Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
Peter Schiff: U.S. Rally Is Doomed, Gold Will Hit $5000 Unlike the "legitimate bull markets" of many foreign markets, Peter Schiff believes the U.S. is merely experiencing a "rally in a bear market," and is lagging the rest of the world "for a reason." The worst is not over, according to Euro Pacific Capital's Schiff, who predicts the Dow will fall another 90% from current levels when measured against gold. A longtime dollar bear and gold bull, he foresees gold hitting $5000 per ounce "in the next couple of years," and predicts the Dow and gold will trade on a one-to-one ratio vs. the current level of around 9.7-to-1.
Gold & Silver: The Shining Stars Mary Anne & Pamela Aden Gold, silver and gold shares are jumping up. Gold hit a record high this month and all three are in 'break out' mode. The time of truth is at hand and it won't take much more strength to confirm that a stronger phase of the eight year old bull market has begun. GOLD IS MONEY We have often talked about gold's role in the monetary system. For many years it was tossed aside as a barbaric relic and the thinking was that it was old fashioned. Nixon reinforced this in the 1970s when he closed the gold window by taking the U. S. dollar off the gold standard. An energetic economy then became most important.
Gold ends lower in floor trading heading higher after Fed Gold futures ended slightly lower in Wednesday's floor session, but moved higher in after-hours trading as the Federal Reserve extended liquidity-boosting programs that pressure the dollar and raised gold's investment appeal. Gold for December delivery, the most active contract, slid $1.10, or 0.1%, to end at $1,014.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was last up 0.4% at $1,018.20 in electronic trading. The thinly traded September contract ended down $1.20, or 0.1%, at $1,013. In a statement released after a two-day policy meeting, the Fed kept its target for its federal funds rate set at a range of zero to 0.25%. It also announced that it has extended its purchase of mortgage-backed securities and agency debt into the first quarter of 2010 from December.
Will Gold Be the Turd In G-20’s Punch Bowl? With a glower of contempt toward the bankers, gold remains easily aloft above $1000, developing thrust for the next big move. We wrote here a while back that blast-off from $1000 would follow the realization that G-20 can do nothing to restore stability to the world’s tottering financial system. Now, the question is whether anything at all will be “realized” in the wake of the Pittsburgh meeting. We hesitate to call it a summit because the event seems to have slipped off the news media’s radar. Unable to recall the actual dates of the session, we searched Google’s news pages in vain for this information. Tellingly, there was only a sidebar from the New York Times about how the meeting would probably be a net positive for Pittsburgh’s economy.
How China became the '800-Pound' Gorilla in the Gold Market With prices testing their record high of $1,033 an ounce set last year gold has again become the hot topic of conversation. But while many analysts are focusing on threat of inflation - which could be a byproduct of the U.S. Federal Reserve's reluctance to withdraw monetary stimulus - investors should really be watching China. "In the post-financial crisis global economy, China is quickly becoming the proverbial '800-pound gorilla' - the player that has to be courted, but that can't be tamed," said Money Morning Contributing Editor Peter Krauth.
Buggish on Gold The trouble with being a contrarian is that you can never be quite contrarian enough. We began having doubts about the ‘feds inflate…gold soars’ hypothesis last year. It was too easy…too obvious. And if it were that easy to inflate a nation’s currency, how come the Japanese couldn’t get the hang of it in the ’90s? So, we moved towards a contrarian position – inflation, yes…but not for a while. And gold? Well, we are in it for the long run. In the short run, anything could happen. To clarify our view on gold, The Daily Reckoning is not bearish on the metal. It is not bullish on the metal either. It is buggish. We are gold bugs. In the long run, gold will retain its value. Since that’s all we ask of it, we are always satisfied. Even if it is down in the short run – and it went through an 18-year downcycle from 1980 to 1998 – it will come back in the long run.
Why America wants IMF gold sale proceeds Narrow ranges defined the overnight trading hours for gold, as the metal gyrated between $1010 and $1020 per ounce, closely tracking the dollar's own close orbit around the 76.10 mark on the trade-weighted index. Nevertheless, the greenback is still at, or near a one-year low point against the euro and sentiment shows little in the way of improving as yet. Today's FOMC meeting could make a difference, but not necessarily mark a turning point. The Fed is expected to underscore the idea that the US economic recovery has indeed begun, but it is also expected to leave rates alone for the time being.
IMF gold sale unlikely to affect prices Four days after the IMF took the decision to unload more than 400 tones of gold, analysts said it is unlikely to have a major impact on the market at a time when prices of the metal are at a near-record high. Morgan Stanley analysts said they did not see the IMF gold sales 'as a material threat' to current prices or their forecast of 1,000 dollars per ounce for 2010.
China keen to buy IMF gold in yuan, not in dollar The gold was sharply higher yesterday, supported by a very weak trade in the U.S. Dollar and the metals stable performance yesterday as crude was down $3.00 and the dollar was sharply higher. The market easily absorbed the IMF planned sale of 403.3 tonnes of gold, a minor setback that appears to have been a short term buying opportunity after last night's Asian and European performance in the gold.
China to ship its gold from London to new vault . . . . The second big announcement is that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has built its own high-tech vault to store its own gold, and they just requested delivery. Up to this point, the Chinese gold had been stored and vaulted in London, England. So now the Chinese are requesting their gold be shipped from London to their new vault in Hong Kong. This has major implications because this is a large amount of physical gold, and I think what it's going to do is begin to expose the naked shorts who have been playing this game with the gold and silver markets, trying to keep a cap on the prices. So this is a major, major development.
Fed Admits Hiding Gold Swap Arrangements The Federal Reserve System has disclosed to GATA that it has gold swap arrangements with foreign banks that it does not want the public to know about. The disclosure contradicts denials provided by the Fed to GATA in 2001 and suggests that the Fed is indeed very much involved in the surreptitious international central bank manipulation of the gold price particularly and the currency markets generally. The Fed's disclosure came this week in a letter to GATA's Washington-area lawyer, William J. Olson of Vienna, Virginia (http://www.lawandfreedom.com/), denying GATA's administrative appeal of a freedom-of-information request to the Fed for information about gold swaps, transactions in which monetary gold is temporarily exchanged between central banks or between central banks and bullion banks. (See the International Monetary Fund's treatise on gold swaps here: http://www.imf.org/external/bopage/pdf/99-10.pdf.)
What do these guys know of December Gold? . . . . The latest data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed the net long position held by reporting speculators stood at a record-high 255,183 lots. Proportionally, 93.6% of open contract positions held by these traders were purchases. Because among speculators, money managers have turned almost universally bullish. Fully 99.6% of the contracts held by buy-and-roll index funds, together with trend-following managed accounts and institutional funds, are on the long side of Gold.
Seven Points to Look For in October Just a quick note I wanted to make about what I am thinking in preparation for October -- a month notorious for volatility and market crashes.
Currently, I'm still long gold, silver, and the Australian dollar against the USD (trades documented in my trade journal). These trades have been working out very well for me. Regardless of what happens in October, I'm confident about them.
We're coming up on the 50% retracement level from the US equities crash in October 2008 (as noted in this recommended video and discussion). This will be a key break or bounce level, in my opinion. Look for the 50% level on both the S&P 500 and the DJIA.
Non-US equities, in my opinion, remain safer than US equities. Many non-US equities have rallied more so than US equities.
New Deadly Dollar Carry Trade A powerful hidden engine existed for close to 20 years called the Yen Carry Trade. The engine produced tainted trillion$ for its privileged participants, whose access to cheap money was assured and whose control of government policy was tight. The engine served two important purposes. It kept the Japanese Yen currency exchange rate low, sufficient for maintaining the export juggernaut that sent products around global supply routes with names like Toyota, Honda, Komatsu, Mitsubishi, Nikon, Toshiba, and Fuji for a string of years. It also supplied a torrent of funds to feed both the Japanese and Western (think US, UK, Europe) financial markets its most important channel in existence. The Yen Carry Trade was that important. The Bank of Japan and a host of Tokyo-based financial firms relied upon this carry trade for basically free money. This important money making machine required Japanese interest rates and currency to remain low, and USTreasury Bond yields and US$ currency to remain high. Those halcyon days are largely done, since the Yen is on a rising uptrend and the US$ is on the falling downtrend, even as US long-term rates are stuck below a defended steel bar. Nowadays, the insider firms are struggling to avoid a wrestling match with the Grim Reaper. They are falling like flies.
Investors Watch Impact on the Dollar World leaders' moves at the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh this week will be closely watched by investors worried that a reshaping of the global economy could affect the dollar's dominant role in trade and finance. The G-20 doesn't have currency issues on its official agenda, but leaders of the world's 20 largest economies are finalizing a plan that, if implemented, would encourage more U.S. savings and fiscal discipline while at the same time prodding China to shift its economy toward domestic spending and away from its heavy reliance on exports.
Dollar Rises From One-Year Low as Fed Reduces Demand for Risk The dollar rose from a one-year low versus the euro as the Federal Reserve failed to increase confidence in the U.S. economy, reducing demand for higher- yielding assets funded in the greenback. The U.S. currency had weakened earlier as the Fed signaled it intends to keep holding down borrowing costs. The dollar erased its decline as the decision to end its $1.45 trillion in purchases of mortgage-backed securities and housing agency debt three months later than previously scheduled indicated the recovery won’t be as robust as expected.
Dollar near 1-year low after Fed Greenback holds near one-year low after central bank leaves key rate near 0%. The dollar hovered near a one-year low Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left a key interest rate unchanged near 0%, though it said "economic activity has picked up." At 2:15 p.m. ET, the U.S. central bank released a statement at the end of its two-day policy meeting. The Fed kept interest rates at a record low between 0-0.25%. Investors were also looking to the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh this week, where world leaders will call for a global effort to tighten financial regulation in order to prevent future financial crises.
G-20: Do global summits matter? Leaders of the world's biggest economies converge again. They will call for strengthening the financial system that collapsed - just like they did twice before. Let's try this again. When Group of 20 leaders meet in Pittsburgh this week, they will call for a coordinated global effort to tighten financial regulation to prevent future financial collapse. That sounds a lot like the same thing they said at the previous two meetings they convened over the past year in April and last November.
Obama's world vision: U.N. speech today President Obama will ask world leaders today to join him in confronting a range of vexing issues, including nuclear arms proliferation and climate change, and will appeal for the international cooperation he thinks will advance interests around the globe, aides said. In a morning address to the United Nations General Assembly, Obama will call for several specific commitments, including support for the major elements of a nonproliferation resolution he plans to introduce before the U.N. Security Council on Thursday. Obama also will be "setting the table" for more specific appeals in the weeks and months to come, according to a senior administration official familiar with the speech but who requested anonymity.
Obama to U.N.: U.S. alone can't solve all In a sweeping call for international cooperation, President Obama this morning challenged world leaders to set aside "an almost reflexive anti-Americanism" and work together with him and other nations on common goals such as nuclear disarmament, climate change and Middle East peace. An anti-American sentiment has served as an "excuse for our collective inaction," Obama told members of the United Nations General Assembly, at a time when collaboration is more important than at any time in history. "Like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interest of my nation and my people, and I will never apologize for defending those interests," Obama said. "But it is my deeply held belief that in the year 2009 - more than at any point in human history - the interests of nations and peoples are shared."
Obama United Nations Speech - part 1
Obama United Nations Speech - part 2
Obama United Nations Speech - part 3
White House Pares Its Financial Reform Plan As a senior House Democrat announced an ambitious schedule to complete legislation overhauling the nation's financial system, the Obama administration on Wednesday abandoned a symbolically significant provision in the face of widespread political and industry opposition. At a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner announced that the administration had dropped one provision in its plan for a consumer financial protection agency - a requirement for banks and other financial services companies to offer "plain vanilla" products, like 30-year fixed mortgages and low-interest, low-fee credit cards.
House Hears from Geithner on Financial Regulatory Reform As the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets today to wrap up a session largely expected to result in no change to the low federal funds rate - the overnight rate at which banks lend to each other - the House Financial Services Committee heard testimony on the Administration's plans for sweeping financial regulatory reform. Committee chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said in opening statements there should be a mechanism for putting non-bank financial institutions "out of everyone's misery," adding "there will be a death panel" enforced by the legislation eventually adopted.
Geithner Presses Congress Again for New Financial Regulations Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Wednesday once again pressed Congress to pass a sweeping overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory system, telling members of the House Financial Services Committee that "we can't let the momentum for reform fade as the memory of the crisis recedes." Geithner spent much of the morning's hearing trying to allay lawmakers' reservations about parts of the Obama administration's reform proposals, and to urge them to act before the end of the year.
Congress Takes On Credit Ratings Ex-Moody's Analyst Says Inflated Ratings Continue; 'Moral Responsibility' Throughout the financial crisis, major credit-ratings firms were criticized for their overly rosy ratings of complex debt securities, which deteriorated soon after and led to billions of dollars of investor losses. Despite months of regulatory scrutiny and some internal changes at the firms, a recently departed Moody's Corp. analyst says inflated ratings are still being issued. He has taken his concerns to congressional investigators.
Delayed Foreclosures Stalk Market Debra and Arthur Scriven were served notice in June 2008 that their mortgage lender, a unit of Citigroup Inc., was preparing to foreclose on their home. Fifteen months later, the Scrivens are still in their home near Columbia, S.C., and battling to stay there, even though a dispute with the lender over how much they owe prompted them to stop making regular payments last year. Legal snarls, bureaucracy and well-meaning efforts to keep families in their homes are slowing the flow of properties headed toward foreclosure sales, even when borrowers are in deep distress. While that buys time for families to work out their problems, some analysts believe the delays are prolonging the mortgage crisis and creating a growing "shadow" inventory of pent-up supply that will eventually hit the market.
The Economy is a Lie, too Americans cannot get any truth out of their government about anything, the economy included. Americans are being driven into the ground economically, with one million school children now homeless, while Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announces that the recession is over. The spin that masquerades as news is becoming more delusional. Consumer spending is 70% of the US economy. It is the driving force, and it has been shut down. Except for the super rich, there has been no growth in consumer incomes in the 21st century. Statistician John Williams of shadowstats.com reports that real household income has never recovered its pre-2001 peak.
U.S. Distressed Debt Ratio Falls Below 25% Continuing its descent in 2009, Standard & Poor’s distress ratio has hit another low this year, reaching 23.5% as of Sept. 15, down from 25.3% in August. The decrease in distress is coincident with movement in corporate bond spreads. Distressed credits are speculative-grade-rated issues that have option-adjusted spreads of more than 1,000 basis points (bps) relative to Treasuries.
Fed Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged But Notes Improvement The economy has "picked up" in recent weeks, Federal Reserve policymakers said Wednesday, as they left interest rates unchanged near zero and indicated that a program to support mortgage lending will be wound down over the coming months. Following a two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee affirmed the view, widely held among economists, that the recession ended this summer and that an expansion has begun. But it also noted that the job market remains weak and the recovery remains tentative, suggesting it will continue its policies to try to get the economy back on track.
Treasuries Rise After Federal Reserve Slows Mortgage Purchases Treasuries rose for a second day after Federal Reserve officials said they’ll end a $1.45 trillion mortgage-bond purchase program later than scheduled and will keep interest rates at a record low for an extended period. Shorter-maturity debt led the gains as central bankers reiterated their pledge to keep rates accommodative while saying the U.S. economy has started to recover from recession. The target rate for overnight loans between banks was left in a range of zero to 0.25 percent. Government securities slumped earlier after a record $40 billion five-year note auction drew weaker-than-forecast demand.
Economic Dark Matter "A debt bubble, yes. But a consumption binge...?" IT'S A COMMON-PLACE of political, investment and bar-room debate that the Anglo-Saxon economies enjoyed a debt-fuelled consumer boom over the last decade or so. In fact, it's a given...the one sure thing any analysis builds on, whether it's begging for votes, fund-management fees or a shared cab-ride home. The US and UK piled more debt on household balance-sheets than any other nations in history, forgetting to add a balancing item beyond the apparent value of the roof over their heads. Thing is, the data don't support it. Worse yet, they don't deny it either. Anglo-Saxony took on a record volume of household debt, simply to keep household spending growing on trend. Something ugly but hidden – economic dark matter – forced consumers deep into hock just to keep pace during the early 21st century.
Same 4-bedroom house - wildly different prices The cost of a middle-management-type home varies significantly depending on where in the country you live. But there are some huge spreads within states, as well. Imagine you're a mid-level executive living in Grayling, Mich., the "Canoe Capital of the World." You've received a job offer that pays twice as much in posh La Jolla, Calif., the seaside resort near San Diego. It sounds like a no-brainer, right? Not only will you earn all that extra money, you'll be enjoying some of the best weather in the United States. You can boat year round.
How the Government is Setting Us Up for a Second Subprime Crisis Is the government creating another subprime-mortgage bubble? The first time around, the three-headed federal serpent - the Bush administration, the Treasury Department and the U.S. Federal Reserve - used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to "legitimize" trillions of dollars worth of toxic financial waste known as subprime mortgages. The result was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression - a mess that was global in nature. And we're now headed for a repeat performance.
A New Bubble Of the Fed's Creation For the past two years, the central challenge of U.S. economic policy has been to find a way to stabilize the financial system and the economy without reinflating the bubble or going back to the days of consuming more than we produce. In the end, that may prove harder than it seems. Yes, the financial crisis has passed and the economy is growing again, but there's a good chance that growth will be temporary -- the result of one-time events like "Cash for Clunkers," the tax credit for first-time home buyers and the restocking of inventories allowed to dwindle during last year's crisis. But with businesses still reducing payrolls, bank lending still contracting, and anxious consumers determined to save more and spend less, a sustained recovery in 2010 isn't looking very likely.
Mortgage Delinquencies Still Climbing for Subprime Borrowers: Equifax Delinquency rates for prime and subprime mortgages increased nearly every month since March of 2009, according to Equifax's consumer credit trends for August 2009, at least when the borrowers of those loan products are classified as sub-prime borrowers. In August, 30-day plus unit delinquencies for prime mortgages jumped to 6.51% from 5.89% in March, and the 30-day plus unit delinquencies of sub-prime mortgages increased to 36.35% in August from 33.61% in March, according to the report.
A Coming Flood of Bank Owned Homes "There's going to be a flood of bank-owned homes listed for sale at some point." -John Burns, a real-estate consultant based in Irvine, Calif. Yes, there certainly will be. Burns estimates there will be a "large numbers of foreclosures" that will drive home prices down 6% next year. Analyst Ivy Zelman pegs the number of coming foreclosures at three million to four million homes over the next few years. All of the voluntary foreclosure moratoriums have slowed "the flow of properties headed toward foreclosure sales" regardless of deep in distress borrowers are. These delays only work to prolong the mortgage crisis and prevent prices from falling to more natural levels. Thus, it creates a "growing 'shadow' inventory of pent-up supply that will eventually hit the market."
FDIC Watched as ‘Hot Money’ Boomed at New Frontier New Frontier Bank, the largest lender in northern Colorado, had a lot to be proud of in early 2007. Assets had grown by 66 percent the previous year and profits by 53 percent. American Banker rated the bank the ninth- most efficient in the country. Regulators knew the reality was different. In mid-2007, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., citing weak management, a rise in soured loans and an increased reliance on volatile funding, told executives to slow growth and add capital, according to board minutes of the privately held bank obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
California Sells $8.8 Billion in Notes on Record Retail Demand California sold $8.8 billion of short-term notes in its annual borrowing to boost cash flow, collecting more than twice as much in orders from individual investors as from institutional buyers such as mutual funds. The $6.64 billion in so-called retail orders was the most recorded for a municipal debt sale, the state treasurer’s office said in a statement today, citing underwriters led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. that handled the deal.
New Push Wednesday to Post House Bills Online Before Lawmakers Vote on Them A Democrat has joined a Republican in trying to force action on a bill that would require the House to post the final text of major bills online at least 72 hours before voting on them. The idea is to give Americans time to read legislation that may affect their lives and wallets. In June, Reps. John Culberson (R-Texas) and Brian Baird (D-Wash.) introduced a resolution requiring the text of major bills to be posted online for at least 72 hours before they come up for a vote. On Wednesday, Culberson, Baird and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) filed a discharge petition, a process used to force a bill out of committee. If the petition is signed by at least 218 House members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be required to schedule the resolution for an up-or-down vote on the House floor.
Card Defaults Surge in August to 11.49%, Moody’s Says U.S. credit-card defaults rose to a record in August and more losses may lie ahead as delinquencies climbed for the first time since March, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Write-offs rose to 11.49 percent from 10.52 percent in July, Moody’s said today in a report. Loans at least 30 days delinquent rose to 5.8 percent from 5.73 percent. “Early- stage” delinquencies, or loans overdue 30 to 59 days, surged to 1.65 percent, from 1.41 percent, signaling higher losses in coming months. Banks typically write off loans after 180 days.
It Is Going To Be A Rocky Road Let's face it: most Americans live in a world of false security. This is somewhat understandable, given the fact that the majority of the U.S. population was born after 1945. Few remember the dangers and hardships of World War II; fewer still remember the Great Depression. Few Americans know what it's like to not have some sort of "supercenter" nearby with shelves stocked with every kind of food imaginable, twenty-four hours a day. Few know what life was like before there were restaurants of all sizes and types on virtually every street corner in America. And only a handful remembers when most roads were unpaved, or when sports were truly a pastime and not a megabuck obsession.
Modern living within the world's only "superpower" has created a giant unsuspecting, soft, lackadaisical, and lethargic society. We expect the government to keep our streets safe, our roads paved, our stores stocked, our jobs secure, and our enemies at bay. However, in the desire to make government the panacea for all our problems, we have sold not only our independence, but also our virtue.
In-Depth Look - Housing And The Fed
Moody's: Some Home Price Won't Rebound Until 2030 Moody's, (MCO) forecasts that some home prices may not return to their pre-recession levels until 2030. This means that hundreds of thousands of Americans may find it impossible to sell their houses without making payments to their banks to cover underwater home loans. MarketWatch reports that a new Moody' housing forecasts says that "It will take more than a decade to completely recover from the 40% peak-to-trough decline in national home prices."
U.S. Employment Recovery ‘Not on the Cards,’ Stiglitz Says The U.S. economic recovery won’t be strong enough to curb rising unemployment in the next two years, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz said. “Some people are declaring victory -- the recession is behind us,” Stiglitz said at an event in Pittsburgh sponsored by critics of globalization before tomorrow’s meeting of the Group of 20 nations. “The fact is that the unemployment rate is still high -- likely to go up -- and for these individuals the recession is not over”
The Dark Years are here In this newsletter we will outline what is likely to be the devastating effect of the credit bubbles, government money printing and of the disastrous actions that governments are taking. Starting in the next 6 months and culminating in 2011-12 the world will experience a series of tumultuous events which will be life changing for most people in the world. But 2011-12 will not be the beginning of an upturn in the world economy but instead the start of a long period of economic, political and social upheaval that could last for a couple of decades.
Extending jobless benefits: In Senate's hands With aid for many jobless to run out this month, House approves bill extending unemployment benefits. More than a million people could receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits under a bill approved by the House on Tuesday. The bill extends benefits for those living in states with jobless rates higher than 8.5%. Some 27 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, fall into this category. The national unemployment rate hit 9.7% in August, the highest in 26 years.
Current Health Care Bills Conflict with Catholic Moral Teaching Skinning the 'Health Care Cat' A very odd and macabre saying that I have always found somewhat disturbing is that "there's more than one way to skin a cat." The point of the saying is that in the undertaking of a complex project, there are usually a variety of ways to reach the goal, some better than others. This is true of the current and often passionate debate concerning health care reform. Needless to say, health care reform is a very complex issue, with many important peripheral issues, such as cost and how to pay for it, economic impact, the role of the federal government, abortion, euthanasia, tort reform, etc. But as such, health care reform is particularly important in that, as Catholics, we understand the principles that should be at the very heart of this delicate work.
The Bigger Scandal: Catholic Church Funding of ACORN Federal funding of ACORN is not just a Democratic Party or Obama Administration problem. As a chart produced by House Republican Leader John Boehner shows, most of the federal money going to the organization was provided under President George W. Bush. This is not something that most Republicans want to talk about, especially now that they can use ACORN funding as a weapon against Obama and the Democrats. To Boehner's credit, however, he had sent a letter to Bush asking him to block all federal funding of ACORN. The Bush Administration did not comply. While Obama has strong ties to ACORN, they were originally established through the U.S. Catholic Church, which has also funded ACORN and similar organizations to the tune of millions of dollars. This is another taboo topic for most of the media. Even conservative news organizations are afraid of raising the issue, apparently fearing being tagged with the "anti-Catholic" label.
Peter Schiff on Foreign Policy
Justice Dept. to Limit Use of State Secrets Privilege The Justice Department is preparing to impose new limits on the government assertion of the state secrets privilege used to block lawsuits for national security reasons. The practice was a major flashpoint in the debate over the escalation of executive power and secrecy during the Bush administration. The new policy, which could be announced as early as Wednesday, would require approval by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. if military or espionage agencies wanted to assert the privilege to withhold classified evidence sought in court or to ask a judge to dismiss a lawsuit at its onset.
********* keep you eye on this man ************
"Europe in the World" Speech by Javier Solana Globalisation is good. And anyway pretty much unstoppable. It spreads prosperity and makes us richer culturally. It brings people together across continents. Of course, it has a dark side too. It makes us more vulnerable to shocks and has brought new problems in its wake. It needs a human face. . . . [face of the antichrist, perhaps; don't sell him short - he's powerful]
Obama's First Middle East Summit Yields Little Progress President Obama on Tuesday told the protagonists in one of the most intractable conflicts of the last century to "disentangle" themselves from history and "take risks for peace." "It's difficult to disentangle ourselves from history, but we must do so," U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell quoted Obama as telling Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. "The only reason to hold office is to get things done."
Pentagon Delays Troop Call Request for Additional Forces on Hold as White House Seeks Review of Afghan Strategy The Pentagon has told its top commander in Afghanistan to delay submitting his request for additional troops, defense officials say, amid signs that the Obama administration is rethinking its strategy for combating a resurgent Taliban. A senior Pentagon official says the administration has asked for the reprieve so it can complete a review of the U.S.-led war effort. "We have to make sure we have the right strategy" before looking at additional troop requests, the official said. "Things have changed on the ground fairly considerably."
Why Is Appeasing the Russians More Important than American and Allied Security? Last week was perhaps the worst for this White House so far. The administration earned its first "F," when the president cancelled plans to emplace a missile defense shield in Western Europe that would protect our allies, U.S. bases overseas, as well as the American homeland from a long-range missile threat from Iran. The Iranian missile threat is growing. It is stunning to hear government officials claim that they cancel defenses because they are "less" concerned about an Iranian threat. Even assertions from the administration that intelligence suggests the threat is not there yet proved pretty empty, when the White House later admitted they had "no new intelligence," they were just interpreting the available intelligence "differently."
Scrapped Missile Defense System Presents Critical Security Dilemmas Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced Thursday that a deployment of ground based interceptors in Poland, based on the design of currently deployed missiles now in California and Alaska, would be scrapped along with a radar system that was to be deployed in the Czech Republic. The two-stage interceptor planned for Poland had yet to be fully developed. Original plans had the deployment occurring some time between 2013-15.
White House ‘confused’ on Iran President Obama spoke Wednesday at the U.N. General Assembly as he tackles a range of thorny international issues with his counterparts. Obama said Iran and North Korea “must be held accountable” if they continue to ignore international nuclear weapons treaties. Iran recently reiterated its unwillingness to give up its nuclear program, which the United States and other Western nations fear is being used to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its program is strictly for civilian power.
Bin Laden to U.S.: ‘Drop Israel, Let’s Talk’ In a 12-minute address on audio tape, al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, spoke to the American people on the eighth anniversary of 9/11. The tape was produced by the as-Sahab propaganda arm of the terror group and posted on various Jihadists forums on Monday night. His address, directed "to the American People," asserted that the main reason for the al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, was U.S. support for Israel as well as "some other injustices." Interestingly, Osama claimed the war between the two "nations," i.e the American nation and the Islamic "Umma," can stop if the White House eliminated what he called the "Israel lobby." He accused the latter of pushing for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Note that in this speech he doesn't mention the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Chechnya, he only targets U.S.-Israeli relations.
Biden Warns of 2010 Doomsday Election Vice President Joe Biden has spoken and the GOP is listening. From ABC News' Jake Tapper Vice President Joe Biden said today that if Democrats were to lose 35 House seats they currently hold in traditionally Republican districts, it would mean doomsday for President Obama’s agenda. Biden said Republicans are pinning their political strategy on flipping these seats. “If they take them back, this the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do,” the vice president said at a fundraiser for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) today in Greenville, Delaware. Republicans need to pick up 40 seats next November to take back control of the House.
Ahmadinejad’s Nuclear Offer Ahmadinejad Offers to Buy Uranium From the US The Iranian president discusses his proposal to buy enriched uranium from the United States, his continued denial of the Holocaust, and Tehran's detention of journalist Maziar Bahari. In an exclusive wide-ranging hour-and-a-half interview with NEWSWEEK's Lally Weymouth and editors from The Washington Post, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed his upcoming talks with the United States, his opinion of President Obama, and his continued denial of the Holocaust, as well as the U.S.-led effort in Afghanistan, which he views as doomed. In it he previewed his offer to purchase enriched uranium from the United States for medicinal purposes, which proliferation experts say is likely a nonstarter.
33 Minutes - America's Missile Defense in a New Missile Age The 33 Minutes film trailer gives viewers a seven minute preview of the groundbreaking film about missile defense in America. The HD film will be released February 2009, and will outline what immediate steps need to be taken to protect America and its citizens. More information on the film can be found at http://www.heritage.org/33-minutes/
Obama Arms Summit Skirts Iran, North Korea Disputes President Barack Obama will have Chinese and Russian support at the United Nations tomorrow for his bid to put the world body on record against the spread of nuclear weapons. That doesn’t mean those nations are ready to get tough with Iran or North Korea. Obama, as the first U.S. president to preside over a UN Security Council meeting, will call for a vote on a draft resolution to curb the proliferation and testing of nuclear arms and to safeguard fissile materials. On those goals, he likely will have the unanimous backing of leaders gathered in New York, according to interviews with Security Council diplomats.
United States Sacrifices Poland And The Czech Republic On 17 September 2009 the United States formally announced the intent to abandon the plan for placing ballistic missile defense (BMD) armaments in the Czech Republic and Poland. While the stated purpose of these missiles is protection from Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) the geo-political implications are mainly with Russia. As the United States has overextended itself as the policeman of the world the national debt has skyrocketed and the FRN$ is under intense pressure because it is destined like all other illusions before it for the fiat currency graveyard. Therefore, it is not surprising to see Poland and the Czech Republic feeling betrayed by being sacrificed on the altar of fiat currency.