America is better off when President Obama is out on the stump bloviating and boasting rather than in Washington actively doing harm. But the whoppers he just told the students at the University of Wisconsin are beyond the pale. Said our spinmeister-in-chief: "And the unemployment rate is now down to 5.3 percent. (Applause.) Keep in mind, when I came into office it was hovering around 10 percent. All told, we’ve now seen 64 straight months of private sector job growth, which is a new record — (applause) — new record — 12.8 million new jobs all told." That’s a pack of context-free factoids.
Government Trolls Are Using "Psychology-Based Influence Techniques" On YouTube, Facebook And TwitterSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/02/2015 21:15 -0400
"Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in “dirty tricks” like deploying sexual “honey traps” designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online."
"I believe there are two ways to give Greece Chinese aid. First, within the framework of the international aid through EU countries. Second, China could aid Greece directly. Especially considering the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China has this ability," Fan Mingtao director of the Quantitative Finance Department at China's Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics told Sputnik China. It would be difficult to imagine a more fitting pilot program for the world’s newest supranational lender than a rescue package for the birthplace of Western democracy which has been brought to its knees by that most Western of all multilateral institutions, the IMF.
A Short History: The Neocon "Clean Break" Grand Design & The "Regime Change" Disasters It Has FosteredSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/01/2015 22:30 -0400
To understand today’s crises in Iraq, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere, one must grasp their shared Lebanese connection. This assertion may seem odd. After all, what is the big deal about Lebanon? That little country hasn’t had top headlines since Israel deigned to bomb and invade it in 2006. Yet, to a large extent, the roots of the bloody tangle now enmeshing the Middle East lie in Lebanon: or to be more precise, in the Lebanon policy of Israel.
America’s grand strategy, its long-term blueprint for advancing national interests and countering major adversaries, is in total disarray. Top officials lurch from crisis to crisis, improvising strategies as they go, but rarely pursuing a consistent set of policies. Some blame this indecisiveness on a lack of resolve at the White House, but the real reason lies deeper. It lurks in a disagreement among foreign policy elites over whether Russia or China constitutes America’s principal great-power adversary.
- Tsipras backs down on many Greece bailout demands (FT)
- Creditors skeptical of Tsipras' offer (Reuters)
- Greek Pension Rationing Begins; Poll Shows Tsipras Backed (BBG)
- Greek referendum poll shows lead for 'No' vote, but narrowing (Reuters)
- Greek Bank Controls Heap More Pain on Crisis-Weary Citizens (BBG)
- Greek Crisis Ripples Across European Companies as Markets Swing (BBG)
- China Stocks Fall: Shanghai Composite Index Drops 5.2% (BBG)
- China June factory, services surveys fuel hopes economy leveling out (Reuters)
- Some Chinese Are Taking 22% Margin Loans to Finance Stock Purchases (BBG)
"On a more personal level, how can public service be promoted as an ideal to young people when this sewer corrupts our Republic? At this point in early twenty-first-century America, the greatest service our nation’s young people could provide is to lead an army of outraged young Americans armed with brooms on a crusade to sweep out the rascals and rid our capital of the money changers, rent seekers, revolving door dancers, and special interest deal makers and power brokers and send them back home to make an honest living, that is, if they still remember how to do so."
Four months after the UK opened the membership floodgates and dealt Washington a humiliating political blow, China has officially launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
- China’s Stocks Enter Bear Market as Rate Cut Fails to Stop Rout (BBG)
- Stocks Tumble Around the World on Greek Crisis (WSJ)
- Some say back to the drachma for a Greek reboot (Reuters)
- Greece Imposes Capital Controls as Fears of Grexit Grow (BBG)
- Panic Sets in Among Hardy Hedge Fund Investors Remaining in Greece (NYT)
- Euro off Greece-driven lows after SNB intervenes (Reuters)
- Western Union to close in Greece for rest of week (Reuters)
- European banks, bonds shaken by Greek turmoil (Reuters)
Have you picked up on the new trope du jour? We are all encouraged to bask in our innocence as we lament the advent of a new Cold War. The thought has been in the wind for more than a year, of course, at least among some of us. But we witness a significant turn, and I hope this same some of us are paying attention. As of this week, leaders who know nothing about leading, thinkers who do not think and opinion-shaping poseurs such as Tom Friedman are confident enough in their case to sally forth with it: The Cold War returns, the Russians have restarted it and we must do the right thing - the right thing being to bring NATO troops and materiel up to Russia’s borders, pandering to the paranoia of the former Soviet satellites as if they alone have access to some truth not available to the rest of us.
It’s happening. As expected, dynastic politics is prevailing in campaign 2016. After a tease about as long as Hillary’s, Jeb Bush (aka Jeb!) officially announced his presidential bid last week. Ultimately, the two of them will fight it out for the White House, while the nation’s wealthiest influencers will back their ludicrously expensive gambit. And here’s a hint: don’t bet on Jeb not to make it through the Republican gauntlet of 12 candidates (so far). After all, the really big money’s behind him.
Politicians have always labored under the entirely mistaken impression that one can keep people from doing what they actually want to do, or that markets can be suppressed by outlawing them. It turns out that kids don’t like to be told how their food should be prepared either. In fact, they absolutely hate it. Congress just received an update on the “unintended consequences” of Michelle Obama’s school lunch rules. Apparently the stuff she wanted to push on children just tastes really crappy and now a black market in salt, pepper and sugar has developed...
"A judicial victory doesn’t automatically translate into a political victory, let alone a policy success."
In a free society, debate is over only when the people decide it’s over.
MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – is way over. It kept a somewhat uneasy peace during seven decades of Cold War. Cold War 2.0 is as hardcore as it gets. And with all those Breedhate Strangeloves on the loose, nuclear madness is now at five seconds to midnight.
President Obama is due to take the lectern to gloat address the decision of "the most liberal Supreme Court since the 60s" upholding his healthcare tax...saying that subsidies do not violate state law. Drink every time he smiles, says "right decision", "bipartisan", and neck the whole bottle of tequila if mentions that "justice was done," or uses the term "SCOTUSCare."