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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Russia, where investment money goes to die


Russia intervenes as crumbling rouble echoes 1998 debt crisis 

Collapse in Russian currency, which has been badly buffeted by a plunge of almost 40% in oil prices, prompts central bank action 

Larry Elliott, economics editor GUARDIAN

Monday 1 December 2014 14.17 EST 

Russia’s central bank was forced to step in to defend the rouble on the foreign exchanges on Monday after fears over the economy’s vulnerability to a weak oil price sent the currency to a record low against the dollar. 

 Moscow was forced to abandon its hands-off policy towards the rouble amid heavy selling, unmatched since the Russian debt default of 1998. The Russian central bank intervened when the rouble was down 6.5% on the day against the US dollar, and by the close of trading the currency had recouped more than half its earlier losses. 

 A bounce in the oil price from a fresh five-year low and a sense that the sell-off since last week’s meeting of the Opec cartel has been overdone helped sentiment towards the Russian currency, which has been badly buffeted by a plunge of almost 40% in the cost of crude since the summer. 

 Data from the US suggesting that drilling activity in the shale oil sector is being affected by lower oil prices also helped the rouble by pushing down the value of the dollar. Oil is denominated in dollars, so when the US currency falls oil becomes cheaper and more attractive for holders of other currencies. 

 With Moscow fearful that the drop in the value of the rouble makes Russia vulnerable to capital flight, Ksenia Yudaeva, the Russian central bank’s deputy chairwoman, told newswires that households should not panic. She said the rise in interest rates to 9.5% should encourage them not to convert savings into euros or dollars. “It’s necessary to explain to people that the yield they get on their deposits at the moment will guarantee a high degree of safety for their savings with regards to inflation. They should think twice before rushing out, losing the yield on their deposits, taking on currency risks and losing money on their currency conversions.” 

 But Lee Hardman, currency strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, said falling oil prices were “reinforcing the loss of investor confidence in the rouble” at a time when it was affected by western sanctions imposed over Ukraine. At one stage on Monday, Brent crude was trading at $67.50 a barrel, a fresh five year low, before recovering to $71.90. 

 “There’s a sense that the market got a little bit ahead of itself, and we’re seeing some producer buying come in and it’s driving the market back up,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. Oil is still down about 10% since producer group Opec’s decision last Thursday not to cut output despite fears of a supply glut. 

 Saudi Arabia, the most influential member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, blocked moves by some smaller producers to curb output. The Saudis argued that low prices would ultimately hurt US shale oil production, which analysts say is responsible for much of the oversupply now. 

 Capital Economics said a degree of calm had returned to markets after weekend talk of a commodity-led meltdown. It said the apparent freefall in crude prices had been exaggerated by thin trading due to the US holiday, adding that the impact of lower energy costs would be positive for global growth.

93 comments:

  1. Most Russian companies have been shut out of global capital markets since the escalation of Western sanctions, following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July. They are forced to pay back debt as it comes due, seek support from the Russian state or default. The oil giant Rosneft has requested $49bn in state aid.

    Sberbank said companies must repay $75bn next year in dollar debt and cannot hope to roll over more than a tiny sliver of this. Nor can they expect more than $10bn of fresh capital from China.

    The bank said there are companies that are profiting nicely from the devaluation, since they sell abroad yet their costs are local. These include the base metals groups Norilsk and Rusal, as well as steel producers, and fertilizer groups such as Uralkali and PhosAgro. “Some of these are making a lot of money right now, and their stocks are flying," said one trader.

    The Russian equity index is trading at 0.5pc of book value. Rarely has a market ever been so cheap.

    Don’t be tempted.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Russia’s federal space exploration agency Roscosmos could be forced to close down or indefinitely delay whole projects due to the worsening economic situation in the country. The plummeting Russian rouble has rendered the agency incapable of planning their spending ahead of time, national daily newspaper Izvestia reported on Monday.

    According to Izvestia, Russia’s Gonets satellite system, launched by the Ministry of Defence and intended to restore Russia’s status as a major aerospace power, may not meet its upcoming deadline for government funding from 2016 to 2025.

    “Due to the complete unpredictability of prices in November the scientific engineering council was not able to reconcile anything concerning the orbital system of communication Gonets,” the anonymous source from the central strategic planning of Roscosmos told Izvestia.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Uncle

    MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Moscow has told Brussels it may be prepared to cancel its restrictive measures against European goods, if the European Union gives up anti-Russian sanctions. Last Saturday the Foreign Ministry issued a call to the European countries urging them to get out of the dead end of sanctions and promised that Russia’s counter-sanctions would be lifted in return.

    In response to that proposal European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the sanctions would stay in effect until Moscow took steps towards “restoring peace” to the region, apparently referring to hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine.

    Nevertheless, Russian experts believe that Moscow’s message has a chance to be heard in Brussels in the end. Nor do they rule out the possibility of talks about easing the war of sanctions to the mutual benefit of Russia and the European Union.

    “Europe is experiencing what one may describe as cumulative fatigue over Ukraine. It looks increasingly eager to find an alternative to the Ukrainian agenda. The European Union would like to distance itself from the Ukrainian problem that has been imposed on it,” lecturer at the Moscow state university of international relations MGIMO, Kirill Koktysh, has told TASS.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BELGRADE, December 1. /TASS/. Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandr Vucic has described as bad news Russia’s decision to curtail the South Stream gas pipeline project, the Serbian television channel RTS said on Tuesday.

    “Serbia has been investing in this project for seven years, but now it has to pay the price of a clash between the great (powers),” the RTS quotes him as saying. Vucic would like to discuss this issue with Russian President Vladimir and other Russian officials upon his return from the session of the UN Security Council in New York.

    On Monday evening Serbian Energy and Mining Industry Minister Aleksandr Antic said in the wake of the news Moscow was going to stop the project due to the European Union’s stance, that Serbia had not yet received any official notification from Russia’s Gazprom regarding any changes to the project for. He said the Russian president’s statement the project has been halted was regarded in Serbia as a message addressed in the first place to the EU members on which the gas pipeline’s construction depends heavily.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Germany prepares for decades-long conflict with Russia

    01.12.2014 | Source: Pravda.Ru

    The German government prepares for a long conflict with Russia. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the crisis with Russia could take more than a decade, and Ukraine's aspirations to NATO only "adds fuel to the fire," he said in an interview with ZDF television channel on Sunday, November 30th.

    "Sometimes, 14 days are enough to start a conflict, but may take 14 years to solve this conflict," the head of German diplomacy said. When asked whether the conflict with Russia could last for such a long time, Steinmeier responded positively.

    For the German minister, the issue of Crimea's future appears to be unsolvable. According to Steinmeier, international recognition of the Crimea as a part of the Russian territory is impossible. "We can not either ignore the illegal annexation of the Crimea, or forget about it and just ignore this fact. The conflict between us will continue," the Foreign Minister of Germany said.

    Steinmeier also said that he understands Ukraine's aspiration to NATO. "But despite this, we have to be realistic. We were involved in a dangerous conflict. In fact, there is nothing good in what we witness today," said Steinmeier.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Euronews | –

    “An integrated Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem has been vandalised by suspected Jewish extremists who set fire to a classroom.
    It happened late on Saturday at the Hand-in-Hand school where Palestinian and Israeli children study together in Arabic and Hebrew.

    “Death to Arabs” read part of the graffiti scrawled on walls.

    “Whoever hurts this type of coexistence no longer only hurts Arabs but Jews as well, hurts an idea and an ideal that has existed for 15 years”, said Hatem Matar “

    Don’t look for the IDF to start bulldozing any homes of Jewish terrorists and criminals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jewish Terrorists and criminals are locked up in real jobs.

      In the Palestinian territories families of suicide bombers and terrorists get government pensions, parades and yes rebuilt homes...

      They are HONORED as celebrities for murdering Jews...

      That's your peeps...

      Delete
    2. Deuce ☂Tue Dec 02, 05:13:00 AM EST
      Euronews | –

      “An integrated Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem has been vandalised by suspected Jewish extremists who set fire to a classroom.
      It happened late on Saturday at the Hand-in-Hand school where Palestinian and Israeli children study together in Arabic and Hebrew.

      “Death to Arabs” read part of the graffiti scrawled on walls.



      SO no proof, no arrests..

      Just vandalism. Just like Ferguson..

      Cool.

      Delete
    3. Zionists that participated in the Murder of Jews went on to become Prime Minister of Israel

      Zionists murder civilians, Jewish refugees in a False Flag operation

      On Nov. 25, 1940, a boat carrying Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe,
      exploded and sank off the coast of Palestine killing 252 people.

      The Zionist “Haganah” claimed the passengers committed suicide to protest British refusal to let them land.
      Years later, it admitted that rather than let the passengers go to Mauritius, it blew up the vessel for its propaganda value.

      “Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice the few in order to save the many,”
      Moshe Sharett, a former Israeli Prime Minister said at memorial service in 1958.


      http://beforeitsnews.com/strange/2013/03/zionists-led-jews-to-annihilation-in-ww2-2447940.html

      Delete
    4. If the murder of Jews is to be the measure of evil, then the Zionists of Israel are right near the to of th list.
      Murdering Jews, not because they were seen as an existential threat, but because the Zionists would get some "Good Press" if 252 Jewish refugees were murdered and the British could be blamed.

      Zionist swine, demeaning the value of Jewish lives, by murdering Jews for the headline value they would garner from the action. Shame on the Zionists and shame on those that would defend the murder of those innocent, Jewish, refugees.

      Delete
    5. Jack, thanks for your input, this is the 5,899 time you have posted the same nonsense again and again.



      But now you have added this:

      "Zionist swine, demeaning the value of Jewish lives, by murdering Jews for the headline value they would garner from the action. Shame on the Zionists and shame on those that would defend the murder of those innocent, Jewish, refugees."

      Is the new slogan "zionist swine" the new talking point on the Aryan Nation website?

      But thanks for pointing out that the Jewish Refugees that fled to Israel are intact INNOCENT.

      850,000 Jewish Refugees from the arab and iranian world were driven into Israel.

      But your ignorant of the term zionist still needs to be corrected.

      Go and learn the term, then report back to us..

      You have your mission.

      Delete
    6. The data point will continue to be referenced.
      There is no reason to forget those 252 murdered Jews.
      Murdered by the Zionist swine that occupied Palestine.

      Swine that sought to do deals with Hitler and whose leaders were responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews, in Europe.

      Finally, in "Shabtai Tzvi", Labor Zionism and the Holocaust, which was published also by Modiin, Barry Chamish writes (on pg. 232) that, about a year before he became Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon said that had Jabotinsky been head of the Jewish Agency instead of Ben-Gurion, millions of Jews would have been saved from the Holocaust.

      "Perfidy, The Transfer Agreement", and "The Scared And The Doomed" are accurate books (which were created by Jewish people, not anti-Semite bigots) that detail how Labor Zionism prevented the rescue of European Jewry.


      http://firstlightforum.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/zionists-collaborate-with-hitler-to-squeeze-the-lesser-jews-into-palestine/

      Delete
    7. Millions of Jews died because of the policies of David Ben-Gurion - so said Ariel Sharon.

      Figure Mr Sharon would know, and he could never be descried as a Self-loathing Jew, could he?

      Delete
  7. I read the Atlantic article. The concept that the press picks on ( fill in the blank) is the default response by the one who is losing the argument.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are part of the Press, in a way. You pick on Israel and the Jews nearly every day.

      When was the last time you posted something about the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria by the Moslems?

      90% of the conflicts in the world today involve the Moslems and Somebody else yet we never hear anything but here but the Jews, the Jews, the Jews.....

      Delete
    2. Deuce is wounded.

      He backs Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinians (Hamas and PA)

      What more is there to say?

      Delete
    3. Real Americans despise those on the dole.
      Israel exists only because of the lavish economic subsidies the US provides to it.

      Delete
    4. We will have normal relations with Iran and they will prove to be much more valuable and less expensive than our current and past money pit with Israel.

      Delete
    5. 90% of the conflicts in the world today involve the Moslems and Somebody else yet we never hear anything but here but the Jews, the Jews, the Jews.....

      I rarely mention “the jews”. That is your gig.

      Delete
  8. Turkey and Russia have signed fresh documents in a bid to boost already growing economic, energy and trade ties, reiterating their ambitious mutual target to augment the bilateral trade volume to $100 billion by 2020.

    Led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin and with senior officials from both sides, the lengthy Turkey-Russia High-Level Cooperation Council meeting produced key agreements in the fields of energy, banking, industry, nuclear energy training, justice and trade, in line with both side’s intention to strengthen and diversify economic ties.

    “This visit of Putin is a clear sign of the progress of the relations between Turkey and Russia,” Erdoğan said in a joint press conference on Dec. 1. “Our political will to increase our trade volume to $100 billion is still valid.”

    He added that they had studied in detail the pace of works for the $20 billion Akkuyu nuclear plant investment in a bid to speed up the accomplishment of the project. The two presidents also discussed the ongoing natural gas deal between the two countries, as Turkey is the second largest market for Russia.

    For his part, Putin touched on Turkey's position as Russia’s second top trading partner after Germany. "Regarding our energy cooperation with our Turkish partners, we will make a six percent discount from January 1," he said.

    Meanwhile, Putin warned that the project to build the South Stream Offshore Pipeline, which was already approved by Turkey as a transit country, could be cancelled if Bulgaria keeps failing to give the final approval.

    Moscow later could build a new link and possibly work with Turkey on creating a gas hub on the border with Greece, Putin said. He argued that the EU’s opposition to the South Stream pipeline - which would have run under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further on to southern Europe - meant Russia had no other choice but to scrap it.

    Russia's state owned energy giant Gazprom separately announced late Dec. 1 that Moscow cancelled the the construction of South Stream. Instead, Russia will build a 63 billion cubic meter capacity natural gas pipeline to Turkey, bypassing Ukraine, said the company's CEO Aleksey Miller in a written statement.

    Miller said that the 14 bcm capacity of the new pipeline will replace Ukrainian transit natural gas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Watch the party of ignorance screw this up and stick it to American workers again

    As many analysts anticipated, Iran and the great powers, the so-called P5+1 (France, UK, Germany, the US, China, and Russia), fell short of hammering out a comprehensive deal before the November 24 deadline, necessitating a second extension of an increasingly high stakes series of negotiations to July 2015.

    Understandably, much of the media coverage of the nuclear talks focused on unprecedented and wide-ranging bilateral talks between Tehran and Washington. The two powers are contemplating the possibility of a "neither foes, nor friends" relationship in the coming years. The emerging consensus is that an Iran-US entente is critical to the stabilisation of a fragile regional order in the Middle East, which has been ravaged by sectarian conflict.

    Fewer analysts, however, have paid close attention to the motivations and ambiguous interest of Eastern powers such as China in the Iranian nuclear talks. Generally, China has been the most low-key participant in the Iran-P5+1 talks, with its diplomats largely confined to the sidelines of the negotiations. Although China is seen as sympathetic to Iran, and it has an interest in the stability of the oil supply in the Middle East, it has also been among the biggest - if not the main - beneficiaries of Iran's isolation in recent years.

    Western unilateral sanctions have allowed Chinese companies to reinforce their foothold in Iran's strategic economic sectors, particularly in infrastructure and energy. Improved ties between Iran and the West, especially the US, however, could undermine China's domination of the Iranian economic landscape and redraw the strategic landscape in the Middle East.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ... a moment to reflect and rationalize ...

    Over 17,000 children killed by regime since war began

    BEIRUT: More than 17,000 children have been killed by Syrian regime forces since the war began in March 2011, according to a new report.

    Of those, 518 were killed by sniper fire, and at least 95 tortured to death. A further 280,000 children have been wounded and 9,500 arrested by the authorities.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob OreilleTue Dec 02, 01:01:00 AM EST
      >>>Matti argues that the western press is far too focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that its framing distorts our perceptions of Israel. <<<

      It's true. The fight between the Christians and the Moslems in Nigeria is hardly ever mentioned, yet it is far bloodier.

      Delete
    2. It is not about the level of violence, it is about the level of US involvement in the subsidizing of the murder of children.
      The US provides no arms to Syria, provides no ammunition, does not provide loan guarantees to the Syrian government.

      The US is not connected to Syria, or the actions undertaken by its President.
      The US is tied at the hip to the Israeli.

      So while the actions of the Syrian regime are barbaric, they are not an 'ally' of the US.
      While the Israeli are a wholly owned subsidiary of the US.

      Delete
    3. U.S. To Send $100 Million Aid To Syria
      AP | BRADLEY KLAPPER and MATTHEW LEE | Posted 07.08.2013 | World
      Read More: Video, US Syria Humanitarian Aid, US Aid to Syria, US Syrian Rebels, Syria Aid, Syria Humanitarian Aid, US Syria Crisis, Syria Crisis, US Syria Aid, Syria, World News

      ROME — The Obama administration is providing $100 million in new Syria aid, U.S. officials said Wednesday


      As you said, all money is fungible


      Delete
    4. 100,000,000 in cold hard cash pays for a lot of dead syrian women and babies...

      the blood on those are on your hands....

      Delete
  11. Getting close to the Solutrean Hypothesis here -

    December 2, 2014
    Are Native Americans Our European Ancestors?
    By Jeannie DeAngelis

    Immediately following a massacre at the hands of a U.S. Army major who, before killing 13 American soldiers, was the first person to inject Islam into “workplace violence” by shouting “Allahu Akbar,” the president appeared at a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs. Before mentioning the tragic events at Ft. Hood, Obama apparently felt it was imperative to give a cheerful “shout-out" to Congressional Medal of Honor winner Dr. Joe Medicine Crow.

    In 2009 the president delayed statements that condemn domestic terrorism to acknowledge a Native American; now, in 2014, Barack Obama has directed his comments to those who oppose his executive amnesty, citing ineligibility to protest the invasion if a protestor’s ancestry is not directly rooted in America.

    Desperate to defend his push to “fundamentally transform” the nation against the will of the American people, many of whom are of European descent, Obama told a Chicago audience:

    If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave there have been periods where the folks who were already here have said, 'Well I don't want those folks.’

    With those words, the president sent a message to his critics that there was once a time when white people weren’t welcome in America either. That cheap shot was an attempt to rally support for amnesty by reminding those gathered in Chicago that when they arrived here Europeans also met with anti-immigrant sentiment.

    The kicker is that he then added this caveat: “the only people who have the right to [object to immigration] are some Native Americans.”

    By making such an absurd statement, Barack Obama expressed the opinion that the only ones who have a legitimate right to oppose an invasion by “those folks” are Native Americans, because they were in America first.

    The president’s skewed logic is that those whose ancestors he believes conquered Native Americans have no right to object to being conquered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In addition, Obama, who favors one race, identifies with the liberal tribe, and seems to loathe bitter Bible clingers, chided the audience by pointing out: “Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently[.]”

      Yeah! And the one “treating other folks differently” would be you.

      Different or not, what is plain is that in Obama’s opinion, the descendants of those who he thinks subjugated Native Americans should accept a modern-day Christopher Columbus named Barack Obama who, like the Columbus of old, is also “governing as he pleases.”

      After all, according to Obama, Christian European colonizers oppressed the indigenous people, so six centuries later those with Christian European lineage had better not grumble.

      For all intents and purposes, Obama conquering and transforming America may very well be the president's version of Native American reparations. Executive amnesty could be Barack’s way of teaching the descendants of White Europeans what being occupied feels like.

      One sure way to share the pain is by importing the Third-World diseases that are currently infecting and killing healthy Americans with things like Enterovirus D-68, MDR-TB, and Chagas. In a way, Barack is doing what many on the left accuse White European settlers of doing, which is to expose an uncontaminated population to diseases to which they have no immunity.

      The problem with the logic of the traveler of 57 states (not counting Alaska and his highly dubious birth state of Hawaii) is that his type of vindictive compensation is rooted in historical fiction.

      Delete
    2. If a present-day American’s heritage includes a relative migrating to the U.S. from anywhere else in the world and said individual is disqualified from expressing an opinion on illegal immigration, then Native Americans should be disqualified too.

      In addition to archeological evidence that claims humans were in North America thousands of years before Native Americans arrived, over the years genetic clues have indicated America’s first colonists migrated from Siberia. It is believed that the people Obama refers to as native, much like the illegal aliens who walk across the border into the U.S., actually walked across the ice from Russia to what is now called America.

      More recently, scientists in Denmark extracted DNA from a juvenile skeleton from a Siberian site in Mal'ta, Russia near Lake Baikal that was found with miniature Venus sculptures similar to small figurines made by European hunter-gatherers.

      Scientists now believe it’s quite possible, based on that and a newly discovered sequenced genome, that one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, not solely from East Asia as previously thought.

      What science indicates is that unbeknownst to Barack Obama, the very people he’s using as a weapon to suppress criticism of his attempt to circumvent the Constitution were migrants too.

      Worse yet, it could be that one-third of those Obama said are the only people who have the right to object to illegal immigration actually originated from the same part of the world as those Obama says have no right to complain: Europe.

      So try as he might to justify his lawlessness by endeavoring to inflict guilt on Americans for having a heritage in countries other than America, the truth is that the supposedly native peoples Obama is politically exploiting are not native at all.

      The crux of the issue is that the only individuals indigenous to one part of the world are those who originated in the “cradle of civilization.” Everyone else, including American Indians, migrated and then settled far from home.

      If the president is maintaining that modern-day Americans have no right to complain because their ancestors trekked to the New World from somewhere else, then neither do Native Americans. And as nightmarish as it might be for Obama’s liberal fantasy, both modern-day illegals and Native Americans may actually possess the same DNA as the European New World explorers Barack Obama seeks to vilify.

      Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com

      http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/11/are_native_americans_our_european_ancestors.html

      Delete
  12. Washington takes heat off President Bashar al-Assad
    The State Department has cut its funding to the Syria Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC) that it set up in the Hague in 2013 with a view to prosecuting Syrian President Bashar Assad for crimes against humanity.
    ...
    stablished in The Hague a "Special Tribunal for Lebanon" to try President Bashar al-Assad for the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri. But all the testimonials and evidence having fallen apart, President al-Assad was never indicted.
    ...
    In 2013, the US Goodwill Ambassador on War Crimes, Stephen Rapp (photo), requested Jordan, Turkey and other states to set up a "UN Special Tribunal for Syria." However, his efforts fell through.

    On the Syrian side, the Atlanticist narrative of a savagely repressed revolution is unequivocally refuted and it is affirmed that the Syrian Arab Republic and President Bashar al-Assad are innocent of the crimes they are charged with. In addition, the "Friends of Syria" are accused of having staged a pseudo-revolution to attack the country and, thereby, of being the real and sole culprits of the crimes perpetrated during the war.
    ...
    The State Department has decided to shift the funds to a new programme in charge of establishing the crimes committed by the Islamic State.

    To date, the "Office of Global Justice", attached to the State Department, has provided no explanation for its policy change.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Total US Debt Rises Over $18 Trillion; Up 70% Under Barack Obama

    As soon as that new credit card arrives, I'll pay off the old credit card debt and be solvent again. Won't I?

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      In his article in the Atlantic, Matti Friedman made some good points, IMO. Mainly, I thought he was more right than wrong in saying there is more media interest on Israel than is warranted (his main point) and in his description of new correspondents arriving in a war zone.

      However, it appears none here bothered with the debate that was linked in my post. In it, the editor from NYT pretty much disputes all of Friedman's points and, IMO, does a pretty good job of it.

      The debate itself was a civilized one by two guys with very different opinions on the subject. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to change many minds since those emotionally involved on either side of the argument will likely only be listening to one side of the debate and nodding their heads in agreement.

      .

      Delete
    2. We all were able to read it, regardless of you data set deficiencies.
      Seems that this is not our only source of information.

      “It's not necessary to tell all you know... You're not gonna change any one of them by talkin' right. They've got to want to learn themselves, and when they don't want to learn there's nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.”
      ― Harper Lee

      Delete
    3. Jack HawkinsTue Dec 02, 12:33:00 PM EST
      We all were able to read it,


      Actually NO, "We ALL" is incorrect.

      Once again Jack " I CANNOT BE WRONG" Hawkins is wrong..

      how typical.

      Delete


  15. December 2014

    Abraham Lincoln: American prophet

    by James Piereson

    How Lincoln dealt with the press and the founders' legacy.


    Support The
    New Criterion

    Several decades ago, the Civil War historian James G. Randall raised the question as to whether the Lincoln theme in American history had been exhausted by the vast outpouring of books on the life and lives of our sixteenth president. He need not have worried: There was never any danger that Americans would tire of hearing about Abraham Lincoln or that historians and biographers would run out of things to say about him.

    Lincoln, after all, is a central figure—perhaps the central figure—in the unfolding epic of the American nation. What we are today we might never have been had Lincoln not intervened in the sectional conflict of the 1850s. There was also something about the rough-hewn man from the prairie that set him apart from the secular statesmen who founded the nation and the patronage-seeking and media-savvy politicians who followed him. Unpolished, unschooled, and untutored, he somehow managed to master a situation that, as he said, was “piled high with difficulty,” and he did so with a rhetorical mastery that no other American political figure has come close to matching. The coarse photographs from the era, while giving us a clearer sense of his contemporaries, seem mainly to illustrate Lincoln’s fundamental elusiveness. “That son of a gun Lincoln grows on you,” observed Carl Sandburg in 1939 upon completing his magisterial biography of Lincoln. He “grows on us” still.

    Sandburg pointed to the central difficulty faced by anyone trying to articulate a definitive interpretation of Lincoln. There were too many sides to the man: homespun hero, storyteller, debater, politician and party leader, writer and rhetorician, statesman, perhaps a villain (in the eyes of some), martyr, and prophet of American liberty. Who was the “real” Lincoln? That is a matter of serious debate, even now a full century and a half after he was assassinated. By now, most historians have given up trying to see Lincoln “whole,” and are increasingly satisfied to understand one or another dimension of his genius.

    Harold Holzer is fascinated by Lincoln’s skills as a politician.............

    http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Abraham-Lincoln--American-prophet-8016


    Good long article about Abe.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Quirk, were you trying to hook into the power grid lines again to light your Christmas Display for free and you shorted out the entire Detroit electrical system?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Entire Detroit Public Lighting system is down

      The Detroit News 11:58 a.m. EST December 2, 2014
      power-outage-frank-murphy-hunter.jpg

      (Photo: George Hunter / The Detroit News)


      Detroit — A widespread power outage Tuesday has caused evacuations of buildings throughout the downtown, including Joe Louis Arena, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, the Detroit Institute of Arts and some buildings at Wayne State University.

      According to Detroit Press Office shortly before noon: “The city’s public lighting grid suffered a major cable failure that has caused the entire grid to lose power at approximately 10:30 this morning. The outage is affecting all customers on the PLD grid. We have isolated the issue and are working to restore power as soon as possible.”

      http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2014/12/02/power-outage-prompts-evacuations-detroit/19777159/

      Delete
  17. Jack "I HATE JEWS" Hawkins says: So while the actions of the Syrian regime are barbaric, they are not an 'ally' of the US.
    While the Israeli are a wholly owned subsidiary of the US.


    Wow, sorry Jack, but 3 billion in aid, that is mostly spent in the USA doesn't give OWNERSHIP of Israel.

    BUt by your logic, everything bad Israel has done is America's fault…

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jack "I AM A COWARD TO USE MY OWN NAME" Hawkins says:

    AnonymousTue Dec 02, 10:37:00 AM EST
    Real Americans despise those on the dole.
    Israel exists only because of the lavish economic subsidies the US provides to it.

    Israel gets NO economic subsidies at all.

    It does get military aid…

    Go back to school JackRat...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arguing with one who will not accept facts is like administering medicine to the dead.

      Delete
    2. The military aid is economic aid, money is fungible.

      The loan guarantees are economic aid.
      What planet are you from, that the loan guarantees would not be considered economic aid?

      Delete
    3. And the Israeli are right there, getting their share of the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

      Delete
    4. SO you are admitting you are an international drug dealer?

      Delete
  19. .

    Speaking of William Dudley and the NY Fed,

    Why I love Elizabeth Warren

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/12/01/elizabeth_warren_questions_ny_federal_reserve_president.html

    .

    ReplyDelete
  20. LIGHTS GO OUT IN DETROIT
    'SYSTEM OVERLOAD' .....................drudge


    Yup, system overload.

    Somebody spliced in the vast 'Q's Christmas Display Pay n' View and the whole town went down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Actually, some years back I came close to burning my house down with a circuit overload.

      I've since had a new service drop put in.

      .

      Delete
  21. What a bizarre, convoluted, complex, really insane play the whole situation is -



    US, Turkey near deal on new ISIS front
    posted at 12:31 pm on December 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey



    The long diplomatic effort to get Turkey to cooperate in the fight against ISIS may finally bear some fruit. According to the Washington Post, the US has agreed to a de facto buffer zone in northern Syria that Turkey long demanded as a formal concession against the Assad regime in Damascus. In exchange, coalition sorties could begin soon from Incirlik, which would add hours to their flight times and greatly increase flexibility in targeting ISIS assets on the ground:

    The Obama administration is weighing the opening of a new front in the air war against the Islamic State in Syria, part of an offensive to push back militants along the western part of Syria’s border with Turkey and create a relatively safe zone for U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces to move in.

    Under the plan, U.S. aircraft flying from Turkey’s Incirlik air base would target positions the militants currently hold along the border north of Aleppo, eastward toward the besieged town of Kobane. Turkish special forces would move into the area to assist the targeting and help Syrian opposition fighters consolidate their hold on the territory. …

    The proposal would at least partly address Turkey’s long-standing desire for a protected buffer zone inside Syria along the entire 511-mile border, while providing the faltering rebel fighters with a much-needed boost.

    In exchange, U.S. access to ­Incirlik for the use of manned warplanes and armed drones throughout Syria would add as much as six hours to the time that individual strike aircraft could spend “on station,” locating and reaching targets. Aircraft currently striking Islamic State positions in northern and eastern Syria fly from bases in the Persian Gulf, a distance of about 1,000 miles.

    “That access is huge,” a U.S. official said. At the same time, having Turkish special forces on the ground inside Syria would not only “breathe life into the Free Syrian Army” but also provide “more capable folks to help with targeting” for airstrikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If this seems long overdue, it’s only because readers have paid attention. Turkey helped amplify the ISIS problem by allowing its territory to be used as free transit for Islamist fighters. The Erdogan government wanted to see the revolution against Bashar al-Assad to succeed, so it allowed those fighters who later became foot soldiers for ISIS to flood into the region. Thanks to that opening — which has also been exploited by people recruiting fighters and wives from the West — the job of “degrading and destroying” ISIS has been made that much more difficult.

      The buffer zone has been Turkey’s dream long before ISIS arose. They could have taken it themselves without getting permission from the anti-ISIS coalition, but that would have complicated the problems of targeting ISIS units. It also would have relieved the Syrian Kurds that fight on the front lines against ISIS, an outcome that Turkey clearly didn’t want, given its own fight against Kurdish separatists. Seizing a buffer zone now may end up putting even more Kurds under Erdogan’s thumb, and it’s not exactly certain that this will make the situation better in northern Syria or even more confusing.

      Speaking of confusion, the Russians are playing one of their cards in Syria now, too. According to AFP, Moscow has brought together the Assad regime and at least some rebel groups into talks that might leave Assad in power and have the rebels on which the Western strategy relies sitting on the sidelines:

      The Syrian regime and several key opponents have agreed to move towards new peace talks mediated by Russia, sources on both sides told AFP.

      The initial agreement came after separate delegations led by prominent opposition figure Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem visited Moscow in November.

      Buthaina Shaaban, government delegation member and adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, called meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “very positive”.

      “The Russians want to take the initiative for a real search for political solution through dialogue. They got the agreement from the Syrian government,” she said by phone from Damascus.

      Alongside Iran, Russia is the Assad regime’s main backer in a civil war pitting loyalists against Western and Arab-backed rebels.

      Delete
    2. This could produce an alliance of forces against ISIS, too — but on Russian and Iranian terms rather than Western and Arab terms. Neither Iran nor Russia want a Sunni caliphate operating in the region, where it can restart unrest in the Caucasus. Iran wants Sunni power minimized to the greatest extent possible in any outcome, especially in Iraq. The US and its partners have set their hopes on getting these same Sunni militias to coalesce against both ISIS and Assad, but if Russia gets its way, the West may end up eating a lot of its words over the past three years and end up with an uncomfortable partnership again in Damascus — which would drive a wedge between the US and its Sunni Arab allies.

      For the moment, though, Turkey’s apparently moving ahead in its plan to finally do something about the problem it helped create and which it has ignored ever since. Their reluctance produced a scolding for Turkey for its inaction from a surprising source this weekend:

      In his first visit to Turkey as pontiff, Pope Francis affirmed military force was justified to stop the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as he urged Muslim leaders to condemn the group’s “barbaric violence.”

      As part of a visit meant to strengthen inter-faith ties, Francis called upon Turkish political and religious leaders to denounce ISIS, the Associated Press reported.

      “As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights,” Francis told Mehmet Gormez, Turkey’s top cleric and other religious officials who gathered at the government-run Religious Affairs Directorate.

      “As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the omnipotent is the God of life and peace.”

      Maybe the embarrassment of being lectured by the Pope on military pusillanimity tipped the scales. They’d better start soon, before Russia and Iran make Turkish interests entirely moot.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/02/us-turkey-near-deal-on-new-isis-front/

      Delete
    3. It's like a football game where five or six teams are all playing at the same time mostly all against one another......

      Delete
    4. .

      Russia will do whatever it can to hold on to its Syrian base.

      The questions are what is a 'de facto buffer zone' and how far into Syria will it expand?

      .

      Delete
  22. .

    Netanyahu fires ministers calls for new elections.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/02/israel-set-for-elections-netanyahu-fires-ministers

    .

    ReplyDelete
  23. .

    (Reuters) - The government of Iraq and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan have reached a deal to ease tensions over Kurdish oil exports and civil service payments from Baghdad, Iraq's finance minister told Reuters on Thursday.

    Hoshiyar Zebari said the central government had agreed for the time being to resume payments from the federal budget for Kurdish civil servants' salaries.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/13/us-iraq-kurdistan-idUSKCN0IX1X520141113

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Kurdistan Independence Movement in waning, in Iraq.

      Delete
    2. But the Kurdistan Independence Movement in Kurdistan is doing nicely...

      Delete


  24. SodaStream: The Carnage Continues
    Dec. 1, 2014 4:37 AM ET | About: SodaStream International (SODA), Includes: GMCR
    -Bill Maurer

    Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Summary

    Estimates continue to fall after Q3 report.
    Rebound chances decline as we approach Keurig Cold launch.
    Short squeeze thesis has mostly collapsed.
    Company transformation needs to work.
    Valuation depressed if you believe in the company's future.

    One of the most disappointing stocks of 2014 has been SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA). The company that allows you to make your own soda and other drinks at home was set for a great growth year, but things did not go as planned. Sales in the US have struggled, and the company is now trying to remodel itself ahead of a key competitive launch. Today, I'll detail why things are getting worse, and how the company's window for opportunity may be closing fast.


    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2720175-sodastream-the-carnage-continues?uprof=45&dr=1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Net income for the last 5 years.

      9.92M 12.87M 29.47M 43.86M 42.03M

      YUMMY...

      And for those that invest and not speculate?

      YUMMY....

      Delete
    2. I'll take 42 MILLON a year in net profit...


      Delete
    3. AND the CHERRY on top?

      500 palestinians are now without jobs....

      Thanks!

      Delete
  25. .

    Washington (CNN) -- Ashton Carter, the former second-in-command at the Pentagon, appears to be the top choice to replace outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel.
    Barring any last minute complications, Ash Carter will be President Barack Obama's choice as the new Secretary of Defense, several U.S. administration officials told CNN.

    An administration official had said that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, a former General Counsel at the Pentagon, was also still on the list of possibilities, but on Tuesday morning, sources said Johnson was no longer being considered. The prospect of an additional confirmation hearing for Johnson's replacement if he were to move to the Pentagon as the Senate switches to Republican control would have been problematic for the White House...


    http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/01/politics/ashton-carter-gains-steam-as-defense-nominee/

    .

    ReplyDelete
  26. QuirkTue Dec 02, 11:23:00 AM EST
    .

    In his article in the Atlantic, Matti Friedman made some good points, IMO. Mainly, I thought he was more right than wrong in saying there is more media interest on Israel than is warranted (his main point) and in his description of new correspondents arriving in a war zone.


    While I appreciated your link and found it anecdotally interesting, I saw no need to debate. Not just here at the EB but elsewhere,generally, I think opinions are fixed and only some catastrophic event is likely to give pause for reflection.

    I have not infrequently found various Israeli policies and politicians wanting and have not been reluctant in voicing my disapproval. However, I do not recall my sometime antagonists ever voicing any approving opinion of Israel. There are many positive things to be said about Israel; if nothing else, a fair number of Israeli women are among the most beautiful in the world. This failure to acknowledge any good about Israeli culture I attribute to blind hatred and bigotry; therefore, there is nothing to debate. If I am mistaken in my appraisal, I am ready to be corrected.

    As an aside, has anyone here ever undergone a nuclear cardiac stress test?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never heard of a nuclear cardiac stress test.

      This may be, I guess, a test one takes to see how one is holding up under the threat of Iranian nuclear bombs.

      Delete
    2. .

      This failure to acknowledge any good about Israeli culture I attribute to blind hatred and bigotry...

      :o)

      A comfortable attitude. If you expect the worst from people, you will never be disappointed.

      .

      Delete
    3. As an aside, has anyone here ever undergone a nuclear cardiac stress test? Yes, I have had 2

      Delete
  27. Jack HawkinsTue Dec 02, 10:43:00 AM EST
    It is not about the level of violence, it is about the level of US involvement in the subsidizing of the murder of children.
    The US provides no arms to Syria, provides no ammunition, does not provide loan guarantees to the Syrian government.

    The US is not connected to Syria, or the actions undertaken by its President.
    The US is tied at the hip to the Israeli.

    So while the actions of the Syrian regime are barbaric, they are not an 'ally' of the US.
    While the Israeli are a wholly owned subsidiary of the US.


    What is "Occupation"Tue Dec 02, 03:11:00 PM EST
    U.S. To Send $100 Million Aid To Syria
    AP | BRADLEY KLAPPER and MATTHEW LEE | Posted 07.08.2013 | World
    Read More: Video, US Syria Humanitarian Aid, US Aid to Syria, US Syrian Rebels, Syria Aid, Syria Humanitarian Aid, US Syria Crisis, Syria Crisis, US Syria Aid, Syria, World News

    ROME — The Obama administration is providing $100 million in new Syria aid, U.S. officials said Wednesday


    As you said, all money is fungible




    America provides cash...

    America is helping assad by bombing it's enemies...

    So by the use of the "rat doctrine", America is murdering tens of thousands of babies in syria..

    ReplyDelete
  28. The Middle East faces a faceless threat, bigger and more challenging than ISIL

    Faisal Al Yafai

    December 2, 2014 Updated: December 2, 2014 07:08 PM

    Related

    Yazidi girls train to take on ISIL from Sinjar mountain Yazidi girls train to take on ISIL from Sinjar mountain
    Kobani: a besieged town shows its scars
    Syrian rebels fight on two fronts - Islamic State and government

    Who or what has had the most influence on the Middle East this year? As 2014 draws to a close, this is the reflective question many analysts and journalists are drawn to answering.

    That question, in fact, was the premise of a television show that gathered together opinion-formers from across the Middle East (including this columnist) in Dubai last week.

    In a year that made a household name of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, saw the re-election of Bashar Al Assad and the end (for now) of Nouri Al Maliki’s prime ministership, it is natural that a review of the year should focus on a single face.

    Yet with so much happening in the Middle East and so many personalities contributing to those events, it strikes me that just as the problems of the Middle East are too big to have been caused by any one person, so the problems are too big to be solved by any one person.

    The Middle East’s most influential figure is faceless, a challenge for the region bigger than the threat of ISIL or the rise of Iran. It is the refugee crisis in Syria, a nameless, faceless threat that, nonetheless, is creating new challenges daily.

    The scale of the Syrian refugee crisis is almost unfathomable. The UN says three million Syrians have fled the country, with at least another six million displaced within the country. That is more than the population of New York.

    Homeless, and fleeing war, at least half of those refugees are children, most of whom have had their education severely disrupted. Many have lost family members, too many are orphans – with all the vulnerability that brings – and all are severely traumatised.

    Numbers on that scale are more than a crisis, more than a catastrophe. Syria’s refugee crisis is a cataclysm.

    No one should be in any doubt about the seriousness of the Syrian refugee crisis. Nothing – not extremism, not climate change – has the potential to reshape the Middle East’s politics and society as much as the Syrian crisis.

    Already it is having an effect on the politics of neighbouring countries. In Turkey, there is rising feeling against the refugees and the country’s policy towards Syria.

    Lebanon last month halted the entry of refugees apart from exceptional cases. Both there and in Jordan, the change in the populations have been vast. Lebanon’s population has swelled by as much as 25 per cent, while in Jordan, as much as 15 per cent of its population are now Syrian refugees. Both are barely able to cope, struggling to find sufficient water, electricity and schooling for the arrivals.

    We have been here before. The Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948 and again in 1967 reshaped the politics of the region, in particular in Jordan.

    There is no reason to imagine this much greater exodus will not have a similar or greater effect, if the issue is not resolved and the war is not ended.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And yet even the basics are not being done. The UN’s World Food Programme has suspended its programmes in five countries because of a lack of funds – and just as winter begins to bite across the Levant. The shortfall in funding is $64m (Dh235m) a month – a relatively small sum when spread across governments in the rich world.

      Despite the scale of the problem, it is largely hidden, a problem that exists in the shadows of neighbouring countries and in Syria itself.

      This is partly because, like an iceberg, the majority of the problem is submerged. Most of Syria’s refugees are hidden: they are displaced within Syria itself, or are surviving at the margins of other countries. Many of those that can have left to build new lives in other countries.

      But those who remain are faceless simply because there are so many of them. The emotional impact of all these people dissipates once it reaches our screens. It is always easier and more powerful to focus on individuals. Without personalising the problem, we cannot conceive of it. And because we cannot conceive of it, it is easy to ignore it.

      But Syria’s refugee crisis is real and growing. The lessons of the last few years, first in the Arab Spring and later in the fragmentation of Syria and Iraq that allowed ISIL to grow, is clear: states have a capacity to absorb problems within their borders, but that capacity is finite. Push too much unemployment, instability, sectarianism or corruption (or a mix of all) into the state and it will eventually collapse or explode. The problems of states, the tensions within them, have to be addressed early.

      That is precisely what is happening now with Syria’s refugees. The exodus is filling neighbouring countries and stretching them. An unforeseen crisis could make them burst.

      falyafai@thenational.ae

      http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/the-middle-east-faces-a-faceless-threat-bigger-and-more-challenging-than-isil

      Delete
  29. .

    Jeb Bush admitted he is thinking about running for president. Expect an announcement by the end of the year.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  30. Rand Paul is going to run for President and the Senate at the same time, even though Kentucky law forbids having one's name on two different ballots.

    Might as well run for Governor, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      ...even though Kentucky law forbids having one's name on two different ballots.

      You mean having your name in two different places on the same ballot. :o)

      I've said before, I would favor Paul over anyone in the GOP that were considered frontrunners for the nomination (Rubio, Cruz, Christie, Walker, et al); however, I've seen where he is already modifying some of his views (likely in anticipation of running). Whether that is a good thing or not, I don't know.

      .

      Delete
    2. Yes, Teacher, that's what I meant.

      Delete
  31. Jeb's been a decent Governor, actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I don't recall anything bad about him as governor. I asked Whit about it one time. He didn't give Bush any ringing endorsement but as I recall he really didn't have any negatives to offer either.

      It's 13 months until the primaries. If he decides to run, we should have a better idea about him then.

      .

      Delete
  32. QuirkTue Dec 02, 05:19:00 PM EST
    .

    This failure to acknowledge any good about Israeli culture I attribute to blind hatred and bigotry...

    :o)

    A comfortable attitude. If you expect the worst from people, you will never be disappointed.



    You are mistaken. The opinion is not comforting and the disappoint is no less troublesome...But I am a moral man and that does make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is taking on unsettling religious overtones, reports the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

    ...

    The Christians living in the Holy Land are tempted to emigrate for a number of reasons, the Franciscan leader said. The rise of the Islamic State has dramatically increased the level of concern about the future of the Christian minority in the Middle East.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Glenn Beck loses bid to dismiss Saudi's libel suit

    By JOSH GERSTEIN |
    12/2/14 1:24 PM EST

    A federal judge has rejected a bid by conservative commentator Glenn Beck to toss out a libel lawsuit filed by a Saudi student Beck repeatedly accused of funding the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

    In a ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris said the suit brought by Abdulrahman Alharbi could go forward notwithstanding claims by Beck, his website The Blaze.com, and firms connected to his radio show that the Saudi's role in events near the finish line of the marathon made him a public figure. If deemed a public figure, Alharbi would have found it difficult or impossible to proceed with the suit since he would need proof of actual malice: namely, that Beck intentionally lied or recklessly disregarded the truth.

    Alharbi was briefly investigated in connection with the bombing and a variety of media outlets reported on that inquiry. But Saris said that was not sufficient to render the student, who also incurred minor injuries at the finish line, a public figure.

    "Choosing to attend a sporting event as one of thousands of spectators is not the kind of conduct that a reasonable person would expect to result in publicity. Quite to the contrary, a spectator at an event like the Boston Marathon would reasonably expect to disappear into the throngs of others, never attracting notice by the press. Because he did not 'assume the risk of publicity,' Alharbi does not meet the definition of an involuntary public figure," the judge wrote.

    (Also on POLITICO: Republicans ready to vote)

    Saris went on to note that Beck continued to level allegations at the Saudi student for several weeks after authorities made clear Alharbi was no longer under investigation.

    "Even if a private person meets the definition of an involuntary public figure as a matter of bad luck during a public controversy, the status is of limited duration. As such, Alharbi lost that status when his name was cleared," the judge wrote in an opinion posted here.

    The judge observed that "many of the facts are in dispute" but she said it was possible Alharbi could demonstrate the level of culpability needed to prevail against the conservative commentator or the related companies.

    "The facts alleged in Alharbi’s complaint easily permit an inference that the defendants were negligent as to the truthfulness of their reports after the authorities cleared his name," Saris wrote.

    (Also on POLITICO: The new GOP divide)

    Unless settled, the case is now likely to proceed to a discovery phase where the two sides exchange information and take depositions from those involved.

    A spokesman for Beck did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment for this post.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2014/12/glenn-beck-loses-bid-to-dismiss-saudis-libel-suit-199438.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonder if Glenn's got libel insurance.

      What's a 'public figure' ?

      Delete
  35. Maybe we'll have an independent thinker over there at the Pentagon -


    New SecDef frontrunner once advocated unilateral bombing of North Korea
    posted at 6:31 pm on December 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

    Perhaps Ashton Carter is a little more independent a voice in policy matters than we’ve credited. Eight years ago, Carter teamed up with his fellow Clinton administration colleague, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, to urge George W. Bush to take more aggressive action against North Korea. In a Washington Post op-ed discovered by the Free Beacon, Carter and Perry advised Bush to unilaterally strike Kim Jong-il’s nuclear-weapons sites to show the regime who’s boss. No, really:

    Should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to U.S. soil? We believe not. The Bush administration has unwisely ballyhooed the doctrine of “preemption,” which all previous presidents have sustained as an option rather than a dogma. It has applied the doctrine to Iraq, where the intelligence pointed to a threat from weapons of mass destruction that was much smaller than the risk North Korea poses. (The actual threat from Saddam Hussein was, we now know, even smaller than believed at the time of the invasion.) But intervening before mortal threats to U.S. security can develop is surely a prudent policy.

    Therefore, if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. This could be accomplished, for example, by a cruise missile launched from a submarine carrying a high-explosive warhead. The blast would be similar to the one that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. But the effect on the Taepodong would be devastating. The multi-story, thin-skinned missile filled with high-energy fuel is itself explosive — the U.S. airstrike would puncture the missile and probably cause it to explode. The carefully engineered test bed for North Korea’s nascent nuclear missile force would be destroyed, and its attempt to retrogress to Cold War threats thwarted. There would be no damage to North Korea outside the immediate vicinity of the missile gantry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gee, wouldn’t that prompt a resumption of war on the Korean peninsula? Carter and Perry scoffed at the thought:

      The United States should emphasize that the strike, if mounted, would not be an attack on the entire country, or even its military, but only on the missile that North Korea pledged not to launch — one designed to carry nuclear weapons. We should sharply warn North Korea against further escalation.

      North Korea could respond to U.S. resolve by taking the drastic step of threatening all-out war on the Korean Peninsula. But it is unlikely to act on that threat. Why attack South Korea, which has been working to improve North-South relations (sometimes at odds with the United States) and which was openly opposing the U.S. action? An invasion of South Korea would bring about the certain end of Kim Jong Il’s regime within a few bloody weeks of war, as surely he knows.

      Yeah, well, maybe. This advice was prompted by a series of provocations by Kim over 2005 and 2006 in which the now-deceased Dear Leader threatened all-out war on a number of occasions, and not just against Seoul, either. Perry and Carter tried to deal with that in the essay by arguing that the Bush administration could make clear that South Korea (and Japan, presumably, which is within easy reach of North Korean missiles) had nothing to do with the strike. And that would … do what, exactly? Convince Kim? That is a singularly naive suggestion, as is the idea that one can bomb a nuclear dictatorship unilaterally and expect that they won’t respond militarily — especially when the regime relies on an image of omnipotence to keep its subjects from rising up and slitting the throats of their oppressors in the night. Sitting back and taking an attack isn’t an option under those circumstances.

      Bush didn’t take their advice, despite the caricature the Left paints of him as some sort of unhinged cowboy in relation to foreign affairs. One has to wonder whether President Barack Obama would have followed Carter’s advice then, and whether Carter feels the same now about nascent nuclear states threatening the US. This should make for lively conversation during a Senate confirmation hearing next month if Carter gets the SecDef nod as expected. Maybe John McCain can sing backing vocals of “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” while Carter provides a tenor overlay of “Oh Teh-ra-a-an, let’s make it gone.”

      At the very least, a Carter nomination will send a rather confusing signal while John Kerry keeps wooing the mullahs. Confusion appears to be the constant state of affairs in this White House when it comes to national security policy.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/02/new-secdef-frontrunner-once-advocated-unilateral-bombing-of-north-korea/

      Delete
  36. Since gas prices have gone down California is going to raise the gas tax.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The GOP in MI is planning on doing the same thing.

      .

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      Finally.

      Thank you, lord.

      .

      Delete
  37. Then there’s Professor Francis Boyle, an international law expert from the University of Illinois. He has been making the claim the virus was genetically engineered at a US government laboratory in West Africa.

    North Korea’s paranoia about Ebola is well established. They, along with Canada and Australia, have imposed travel bans from those originating out of West Africa.

    But they’ve taken it one step further: All international visitors must undergo a 21-day quarantine.

    ReplyDelete