New York Times

'Public Servants' - Who Is Serving Whom?

For the sake of argument, let’s just say we need government employees for maintenance of fisheries, mail delivery, and invading Middle Eastern countries. Fine. Can we at least dispense with the misnomer public servant? A servant who makes more money than those “served” (by threat of force), provides subpar service, takes away jobs, and is immune to firing cannot be accurately titled servant.

Is Online Free Speech Under Attack?

Regulators in Washington are showing increasing interest in tightening rules on political speech on the web, arguing that the dissonant voices enabled by "new media" have become too influential. If that effort is successful, experts wonder whether it could impact more traditional media as well, especially in how it relates to conservatives.

Facebook Workers Admit They "Routinely" Suppressed Conservative News

"We as a company are neutral - we have not and will not use our products in a way that attempts to influence how people vote." That is a quote from a Facebook spokesperson given in response to a leaked internal poll which asked what responsiblity Facebook had in preventing Donald Trump from becoming the next president. In light of the fact that a former employee is now admitting Facebook routinely suppresses conservative news stories from its trending news section, we're curious if that same response will be used.

US Futures, Europe Stocks Jump On Oil, USDJPY Surge; Ignore Poor China Data, Iron Ore Plunge

The overnight session has been one of alternative weakness and strength: it started in China where stocks tumbled 2.8% to a two month low following some unexpected warnings in the official People's Daily newspaper and poor trade data. Concerns about China, however, were promptly forgotten and certainly not enough to keep global assets lower, with European stocks gapping higher at the open and rallying from a one-month low, driven by a "surprising" surge in the USDJPY which has moved nearly 200 pips higher since its post-payrolls low. Another driver is the jump in oil, which rallied just shy of $46 a barrel, buoyed by Canadian wildfires that are curbing production and speculation that the Saudi Arabian oil minister succession will be bullish for oil prices.

Army Captain Sues President Obama Over Illegal And Unconstitutional War On ISIS

An Army captain filed suit against President Obama on Wednesday, claiming that the president is engaged in an “illegal war” against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Nathan Michael Smith, who is deployed to Kuwait as an intelligence officer at Camp Arifjan, argues in the lawsuit that the president lacks the proper authorization for his campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, because he failed to get congressional authorization under the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

RNC Tells Staff To Resign By "End Of Week" If Unable To Support Trump

Spawning a hurricane of controversy this week, the New York Times claimed, “the question of whether to embrace Mr. Trump is not merely an intellectual exercise. Some staff members at the Republican National Committee were told Wednesday that if they were unable to get behind the nominee, they should leave by the end of the week.But the RNC quickly shot down the claim, with Communications Director and Chief Strategist Sean Spicer responding on Twitter, simply, “100% not true.” As with any explosive claim, undercurrents and nuance - and outright differing perspectives - often create staunch disagreements on the veracity of a story.

President Obama Explains What The "Fiction-Peddling" BLS Got Wrong - Live Feed

Grab your popcorn. Having proclaimed his greatest achievement during his presidency as "saving the world from another Great Depression," we wonder what President Obama will have to say today when he discusses the economy. Following the decline in corporate profits, a manufacturing sector in recession, an auto industry which is shuttering production, minimum wage state job losses rising, and an equity market that is unable to make new highs, what cynical, skeptical, "fiction-peddlers" will he blame today's dismal jobs data on?

From 'Mad Dog' Mattis To New Mexico's Martinez - Donald Trump's Top 10 'Veep' Contenders

The race for The White House appears to have taken a backseat for a news cycle as the Republican "veepstakes" gets underway. Donald Trump said this morning that he would prefer a running mate with government experience to "help with pushing legislation through," adding that he puts a 40% chance that a former rival in the Republican race would get the nod. As The Hill reports, picking a VP could be a difficult undertaking, as some potential candidates might be hesitant to hitch their political future to a polarizing figure like Trump, but there will be plenty willing to roll the dice and join his historic outsider campaign.

Futures Rebound As Crude Regains $45 On Canada Fears; Turkey Hammered

While markets remain relatively subdued ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report, after several days of losses in US stocks which pushed the S&P500 to three week lows, overnight markets ignored the latest weak data out of China where the Caixin Services PMI was the latest indicator to disappoint (dropping from 52.2 to 51.8), and instead focused on crude, which rebounded from yesterday's post inventory-build lows and briefly printed above $45/bbl over uncertainty related to the impact of Canada wildfires on production and how long will last. The bounce in WTI has meant Brent briefly traded at parity with West Texas for the first time in 6 weeks. 

Why The Obamacare Gold Rush Is Bankrupting America

Our health care system is going to implode under its own weight. National Health Expenditures are approaching 20 percent of gross domestic product — a figure that is expected to about double over the next half century. Obamacare didn’t start the process, but it’s expediting the end. Obamacare did not reform health care system; it merely transformed it to subsidize favored constituents. To pay for all this price gouging, employers are being forced to offer benefits that many workers themselves cannot afford or absorb in lower take home pay.

Obama Admits Couldn't "Convince Americans Of Recovery", Bashes 'The Big Short'

Despite his proclamation that he "saved the world from a Great Depression," the fact is that Obama will be the first President ever to not see a single year of 3% GDP growth - but only cynical fiction-peddlers would mention facts at a time like this. In yet more legacy-defending narrative, Obama told The NYTimes today that his biggest failure was being unable to sell his success in putting the American economy back on track to the American people (no matter the actual realities) careful to blame Republicans for slowing growth "by a percentage point or two." And then in a final affront to fact, Obama dismisses the conclusion of "The Big Short" proclaiming that he reined in Wall Street, overhauled the banking system, and made water from wine "the financial system substantially more stable."

The Enabler & The Lifeline: Diamond Resorts & Quorum FCU

Diamond has a good thing going with Quorum: they get access to ample credit, especially for those applicants with weaker credit profiles. From a Diamond investor's perspective, it would be a shame if anything changed. The post credit-crisis strategy of focusing on esoteric lending opportunities like VOI (as well as taxi medallions, hearing aids and fertility treatments) to generate revenues and membership has run into both a broader slowdown in the consumer credit cycle as well as more specific problems, like an increasingly worried regulator.