Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's links

1---"US Will Feel Tangible Losses," Russia Prepares To Unleash Retaliatory Trade Wars, zero hedge

"It's a troubling continuation/expansion of trade as a geopolitical tool," warns one Washington-based consulting firm as Russia prepares to unleash retaliatory actions to US and European sanctions. As Bloomberg reports, Russia said yesterday it may ban imports of chicken from the U.S. and fruit from Europe and is investigating McDonald's cheese for safety. In addition, a Russian lawmaker has drafted legislation that might result in U.S. accounting firms being barred from doing business in his country. All of this is odd given Jack "trust me" Lew's reassurance that Russian sanctions would have no impact on the US economy.

2--The Forgotten Financial Panic of 1914, and the Eternal Recurrence of Short-Term Thinking, naked capitalism

3--Ukraine army uses prohibited phosphorous bombs against civilians in Donbass, reports say, itar tass

4--Here’s Why Libya Is Burning — Again, smirking chimp

5--Blaming Russia as "Flat Fact", smirking

6--US sanctions aimed at getting even with Russia — FM says, itar tass

 we paid special attention to the Geneva Statement of April 17, which we had spent eight hours to draft and which our Western partners had refused to support in the UN Security Council and the OSCE,” Lavrov said. “He (Kerry) agreed with me that this statement was the best basis for further work. It calls for immediately stopping the use of force and starting a constitutional process that must be open, inclusive and accountable and must draw all Ukrainian regions into the constitutional reform. This was not done and no steps have been taken in this direction so far.”

7---Moscow: US will feel ‘tangible losses’ from ‘destructive, myopic’ sanctions, RT

8---MH17 tragedy: Beating drums for war in Ukraine, RT

9--EU imposes its first sanctions against the Russian economy, wsws

10--Ukrainian government offensive blocks MH17 investigation, wsws

11---Right-wing gutter journalism: Der Spiegel rails against Russia, wsws

12---Russia Again Calls for Ukraine Talks to Stop Bloodshed – Lavrov,   Heavy Fighting Prevents International Experts from Accessing MH17 Crash Site,   , It’s All for Oil and Gas – US Economist on Sanctions against Russia, Michael Hudson

13--Are you ready for nuclear war?, wsws

The crisis provoked by American and European charges of Russian responsibility for the shooting down of flight MH17 has brought the world the closest it has been to global war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. But the situation today may be even more dangerous. A half century ago, the Kennedy administration—haunted by fears that miscalculations on either side could precipitate a nuclear exchange—sought to keep the lines of communications open and avoid the demonization of Soviet leaders.

Today, on the other hand, the CIA is directing an incendiary propaganda campaign against Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, a campaign that seems intent on provoking a direct military confrontation with the country with the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world. There is no question that the CIA is mobilizing all the resources and assets it commands—within governments, the media, and among academics—in a carefully orchestrated campaign aimed at polluting public opinion with anti-Russian hysteria.

As of now, there is nothing approaching a definitive explanation of the chain of events that led to the destruction of MH17. Despite all the massive surveillance technology at its disposal, upon which it lavishes tens of billions of dollars annually, the US intelligence agencies have not produced a shred of hard evidence to back up the accusations of Russian responsibility.

But while the physical circumstances surrounding MH17’s destruction remain unknown, the political purposes to which this tragedy is being put to use have become all too clear.
Since the beginning of the week, the three most influential mass circulation newsmagazines of the United States, Britain, and Germany—Time, The Economist, and Der Spiegel—have published cover stories that combine wild accusations against Vladimir Putin with demands for a showdown with Russia.

The most striking and obvious characteristic of these cover stories is that they are virtually identical. The CIA has scripted them all. The stories employ the same insults and the same fabrications. They denounce Putin’s “web of lies.” The Russian president is portrayed as a “depraved” mass murderer.

What is the Russian president to make of the use of this sort of language in the most influential newsmagazines? He is on the receiving end of the same campaign of vilification that was previously directed against Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Putin certainly knows the outcome of these propaganda campaigns. ....

 On Tuesday the Obama administration and the European Union announced that they had agreed on a new set of tougher sanctions. These measures are being interpreted as a transitional measure toward what Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau describes as “The Atom Bomb of Financial War.” Munchau’s piece has been published not only in the Financial Times but also in Der Spiegel.
By a combination of military threats and economic strangulation, the US and the EU are moving to politically destabilize Russia. As their continuous references to the Russian oligarchs make clear, they are hoping that the financial sanctions will encourage a conspiracy to overthrow and even murder Putin. The regime envisaged by Washington would convert Russia into a neo-colonial protectorate, entirely subordinated politically, economically and militarily to US imperialism.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today's links

1---How Bad Can The Junk-Bond Sell-Off Get? So Bad It’ll Take Down Stocks , wolf street

2---Wall Street Journal Reporter: “The Entire United States Market Has Become One Vast Dark Pool” , Wall Street on Parade

3---Renting drives U.S. homeownership to 19-year low , Reuters

5---Lawsuit Stunner: Half of Futures Trades in Chicago Are Illegal Wash Trades , WSOP

6---Another Wall Street Inside Job?: Stock Buybacks Carried Out in Dark Pools , WSOP

7---Blackstone adviser: Investors worried about ‘serious correction’, HW

8--U.S. housing data weaker than expected, but services sector expands, Reuters

9---Abenomics Virtuous Cycle Spinning More Slowly, wsj

10--Housing Slowdown? The Case-Shiller Index in Five Charts , wsj

As expected, the pace of U.S. home price gains has slowed this year. Prices rose 9.3% from a year earlier in May in 20 cities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index, down from the 10.8% increase reported last month for April.
Price gains have been expected to flatten out after sales slowed last summer following a sustained run-up in mortgage rates and prices. The Case-Shiller index is also heavily influenced by the share of homes selling out of foreclosure, and as the share of distressed sales fell two years ago, home prices began to look much better. Now that foreclosures are fading from the market, prices may show less volatility.
Some economists were surprised Tuesday by the index’s seasonally-adjusted series, which showed that prices actually fell in May. Home prices tend to rise in the spring and summer because there are more transactions, and prices aren’t as strong in the fall and winter, when transaction volumes decline. To account for this, Standard & Poor’s applies a seasonal adjustment to the series.
But in 2010, S&P warned that the seasonal adjustment wasn’t behaving normally because of the distorting effects of foreclosed-property sales. Because mortgage companies sell homes throughout the year, those sales followed less of the seasonal pattern exhibited by normal owners. Since April 2010, the index committee at S&P hasn’t given much attention to the seasonally adjusted data, given concerns over its reliability.
Bearing that in mind, the 1.1% monthly price gain in May became a 0.3% decline after adjusting for seasonal factors. While all 20 cities showed monthly gains in home prices, some 14 cities showed monthly declines after the seasonal adjustment was applied.
Either way, it’s clear that home prices are slowing, though it’s an open question when prices will settle at a pace of appreciation that matches income gains and inflation. Last year, huge price gains stoked fears of a bubble. A deceleration in price gains should smother those worries.
What does the broader picture show? Prices have risen this year at a slower pace than last year, and at a slower pace than in the pre-crash period. But for now, this bears less resemblance to the depression of 2007 to 2011.
More context: Home prices are now 17.4% below their 2006 peak. By contrast, prices stood around 35% below the 2006 peak when they hit bottom in March 2012. Two cities have returned to all-time highs: Denver and Dallas. Several others, including Las Vegas and Phoenix, remain far below their previous highs, despite huge gains over the past two years.
A final word on the Case-Shiller index: while it was the among the first of its kind to measure prices of homes based on repeat transactions, it isn’t perfect. The index actually measures homes on a three-month moving average and it reports on a two-month delay. That means that in late July, we’re getting a picture of home prices for the three months ended in May.
Moreover, the index reports prices based on closed transactions, and those transactions typically go to contract one to three months earlier. So in late July, we’re getting a picture of what the housing market looked like in the February-to-April period. The widely cited 20-city index is also value weighted, meaning that changes in the prices of more expensive homes in coastal California and the New York metro area can heavily influence the overall index.

10--The Libyan catastrophe, wsws
This weekend’s panicked evacuation of US diplomatic staff from Tripoli, Libya to nearby Tunisia is the culmination of the disaster unleashed by the US-NATO war in Libya three years ago.
The fighting in the Libyan capital between rival militias was so intense that US officials did not dare fly out from the nearby Tripoli airport. Instead, the diplomats and their heavily armed Marine guards fled overland, in a caravan of buses and sport utility vehicles. Drones and jet fighters flew overhead and a destroyer cruised offshore, ready to blow up anyone who got in their way.

Washington and the other imperialist powers armed these same militias in 2011 as part of a war for regime change to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. They left behind a country blown to pieces, its oil industry, the heart of the economy, in a state of collapse and all of Libya engulfed in a spreading civil war.

As the WSWS warned at the time, the war was an imperialist rape of a defenseless ex-colonial country. Tens of thousands of Libyans died as the United States, Britain, France and their Middle East allies bombed Libya, while arming a patchwork of Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias, tribal forces, and units led by Gaddafi-regime turncoats as their foot soldiers.

11---Blaming Russia as "Flat Fact", Robert Parry

12---Ukraine: Pentagon Sees Ballistic Missile Launches - Why Then No MH17 Data? Moon of Alabama

Pentagon officials tell CNN (video) that the Ukrainian government fired three ballistic missiles towards the federalists during the last 48 hours. Such missiles have ranges from 50 miles up to some 600 miles and carry warheads with some 1,000 pounds or more of explosives.
This is a huge qualitative escalation of the conflict. It shows that the Ukrainian military is in real trouble as it now has resorts increasingly to very indiscriminate, imprecise and large weapons.
But there is one even more important issues that CNN will certainly not mention.

The U.S., like Russia, has satellites that watch for bigger missile launches. Some of these satellites are in a geostationary orbit. They permanently observe one area. Other are in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and give a more detailed picture, but as they circulate the earth, for only the time of the overflight. That the Pentagon watched three ballistic missile launches lets me believe that a geostationary satellite with permanent observation was used in this case.

But if there is a U.S. geostationary infrared satellite watching Ukraine all the time it must also have observed the alleged launch of a BUK-1 anti-air missile against the flight MH17. Air-defense missiles release a lot of energy at launch and would be seen as significant, very fast growing white blob on an infrared picture.
The U.S. therefore obviously knows if, when and exactly from where a BUK-1 missile was launched against MH17. That the U.S. detected the ballistic missile launches makes this conclusion inevitable.
Why then is the U.S. not releasing the data of the BUK-1 launch against MH17?

13---MH17 tragedy: Beating drums for war in Ukraine, RT

Let’s start with how all US media refer to the Kiev revolutionary government as the legitimate government of Ukraine. By that logic, if Tea Party-affiliated white supremacist militias based in Wisconsin and Idaho staged a rebellion that forced Barack Obama to take refuge in Canada, shut down the US government, and then those militias declared Chicago our new capital, everything would be fine.
The current Kiev government was the result of a coup by fascist-linked goons with heavy-hitter support in conservative Washington think tanks left over from the Cold War. Those Ukrainian interests had enough political clout in past decades to shut down investigations of Ukrainian war criminal collaborators with the Nazis from WWII.

14---A third of Americans delinquent on debt, USA Today

15---Libya is now officially a failed state, RT

Monday, July 28, 2014

Today's links

Russia's Foreign Ministry commented on this statement as follows: "Judging by the relentless slander campaign against Russia organized by the American administration, they are being more and more guided by blatant lies when pursuing their foreign policy," the ministry said.
"In line with its current practice, Washington cites no proof or any references to facts that could be considered and commented," it said, adding that the White House only mentions certain intelligence data but refuses to present it, and "information in social networks," ITAR-TASS reports.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17 near the city of Donetsk in Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Kiev placed the blame on the independence supporters in eastern Ukraine for shooting the plane down, but the latter insisted they did not have the means to shoot down an aircraft flying at 32,000 feet

1---White House says Russia ‘culpable’ of MH17 downing, cites ‘social media reports’, RT

Washington has claimed that Moscow is ‘culpable’ in the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine, as it was Russian authorities that gave the rebels heavy weapons and training. However, the claim was only backed up by reports in social media.
“We’ve seen that there were heavy weapons moved from Russia to Ukraine, that they have moved into the hands of separatist leaders,”said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. “And according to social media reports, those weapons include the SA-11 [Buk missile] system.”

Once again citing “some social media reports,” Earnest added that Russia trained the self-defense forces operating in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
“We do know that it was an SA-11 [Buk missile] system that was in the hands of separatists that brought down the Malaysian airliner last week. We know that Russia had been involved in training separatists to use that system.”

2---Intl. teams find ‘no violations’ by Russia along Ukrainian border, RT

3---According to British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, the large volume of evidence indicated the missile had been launched from the embattled Ukrainian territory, itar tass

4-- "The whole world has witnessed the tragedy of the peoples of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and lately, of Ukraine. Under the guise of export of democracy, civilians, women, the elderly, children are being killed in these countries, cities and religious shrines are being destroyed. The U.S. and the EU are directly responsible for everything that happens there. The actions of their leaders are state terrorism directed against countries and peoples. And  it is the blood of Muslims that is shed in most cases." The head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov

5---16 Considerations Which Debunk Washington’s Propaganda About Flight 17 , John Stockman

6--Donetsk Commander Denies Telling Media Militia Had Buk Missiles During MH17 Crash, Pravda

Khodakovsky also said he had a video recording of the Reuters interview that could prove he did not tell the agency that the independence supporters possessed missile systems. He said he had told Reuters that he was not an expert and could not comment on the crash, while all the videos with militia forces talking about having Buk systems were dated the day before the crash.

7---Trim Tabs: Stock buybacks looking weak, FOX

8--America's Lost Decade: Typical Household Wealth Has Plunged 36% Since 2003, zero hedge

As Russell Sage Foundation concludes, through at least 2013, there are very few signs of significant recovery from the loss of wealth experienced by American families during the Great Recession. Declines in net worth from 2007 to 2009 were large, and the declines continued through 2013. These wealth losses, however, were not distributed equally. While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2003 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.

 The American economy has experienced rising income and wealth inequality for several decades, and there is little evidence that these trends are likely to reverse in the near-term.

It is possible that the very slow recovery from the Great Recession will continue to generate increased wealth inequality in the coming years as those hardest hit may still be drawing down the assets they have left to cover current consumption

9--Gas Pipeline Diplomacy”: How Ukraine Opened the Door to A New U.S.- Russia Energy War, global research

The pipeline is core to the larger battle being fought over Europe between Moscow and Washington. It may even have been a motivation behind Russia’s annexation of Crimea. And if there’s a crack in the unified front between the U.S. and Europe over Russia’s role in Ukraine, South Stream is it.
Why does South Stream matter? It’s a $21.6 billion project to connect Russia’s gas reserves—the world’s largest—to Europe’s markets.  Europe relies on Russia for about 30 percent of its natural gas.
Any delays in finishing the pipeline—scheduled for completion in 2018—can only help Russia’s competitors in the international energy business.  And one player gearing up to challenge Russia in the European energy market is the United States

10--This map shows Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, VOX
Europe is still heavily reliant on Russian

11--Is the Ukraine "Crisis" a US Crony Oil Play?; Further Discussion of S.2277 (“to prevent further Russian aggression, etc.”), Michael Rozeff

the bill itself which has a number of explicit crony capitalist sections on gas and oil development in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The bill directs the U.S. Agency for International Development to guarantee loans for every phase of the development of oil and gas in these regions:
“…direct assistance to expand efforts in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova to help exploit existing natural gas reserves, to conduct additional exploration for oil and gas, and to develop alternative sources of energy, including oil and gas, and to encourage energy efficiency, for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, including the development of associated transportation, storage, and refinement facilities.”

There is nothing like installing your own puppets in a foreign government, then underwriting loans to the local oligarchs and American favorites to develop the oil and gas business, while trying to freeze out Russian companies, and then sitting back and raking in the payoffs and profits. Domestically, similar methods are a proven way of doing business within America.

July 25 (RIA Novosti) – A system mix up during a Ukrainian air defense units’ rocket launch exercise could be the cause of the Malaysia Airlines crash in southeast Ukraine, a source from one of the Ukrainian defense departments told RIA Novosti.“On July 17 the commanding officer of 156th Anti-Aircraft Regiment was instructed to conduct a training exercise of ground troops stationed near Donetsk, which involved deploying the troops, and carrying out a routine tracking and destroying of targets with the Buk-M1 missile,” the source said.
The source added that the actual launch of the rockets was not intended.
Two Sukhoi Su-25 combat aircraft on a reconnaissance mission participated in the exercise. It is likely at some point, the routes of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 and a Su-25 jet overlapped. Despite flying at different levels, they became a single dot on the radar of the missile system. Of the two, the system automatically chose a larger target

16--Collapse of Ukraine Government: Prime Minister Yatsenyuk Resigns amidst Pressures Exerted by the IMF

17---Interpol puts Ukrainian ultranationalist Yarosh on wanted list, RT

18--- US mass media and its prominent politicians are cynically using a public tragedy to push the West towards dangerous confrontation with Russia., RIA

After a week of attacking Russia with groundless accusations, the US security service officials had to admit that they had not got proof of "direct Russian government involvement in shooting down" the Malaysia Airlines plane. Furthermore, the unnamed US officials suggested that the MH17 airplane could have been shot down in error, adding that they could not state definitively if it was Ukrainian insurgents who launched the missile.

Embarrassingly, while Russia's Defense Ministry presented its radar and satellite data on July 21, describing the final moments of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 before the crash, US State Department's spokeswoman Marie Harf was referring to YouTube videos and social media posts to prove the Ukrainian rebels' involvement in the tragedy. Alas, all the "evidences," Marie Harf pointed, collapse upon careful scrutiny.
However, the media’s anti-Russian smear campaign has borne its first fruit: the EU is discussing the next round of sanctions; tensions between Russia and the West have increased; leading US Democratic senators called on President Barack Obama to add the Ukrainian rebel group to a US foreign terrorist organizations blacklist.

Remarkably, the American Russophobic lobby achieved these impressive results before an independent international investigation into the plane crash even started. It should be noted that methods used by Western mass media are strikingly similar to those used by savage cannibal tribes: through endless repetition of some words, savages are persuade themselves of the necessity to devour their fellow tribesman.
In mid-July, James W. Carden, former advisor to the US State Department’s US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (2011-2012), pointed to the growing interventionist hysteria that swept neocons and their "counterparts" abroad. He calls them "the Wilsonians." The global Wilsonians are beating the war drum, comparing 2014 with 1938 when the most "demonic" authoritarian regimes were on rise, Carden notes in his article "Will Global Wilsonians Take Us to War?"

19--Ukraine TV cuts live interview after HRW rep refuses to admit ‘Russian aggression’, RT

20--The financial bubble economy, wsws

21---3 reasons Yellen's FOMC remains dovish, sober look
What makes Janet Yellen and a number of other FOMC members so dovish with respect to monetary policy and in particular the trajectory of rate normalization? A Credit Suisse report sites 3 key factors, which Yellen calls  “unusual  headwinds":

1. Tighter fiscal policy.

The combination of lower government spending and tax increases has created a drag on economic growth (see chart). This drag is now diminishing, but given the tepid recovery Yellen still views it as a headwind.

2. Relatively tight credit in the mortgage market.
Janet Yellen: - " ... it is difficult for any homeowner who doesn't have pristine credit these days to get a mortgage. I think that is one of the factors that is causing the housing recovery to be slow. It’s not the only one, but I would agree with that assessment."
A recent study by Goldman compared current lending conditions in the mortgage market with the 2000 - 2002 period (supposedly "pre-bubble" period). The results indeed seem to point to tighter lending standards at this time (see chart).

3. Low household wage growth expectations.

While US wages have been growing at around 2% per year, expectations for growth remain depressed.
Yellen (see House testimony video below): - " ... households have unusually depressed expectations about their own future income gains. And I think weighs on their feelings about their own household finances and is holding back consumer spending."

Source: Credit Suisse
22-- US companies are carrying far more net debt than in 2007  zero hedge

Another curiosity is this notion that US companies have substantially reduced their debt pile and are therefore cash rich. The latter is indeed true. Cash and equivalents are at historically high levels, but rarely do those who mention the mountains of corporate cash also discuss the massive increase in debt seen over the last couple of years.

In fact, debt levels have been growing to such an extent that net debt (i.e. excluding the massive cash pile) is 15% higher than it was prior to the financial crisis.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Today's Links

1--More on the revolving door, zero hedge

There is no better way to describe what the recently departed CFTC commissioner Scott O'Malia just did when he bailed from the commodity watchdog to become the new head of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, aka ISDA, the biggest banking group that has constantly opposed every intervention and attempt to regulate the swaps market by the CFTC since the Lehman crisis, than an epic farce.....

Even an otherwise impartial Reuters appears outraged by this blatant and painfully clear example of government capture of "public servants" by those who have dangle carrots of money in exchange for lobby (and future employment promise) favors, and thus set the rules, courtesy of people like O'Malia.

The speed of O'Malia's move, and ISDA's high profile, made the appointment striking even by Washington standards, where a 'revolving door' between regulators and those they oversee makes moves from one side to the other common.

"This is why Americans are so disgusted with so many high government officials and believe that Washington is in cahoots with Wall Street," said Dennis Kelleher, who heads Better Markets, a group urging tighter regulation of big banks.

O'Malia spent more than four years as a member of the CFTC, and was an outspoken critic of the rule-making process mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which he said had been rushed, confused and lacked transparency. At the CFTC, he chaired the Technology Advisory Committee, which drives the agency's efforts to better cope with the vast amount of data it has to handle.

2---SEC Is Set to Approve Money-Fund Rules, WSJ

No redemptions for you!

3---Putin: Public Enemy Number One, Newsweek, zero hedge

great comments

4---Putin Recalls State Duma From Vacation, "Planning Something" On Ukraine Situation, zero hedge

As Ukrinform reports,

State Duma deputies, who are currently on a planned vacation, urgently come to Moscow to participate in an unscheduled meeting because of the situation in eastern Ukraine, a source in the State Duma told Ukrinform on Wednesday.

"Maybe something will happen tomorrow. Now this issue is being solved. Something is being planned, because many deputies come, probably for a quorum. Many deputies arrive... and today they already have to be in Moscow," he said.

According to the source, it is still unknown which document is to be considered by Russian deputies.

According to the source, it is clear only that Russia's top-ranking officials "planned something" on the situation in the east of Ukraine if they plan to hold an unscheduled meeting of the State Duma.

from New Insight:

Friends, this is a MUST LISTEN. The words of Sergei Glazyev, the Economic Advisor to Russian President Putin are a stunning wake up call for anyone with the capacity to think independently & critically. For those who understand the over reach of US empire and Washington fascism over the past decade alone (in the name of the precious 9/11 fable), we ignore these realities at OUR OWN peril.? ~SGT

Kiev is clearly conducting a policy of genocide to eliminate the whole population of Donbass… They’re destroying hospitals, kindergartens, schools. The fate they’re preparing for the people of Donbass is serfdom… It is obvious that the United States is fully controlling the Kiev Nazis, Poroshenko personally, and the government, and is pushing them to pursue this war against Donbass to the very end… THIS IS A WAR BY THE UNITED STATES AGAINST US… So we have to understand that the key to resolving the catastrophe of Ukraine is to be found in Washington. That’s where Nazism has to be defeated..”

- Sergei Glazyev Economic Advisor to Russian President Putin

Recorded on June 10, 2014, Glazyev discusses the massive militarization of Ukraine, intended not only to crush Donbass, but to re-take Crimea in order to start another world war for further consolidation of the US hegemony over Eurasia.

5---Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane', independent

6---Bottom Line:  What we do see is a zero interest rate. But that is just a zero interest rate. It is not a liquidity trap. We know this because bonds are still very much so in demand. Whereas in a liquidity trap people want to hold money instead of bonds. That is not the case today, naked capitalism

Let us first get a feel for meaning of the term ‘liquidity trap’. Here is Keynes in the original. In the General Theory he writes:
There is the possibility… that, after the rate of interest has fallen to a certain level, liquidity-preference may become virtually absolute in the sense that almost everyone prefers cash to holding a debt which yields so low a rate of interest. In this event the monetary authority would have lost effective control over the rate of interest.
So, a liquidity trap is a situation when the central bank pumps in money and the rate of interest doesn’t respond. People say: “Meh, I don’t like the look of those bonds, I’ll just hold this cash”, and so bond prices remain high.
Krugman, on the other hand, has completely confused two concepts — that of a zero-lower bound scenario and a liquidity trap. You can see this clearly in his 1998 paper where he writes:
A liquidity trap may be defined as a situation in which conventional monetary policies have become impotent, because nominal interest rates are at or near zero: injecting monetary base into the economy has no effect, because base and bonds are viewed by the private sector as perfect substitutes. (p141)
Um, no. A liquidity trap is when people say “nah, I don’t want bonds, I want money”. It is a situation in which the rate of interest on bonds do not respond to an increase in base money. Let us be clear: in a liquidity trap people do not want to hold bonds. In a liquidity trap cautious investors spit bonds back onto the market, their prices fall and their yields rise.

It is thus obvious that a liquidity trap occurs when the rate of interest gets ‘stuck’ and does not respond to an increase in base money. As I have argued before, we saw this in 2009-2010 when interest rates on risky assets failed to respond to Fed intervention. But we do not see this today. The central bank have not today, as Keynes puts it, “lost control over the rate of interest”. After 2009 interest rates came down across the board in response to actions by the central bank. Today it is well-known to even the most myopic mainstream economist that we live in a low yield environment.

7---Sanctions? Not so fast.  More MH17, naked capitalism

The second story in the right column, EU rifts scupper new Russia sanctions, explains:
Europe’s foreign ministers failed to agree new sanctions against Russia for its alleged role in the downing of MH17 despite a push by Britain, Sweden and a group of eastern European countries for an arms embargo to be imposed on the Kremlin.
The ministers instead asked EU officials to draw up wider-ranging measures – but only if Russia fails to co-operate with the West in the future. The US and several European allies believe a Russian-supplied missile system was used by Ukrainian separatists to shoot down the Malaysia Airways airliner over eastern Ukraine last Thursday.
Recall that we pointed out yesterday that the apparent aim of the rush to pin the destruction of the plane on Russia was to get Europe to join in the tougher sanctions that the US imposed on Russia last week. It looks as if the US has lost this round.
Mind you, the depressurization may prove to be short lived. But trying to push France to the wall via trying to get it to cancel its contract to Mistral helicopter gunships to Russia was more than France was prepared to tolerate, from both an economic and national sovereignity standpoint. The French also got their rhetorical licks in by pointing out British hypocrisy in the dependence of its banks and the London real estate market on cash from Russian oligarchs. And if I were Germany or Italy, I might take pause from the specter of the US resorting to bare-knuckle tactics....

Rampant Speculation … Few Facts
U.S. officials said earlier today that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was probably shot down by mistake … and there was no proof that Russia was directly involved.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.
In other words – despite the incessant beat of the war drums and false claims – the U.S. has little evidence that Russia is responsible.
Update: Moreover, former AP and Newsweek report Robert Parry reported last week:
I’m told that some CIA analysts cite U.S. Regarding the shoot-down of the Malaysian jetliner on Thursday, I’m told that some CIA analysts cite U.S. satellite reconnaissance photos suggesting that the anti-aircraft missile that brought down Flight 17 was fired by Ukrainian troops from a government battery, not by ethnic Russian rebels who have been resisting the regime in Kiev since elected President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown on Feb. 22
What we do see is a zero interest rate. But that is just a zero interest rate. It is not a liquidity trap. We know this because bonds are still very much so in demand. Whereas in a liquidity trap people want to hold money instead of bonds. That is not the case today. Today people are desperate to get their hands on bonds because holding money is eroding their portfolios due to the substantial negative yield being incurred. But in a liquidity trap, as Keynes says, “almost everyone prefers cash to holding a debt...

Let’s just get that straight: the key symptom that indicates that there is a liquidity trap is that people want to hold cash instead of bonds. Let me state that one more time in a different way: a liquidity trap is when there is a panic across financial markets, people rush to cash and no matter how much cash the central bank issues the demand for financial assets remains depressed....

Clever Handle
I’ve been reading the comments sections on German news articles to get a sense of what they’re talking about. It’s not good for the US government. Even Die Zeit, the latest article of which is a full throated defense of the “separatists did it” case, is flooded by skeptics. A lot of them link to a German article that sources Robert Parry.
Die Zeit article:
Article that sources Parry:
They’ve been lied to too many times. So have we, but we’re slower on the uptake.

Abe, NYC
A few comments on the unidentified military jet:
1. According to Russians’ own radar data it was below 5,000m at the time of the hit. It couldn’t have been shadowing the Boeing, which was above 10,000m.
2. They suspect it was a Su-25 but can only make a guess based on its characteristics as recorded by the radar.
3. The Boeing disintegrated in the air. This is unlikely to have been caused by an R-60 air-to-air missile mentioned by the Russians, which has a warhead of 3kg. By comparison, the warhead on a missile fired by Buk systems is 72kg.
However, the presence of a military jet in the vicinity of the Boeing is significant because:
1, Ukrainains claimed they had no military aircraft in the area. (But they later said there was an IL-76 in the area at the time of the incident).
2. The insurgents may have targeted it and hit the Boeing instead.
3. Ukrainians previously claimed that Russian military aircraft were operating in the area. The jet in question may have been Russian, which Ukrainians targeted and hit the Boeing instead.

8---Should Markets Be Discounting Conflict?, naked capitalism

9--No Russian  link to plane crash, Huff Post

10---Ukrainian crisis will not split Russia and Europe - Medvedev, RT

11---Top parliamentarian vows to thwart US plans to isolate Russia, RT

Statements are being made in Washington that the United States are starting to implement a global isolation policy for our country. Now the US administration attempts to attract the European Union to the isolation policy. The ultimate objective is to create a new tectonic rift between Russia and Europe in the spirit of the new Cold War,” the senior MP said in the interview.

However, such a scheme would not work, primarily due to the strong economic and financial ties between Russia and Europe that are important for both parties. “We are an important and large country; they have to do business with us. We also need this and we have to prevent the USA from creating the rift,” Pushkov emphasized.

To achieve this goal Russian leaders must find more countries that oppose the isolation policy and not necessarily in Europe, the Duma official said. “China is one such country. President Putin’s trip to China and the position taken by Beijing is very important in the current situation. India, South Africa, and Brazil – all BRICS nations have also defined their positions. We must consolidate the relations with the countries that refuse to follow the US isolation policy.”
Right here and right now the global balance of forces are being checked. And one parameter here is whether the USA will be able to create an effective mechanism to isolate Russia,” Pushkov noted.

12---Ukraine caught in third lie, mish

13---No Evidence - Administration's MH17 Case Against Russia Falls Apart, Moon of Alabama

The federalists fighting in east Ukraine just took down two more SU-25 ground attack fighters that were bombing their positions. The weapons used against these planes are either simple air-defense guns or short ranged missiles unlike the missiles that allegedly took down the Malaysian passenger jet.
The case the Obama administration made against the federalists and Russia in connection with that MH-17 flight is completely falling apart.
Even the aggressive State Department spokesperson has to admit (vid) there is no real evidence at all. The "mountain of evidence" Secretary of State Kerry talked about is nothing but doctored photos and sound files provided by the Ukrainian coup government. One photo, for example, is supposed to show a missile system in federalists hands in a town in east Ukraine. But two reporters asking locals there can not find anyone who has seen the bulky and loud system. The photo is therefore likely a montage.
After being public criticized for showing no real evidence the Obama administration trotted out some "senior intelligence officials" who then admitted that they have nothing, NOTHING, to connect the case to Russia and only vague circumstantial "social media evidence" that federalists COULD have downed the jet:
But the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia, although they described a stepped-up campaign in recent weeks by Russia to arm and train the rebels, which they say has continued even after the downing of the commercial jetliner. In terms of who fired the missile, "we don't know a name, we don't know a rank and we're not even 100 percent sure of a nationality," one official said, adding at another point, "There is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here," a referenc to a fictional detective who solved mysteries.
Most damning for the case may be this:
The senior intelligence officials said spy agencies were not aware that an SA-11 system was in eastern Ukraine until the attack had happened.
So the alleged transfer of such a big weapon system from Russia was either not observable for the multi-billion dollar, all seeing, all hearing U.S. intelligence or it never happened. Case closed.
But the neolibcons in the Obama administration do not despair yet. The murky Ukrainian company that hired Vice President Biden's son is now paying more lobbyists in Washington. The bribes will flow in bigger amounts. The lies from the Obama administration, and especially from Kerry, will continue as its tries everything possible to restart a Cold War against Russia or, if possible, even a hot one.
Let the Europeans bleed. As long as the U.S. is safe everything is hunky dory

14--Could this explain the 14killometer detour Mh17 took that Russian intelligence can't explain or I'm I being too conspiratorial??
Boeing Patents Airliner Anti-Terrorist System ---Autopilot Autolands Aircraft For Incapacitated Crew

new "uninterruptible" autopilot developed by Boeing and patented in Canada purportedly flies and lands the aircraft in case the crew is incapacitated.
An autopilot that can fly and land an airliner isn't new, but one that activates itself when it senses excessive force on the cockpit door is (the crew may also activate it manually).
Even that feature isn't as controversial as this: once initiated, the system may not be disengaged by anyone aboard the aircraft.

Once engaged, Boeing's system will accept directions from ground-based controllers. The controversy stems from concerns over what might happen should the system malfunction -- or worse, should terrorists gain control of an aircraft from the ground.
Or this:
Boeing wins patent on uninterruptible autopilot system,
Boeing’s is, of course, not the first autopilot technology in existence, but this one has been designed with counterterrorism first and foremost in mind. Not only is it “uninterruptible” — so that even a tortured pilot cannot turn it off — but it can be activated remotely via radio or satellite by government agencies. The system might even include senors on the cockpit door that activate the autopilot of a certain amount of force is used against it. “There is a need for a technique that ensures the continuation of the desired path of travel of a vehicle by removing any type of human decision process that may be influenced by the circumstances of the situation, including threats or further violence onboard the vehicle,” the patent application explains. To make it fully independent, the system also has its own power supply, independent of the aircraft’s circuit breakers

15---US: No link to Russian gov't in plane downing, Yahoo

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today's links

1--Deutsche Bank going under?, zero hedge

More from WSJ:

In a letter to Deutsche Bank executives last December, a senior official with the New York Fed wrote that financial reports produced by some of the bank's U.S. arms "are of low quality, inaccurate and unreliable. The size and breadth of errors strongly suggest that the firm's entire U.S. regulatory reporting structure requires wide-ranging remedial action."

The criticism from the New York Fed represents a sharp rebuke to one of the world's biggest banks, and it comes at a time when federal regulators say they are increasingly focused on the health of overseas lenders with substantial U.S. operations.

The Dec. 11 letter, excerpts of which were reviewed by the Journal, said Deutsche Bank had made "no progress" at fixing previously identified problems. It said examiners found "material errors and poor data integrity" in its U.S. entities' public filings, which are used by regulators, economists and investors to evaluate its operations.

The shortcomings amount to a "systemic breakdown" and "expose the firm to significant operational risk and misstated regulatory reports," said the letter from Daniel Muccia, a New York Fed senior vice president responsible for supervising Deutsche Bank.


Deutsche Bank's external auditor, KPMG LLP, also identified "deficiencies" in the way the bank's U.S. entities were reporting financial data in 2013, according to a Deutsche Bank email reviewed by the Journal.

Oh wait, so those €55 trillion in derivatives are actually completely fabricated? Well if that doesn't send the S&P 500 limit up nothing will.

2---Obama does a 180 on MH17, zero hedge


  • As Bloomberg notes,


    AP reports,

    Senior U.S. intelligence officials say they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

    They say the passenger jet was likely felled by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and that Russia "created the conditions" for the downing by arming the separatists.

    The officials briefed reporters Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week's air disaster, which killed 298 people.

    They said they did not know if any Russians were present at the missile launch, and they wouldn't say that the missile crew was trained in Russia.

    A senior official said the most likely explanation was the plane was shot down by mistake......

    So - to sum up - having told the world that they would release details surrounding intelligence about the MH17 disaster, US officials have pulled a "trust us" moment... blamed the "terrorists" and given themselves an out with Putin... all with absolutely no public proof whatsoever...

    *  *  *

    Which leaves us with one question - What happened between The White House and Putin (and perhaps Merkel) that ended with this lowering the tone of the debate?

    3---Flight MH-17 Black Boxes To Be Analyzed In "Impartial" London, zero hedge

    4---US Government Releases Alleged Evidence Of MH17 Missile Trajectory, zero hedge

    5---WSJ Survey: Housing Expectations Fall Further Down the Hole , WSJ

    6---Putin speaks, saker

    However, ever more frequently today we hear of ultimatums and sanctions. The very notion of state sovereignty is being washed out. Undesirable regimes, countries that conduct an independent policy or that simply stand in the way of somebody’s interests get destabilized. Tools used for this purpose are the so-called color revolutions, or, in simple terms – takeovers instigated and financed from the outside. ...

    At the same time, they present Russia with an ultimatum: either you let us destroy the part of the population that is ethnically, culturally and historically close to Russia, or we introduce sanctions against you. This is a strange logic, and absolutely unacceptable, of course. ....

    attempts are clearly being made to destabilize the social and economic situation, to weaken Russia in one way or another or to strike at our weaker spots, and they will continue primarily to make us more agreeable in resolving international issues. ....

    also feel that we must think about additional steps to decrease the dependence of the national economy and financial system on negative external factors. I am not just referring to instability in global markets, but possible political risks as well.
    Fourth, our Armed Forces remain the most important guarantor of our sovereignty and Russia’s territorial integrity. We will react appropriately and proportionately to the approach of NATO’s military infrastructure toward our borders, and we will not fail to notice the expansion of global missile defense systems and increases in the reserves of strategic non-nuclear precision weaponry.

    We are often told that the ABM system is a defense system. But that’s not the case. This is an offensive system; it is part of the offensive defense system of the United States on the periphery. Regardless of what our foreign colleagues say, we can clearly see what is actually happening: groups of NATO troops are clearly being reinforced in Eastern European states, including in the Black and Baltic seas. And the scale and intensity of operational and combat training is growing. In this regard, it is imperative to implement all planned measures to strength our nation’s defence capacity fully and on schedule, including, of course, in Crimea and Sevastopol, where essentially we need to fully recreate the military infrastructure.

    7---Russia Says Has Photos Of Ukraine Deploying BUK Missiles In East, Radar Proof Of Warplanes In MH17 Vicinity, zero hedge

    8--10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash, RT

    9---Russia Touts South Stream Pipeline As Europe’s Gas Lifeline, zero hedge

    10---From the sakerFrom THE SAKER: Still, a few very interesting things came out of this press conference.
    First, the Ukies have been caught lying about their military aircraft in the area of the disaster. They had claimed that no UAF aircraft were in the area. The Russians have shown the recorded radar tracks which reveal the following: there was what appears to have been a military aircraft (with no transponder) flying below 5000m which suddenly began climbing just before MH17 was hit by some kind of missile. This unidentified aircraft then stayed and observed as MH17 fell to the ground. The Russians added that a SU-25 armed with a R-60 air to air missile could have shot down MH17. Maybe. But what is certain is that the civilian radars did detected this strange Ukie aircraft.

     Now, these radar tracks are from *civilian* radars. The Russians apparently are not willing to share the data from their military radars. This is why this mysterious Ukie aircraft 'appears' at 5'000m altitude and then 'disappears' again, but you can be certain that their military radars, especially on their A-50 AWACs did track that aircraft before and after its strange maneuver. Again, I think that the Russians hope that the experts will come to the correct conclusions on the basis of what they have shown today and that they will not have to reveal more. But we can be certain that they have the full picture and that they know exactly what happened.

     Second, the Russians are challenging their American colleagues to show the images they claim show the launch of the BukM1 rocket. They also point out at the interesting coincidence that an US experimental launch detection satellite was exactly over the area at the moment of the tragedy. Clearly, they are tossing the world experts some kind of lead here, but I am not sure what this is.
    Third, the Russians have shown their own space-based imagery which shows that one battery of BukM1 had been moved just prior to the incident (See for yourself here). It will be interesting to see if the Ukies explain what is shown on these picture and, if yes, how?

     As a public information this conference gets a C+ but as a lead for experts I would give it a much higher A-. We know have hard proof that the Ukies lied at least twice. They lied about the footage of the Buk missiles being moved back to Russia (the footage was taken in Ukie-occupied territory) and they most definitely lied when they denied having any military aircraft in the area when in reality they had one in the immediate proximity of MH17. That is a huge lie which the Ukies will have a very hard time dismissing.

     As I said in my first post about MH17, I have no hope whatsoever that the western plutocracy will ever admit that the junta did it. Ditto for the corporate presstitues of the MSM, but I do hope that the world will see this tragedy for what is clearly was: a deliberate false flag on the part of the Nazi junta in Kiev. As David Chandler correctly points out about 9/11, the proof of a cover up is in itself already a proof of a conspiracy.
    The Saker

    11----Mutiny in the intel agencies? sic_semper_tyrannis

    12---Senior U.S. Intelligence Officials: Russia Was Not Directly Involved, and The Most Likely Explanation Was the Plane Was Shot Down By MISTAKE

    13---Extra comments:

    Cicero: "Mendaci neque quum vera dicit, creditur" (a liar is not to be believed even when he speaks the truth)

  • Login or register to post comments

  • Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:02 | 4987612 Dewan
    Dewan's picture
    Which kind of evidence is supposed to be this? It's not even a radar image. The Russians presented an extensive, professional analysis, and have no reason to lie since it's ovbious to anyone who can read Russian and read the Russian news that the coup in Kiev was instigated by the West since the very beginning. So by now it's far beyond doubt that the Malaysian airlines flight was brought down by either the incompetent Ukrainian Army or by foreign mercenaries working with them which had even less knowledge then the Ukrainians themselves about what they were targeting, assuming that it was a mistake, although it might not be. 

    Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:10 | 4987653 Bioscale
    Bioscale's picture
    Additionally, I expect the Russians not to uncover everything they have recorded. I tend to believe the "real" evidence is waiting to be released when the right time comes. Seeing the paintbrush bullshit of CNN, I think we are not there yet.

    Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:03 | 4987617 NeedleDickTheBu...
    NeedleDickTheBugFucker's picture
    The copyright on the digital image is 4 years old (2010)!  Using colored magic markers to draw the flight path and missile trajectory on said digital image is far from conclusive evidence.

    Here are Zinn’s 1993 words in context:

    “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent
    people (words printed below Anderson’s cartoon) for a purpose which is
    unattainable. If the purpose is to stop terrorism, even the supporters of
    the bombing say it won't work; if the purpose is to gain respect for the
    United States, the result is the opposite: all over the world there is
    anger and indignation at Reagan's mindless, pointless, soulless violence…”

    WhackoWarner's picture
    Someone drew a nice yellow line on a copyright 2010 Digital Globe "cut and paste".  Nice.

    tumblemore's picture
    The rebels shot it down with a BUK - obviously - but why did the rebels think it was a military plane? The Su-25 following MH17 spoofed the IFF transponder.

    tumblemore's picture
    You can make a civilian air liner look like a military target by flying a fighter between the air liner and the radar on the ground and spoofing the air liner's IFF signal.


    Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:52 | 4988191 gcjohns1971
    gcjohns1971's picture
    Good point.
    An Air Force that didn't want to get shot by SAMs might follow closely behind civilian aircraft, hoping to hide.
    Of course, there is a chance that then the SAM would see the military plane instead of the airliner.
    But the airliner is bigger.  All things being equal, it would put out the bigger signature.

    However, any attempt to hack a black box would encounter problems when attempts were made to correlate the data with other sources.

    Almost all planes use what’s called the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (Acars), which involves transmissions of basic data from aircraft to ground stations.

    Malaysia Airlines have already confirmed that, in the case of MH17, Acars transmitted as normal.

    And, even if a black box was tampered with, it would not be possible to alter the Acars data, meaning any discrepancies would be highlighted....

    Mr John continued the data on the recorders can be listened using readout software, and this, in theory, works like a laptop.

    He said people on the crash site may have been able to listen to the data, if they had similar software.

    Mr Taylor added that even listening to the data would need to be carried out using specialist equipment by trained analysts.

    However, accessing and tampering with the data is much more difficult....


    MH17 was believed to have been taken down by a missile known as the Mach 3 semi-active homing 9M28M1.
    It was thought to have been launched from one of the BUK family of missile launchers.
    The surface-to-air missile has a range of 1.8 to 12.4 miles (three to 20km) and can hit targets up to an altitude of 75,000ft (23,000 metres).
    A typical missile battery to launch the the missile consists of a command vehicle housing computers and displays, a target-acquisition radar and one or more self-propelled launchers each carrying up to four missiles.
    Once a target has been selected it takes five minutes for a missile to warm up and 12 minutes to reload after launching.
    Depending on the model the missile would then accelerate to at least 2,790ft (850 metres) per second to up to 4,035ft (1,230 metres) per second.
    This means it would have reached MH17, 33,000ft (10,000 metres) high, eight to 12 seconds after being fired.
    It detonates within 65ft (20 metres) of its target, which causes critical damage to the engines and control system of the aircraft.
    The missile acquires its target using radar in a ‘seeker’ in its tip. It tracks its target autonomously after being fired.

    A black box records more than 80 channels of data, so any attempts to hack it would need to alter all relevant data within the box

    Full article:

    The Dutch government has asked for the UK’s assistance in examining the "black box" flight recorders retrieved from the Malaysia Airlines flight shot down over eastern Ukraine last week.

    David Cameron announced on Twitter that British investigators based at Farnborough in Hampshire will be tasked with retrieving vital data from the two recorders.
    The black boxes were initially withheld from international air accident officials by the Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine who have been widely accused of bringing down the plane.
    But after a truce was called to cover the crash zone in Ukraine, rebels allowed investigators access to the site and also let a train carrying bodies move on to a Ukrainian government base.
    The Prime Minister tweeted: "We've agreed Dutch request for air accident investigators at Farnborough to retrieve data from MH17 black boxes for international analysis.
    A spokesperson for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: "We can confirm that the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch based in Farnborough has been asked to carry out the data analysis of the MH17 black boxes.

    I won't believe any of this until Gen. Powell gets up there and says it's so.

    The image is an old map, Copyright 2010.  This is NOT evidence.  This is a drawing of what someone thinks occured.

    geez...a little kid could have drawn that bullshit...looks like the same folks who made that map image are the same ones who created obama's online .pdf "birth certificate" or programmed the obamacare website.  Bang up job, really got some skillz.

    Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:43 | 4987799 john39
    john39's picture
    this is almost as bad as nuttyahoo's infamous "red line" bomb drawing:

    What else do you expect from Obozo and his idiotic/arrogant neocons? By the way, Russia claims that the USSA had a satelite flying right over the scene at the precise time of the downing of the plane. So if wdc doesn,t come out with clear images then it tells who's lying. At least the Russians are showing real pictures.

    Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:51 | 4987845 Gaius Frakkin' ...
    Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture
    They're so desperate to get some of their warmongering BS propaganda to be taking seriously by the public. They're like a spoiled toddler in a tantrum throwing everything around them and they can't fathom why no one is taking them serious.

    SMG's picture
    This is all they've got!?!?
    Oh yea, that convinces me to support WWIII. A-holes.

    HardAssets's picture
    They apparently do this kinda thing because the American citizenry has been so dumbed down that they can get away with it. That may be much more difficult to do when the situation gets the attention of people living throughout the world.