Bridges Versus Bombs?
- Pope Francis calls for action as Iraqi Christians forced to flee (Reuters)
- Richest Russians Deprived of Luxury Foods by Putin’s Ban (BBG)
- Exxon Drilling Russian Arctic Shows Sanction Lack Bite (BBG)
- Israeli Jets Strike Gaza Targets After Rockets Shatter Truce (BBG)
- U.S. starts aid airdrops in Iraq but no strikes yet (Reuters)
- Banks Said to Be Arranging Argentine Debt Buyer Group (BBG)
- Siberia Flight-Ban Threat Forces Airlines to Mull Options (BBG)
- Malaysia Airlines to Be Delisted in $429 Million Buyout (BBG)
- Erdogan poised to win Turkey's first popular presidential vote (Reuters)
- African Bank Fights Collapse in Espirito Santo-Like Drama (BBG)
- China to build lighthouses on five isles in defiance of U.S. call (Reuters)
In recent weeks, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, President Obama and congressional Republicans have begun to offer the same simple-sounding solution for dealing with the flood of children crossing the U.S. border alone: Send the kids home. But with tens of thousands of them churning through the system, some just toddlers, the logistics are overwhelming. Since October, more than 57,000 children have arrived by themselves, most from Central America (as we show below), and 22,000 more have been detained with their parents (mostly children under 12). The American people appears considerably more concerned than the politicians - a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 70% of Americans - including 86% of Republicans - believe undocumented immigrants threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs.
No insurance, no penalty appears to be Obamacare's new meme as The Wall Street Journal reports almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement. In the interests of socialism, the Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine (on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects). The exemptions are worrying insurers, as they could make it easier for younger, healthier people to forgo coverage, leaving the pools overly filled with old people or those with health problems. That, in turn, could cause premiums to rise.
Moments ago CNN blasted a headline stating that the US believes there is a new, post-Snowden leaker exposing national security. Why? The reason is the following article that was released a few hours ago by the Intercept, and which is an expose on yet another classified system called Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), in which we read: "The documents, obtained from a source in the intelligence community, also reveal that the Obama Administration has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the terrorist screening system. Since taking office, Obama has boosted the number of people on the no fly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000—surpassing the number of people barred from flying under George W. Bush." And there is Snowden 2.0.
Sadly for the central planners, while they succeeded in the first part of their plan, namely getting investors to flee from money market funds, they failed in getting the money to flow into the desired asset class: stocks. Instead, money market funds are rushing at an unprecedented pace into that other most hated by the Fed, after precious metals of course, asset: Treasurys. Most hated because declining yields disprove all the propaganda about an improving economy as they do, or at least did, imply deflation down the road: hardly the stuff robust 3%+ recoveries are made of.... But before we declare victory over central planning, don't forget that the "regulators", the Fed and the SEC, are already contemplating the next step: recall that as we reported in June, "the Fed is preparing to impose "exit fee" gates on bond funds, in what, the official narrative goes, is an attempt to prevent a panicked rush for the exits. Of course, this is diametrically opposite of what the truth is."
President Obama announced last week that he was imposing yet another round of sanctions on Russia, this time targeting financial, arms, and energy sectors. The European Union, as it has done each time, quickly followed suit. Even when the goals are clear, sanctions have a lousy track record. Sanctions are acts of war. These sanctions will most definitely have a negative effect on the US economy as well as the Russian economy. Why is “winning” Ukraine so important to Washington? Why are they risking a major war with Russia to deny people in Ukraine the right to self-determination? Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!
Last night, minutes before the most ineffectual Congress in US history took off for a well-deserved 5 week vacation, the republican-controlled House escalated the immigration duel with Obama, and passed what democrats called "mean-spirited" border legislation late Friday which as Politico reported was "full of political red meat for their conservative base, including revisions to a 2008 anti-trafficking law and more money for the National Guard." And just to make sure that immigration is a key divisive topic during the midterm elections, one which further splits the nation along predominantly ethnic lines, they also passed a bill to rein in Obama’s program to shield undocumented immigrants from deportations.
As long as people remain obsessed with false paradigms and faux enemies, the establishment's goal of complete centralized dominance will be predictably attainable. If we change our focus to the internationalists as the true danger instead of playing their game by their rules, then things will become far more interesting...
America Used COMMUNIST Torture Techniques SPECIALLY DESIGNED to Produce F·A·L·S·E Confessions
The minimum-wage-hiker-in-chief will not be happy this morning. Former Obama administration economist Alan Krueger has some choice words for the hope-filled living-wage seekers of America:
*KRUEGER SAYS WORKERS NEED TO 'RATCHET DOWN WAGE EXPECTATIONS'
Isn't it odd how quickly the views of ethical economists change once they have tenure and the shackles of government-servitude are removed. We don't remember hearing Krueger arguing that a 'fair' wage is a little much to expect in the current environment. It would appear Mr. Krueger should stop being cynical and just get hopey.
For reasons that have no rational explanations at this time, the US and Europe have embarked on a concerted program to demonize Putin, ostracize Russia, and bring the world as close to a major conflict as it's been since the Cold War, a time hardly memorable to many in the current crop of our elected officials. A dangerous dynamic is brewing between the West and Russia/Putin. We are seeing a rush to war very similar to the one that led up to Saddam's ouster, but this time, we have much less justification (hard to believe) and the opponent is tremendously more capable. There is little sense in the course the West is currently pursuing, little to gain, and much to lose. The main conclusion here is that not only is the US poking the bear, but it is doing so with increasing frequency and upping the ante dangerously with each step.
Revelations of US secret torture sites overseas and a new Senate investigation revealing widespread horrific CIA torture practices should finally lead to the abolishment of this agency. Far from keeping us safer, CIA covert actions across the globe have led to destruction of countries and societies and unprecedented resentment toward the United States. For our own safety, end the CIA!
With 1000s of illegal immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border every day (perhaps even more now some of the border has been washed away), the government quietly dumping them in Tennessee (among other places), and current (recently constructed border protection infrastructure already breaking down), it appears the American people are taking matters into their own hands. Photos showing dozens of members of militia groups on the U.S.-Mexico border carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear provide one of the first glimpses into the group's activities on the border. The groups, including Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Patriots, began recruiting and organizing more than a month ago and recent Facebook entries provide more color on their perspective: "You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, 'Get back across the border or you will be shot.' ...We are not worried about an 'International' incident."
As the topic of "unpatriotic" 'tax inversions' becomes a political issue, we thought it interesting to examine how big an economic issue it really is. How much income tax do U.S. companies actually pay every year to the Federal government? As ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, the simple answer is “Not much”, at least as compared to any other major source of revenue. In Fiscal 2013, Colas adds, the total was $274 billion, or just 9.9% of all tax and withholding receipts. Your political leanings will inform your opinion about whether that number is too high or too low, of course; but we point out that, as Reuters reports, a former international tax counsel at Treasury explains Obama could "slam dunk" dictate an end to 'tax inversions' without Congressional approval (by invoking a little known 1969 tax law)