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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan war’

Did 9/11 Really “Change Everything”?

Did 9/11 Really "Change Everything"?

Courtes of Washington’s Blog

[And see also Washington's 9-11 post if you missed it, here.]

We’ve been told that 9/11 changed everything.

Is it true?

Let’s look:

  • The Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11 (see this and this)
  • Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
  • Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
  • Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
  • Cheney and the rest of the neocons lamented - before 9/11 - that America could not truly project its power globally without the justification of a "new Pearl Harbor"
  • The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11
  • The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons — and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes — all before 9/11
  • The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths before 9/11
  • It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence, but is an effective way to terrorize people

So did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was it simply an excuse to implement existing plans? 


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Mainstream Economists: “Mission Accomplished”

Mainstream Economists: "Mission Accomplished"

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog 

Numerous current stories show how disconnected mainstream policy-makers are from reality.

For example, Ryan Grim points out that there is an "unbelievable disconnect" between the American people (who are people are against the Afghanistan war) and Congress and the political elite (gung-ho to escalate this never-ending war): 

Even after the Wikileaks revelations, even though there is no logical reason to be in Afghanistan, even though the war won’t help the economy, and even though most Americans want us to get out, Congress keeps increasing funding for the endless war.

And Alan Blinder (economist, banking consultant and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) and chief Moody’s economist Mark Zandi wrote a paper yesterday called How We Ended the Great Recession:

How We Ended the Great Recession

A source on Capitol Hill sent this to me, telling me that the paper is making the rounds on the Hill.

In the paper, Blinder and Zandi congratulate the Bush and Obama administrations for saving us from the Great Depression 2.0:

Eighteen months ago, the global financial system was on the brink of collapse and the U.S. was suffering its worst economic downturn since the 1930s. The Great Recession gave way to recovery as quickly as it did largely because of the unprecedented responses by monetary and fiscal policymakers.

In other words: "Mission Accomplished".

In the real world, however, the economy is on the second leg down of the crash, and the government’s policies have not addressed the real problems. See this and this (no wonder consumer confidence is plunging but Wall Street is partying like it’s 1999).

Indeed, while Blinder and Zandi and Congress are patting themselves on the back for a job well done, the facts simply do not bear out their claims. As just one example, they claim that the TARP bank bailouts helped the economy. But as I pointed out in March 2009, the bailout money didn’t actually…
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Afghanistan is a “Lost Cause”; Leaked Documents Show Futility of Afghanistan War

Afghanistan is a "Lost Cause"; Leaked Documents Show Futility of Afghanistan War

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 26: Lights adorn buildings as people celebrate the birthday of the 12th Imam, Muhammad al Mahdi on July 26, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Born on July 29, 869, the Imam is an anointed leader or ruler said to have been the twelfth generation descendant of the prophet Muhammad. It is believed that the Imam will return to earth some day to bring peace. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

Courtesy of Mish 

The questions on my mind are: How many trillions of dollars do we have to spend, how many lives need to be wasted, and how much longer are we going to be involved in the boondoggle known as Afghanistan?

Such questions were on my mind even before Leaked Documents Underscore Lawmakers’ Concerns on Afghan War

President Barack Obama faces renewed concern about his Afghanistan war strategy after leaked military documents suggested Pakistan’s main intelligence agency secretly aided the Taliban and others the U.S is trying to defeat.

Disclosure of the documents, as Congress this week considers funding for the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan, underscored questions about the war while many lawmakers prepare to go home to campaign in August.

Some of the 92,000 classified reports, disclosed July 25 by the website Wikileaks, say that members of Pakistan’s Inter- Services Intelligence Directorate helped the Taliban and other Islamic rebels. The documents, covering 2004 through 2009, were reported by the New York Times, the London-based Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel, which said Wikileaks provided them the reports three weeks ago.

The leaked documents “raise serious questions about the reality of America’s policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat. “Those policies are at a critical stage,” and the documents “make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent.”

‘Not Pretty’

“I’ve been to a number of briefings and I’ve always been provided a more upbeat picture than the one” depicted by the documents, said Representative James McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat who opposes Obama’s Afghan policy. “The picture that is painted here is not pretty.”

Obama announced in December plans to send another 30,000 combat troops to Afghanistan, and Congress is under pressure to pass legislation paying for the buildup before taking its monthlong summer recess. Obama has said he will start to draw down U.S. forces in July 2011 and give more security responsibility to the Afghans, depending on conditions.

Polls show support for the war waning. Almost 6 in 10 respondents in a Bloomberg National Poll conducted July 9-12 said Afghanistan is a lost cause.

Also, 60 percent of Americans surveyed thought the withdrawal of forces should start in July 2011 even if the situation in


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Zero Hedge

Currency Wars Reignite As Yuan Tumbles Most In 2 Months And Chinese Bond Market Freezes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Did China just re-enter the currency wars? The Chinese Yuan dropped 0.29% overnight - its biggest drop since September and 2nd biggest devaluation since March - as the currency tumbles back in line with the PBOC's fixing for the first time in over 3 months. Despite 'hopes', S&P confirms the recent (and reconfirmed) rate cut doesn’t signal renewed government intentions to resort to aggressive stimulus to prop up economy. More troubling is the fact that China's huge corporate debt market appears to be freezing as ...



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Chart School

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Down Another Seven Cents

Courtesy of Doug Short.

It's time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny Regular dropped another seven cents and Premium six. Regular is now at its lowest price since November 2010. Will the price decline in gasoline boost discretionary spending as we approach the holiday season? Stay tuned!

According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii has the highest cost at $3.88. The highest continental average price is in New York at $3.18. Missouri and South Carolina are tied for the cheapest Regular at $2.55.

How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here's a visual answer.

...



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Phil's Favorites

Fed "Mystified" Why Millennials Still Live at Home; My Answer May Surprise You (It Isn't Jobs, Student Debt, or Housing)

Courtesy of Mish.

A New York Fed research paper wonders What’s Keeping Millennials at Home? Is it Debt, Jobs, or Housing?

The paper says "it's a mystery" why the housing recovery did not have a bigger impact on millennials living at home.

The research paper, written by Zachary Bleemer, Meta Brown, Donghoon Lee, and Wilbert van der Klaauw notes correlations to debt, jobs and housing.

Yet, "student debt only explains about 10% of the increase in parental coresidence since 2004, with another 10% being explained by house prices during the mid-2000s".

I have the answer below, but first a few charts and notes on the charts.

Notes:

  • CCP is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Equifax-Sourced Consumer...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Holiday fever takes hold of stock investors, but a pullback is needed

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

With warmer weather arriving to melt the early snowfall across much of the country, investors seem to be catching a severe case of holiday fever and positioning themselves for the seasonally bullish time of the year. And to give an added boost, both Europe and Asia provided more fuel for the bull’s fire last week with stimulus announcements, particularly China’s interest rate cut. Yes, all systems are go for U.S. equities as there really is no other game in town. But nothing goes up in a straight line, not even during the holidays, so a near-term market pullback would be a healthy way to prevent a steeper correction in January.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based Sector...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining

Courtesy of Global Economic Intersection

By Rod Garratt and Rosa Hayes - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

In June 2014, the mining pool Ghash.IO briefly controlled more than half of all mining power in the Bitcoin network, awakening fears that it might attempt to manipulate the blockchain, the public record of all Bitcoin transactions. Alarming headlines splattered the blogosphere. But should members of the Bitcoin community be worried?

Miners are members of the Bitcoin community who engage in a proce...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of November 25th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Insider Scoop

UPDATE: Bank Of America Upgrades Kate Spade

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Heather Balsky of Bank of America upgraded shares of Kate Spade & Co (NYSE: KATE) to Buy from Neutral on Monday with a price target raised to $34 from a previous $33.

“Based on our handbag survey results, we think Kate Spade can offset fewer markdown sales with greater full price sell-through, and continue to post comp and earnings beats,” Balsky wrote in a note to clients.

The analyst adds that a projected 45 percent growth outlook on higher comp and margins are not currently factored in to share prices and that the company can see “robust” comp growth as promotions decline.

According to an internal consumer survey, Balsky concluded that fewer Kate Spade customers seek deals and promotions as purchasing an item with a superior fashion and design is more im...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's the Happy Thanksgiving Edition of Stock World Weekly!

Click on this link and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

Picture via Pixabay.

...

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Market Shadows

Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

By Ilene 

I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.

Notes

1. th...



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Option Review

Yamana Gold call options sink

Yamana Gold call options sink

By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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