We have not been shy about exposing the dark shadowy under-belly of lobbyists funding politicians (as most recently noted with Cantor's catastrophe) but now, as Engadget reports, finding out which representatives are in the pocket without a lot of tedious research just got a lot easier. A 16-year-old programmer has developed a browser plugin - Greenhouse - that, when you mouse-over the name of a US lawmaker, will serve up a list of which parties have donated to their campaign funds, and the quantities. Better than flappy-birds? The developer notes, "whether Democrat or Republican, we should all want a political system that is independent of the influence of big money and not dependent on endless cycles of fundraising from special interests."
We are sure this will end well. Just as China took the 'if we build it (on free credit), they will come' growth model to extremes in real estate; it appears their ambitions in nuclear energy production are just as grandiose. However, just as they lost control of the real estate market, Bloomberg reports China is moving quickly to become the first country to operate the world’s most powerful atomic reactor even as France’s nuclear regulator says communication and cooperation on safety measures with its Chinese counterparts are lacking. France has a lot riding on a smooth roll out of China’s European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) as it is home to Areva, which developed the next-gen reactor, and utility EdF, which oversees the project. French regulators, speaking in parliament, warned, "the Chinese safety authorities lack means. They are overwhelmed."
Coming to the understanding that the Status Quo is not sustainable is often a crooked path of overcoming programming, propaganda, denial and fear...
The Most Destructive Presidencies In American History, Part 2: The Fatal Incoherence Of Bush/Obama Foreign PolicySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/18/2014 11:06 -0400
The tragic reality is the Bush II/Obama administrations have made the world a far more dangerous place.
The feds are so concerned that more truth about the VA scandal will get out there they have resorted to subpoenas to cover up as much as possible. Of course, considering that the entire Administration, and indeed the entire status quo in America, appears to be essentially a criminal syndicate, there is a naturally an endless stream of abuses that must be concealed from the plebs. One thing that has become entirely clear since the Snowden revelations is the fact that the status quo in both political parties has absolutely zero intent on rolling back unconstitutional surveillance whatsoever. This became completely obvious recently when: Congress Gutted Anti-NSA Spying Bill Beyond Recognition; Original Cosponsor Justin Amash Voted No. Fortunately for those of us interested in transparency, some additional information is starting to come out regarding just how far these crooks are willing to go in order to spy on your every move and conversation.
Much has been made about the role that hydraulic fracturing – or fracking -- has played in revolutionizing the energy landscape, unlocking vast new reserves of oil trapped in shale rock. This “tight oil” is pouring into the global pool of oil supplies at a crucial time, preventing oil prices from spiking in an age of high demand and geopolitical turmoil. But the world still relies overwhelmingly on conventional oil production from existing fields, many of which are in decline. The Middle East has dominated the world of oil for half a century and as the list below shows, it remains king. Here are the top five most important oil fields in the world.
It’s been obvious for quite some time that the so-called “war on terror” is nothing more than a fear-mongering induced power grab; a convenient excuse to strip the citizenry of its civil liberties and humanity. Many commentators, including myself, have predicted for years that the entire counter-terror juggernaut that has been constructed post-9/11 would be ultimately redirected upon the domestic population. Snowden’s heroic whistleblowing has already proven without a doubt that the government spy apparatus (along with tech company complicity) has been zeroed in on the domestic population for quite some time, but is the situation about to escalate? Are the feds so fearful of their own people, they are about to focus all their counter-terror energy on U.S. citizens? It appears so.
First it was Germany, now another AAA-rated European country is starting to get concerned about its hard assets. Overnight Bloomberg reported that following in Bundesbank's footsteps, Austria will audit its gold reserves located in the UK, which represent 80% of its total gold holdings. This gold reserve reviews held at Bank of England in London will be first conducted by external auditors, Christian Gutleder, a spokesman for the Austrian central bank, says via telephone. Gutleder explained that the Central bank has checked its reserves regularly in the past, adding that gold reserves haven’t changed since 2007. Which begs the question: why check them now then?
China and Russia signed an historic agreement in Shanghai this week - the ramifications of which have yet to be appreciated ... Reserve currency status does not last forever. Empires rise and fall. The world is constantly changing and evolving. Nothing lasts forever …
The individual or system that never experiences dissent, volatility or stress is systemically unhealthy and increasingly prone to sudden "gosh, I didn't see this coming" collapse. The individual who walks daily (i.e. aerobic exercise) is healthier than the couch potato, but the individual who routinely engages in short bouts of strenuous activity has the added benefits of triggering rebuilding/repair responses. Political economies, government agencies, enterprises and communities are no different, as all systems respond the same way: either growing brittle and vulnerable by suppressing dissent and volatility or maintaining strength, resilience and adaptability by encouraging dissent and volatility. Our centralized government and bank have spared no expense to ruthlessly suppress these essential forces of healthy systems at every turn. The cost of their gross incompetence has yet to be paid, but it will be paid, and in full, in the years ahead.
One of Portugal's biggest companies - Espirito Santo International SA - is in a "serious financial condition" according to a central bank driven external audit by KPMG identified "irregularities in its accounts." Rather stunningly, the details are nothing short of ponzi-like as WSJ reported in December that Espírito Santo International was highly leveraged and had been relying heavily on selling debt to an investment fund held by the financial group (i.e. funding debt issuance in one entity with another) and overvaluing hard-to-value assets (ring any bells?). However, the 'ponzi-like' maneuver, as WSJ concludes shows that while legal and in line with regulatory rules, highlights how corporations, including banks, used financial gymnastics to survive the region's financial crisis. Given the massive domestic bank demand for sovereign paper, one has to wonder if the sudden 60bps spike in Portuguese bond risk is a signal that all is not well in the European periphery.
"Left Coast Lifter": See The World's Largest Floating Crane Building The $3.9 Billion Tappan Zee BridgeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/18/2014 15:38 -0400
It has taken the US a while to realize that the best way centrally-planned economies "grow" (think China) is by allocating taxpayer funds for capex projects: be it replacing windows (of course), roads, highways, building brand new ghost cities, or in this case bridges. As the newnybridge.com website explains, the $3.9 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee bridge over the Hudson river, built by Tappan Zee Constructors, or TZC, LLC, has begun construction. But the most important entity by far in the construction of the replacement bridge is what is known as the "Left Coast Lifter", or what is said to be the world's largest floating crane. Here, courtesy of Bloomberg, is a look at the monster crane, and it's journey to New York.
Glenn Greenwald is not one known for pulling punches, and in this excellent interview with GQ Magazine titled, The Man Who Knows Too Much, he is in particularly rare form. "Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion... But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing... Americans love to mock the idea of monarchy, and yet we have our own de facto monarchy... what these leaks did is, they demonstrated that there really is this government that just is the kind of permanent government that doesn’t get affected by election choices and that isn’t in any way accountable to any sort of democratic transparency and just creates its own world off on its own."