Obama Administration

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US Totalitarian State Wins After All: Obama Reinstates NDAA Military Detention Provision





Just over a week ago, we wrote of the challenge to Obama's NDAA totalitarian bill. Hope remained that Chris Hedges' view of the indefinite detention as "unforgivable, unconstitutional, and exceedingly dangerous" would bolster judgment. However, as Russia Today reports, a lone appeals judge bowed down to the Obama administration late Monday and reauthorized the White House's ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process. On Monday, the US Justice Department asked for an emergency stay on the previous Chris Hedges'-driven order, and hours later US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier agreed to intervene and place a hold on the injunction. The stay will remain in effect until at least September 28, when a three-judge appeals court panel is expected to begin addressing the issue. It would appear the total fascist takeover of Amerika is drawing nearer by the day.

 


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Frontrunning: September 17





  • Anti-Japan demonstrators protest in New York City (China Daily) ...and the propaganda: Younger generation feels wave of emotions (CD)
  • And the retaliation: Obama to launch auto trade case against China (Reuters)
  • Spanish Banks Bleeding Cash Cloud Bailout Debate (Bloomberg)
  • Chicago teachers extend strike (Reuters); Emanuel Promises He’ll Sue to End Chicago Teacher Strike (Bloomberg)
  • China hurts own credibility with Xi's vanishing act (Reuters)
  • European Squabbling on Euro Crisis Solution May Test Rally (Bloomberg)
  • Two South Africa mines reopen, most don't (Reuters)
  • Finance Industry Warns of ‘Cliff Effect’ in ECB’s Bond Plan (Bloomberg)
  • China struggles to cure the violent ills of health system (Reuters)
  • QE3 is for Main Street, except... it isn't: QE3 hit by mortgage processing delays (FT)
  • Probe focuses on JPMorgan's monitoring of suspect transactions (Reuters)
  • As explained here before: Spanish Bonds Decline as EU Policy Makers Clash on Bank Plan (Bloomberg)
 


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GM Loses Over $49,000 On Every Chevy Volt





Watching Phil LeBlow providing Ford with a reacharound this morning reminded us of the total farce that is both the forest and the trees of the US auto industry. We have discussed the FUBAR channel-stuffing and the subprime-lending SNAFU but now, as Reuters reports, we see the ugly truth about GM's little baby "the Volt is over-engineered and over-priced". Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds. Furthermore, there are some Americans paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce. Of course, with seemingly unlimited Government backing the hope can continue, funded by the US taxpayer, as GM's Volt development chief admits "It's true, we're not making money yet," but the Volt will "eventually will make money. As the volume comes up and we get into the Gen 2 car, we're going to turn (the losses) around." Estimates on the cost to build a Volt range from $76,000 to $88,000, according to four industry consultants contacted by Reuters with one concluding: "I don't see how General Motors will ever get its money back on that vehicle."

 


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Uncle CyberSam Prepares To Defend Your Internet For You





There was a time when the NSA would not know the content of this sentence minutes (or depending on the speed of typing, hours) ahead of our general readership. Those days are now gone, primarily thanks to the Patriot Act, which however merely accelerated the inevitable Orwellian destination to which American society was otherwise headed and which made constant "supervision" and "vigilance" of every US citizen a necessity (for some eyewatering details read We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State" - Big Brother Goes Live September 2013). There was, however, one aspect of society over which the US government did not have Chinese-type "firewall" supreme authority: the Internet. Now, as a result of an Executive Order being quietly drafted, the president of this once great country, together with the Department of Homeland Security formed in response to the events of September 11, is about to grasp supreme control over this last bastion of New Normal expression and content dissemination, naturally under the guise of protecting the people. Because as Bloomberg reports, President Obama’s administration is drafting an executive order that would create a program protecting vital computer networks from cyber attacks.

 


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Subprime Auto Nation





Have you heard the news? Auto sales are booming. Total sales for the month of August were 1,285,202 vehicles, according to Autodata Corp, the highest monthly sales figure for any August since 2007, when 1.47 million autos were sold in the United States. Year to date auto sales have totaled 9.7 million and are on track to reach 14.5 million. Between 2006 and 2007, auto sales ranged between 16 million and 18 million. They crashed below 10 million in 2009. The Keynesians running our government have pulled out all the stops to restart this engine of consumer spending. First they wasted $3 billion of taxpayer funds on the Cash for Clunkers debacle. Almost 700,000 perfectly good cars were destroyed in order to keep union workers happy.  This Keynesian brain fart distorted the used car market for two years, raising prices for cars needed by the working poor. After that miserable failure, they realized the true secret to selling vehicles is to give them away to anyone that can scratch an X on a loan document, with 0% interest for 60 months, financed by Federal government controlled banking interests. Add in some massive channel stuffing and presto!!! – You’ve got an auto sales boom.... This is America, land of the delusional and home of the vain. The appearance of success is more important than actual success.

 


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Guest Post: Does the Iranian Government Have A Right To A Nuclear Bomb?





The heightening tension between the United States government and Iran’s is based off of the fallacious notion that nuclear weapons have a legitimate purpose outside of killing enormous amounts of people.  Yet they have no other real purpose in the end.  Governments possess nuclear weaponry because there is little recourse for state-sanctioned murder.  The millions of innocent lives that stand to be vanquished off the face of the Earth have little meaning to the power-tripping political elite.  So while the Iranian government’s pursuance of nuclear weapons should be condemned, the United States government, the Israeli government, and others capable of waging nuclear war are in no place to criticize.

 


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Overnight Recap And Today's Key Events





Following a series of bad economic news (Eurozone unemployment, rising inflation, plunging retail sales in Germany, Spain and Greece) out of Europe, and the usual sound and fury out of the ECB signifying nothing (was there finally news that Weidmann and/or the Buba are endorsing anything Draghi is doing - instead of seeking to potentially quit his post leaving the ECB in limbo? No? Then stop flashing red headlines which are completely irrelevant), the EURUSD has decided to go on its usual countersensical stop hunt higher in hopes an algo or two will push it even higher on nothing but momentum, with has one purpose only: to allow the pair enough of a buffer so that when it does fall after the J-Hole disappointment, it has more room to drop. And as European newsflow fades into the periphery, everyone is once again focusing on Wyoming where Bernanke is now broadly expected to do absolutely nothing. What else are market participants focusing on? Here is the full ist courtesy of Bloomberg daybook.

 


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Frontrunning: August 29





  • Hurricane Isaac Whips Storm Surge on Path to New Orleans (Bloomberg)
  • Republicans Vow to Transform Obama’s U.S. With Low Tax, Freedom (Bloomberg)
  • Little-known Ryan to take center-stage at Republican convention (Reuters)
  • An $800 billion stimulus tempest in a teapot: China State Researcher: Local Govt Investment Plans Largely Symbolic (WSJ)
  • China Says Payment Delays, Defaults May Worsen (Dow Jones)
  • G-7 Countries Call for Increased Oil Output to Meet Demand (Bloomberg)
  • Creeping Socialism: Clegg calls for emergency tax on rich (FT)
  • United Airlines computer problem delays 200 flights (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Paulson, Investors Avoid Fireworks Despite Brutal Run (Bloomberg)
  • Occupy Sets Wall Street Tie-Up as Protesters Face Burnout (Bloomberg)
  • The nostalgic grass is always greener: Serbia Joblessness Swells as Milosevic-Era Leaders Return (Bloomberg)
 


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Obama Requests Europe Bail Out His Reelection





Color us unsurprised; but the UK's Independent is reporting that American officials are worried that if the Troika decides Greece has not done enough to meet its deficit targets, it will withhold the money - triggering Greece's exit from the eurozone weeks before the presidential election. British government sources have suggested the Obama administration is urging eurozone Governments to hold off from taking any drastic action before then - fearing the resulting market destabilization could damage President Obama's re-election prospects. The Troika are expected to report in time for an 8 October meeting of eurozone finance ministers which will decide on whether to disburse Greece's next EUR31bn aid tranche, promised under the terms of the bailout for the country. European leaders are thought to be sympathetic to the Obama lobbying, fearing that, under pressure from his party in Congress, Mitt Romney would be a more isolationist president than Mr Obama. So once again GRExit is assured economically; but it is an entirely political decision.

 


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Why In America It Pays To Be An Old, White, Widowed, Native-Born Female; Everyone Else Is Out Of Luck





As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future. These stark assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center "Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier" study and we present the only two charts that matter now.

 


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Guest Post: Venezuela Ramps up China Oil Exports Unsettling Washington





The biggest geostrategic change of the past decade overlooked by Washington policy wonks in their fixation on their self-proclaimed “war on terror” is that Latin America has been throwing off the shackles of the Monroe Doctrine. These ignored developments may well soon refocus Washington’s attention on the Southern Hemisphere, as Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez reorients his country’s to China. So, where does Washington go from here? If it wants to preserve its increasingly tenuous foothold in a nation with the world’s largest oil reserves, it might begin by engaging in some honest diplomacy.

 


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Frontrunning: August 23





  • Australian minister says resources boom is over (Reuters)
  • China dismisses reports of lost gold reserves (China Daily) - so China really did lose 80 tons of gold.
  • Inconceivable: Former JPM CEO and Chairman William B Harrison Jr come out "In Defense Of Big Banks"
  • Qantas Cancels 787 Order After Posting Annual Net Loss (Bloomberg)
  • EU Official Says Crisis is Eroding Influence (WSJ)
  • Greece Faces New Pressure on Cuts (WSJ)
  • Philippines' black market is China's golden connection (Reuters)
  • Hollande government responds to criticism (FT)
  • LG Display Starts Touch Screens Output Before New IPhone (Bloomberg)
  • Greek Crisis Evasion to Fore as Merkel Hosts Hollande in Berlin (Bloomberg)
  • Stakes rise as US warned of double-dip (FT)
  • Brazil’s Richest Woman Unmasked With $13 Billion Fortune (Bloomberg)
 


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