Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why I Still Am Not Impressed with Edward Snowden Leaks

I am certainly happy with the brouhaha surrounding the Edward Snowden "leaks." Anything that makes the average citizen more suspicious of government operators the better.

However, as I have stated before, the Snowden "leaks" continue to be of the type that do little to advance the knowledge of what careful observers already knew about spying and data collection operations of the NSA/USG.

Where's the real dirt about government operators and what they have done and are planning? Did Snowden not listen in on any juicy stuff?

Sibel Edmonds, who had nowhere near the observation post that Snowden had, provided us with much more detailed information about suspicious government operations than Snowden has to date.

I hope there is more coming from Snowden of a more detailed nature on topics none of us are aware of, but to date I haven't seen anything from Snowden that could be classified as a great expose.

Georgia Police Now Drawing Blood of DUI Suspects

Creeping encroachment of the totalitarian state never stops.

NY Fed: The Truth About the Job Market for Recent College Graduates

Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz  at the NY Fed write:
Stories abound about recent college graduates who are struggling to find good jobs in today’s economy, especially with student debt levels rising so quickly. But just how bad are the job prospects for recent college graduates when one moves beyond anecdotes and looks at the data? How widespread is unemployment? And how common is it for college graduates to work in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree—that is, how widespread is underemployment?[...]

In our presentation, we show that both unemployment and underemployment for young graduates are in fact higher now compared to, say, a decade ago.[...]


 Perhaps not surprisingly, college major plays a key role in how well recent graduates have fared in the labor market. We show that there are large differences in unemployment rates, underemployment rates, and average wages across majors. In particular, we show that those with degrees in majors that provide technical training, such as “Engineering” and “Math & Computers,” or in those that are geared toward growing parts of the economy, such as “Education” and “Health,” have tended to do pretty well when compared to the rest of the pack. At the other end of the spectrum, those with a “Liberal Arts” or “Leisure & Hospitality” major tend to have lower wages, higher unemployment, and higher underemployment.


 Regardless of major, though, we show that those with a college degree still tend to do better than those without. In fact, even recent college graduates who take a job that typically does not require a college degree tend to earn more than those with only an Associate’s degree or high school diploma—and this pattern is true for people with degrees in the lowest-paying majors. 


Egypt to Implode?

By Daniel McAdams

The Egypt experiment is falling apart. The massive protests today, marking the first year of Islamist Mohamed Morsi's rule, are pushing the country of more than 80 million to a crisis point with implications for the entire region. It has been a slow-motion disintegration from the begining, however.
US-backed liberal Egyptians took to Tahrir Square in 2011, trained by the State Department to mobilize masses through social media to overthrow Mubarak rule. Their success resulted in their being shunted aside in favor of the real power in Egypt, post-Mubarak: the Muslim Brotherhood and the military.
Since then, contrary to US government predictions, democracy and freedom has not broken out bringing with it economic prosperity and social harmony. History teaches us that revolutions are not as simplistic and binary (bad out, good in) as some would like us to believe. The Egyptian economy, dependent on tourism, has been in free-fall since the unrest, leading to deep layers of resentment in those who were told that overthrowing Mubarak would bring economic growth. Energy costs have soared and electricity is increasingly scarce.
 Why did the US support both the position (Mubarak) and the opposition (April 6 Movement, Kifaya, etc.)? It is not as uncommon as it might seem. Aging and ailing Mubarak's rule was coming to an end anyway, Egypt's population was young and frustrated, and though the US did not necessarily wish to spoil its relationship with the Egyptian dictator it did seek maximum influence on the coming succession struggles. With half the population under age 35, US training of young Egyptians  in the use of social media and the regime change techniques of CIA-asset Gene Sharp was a successful strategy to light the revolutionary fire.
Additionally, as Mubarak explains in an interview this month, he was proving an irritation to the US over his refusal to allow permanent US military installations in Egypt and his refusal to allow the US to "help" with establishing a communications network in Egypt.

Rahmaland Weekend: 1 Dead, 16 Injured in Shootings Since Friday Evening

One person was killed and 16 other people were wounded in shootings across the city since Friday night, reports the Sun Times..

Shannon Ware, 27, was killed outside his home on 116th Street, near State Street, after he was shot in the head and chest about 4 a.m. Saturday, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

He was standing in a group of people on the sidewalk when an unidentified male fired from across the street, police said. The shooter then fled in a light-colored sedan.

He was dead at the scene, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The most recent non-fatal shooting — one of 16 reported over the weekend — occurred about 10:20 a.m. Sunday in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

The 40-year-man, who was shot in the 1300 block of West 108th Street, was taken in fair condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with a gunshot wound to the left shoulder, said Chicago Police Officer Jose Estrada, a department spokesman.

The victim was not cooperating with police in the investigation, Estrada said.

Twitter Thinks I am Monitoring the Government

As I might very well be doing!

These are the recommendations that Twitter lists for me today of Twitter feeds I might want to follow:




UPDATE

One more:

Governor Walker

STRIKE ALERT: SF Rapid Transit Talks Break Down

Josie Mooney, a negotiator for the Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said there was "a 95 percent chance" that her union and members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 would strike, after contract talks stalled Saturday, reports the SF Chronicle.

More than 400,000 riders use the Bay Area Rapid Transit service on a daily basis.

The unions want a 5 percent annual raise over the next three years. BART said Saturday that train operators and station agents in the unions average about $71,000 in base salary and $11,000 in overtime annually. The workers also pay a flat $92 monthly fee for health insurance.

BART spokesman Rick Rice said the latest proposal offered a 4- to 8 percent salary raise over the next four years, on top of a 1 percent raise employees were scheduled to receive Monday. The transit agency also said it offered to reduce the contribution employees would have to make to their pensions, and lower the costs of health care premiums they would have to pay.

SFC reports that on Friday, the ATU asked California Gov. Jerry Brown to issue a 60-day "cooling off" period if no deal can be reached by Sunday's deadline, but the SEIU and BART officials have urged Brown not to issue such an order.

The governor's office has declined to comment.

BART's last strike lasted six days in 1997.

As this strike develops, it is an opportune time to think about government transportation operations.

With government operating transportation systems and supporting unions, a number of distortions occur that one wouldn't see in a completely free market society.

First, as Murray Rothbard pointed out:
[T]he entire theory of labor unions is deeply flawed. Their view is that the worker somehow "owns" his job, and that therefore it should be illegal for an employer to bid permanent farewell to striking workers. The "ownership of jobs" is of course a clear violation of the property right of the employer to fire or not hire anyone he wants. No one has a "right to a job" in the future; one only has the right to be paid for work contracted and already performed. No one should have the "right" to have his hand in the pocket of his employer forever; that is not a "right" but a systematic theft of other people's property.
The second problem here is the government "ownership" of the BART system. It distorts the property ownership question even further (Since property rights can only apply to private property) and  makes it unclear whether resources are used most efficiently, with regard to both equipment and employees. Only when firms are able to operate in a free market system with free market prices and competition is it clear, by price signals, what should be paid for factors of production and what prices should be charged customers.

The BART situation violates all these basic tenets of a private property society. Perhaps this is a good time to consider turning BART over to the private sector, by means of an auction, with funds gained from a sale turned over to "the people."

Five Quotes to Make Your BS Detector Better

By James Altucher

I’m on a war against bullshit.

Not other people’s bullshit. That war is unwinnable. Everyone lives in their own private bullshitorium and they will never leave it even to say “hello” to you.

But my own bullshit. I can’t stand when I’m thinking or saying something and then I realize, “I just lost the battle against my own bullshit, ONCE AGAIN”.

Here’s five quotes that help me win the battle, at least with myself.

Read the rest here.

Why Did China's ATMs Stop Working Last Sunday?

A lesson for all around the globe, keep some cash outside the system.

Bloomberg reports:
[Last] Sunday morning, while China was taking a weekend breather from the financial fireworks caused by the government’s weeklong self-inflicted cash and credit crunch, customers of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest bank, woke to an unpleasant surprise: Their deposits were not available for withdrawal by ATM or teller (online or in-person). 
The social-media reaction was swift, filled with exclamation points and lacking in confidence for ICBC, or the Chinese banking system as a whole. “I was just at ICBC to make a withdrawal and was told the system was undergoing an upgrade and withdrawals are temporarily unavailable,” tweeted a user in Shenyang on Sina Weibo, China’s leading social-media platform. “I called the service hot line, finally someone answered and said they don’t know the answer!!!!!!! ICBC: When can we withdraw money? Who can give a clear answer??????????????”

This Week in TSA Drama

Baghdad TSA Bob reports in:

An inert grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Albany (ALB).

Two credit card knives were discovered this week at Albuquerque (ABQ) and Miami (MIA).

A Chicago O’Hare, a passenger who could not find his gate blurted out: “I’m going to blow up this ####### place up if no one tells me where my flight is."

Map Shows Highest Gas Taxes

New York and California have the highest taxes at #1 and #2, at 50.6 cents and 48.7 cents respectively. The lowest gas tax is in Alaska at 8 cents



(Chart by the Tax Foundation)

(Via Infowars.com)

Daily Beast Headline: 'Rand Paul: I'm Not My Dad'

The attempt to separate Rand from his father continues. The Daily Beast writes (My highlights):

Standing in front of more than 100 South Carolina GOP activists in West Columbia Friday night, the Kentucky senator largely steered clear of the week's two dominant, divisive issues that are tying his party in knots: Gay rights and immigration reform.

Instead, he diverted from his early presidential-primary-state speech script and went for the jugular on a topic that, while not necessarily timely, would surely please a military-friendly crowd: A full-throated defense of profiling.

“After 9-11 we had a special program for student visas . . . Why?" Paul asked. "Because 16 of the 19 hijackers were overstaying their students visas. Was it targeting? Was it profiling? Yes. Because only certain people are attacking us. Why don’t we use some brain sense to go after the people who are attacking us?"

The guests ate it up, rewarding Paul with sustained thunderclaps. It was one of his biggest applause lines of the night. But it was also a curious statement from a likely 2016 White House contender who built his brand on a libertarian approach to government. This, from the same guy who stood on the Senate floor for 14 hours to protest the potential use of drones to target Americans?

Yet the undertones of Paul's full 23-minute speech to GOP activists at the state farmers' market were unmistakable: Rest assured, I'm not my father.

Paul is well-aware of his dad's reputation in the Palmetto State. Former Rep. Ron Paul barely competed in the 2012 primary here largely because his isolationist worldview was deemed a non-starter in a place home to eight military bases. In order to be competitive here three years from now, Rand knows he needs to vanquish Ron's long shadow.

LA School System to Teach Kids to Deliver Obamacare Message to Parents

The public school system is becoming more and more nothing but an agency of the state to spread propaganda.

The Los Angeles school system reportedly plans to use a state grant to promote ObamaCare, in part by teaching students to become “messengers” for the law, reports FOX News.

Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, announced grants of $37 million on May 14 to promote Obamacare, reports the Heartland Institute.

LAUSD will receive $990,000. The district listed as a primary outcome for its project, “Teens trained to be messengers to family members.”

The Heartland Institute continues:
 Covered California spokeswoman Sarah Soto-Taylor said staff have not questioned this goal.

“We have confidence that the model LA Unified brought to the table will be successful in reaching our target population, which includes family members of students,” she said.

LAUSD will also use tax-paid staff to promote ObamaCare through phone calls to students’ homes, in-class presentations, and meetings with employees eligible for ObamaCare’s taxpayer-covered healthcare, the grant award says.

One in three Los Angeles students never graduates high school.[...] 
“Teens are part of a ‘pilot’ program to test whether young people can be trained as messengers to deliver outreach and limited education to family and friends in and around their homes,” said Gayle Pollard-Terry, a LAUSD spokesman, in an email

The EPJ Calendar: The Good, The Bad & The Interventionists

By, Chris Rossini

Each Sunday EPJ publishes a calendar of upcoming political & economic events. The appearance of an event does not necessarily mean an endorsement by EPJ; hence the name The EPJ Calendar: The Good, The Bad & The Interventionists.

If you believe that your event, speech, meetup, etc. should be on our weekly calendar, please email me at chris@economicpolicyjournal.com


Barbara Oakley Discusses Pathological Altruism on The Robert Wenzel Show



This Week's Guest
Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Professor in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Oakland University
Author of "Pathological Altruism", "Cold-Blooded Kindness", and "Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend"


YouTube





Podcast




Saturday, June 29, 2013

The President Doth Protest Not Enough

The president has said that he is not going to go to extraordinary measures to deal with Edward Snowden, a person he identified as a "hacker."

NBC News reports:
President Obama said he should not have to speak personally with the leaders of Russia and China regarding self-professed NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and said he was “not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker” during a press conference in Senegal on Thursday.
NBC news also reported:
Obama said that the revelations first published in British newspaper The Guardian and The Washington Post – and the ensuing search for Snowden, who has been charged with theft of government property and two offenses of espionage statutes – have the makings of a big-screen spy caper, but that he would not engage in “wheeling and dealing and trading and a whole host of other issues, simply to get a guy extradited so he can face the justice system here in the United States.”
What's up with President Chill? Methinks the President doth protest not enough. Especially since, we have this report, which indicates that the Obama Administration is all but operating in chill mode:
Vice President Biden has asked Ecuador to turn down an asylum request from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, the country's president said Saturday.
Rafael Correa said he had a "friendly and very cordial" conversation with Biden, and told the vice president that Ecuador hadn't sought to be put in the situation of deciding whether to harbor an American fugitive. 
The chill posture that the President is taking is the first indication that Snowden is doing serious damage to the USG  big brother apparatus.

Here's What It Looks Like When Two Hacker FBI Informants Try To Inform On Each Other

Andy Greenberg reports for Forbes:

The FBI has so many moles in the hacktivist community, it seems, that at times they’ve even ended up unwittingly doing their best to get each other arrested.
For much of 2011, Icelandic then-teenager and self-described hacker Sigurdur Thordarson worked as both a WikiLeaks volunteer and an FBI informant. As Thordarson first told Wired, he claims to have given the FBI eight hard drives full of information potentially useful to the U.S. government’s ongoing investigation into WikiLeaks, which has come back into the spotlight due to the secret-spilling group’s role in helping NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seek asylum.
In an instant message conversation with Thordarson Thursday, I asked him what he might have given to the FBI that could be relevant to its investigation, and he responded immediately with a log of an instant message conversation between himself and the member of the LulzSec hacker group known as Sabu, which he says he gave to the FBI and which he claims shows “that information was passed on from LulzSec that later got published by WikiLeaks.” Thordarson told me he believes the logs supports a “conspiracy” charge against Julian Assange or others in WikiLeaks.
The log is likely less useful to the FBI than Thordarson thinks: It’s no surprise that WikiLeaks has published hacked files, or even that it publishes files hacked specifically by LulzSec, such as the millions of emails stolen from the private intelligence firm Stratfor by activist Jeremy Hammond, who pleaded guilty to computer fraud and abuse last month.
More interesting, or at least more humorous, is the fact that the chat log represents a conversation between two FBI informants, both of whom seem to be trying to lure the other into providing evidence they can turn over to their law enforcement handlers–or even into a meeting that could lead to the other’s arrest. Sabu, also known as Hector Xavier Monsegur, had agreed to work as an FBI mole within LulzSec months before his conversation with Thordarson. Thordarson, for his part, tells me he thought he was helping to deliver a “notorious hacker” to the FBI, and didn’t know he was speaking to a fellow stool pigeon. Monsegur doesn’t show any signs of knowing either.

More here. 

What's Brewing with Ron Paul?; Is International News Ahead?

What is Ron Paul planning? At the end of an interview with close adviser Lew Rockwell, Lew hints about "international news" that Ron Paul will soon be making.

Real Clear Politics is reporting that this weekend Dr. Paul is hosting a Private Summit with key advisers.

USG Pressure Intensifies: Biden Asks Ecuador’s President to Deny Snowden Asylum

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa on Saturday said Vice President Joe Biden had called him to urge the South American country to deny an asylum request from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, according to reports, says The Hill.

Correa added that no decision would be made on the asylum request unless Snowden was on Ecuadorian territory and said that the admitted leaker would “have to assume his own responsibilities” for his actions, as first reported by WSJ.

Correa disclosed the phone call from Biden during a television interview in Ecuador.

IMPORTANT Ron Paul on Edward Snowden, Keynesianism, Gold Manipulation and the Fed Losing Control

LewRockwell in a very important interview with Ron Paul , here.

Dr. Paul makes some very important observations about gold and the Fed, in addition to comments on Edward Snowden. Also some great observations on the difference between a trader and a long-term investors.

What Paula Deen Should Tell Her Detractors

By Ilana Mercer

I miss journalist Andrew Breitbart. Although he was not a libertarian, he was at least interesting, and certainly courageous. "Go to hell" was the late Mr. Breitbart's message to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as its bullies prepared to cow the tea party into racial submission by accusing its members of, what else but, racism.

Interesting or courageous is not something your average conservative commentator can be accused of. (Settle down: Using a preposition at the end of a sentence is perfectly fine, not that debates about grammar matter any longer. They're so white.) This a senior editor at a conservative magazine proved in spades. (No apologies will be forthcoming in the event that the reader construes the last turn-of-phrase to be racially unkosher.)

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has transgressed against America's many Orwellian Ministries of Truth. While being deposed by a disgruntled employee, in May of 2013, Deen was forced to confess to using the "N-word" decades ago, upon which the Paula Deen Enterprises began to lose revenue.

Now the poor woman is on that familiar, modern-day Via Dolorosa: the apology tour.

MUST VIEW What the Media Isn't Telling You About War in Syria

Quick Review: White House Down

White House Down is decent action flick, nothing more, EXCEPT for the fact that it is made clear throughout the movie that the Military-Industrial Complex leaders are the bad guys. Nice touch.

Of further note, the movie is much better than the trailer. Whoever cut the trailer did a terrible job.


Stanford Graduate Business School: 10 Verbal and Non-Verbal Signs to Spot a Liar at Work

Below is Carol Kinsey Goman in a recent workshop at the Stanford Graduate Business School. 

This  also might be useful when being interrogated by an agent of the state. This is how agents are trained.

Investment Analyst Leaves Day Job to Become Full-Time Fantasy Sports Player

By Ben Cohen

Friday is Drew Dinkmeyer's last day of work. Mr. Dinkmeyer, a 31-year-old Florida investment analyst, is leaving the finance industry altogether. He is becoming a full-time fantasy sports player.

Mr. Dinkmeyer plans to make money writing and hosting a radio show for the websites Fantistics and My Fantasy Fix. But he will spend most of his time playing fantasy sports. His game of choice is daily fantasy, a booming niche in a billion-dollar industry, where Mr. Dinkmeyer is already one of the few "whales" who says he makes enough to support himself on fantasy sports alone.

Daily-fantasy games, which condense full-length seasons into nightly competitions, were responsible for $492 million of the $1.7 billion spent on fantasy sports in 2012, according to a Fantasy Sports Trade Association study. Paul Charchian, the trade group's president, says it is possible that number will double this year.

There are more than 30 million fantasy-sports players in the U.S., and almost 25% dabble in daily games, the FSTA found in a report released this month. Up to 100 people earned at least $40,000 in 2012, industry experts estimate.

The market is lucrative enough to support some full-time players. A normal week on FanDuel, the industry's leading site, has $2 million up for grabs, with the money coming from players who pay to participate. It also has a $200,000 first-place prize for its baseball championship in August.

DraftStreet, another daily-fantasy website, had four players earn more than $100,000 in profits last year, the site's executives said. About 25,000 paid to play on the site.

This week, the venture-capital arm of Cantor Fitzgerald said it is investing $25 million in TopLine Game Labs, a gaming developer that intends to focus on casual daily-fantasy players.

Mr. Dinkmeyer started playing fantasy sports when he was 9 years old, he says. But in recent years he tired of the tedium familiar to anyone who has played a full fantasy season, like managing trades and frantic lineup tinkering.

Daily fantasy became Mr. Dinkmeyer's outlet, and before long, he began to think about making a career out of it. He had targeted the start of 2014 to leave his job at CapTrust Advisors, an investment-advisory firm, but juggling a job and daily-fantasy responsibilities wore him down earlier than he expected. With his wife's support, Mr. Dinkmeyer says, he gave his company notice in April.

"Some people don't understand what I'm doing or how I can possibly be making enough money to move on," he said. Once he tells them that he is making as much money in daily fantasy as he was in his day job, he says, "that definitely catches them off guard."

Read the rest here.

As The World Turns

By, Chris Rossini






Below you'll find snapshots of how major markets around the world ended the week.






U.S. - Dow Jones Industrial Average +.74%



China - Shanghai Composite Index -4.53%



EPJ Week In Review - Week Ending 6/28/13



By, Chris Rossini






Below you'll find everything that has been published on EPJ for the week ended Friday June 28th, 2013. The hottest posts for each day are highlighted in red.






Friday 6/28/13
Thursday 6/27/13

Friday, June 28, 2013

Notorious Economists: President Rafael Correa Edition

Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa was trained to be an economist who, according the the Guardian, specialised in game theory.  He obtained a scholarship to study at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil (UCSG in Spanish), a private higher education institution in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in economics in 1987.

 He received a Master of Arts in Economics from the Universit√© Catholique de Louvain in Belgium in June 1991. He later studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a Master of Science in Economics in May 1999, and a PhD in Economics in October 2001.

In his doctoral dissertation, titled "Three Essays on Contemporary Latin American Development", Correa argued that the structural reforms instituted in Latin America beginning in the 1980s, failed as drivers for growth in the region.

He holds strong socialist beliefs:
Socialism will continue. The Ecuadorian people voted for that. We are going to emphasize this fight for social justice, for regional justice. We are going to continue the fight to eliminate all forms of workplace exploitation within our socialist conviction: the supremacy of human work over capital. Nobody is in any doubt that our preferential option is for the poorest people, we are here because of them. Hasta la victoria siempre! (Until victory, for ever)

Why Roger Stone’s JFK Book Has to be Taken Seriously

By Jeff Morely


Roger Stone is the first JFK assassination author to have worked in the White House and among the few who have personal acquaintances with JFK’s sucessors.
As a former aide to President Reagan and confidante of RIchard Nixon, Stone brings unique practical experience and personal contacts at the highest levels of American politics to a subject that has often been written about by people with neither.
Stone’s background doesn’t mean that his interpretation of November 22, 1963, is necessarily correct, but he cannot be dismissed as “conspiracy theorist” who is deluded about the realities of American politics and power.
To the contrary, he has far more first-hand experience with those Washington realities than an academic like John McAdams or a prosecutor like VIncent Bugliosi. I think Stone’s indictment of Lyndon Johnson deserves to be taken more seriously than anyone else’s precisely because of his White House experience.
In an email interview with JFK Facts, Stone opened up about his sources, why he wrote the book, and what he really thinks of Chris Matthews.
Q. To some liberal pundits, anyone who shows an abiding interest in the JFK assassination is seriously lacking in understanding of the realities of American politics, if not clinically mentally ill. I’m thinking of Cass Sunstein, Vince Bugiiosi, and Chris Matthews, for example. What’s your reaction to such pronouncements?
RS: I have been in the mainstream of American politics and have been a senior campaign staffer to three Presidents, having worked on eight national Republican Presidential campaigns. Long before I began my book, the House Select Committee on Assassinations essentially debunked the Warren Commission Report. The Assassination Records Review Board declassified enough documents to bolster the conclusions of the House Committee; there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. Oswald did not act alone — in fact I don’t think he acted at all.
My book is not disparate from many other groundbreaking works like James Douglass’, The Unspeakable; Phillip Nelson’s LBJ: the Mastermind of the JFK Assassination; Barr McClellan’s Blood Money & Power; Craig Zirbel’s Texas Connection; and Glen Sample and Mark Collom’s The Men on the Sixth Floor. I seek to build on these seminal works.
Yes, I believe that LBJ spearheaded a conspiracy funded by Texas Oil and assisted by elements of the CIA and the Mob. Yes, I think LBJ’s unique relationships with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, defense contractors, Texas Oil, and organized crime allowed him to spearhead a conspiracy. All had a stake in Kennedy’s death.
Candidly, I have know Chris Matthews for 30 years and have been on his TV show, Hardball. He is an egomaniac and pompous asshole who isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Liberals like Daniel Patrick Moynihan have done a disservice to the public by pigeonholing anyone who questions the Warren Commission conclusion as a “nut.” If this is true two-thirds of the people in America are “nuts.”
Q. Where were you on the day it happened? Some people on the political right were known to have cheered the news? Did you hear any of that?
RS: I was 11 years old. I was in the Lewisboro (NY) Elementary School. Lots of my young classmates were crying. When the teacher asked why I wasn’t crying I said, “I’m a Republican.” Yet when I saw the photo in the New York Daily News of young John-John Kennedy saluting his father’s casket a few days later, I too wept.
Q. Your book reports on your conversations about JFK with Richard Nixon and John Mitchell about the assassination. How did you get these men to open up about such a sensitive topic?
I worked as a political advisor to President Nixon in his post-presidential years and spent many hours with him talking politics. Nixon liked a dry martini and he liked to talk politics. He was circumspect and never overtly said “LBJ did it” but he did say a number of things that more than indicate he believed this. My book details this. Nixon recognized Jack Ruby and knew him since 1947 as a “Johnson Man.” Upon seeing Ruby kill Oswald on national TV Nixon recognized him — and understood what had really happened in Dallas.
I first met John Mitchell at the Republican National Convention in 1968 when I was  a volunteer assigned to the messenger pool. He wrote me a letter of recommendation to Mort Allyn to secure me a post in the Nixon White House Press operation. I had little contact with him during Nixon’s re-election because I was the youngest staff member at CREEP (Committee to Re-Elect the President) and my boss, Herbert L. “Bart” Porter, and his boss Jeb Magruder, both warned me that “direct contact with Mr. Mitchell was out of the chain of command.”
By 1976, Mitchell was out of prison and quietly helping me line up Republicans for Ronald Reagan, convincing former Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn, to serve on the “Citizens For Reagan” being chaired by Senator Paul Laxalt. Mitchell had a small office in Georgetown. We used to drink at a bar in Georgetown called the Guards. Mitchell confirmed that many of the same things Nixon said to me he had also said to Mitchell. Mitchell shared his own conversations with Nixon.
Also beneficial were my interviews of Ambassador John Davis Lodge who confirmed that his brother Henry Cabot Lodge, JFK’s Ambassador to Vietnam, had knowledge of the involvement of the CIA and Lyndon Johnson in JFK’s murder.  I also interviewed long time Nixon aide Nick Ruwe who probably spent more waking hours with “RN” than any other individual, as well as John P. Sears, whose insights into Nixon and his thinking were invaluable.
I also had the opportunity to talk to Governor Jesse Ventura who’s research confirmed the link between the Bay of Pigs, JFK’s assassination and the downfall of Nixon in Watergate.
Q: In his memoir Bob Haldeman speculated that when Nixon spoke of “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” he was actually referring to JFK’s assassination. Did Nixon ever use that phrase in your conversations?
RS: Nixon ran a covert CIA operation to assassinate Fidel Castro when he was Vice President. Some of the CIA operatives and assassins involved in these plans, altered but not canceled after JFK’s surprise election, ended up working for the CIA in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. These same men, E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis were involved in the JFK assassination. They would surface again in Watergate.
It is important to recognize that in 1963 Nixon was completely out of power and considered politically washed up. Like LBJ, Nixon still burned to be President but he was considered finished. Nixon understood the connection between the Bay of Pigs and the Kennedy assassination and came to understand Johnson’s role in Kennedy’s murder. After his comeback election in 1968, Nixon demanded all CIA records on the JFK assassination seeking them for leverage and insurance.
In my book I make the case that Watergate, like the JFK assassination, was a coup d’etat a in which the CIA participated. Once CIA veteran James McCord was brought in on the Watergate burglary plan, the CIA knew what Nixon’s minions were up to. The Bay of Pigs, the JFK assassination and Watergate are thus inextriplicably linked.
Nixon’s effort to get the CIA to instruct the FBI to back off the Watergate investigation was a threat to expose the CIA involvement in the murder of JFK, which he knew grew out of the Bay of Pigs Invasion failure.
Q. When did you decide to write this book? And why?
RS: I have worked on this book for at least 10 years and have worked on it intensely for the last two years. I am greatly indebted to my researcher and co-writer, Mike Colapietro. Some will say that I have some partisan angle as my motive for writing this book. In fact, Republicans Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Earl Warren, Arlen Specter and John McCloy don’t come off well in the book. All play some role in the events of November 22, 1963.
Many people have asked me why I waited until now to write my book. When I told Mitchell I would write a book about the JFK assassination “someday,” he said, “on the 50th anniversary” and I agreed. I have honored that commitment.
Q. For some conservative commentators (I’m thinking Thom Mallon, James Swanson, and Gerald Ford), JFK conspiracy theories are a hobbyhorse that deluded leftists use to denigrate America and American power? Does your book denigrate America? 
The evidence of a conspiracy is so overwhelming now that the vast majority of Americans believe they have not been told the truth by the government about the JFK assassination. It is important to note that John F. Kennedy was murdered not just because of his plans to wind down the Vietnam War, his entreaties for better relations with the Soviets and his efforts to repeal the oil depletion allowance but also because of his double cross of the mob after their support in the 1960 election and concern by many at the Pentagon about JFK’s drug use. Kennedy was in fact hopped up on intravenously injected meth during the 1960 debates as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis. JFK was no saint.
Read the rest here.

(ht Robert Murrow)

A General Gets Knifed

By Shane Harris and Noah Shachtman

Usually, the Obama administration does its bureaucratic knife fighting in private. Not so in the latest investigation of a national security leak.

This time the target is one of the highest profile -- and perhaps most controversial -- senior military officers in the United States, Gen. James Cartwright. The former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is now allegedly a top target in the FBI's investigation of who leaked details about the Stuxnet cyber weapon that hit Iran's nuclear program.

NBC News broke the story last night. But Cartwright saw this coming. In recent months, he believed that his communications were being monitored and that he was being watched. He knew he was a target of the investigation. And with good reason. Aside from the fact that he was identified in David Sanger's book Confront and Conceal as a mastermind of the Stuxnet project, Cartwright is also one of the most politically contentious military officers in Washington.

Cartwright has taken contrarian and politically risky positions on major policy decisions, most notably when he broke with many of his fellow generals and opposed a troop surge in Afghanistan. This brought him closer to the commander-in-chief (Cartwright had been called Obama's favorite general), but it alienated him from his own cohort, including David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal.

Read the rest here.

Doesn't Look Like NFL Will Be Promoting Obamacare

They run from controversy like a running back running from a linebacker.

 NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy sent the following email to The Examiner:
We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about PPACA’s implementation.

Rand Paul: The Senate's Answer to Tantric Sex?

Bi Ilana Mecer

Rand Paul strikes more political poses than a practitioner of tantric sex.

In March this year, he joined the Gang of Eight (Gof8) with his own goof-proof “case” for amnesty. It was that “de facto amnesty” must give way to amnesty de jure. In other words, Rand’s non sequitur was that, given reality on the ground, legislators must take action to turn it into a legal reality.
The one condition doesn’t necessarily follow from the other. Since when are legislators obligated to legislate over every reality that forms on the ground?

Two days ago, Rand told CNN’s chief political correspondent Candy Crowley that, “Without some congressional authority and without border security first, I can’t support the final bill.”

I suspect Rand Paul “heard” a thing or two from his constituents. The omnibus immigration bill is a pork-filled power grab of a bill, if ever there was one. (Aren’t they all? A pork-filled power grab is the definition of legislation.) It is “headed toward bipartisan passage in the U.S. Senate, but is going nowhere from there.

Update to this post here.

Paul Krugman: A Broken Window Equals Economic Strength

Benjamin Zycher writes:
It truly is amazing. That a Nobel prize-winning economist can believe utter nonsense, write utter nonsense, and defend utter nonsense, all in the service of a “climate” policy agenda that is remarkably weak in terms of the underlying peer-reviewed science, and that would have virtually no effect on temperatures under any set of mainstream assumptions. I refer to the latest from Professor Paul Krugman, who actually argues, presumably with a straight face, that a forced closure of some coal-fired electric generating plants would force new investment in power plants and increase average power prices, thus yielding “an increase in spending” and a “positive effect” on the economy.

Wow. Remember the broken window fallacy? If a window is broken, the result is more employment and economic activity, because, obviously, someone has to pay someone else to replace the window. Sadly, this story leaves out the spending on something else that the first someone would have undertaken had the window not been broken in the first place. The broken window results in a reallocation of resources and not an increase in aggregate wealth; that is a reality that any student in Economics 101 should learn. The spending forgone on something else offsets the dollars spent replacing the window, but in Mr. Krugman’s world, the investments in new power plants and the higher spending on electricity represent new spending that otherwise would not have been made, because without the climate rules the dollars would have remained hidden in mattresses. Or something.[...]

 One wonders why there is any “spending” at all in the absence of federal actions. What is clear, however, is that promises of a free lunch are as old as politics. And it is politics rather than economics that Mr. Krugman is practicing.