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Gold will soon target $2400/oz: Citi Bank
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Gold prices will target $2400/oz in a snap back rally as the current sell-off is overdone, says Citi Bank analyst Tim Fitzpatrick. He however cautions that prices could fall to $1550 before resuming its upside move.
"Unless and until we see a weekly close below $1,535, we believe the uptrend in Gold has resumed and a move to $2,400 throughout the course of this year is on the card", he states in a research report.
Gold Has Longest Rally in 10 Weeks
on Iran 'Fear,' U.K. Warning on Hormuz
By Debarati Roy - Bloomberg.com
Gold futures rose, capping the longest rally in 10 weeks, after U.K. Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said the country may take military action if Iran carries out its threat to block the Strait of Hormuz.
Any attempt by Iran to close the waterway in retaliation for sanctions against oil exports would be “illegal and unsuccessful,” and the Royal Navy will join any action to keep shipping lanes open, Hammond said today in a speech in Washington. Gold climbed as much as 0.9 percent to a two-week high.
Gold Traders Most Bullish
in Month After Bear Market Averted
By Nicholas Larkin - Bloomberg.com
Gold traders are the most bullish in a month as Europe’s deepening debt crisis and increasing tensions over Iran drove the metal to its longest winning streak since October.
Ten of 22 surveyed by Bloomberg expect the metal to gain next week and five were neutral, the highest proportion since Dec. 9. The U.S. Mint sold 45,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins this month, compared with 65,500 ounces in the whole of December and 41,000 in November, data on its website showed.
Jim Sinclair: "MF Global
is A Piece of Dynamite
Sitting Underneath the Gold Price" 1/2
Jim Sinclair: "MF Global
is A Piece of Dynamite
Sitting Underneath the Gold Price" 2/2
Gartman admits he made a bad call on gold
John Shmuel - FinancialPost.com
Investment letter writer Dennis Gartman has declared that he was wrong about gold.
In his daily investment letter Thursday, Mr. Gartman officially reversed his outlook for gold, saying he now views the precious metal as being in a bull market.
The new position follows a month where Mr. Gartman was the subject of some high-profile name calling from fellow investment letter writer, Peter Grandich. Mr. Grandich called Mr. Gartman “one of the Three Stooges” of gold forecasting after the latter declared that gold was officially in a bear market (if you’re wondering, the other two accused of being in that trio are Jeff Christian of CPM Group and Jon Nadler of Kitco).
Was 2011 the End of the Gold Rush?
BY PETER D SCHIFF - FinancialSense.com
For such a wonderful year for precious metals investors, the final calendar quarter left little to celebrate. Just as people now take for granted that their phones will also take pictures, play music, and surf the internet, many investors have come to expect gold and silver to move up in a straight line.
In fact, in a recent CNBC interview one analyst claimed that gold's recent correction proves that it is not really a safe haven. In truth, such a statement merely proves how little some analysts know about markets.
Gold and the Collapsing Economy
French Bank Share Slide as Government Sells Debt
By Fabio Benedetti-Valentini - Bloomberg.com
Societe Generale SA (GLE) paced a decline by French bank shares as the government offered investors higher yields to complete its first sovereign-debt sale of the year.
Societe Generale (GLE), France’s second-largest bank, slid 4.4 percent to 16.25 euros at 12:56 p.m. local time, giving it a market value of 12.6 billion euros ($16.2 billion). BNP Paribas SA (BNP), the nation’s biggest bank, fell 3.4 percent, to 29.60 euros.
France sold 7.96 billion euros of debt today as credit- rating companies threaten to cut the nation’s AAA rating, potentially constraining the state’s ability to help banks if the region’s debt crisis worsens. Financial shares have also suffered after Italy’s UniCredit SpA (UCG) offered a 43 percent discount to raise 7.5 billion euros in a rights offering and bolster its capital.
Ann Barnhardt & Warren Pollock Have an Open Conversation
Ann Barnhardt and I (Warren Pollock) have an open conversation organized to provide background to this crisis, the setting of legal precedent, netting, settlement, and future trends including a potential bank holiday. We talk about MF Global as it applies to savings and commercial banking, brokerage, insurance, and commodities. We talk about numeric impossibility of solving the problem, incest between government and finance, having the victim of the crisis pay rather than the fraudster. We explain how the MF Global bankruptcy process will define how customer funds will be treated in a bank holiday. We talk about the idea of having an honest bank holiday to root out fraud vs an economic crisis which plays to looting and criminal activity of vested interest.
The Corzines Went Château Shopping
Right Before MF Global Went Under
By ALEXANDER ABAD-SANTOS -TheAtlanticWire.com
Even though we haven't quite found MF Global's $1.2 billion that went missing, Vanity Fair did find out he and his wife Sharon were talking about a château they were about to buy in the South of France. The preview of the February issue's Corzine exposé is up online--complete with cocktail party anecdotes from their 1 percent-sounding acquaintances. If you ask us, this haughty "Not Cap Ferrat" insult is the best (and worst) part:
"It’s not in Cap Ferrat," one person recalls Elghanayan saying, perhaps to mitigate the extravagance. "To buy any decent château is at least a couple of million euros," explains another person who was at the party, "and that is before the renovation with the air-conditioning and the new kitchen. Sharon was very excited. She said she was flying down there on Monday morning."
The Joke is on the Rest of Us
Have the Super-Rich Seceded from the United States?
by MIKE LOFGREN - CounterPunch.org
It was in 1993, during congressional deliberation over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican members of Congress who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. I distinctly remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their own fellow American citizens.”
That was just the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.
Is The Fed Bailing Out Europe?
BY CHRIS CIOVACCO - FinancialSense.com
With the S&P 500 heading toward the October lows on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the ever market manipulating central banks just had to do something. The decision was made on Monday, November 28 to provide a stealth bailout for European banks, and indirectly poorly managed sovereigns. Gerald Driscoll, the former Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, penned an opinion piece which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on December 28. He stated in no uncertain terms:
No matter the legalistic interpretation, the Fed is, working through the ECB, bailing out European banks and, indirectly, spendthrift European governments. It is difficult to count the number of things wrong with this arrangement.
Look Out Below –
The Nightmarish Decline Of The Euro Has Begun
The euro is a dying currency. On Thursday, the EUR/USD fell below 1.28 for the first time since September 2010. In fact, as I write this the EUR/USD is sitting at 1.2791. Back in July, the EUR/USD was over 1.45. But this is just the beginning. The euro is going to go a lot lower. At this point, there are several major European nations that are on the verge of default, the European financial system is overflowing with debt and toxic assets, and most major European banks are leveraged about as badly as Lehman Brothers was when it collapsed. Most Americans simply do not grasp the gravity of what is happening. Just because the Dow is sitting above 12000 and a few U.S. economic numbers have improved slightly does not mean that everything is going to be okay. As I wrote about recently, the EU has a bigger economy than we do and they have a bigger banking system than we do. U.S. banks are massively exposed to European sovereign debt and European banking debt. When the financial system of Europe collapses and the euro falls apart it is going to rock the entire planet. So you better look out below - the euro is coming down and it is coming down hard. After the euro implodes, nothing is every going to be the same again.
2012 Stock Market Outlook - Fed ECB
Backdoor QE, Fractional Reserve Banking, and Insolvency
Interpreting the Activity of Banks and the ECB Correctly
BY PATER TENEBRARUM - FinancialSense.com
It appears that market observers are only very slowly coming around to grasping the fact that what the ECB has done in December does indeed amount to a major dose of monetary pumping. The misunderstandings center mainly on the use of the ECB's deposit facility by banks, which overshadows the far more legitimate debate over whether the commercial banks are going to use ECB funding to play the sovereign debt carry trade or rather 'play it safe' in view of the large amount of bank bonds maturing in the first quarter.
Gerald Celente on France 24 - 30 December 2011
Hungary open to discuss IMF standby deal,
has rough bond auction with rising rates
By AP - WashingtonPost.com
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary struggled through a poor bond auction Thursday and its top financial negotiator said his nation was open to working out a standby loan with the International Monetary Fund.
Negotiator Tamas Fellegi insisted that Hungary was still able to finance its debts from the markets — but that time appeared to be rapidly evaporating.
Hungary’s debt management agency sold less than the full amount on offer at an auction of 12-month Treasury bills, with the average yield rising to 9.96 percent — more than 2 percentage points higher than at a similar auction Dec. 22. That is also significantly higher than the 7 percent level that forced three other European nations to seek bailouts.
Fed says expand Fannie, Freddie role to aid housing
By Mark Felsenthal and Margaret Chadbourn
(Reuters) - The U.S. government-run mortgagefinance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could play a bigger role in turning around the battered U.S. housing market, the Federal Reserve told Congress, a call that looks set to run into stiff political opposition.
The Fed, in a paper sent to lawmakers on Wednesday, outlined an array of steps that could be taken to help the housing sector, including allowing Fannie and Freddie to provide cheaper mortgages to a broader pool of homeowners.
Apartment Vacancies in U.S. Decline
to a Decade Low as Rental Rates Climb
By Hui-yong Yu - Bloomberg.com
U.S. apartment vacancies dropped to a 10-year low in the fourth quarter, allowing for rent increases that are likely to continue this year, Reis Inc. (REIS) said.
The vacancy rate fell to 5.2 percent, the lowest since the end of 2001, the New York-based property research firm said in a report today. It was 5.6 percent in the previous three months and 6.6 percent a year earlier. The average monthly effective rent, or what tenants paid after landlord giveaways, climbed 2.3 percent from a year earlier to $1,009, Reis said.
BofA Surges on Speculation of Mortgage Plan
By Hugh Son and Lorraine Woellert - Bloomberg.com
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second- biggest U.S. lender, surged the most in two months of trading amid speculation that the U.S. may introduce a new mortgage refinancing program.
The bank rose 50 cents, or 8.6 percent, to $6.31 at 4:15 p.m. in New York, then forfeited some of the gain in late trading after an Obama administration official who asked for anonymity denied speculation that the White House is considering a trillion-dollar plan to refinance home loans.
Mass Home Refinancing Rumor Rejected,
And Why Even If It Was True It Would Not Help BAC
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
Looking for a reason why the surge of BAC has been abruptly halted after hours? Look no further - as predicted earlier, when we commented on the periodic reincarnation of the always false global refi rumor which served among other things to push BAC higher by almost 10%, the rumor was found to be false... all over again. In other words no refi, no benefit to TBTF, and all of today's gains are based on what Bloomberg noted was a report issued yesterday by a Jaret Seiberg, who until recently was an employee of MF Global, and has since been acquired with his entire Washington Research Group by none other than Guggenheim partners, which just happens to be run by former Bear Stearns exec Alan Scwhartz. From Bloomberg, here is the official denial (which came literally seconds after market close):
Keiser Report: Wall Street saints above God & law (E232)
Wells Fargo Faces Scrutiny
by Investors on Mortgage Bonds
By Dakin Campbell - Bloomberg.com
A bondholder group that won an $8.5 billion settlement (BAC) fromBank of America (BAC) Corp. on securities backed by soured home loans may also seek payments from Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), the nation’s biggest mortgage lender.
The law firm Gibbs & Bruns LLP said in a statement today it’s seeking information on pools securing more than $19 billion of residential mortgage-backed securities issued by affiliates of Wells Fargo. The firm represents clients holding more than 25 percent of the voting rights in 48 bond trusts that issued the securities, according to the statement.
Is Obama preparing a trillion-dollar,
mass refinancing of mortgages?
By James Pethokoukis - American.com
This could be just the beginning. If President Barack Obama’s legally dodgy appointment of Richard Cordray to head the consumer finance agency should stick, it may open the door to more such actions. Here’s Jaret Seiberg of the Washington Research Group:
To us, the most important takeaway from a recess appointment of Cordray is that the President could use this same maneuver to put a housing advocate in charge of FHFA.
And why is that important? The Federal Housing Finance Agency is the regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And the FHFA currently has an acting director, Edward DeMarco. If Obama replaces him with a “housing advocate” via the same recess appointment process, here’s what might happen next, according to Seiberg:
Capital Account: Paul C. Roberts,
"Ron Paul has his hands full trying to restore the Constitution"
Wisconsin Gov. Walker: Unions 'want me dead'
By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times
With a June recall election all but certain, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the debate is no longer just about collective-bargaining rights for state workers. Union leaders and others, he said, have made it personal.
"They want me dead. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration," Mr. Walker said in an exclusive interview with The Washington Times after a roundtable discussion Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute.
IRS could face glut of health law tax appeals
By Paige Winfield Cunningham - The Washington Times
A watchdog is urging the IRS to make sure it is prepared for an anticipated blitz of taxpayer appeals involving dozens of new tax credits and penalties under President Obama’s health care law.
In an audit released Thursday, the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration said the IRS appeals division is doing some preparation, but that it should take a more formal approach to make sure it’s ready to handle heavier caseloads in 2014 — the year when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect.
Insurers Profit From Health Law They Fought
By Sarah Frier - Bloomberg.com
Insurance companies spent millions of dollars trying to defeat the U.S. health-care overhaul, saying it would raise costs and disrupt coverage. Instead, profit margins at the companies widened to levels not seen since before the recession, a Bloomberg Government study shows.
Insurers led by WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the biggest by membership, recorded their highest combined quarterly net income of the past decade after the law was signed in 2010, said Peter Gosselin, the study author and senior health-care analyst for Bloomberg Government. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Managed Health-Care Index rose 36 percent in the period, four times more than the S&P 500.
No Doctor For You: How The Federal Government Is Chasing Millions Of Good Doctors Out Of The Medical Profession
Most Americans do not realize this, but we are on the verge of a major doctor shortage in the United States. All over America, good doctors are going broke. The way that our health care system is currently set up, they simply cannot make it. These days a lot of politicians are warning us about the dangers of "socialized medicine", but the truth is that we already have it. About half of all health care dollars in the United States are now spent by the federal government, and a lot of health insurance companies base reimbursements on what the federal government does. In addition, there are a whole host of parasites that have gotten between the doctor and the patient these days. Everyone wants a piece of the health care pie. Health insurance companies, pharmaceutical giants, lawyers, health care "administrators" and government bureaucrats all make a sweet living off of the doctor/patient relationship. It really is sickening. And now Obamacare is going to make things much, much worse. As you will read about later in this article, a stunning percentage of doctors say that they plan to leave the medical profession because of Obamacare. What this means is that we are headed for a chronic doctor shortage and there is a good chance that there will be no doctor for you when you really need one in the years ahead.
* * * * *
Murder of The Constitution
in Full Public View
by Congress & Obama:
Paul Craig Roberts (new web site) 1/2
Murder of The Constitution
in Full Public View
by Congress & Obama: Paul Craig Roberts 2/2
Cuba, the Embargo and the Digital Divide
by SUE ASHDOWN and NELSON P. VALDES - CounterPunch.org
"You have to figure out how you can reach the informed masses. The solution is not the newspapers… Internet is more accessible." -–Fidel Castro, November 12, 2010 
There is a lot of discussion about Cuba and Internet access and how many Cubans are not connected to it. Oddly enough, most of the critics assume that having access is merely dependent on political will. A recent report by Nick Miroff for NPR’s "All Things Considered" was titled "In Cuba, Dial-Up Internet Is a Luxury." The report did not address the issues of infrastructure cost; rather, those matters were disregarded.
Critics like these do not seem to be aware of the actual financial costs of the technology involved. Moreover, technology continues to advance quickly while costs continue to increase. This is not always immediately evident when an advanced piece of technology appears to deliver a far superior product at a relatively cheaper price, compared with preceding technology. However, when the obsolescence – both planned and unplanned – of the interconnecting equipment is considered, the cost pressures are clear. Ultimately, it becomes ever more difficult for the poor within a nation or among nations – to catch up.
Bluefin tuna nets $736,000
at Tokyo auction, easily beating old record
By AP - WashingtonPost.com
TOKYO — This tuna is worth savoring: It cost nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
A bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, Thursday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. The price for the 593-pound (269-kilogram) tuna beat last year’s record of 32.49 million yen.
What Killed Kodak?
Eastman Kodak is on the verge of bankruptcy,
and not just because film is dying.
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
Barring a drastic turn of events, Eastman Kodak, the 131-year-old stalwart of American photography, may be headed for bankruptcy. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company will file for Chapter 11 in "the coming weeks" unless it can sell off a valuable portfolio of patents. The business icon that brought picture taking to the masses is burning its furniture to keep warm.
Kodak fits the classic profile of a 20th-century corporate dinosaur. Its headquarters are cloistered in sleepy Rochester, New York. It built itself selling camera film, a business that's been pushed into obsolescence by the digital revolution.
Boeing Betrayal Stirs Wichita
After City Helped Win Tanker Bid, Mayor Says
By Darrell Preston, David Mildenberg and Susanna Ray - Bloomberg.com
Boeing Co. (BA)’s decision to shut down its Wichita, Kansas, plant after more than 80 years betrayed public officials who helped the plane maker win a U.S. Air Force contract for midair refueling tankers, the city’s mayor said.
Boeing didn’t consult with city officials or ask for financial incentives to stay put before announcing its decision yesterday to close the Wichita (10557MF) plant with 2,160 workers before 2014, Mayor Carl Brewer said in a telephone interview. The company had indicated that winning the tanker work last year would support 7,500 local jobs, he said.
Anonymous's War Against Neo-
Nazis Isn't Winning Allies in Germany
By ADAM CLARK ESTES - TheAtlanticWire,com
People call Anonymous a lot of bad words, but hypocritical is seldom one of them. The hacktivist collective's latest Germany-centric crusade against the bigotry and hatred of neo-Nazis is drawing ire from all sides. Codenamed Operation Blitzkrieg (or #OpBlitzkrieg) the project seems mostly focused on exposing the identities of neo-Nazis by posting customer databases on a WikiLeaks-style website called, not-so-creatively, Nazi-Leaks.net. Though Anonymous has been going after neo-Nazi groups for weeks, the operation took off this week thanks to some exposure in the German press and, oddly enough, some heavy criticism for the obvious invasion of privacy.
Not to Use Military Detention for U.S. Citizens—I Think
Jacob Sullum - Reason.com
When he signed the National Defense Authorization Act on Saturday, President Obama issued a statement that addresses its controversial provisions regarding his authority to detain terrorism suspects (emphasis added):
Section 1021 affirms the executive branch's authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)....This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary. The authority it describes was included in the 2001 AUMF, as recognized by the Supreme Court and confirmed through lower court decisions since then. Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not "limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force." Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any "existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States." My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.
Iran could close Hormuz -- but not for long
By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent
(Reuters) - Should Iran's rulers ever make good their threats to block the Straits of Hormuz, they could almost certainly achieve their aim within a matter of hours.
But they could also find themselves sparking a punishing -- if perhaps short-lived -- regional conflict from which they could emerge the primary losers.
In recent weeks, a growing number of senior Iranian military and civilian officials have warned that Tehran could use force to close the 54 km (25 mile) entrance to the Gulf if Western states impose sanctions that paralyze their oil exports.
Ron Paul Vindicated on Iran (Unfortunately)
By Robert Wright - TheAtlantic.com
A week ago Ron Paul tried to convey how the ever-tightening sanctions on Iran--which may soon includean embargo on its oil--look from an Iranian point of view: It's as if China were to blockade the Gulf of Mexico, he said--"an act of war".
This is sheer conjecture; Ron Paul is no expert on Iran. But now someone who does have relevant credentials has weighed in, and the picture he paints is disturbingly reminiscent of the one Paul painted. It suggests we may be closer to war than most people realize.
Obama plans to cut tens of thousands of ground troops
By Laura MacInnis and David Alexander
(Reuters) - The Obama administration will unveil a "more realistic" vision for the military on Thursday, with plans to cut tens of thousands of ground troops and invest more in air and sea power at a time of fiscal restraint, officials familiar with the plans said on Wednesday.
The strategic review of U.S. security interests will also emphasize an American presence in Asia, with less attention overall to Europe, Africa and Latin America alongside slower growth in the Pentagon's budget, the officials said.
Obama announces new, leaner military approach
By Craig Whitlock and Greg Jaffe - WashingtonPost.com
The U.S. military will steadily shrink the Army and Marine Corps, reduce forces in Europe and probably make further cuts to the nation’s nuclear arsenal, the Obama administration said Thursday in a preview of how it intends to reshape the armed forces after a decade of war.
The downsizing of the Pentagon, prompted by the country’s dire fiscal problems, means that the military will depend more on coalitions with allies and avoid the large-scale counterinsurgency and nation-building operations that have marked the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
New Pentagon strategy stresses Asia, cyber, drones
By David Alexander and Phil Stewart
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama unveiled a defense strategy on Thursday that would expand the U.S. military presence in Asia but shrink the overall size of the force as the Pentagon seeks to reduce spending by nearly half a trillion dollars after a decade of war.
The strategy, if carried out, would significantly reshape the world's largest military from the one that executed President George W. Bush's "war on terrorism" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cyberwarfare and unmanned drones would continue to grow in priority, as would countering attempts by China and Iran to block U.S. power projection capabilities in areas like the South China Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.
Dubai, Fujairah Ports Are Busy as Usual
Amid Iran’s Hormuz Passage Threat
By Nayla Razzouk and Anthony DiPaola - Bloomberg.com
Dubai’s commercial port of Jebel Ali and terminals in Fujairah on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates operated normally today amid recent threats by Iran to block shipments through the nearbyStrait of Hormuz.
"If the Hormuz Strait was shut, it will affect business," Jim Williams, Middle East and North Africa Engineering Manager at Aesseal, which makes pump seals for the oil and gas industry, said in an interview in Jebel Ali today. "There will always be alternative routes, even if at more cost."
Lindsey Williams - Jeff Rense Radio - 02 Jan 2012
Debacle! How Two Wars in the Greater Middle East Revealed the Weakness of the Global Superpower
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch - Truthdig.com
This piece originally appeared atTomDispatch.
It was to be the war that would establish empire as an American fact. It would result in a thousand-year Pax Americana. It was to be "mission accomplished" all the way. And then, of course, it wasn’t. And then, almost nine dismal years later, it was over (sorta).
It was the Iraq War, and we were the uninvited guests who didn’t want to go home. To the last second, despite President Obama’s repeated promise that all American troops were leaving, despite an agreement the Iraqi government had signed with George W. Bush’s administration in 2008, America’s military commanders continued to lobby and Washington continued to negotiate for 10,000 to 20,000 U.S. troops to remain in-country as advisors and trainers.
Egypt’s Envoy Says Israel Treaty Secure,
Defends Raids on Democracy Groups
By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan - Bloomberg.com
Egypt’s top envoy to the U.S. pushed back today against calls in Washington to withhold more than $1 billion in U.S. aid following raids on democracy groups in Cairo and dismissed concerns that Egypt might abandon its peace treaty with Israel.
"The Egyptian public recognizes the importance” of the peace treaty with Israel and the stability it promotes, Ambassador Sameh Shoukry said in an interview at the Bloomberg Washington bureau. "Egypt has no motivation to abrogate the treaty."
Shoukry downplayed comments attributed Jan. 1 to the deputy chief of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, whose Justice and Freedom Party is leading Egypt’s parliamentary elections. Rashad al-Bayoumi was quoted by Al-Hayat newspaper as saying the peace treaty might be put to a future referendum.
China-S. Korea to Discuss Trade, Kim Succession
By Shinhye Kang and Sangwon Yoon - Bloomberg.com
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and Chinese President Hu Jintao will consider a free-trade agreement at a summit next week that will also include discussion of North Korea’s leadership succession.
"Both sides basically share the view that a free trade agreement between South Korea and China is needed," South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan said at a briefing in Seoul yesterday. Lee’s three-day trip begins Jan. 9, and he and Hu will also discuss how to"work together for the sake of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula," his office said in a statement.
New Web site uses humor
to fact check political ads and political journalism
By Vanessa Williams - WashingtonPost.com
If Abraham Lincoln were running for president today, a campaign attack ad might go something like this:
(Cue sneering voice of ad announcer.) "Why should we trust you as president when as a lawyer you defended whiskey-hating women who smashed up a saloon, an admitted adultress and a wife who poisoned her husband?" A message at the end of the ad reads that it was "Paid for by white male property owners who know a woman’s place."
The Lincoln spoof aimed at high school and college students is featured on Flackcheck.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit Web site launched Thursday with the goal of encouraging journalists and the public to be more vigilant in truth-squadding misleading political ads and candidates’ statements.
Alex Jones Obvious fraud in Iowa! 4.jan.2012
If Voters Cared About Liberty,
Ron Paul Would Be the Frontrunner
His platform has some serious flaws, but Paul is the only candidate standing up for individual liberties.
By Wendy Kaminer - TheAtlantic.com
"At least he's not crazy," Democrats observe, explaining why they'd rather lose to Mitt Romney than any other any Republican in the 2012 presidential race. Some are comforted as well by Romney's willingness to say anything or be anything to please his target voters. "At least he's not an ideologue." A cynic merely pretending to embrace ideas or opinions you disdain is preferable to a true believer.
Ron Paul on Freedom Watch w/ Judge Napolitano 1/4/12
Santorum, Huntsman and the Future of Conservatism
By E.J. Dionne, Jr. - Truthdig.com
MERRIMACK, N.H.—I love watching Republicans engage in class warfare. They condemn it as a sin when Democrats come within 100 miles of even mentioning the sharp and growing class inequalities in the United States. But when conservatives play the class card, they see doing so as a high ethical calling involving the defense of good and moral folk against the depredations of a liberal elite.
Blatant hypocrisy is instructive.
Signs of the Times with L.A. Marzulli
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