Mainstream media business 'entertainment' appears to have been taken over by the #IceBucketChallenge, as they name-drop from CEO to CEO in the interests of ratings (as opposed to raising money for ALS). However, things took a much more serious turn today as not only did Alan Greenspan show us how he 'cools off' the economy but actor Vin Diesel issued the ultimate challenge to none other than Michelle Obama and Vladimir Putin...
Having been forced to face up to the tense realities of 'leading the free world', President Obama's early return to Washington from his vacation likely means something of note is coming. With Iraq now transitioning from a humanitarian crisis to helping a troubled nation, it seems the advisers 'boots' that are not on the ground around the Mosul Dam are very much on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri. The deployment of the National Guard in Ferguson was not run by the White House PR department and so it will be intriguing to see whether Obama backs it or questions it... Of course, as the signs show below, the people of Ferguson want to know when he will visit...
The Missouri Governor Jay Nixon gave "no heads up" to the White House before deploying The National Guard and has now made another abrupt decision as The National Guard closes in on Ferguson:
*NIXON'S CALL TO HALT CURFEW TONIGHT MADE IN E-MAILED STATEMENT
We presume when there are military tanks rolling through the streets of a town, there is no need for the actual implementation of a curfew... This once again rubs the administration's nose in it as AG Holder's comments from last week hang in the air: "get those damned tanks out of there."
Following a summit in Brussels, a senior NATO diplomat proudly proclaimed that 'allies' have pledged more spending and will beef up its presence in Eastern Europe. However, likely to the chagrin of President Obama (and the West's narrative), he let slip some uncomfortable truths:
- *NATO DIPLOMAT SAYS PUTIN HOLDS TACTIAL SHORT-TERM CARDS (hhmm, ok)
- *NATO DIPLOMAT SAYS LONG-TERM GEOPOLITICAL TRENDS FAVOR THE WEST (phew...)
- *NATO DIPLOMAT SAYS PUTIN WON'T BE AROUND FOREVER (threat or warning?)
So, all the west has to do is be patient? Wait out Putin? We suspect that 'strategy' may get accelerated at some point.
The humanitarian situation was cynically manipulated by the Obama administration -- and echoed by the US media -- to provide a reason for the president to attack Iraq again. This time it was about yet another regime change, breaking Kurdistan away from Iraq and protection of the rich oil reserves there, and acceptance of a new US military presence on the ground in the country. President Obama has started another war in Iraq and Congress is completely silent. No declaration, no authorization, not even a debate. After 24 years we are back where we started. Isn’t it about time to re-think this failed interventionist policy? Isn’t it time to stop trusting the government and its war propaganda? Isn’t it time to leave Iraq alone?
The current US air strikes in Iraq are unlikely to have a significant impact on defense spending or oil prices, Goldman Sachs writes, unless the scale of the conflict changes considerably. Evidence from past US conflicts that were similar in scale also suggests little impact on confidence and at most mixed evidence of a flight-to-safety effect in financial markets. The exchange of sanctions with Russia - a relatively minor US trading partner - is also likely to have only a modest impact on the US economy. Of course, Goldman caveats, both situations are highly unpredictable; as they expect little reaction to recent events from Fed officials, who have generally not discussed conflicts of this magnitude unless accompanied by other economic concerns, such as a large rise in oil prices.
Earlier we joked that "it is rumored, although unlikely, that a city devolving into a state of emergency and actual curfew, will be enough for the president to take a break from his golf game and make a teleprompted statement later today." Just a few short hours later, in a stunning development and in what may well be a first for the president, Obama announced he planned to take a break in the middle of his Martha's Vineyard vacation and return to Washington on Sunday night for "unspecified meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers."
President Obama has once again proved his irrelevance and uselessness by failing to say anything meaningful on the disturbing events of the past week. In fact, he only decided to address it personally and publicly yesterday after being heavily criticized for issuing a press release about the party he attended in Martha’s Vineyard as civilians in Missouri clashed with a paramilitary police force. Despite Obama’s complete apathy, there are some Congressmen forcefully speaking out against the trend from “both sides” of the increasingly meaningless Republican and Democrat divide. The most noteworthy thus far appears to be Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia’s 4th Congressional district. In fact, he has sent a Dear Colleague letter to fellow representatives of his intention to introduce the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act in September when Congress returns from recess.
Texas Governor, and 2016 Presidential hopeful, Rick Perry has been indicted by a grand jury. Rather ironically, as AP reports, Perry carried out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption, promising publicly to nix $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (who pled guilty to drunk driving) resigned. He was indicted by an Austin grand jury on felony counts of abuse of official capacity (maximum punishment 5-99 years in prison) and coercion of a public servant (2-10 years in prison). Perry is the first Texas governor indicted since 1917. Full indictment below. We have one word... oops!
While we are sure President Obama will comment on the apparent US intelligence failure that Chuck Hagel explained last night - there were far fewer 'refugees' on Mt.Sinjar than expected... but Iraq is still a troubled nation; we suspect the calmer-in-chief will address the situation in Ferguson. Having already disappointed many African American residents of Ferguson, who rejected his previous comments as "insultingly inadequate," it seems the President will take a few minutes out of his day to address the turmoil in middle America... 'we tear-gassed some folks...'
The stories make you want to take all of your money out of the stock market and put it in your mattress!
Massive SWAT Presence In Ferguson Unleash Tear Gas & Rubber Bullets: "Go Home Or Be Subject To Arrest - This Is Not Open For Discussion" - Live FeedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/13/2014 23:07 -0400
At least 70 SWAT moving civilians along: "this is not open for discussion", "your rights to assemble are not being denied", 2 reporters arrested for "not packing bags fast enough"
Police are firing rubber bullets and tear gas - "This is no longer a peaceful assembly. Go home or be subject to arrest," says the loudspeaker.
Protesters exclaimed, "we have a right to assemble, a right to freedom," said Paul Muhammad. "But here we are facing what looks like a military imposing martial law. It is not acceptable." Interestingly, President Obama's official response "urging reflection" has been rejected as insultingly inadequate by many African American residents of Ferguson.
Last week, the barbaric Islamic State seized the vitally important Mosul dam, dramatically impacting tactical options against them and potentially changing the future of the Middle East. When the US coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003, military intelligence developed invasion scenarios. One scenario included Iraqi forces placing detonation charges at the vitally important dam. If US forces were able to safely secure the dam, then they had a contingency plan to operate it and ensure critically important maintenance. The US quickly discovered the necessity for $27 million worth of frantically urgent repairs. A dam break does not require sabotage. Maintenance failure has the same result.
Accountability... Responsibility... and 'torturing a few folks'...
The western world has placed many sanctions on Russia and its economy. However, Russia holds major leverage over Europe; it has oil and Europe needs it (and may just do a 'deal').