"This is why Putin is Public Enemy Number 1. It’s because he’s blocking the US pivot to Asia, strengthening anti-Washington coalitions, sabotaging US foreign policy objectives in the Middle East, creating institutions that rival the IMF and World Bank, transacting massive energy deals with critical US allies, increasing membership in an integrated, single-market Eurasian Economic Union, and attacking the structural foundation upon which the entire US empire rests, the dollar." Up to now, of course, Russia, Iran and Venezuela have taken the biggest hit from low oil prices; but what the Obama administration should be worried about is the second-order effects that will eventually show up...
Why would the government want to punish people that are just trying to work hard, become more self-sufficient and take care of their families? If you use alternative methods to heat your home, or if you are not connected to the utility grid, or if you collect rainwater on your property, or if you believe that parents should have the ultimate say when it comes to health decisions for their children, you could become a target for overzealous government enforcers.
Top Russian, American and Polish Leaders Warn that Continued Fighting In Ukraine Could Lead to Nuclear WarSubmitted by George Washington on 01/09/2015 18:54 -0500
The Stakes Are Too High NOT to Negotiate Peace
Venezuela has a massive population and tremendous natural resources... and yet, the place is a real mess. Years of mismanagement and utopian socialist policies mean that the country is facing shortages of basic necessities such as food and toilet paper. You have to imagine that when a place is in such turmoil, significant regime change isn’t far off. In fact, this year’s parliamentary elections will be an important indicator of what will happen in Venezuela. Peacefully or not, things in Venezuela simply have to change. The country is reaching its day of reckoning.
Today's WTF moment of the day comes courtesy of The Daily Signal, in which we read that while speaking at his first press conference since being narrowly reelected as House speaker after some 24 republicans defected, the Ohio Republican argued he is the "most anti-establishment speaker we’ve ever had." Actually... no. And here's why...
The 114th Congress formally convened yesterday. In what follows, Goldman Sachs presents its views on some of the central questions regarding the political and policy outlook for the coming year. In general, Goldman expects most of the deadlines Congress faces over the coming year to result in only limited uncertainty, though the debt limit increase that will be necessary later in 2015 is the main potential exception. Additionally, they expect legislation to "audit" Fed monetary policy decisions is likely to pass the House again in 2015, but enactment looks less likely.
Yesterday, to much fanfare, the White House blasted that it was Obama's desire to appoint Allan R. Landon, a Hawaiian community banker, to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. To wit: "President Obama said, “Allan Landon has the proven experience, judgment and deep knowledge of the financial system to serve at the Federal Reserve during this important time for our economy. He brings decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, particularly as a community banker.” Apparently what he also brings as Bloomberg's Dawn Kopecki reminds us, is the usual near-criminal cronyism and corruption that we have all grown to love and expect from every single Fed governor in recent history. It turns out in 2005 Landon agreed to step down as SFHLB board member due to the "appearance of impropriety" when he "failed to comply with a rule requiring the disclosure of conflicts of interest by a director."
The surreal nature of this world as we enter 2015 feels like being trapped in a Fellini movie. The .1% party like it’s 1999, central bankers not only don’t take away the punch bowl – they spike it with 200% grain alcohol, the purveyors of propaganda in the mainstream media encourage the party to reach Caligula orgy levels, the captured political class and their government apparatchiks propagate manipulated and massaged economic data to convince the masses their standard of living isn’t really deteriorating, and the entire façade is supposedly validated by all-time highs in the stock market. It’s nothing but mass delusion perpetuated by the issuance of prodigious amounts of debt by central bankers around the globe. But now, the year of consequences may have finally arrived.
"Some folks are selling stocks..." and, according to The White House, President Obama is closely monitoring it. As The Hill reports, despite the meme that lower-oil-prices-are-unequivocally-good-news-for-Americans, the Obama administration is monitoring whether the fall in oil prices is affecting the US stock market. Just over 5 years ago, President Obama explained to the American public that "profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal," so we can rest assured that our leaders are (for now) "hesitant" to say whether the fall of the stock market, which came as crude oil trades briefly dipped below $50, was related to oil prices.. so blamed Europe.
Just over 4 months ago, the US was furious as the "mysterious" bloc launching bombing raids on Libya was identified as consisting of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt. This weekend saw another "mysterious" bombing raid, but as AP reports, this time it was not on Libya directly but on a Greek-owned tanker ship at the eastern Libyan port of Darna (killing 2 sailors). The Greeks have strongly condemned this "unprovoked and cowardly" act and are taking all necessary steps to identify and punish the perpetrators. One can't help but wonder, if the Saudi/UAE bloc is doing everything in its power to eliminate all competition: from Russia to Venezuela to US shale; why not anyone transacting with a bunch of Libyan terrorists?
2014 may go down as the year when gold and silver conspiracy “theories” became conspiracy “facts” as banks globally were found to have conspired to rig the prices of gold, silver, currency and many other markets.
It’s high time for a new model and for new people. But the old ones, and their utterly and dramatically failed economies, hold the power, the media, the money, everything. So what other way out is there but mass fighting, mass casualties, a complete overthrow of everything that exists today, probably nuclear bombs dropping, and in the end a world none of us would recognize, let alone be able to survive in? It’ll take a while yet to get there, and it won’t be a pretty while by any stretch of the imagination. The powers that be are not done yet pretending to rule the universe and playing God. We should kick ‘em all out today, but we won’t. Because we’re all too much like them.
Fasten your seatbelts; 2015 will be a whirlwind pitting China, Russia and Iran against what I have described as the Empire of Chaos.
The Agency Which DID the Torture Says It Doesn’t Work
However desirable it may be to protect the Earth from the dire consequences of a runaway climate the chances that the world will agree to cut its emissions quickly enough to stay below the 2C threshold are somewhere between zip, zilch and zero. (There’s also the question of whether cuts of the magnitude necessary would be politically, economically and technologically achievable if the world does agree, but we’ll leave it aside here.) Now imagine that you are one of the prominent politicians – Obama, Kerry, Merkel, Ban Ki-moon, Hollande, Cameron, Davey, whoever – who have publicly and repeatedly stated that climate change is the greatest threat facing the world, that the world is in serious trouble if nothing is done to stop it but that a solution is still within our reach. What do you tell people when next year’s make-or-break Paris climate talks show that it isn’t?