White House

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White House Faces The Press - Live Webcast





It may not be the main man (that show starts at 210ET) but as Press Secretary Jay Carney takes the stand in front of a room of hopefully inquisitive reporters for his usual press conference, we are sure the phrase "can I plead da fif?" will be on the tip of his tongue.

 
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The NSA, AT&T And The Secrets Of Room 641A





Our final observation on the matter of the US government, no longer accountable to anyone, and treating its citizens as indentured debt serfs who are entitled to precisely zero privacy rights, comes from Stephen Wolfson and "The NSA, AT&T And The Secrets Of Room 641A."

 
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White House Defends Its Wiretapping Of Millions Of US Citizens





Blink and you have likely missed Obama's latest Watergate moment, this time following the disclosure that the White House has instructed the NSA to collect millions of daily phone records from Verizon (and likely all other carriers). What is surprising to us is that this is even news. We reported on just this in March of 2012 with “We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State" - Big Brother Goes Live September 2013" and then again in April 2012 "NSA Whistleblower Speaks Live: "The Government Is Lying To You" using an NSA whistleblower as a source. Still, no matter the distribution platform, it is a welcome development for the majority of the population to know that the same Stazi tactics so loathed for decades in the fringes of the "evil empire" are now a daily occurrence under the "most transparent administration in history." This is especially true in the aftermath of the recent media scandals involving the soon to be former Attorney General.

 
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Frontrunning: June 5





  • National Security Advisor Tom Donilon resigning, to be replaced by Susan Rice - Obama announcement to follow
  • Japan's Abe targets income gains in growth strategy (Reuters), Abe unveils ‘third arrow’ reforms (FT) - generates market laughter and stock crash
  • Amazon set to sell $800m in ads (FT) - personal tracking cookie data is valuable
  • 60 percent of Americans say the country is on the wrong track (BBG)  and yet have rarely been more optimistic
  • Jefferson County, Creditors Reach Deal to End Bankruptcy (BBG)
  • Turks clash with police despite deputy PM's apology (Reuters)
  • Rural US shrinks as young flee for the cities (FT)
  • Australia holds steady on rate but may ease later (MW)
  • The Wonk With the Ear of Chinese President Xi Jinping (WSJ)
  • Syrian army captures strategic border town of Qusair (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: June 4





  • Whale of a Trade Revealed at Biggest U.S. Bank With Best Control (BBG)
  • ECB backs away from use of ‘big bazooka’ to boost credit (FT)
  • Turkish unions join fierce protests in which two have died (Reuters)
  • Europe Floods Wreak Havoc (WSJ)
  • Beheadings by Syrian Rebels Add to Atrocities, UN Says (BBG)
  • RBA Sees Further Rate-Cut Scope as Aussie Remains High (BBG)
  • China’s ‘great power’ call to the US could stir friction (FT)
  • J.C. Penney Continuing Ron Johnson’s Vision on the Cheap (BBG)
 
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Guest Post: Would It Make Sense For The Fed To Not Manipulate The Gold Price?





Does it really make any sense at all that Bernanke would leave gold to trade in an open and transparent market? Hardly. Consider. The Fed has conjured multiple trillions of digital dollars out thin air in the last five years. These efforts have propped up the Treasury market, the domestic TBTF banks, the foreign TBTF banks, the ECB, the BOE, every European sovereign bond market, the RMBS market, the CMBS market, the equity market, the housing market and the entire industrial and soft commodity complexes, to name a few. Since the price of gold we see on our Bloomberg screens is set via derivatives and overwhelmingly settled in USD, the ability for central banks and bullion banks to manipulate the price of gold is way too easy. All the bullion banks have to do is coordinate (as in LIBOR), sell in size and punish anyone in their way. Take losses? No problem, more fiat can be conjured post-haste. So long as no one is taking physical delivery, the band(k) plays on. (Actually, physical demand delivery IS becoming a major new problem for the banks but this is a topic for a different note.) A quickly rising gold price upsets this fiat-engineered, centrally planned, non-market based recovery. Gold left to its’ own devices would signal the unwinding the rehypothecated world of shadow banking where latent monetary inflation goes to summer (think of it as the monetary Hamptons where only the Wall Street elite get to play). Most importantly, it would signal a huge lack of faith in the US dollar. A currency backed by nothing more than faith in central banking.

 
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David Stockman: "The Error Of Central Banking Has Become Universal"





In the old normal ("when we had an honest Fed," under Volcker), David Stockman explains to CNBC's Rick Santelli, "the market could judge what Congress and the White House was doing and decide where the risk/reward equation was and how to price the bond, the note, the bills," but in the new normal, "today, the market is entirely rigged." Stockman is no fan of deficits and as he notes "is no fan of money-printing," pointing out that "it's not honest," for the Fed to fund these chronically growing deficits and "created an unsustainably dangerous financial system." In thie brief interview, Stockman (of The Great Deformation fame) sums it up perfectly to a just-as-concerned Santelli, when he notes, "the error of central banking has become unversal." We're taxing the futures generations, he concludes, "they're going to thank you for the massive disaster that was handed to them." The honesty will never come...

 

 
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Guest Post: It's Not About Obama...





The Neo-Cons and the Neo-Libs have the same objective, total centralization and the dissolution of U.S. sovereignty.  Both parties are merely continuing the perpetual game of good-cop vs. bad-cop, switching roles every decade or so to keep the public confused and dependent on the system rather than enforcing their own solutions.  Barack Obama is nothing more than a fulcrum point - a useful piece of leverage meant to push Americans from one fake initiative to the next, or to divide us completely.  Our fight is not with Obama, it is with ALL globalists who obstruct our liberty, regardless of what party they are affiliated with.  If we allow the debate, and the battle, to be framed around the superficial Obama presidency, then we have allowed ourselves to be co-opted, and any revolutionary action we take afterwards will end exactly like the fabricated Bolshevik rebellion; it won’t mean a damn thing.

 
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Guest Post: Government And Collapsed Bridges





The recent collapse of a small commuter bridge in Washington has brought back memories of Minnesota. Back in August of 2007, the I-35W Mississippi bridge connecting the Downtown East and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods plummeted to the river below like a Chinese-made sofa. Thirteen individuals lost their lives while 145 escaped with injury. The suddenness of the debacle was met with the blunt response system of the state. That is, politicians in Minnesota and elsewhere went before the public to decry the deteriorating condition of government infrastructure across the country. A flurry of taxpayer money dedicated to overhauling the nation’s bridges followed. Five years after millions in tax dollars were fleeced, allocated, and distributed to this new urgency, less than two dozen of the state’s 172 “structurally deficient” bridges have been made whole.

 
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Syria Goes Hot: Russia To Deliver Weapons, Deploys Air Defense; Israel Warns Russia; Obama Demands No Fly Zone





Those who were intently following the USDJPY pair formerly known as the stock market today missed the biggest news of the day: the proxy war in Syria just went hot, following a confluence of news, first that Russia insisted "it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite international criticism, as fears of spillover from the conflict grew" and in logical retaliation to yesterday's decision by Europe to lift an arms embargo to the Al Qaeda-supported, Qatari mercenaries operating in Syria, also known as "rebels. This lead Israel's defense minister Moshe Yaalon to immediately signal that "its military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria." Meanwhile back in the US "the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast." And just to make it very clear that Russia is not bluffing, it announced overnight that its four regiments of S-300 air defense systems have been deployed at the Ashuluk firing range in southern Russia as part of another snap combat readiness check of the Russian armed forces "The missions will be carried out in conditions of heavy electronic warfare to test the capabilities of the air defense units to the highest limit." And to think: yet another threat of a global war over some natgas pipelines from Qatar to Europe, and a threat to Gazprom's monopoly.

 
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Frontrunning: May 28





  • ‘Cov-lite’ loans soar in dash for yield (FT)
  • Cambodian police clash with thousands of garment workers, 23 hurt (Reuters)
  • Obama Accepting Sequestration as Deficit Shrinks (BBG)
  • Having done nothing to restore confidence in a fragmented market, the SEC turns back to main street fraud (WSJ)
  • Europe's austerity-to-growth shift largely semantic (Reuters)
  • Germany thwarts EU in China solar fight (FT)
  • In EU-China dispute, Beijing warns of trade  (FT)
  • U.S. Oil Boom Divides OPEC (WSJ)
  • Record Cash Sent to Balanced Funds (BBG)
  • Hilsenrath: Fed Wrestles With Market Expectations About Pace of QE (WSJ)
  • Worse-Than-Cyprus Debt Load Means Caribbean Defaults to Moody’s (BBG)
  • States Raise College Budgets After Years of Deep Cuts (WSJ)
  • U.K. Banks Cut 189,000 With Employment at Nine-Year Low (BBG)
 
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40 'Frightening' Facts On The Fall Of The US Economy





When you step back and look at the long-term trends, it is undeniable what is happening to us.  We are in the midst of a horrifying economic decline that is the result of decades of very bad decisions.  30 years ago, the U.S. national debt was about one trillion dollars.  Today, it is almost 17 trillion dollars.  40 years ago, the total amount of debt in the United States was about 2 trillion dollars.  Today, it is more than 56 trillion dollars.  At the same time that we have been running up all of this debt, our economic infrastructure and our ability to produce wealth has been absolutely gutted.  Since 2001, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good jobs have been shipped overseas.  Our share of global GDP declined from 31.8 percent in 2001 to 21.6 percent in 2011.  The percentage of Americans that are self-employed is at a record low, and the percentage of Americans that are dependent on the government is at a record high.  The U.S. economy is a complete and total mess, and it is time that we faced the truth.

 
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Guest Post: Are Pipeline Spills A Foregone Conclusion?





Exxon Mobil hasn't asked federal regulatory authorities to restart the Pegasus oil pipeline, which burst open in a neighborhood in Mayflower, Ark.  In March, a 22-foot rupture in the pipeline spilled about 5,000 barrels of diluted Canadian crude oil into an area of marshland, though the company said it's been effectively cleaning the area with long-term remediation in mind. Talking points over pipelines are focused on economic and energy security interests on one side of the argument versus emissions and cleanup on the other. Given the legacy of pipeline spills since the Keystone XL debate began more than four years ago, the "real" issue may be the lack of debate over just why so many of these pipelines have burst open in the first place.

 
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Guest Post: One Experience That Really Shaped My Thinking





...It seemed like every week we would hear about some terrorist with a suitcase-sized bomb, and the bureaucrats would dive into a lively debate about whether or not to evacuate the Americans. One day, I remember, my friend who was the senior ranking non-commissioned officer interrupted and said, “What about the Swedes? Do we evacuate the Swedes too?” The embassy staff looked at each other, shrugged a bit, “Oh sure, sure, we’ll coordinate with Washington on that.” And the discussion continued. “What about the Saudis?” Silence again. And then he really made his point. “It’s not just about Americans, you know. [others] blood is worth something too.”

 
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