As the weakly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya came under attack the night of Sept. 11, 2012, the deputy head of the embassy in Tripoli 600 miles away sought in vain to get the Pentagon to scramble fighter jets over Benghazi in a show of force that he said might have averted a second attack on a nearby CIA complex.
Hours later, according to excerpts of the account by [...]
The lawyer who first drew up White House policy on lethal drone strikes has accused the Obama administration of overusing them because of its reluctance to capture prisoners that would otherwise have to be sent toGuantánamo Bay.
John Bellinger, who was responsible for drafting the legal framework for targeted drone killings while working for George W Bush after 9/11, said he believed their use had increased since because President Obama was unwilling to [...]
Tehran tells president to ‘take care of your business’ after Israeli air strike, Israeli TV says; analyst worries about new rash of Syrian TV interviews demanding attacks on the Golan.
If it does not act in response to Israeli aggression, it will be quite embarrassing for the regime to justify the use of fighter jets and helicopter gunships in its internal conflict (for purposes of regime preservation), but not for [...]
Jan 15, 2013
Those who live in artificial cities, plugged into the fabricated media and hypnotized by television are unable to see it, but America stands today on the verge of war. Not war for an enemy in some far-off land, but war with an enemy that has cleverly occupied our soil, our structures of power and our information infrastructure. This enemy is the enemy within, and it is [...]
While the Washington Post reports this afternoon that Congress is considering pushing off all cuts under a new deal to avert the fiscal cliff, top Republicans say that is absolutely false. The sequester cuts will either go through now, as written, or they will be replaced for no more than two to three months to be more specifically calibrated to avoid the blunderbuss across-the-board cuts largely affecting defense.
During that delay [...]
by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:
At least one reader was upset that I recently chose to write about the stock market rather than the tragedy of December 14. I chose not to address the mass murder out of respect for the families of those whose lives were taken. I did not want to exploit the tragedy in pursuit of visibility or an agenda; my thoughts were solely on the families [...]
As of today, December 14th, 2012, the US Congress has not decided on a budge and is no where near being able to vote on passage of any budget. President Obama won’t compromise on his demand that Congress turn it’s authority to limit government borrowing limits. The resistance to this demand lies on both sides of the Congressional isle, yet Obama is refusing to budge.
If the Congress should fail to [...]
“Cliffs are in fashion this fall,” economist Ed Yardeni writes. Not only is there the fiscal cliff, there’s the political cliff and the revenue cliff. “If they fall off of it,” says Yardeni, “so will the profit margin.” Which makes for an earnings cliff too. Then there’s the “capital strike,” described by Barclays’ Barry Knapp as industry’s reluctance to invest until we know the election result and whether the [...]
MADRID (MarketWatch) — The Moody’s Investors Service review of Spanish sovereign debt could come as soon as the close of Europe or U.S. markets Friday, say analysts. Moody’s said in August its review on Spain’s Baa3 rating would continue through the end of September, which is this Sunday. At the time it also said it was waiting on more information on recapitalization needs of Spanish banks, which is coming at [...]
In this young century, the 9/11 attacks, the global financial crisis and the unrest in the Arab world have struck at the heart of vital US interests. If Americans want the tectonic plates of the international system to settle in a way that makes the world safer, freer and more prosperous, the US must overcome its reluctance to lead. We will have to stand up for and promote the [...]
With the exception of progress regarding the bailout of Spanish banks, the echoes from the last EU Summit are not very encouraging.
Firstly, some countries, even if they have been part of the consensus for more integration, are expressing doubts or reluctance in the face of domestic public opinion.
Long before it became headline news, we were talking about the corrosive effect of excessive debt, the softening U.S. and global economy, the “fiscal cliff”, the implausibility of a European solution, the probability of a hard landing in China and the prospect that corporate earnings estimates were far too high. Now these negative stories are carried in the Wall Street Journal every day. This week alone carried articles on downward earnings [...]
The Bradley Effect came to life during an election for the mayor of LA in the early 1980s. Tom Bradley was the mayor and he was black. When up for re-election he was way ahead in the polls but lost. The conclusion many came to was that when people were asked by those conducting the various polls who they were going to vote for, they were reluctant to say they [...]
By Bart Jansen – USA Today
The next time airfare seems too expensive, consider the cost of Air Force One.
The plane that is used to carry the president, which is typically a Boeing 747, costs the Air Force $179,750 per hour to operate, according to a new Congressional Research Service report. Military planes are used for security and because of special equipment on board.
Costs for each trip are even higher when [...]
Facebook Inc. (FB)’s initial public offering has so far generated lower-than-expected demand from institutional investors who are concerned about the company’s growth prospects, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Some investors expressed reluctance after Facebook said on May 9 that advertising growth hasn’t kept pace with the increase in users, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Facebook is also telling analysts [...]
A new survey released by Radisson reveals that 48 percent of Americans opted not to take a vacation in 2011. Are you one of them?
Radisson announced the results of the national survey with Kelton Research that reveals the travel habits, or lack thereof of working Americans. Among them, the survey showed that 48 percent of Americans in 2011 passed on taking a portion of their vacation days, citing mounting work [...]
From Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors
What Do $100 Billion Of Ponzi Bonds Mean?
So Italian banks have issued about $100 billion of these ponzi bonds and even in this day, that is a big number.
Banks issue bonds to themselves. Then they get an Italian government guarantee. Then they take those bonds to the ECB and get money, which I assume they use to pay down other debt mostly.
The Italian banks [...]
The FT’s Peter Spiegel has scoped up some additional details from the 10 page debt sustainability analysis that is at the basis of the latest Greek bailout talks. Some of the critical details:
“even under the most optimistic scenario, the austerity measures being imposed on Athens risk a recession so deep that Greece will not be able to climb out of the debt hole over the course of the new €170bn bail-out.“
A German-led group [...]
by Joe Weisenthal
Greece wants to have a deal on debt restructuring done by tonight, though technically it won’t go into a real chaotic default until March.
Here’s the problem though, it’s not just about getting its creditors to agree to take a given haircut on their holdings.
Euro zone finance ministers told Greeceit could not go ahead with an agreed deal to restructure privately held debt until it guaranteed to implement reforms to secure [...]
February 5, 2012
Euro zone finance ministers told Greece it could not go ahead with an agreed deal to restructure privately held debt until it guaranteed to implement reforms to secure a second financing package from the euro zone and the IMF.
Euro zone ministers had hoped to meet on Monday to finalize the second Greek bailout, which has to be in place by mid-March if Athens is to avoid a [...]