March 27th, 2014
We've been watching for impending US economic upheaval, after the great 2008 collapse and the Obama Regime's collectivist band-aids, very closely.
The simple fact is that printing virtual money on the one hand, while encouraging US citizen malaise and debt on the other, was never an effective mid-term solution.
As demi-Socialism takes firm hold in the land of opportunity, we can see that the vehicle which could pull the US out of it's semi-depression, has become increasingly marred within the deep sludge of regulatory hell, under a storm of crony capitalism.
Obama has, with the Democrats help, effectively nationalized and partially collapsed fully 1/5th of the US economy, and a sector, by the way, which just so happens to keep America literally healthy.
The following story from USA Today seems to bear up long-term American concepts, which states that Obama and the Democrats' policies would eventually transform America into a nation unrecognizable, as compared to even recent years past....we're almost there, but it's not too late.
NEW YORK — After the stock market's best year since 1997, warning flags are starting to go up on Wall Street where stock turbulence is on the rise and froth is being rubbed out.
This year's first quarter, which ends Monday, isn't nearly as bullish as last year, when the benchmark Standard and Poor's 500 stock index soared 10% in the first three months of the year on its way to an eye-popping 29.6% gain.
The broad market is unchanged in 2014 after recovering from an early-year swoon sparked by turbulence in emerging markets and uneasiness surrounding the Federal Reserve's decision to start pulling back on its bond-buying stimulus program. Russia's decision to annex Crimea has added to investor angst as geopolitical risk enters the equation.
But the market itself is acting poorly, amid growing signs that investors have lost their stomach for investing in many of the market's most popular and best-performing stocks and sectors.
"Some of the froth is coming off," says Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at BlackRock. "There's a little bit more risk aversion, and when risk aversion rises it breaks the momentum trade."
A bunch of warning signs are popping up:
1. Not-so sweet IPO.
The high profile initial public offering of King Digital, the marker of the game app Candy Crush, got crushed, plunging nearly 16% in its first day of trading, vs. an average first-day IPO pop of 22%, according to Renaissance Capital. The dive sent shivers through the frothy IPO market, which has been flying high and earning comparisons to the IPO peak in 2000. Still, three new IPOs finished higher Thursday, with gains ranging from 14.4% to 23%.
2. Hot momentum stocks cool off.
Wall Street "story stocks," such as mega-popular plays favored by Main Street investors, such as social media darling Facebook and electric-car maker Tesla, are getting slammed after skyrocketing earlier in the year. Facebook is 16% below its recent intraday high and Tesla is down more than 20%, which puts it in bear-market territory. Red-hot biotech shares, which were behaving in a speculative fashion, have also gotten slammed.
3. Leader turns laggard.
The once-hot Russell 2000, an index of small company stocks, that soared 37% last year and led the performance derby earlier this year, is not acting like a market leader anymore. Thursday, it closed 4.7% from its March 4 all-time high, and is now performing worse than the large company stocks in the S and P 500.
Indeed, skittishness is making a comeback.
Mutual fund investors are getting nervous. Last week, they yanked nearly $4 billion out of U.S. stock funds, marking the first outflows since mid-February.
The question now is does the selling get worse? Or will investors in search of bargains swoop in and buy the dip, as they have since the bull market began in March 2009?
For now, Koesterich says the market action is nothing "sinister." The recent turbulence, he says, is more reflective of a change in leadership, as investors rotate out of big winners and into stocks that sport better values.
"So far it looks more like a rotation than a crack in the market," says Koesterich.
For the broad market to move higher, investors would like to see the economy bounce back from weakness caused by stormy weather, corporate earnings have to perk up and CEOs have to tell Wall Street that things are looking better, adds Koesterich.
March 27th, 2014
The Weekly Standard
By Daniel Halper
"For veterans of the Iraq War, watching the black flag of Al Qaeda fly over Fallujah—as the adjacent video outlines—is the ultimate symbol of weak and feckless national security policy. Dismissing this American battlefield is an insult to the sacrifice and honor of our warriors and their families. Unfortunately, it's just another recent example of your administration's dangerous approach to national security; let us briefly recount other ways.
"Afghanistan War veterans bemoan a failed 'surge then withdraw' strategy—costing lives and losing ground. In Syria, we set rhetorical red-lines that a Iranian-backed dictator ignored—and then did nothing.
Speaking of Iran, their nuclear ambitions continue unabated—with Israel left standing alone. In Libya we 'led from behind'—with spiraling violence and a dead US ambassador in Benghazi to show for it.
China’s increases their defense budget substantially—while we gut ours precipitously. And most recently, an empowered Russia had their way with a sovereign nation—while we did nothing. Other fault lines—in Pakistan, North Korea, Turkey and Egypt—haven't escaped our gaze either.
March 26th, 2014
By Bruno Waterfield, and Peter Dominiczak in The Hague and Nick Squires in Rome
David Cameron joined Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Xi Jinping and other world leaders to play a "nukes on the loose" war game to see how they would cope with a terrorist nuclear attack.
The German chancellor grumbled at being asked to play games and take tests with the Prime Minister, US and Chinese presidents around a table with dozens of heads of state at a nuclear summit in The Hague.
Her complaints were overruled because Mr Obama was keen on the idea and in on the surprise.
In the war game, played out by actors in a series of short films, a terrorist attack with an atomic "dirty bomb" takes place in the financial heart of an unnamed but Western metropolis. "It could be the City of London, or Wall Street, Milan or anywhere", summit leaders were told.
As the scenario unfolded, it emerged that the terrorists are from an unidentified global terror network and they have stolen nuclear material from an unidentified country that had poorly secured its radiological and nuclear stockpiles.
The bomb is being built in a clandestine laboratory with stolen uranium. It is an improvised explosive device but deadly and the clock is ticking, the leaders were told. Hundreds of thousands of people could be about to die.
"They had to give an answer on their own, in real time. It was like a test. It put them on the spot. Should they inform the public or keep them in the dark," said a diplomatic source.
"Should they work with other countries or stand alone to try to thwart or minimise the attack? How should they make the cold calculation of how to get a more sustainable human cost in terms of deaths?"
Each world leader had a computer tablet with a touch screen options to make one of four responses to a series of four scenario films played by actors and mimicking the famous 1983 Cold War Hollywood thriller "War Games", where a computer hacker triggers a nuclear missile scare.
In a competitive environment, with a ticking clock, the leaders had to make rapid choices before the results were presented to the group, anonymously stripped of their identities and followed by discussion.
Perhaps predictably at a world summit on nuclear security, the war game found that shared, collective international decisions were able to stop the terrorist network before they could actually build the dirty bomb.
US officials said that the unconventional approach had been designed to give a "scare you to death" shock to make leaders seriously think about the security of nuclear materials.
But not everyone was happy about playing the war game with the grumbling led by Mrs Merkel who was unimpressed with role-playing at such a high-powered gathering. Mr Obama, who helped plan the game, overrode the moaning. He had Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, his lead national security adviser on the issue, helpfully by his side.
"Leaders had their doubts about participation on their own without their expert civil servants. It was about discussion and problem solving without leaders relying on written statements to read out. At the end the leaders were more enthusiastic," said a spokesman for the summit.
March 26th, 2014
The Blaze / Liz Klimas
A Colorado 9-year-old was not allowed in class Monday because she violated the school’s dress code. Her offense? Shaving her head as an act of compassion to support a friend battling cancer.
Kamryn Renfro, who attends Caprock Academy, a public charter school in Grand Junction, told KUSA-TV she “felt it was the right thing to do.”
“I was really excited I would have somebody to support me, and I wouldn’t be alone with people always laughing at me. I would at least have somebody to go through it all,” 11-year-old Delaney Clements, Kamryn’s friend who recently started chemotherapy, told KDVR-TV.
The school said in a statement that its dress code policy was “created to promote safety, uniformity and a non-distracting environment for the school’s students.”
“Under this policy, shaved heads are not permitted,” Catherine Norton Breman, president and chair of Caprock Academy board of directors, said, according to KUSA.
Jamie Olson Renfro, Kamryn’s mother, wrote on Facebook Sunday that her daughter was asked by the school not to return until her hair grew back. The mother said she realized that, as a parent, she signed unto the school’s rules every year, but “I never thought my 9-year-old daughter would do something so courageous, brave and selfless.”
In response to criticism of the school’s initial, unwavering response, the school’s board of directorscalled a closed meeting to discuss the issue Tuesday evening, KKOC-TV reported.
Kamryn was allowed to return to school Tuesday while the board discusses the issue.
“Words can not express how humbled my family is from all the support that our friends, family and even people we have never met before, have shown us through this ordeal that we started [Sunday] evening,” Renfro wrote on Facebook.
(H/T: Fox News)
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March 25th, 2014
Just styick a fork in us....
BY TOM WINTER
The Russian government warned U.S. authorities that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a violent radical Islamist more than a year and a half before the April 2013 bombing, but authorities missed multiple chances to detain Tsarnaev when he was traveling to and from Dagestan for terror training, according to a soon-to-be released Congressional report.
In one instance, according to the report prepared by investigators for the House Homeland Security Committee and copies of documents reviewed by NBC News, Tsarnaev was supposed to be pulled aside for questioning at JFK airport because he was considered potentially armed and dangerous, but he slipped through undetected because someone had misspelled his last name in a security database.
“This sounds like a huge hole and an opportunity missed,” said Ed Davis, who was Boston’s chief of police at the time of the Marathon bombing.
NBC News has reviewed a copy of the report and copies of documents referenced in the report and constructed a timeline that shows how Russia warned the U.S. and what the U.S. did, and didn’t do, in response.