Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Today's quote:  "As has happened so often before, the Democratic Party has become the graveyard of a movement of social protest, with Sanders serving as the undertaker"  Barry Grey, WSWS

1--Yen jumps on falling Japanese stimulus expectations

The market came into yesterday very optimistic both on fiscal and monetary moves,” said Steven Englander, global head of foreign exchange strategy at Citigroup in New York. But, “the headlines coming out have thrown a lot of cold water on the view that they are going to do something aggressive (The US scolds China for currency manipulation but Japan's economy depends entirely on weakening the yen thru stimulus...and Washington never utters a peep. Double standards??)

2--Abenomics Fail: Chart Of The Day: Japan’s Exports Down 9th Straight Month

3--Oil Bulls Headed Over Demand Cliff as Refinery Shutdowns Loom

4--What happens when the bond bubble pops?

5--Turkey thanks Putin for unconditional support over coup attempt

6--Ankara  ready to resume talks on Turkish Stream project

Turkey has confirmed it’s ready to continue negotiations on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as representatives from the energy ministries of the two countries met on Tuesday.

7--No help from NATO--Why Turkey Suspects Washington of Playing a Part in Failed Coup

according to Afshin Rattansi, a London-based author and journalist, it looked rather strange that no NATO member states lent a helping hand to Erdogan when the military coup erupted."It's astonishing that just a couple of years ago, we would have expected the NATO nations to have come to the aid of the Erdogan government which was elected in November. This time? Nothing," he stressed in his interview with RT.

In his article for Consortiumnews.com a Canada-based author John Chuckman suggested that the US could have given a "wink and a nod (and of course, as always, some cash) to Turkish rebel forces" following the recent Russo-Turkish rapprochement

8--Protesters at Democratic Convention denounce nomination of Hillary Clinton

Megan, who was wearing a T-Shirt that read “Stop War,” said, “I feel that with Hillary in power we will be in perpetual warfare. [War] is a real profiteering enterprise for her and her supporters, most of them defense contractors, Wall Street guys, Saudi Arabia – who all like war.”
Megan stated that Hillary “would never be my candidate.”

Asked about the leaked DNC emails showing the campaign against Sanders, Megan said that they “proved that there was a lot of collusion and corruption and absolute disdain for Bernie Sanders.” She continued, “They [the Democratic Party heads] don’t want a change in regime, they want to keep the status quo, keep the rich rich, keep the poor poor. No matter what comes out of their mouth that’s what they are going to continue to do.”

Speaking about the Obama administration she said, “I remember hearing hope and change and all that in 2008, but I didn’t see a whole lot of it! Yeah, we got the ACA [Affordable Care Act] passed, but it actually made a lot of people’s insurance rates go up. And I, as a self-employed person, was able to get health care, but I’m paying an astronomical rate, over 500 dollars a month.”

When our reporter asked her about Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton, Megan said, “I’m really just flabbergasted. I am. I think that he feels that if Hillary isn’t elected we will end up with Trump. But, I’m thinking and wondering at this point, ‘Who is worse? Who is more corrupt? The guy who just spouts off whatever he feels, whatever is in that tiny brain of his just comes out? Or the one who is working behind the scenes to screw us? And not really do what they say they do?’
“Where does it end? The rich are getting richer, the middle class is becoming poor, and the poor are dying.”

9-- As has happened so often before, the Democratic Party has become the graveyard of a movement of social protest, with Sanders serving as the undertaker

The political lessons of the Sanders experience must be learned. As has happened so often before, the Democratic Party has become the graveyard of a movement of social protest, with Sanders serving as the undertaker. The warnings repeatedly issued by the Socialist Equality Party and the World Socialist Web Site, which insisted that Sanders was not the representative of a movement of social revolt, but rather the instrument for containing and dissipating that movement, have been fully borne out.....

Sanders’ exercise in political fraud seemed to be premised on the assumption that the American people suffer from collective amnesia. But facts are facts. The last time the Clintons occupied the White House they presided over a period of unprecedented financial corruption.

The Bill Clinton administration was the period of “irrational exuberance,” when super-low interest rates underwrote a 400 percent rise in the stock market. All of the Clintons’ policies—the dismantling of Glass-Steagall and whatever else remained of banking regulations, the destruction of the federal welfare program—led to a vast enrichment of the corporate-financial elite. It was the period that produced Enron and the explosion in CEO pay. All of the processes that led to the financial collapse and depression of 2008 matured under the Clintons.

For all of Sanders’ denunciations of Trump, the fact remains that the billionaire real estate mogul’s political rise was possible only because of mass disillusionment and frustration with the Democratic Party’s hypocrisy and right-wing policies.

One thing that was particularly striking about Sanders’ speech was the absence of a single reference to foreign policy. He said not a word about Clinton’s role as senator in backing the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq or her role as secretary of state in championing the savage bombing of Libya and murder of its ruler Muammar Gaddafi, as well as the horrific bloodletting in Syria in pursuit of regime change and the increasingly aggressive warmongering toward both China and Russia.

Sanders had the gall to present his full-throated backing for Clinton (“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight”) as the continuation of his “political revolution” against the “billionaire class.” That so-called “revolution” turned out to consist of putting a Democrat back in the White House, accompanied by a Democratic House and Senate....

The day also featured a fawning speech by Clinton to the national convention of the right-wing, pro-war Veterans of Foreign Wars, in which Clinton lavished praised on Republican war hawk John McCain. The day before, President Obama had made clear the Democrats’ orientation to disaffected Republicans by praising a long list of past Republican officeholders in an interview on the “Face the Nation” television program. He topped this off by putting Ronald Reagan in the ranks of “America’s greatest presidents

10--- The blind leading the blind-“Socialist Convergence”: A gathering of political bankrupts in Philadelphia

The Vermont senator, who even as an “Independent” worked closely with the Democrats, understood from the beginning that his task was to exploit the political naïveté of his supporters to direct opposition back into the Democratic Party, a party of war and social reaction. In carrying out this task, Sanders has had the assistance of a network of organizations and groups that operate around and within the gigantic gaseous planet that is the Democratic Party...

While they make references to Marx at various times, their method bears no relationship to Marxism, which evaluates political tendencies not by what they call themselves but by the class content of their program and the historical experiences of the working class movement.

In 2008, they hailed the election of Obama as a “transformative” and “historic” event on the basis of the fact that he was African-American. One writer for Solidarity declared that “Obama’s election is first and foremost an unprecedented victory—a blow against 400 years of Black slavery, legal segregation and institutional racism.”

The actual outcome of eight years of the Obama administration has not lead Solidarity, or any of its co-thinkers, to consider why they got it so wrong. Instead, with the campaign of Bernie Sanders, they saw a new opportunity to inflate illusions in the Democratic Party and bourgeois politics as a whole. With Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton, it is on to the next political maneuver: support for Jill Stein....

The operations of the groups gathered in Philadelphia are not simply the product of stupidity and shortsightedness, though of this there is plenty. All of these organizations are part of the structure of bourgeois politics, representing more privileged sections of the upper middle class.

Whether it is through the Sanders campaign, the Green Party campaign or the creation of some new political outfit, the aim is the same. On the one hand, they hope to create more favorable conditions for upper middle class elements within the state, the trade unions and academia, generally through the promotion of identity politics. On the other hand, they are working desperately to prevent the working class from organizing as an independent political force in opposition to the capitalist system.

11-- Bad news for Hillard--4 brutal poll numbers that greet Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention

1) 68 percent say Clinton isn't honest and trustworthy

That's according to the CNN poll, and it's her worst number on-record. It's also up from 65 percent earlier this month and 59 percent in May. The 30 percent who see Clinton as honest and trustworthy is now well shy of the number who say the same of Trump: 43 percent..

2) Her image has never been worse

CBS showed just 31 percent have favorable views of Clinton and 56 percent have unfavorable ones. Even in Trump's worst days on the campaign trail, he has rarely dipped below a 31 percent favorable rating. Clinton has hit that number a few times, but her negative-25 net favorable rating here is tied for the worst of her campaign, according to Huffington Post Pollster.
In the CNN poll, the 39 percent who say they have a favorable view of Clinton is lower than at any point in CNN's regular polling since April 1992 — when she wasn't even first lady yet...

3) Just 38 percent would be "proud" to have her as president...

4) Nearly half of Democratic primary voters still want Bernie Sanders

12-- CNN poll shows Trump winning

13-- Hillary-Kaine: Back to the Center?

14-- Girardi on Erdogan; The coup was a false flag

Given the immediate and devastating government response to the coup, I feel confident in my belief that the uprising was basically a set-up. Erdogan and his government have been warning for months about the possibility of a coup, so the event itself should surprise no one. It is now certain that there was a military intervention in fact being plotted, apparently supported mostly by Kemalists in the military who advocate a secular state and are alarmed by aspects of Erdogan foreign policy, to include the collaboration with terrorist groups and the hostility towards Russia and Syria...

Erdogan is frog marching his country down a road where there is only darkness at the other end.

15-- Erdogan teams up with Russia, Iran and Syria

it is the failed coup in Turkey that becomes a god-sent opportunity for Russia to connect the dots and accelerate the endgame in Syria....

On the eve of the capture of Manjib by Kurds (with the support of US Special Forces and airpower), Erdogan told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone conversation,

  • Today, we are determined more than ever before to contribute to the solution of regional problems hand in hand with Iran and Russia and in cooperation with them....

Lavrov--the situation in Syria has changed over the past few months, and conditions are being created for defeating terrorists and launching a genuine intra-Syrian dialogue.

16-- Erdogan tries to escape Washington's grip?

What is also clear is that Erdogan, who ‘survived' a military coup, is intentionally hoping to be put in the same basket as Syrian President Bashar al Assad in at least proving that resistance to western pressure is possible. In this regard, Erdogan has managed to do what European leaders can only dream of - freeing himself from Washington's grip.

Regardless of whether this was - as some have suggested - another one of Erdogan's false flag operations, the implications are most certainly going to be very real. What the coup attempt does expose is Erdogan's conscious effort to divorce the Euro-Atlantic system.
"There is a revolution going on here. And this revolution is at least regional, if not global. Turkey is slowly leaving the Atlantic system. That is the reason behind this coup. That is the reason why NATO is panicking. This is much broader and much bigger than Erdogan. This is a tectonic movement. This will affect Turkish-Syrian relations, Turkish-Chinese relations, Turkish-Russian relations and Turkish-Iranian relations. This will change the world," explains Soner.

Fethullah Gulen himself is a darling of US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as a major contributor to her many political campaigns over the years and family business - the Clinton Foundation. Just last month, documents surfaced linking Clinton's lobbying efforts in the US Senate with organizations close to Gulen.

Shielded under the umbrella of American intelligence agencies for decades, Gulen rejected all accusations that he was behind the coup attempt in a rare interview with a small group of journalists at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

US Secretary of State John Kerry echoed the sentiment, demanding proof of Gulen's involvement while cautioning Ankara against making statements "harmful" to US-Turkey relations.

But in Ankara, the gloves have come off.

Gulen's chummy relationship with Washington did not just fail to prevent Ankara from blaming the cleric for the attempted coup and demanding his extradition, but also led to direct accusations of US involvement in the armed rebellion.

According to Soner, "it is not so much an internal conflict going on in Turkey as an open conflict with the US."

In the immediate aftermath of the upheaval, the Turkish government zeroed in on the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, which also happens to store the largest NATO nuclear arsenal that is guarded by tens of thousands of American and Turkish soldiers.

Turkey's Incirlik commander, whose job consisted of daily consultations with the US military establishment, was arrested for allowing the base to be used for refueling planes deployed during the foiled coup attempt.

What happens next?

Whether we believe that the Americans are behind the coup, or that Erdogan orchestrated the whole affair himself before rounding up the perpetrators and executing them, is surprisingly irrelevant when looking ahead.

17-- --Lavrov Discusses Implementation of Syrian Agreements With Kerry

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that he had discussed measures that could be taken to implement Russia-US agreements on Syria with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Sputnik reported.

"Today, we discussed what needs to be done for this agreement to start working in practice in the form of actions taken by our Aerospace Forces, the US Air Force and the coalition headed by them," Lavrov told reporters.

According to the minister, if agreements reached between him and Kerry in Moscow are implemented, "it will be possible to guarantee the separation of normal opposition members from Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorists."


Delegates have been organizing for just such a walkout action, and there is the potential for several hundred delegates to collectively walk out....

With Kaine, Clinton has chosen her neoliberal political twin, and earned Wall Street’s emphatic seal of approval. As if to underscore the political meaning of her VP choice, and perhaps as a signal to Corporate America, in the days before the announcement Kaine made clear his full commitment to both the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and to further bank deregulation. And now Donald Trump is set to use both Clinton’s and Kaine’s pro-corporate, “free trade,” anti-worker policies against them in the general election – and in this the Democratic ticket has provided him a near perfect target

19--Helicopter Money--Closer than you think

The alternative is to do what governments arguably should have been doing all along: issue the money directly to fund their budgets. Having exhausted other options, some central bankers are now calling for this form of “helicopter money,” which may finally be raining on Japan if not the US..

The Japanese Trial Balloon
Following a sweeping election win announced on July 10th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he may proceed with a JPY10 trillion ($100 billion) stimulus funded by Japan’s first new major debt issuance in four years. The stimulus would include establishing 21st century infrastructure, faster construction of high-speed rail lines, and measures to support domestic demand.
According to Gavyn Davies in the July 17th Financial Times:
Whether or not they choose to admit it – which they will probably resist very hard – the Abe government is on the verge of becoming the first government of a major developed economy to monetise its government debt on a permanent basis since 1945.
. . . The direct financing of a government deficit by the Bank of Japan is illegal, under Article 5 of the Public Finance Act. But it seems that the government may be considering manoeuvres to get round these roadblocks.

Recently, the markets have become excited about the possible issuance of zero coupon perpetual bonds that would be directly purchased by the BoJ, a charade which basically involves the central bank printing money and giving it to the government to spend as it chooses. There would be no buyers of this debt in the open market, but it could presumably sit on the BoJ balance sheet forever at face value.
Bernanke’s role in this maneuver was suggested in a July 14th Bloomberg article, which said:
Ben S. Bernanke, who met Japanese leaders in Tokyo this week, had floated the idea of perpetual bonds during earlier discussions in Washington with one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s key advisers. . . .

He noted that helicopter money — in which the government issues non-marketable perpetual bonds with no maturity date and the Bank of Japan directly buys them — could work as the strongest tool to overcome deflation . . . .
Key is that the bonds can’t be sold and never come due.

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