Saturday, September 19, 2015

Today's Links

1--US begins military talks with Russia on Syria, NYT

"We are not saying Assad and all his cronies have to go on day one," Mr. Hammond told a parliamentary committee. "If there was a process that was agreed, including with the Russians and the Iranians, which took a period of months and there was a transition out during that period of months, we could certainly discuss that."

2--U.S. says Assad must go, timing down to negotiation

Speaking after talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in London, Kerry called on Russia and Iran to use their influence over Assad to convince him to negotiate a political transition.

3--Obama to nominate first openly gay service secretary to lead the Army (weapons pusher, Fanning)

The U.S. nuclear triad — comprised of land-based ballistic missiles, long-range bombers and submarines that can launch ballistic missiles — is aging and in need of modernization or replacement. Russia’s military activities in Ukraine may push the U.S. government to move forward with procuring new weapons, said Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank.

The most expensive leg of the triad to modernize is the Ohio-class submarine replacement, which the Navy wants to begin building in 2021. At about $6 billion per copy, the service will likely struggle to fit procurement costs into its shipbuilding budget, which is about $15 billion per year.

The Air Force also intends to purchase a long-range strike bomber at $550 million per aircraft to replace the B-2 and B-52, Undersecretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said earlier in March. He indicated that the price of the aircraft is causing the service to cut back on desired capabilities.

Although the Air Force plans to start building the new bombers in the mid 2020s, officials want to delay certification for nuclear operation until the 2040s, Thompson said. “If concern about a resurgent Russian threat persists, though, it may move up the date when the new bomber can contribute to nuclear deterrence,” he wrote in a March 20 editorial for Forbes.

The service soon must also decide whether to upgrade its collection of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles or pursue new delivery vehicles. It is conducting an analysis of alternatives due later this year.

“The most important military consideration that Vladimir Putin overlooked in mounting his annexation of Crimea is how it would bolster the resolve of western nations to maintain their defenses. … Many people in Washington might have been prepared to forego spending money on a new generation of nuclear weapons before Putin made his move, but he has now changed the strategic calculation,” Thompson said.

4--German government adopts drastic measures to deter refugees

The German government wants to drive away refugees by leaving them to starve and refusing them all medical support. A draft law to this effect has been in discussion between the various ministries since Monday and will be debated in parliament in October....
 Three weeks ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel, responding to a wave of solidarity from the German population, had promised to let in refugees from war-torn areas in the Middle East, underscoring this with the words, “We can do it”. Since then, her government has systematically worked to close off Germany’s borders—and the other European countries have followed suit....
. They are to be scared away through hunger and homelessness, and transported back like cattle to countries where unspeakable conditions prevail and where they are confined in virtual concentration camps....

Hungarian President Viktor Orban has received much international criticism for his brutal treatment of refugees. However, by closing the border he is merely doing what the German and other European governments have demanded of him. By tightening up the asylum laws, Germany is adopting Orban’s own brutal methods.

5--The resurrection of borders in Europe  NB

6--Wanna See The 'Trick' In Trickle-Down?

In the chart below I’ve indexed real median personal income against real corporate profits (before tax w/o adjustments) to the beginning of 2009, the point at which central bankers implemented trickle down economics to rescue Americans from the largest gov/banking policy induced disaster in the history of the world.   Let’s have a look at the results of the bankers trickle down strategy….
Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.50.58 AM
Go figure eh….  Anyone think moar QE is the answer??

7--Pollsters arrested in Turkey
Some pollsters working for the Gezici Research and Polling Company were detained on Saturday as they were on the job, the company said.
The company announced on its official Twitter account on Saturday that its pollsters were detained and prevented from doing their job. It was not clear what the pollsters are accused of but the company is known for its almost accurate predictions as opposed to increasing number of pro-government companied which are used to manipulate public opinion ahead of the elections. The crackdown comes with few weeks left for the snap elections scheduled for Nov. 1.
In a recent survey conducted, the company said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is losing public support, with its percentage of votes falling from 40.8 percent in the June 7 general election to 39.2 percent in August.
Back in February, auditors from the Finance Ministry carried out a raid at the Gezici Research Company's office in İstanbul following the company released showing votes for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) decreasing below 40 percent

8---Turkey's governors denied 282 of 290 army requests for anti-terrorism operations in 2014

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) filed 290 requests for permits to conduct anti-terror operations in three Turkish provinces with the corresponding governor’s offices in 2014, with only eight of them receiving a positive response, daily Hürriyet has reported.

9--With or without al-Assad?

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