, alongside CNN's Nielsen ratings, and its final resting place will remain a mystery. However, over the past 24 hours, another mystery surrounding the final voyage of flight MH-370 has emerged, one which this time involves the plane's cargo.
One of the more peculiar news from last week was the grounding of all flights for several hours at several airports in the Southwestern United States and the grounding of planes bound for the region from other parts of the country. As so often happens when there is no specific reason at the time, the error was blamed on a computer "glitch" - the computer problem at a Federal Aviation Administration center slowed the journeys of tens of thousands of arriving and departing passengers at LAX. And that would have been all we heard of it had it not been for some additional digging by NBC which on Saturday, citing unnamed sources, reported a U-2, a Cold War-era spy plane still in use by the U.S. military, "passed through air space monitored by the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center and appears to have overloaded a computer system at the center."
As if there wasn't enough news for the market to ignore, here is another. NBC reports that a subway train has derailed in Queens, the MTA says. FDNY was responding to the Broadway and 65th Street area in Woodside, and reported heavy smoke conditions. Authorities say the train that derailed is a Manhattan-bound F train on the express track. The MTA could not immediately say how many wheels derailed. Riders should expect delays on the E, R, F and M lines.
- Ukraine attacks rebel city, helicopter shot down (Reuters)
- Euro Unemployment Holds Near Record Amid Factory Gains (BBG)
- Yellen’s Fed Resigned to Diminished Growth Expectations (BBG)
- Junket Figure's Disappearance Shakes Macau's Gambling Industry (WSJ)
- China tried to undermine economic report showing its ascendancy (WSJ)
- Liquidity Trap Hitting AAA Bonds Has ATP CEO Sounding Alarm (BBG)
- AstraZeneca Snubs Pfizer Approach That U.K. Won’t Block (BBG)
- Missing Jet Recordings May Have Been 'Edited' (NBC)
- RBS turns corner as first-quarter profit trebles (Reuters)
- Japan household spending hits four-decade high, wages key to outlook (RTRS) while Real Incomes Drop 3.3% in March, 6th straight decline
Polls: Americans Are Sick of the War On Terror, War On Drugs ... And All of the Other Failed U.S. WarsSubmitted by George Washington on 05/01/2014 20:42 -0400
"Americans In Large Numbers Want the U.S. to Reduce Its Role In World Affairs Even As a Showdown with Russia Over Ukraine Preoccupies Washington …."
- Headline of the day goes to... Cold weather seen temporarily slowing U.S. economy (Reuters)
- Americans Want to Pull Back From World Stage, Poll Finds (WSJ)
- U.S. Plans to Charge BNP Over Sanctions (WSJ)
- What about Jay Carney: Putin Threat to Retaliate for Sanctions Carries Risks (BBG)
- Fed expected to take further step toward ending bond buying (Reuters)
- A Fed-Watcher’s Guide to FOMC Day: Steady Taper, Green Shoots (BBG)
- Alstom accepts 10 billion euro GE bid for its energy unit (Reuters)
- BOJ projects inflation exceeding 2 percent, keeps bullish view intact (Reuters)
If the economy really is "getting better", then why are nearly 50 million Americans dealing with food insecurity? In 1854, Henry David Thoreau observed that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation". The same could be said of our time. In America today, most people are quietly scratching and clawing their way from month to month. Nine of the top ten occupations in the U.S. pay an average wage of less than $35,000 a year, but those that actually are working are better off than the millions upon millions of Americans that can't find jobs. The level of employment in this nation has remained fairly level since the end of the last recession, and median household income has gone down for five years in a row. Meanwhile, our bills just keep going up and the cost of food is starting to rise at a very frightening pace. Family budgets are being squeezed tighter and tighter, and more families are falling out of the middle class every single day. In fact, a new report by Feeding America (which operates the largest network of food banks in the country) says that 49 million Americans are "food insecure" at this point. Approximately 16 million of them are children. It is a silent epidemic of hunger that those living in the wealthy areas of the country don't hear much about. But it is very real.