Monday, September 5, 2016

Today's links

1--The pot calls the kettle black: US worried about foreign intervention in US politics---Intelligence community investigating covert Russian influence operations in the United States

Ridiculous article written without a trace of irony.

2--President Phony praises Colin Kaepernick’s “active citizenry”

Another strange Labor Day article

3--G20: Obama, Japan Warn on U.K.'s Brexit Vote--The U.S. President reiterates his 'back of the line'-stance towards the U.K. in trade negotiations, while Japan warns of a potential corporate exodus.

After warning about Russian meddling in US politics, Obama meddles in UK politics. Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. Apparently.

4--Fed Vice-Chairman Admits Fed Sponsors Wealth Inequality

Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer made a couple of controversial statements this week regarding negative interest rates.

Fisher stated negative rates “seem to work” while admitting they are bad for savers but they “typically they go along with quite decent equity prices.”

There are two problems in play. The first is an explicit admission that the Fed sponsors wealth inequality. The second problem is Fisher does not understand how markets even work.

5--G-20 Leaders Challenged to Find Effective Plan to Reignite World Growth

The G-20, which represents 85% of the world economy, had its biggest impact eight years ago when a summit was hastily arranged to address a single goal: preventing financial market mayhem. Now, the gathering risks losing focus with each country promoting its own views and pet projects, at a time growth is losing steam and frustration with globalization is rising.

“We face the very fundamental challenge of restoring public trust in economic reform and world trade,” Australia Prime Minister  Malcolm Turnbull said.

6--Japan’s Long Bonds Add to Worst Rout in Three Years as BOJ Looms

Japanese long-term bonds fell, with 30-year debt adding to its biggest weekly loss in almost 2 1/2 years, as investors prepared to bid at an auction of the securities Tuesday.

The rout is being driven by speculation the Bank of Japan will reduce its bond-buying program at its next policy meeting Sept. 20-21 now that it owns a third of the nation’s government debt. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday he doesn’t share the view there’s a limit to monetary easing. Pacific Investment Management Co. said last month the central bank has pushed monetary policy as far as it can. 

7--Syrian War Report – September 5, 2016: Syria Army Restores Siege of Aleppo City

8--COMPLETE COLLAPSE OF AL QAEDA COALITION IN SOUTHWESTERN ALEPPO---Jihadist Bloodbath in Aleppo; A little Big Horn for US-backed Terrorists

The death of thousands of terrorists in southwestern Aleppo may have reached another milestone this Sunday, September the 4th, after an intense attack late Saturday from two axes, north and south. At the artillery colleges, the terrorists’ defensive lines collapsed. There is still sporadic fighting inside the artillery college but it seems from terrorists left behind when most of the group fled the battle field. The SAA and allies are mopping up the whole area while control of the entire complex is indisputable. Aleppo City is, once again, completely sealed

9--Scenes from Moonscape Aleppo; The Obama-backed siege enters its final phase

10--Trying to hustle the bear ...(Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...)

Obama was on the tube today from China.  Among his various statements was a description of his and Kerry's efforts to get Russia and the Syrian government to agree to a permanent cease fire that would enable the unicorn/jihadi allies of the US in Syria to refit and re-supply without having the Russian Aerospace Forces bombing the bejayzus out of them while they try to do so.  This was tried once before and the ploy gave the jihadi/unicorns some "slack: enough that they were able to bring in reinforcements through Turkey to enable the rebel resurgence at SW Aleppo.  Sooo, it worked once.  Why not try it again?  the Rooshians don't seem keen.  I wonder why?  Maybe this time they can be persuaded to just give up once and for all.

This continuing effort on the part of the Obama/Kerry/NSC/State branch of the Borg is evidence of the persistence of the belief among such people that diplomatic BS unsupported by reality is as weighty as hard fighting armored troops or air power.  Remarkable!  I do not include the broadcast MSM in the list of Borgists and hangers-on because they have no real thoughts.  They are simply meme-sucking propagandists.

11--Syria - Who Wins In The Turkish-Russian Deal?

It is ridiculous that some media try to sell that as a closing of the border or as a cut off. It is the opposite.

Turkey's main intention with this move was to prevent a connection of the (yellow) Kurdish areas in the east and the west. Such a Kurdish controlled connecting strip along the border would indeed have sealed it. ISIS traffic would not have been allowed to pass Kurdish checkpoints.

Turkey will probably try to annex the area it has taken. There are plans to build new cities on the Syrian side to house refugees currently in Turkish camps. Turkey could thereby offload a major burden its war on Syria has brought onto it.

Russia and Iran had agreed to the Turkish move into the area after Turkey promised to end its support for attacks on Aleppo city. It has yet to be seen if Turkey will stick to this promise. Some of the Turkish proxy fighters involved in the attack on Aleppo were pulled back and moved to the now occupied border strip. But material support for the attack in form of ammunition and other supplies seems to continue.

Two decent analyst argue that the agreement, while not entirely preferred, is still in Russia's and Syria's advantage....

ISIS will still be connected to Turkey. But its fighting power is severely diminished and it is already falling back into guerrilla mode. It now mostly avoids open battles. It will be ground down over time.

Surprises may still come from ISIS as it has some very well trained personnel. Its new military commander is Gulmurod Khalimov, a special forces officer from Tajikistan, long trained in counterterrorism by U.S. advisors and special forces. He replaces the dead Abu Omar al-Shishani, a Chechen special force officer from Georgia, long trained in counterterrorism by U.S. advisors and special forces

12--Rising global tensions surface at G20 summit

Since the financial meltdown of 2008, all world leaders and global economic organisations have denounced the beggar-thy-neighbour policies of the 1930s that played no small role in creating the conditions for war, insisting that the lessons of that decade have been learned.

But the tide continues. In a report published in June, the WTO noted that trade restrictions imposed by G20 members—mainly the most advanced economies—had reached their highest monthly level since the financial crisis.

At the same time, the dangers of war are becoming ever more apparent. On his final visit to Asia as president, Obama issued one of his most bellicose statements yet against China. Significantly, it included not only a reference to disputes in the South China but extended to the economy.

Insisting that China had to abide by the international order, that is, the interests of the US, he said: “Where we see them violating international rules and norms, as we have seen in some cases in the South China Sea or in some of their behaviour when it comes to economic policy, we’ve been very firm. And we’ve indicated to them that there will be consequences.”

13--The most unpopular candidates in American history; This country is in deep sh**

There is mounting evidence that the avalanche of political filth from the two main capitalist parties, which enjoy an effective political monopoly in the United States, has alienated record numbers of people. Opinion polls taken over the past week have shown support for both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump declining, with her numbers falling somewhat more rapidly than his, leading to headlines about Trump beginning to “close the gap.”

Clinton and Trump are, it is now widely conceded, the two most unpopular presidential candidates in modern US history. Trump is viewed unfavorably by nearly two-thirds of voters polled, with 44 percent describing him as a racist and 59 percent saying his campaign appeals to bigotry. Yet Trump is only narrowly behind Clinton, whose unfavorability number hit 60 percent in polls last week. Nearly two-thirds of those polled—including many of those planning to vote for her—say that the former Secretary of State is corrupt, a liar and not to be trusted.

What the corporate-controlled media cannot say, but which is undeniably true, is that the two candidates are so widely hated because they represent the increasingly right-wing policies of the US ruling elite, under conditions where American workers and youth are moving to the left.

The actions of the two candidates last week only underscored the vast decay of the American political system. Trump gave a speech in Arizona on immigration which was an hour-long diatribe against undocumented immigrants, whom he blamed for unemployment, crime, budget deficits and terrorism. His fascistic rant concluded with a 10-point plan for the establishment of a police state in America, complete with detention camps for the millions whom Trump pledged to order rounded up in his first action as president.

For her part, Clinton gave a speech on US military policy to the convention of the American Legion—a bulwark of right-wing anti-communism and militarism—in which she presented herself as a more aggressive and reliable commander-in-chief than Trump, whom she suggested was a Russian puppet. She threatened to use force in response to unsubstantiated charges of cyberattacks on the United States by Russia and China, and she hailed the growing list of Republican national security officials, including nearly all the architects of the Iraq War, who have endorsed her campaign...

In the wake of the Trump and Clinton speeches, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed the Democrat leading the Republican by only 40 percent to 39 percent, meaning that 21 percent favored a third-party candidate or were undecided. The rising poll numbers for Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein, the two media-recognized “third-party” candidates, demonstrate than tens of millions of voters, predominantly youth and workers, are disgusted by the “choice” offered by the two main corporate-controlled parties and are looking for an alternative....

And Stein’s sudden indulging in antiwar rhetoric is neither convincing nor credible. Whenever Green parties have entered into bourgeois governments, they have embraced militarism wholeheartedly. Most notoriously, the German Greens paved the way for the reemergence of German imperialism as a significant military force, with Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer spearheading the German military role in the Kosovo war and then in Afghanistan.

13--Obama threatens UK over Brexit

President Barack Obama made plain Washington’s opposition to the UK leaving the EU, especially the implications for NATO’s escalating military and political provocations against Russia and China. He even threatened that Britain would go to the “back of the queue” on trade deals with the US if it voted to leave.

At May’s first bilateral meeting with Obama in China, the US president reiterated his position. While praising the “very special relationship” between the US and Britain, he said American priorities were “figuring out what Brexit means with respect to Europe.” Asked if he stood by his warnings on trade deals, Obama stressed that the UK took second place to existing negotiations with “big blocs of countries.” The “first task is making sure we go forward on TTIP [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership] negotiations in which we have already invested a lot of time and effort.”

Obama’s statements were followed by an unprecedented 15-page warning from Japan that the UK could see an exodus by major corporations unless it maintained access to the EU single market. Almost half of Japanese investment in the EU goes to the UK through leading firms such as Honda, Mitsubishi and Nissan. The report stated bluntly, “Japanese businesses with their European headquarters in the UK may decide to transfer their head-office function to continental Europe if EU laws cease to be applicable in the UK after its withdrawal.”...

Brexit means Brexit,” she reiterated, with restrictions on the freedom of movement for EU citizens the “red line” in negotiations with the EU, which she indicated would begin early next year....

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