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M2 Money Velocity Plunges Most Since 1959
BY DANIELLE PARK - FinancialSense.com
Pimco’s Bill Gross tweeted yesterday that the Fed is contemplating an announcement next month of QE3. He cites no source or evidence other than the assertion that the Fed will be forced to keep buying bonds that no one else wants. The VIX plunged yesterday perhaps on similar rumors. This would likely prove highly incendiary of already inflated oil prices and particularly controversial announced within months of the next US Presidential election. Many, including UK Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, have argued the Fed cannot roll out more QE this year for these very reasons. See: Global liquidity peak spells trouble for late 2012.
Fed keeps rates near zero,
sees jobs and economy improving
By Don Lee - Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington— Federal Reserve officials issued a more favorable assessment of the economy but refrained from taking any new action to add to or pull back from their latest campaign to spur growth.
Emerging from a meeting Tuesday, policymakers at the central bank left short-term interest rates near zero and stuck to their pledge made in January that they would keep rates at rock-bottom levels at least until late 2014.
Federal Open Market Committee March 13 Statement:
The following is a reformatted version of the full text of the statement released today by theFederal Reserve in Washington:
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately. Labor market conditions have improved further, the unemployment rate has declined notably in recent months but remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment have continued to advance. The housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has been subdued in recent months, although prices of crude oil and gasoline have increased lately. Longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
Dow Rises to Highest Level Since 2007
By Rita Nazareth - Bloomberg.com
U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the highest level since 2007, amid data showing that retail sales increased by the most in five months and asJPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) boosted its dividend.
JPMorgan surged 7 percent after also unveiling a $15 billion buyback. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) rose at least 6.2 percent. Citigroup Inc. (C), which rallied 6.3 percent, slumped 3.3 percent after the close of regular trading as it failed to meet the Federal Reserve’s minimum requirements in a stress test. Apple Inc. (AAPL) climbed 2.9 percent as Jefferies Group Inc. raised its share-price estimate to $699.
Dollar Near 4-Week High
as Fed Raises Economic Assessment
By Monami Yui - Bloomberg.com
The dollar strengthened against all its major counterparts after Federal Reserve policy makers raised their assessment of the U.S. economy and refrained from additional monetary easing.
The yen touched an 11-month low versus the greenback as the two-year yield gap between the U.S. and Japan widened to the most since July after the Bank of Japan (8301) signaled yesterday it will keep using stimulatory tools to tackle deflation. The yen also weakened as Asian stocks extended a global rally, damping demand for the lower-yielding currency.
Oil Trades Near 2-Day High
as Economy Lifts U.S. Demand Outlook
By Ben Sharples - Bloomberg.com
Oil traded near the highest price in two days in New York as investors speculated fuel demand may increase amid signs the U.S. economy is strengthening.
Futures were little changed after advancing 0.4 percent yesterday as Commerce Department data showed U.S. retail sales rose the most in five months in February. The Federal Reserve lifted its assessment of the economy and said most of the nation’s biggest banks passed stress tests. Crude stockpiles gained a fifth week, while inventories declined for gasoline and distillates, a category that includes diesel and heating oil, a report showed after the settlement.
FOMC: Fed Sees Higher Inflation
On Rising Oil Prices, No QE3 For Now
By Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes Staff
In Tuesday’s FOMC statement, ChairmanBen Bernanke and the Federal Reserve acknowledged economic conditions continue to improve, while noting that rising oil prices will feed higher inflation.
Once again, the FOMC tempered its concerns about inflation as a consequence of rising energy prices, arguing the trend will be temporary. Bernanke & Co. didn’t hint QE3 was coming, as expected, but chose to both continue with Operation Twist and keep rates zero-bound at least until late-2014.
Expect A Quiet Fed Meeting,
But $500B QE3 Is Around The Corner
by Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes Staff
While the Fed isn’t expected to announce any new policy action on Tuesday, the FOMC will probably hint at further easing which shouldn't be too far away.
Labor markets remain depressed, despite a couple of months of solid jobs growth, and housing prices continue to tread lower. This should prompt the Bernanke Fed to deliver an "insurance ease" to keep the fragile recovery on track and hedge itself ahead of fiscal headwinds and external shocks, according to Nomura’s fixed income research team.
Is Inflation about General Increases in Prices?
Mises Daily: by Frank Shostak
There is almost complete unanimity among economists and various commentators that inflation is about general increases in the prices of goods and services. From this it is established that anything that contributes to price increases sets in motion inflation. A fall in unemployment or a rise in economic activity is seen as a potential inflationary trigger. Some other triggers, such as rises in commodity prices or workers' wages, are also regarded as potential threats.
If inflation is just a general rise in prices as the popular thinking has it, then why is it regarded as bad news? What kind of damage does it do?
Mainstream economists maintain that inflation causes speculative buying, which generates waste. Inflation, it is maintained, also erodes the real incomes of pensioners and low-income earners and causes a misallocation of resources. Inflation, it is argued, also undermines real economic growth.
"The Black Swan" author Nassim Taleb
Cheers Ron Paul's Economic Platform on CNBC
From an interview on CNBC 3/13/2012
Central Banks Beat Up on Private Creditors
By: John Browne - GoldSeek.com
Last week the Greek government, with the heavy handed support of its larger friends in the Eurozone, succeeded in coercing some 85.8 percent of private sector bondholders to "voluntarily" exchange €206 billion-worth of Greek sovereign bonds for newer bonds with longer maturities, lower coupon rates, and a face value of 53.5 percent less than the original paper. The benignly termed "haircut" (more accurately described as a "scalping") is particularly painful for those buyers who were literally strong armed by their own governments into buying Greek bonds in the hopes of achieving regional financial stability.
France’s Upcoming Election
Means Euro Devaluation—and a Pop In Gold
BY GONZALO LIRA - FinancialSense.com
On May 6, France is holding its second round of Presidential elections, where the Socialist François Hollande is fully expected to win.
I’m pretty sure two things will happen immediately following the election: The first is, Carla Bruni will leave Nicolas Sarkozy (because everyone knows that a professional courtesan never stays when the going gets tough for her patron).
The second thing that will happen following the election of Hollande is that the euro will begin to fall—amid persistent, insistent calls by the new French President for Europe to spend its way out of the hole it’s in.
Greek Default the Biggest in History?
No Problem, Says Bernanke!
By RICH SMITH, THE MOTLEY FOOL - DailyFinance.com
On Friday, Greece reached a deal to "restructure" its national debt. As part of the deal, creditors to the nation will see the face value of their debt cut from about $266 billion to $133 billion.
Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, and euro for euro, Friday's deal ranks as the biggest sovereign restructuring in world history. But don't worry. According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, it's no big deal for the U.S. The man who famously assured us in 2007 that the subprime lending crisis was "likely to be contained," now vows that he'll protect the "U.S. financial system and the economy" from Europe's mess.
Greece Has Ratings Upgraded
by Fitch on Distressed Debt Exchange
By John Fraher - Bloomberg.com
Greece’s credit rating was lifted out of the default category by Fitch Ratings on optimism that a debt swap will reduce the risk that the country eventually reneges on its obligations.
Greece was raised four levels to B- from restricted default and given a stable outlook by Fitch, according to an e-mailed statement today in London. New government bonds have a B-rating, while debt that is not governed by Greek law has a C rating pending settlement on April 11, Fitch said.
A new twist on "Operation Twist"
By: Steve Saville, The Speculative Investor - GoldSeek.com
Just when we think that Bernanke has exhausted his ability to come up with harebrained schemes to distort prices, he proves us wrong. Last week it was reported that the Fed was considering a new way of putting downward pressure on long-term interest rates. Why? Because as everyone knows, the US economy would be doing much better if interest rates weren't so darn high.
The new tactic would be a variation on the old tactic that goes by the name "operation twist". Under the old tactic, which the Fed began to implement during the second half of last year, the Fed sells short-dated debt securities from its stash and uses the proceeds to buy long-dated debt securities. This would tend to contract the yield-spread (flatten the yield curve) by pushing long-term interest rates downward and short-term interest rates upward, except that at the same time the Fed does whatever it needs to do to keep the official short-term interest rate near zero. The idea, then, is that the yield-spread contracts due to falling long-term interest rates.
Citi, Ally, SunTrust And MetLife Flunk Fed's Stress Test
By Steve Schaefer, Forbes Staff
The Federal Reserve released the results of its stress tests Tuesday afternoon, revealing that 15 of the 19 banks that submitted to the exam passed. The four that did not wereCitigroup, Ally Financial,MetLife and SunTrust Banks.
The quartet did not meet the necessary 5% capital ratios, assuming their proposed capital deployment through 2013, in the face of the Fed’s "supervisory stress scenario." That scenario was nothing short of rigorous, projecting peak unemployment of 13%, a 50% drop in equity markets and a further 21% decline in housing prices.
Citi among banks that fail Fed stress test
Bank losses estimated at $534 billion during stressed scenario
By Ronald D. Orol, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Ally Financial Inc., Citigroup Inc., MetLife and SunTrust Banks failed to have enough capital under a stress test conducted on 19 big banks, the Federal Reserve said late Tuesday.
The stress test, designed to test whether reserves were necessary to withstand another crisis like the credit crunch of 2008, showed Ally, Citi and SunTrust each had less than a 5% of capital set aside under a measure called Tier 1 capital ratio, according to a Fed release Tuesday.
Stress tests, no surprises but concerns
B. of A. on the defensive, Ally weak still
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve issued a clean bill of health to the nation’s 19 biggest banks on Tuesday — but for some, there are concerns about whether they are truly immune to a severe financial downturn.
The test results were made by the Fed two days early after J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.JPM -0.90% prematurely announced Tuesday it would commit $15 billion to buybacks and dividends. J.P. Morgan leads a group of the healthiest U.S. banks with include U.S. Bancorp USB +4.48% and Wells Fargo & Co. WFC -0.27% .
On the whole, the Fed said the banking system was in good shape. There were, however, concerns.
Feds confirm robosigning
at Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others
Puget Sound Business Journal by Adam O'Daniel, Finance Editor
A federal investigation has confirmed what has been widely reported for 18 months: that Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other major mortgage servicers signed foreclosure documents without always verifying the accuracy of the forms.
The results of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigation were filed Tuesday afternoon as part of a $25 billion mortgage industry settlement struck earlier this year.
CFTC Fines Goldman Clearing $7 Million
For Account Supervision Failures
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
Apparently Goldman Clearing turned a blind eye to 'questionable' (using false statements to enhance performance, and carrying negative capital balances) activity by a client broker in order to accept the fees.
CFTC Orders Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing, L.P., a Registered Futures Commission Merchant, to Pay $7 Million for Supervision Failures in Handling Accounts it Carried
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing, L.P. (GSEC), a registered futures commission merchant based in New York, N.Y., agreed to pay a $5.5 million civil monetary penalty and $1.5 million in disgorgement to settle CFTC charges that it failed to diligently supervise accounts that it carried from about May 2007 to December 2009. The CFTC order also requires GSEC to cease and desist from violating CFTC regulations requiring diligent supervision. Additionally, the order states that GSEC represented in its settlement offer that it has made changes in light of the events discussed in the order, including implementing enhanced supervision policies, procedures, and training.
What’s Driving the Gold, Silver Prices?
By: Julian D. W. Phillips - GoldSeek.com
.... Over the long term gold cannot be managed or controlled. It’s the last investment standing when push comes to shove and silver is its lesser sidekick. We mentioned the saying in an earlier article that people don’t buy gold to make money but because they have money. That’s why central banks hold gold. They wish they didn’t have to but they know that their currencies are vulnerable to mismanagement and that over time are almost inevitably mismanaged. Gold is bought to get away from people and their games in the knowledge that when those games are played gold stands at much higher levels than before the games started. During the time that these events are played out, the gold and silver prices reflect each step made.
Keiser Report: White Man's Debt Burden (E261)
n this episode, Max Keiser and co-host Stacy Herbert discuss how a video not featuring Justin Bieber went viral and how Max Keiser started a gold stampede. They also talk about "the white man's debt burden" of Uganda's resources and Afghanistan's "crony capitalism". In the second half of the show, Max talks to David Morgan about silver circles, ounces and manipulation.
Free the Banks!
The Case for Massive Deregulation
of the Financial System
By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry - TheAtlantic.com
.... My blueprint has two basic planks:
• A return to the partnership model
• Almost complete deregulation of the financial system
I know, I know, but hear me out.
What should be the goal of financial reform? Its goal should be not to prevent bubbles and busts, which are the normal result of an economy full of "animal spirits" (quiet, the Austrians in the back!), but to prevent the busts from a) necessitating taxpayer bailouts and b) having ripple effects that threaten the very existence of the financial system and wreck the economy, and by the way c) still ensure that credit flows throughout the economy (i.e., don't destroy the village in order to save it).
IRS to Mom and Pop: Drop Dead
By Katherine Mangu-Ward - TheAtlantic.com
Doing your taxes sucks. Paying someone else to do your taxes sucks, too. But you know what sucks most of all? Having the person who does your taxes go out of business (or dramatically raise prices) thanks to an IRS power grab.
Last year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) got into the business of licensing tax preparers. The IRS wasn't granted the authority to do this by Congress, they just decided to go for it. At a time when unemployment is still awfully high, 350,000 people--many of whom are self-employers or own small businesses--will be hit by rules that axe their jobs or make it more difficult and expensive to keep their calculators clacking.
Mortgage execs charged with accounting fraud
By James O'Toole @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges Tuesday against three senior executives from the now-defunct Thornburg Mortgage, accusing them of fraudulently overstating the company's income by over $400 million ahead of its bankruptcy.
Thornburg filed for bankruptcy in May of 2009, felled by heavy losses associated with the subprime mortgage crisis. At the time, it was the seventh-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, with over $36 billion in assets, and had been the second-largest independent mortgage company in the U.S. after Countrywide.
Rage grows over mortgage deal
By Les Christie @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- As more details emerge about the massive $26 billion foreclosure settlement between the five biggest mortgage lenders and the states' attorneys general, a growing number of borrowers are realizing that the deal will do little, if anything, to help them out.
Proponents of the settlement deal tout that roughly 1 million homeowners who owe more on their homes than their homes are worth are expected to have their mortgage balances lowered through principal reductions and another 750,000 would be able to refinance into loans with lower interest rates.
These Days, Even God Can't Get a Loan:
Church Foreclosures Skyrocket
By RICH SMITH, THE MOTLEY FOOL - DailyFinance.com
The Bible tells us that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Foreclosing on his pastor probably doesn't make the trick any easier.
There's a new development in the housing crisis: Foreclosures are hitting houses of worship.
According to a report from Reuters, 2011 was a record year for foreclosures on church buildings. Prior to the Great Recession, bank seizures of houses of worship were rarer than atheists in foxholes, with only a handful of foreclosures occurring in the decade prior to 2008.
That all changed when the mortgage crisis hit.
Making 9 Million Jobless "Vanish":
How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics
BY DANIEL AMERMAN CFA - FinancialSense.com
When we look at broad measures of jobs and population, then the beginning of 2012 was one of the worst months in US history, with a total of 2.3 million people losing jobs or leaving the workforce in a single month. Yet, the official unemployment rate showed a decline from 8.5% to 8.3% in January - and was such cheering news that it set off a stock rally.
How can there be such a stark contrast between the cheerful surface and an underlying reality that is getting worse?
Entrepreneurs: Grayer Than You’d Think
by Teresa Novellino - Portfolio.com
Think entrepreneur and you think of young billionaire Mark Zuckerberg or maybe Andrew Mason, who took Groupon public with much fanfare. But according to a new study, the age of these entrepreneurs bucks an overall trend.
In fact, over the past decade, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity belongs to the 55-to-64 age group, according to a Kauffman Foundation study. The age bracket that includes 20- to 34-year-olds actually has the lowest rate of such activity, reports USA Today.
Health reform's cost under scrutiny
By Jeanne Sahadi @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Capitol Hill's official budget cruncher will offer new estimates on Tuesday of one of the most controversial parts of health care reform: the government's cost of covering tens of millions of uninsured Americans.
The Congressional Budget Office's estimates will be part of its annual March revision to its budget baseline -- the marker against which any spending and tax proposals are measured.
Will ObamaCare Discourage Employers From Hiring?
Peter Suderman - Reason.com
Politicians love branding legislation as either job killing or job creating, but the empirical data underlying these claims is usually pretty murky. Just look at the 2009 stimulus package. The bill was pitched explicitly as a way to foster job creation. As part of the law, the federal government set up an unusual tracking and reporting system that, for all its flaws, remains far more robust than the sort of employment-effects analysis that accompanies most legislation. Academics and independent analysts across the political spectrum conducted their own analysis of the law’s job creation. And yet it remains practically impossible to pin down its overall effects on the hiring and employment within any reasonable range.
Will Chief Justice John Roberts Uphold ObamaCare?
Damon W. Root - Reason.com
Two weeks from today, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Writing in The New York Times, Adam Liptak offers an interesting look at the various judicial and political views jockeying for control inside the mind of Chief Justice John Roberts, whose vote on the health care law is most likely up for grabs. As Liptak writes:
The case will require the chief justice to choose between two competing instincts.
On the one hand, he views himself as a steward of the court’s prestige and authority, and he has called for incremental decisions from large majorities rather than broad but sharply divided rulings....
Congress could be made to pay for its budget failures
By Ben Pershing - WashingtonPost.com
"The congressional budget process is broken."
It’s a lament heard from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in recent years, as the House and Senate have been increasingly unable to agree on an annual spending blueprint amid partisan bickering.
But is it broken enough that members will risk going broke to fix it?
That question, among others, will be entertained Wednesday at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on congressional reform proposals. The panel also plans to examine ideas for overhauling the nominations process for federal officials, as well as a perennial suggestion that Congress should shift from an annual budget process to a two-year cycle.
Ignoring sequestration won’t make it vanish
By Walter Pincus - WashingtonPost.com
Let’s think about the unthinkable — sequestration.
On Jan. 2, 2013, it will kick in if Congress can’t reach agreement before then on $1.2 trillion in cuts or added revenue over the next 10 years. Sequestration will be avoided if Congress passes legislation that President Obama will sign that undoes the legal requirement in the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Otherwise, on Jan. 2 the government must begin imposing the first of 10 years of across-the-board reductions in discretionary spending accounts for defense ($500 billion) and non-defense ($700 billion).
Wisconsin voter ID law struck down
as rights activists hail important victory
Judge decision comes the day after the justice department blocked a similar law in Texas over fears of voter suppression
By Ryan Devereaux - Guardian.co.uk
A Wisconsin judge has struck down a controversial voter ID law passed by governor Scott Walker, which would have required voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Dane County circuit judge Richard Niess issued the permanent injunction one week after another judge temporarily stopped the law.
After 244 Years,
Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses
By JULIE BOSMAN - NYTimes.com
After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.
Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.
In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.
Apple Said to Be Subpoenaed by U.S. on Google Mobile Search
By Sara Forden and Jeff Bliss - Bloomberg.com
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission subpoenaed Apple Inc. (AAPL) as part of its antitrust probe of Google Inc., seeking information on how the computer maker incorporates the search engine on the iPhone and iPad, two people familiar with the matter said.
The agency’s request for documents includes the agreements that made Google the preferred search engine on Apple’s mobile devices, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and declined to be identified. Google rivals such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) have criticized these agreements as anticompetitive.
Boeing downplays illegal subsidies
EU cries foul over billions granted by U.S. government
By Tim Devaney-The Washington Times
In the latest Boeing-Airbus showdown, the world’s two biggest plane manufacturers each claimed vindication from a World Trade Organizationruling Monday that the U.S. had provided billions in illegal subsidies to Boeing.
The U.S. government and the Chicago-based company noted, however, that the WTO did not buy the most extravagant European claims about the U.S. subsidies and already had come down much heavier on the European Union for its support of Airbus.
Japanese want U.S. military bases gone
By Prensa Latina - Pravda.ru
The U.S. military presence in Japan acquires special relevance recently due to proposals by Washington to reinstall a base on the island of Okinawa and indecision about Tokyo.
According to various data, not even the recent visit to this island by prime minister Yoshihiko Noda has achieved consensus between the two parties, despite a bilateral pact that was in effect, signed in 2006.
But the strongest opposition comes from people's organizations and even local civil servants, who together demand the closure of U.S. military installations.
U.S. vs. China: The trade battles
From rare earths to currency valuation to protecting technology, there's no end in sight to the Chinese-U.S. trade disputes.
By Chris Isidore @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- China and the United States are the world's largest economies and, by some measures, each other's most important trading partners. But it's a rocky marriage.
A dispute over rare earth minerals came into the spotlight Tuesday, as President Obama announced that the United States, Japan and Western European countries would file a trade complaint against China.
Obama warns China against 'skirting the rules'
By JULIE PACE - DailyFinance.com
WASHINGTON -President Barack Obama warned China Tuesday that it would not be allowed to gain a competitive advantage in world trade by "skirting the rules."
Making an election-year pitch to American workers, and businesses as well, Obama announced Washington has brought a new trade case against Beijing. The goal is to pressure China, a rising Asian economic power, to end its restrictions on exports of key materials used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat screen televisions and other high tech-goods.
Torture in Syria worst seen in 30 years, report says
LA Times staff
The scale of torture in Syria since an antigovernment uprising began a year ago amounts to crimes against humanity and is the worst the country has experienced in 30 years, says an Amnesty International report released Tuesday.
Syrians calling for the fall of President Bashar Assad have been arrested in droves and have faced harsh and sometimes fatal mistreatment similar to the brutal crackdown on dissent exerted by government forces during the late 1970s and early 1980s, says the report, released a day before the one-year anniversary of the uprising.
Taliban threaten to behead troops
Obama: Spree a case of 'murder'
By Ashish Kumar Sen - The Washington Times
Taliban militants threatened to behead Americans in Afghanistan, as gunmen opened fire Tuesday on a memorial service for civilians killed by a U.S. soldier and protests erupted over a series of U.S. actions that is spreading outrage throughout the country.
The threats and attack occurred as a NATO-Afghan investigation cleared U.S. troops of malicious intent in the accidental burning of Korans at a U.S. military base, one of several recent incidents that have sparked protests and emboldened the Taliban.
Obama: Afghan mission to proceed despite mass shooting
By Dave Boyer-The Washington Times
President Obama on Tuesday called the alleged shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier “outrageous” and a case of "murder," but said the incident would not deter the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
"The United States takes this as seriously as if it was our own citizens and our own children who were murdered," Mr. Obama said at the White House, recounting his phone conversation with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "We’re heartbroken over the loss of innocent life. The killing of innocent civilians is outrageous and is unacceptable. It’s not who we are as a country."
War: Big Government's Best Friend
Bestselling author Tom Woods speaks at the Mises Institute's seminar at Furman University, "War: Big Government's Best Friend."
Israel and Gaza militants agree to ceasefire after clashes
Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza after four days of violence killed 25 people
Reuters in Gaza - Guardian.co.uk
Israel and militant factions in the Gaza Strip have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered truce to end four days of cross-border violence in which 25 Palestinians have been killed, a senior Egyptian security official said.
Both sides had "agreed to end the current operations", according to the official, with Israel giving an unusual undertaking to "stop assassinations", and an overall agreement "to begin a comprehensive and mutual calm".
Iranian hand seen in Gaza escalation
By Victor Kotsev - ATimes.com
The Gaza Strip is a world full of violent paradoxes. The latest is the situation in which the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, which nominally controls the strip, found itself over the weekend sitting in the corner with its eyes down and praying for the lives of Israelis; all this when its former Iranian sugar daddy turned into a whip-cracking Dom whose surrogate, Islamic Jihad, battled it out with Israel.
A Resolution to Impeach Is Ready
If Obama Goes to War Without Congress
Rep. Walter Jones, the Republican congressman who introduced it last week, hopes it will help keep the U.S. military out of Syria.
by Conor Friedersdorf - TheAtlantic.com
When President Obama involved American forces in Libya without Congressional approval, violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, sued him. "The president is not a king. He was elected by the people, just like the House and Senate," he said. "I think he is absolutely off-base. I think that is an abuse of power, and that's why we're going to the courts." Despite voting for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rep. Jones turned anti-war while President Bush was still in office, and having so far failed to stop President Obama from fighting undeclared wars, he is now attempting a new strategy: the threat of impeachment.
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