Obama to Send Special Operations Forces to Syria to Help Fight ISIS
By HELENE COOPEROCT. 30, 2015
WASHINGTON — President Obama will deploy a small number of American Special Operations forces to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria, a United States official said.
The White House is expected to make the announcement on Friday, the official said.
The team will advise and assist opposition forces who are fighting the Islamic State in Syria, providing smoother and quicker access to equipment and logistical help, the official said.
While administration officials plan to characterize the deployment as an enhancement of current strategy, it is actually a huge shift for a president who has said repeatedly that he will not put American combat boots on the ground in Syria.
The decision adds a new level of risk to the Syrian enterprise, as the presence of American forces, even if they are in Kurdish territory, could bring the special operations troops into closer contact with the Islamic State.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Nothing changes. Debt continues to grow and grow.
Senate passes debt and spending hike in dead of night – Washington Times
By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times – Friday, October 30, 2015
Senate Republicans managed to wrangle enough of their troops to overcome a filibuster early Friday morning and pass the new budget deal, granting President Obama yet another debt holiday, busting the budget caps and boosting spending some $80 billion over the next two years.
Democrats, who are far more thrilled with the deal, did the heavy lifting, providing most of the votes as they won some $40 billion in new domestic spending in 2016 and 2017. They also forced the GOP to retreat on the hard-fought 2011 budget agreement that had helped bring deficits back under control.
Conservative Republicans were irate at their leaders and at defense hawks within the GOP who forced the deal by saying it was worth busting the caps in order to get the Pentagon more money at a time when the U.S. is fighting the war on terror.
“This deal represents the worst of Washington culture,” said Rep. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate who’d vowed to lead the filibuster, but who saw his efforts fall short to what he called an “unholy compromise between right and left.”
The bill cleared on a 64-35 vote, with just 18 Republicans joining all Democrats in backing the bill.
US Neocons Ready to Risk Lives of American Soldiers in Syria – Ron Paul
21:14 28.10.2015(updated 21:16 28.10.2015)
Americans must speak out now before it’s too late, Ron Paul warns, pointing to the fact that US neocons obsessed about their regime change idea have no scruples about risking the lives of US soldiers and even a major war in the region.
Although Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted the complete failure of the US “train and equip” program for rebels in Syria, he is not going to give up, former US congressman Ron Paul remarks.
“Instead of taking the appropriate lessons from that failure and getting out of the ‘regime change’ business, he announced the opposite. The US would not only escalate its ‘train and equip’ program by removing the requirement that fighters be vetted for extremist ideology, but according to the Secretary the US military would for the first time become directly and overtly involved in combat in Syria and Iraq,” Dr. Paul emphasized in his article for the Institute of Peace and Prosperity.
To complicate matters further, Secretary Carter proclaimed that the US would begin to fight Islamic State directly “whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.”
“Direct action on the ground” means US boots on the ground, the former congressman stressed.
President Obama ruled out such a possibility when he launched an anti-ISIL military campaign in Iraq and Syria last year, but it is likely the White House will break the promise now.
US Threatens UK With Trade Barriers If It Leaves The European Union
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/29/2015 17:03 -0400
One of the most important decisions Brits have to make before the end of 2017 (most likely some time next year) is whether or not to remain in the European Union, and while recent polls have those willing to stay in as the majority, there has been a spike in support for leaving the bloc…
… which coupled with Europe’s refugee crisis has made a Brexit an all too possible outcome.
Which probably explains why the U.S., confident it sill has veto power over democracies anywhere in the world, has just made it quite clear to UK’s citizens which way they should vote.
According to the Guardian, the US trade representative, Michael Froman, in the first public comments from a senior US official on the matter, said that “the United States is not keen on pursuing a separate free trade deal with Britain if it leaves the European Union.”
Just like in the case of Scotland’s vote last year, trade is being used a key bargaining chip, or rather ultimatum: vote the way we want, or else. Guardian adds that Froman’s comments on Wednesday undermine a key economic argument deployed by proponents of exit, who say Britain would prosper on its own and be able to secure bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with trading partners.
The US is Britain’s biggest export market after the EU, buying more than $54bn (£35bn) in goods from the UK in 2014.
“I think it’s absolutely clear that Britain has a greater voice at the trade table being part of the EU, being part of a larger economic entity,” Froman told Reuters, adding that EU membership gives Britain more leverage in negotiations.
“We’re not particularly in the market for FTAs with individual countries. We’re building platforms … that other countries can join over time.”
Futures Market Fraud
By Craig Hemke
Friday, October 30, 2015 at 11:56 am
As we begin another Spec rinse cycle on The Comex, we thought it best to remind everyone once again of the fraudulent nature of the short selling that takes place there.
The central component of any futures market is the physical asset that backs the exchange. Though we can’t be certain of exactly how much gold is in the Comex vaults (recall the disclaimer added in June of 2013: http://truthingold.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-comex-confirms-that-its-gold-and.html), we can be certain that it is nowhere near the amount needed to settle the thousands of paper claims written against it.
And it is the unlimited ability of the “market-making” Bullion Banks to create these paper claims that lies at the heart of the matter.
Your latest example of Bullion Bank price manipulation and suppression through the use of this unlimited leverage has occurred this month. First, let’s look at the CME Gold Stocks data as supplied by the CME Group. Note that the two reports below are dated October 1 and October 28:
The most important item to note: On October 1, the total amount of gold shown to be in the Comex vaults was 6,850,580 troy ounces. As of October 28, this amount had fallen to 6,700,799 troy ounces for a total decline of 149,781 ounces.
In a fair market, this decline in the total amount of the asset backing the paper contracts would force an equivalent decline in the number of contracts available on the exchange. Let’s assume two things for the sake of creating a more fair futures market:
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
This is only the beginning of a major shockwave to hit retirees.
Why 8,737 UPS retirees are bracing for pension cuts
By Katie Lobosco @KatieLobosco
UPS earned more than $3 billion last year. But 8,737 of its former workers could see their pension checks cut next summer.
The problem is that some UPS retirees receive their pensions from the cash-strapped Central States Pension Fund, which covers hundreds of thousands of workers from different companies. That fund says it needs to make cuts in order to keep from running out of money.
Jim Dopp, 63, is one of the former UPS truck drivers. He retired in May of 2007 after more than 30 years on the job with a monthly pension check of $2,903. But last month, he received a letter saying his check could be slashed in half — to $1,452 — as soon as July, if the Treasury Department approves the plan.
The real kicker is that UPS would’ve covered the cuts made to his pension if Dopp had retired just eight months later.
Here’s why UPS won’t pay
The Central States Pension Fund used to administer pension benefits to a group of unionized UPS drivers, but the company left the fund in 2008 as a way to save money and provide retirees with better benefits. It set up its own pension fund, but only took current workers with it. Any UPS drivers who had already retired would still be covered solely by the Central States fund.
“We do not have a contractual obligation to cover supplemental benefits for those UPS employees that had retired and were in the Central States fund prior to 2008,” a UPS spokesman told CNN Money.
This Is What The “Invasion Of Europe” Looks Like
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/29/2015 21:20 -0400
On Monday, we brought you a series of still shots along with a video which depicted the scope of Europe’s migrant crisis via drone footage.
The point in highlighting the imagery was to demonstrate just how futile the EU’s effort to establish a series of refugee “holding camps” along the Balkan route to Germany is likely to be.
As a reminder, Jean-Claude Juncker and Angela Merkel are attempting to convince recalcitrant states to support efforts to place hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, but a mandatory quota system only served to enrage the likes of Hungary which quickly moved to close off its borders with Serbia and Croatia and that, in turn, set off a Balkan border battle.
Now, Brussels is looking to provide shelter for the migrants as they make their way to Germany but as we noted earlier this week, these way stations will swiftly become overcrowded, unsafe refugee internment camps and they’ll likely be easy targets for vociferous anti-migrant protests or worse.
If you needed further evidence of the extent to which any attempt to shelter the flood of asylum seekers with makeshift camps is likely to prove not only futile, but dangerous, consider the following video which vividly demonstrates just how acute the crisis has become:
Minor incident ‘could spark war’ in South China Sea
Warning to Americans from Admiral Wu Shengli, Chinese naval commander as tensions rise
By Neil Connor, Beijing
1:08PM GMT 30 Oct 2015
China’s top naval officer warned his US counterpart that Washington’s “provocative acts” in the South China Sea could spark war, as the powerful maritime rivals held talks two days after a US destroyer sailed near man-made islands built by Beijing in the disputed waters.
Admiral Wu Shengli, China’s naval commander, spoke to US chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson during a video teleconference on Thursday, arranged after tensions escalated following the US vessel sailing past the contested Spratly Islands.
“If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a severe and urgent situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war,” Adm Wu said, according to a report from state news agency Xinhua which indirectly quoted him.
“I hope the US cherish the good situation between the Chinese navy and US navy which has not come easily, and avoids similar cases happening again.”
China’s defence ministry said ahead of the teleconference that it would consider all available options in protecting its “national sovereignty and security”.
“We will take all measures necessary based on our needs to cope with any security threats,” said Yang Yujun, the ministry’s spokesman.
Powdering The GDP Pig – There Was No Escape Velocity Inside
Contra Corner Digest – October 30, 2015
The talking heads were busy yesterday morning powdering the GDP pig. By averaging up the “disappointing” 1.5% gain for Q3 with the previous quarter they were able to pronounce that the economy is moving forward at an “encouraging” 2% clip.
And once we get through this quarter’s big negative inventory adjustment, they insisted, we will be off to the ‘escape velocity’ races. Again.
No we won’t!
The global economy is in an epochal deflationary swoon and the US economy has already hit stall speed. It is only a matter of months before this long-in-the-tooth 75-month old business expansion will rollover into outright liquidation of excess inventories and hoarded labor.
That is otherwise known as a recession. Its arrival will be a thundering repudiation of the lunatic monetary policies of the last seven years; and it will send into panicked shock all those buy-the-dip speculators and robo-traders who still presume the central bank is omnipotent.
So forget all the averaging and seasonally maladjusted noise in yesterday’s report and peak inside at the warning signs. To begin, the year/year gain of just 2.0% was the weakest result since the first quarter of 2014. And that’s only if you believe that inflation during the last 12 months was just 0.9%, as per the GDP deflator used by the Commerce Department statistical mills.