Glance in the rear-view mirror and say goodbye to the Era of Wishful Thinking. In this weird liminal time since the so-called Crash of 2008 leadership has depended on lies and subterfuges to prop up the illusion of resilience. The lies, frauds, and cons run between the axis of Wall Street and Washington had two fatal consequences with still-lagging effects: 1) They destroyed the capacity for markets to establish the real price of anything - rendering markets useless; 2) They disabled capital formation to the degree that we might not have the money to rebuild an economy to replace the “financialized” matrix of rackets that currently pretends to function. A lot of observers have been waiting for the moment when the fog of pretense lifts and exposes all the broken machinery within. We may be so close now that you can smell it.
For a mass of people so easily terrified by guys in caves funded and armed by our intelligence services and “allies” in the Persian Gulf, the American public talks with such armchair bravado when it comes to launching bombs from drones and sending other people’s children to die. Makes you wonder though, which one is it? Is the American public actually the tough guy soldier it pretends to be when cheering overseas military interventions, or is it really a scared, propagandized, coward hiding in one of our nation’s endless cubicle rows? Unfortunately, based on recent opinion polls demonstrating approval for military action against ISIS, it appears to be the latter. The former is merely a front put on by that terrified, economically insecure, silently suffering automaton.
"Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing." While critics have been questioning the legality of U.S. military campaigns consistently since the end of World War II, one trend has become increasingly clear. With each new President and each new war, we have witnessed those who hold the office act more and more like dictators, and less and less like constitutional executives. One very important, and up until recently, overlooked point about Obama’s latest “war on ISIS” is that this is not at all just more of the same. This crosses yet another very important line of shadiness, and if we as as American public allow him to do so, we will suffer grave long-term consequences to our economic future as well as our liberties. This is very serious stuff.
Here’s the giant flaw in Obama’s incendiary strategy. The Peshmerga can be counted upon to ferociously defend Kurdistan against ISIS encroachment, and the Shiite militias will doubtless accomplish the same in their own territories. But no one with a modicum of historical knowledge would think it sane to send them up into the Sunni lands of the Euphrates valley to mop-up after the American bombs, missiles and drones. In short, once Washington is in full bombs away mode there will be no Free Syrian Army or reconstituted Iraqi army to finish the job. So what Obama actually launched last evening was Operation Blowback - Washington's stupidest military campaign yet.
Plus: Exclusive Interview with FBI Whistleblower
Previewing tonight’s televised prime-time address to the nation, The Onion reports that White House aides confirmed that President Obama will reassure Americans that the impending military campaign against ISIS will be the exact same type of open-ended, drawn-out conflict that they are used to. “The president’s message is clear: This will be just another one of our routine intractable engagements in the region - it’s going to be unending, it’s going to be expensive, and it’s going to affect our credibility within the international community. There will not be any surprises for folks to worry about.”
And in The President's own words, "But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Russia And Iran Put Oil-For-Goods Deals Into Motion As Iran Signals Similar Arrangements Coming With ChinaSubmitted by GoldCore on 09/10/2014 15:32 -0400
Russia-Iran Oil-for-Goods Contracts
Representatives of the Russian and Iranian governments met in Tehran yesterday for the 11th meeting of the Iran-Russian Trade Council, where details of a ground breaking oil-for-goods swap between the two heavily sanctioned countries were revealed.
With both countries now sanctioned by the West, Russia and Iran have been in extensive negotiations on how to facilitate Iranian oil exports without breaching the UN Security Council nuclear deal that was agreed between Iran, Germany and the five UN Council permanent last January.
Mission Accomplished, military-industrial complex scaremongers...
While we fully understand that when selling institutionally-priced newsletters to institutions (not retail for one simple reason: lack of "other people's money" to spend) one will have a far more lucrative career as a bull than as a bear simply because insecure (that would be most of them) institutional "strategists" prefer to surround themselves in cognitive bias-reinforcing groupthink just to convince themselves they are right, as the rating-agency era confirmed, one thing we are very confused by is whether David Rosenberg, who famously flipped from bear to bull a little over a year ago (recall David Rosenberg: Here’s why I’m bullish on the US economy), preaching a "wage-inflation" driven bout of economic growth which has not only not materialized, but the 10 Year recently hit 2014 lows, is now back to being a bear.
The White House says President Barack Obama has told congressional leaders he has the authority he needs to take the action against the Islamic State militants that he will outline Wednesday night, according to AP. Following the meeting, the White House said Obama still welcomes action by Congress that would "aid the overall effort" and demonstrate to the world that the United States is united in defeating the threat from the Islamic State. So that's that then... does he also have 'authority' to fund the $5bn (or more) he needs for this crusade?
"...what was once a privilege is now a burden, undermining job growth, pumping up budget and trade deficits and inflating financial bubbles. To get the American economy on track, the government needs to drop its commitment to maintaining the dollar’s reserve-currency status...The privilege of having the world’s reserve currency is one America can no longer afford."
- former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team.
We can hear the narrative now... how can Congress turn down President Obama's demands for $5 billion to pay for a 'counter-terrorism' fund that could be used to support operations against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria... if they do, are they not supporting terrorism? As The Hill reports, White House press secretary Josh Earnest floated the $5 billion counterterrorism fund as something that “would strengthen the hand of this president and future presidents for dealing with urgent situations like this." We await Wednesday night's unveiling of the long-awaited strategy...
The memory hole is working overtime in the USA zeitgeist these days. Shit happens and a week or so later, it unhappens. So it goes, as the late, great Vonnegut always said. All of these stories have something in common: tons of unanswered questions, which the news media shows no interest whatsoever in following up on. And no consequences. People die, nations rise and fall, money disappears, and everybody forgets. The memory hole is the truest signifier of the times we live in: the Age of Anything Goes and Nothing Matters... but that may be changing.
“I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.... Deputies will identify actions my administration can take on our own, within my existing legal authorities, to do what Congress refuses to do and fix as much of our immigration system as we can. I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay." - White House, June 30
"Because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections" - White House, September 6
What does it take to produce prosperity? Property rights – you have to believe that you can control and enjoy what you produce. Stable money – you have to be able to count on the medium of exchange. Freedom of action – you have to be able to go on with your business without too much state intrusion. Meanwhile in the US, the planners… regulators… controllers… meddlers… and zombies – all those who prevent real prosperity – grew bolder and more numerous.