Why There Is So Much Pro-War Reporting
Will it be Benghazi? or the IRS Witch-Hunt? Or the AP Hack? Or how great the economy must be doing since stocks are surging? Or will anyone who asks questions be subject to immediate audit? Or are all questions moot? After all the White House knows precisely what will be asked long in advance...
It is just a few hours old, and already the Department of Justice's (legal) AP phone spying scandal has generated unintended consequences, by alienating and confronting Obama with his traditionally strongest constituency: labor unions, in this case the Newspaper Guild. From the Guild's shocked statement: "There could be no justification or explanation for this broad, over-reaching investigation. It appears officials are twisting legislation designed to protect public safety as a means to muzzle those concerned with the public’s right to know." They sound legitimately surprised.
And so the final curtain falls on the myth of what was supposed to be, in its own words, the "most transparent administration" in history. As it turns out, the big Friday story of Bloomberg journalists snooping on clients was just amateur hour compared to what the AP was about to serve. In fact, the Watergate affair may soon appear like a walk in the park compared to the First Amendment shitstorm that is about to be unleashed following the just reported news that the US Department of Justice had "secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news." First amendment? Freedom of speech and press? Surely not when it comes to the Nobel-peace prize winning President and those who dare to expose his secret ways. And what's worst, is that the AP breach has all the makings of a spiteful hack driven by personal vengeance against one of America's premier news outlets.
Neither side wants to talk about the real lesson of Benghazi: interventionism always carries with it unintended consequences. The US attack on Libya led to the unleashing of Islamist radicals in Libya. These radicals have destroyed the country, murdered thousands, and killed the US ambassador... Previously secure weapons in Libya flooded the region after the US attack, with many of them going to Islamist radicals who make up the majority of those fighting to overthrow the government in Syria. The US government has intervened in the Syrian conflict on behalf of the same rebels it assisted in the Libya conflict, likely helping with the weapons transfers... The real lesson of Benghazi will not be learned because neither Republicans nor Democrats want to hear it. But it is our interventionist foreign policy and its unintended consequences that have created these problems, including the attack and murder of Ambassador Stevens. The disputed talking points and White House whitewashing are just a sideshow.
The IRS conservative targeting scandal is going from bad to worse. Following the Friday revelations that despite all prior appeals to the contrary, the IRS did in fact apply political bias and prejudice in targeting conservative groups who had applied for exempt status (and who knows what other prejudice when targeting non-liberals entities - perhaps it is time to do an analysis of what the ratio of conservatives to liberals audited each year is?), culminating with the farcical response by an IRS official during the Friday press meeting, this may be just the beginning of a major political scandal which in additon to tangential fallout crushing the alleged "impartiality" of the Obama administration, additionally validates many of the heretofore right-wing "conspiracy theories." And as Zero Hedge has shown time and again, it is not a conspiracy theory if it is a conspiracy fact.
Politicians love good asset bubbles. Until they blow up. Which they always do.
By the end of next week, the Obama administration will no longer be able to borrow money to fund government operations because Congress has only agreed to extend the government's borrowing authority until May 19. While he has smartly expressed his preference that the most liquid bond market in the world "not default,", Speaker Boehner will take to the lectern this morning at 1045ET to discuss the upcoming "debt prioritization" bill. As Reuters notes, House Republicans are expected to pass the bill today that would require the Obama administration to prioritize government debt payments and retirement benefits if Congress fails to reach a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. The legislation is not expected to go anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House has said it will veto the bill, but what is essentially a tactical maneuver will allow the Republicans, who control the House, to argue they have done their best to avoid a potential U.S. credit default. We are sure the M.A.D. defense card will be played at least once...
All Empires Crash Soon After They Reach Their Peak
Surprising German Factory Orders Bounce Offset ECB Jawboning Euro Lower; Australia Cuts Rate To Record LowSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/07/2013 06:57 -0400
The euro continues to not get the memo. After days and days of attempted jawboning by Draghi and his marry FX trading men, doing all they can to push the euro down, cutting interest rates and even threatening to use the nuclear option and push the deposit rate into the red, someone continues to buy EURs (coughjapancough) or, worse, generate major short squeezes such as during today's event deficient trading session, when after France reported a miss in both its manufacturing and industrial production numbers (-1.0% and -0.9%, on expectations of -0.5% and -0.3%, from priors of 0.8% and 0.7%) did absolutely nothing for the EUR pairs, it was up to Germany to put an end to the party, and announce March factory orders which beat expectations of a -0.5% solidly, and remained unchanged at 2.2%, the same as in February. And since the current regime is one in which Germany is happy and beggaring its neighbors's exports (France) with a stronger EUR, Merkel will be delighted with the outcome while all other European exporters will once again come back to Draghi and demand more jawboning, which they will certainly get. Expect more headlines out of the ECB cautioning that the EUR is still too high.
When it comes to the deep hole of lies and inconsistencies that US foreign policy is vis-a-vis Syria, it has two options: stop digging or double down. Following the earlier report by the UN that outright rejected the full blown White House propaganda push to make it seem that it was Assad's regime that was using chemical weapons as a front to stage a military incursion against a very unappealing despot, that it was the Al-Qaeda assisted and potentially US-armed rebels who had in fact been using toxic sarin gas, there was some hope that the digging would stop. Instead, the doubling down began.
Citizens in Syria's capital woke up early on Sunday to a series of powerful explosions shaking the outskirts of Damascus, sending massive fireballs into the night sky. Preliminary reports that this was an Israeli attack were subsequently confirmed by NBC citing a senior US official who said Israeli jets had bombed a military research center near of Damascus. This would be the second Israeli attack on Syrian territory in the past week, following US media reports that Israel targeted a weapons shipment to the militant group Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon overnight Thursday to Friday, although the Jewish state has refused to confirm or deny the bombing. As RT further reports, during the attack, one Israeli jet was reportedly shot down by Syria's Air Force, according to Hezbollah's Manar TV channel, citing security sources in Damascus. This has yet to be confirmed through official channels although if accurate one expects Syrian media to promptly confirm with video evidence.
There is not one single example in history in which QE has successfully created jobs. The UK has engaged in QE equal to over 20% of its GDP and hasn’t seen a real recovery in employment. Similarly, Japan has employed QE equal to nearly 25% of its GDP and GDP growth continues to slow while unemployment stays elevated.
The President will take questions from the White House reporters at 1015ET. Will he mention the equity market at all-time highs? The strength of the housing market? The 'rising' unemployment rate? The 'falling' macro economy?
But "We Can’t Afford to Irritate the Saudis" By Actually Looking Into Who Backed 9/11 ... "Especially with Oil Prices Going Up Now"