"The killing and the mayhem will continue through the process of economic collapse that we have entered. And when we reach the destination of all that, probably something medieval or feudal in make-up, it will be possible once again for boys to develop into men instead of monsters."
With the benefit of hindsight, the two-day devaluation of the yuan in mid-August might have been a masterstroke of strategy. China executed a financial move that appeared to undermine its own position but instead created trouble for the US; how much is still to be played out. So was the devaluation a well-executed move against the dollar, or are the Chinese authorities as clueless as any other government?
It appears there is a minimum wage threshold below President Obama's mandated thresholds that are "fair" and "livable." As NYPost reports, Urban Outfitters has asked workers at the company’s home office to "volunteer" for extra weekend shifts at a new fulfillment center in the town of Gap, Pennsylvania. In other words, the true minimum wage is $0 per hour. Bear in mind that if the labor market were growing as it should, in sharp contrast to how it has been presented over the past year, minimum wage laws would be the furthest from the mainstream.
Despite 'promises' of lower healthcare costs (from President Obama) and 'promises' of a comfortable retirement (if only you invest all your savings in stocks), Bloomberg reports the average 65-year-old couple retiring this year will face health-care costs of $245,000 in the years ahead, up 11% from 2014.
"Thanks to President Obama’s leadership and the determination and sacrifice of the American people, we’ve worked our way out of that ditch and put our economy on sounder footing. Now we have to keep going.
To prevent irresponsible behavior on Wall Street from ever again devastating Main Street, we need more accountability, tougher rules and stronger enforcement. I have a plan to build on the progress we’ve made under President Obama and do just that."
To combat Islamic militants the White House says threaten national interests, the U.S. has spent nearly $100 billion to arm and train foreign militaries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, an analysis by Vocativ shows. And nearly all of them are reeling from setbacks that threaten to undermine what’s become a core component of American foreign policy in these regions. As a former military commander and United States ambassador in Afghanistan recently noted, "our track record at building security forces over the past 15 years is miserable."
Just in case anyone still foolishly believes that there’s a shred of decency left in the ‘justice’ system in the Land of the Free, we would humbly present exhibit A: Edward Snowden.
Someone in Chicago has been shot every 2.84 hours this year for a total of 2,349 shootings during the period of January 1, 2015 to October 6, 2015 (and 2015 is likely to eclipse 2014's record 2.587 shooting victims); but, Chicago, for all intents and purposes, is a “gun-free zone.” But all the state and city regulations associated with firearms in Chicago have failed to produce a safe city, and these are the policies that President Obama and Secretary Clinton wish to extend to the rest of the country.
In what seems like a nervous populist move amid Bernie Sanders' gains, Hillary Clinton has flip-flopped rather stunningly to oppose President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership. Despite supporting the bill at least 45 times, as CNN's Jake Tapper points out, Clinton told PBS' Judy Woodruff Wednesday in Iowa that, "As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it." It's also a departure from the Clinton legacy, as CNN notes, it was President Bill Clinton who, two decades ago, signed the first mega-regional pact: the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"This morning from the Oval Office, President Obama spoke by telephone with Doctors Without Borders International President Dr. Joanne Liu, to apologize and express his condolences for the MSF staff and patients who were killed and injured when a US military airstrike mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan over the weekend," Earnest said in the White House briefing.
If circumstances of any incident appear not to add up, it’s pertinent to thoroughly examine the current narrative for signs the State is attempting to mold public opinion — because it is there you will find the truth that you’re not being told. In the case of MSF, a massive treaty cum trade deal involving U.S. interests in another part of the world from the tragedy in Kunduz can offer, perhaps, insight which might otherwise seem unrelated. As it turns out, MSF have been particularly vocal critics of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership — and their criticism hasn’t gone unnoticed.
- Asian shares rise on fading Fed rate views (Reuters)
- U.S. Equity Futures Fall, Risking S&P 500 Rally as Copper Slides (BBG)
- More biotech pain, this time from the WSJ: For Prescription Drug Makers, Price Increases Drive Revenue (WSJ)
- VW Will Delay or Cancel Non-Essential Investments Due to Scandal (BBG)
- Russia Rejects No-Fly Zone Over Syria as Clerics Urge Reprisals (BBG)
- Historic Pacific trade deal faces skeptics in U.S. Congress (Reuters)
- German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Fall Amid Economic Risks (BBG)
It may be tempting to cheer Russian military action in Syria, as it seems ISIS is finally suffering some considerable losses. But I cannot cheer the bombs, whether they are Russian bombs or US bombs or French or British bombs. I do not believe a terrorist group created by foreign intervention in the region will be solved by more foreign intervention in the region. Bombs represent a total failure of policy. They destroy a country’s economy and infrastructure.
By way of excuse for what President Obama called "a tragic incident," (and The UN called a 'war crime') US officials have claimed that the Taliban were fighting from within the Kabul hospital (which was destroyed by a US air strike yesterday killing at least 19 including 3 children) using aid workers as "a human shield." However, this justification for the 'collateral damage' has been vehemently denied by Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) who have issued a statement dismissing the US claims, "the gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened..." but, the US strike has done one thing, as one local health official concluded, "this city is no longer for the living."
Despite the arguably undemocratic, obfuscating nature of our nation’s campaign finance laws and the blatant corporatist agenda mandated by the Supreme Court, let’s attempt to break down the major sources of political spending so far in the 2016 presidential election. You may be surprised to find out who is donating money to your candidate — and how that contribution may affect future policy positions.