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New Eastern Outlook
Russia’s Missile Wall in Iran
Vast wars of attrition and mechanized invasions are not a possibility today. Instead, a concerted campaign of proxy wars, covert political subversion, sanctions, and other non-military instruments of power are being employed in what is for all intents and purposes a global conflict. Increasingly defining the fronts of this conflict, in addition to political and economic alliances, is the presence of “missile walls,” or national missile defense programs being erected by both East and West.    at 07:21

18 de Abril Posts Above, Earlier Posts Below    at 00:00

Pat Buchanan
Consider the consequences of successful Republican sabotage of the Iranian Deal
The U.S. coalition of France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China would be shattered. But the U.N. Security Council, China, Russia and the Europeans would still go ahead and lift sanctions on Iran.    at 10:37

The American Conservative
How the GOP Became the Israel Party
The top realist foreign policy voices of the 1980s and ‘90s GOP, Baker, and Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft have no influence anymore. Jeb Bush threw James Baker under the bus at the first squawk from Sheldon Adelson; support for the Israeli right has become a Republican litmus test.    at 08:47

The Agonist
John Stewart Should Retire More Often
The chains of restraint have been loosed just a bit since his announcement that he’ll be leaving the show soon, and the quality of the show has increased. Last night’s take-down of Dick Cheney was both entertaining and vitrioli.    at 08:31

RT Business
Turkish Stream will make Greece Europe’s energy hub- Putin
Russia is considering giving Greece funds based on future profits that Athens would earn from shipping gas to Europe, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a Greek government official. The source added that Greece would pay back the prepayment after the pipeline started operating. Lower prices for Russian gas would also be linked to the project, the source said.    at 08:05

EU sanctions against Russia will expire in June unless all 28 states agree to roll them over
and Mr Tsipras has already signalled his intent. "We need to leave behind this vicious cycle," he said. "Greece is a sovereign country with an unquestionable right to implement a multi-dimensional foreign policy and exploit its geopolitical role," he added, for good measure.  Needless to say, a failure to renew sanctions at a time when the Donbass is still under the control of Mr Putin's proxy forces would drive a wedge between the US and Europe, further draining the life-blood from the Atlantic alliance and what remains of the Western security structure.    at 08:02

Zero Hedge
The Real Issue With a Grexit / Greek Default Is The Collateral Backing Derivatives
What happens to the trades that EU banks have made using Greek sovereign bonds as collateral? Any haircut of Greek debt that occurs across the board will: 1)   implode a small, but significant amount of EU bank derivatives trades; and 2)   be immediately followed by Spain, Italy and ultimately France asking for similar deals.    at 07:32

Nomi Prins
Who rules America?
This unprecedented history of American power illuminates how the same financiers retained their authoritative position through history, swaying presidents regardless of party affiliation. All the Presidents’ Bankers explores the alarming global repercussions of a system lacking barriers between public office and private power. Prins leaves us with an ominous choice: either we break the alliances, or they will break us.    at 09:01

Zero Hedge
Everyone is harmed by zero interest policy. 
Who suffers the most is open to debate, but one obvious candidate is the retiree who lives on a fixed income. These are people who worked and saved their whole lives, and now they depend on interest to buy groceries and heat their homes. Seniors are forced to spend their capital, fearing to outlive their money. This is the central banking endgame. Have you ever seen one of those humorous signs that says “The beatings will continue until morale improves?”    at 08:29

Strip-Mining the Upper Middle Class
Today I'd like to examine the neofeudal strip-mining of the class that pays most of the taxes. These taxes support the bottom 50% who pay the 7.65% payroll taxes and receive substantial income tax credits, and enables the super-wealthy to pay lower tax rates on their vast unearned income.    at 07:24

Common Dreams
How did we lose our democracy? 
Were the Founding Fathers remiss in leaving something out of the Constitution? Or have we simply gotten too big to be governed by majority vote? The stages of the capture of democracy by big money are traced in a paper called “The Collapse of Democratic Nation States” by theologian and environmentalist Dr. John Cobb. Going back several centuries, he points to the rise of private banking, which usurped the power to create money from governments.    at 08:52

Peak Prosperity
John Michael Greer: The God Of Technological Progress May Well Be Dead
Chris and John Michael Greer address the global faith in inexorable technological advancement as a cure-all to every predicament we face. In many ways, it's become the dominant religion of the 21st century. Click the play button below to listen.    at 08:30

New Economic Perspectives
The Clintons’ Unlearned Lessons of the Keating Five Meeting
Clinton’s Goal: Destroy the “Culture of Regulation”    at 22:00

Wall Street On Parade
The Moral Hazard of Hillary Clinton & Company
There is a serious and growing chorus calling for an expulsion of the Wall Street Democrats from the party and a formal break with its anointed brand – the “Clinton” name. Every time Bill Clinton’s former Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, opens his mouth, this message gains more substance. Rubin, despite his hubristic past, is seen as a close adviser to Hillary Clinton. Rubin helped push through the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 while U.S. Treasury Secretary. By October of that year, he had taken a job at Citigroup, the Wall Street bank that pushed for the repeal and its primary beneficiary. Rubin accepted a position on the Board of Directors at Citigroup – a position that would pay him $126 million over the next ten years.    at 11:43

Clinton Begins The 2016 Campaign, And It’s A Toss-up
Clinton is so well-known, in fact, that it’s almost as if voters are dispensing with all the formalities and evaluating her as they might when she’s on the ballot next November. About half of them would like to see her become president and about half of them wouldn’t. Get ready for an extremely competitive election.    at 10:47

David Stockman
Hillary Clinton: Class President Of A Failed Generation
Hillary rose to fame delivering an idealistic commencement address at the beginning of her career. But like the generation she represents, she has betrayed those grand ideals over a lifetime of compromise, expediency, self-promotion and complacent acquisition of power, wealth and fame. She doesn’t deserve another stint at the podium—-let alone the bully pulpit.    at 08:26

Hillary Clinton:  From Nixon Girl to Watergate
First two in a three-part series. Hillary Clinton has always been an old-style Midwestern Republican in the Illinois style; one severely infected with Methodism, unlike the more populist variants from Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.    at 07:05

The Washington Post
California’s water woes primed to get worse as groundwater is drained
For years, the orchard used surface water drawn from the San Luis Reservoir to water its trees. Last summer, water officials closed the tap as farmers across the state saw their water allotments slashed. Owner Andy Mariani was left scrambling. He finally struck a deal with a neighboring farmer who pumped from a groundwater well. Since then, Mariani has been buying water from his neighbor.    at 09:22

Greg Mankiw's Blog
California should raise the price of water
This would do more than any set of regulations ever could.  For example, the governor is not going to force people to replace their old toilets with newer, more water-efficient ones.  But a higher price of water would encourage people to do that.  A higher price would also give farmers the right incentive to grow the most water-efficient crops. It would induce entrepreneurs to come up with new water-saving technologies. And so on.    at 09:17

Zero Hedge
Californians Outraged As Oil Producers & Frackers Excluded From Emergency Water Restrictions
Fracking and toxic injection wells may not be the largest uses of water in California, but they are undoubtedly some of the stupidest.    at 08:07

Half of urban California’s water is used to water the grass
About 80% of human water use is in agriculture.Brown’s announcement said campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes will have to make significant cuts in water use. But it did not mention residential lawns. PPIC says outdoor residential use accounts for one-third of urban water use, twice that of commercial and institutional landscapes, including golf courses and cemeteries.    at 07:51

Tex-Mex Consortium Corrals World's Largest Liquid Freshwater Resource
Bush Family Development (BFD) and Mexican billionaire Carlos Gordo have succeeded in gaining control of the freshwater resources of South America's Guaraní aquifer, which underlies parts of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay (see blue area on map). The aquifer system represents the greatest stock of liquid freshwater in the world.    at 00:30

David Stockman's Contra Corner
The Iranian framework agreement is an astonishingly good deal
and has the potential to become a historic game-changer.  Importantly, it finally exposes the War Party's big lie.    at 19:02

Would New Borders Mean Less Conflict in the Middle East? 
Under Ottoman rule, neither Syria nor Iraq existed as separate entities. Three Ottoman provinces—Baghdad, Basra and Mosul—roughly corresponded to today’s Iraq. Four others—Damascus, Beirut, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor—included today’s Syria, Lebanon and much of Jordan and Palestine, as well as a large strip of southern Turkey. All were populated by a hodgepodge of communities—Sunni and Shiite Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans and Christians in Iraq, and in Syria, all these groups as well as Alawites and Druse.    at 11:03

Coming to Terms With the American Empire
We are now seeing the United States rebalance its strategy by learning to balance. A global power cannot afford to be directly involved in the number of conflicts that it will encounter around the world. It would be exhausted rapidly. Using various tools, it must create regional and global balances without usurping internal sovereignty. The trick is to create situations where other countries want to do what is in the U.S. interest.    at 09:29

Understanding America’s Many Wars
The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia
Long before Pearl Harbor, U.S. policymakers were willing to go to war if Japan ever conquered British and French Southeast Asia and Dutch Indonesia since that would mean the loss of rubber, tin and tungsten that helped fuel American industry.    at 09:11

Asia Times
China’s ambitious Mt. Everest tunnel is unsettling India
India’s Economic Times reported Thursday that China plans to build a 540-kilometre strategic high-speed rail link between Tibet and Nepal passing through a tunnel under Mt. Everest. The Times says the move “could raise alarm in India about the Communist giant’s growing influence in its neighborhood.”    at 07:35

The Archdruid Report
The US military faces at least three existential threats in the decades immediately ahead. 
The first is that rising powers will devise ways to monkey-wrench the baroque complexity of the US military machine, leaving that machine as crippled and vulnerable as Hittite chariots were before the javelins of the Sea Peoples. The second is that an ongoing revolution in military affairs will leave the entire massive arsenal of the US military as beside the point as all those British battleships were once the Second World War rolled around. The third is that the decline in fossil fuel supplies will make it impossible for the United States to maintain a way of war that, reduced to its simplest terms, consists of burning more petroleum than the other guy. We’ll talk about the first of these possibilities next week.    at 14:51