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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krugman: Hawks crying Wolf
on: Today at 11:58:33 AM
Hawks Crying Wolf
By PAUL KRUGMAN
AUG. 21, 2014
According to a recent report in The Times, there is dissent at the Fed: “An increasingly vocal minority of Federal Reserve officials want the central bank to retreat more quickly” from its easy-money policies, which they warn run the risk of causing inflation. And this debate, we are told, is likely to dominate the big economic symposium currently underway in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
That may well be the case. But there’s something you should know: That “vocal minority” has been warning about soaring inflation more or less nonstop for six years. And the persistence of that obsession seems, to me, to be a more interesting and important story than the fact that the usual suspects are saying the usual things.
Before I try to explain the inflation obsession, let’s talk about how striking that obsession really is.
The Times article singles out for special mention Charles Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed, who is, indeed, warning about inflation risks. But you should know that he warned about the danger of rising inflation in 2008. He warned about it in 2009. He did the same in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was wrong each time, but, undaunted, he’s now doing it again.
And this record isn’t unusual. With very few exceptions, officials and economists who issued dire warnings about inflation years ago are still issuing more or less identical warnings today. Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Minneapolis Fed, is the only prominent counterexample I can think of.
Now, everyone who has been in the economics business any length of time, myself very much included, has made some incorrect predictions. If you haven’t, you’re playing it too safe. The inflation hawks, however, show no sign of learning from their mistakes. Where is the soul-searching, the attempt to understand how they could have been so wrong?
The point is that when you see people clinging to a view of the world in the teeth of the evidence, failing to reconsider their beliefs despite repeated prediction failures, you have to suspect that there are ulterior motives involved. So the interesting question is: What is it about crying “Inflation!” that makes it so appealing that people keep doing it despite having been wrong again and again?
Well, when economic myths persist, the explanation usually lies in politics — and, in particular, in class interests. There is not a shred of evidence that cutting tax rates on the wealthy boosts the economy, but there’s no mystery about why leading Republicans like Representative Paul Ryan keep claiming that lower taxes on the rich are the secret to growth. Claims that we face an imminent fiscal crisis, that America will turn into Greece any day now, similarly serve a useful purpose for those seeking to dismantle social programs.
At first sight, claims that easy money will cause disaster even in a depressed economy seem different, because the class interests are far less clear. Yes, low interest rates mean low long-term returns for bondholders (who are generally wealthy), but they also mean short-term capital gains for those same bondholders.
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But while easy money may in principle have mixed effects on the fortunes (literally) of the wealthy, in practice demands for tighter money despite high unemployment always come from the right. Eight decades ago, Friedrich Hayek warned against any attempt to mitigate the Great Depression via “the creation of artificial demand”; three years ago, Mr. Ryan all but accused Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman at the time, of seeking to “debase” the dollar. Inflation obsession is as closely associated with conservative politics as demands for lower taxes on capital gains.
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Sooner or later we will have some inflation and the wingers can say they were right.
25 minutes ago
Mr. Krugman, once again, points out the prognosticators who keep making the same "WRONG" prediction. The most amazing thing about them is...
25 minutes ago
Great column. I've been having this same argument with my investment advisor for 6 years and so far he's been left to manufacturing "facts"...
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It’s less clear why. But faith in the inability of government to do anything positive is a central tenet of the conservative creed. Carving out an exception for monetary policy — “Government is always the problem, not the solution, unless we’re talking about the Fed cutting interest rates to fight unemployment” — may just be too subtle a distinction to draw in an era when Republican politicians draw their economic ideas from Ayn Rand novels.
Which brings me back to the Fed, and the question of when to end easy-money policies.
Even monetary doves like Janet Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, generally acknowledge that there will come a time to take the pedal off the metal. And maybe that time isn’t far off — official unemployment has fallen sharply, although wages are still going nowhere and inflation is still subdued.
But the last people you want to ask about appropriate policy are people who have been warning about inflation year after year. Not only have they been consistently wrong, they’ve staked out a position that, whether they know it or not, is essentially political rather than based on analysis. They should be listened to politely — good manners are always a virtue — then ignored.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Fisher Ames: Freedom of the Press, 1807
on: August 21, 2014, 01:01:25 PM
"We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. ... It is a precious pest, and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it." --Fisher Ames, Review of the Pamphlet on the State of the British Constitution, 1807
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors
on: August 21, 2014, 12:48:31 PM
A senior Hamas official admitted for the first time on Wednesday that the organization's armed wing, the Kassam Brigades, was behind the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Nafatli Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in the Judea in June. The Hamas official, Salah al-Aruri made the comments during a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey. He praised the "heroic action of the Kassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron."
Israel has contended that Hamas was behind the kidnapping of the boys, a claim that Hamas had previously denied. In the aftermath of the kidnapping , the IDF launched a wide-scale operation in Judea and Samaria , arresting hundreds of Hamas operatives. The two suspects in the kidnapping, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha are Hebron-area Hamas operatives who remain at large. The alleged mastermind of the kidnapping, Hussam Kawasame was arrested on July 11. On Monday, Border Patrol officers demolished the homes of Hussam Kawasme and Abu Aysha and sealed off the home of Marwan Kawasme.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination.
on: August 20, 2014, 11:24:11 PM
6'4" and 292lbs? That is a big man, especially if you have just had your face broken by him.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jonathan Gentry: Until we change!
on: August 20, 2014, 06:15:21 PM
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt
on: August 20, 2014, 05:55:05 PM
Click here to watch: New Group in Cairo Threatens to Carry Out Terror Attacks
A video has surfaced of a new terrorist group in Cairo that has threatened to carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt. The group, which calls itself the "Helwan Brigades", released a video in which its members are seen holding weapons and saying, "Our message to [the Interior Ministry] is that you are our targets." “We are fed up with the peacefulness of the Muslim Brotherhood. We are no Muslim Brotherhood. We are fed up with their peaceful demonstrations. When we go on demonstrations, blood is shed, women are raped, and property is stolen,” said one member of the group. “This is a warning to the Interior Ministry in south Cairo. This is what we have throughout south Cairo. Our message to you is that you are our targets because of what you have done to us. You did not spare us. You did not care that we are your brothers. You have shed blood, raped women, and even got the women of Muslims pregnant,” he threatened. “None of you opposed this or was held accountable, because you support a coup. Your army is the Camp David army, which for 60 years [fought] the Muslims, but did not shoot a single bullet at the Jews,” he charged.
Egypt has been plagued by unrest and terrorist attacks for several years, and there has been an increase in attacks since the ouster last year of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi. Most of the terrorist attacks have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Among the attacks claimed by the group was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. The group has also claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks that targeted the Israeli resort city of Eilat. Egypt’s government has said there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Failed rescue attempt
on: August 20, 2014, 05:47:17 PM
U.S. Hostage Rescue Failed, White House Says
A United States Special Operations team tried and failed to rescue James Foley and other Americans held hostage in Syria during a secret mission this summer authorized by President Obama, senior administration officials said Wednesday.
A day after Sunni militants posted a video showing Mr. Foley being beheaded, officials described what they called a “complicated operation” in which several dozen commandos were dropped into a remote area of Syria where American intelligence agencies believed several hostages were being held.
But when the Special Operations team arrived on the scene, the hostages were not there. Officials said the commandos exchanged fire with militants, and one American was slightly wounded when one of the United States aircraft came under fire.
All of the team members were evacuated successfully. “It was not ultimately successful because the hostages were not present at the location of the operation,” a senior administration official said, speaking on background about the mission. “We obviously wish this had been successful.”
Officials declined to say exactly when the mission took place, saying only that it happened earlier this summer. They also would not provide the location of the mission, but noted that if it had taken place in or near a heavily populated area, it would likely to have been noticed before now.
READ MORE »http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/world/middleeast/us-commandos-tried-to-rescue-foley-and-other-hostages.html?emc=edit_na_20140820
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history
on: August 20, 2014, 01:13:59 PM
With no opposition, she has need for neither.
My dad, who was a conservative Democrat businessman (such things did used to exist) was quite unhappy with McGovern in 1972 and wound up being Co-Chairman of Democrats for Nixon for the state of Pennsylvania. (He was on the City Committee for the Dem Party for Philadelphia and active in local politics). In that context he got to meet with President Nixon (I have a photo of the two shaking hands at some function) and John Connally (former Gov of and Senator for TX, Sec of Treasury under Nixon and perhaps his campaign manager). My dad said he was shocked at how little they cared about the other Rep candidates for other positions.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Madison, no man to judge his own cause
on: August 20, 2014, 10:04:07 AM
"No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity." --James Madison, Federalist No. 10, 1787
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eh tu Maureen?
on: August 20, 2014, 09:59:40 AM
Alone Again, Naturally
AUG. 19, 2014
WASHINGTON — Affectations can be dangerous, as Gertrude Stein said.
When Barack Obama first ran for president, he theatrically cast himself as the man alone on the stage. From his address in Berlin to his acceptance speech in Chicago, he eschewed ornaments and other politicians, conveying the sense that he was above the grubby political scene, unearthly and apart.
He began “Dreams From My Father” with a description of his time living on the Upper East Side while he was a student at Columbia, savoring his lone-wolf existence. He was, he wrote, “prone to see other people as unnecessary distractions.” When neighbors began to “cross the border into familiarity, I would soon find reason to excuse myself. I had grown too comfortable in my solitude, the safest place I knew.”
His only “kindred spirit” was a silent old man who lived alone in the apartment next door. Obama carried groceries for him but never asked his name. When the old man died, Obama briefly regretted not knowing his name, then swiftly regretted his regret.
But what started as an affectation has turned into an affliction.
A front-page article in The Times by Carl Hulse, Jeremy Peters and Michael Shear chronicled how the president’s disdain for politics has alienated many of his most stalwart Democratic supporters on Capitol Hill.
His bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude, the article said, “has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, an early Obama backer, noted that “for him, eating his spinach is schmoozing with elected officials.”
First the president couldn’t work with Republicans because they were too obdurate. Then he tried to chase down reporters with subpoenas. Now he finds members of his own party an unnecessary distraction.
His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.
The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.
The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.
Almost everything else — from an all-out push on gun control after the Newtown massacre to going to see firsthand the Hispanic children thronging at the border to using his special status to defuse racial tensions in Ferguson — just seems like too much trouble.
The 2004 speech that vaulted Obama into the White House soon after he breezed into town turned out to be wrong. He misdescribed the country he wanted to lead. There is a liberal America and a conservative America. And the red-blue divide has only gotten worse in the last six years.
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The man whose singular qualification was as a uniter turns out to be singularly unequipped to operate in a polarized environment.
His boosters argue that we spurned his gift of healing, so healing is the one thing that must not be expected of him. We ingrates won’t let him be the redeemer he could have been.
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6 minutes ago
Am I missing something? Is there a lost paragraph? Not a word about Hillary.
6 minutes ago
And so, the alchemist, Valerie Jarrett, sees the gold she created return to lead.
9 minutes ago
Slow day/month/year, Maureen?
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As Ezra Klein wrote in Vox: “If Obama’s speeches aren’t as dramatic as they used to be, this is why: the White House believes a presidential speech on a politically charged topic is as likely to make things worse as to make things better.”
He concluded: “There probably won’t be another Race Speech because the White House doesn’t believe there can be another Race Speech. For Obama, the cost of becoming president was sacrificing the unique gift that made him president.”
So The One who got elected as the most exciting politician in American history is The One from whom we must never again expect excitement?
Do White House officials fear that Fox News could somehow get worse to them?
Sure, the president has enemies. Sure, there are racists out there. Sure, he’s going to get criticized for politicizing something. But as F.D.R. said of his moneyed foes, “I welcome their hatred.”
Why should the president neutralize himself? Why doesn’t he do something bold and thrilling? Get his hands dirty? Stop going to Beverly Hills to raise money and go to St. Louis to raise consciousness? Talk to someone besides Valerie Jarrett?
The Constitution was premised on a system full of factions and polarization. If you’re a fastidious pol who deigns to heal and deal only in a holistic, romantic, unified utopia, the Oval Office is the wrong job for you. The sad part is that this is an ugly, confusing and frightening time at home and abroad, and the country needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into some petulant expression of his aloofness, where he regards himself as a party of his own and a victim of petty, needy, bickering egomaniacs.
Once Obama thought his isolation was splendid. But it turned out to be unsplendid.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history
on: August 20, 2014, 09:37:37 AM
She does not need to be doing the rubber chicken circuit. The nomination is hers for the asking. The Dems have absolutely NO ONE to run if she does not. Biden?
Warren is not stupid but is not presidential in the slightest. The outcry for her to run should she hesitate is such a sure thing that it would not surprise me that should would do a bit of a Hamlet should-I-shouln't-I routine to elicit it.
To top it off, it is not like the Rep offerings are looking all that daunting politically.
You think she'd be scared of Cruz?
As for Rand Paul, I remind everyone of the recent and current discussion of her Atlantic interview on the Foreign Affairs thread. Anyone here bet on Rand Paul to win that exchange?
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors
on: August 20, 2014, 08:01:46 AM
Click here to watch: Rockets Launched From Gaza, PM orders IDF to hit Back at Hamas
The Israeli Air Force has struck terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire this afternoon, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's order to strike back hard against the perpetrators. Sources in Gaza reported at least one IAF strike on an open area, which did not cause any injuries. It is possible the target was the site from where the rockets were launched, although this has not been confirmed. According to Palestinian Arab media reports cited by Walla!, the Israeli airstrike response focused on the Gaza neighborhoods of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia. The Arab report claims a strike was also carried out adjacent to an UNRWA school in eastern Rafah, in the Al-Marazi "refugee camp" in central Gaza, Deir al-Balah and Al-Karara in southern Gaza. An IDF spokesman said: "The IDF was prepared for this possibility and is determined to protect the security of the residents of the State of Israel. Earlier Tuesday, At least three rockets were fired towards the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva, hours before the end of a 24-hour extension to a five-day truce declared last week.
In an even more explosive development, an unnamed security source told Walla! news site the rocket attack was ordered directly by Hamas's Qatar-based head Khaled Meshaal. The source claimed Meshaal had bypassed Hamas's official "military wing", the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, and ordered a specially-assigned unit of Hamas operatives answerable directly to him to launch the attack. The source claimed Meshaal was aiming to sabotage negotiations for a long-term truce in Cairo, which were not going his way. His plan may have worked: apart from the air strike in the last few minutes Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered Israel's delegation to the talks in Cairo to return to Israel, effectively putting an end to talks there. Weighing in on the rockets, Eshkol Regional Council head Chaim Yelin remarked: "who expected anything else? This is the language of Hamas. A language that for 14 years the state of Israel apparently hasn't understood."
Source: Arutz Sheva
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CPI July
on: August 19, 2014, 08:18:36 PM
The Consumer Price Index Increased 0.1% in July To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.1% in July, matching consensus expectations. The CPI is up 2.0% versus a year ago.
“Cash” inflation (which excludes the government’s estimate of what homeowners would charge themselves for rent) was unchanged in July and is up 1.8% in the past year.
Food prices increased 0.3% in July, while energy prices declined 0.3%. The “core” CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.1%, below the consensus expected 0.2%. The gain in core prices was led by owners’ equivalent rent. Core prices are up 1.9% versus a year ago.
Real average hourly earnings – the cash earnings of all employees, adjusted for inflation – were unchanged in July and unchanged in the past year. Real weekly earnings are up 0.3% in the past year.
Implications: Consumer prices continued to move higher in July, though only at the tepid 0.1% pace the consensus expected. Although consumer prices are up a moderate 2% from a year ago, the year-over-year number masks an acceleration. The CPI is up at a 2.5% annual rate in the past six months and up at a 2.8% rate in the past three months. (!!!) Since the start of 2014, consumer prices are up 2.4% at an annual rate versus the 1.2% pace in first seven months of 2013. Owners’ equivalent rent (what homeowners would pay if they were renting their homes from soemone else) led the way in July, up 0.3%, accounting for most of the increase in the overall index. Owners’ equivalent rent, which makes up about ¼ of the overall CPI, is up 2.7% over the past 12 months and will be a key source of the acceleration in inflation in the year ahead, in large part fueled by the shift toward renting rather than owning. And while energy prices declined 0.3% in July, muting the rise in the overall CPI, we expect this measure to move higher in the months ahead, continuing the trend higher we have seen over the past twelve months. The worst news in today’s report was that “real” (inflation-adjusted) average hourly earnings remained flat in July and are unchanged in the past year. Plugging today’s CPI data into our models suggests the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the PCE deflator, probably increased 0.1% in July. If so, it would be up 1.6% from a year ago, barely below the Fed’s target of 2%. We expect to hit and cross the 2% target later this year, consistent with our view that the Fed starts raising short-term interest rates in the first half of 2015.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Housing starts surge in July
on: August 19, 2014, 08:16:19 PM
Housing Starts Surged 15.7% in July To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Housing starts surged 15.7% in July to a 1.093 million annual rate, coming in well above the consensus expected 0.965 million. Starts are up 21.7% versus a year ago.
The increase in starts in July was due to strong gains in both single-family and multi-family units. In the past year, single-family starts are up 10.1% while multi-family starts are up 44.7%.
Starts in July rose in the Northeast, South, and West, but fell in the Midwest.
New building permits increased 8.1% in July to a 1.052 million annual rate, coming in above the consensus expected 1.000 million. Compared to a year ago, permits for single-units are up 3.9% while permits for multi-family homes are up 14.1%.
Implications: Great news on home building. Housing starts boomed in July, soaring 15.7%, and were revised up substantially for June. The upward trend should continue. Building permits also soared in July, up 8.1%, as single-family and multi-family permits rose 0.9% and 21.5% respectively. Starts can be volatile from month to month, so to find the underlying trend we look at the 12-month moving average, which now stands at the highest level since October 2008. The total number of homes under construction, (started, but not yet finished) increased 2.9% in July and are up 22.8% versus a year ago. No wonder residential construction jobs are up 116,000 in the past year. Multi-family construction is taking the clear lead in the housing recovery. Single-family starts have been in a tight range for the past two years, while the trend in multi-family units has been up (although volatile). In the past year, 35% of all housing starts have been for multi-unit buildings, the most since the mid-1980s, when the last wave of Baby Boomers was leaving college. From a direct GDP perspective, the construction of multi-family homes adds less, per unit, to the economy than single-family homes. However, home building is still a positive for real GDP growth and we expect that trend to continue. Based on population growth and “scrappage,” housing starts will eventually rise to about 1.5 million units per year. In other recent housing news, the NAHB index, which measures confidence among home builders, rose two points to 55 in August, the best reading since January. Looks like a broad pick-up in both sales and foot traffic around the country.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sam Adams, 1749
on: August 18, 2014, 04:29:35 PM
"[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty
and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt." --Samuel
Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / StealthFlation
on: August 18, 2014, 03:55:42 PM
StealthFlation Defined………………by BDI
An intractable economic condition that inevitably arises as unlimited units of
currency compulsively pursue nonproductive wealth assets in a grossly over-leveraged
economy which has been artificially reflated in a desperate and misguided attempt by
monetary authorities to synthetically engineer growth via extreme monetization.
Preventing the real economy on the ground from seeking the healthy normalization and
natural balance of free market forces necessary for genuine productive economic
Also known as; wishful thinking, and robbing Peter to pay Paul.
This entirely synthesized approach to capital formation has brought us the following
1) Stealth incendiary inflationary risks to the economy due to latent money velocity
2) Repeat massive unstable asset bubble dislocations
3) Gross misallocation of genuine productive investment capital, stifling the
crucial SME sector
4) Excessive market volatility which stymies business development and trade
5) Lethargic economic activity and growth
6) Massive off-shoring of the manufacturing base
7) Facilitates fantastic fiscal deficit spending sprees
Decreases income & real job creation
9) Extreme income inequality
10) Eviscerates the very essence of money itself
Brought to you by The Savant @ StealthFlation , Stop by for Shelter from the Stormhttp://slopeofhope.com/2014/08/stealthflation-defined-by-bdi.html#more-37227
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: Recipe for inflation
on: August 18, 2014, 03:48:03 PM
Monday Morning Outlook
Jackson Hole: A Recipe for Inflation To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
On Thursday, The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual retreat in
Jackson Hole, WY will start. The topic of discussion is: “Re-Evaluating Labor
The title itself says a lot about the Fed’s current mindset. Economists have
been studying labor market dynamics for many, many decades, if not centuries. So,
why does the Fed need to do any re-evaluating?
The answer: the unemployment rate is still 6.2% and other measures of the labor
market are far from robust. This is true even though the Fed has spent trillions on
bonds, boosted its balance sheet to record levels and cut interest rates to zero.
Maybe the Fed should “re-evaluate monetary policy,” or study “the
impact of fiscal policy on the economy” or find “the actual efficacy of
QE.” With all those juicy, and important, policy topics available, why study
the labor market?
Back when Ben Bernanke was Chairman of the Fed, he targeted a 6.5% unemployment rate
to start tightening. Now, Fed Chair Janet Yellen says it’s more complicated
than that. There are more important measures of labor market health.
What’s interesting about all of this is that the Fed is becoming a poster
child for “mission creep.” When the Fed first started in 1913, its job
was to protect the value of the US currency. Then, with passage of the Federal
Reserve Reform Act of 1977, the Fed received a dual mandate – to keep
“the unemployment rate” and inflation low.
This dual mandate was a mistake. The Fed has control over one thing – the
amount of money circulating in the economy. But, money itself cannot create jobs, or
fewer part-time jobs, or increase the labor force participation rate. If printing
money actually created wealth, then we should allow every citizen to counterfeit
their own currency. Of course, this would not work. Counterfeiting is illegal
because you get something for nothing.
No monetary policy expert has argued that the US experienced the crisis of 2008
because the Fed was too tight. And no one, with credentials, argues now that the US
economy is growing slowly because money is scarce.
In other words, monetary liquidity was not, and has not been, a problem for the
economy. As a result, any findings by the Fed that the labor market is not
performing at its full potential can be seen as proof that monetary policy is not
the tool for the job.
As the US learned in the 1980s, over the long-term, a single policy lever cannot
accomplish more than one policy objective. Monetary policy controls inflation in the
long run. Fiscal policy impacts the real economy (GDP and unemployment).
The Fed has now been easy for over five years, so it is impossible to argue that
monetary policy is being used as a short-term tool. If the labor market is still
having problems it must be because fiscal policy is harming potential growth. With
government spending, and especially redistribution, much higher than in the 1990s,
regulation a huge and growing burden, Obamacare, and higher tax rates, it’s no
wonder employment and incomes are lagging.
Unfortunately, the Fed does not see it this way. It is willing to maintain
abnormally, and artificially, low interest rates because the US hasn’t reached
so-called full employment. But those artificially low rates may cause other
problems, like a bubble in some sector, which the Fed has now decided to deal with
using “macro-prudential policy tools.” It sounds really technical, but
it's essentially playing “whack-a-mole” once excesses from easy money
pop up. In effect, the Fed wants to use monetary policy as a long-term policy tool
and deal with short-term monetary problems by using regulatory tools.
In reality, the existence of financial market excesses should prove that Fed policy
is being mishandled. But the Fed will choose to view excesses as a mistake by
financial institutions themselves. Blame the other guy, always.
This is a recipe for falling behind the curve. The Fed is already there and is
likely to stay there for some time to come.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Has Qatar surrendered?
on: August 18, 2014, 03:46:25 PM
Has Qatar Surrendered?
Much has been written in the past year about the part Qatar plays in the conflict over the status and role of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement that presents a non-tribal Islamist alternative to tribal loyalties and ideological parties in the Arab world.
For the past two years, the controversy has centered on the role of the “Brothers” in Egypt, on former president Mohamed Morsi’s legitimacy and the legality of General Sisi’s new government as of July 2013. Qatar has been the main source of support for the “Brothers” and their Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, for the last two decades.
Leading the opposition to Qatar’s policies was Saudi Arabia, and Sisi joined that opposition when he deposed Morsi. The relations between Qatar and its opponents reached a new low in March 2014, when the Saudis, Egypt and the United Emirates recalled their ambassadors from Qatar. Later, there were reports of a Saudi armed force concentrated on Qatar’s border that would have invaded the recalcitrant emirate, had Qatar not been under the protective shade of the United States, which has its main Persian Gulf airbase in Qatar as well as strong economic and institutional ties with it.
Qatar has been the main supporter of Hamas for years, providing funds and a venue for Hamas leadership after it left Damascus, while granting political backing to the movement and its rule in Gaza. Several years ago, Turkey joined the Hamas supporters axis, sometimes joined by Iran – the latter motivated by its hatred of Israel and/or its hostility to the Saudi regime.
When the current round of hostilities between Hamas and Israel broke out, the Qatar-Turkey Axis immediately placed itself on the side of Hamas, while on the opposing side stood the anti-Muslim-Brotherhood-and-Hamas Axis, consisting of Egypt Saudi Arabia, the United Emirates and Jordan. America attempted to help the Qatar Axis, but retreated when faced with strong criticism, both from Israel and Congress. The Palestinian Authority is torn between its desire to see Israel destroy Hamas and its pity for the Gazans who are paying with their blood for the Hamas takeover of their lives – and deaths.
When the possibility of ceasefire negotiations was broached, rivalry broke out between the two sides over who would head them and who would be able to sway the agreement in the direction he preferred. As the days went by, it became clear that the solution would depend on the result of the duel between the Saudi King and the Qatar Emir, with the winner designing the future of any agreement between Israel and Hamas.
On August 9, 2014, It became obvious that the winner was the Saudi King and the Egypt-Emirates Axis, the group opposed to Hamas, although not openly supporting Israel. Saudi victory over Qatar and its supporters was certain when last weekend, the Emir could be seen rushing to Riyadh, the capital of the country that opposes his nation’s activities.
Qatar’s surrender reached world consciousness mainly by way of Al Mayadeen, the media channel that has placed itself in opposition to Qatar’s Al-Jazeera.
For example, Al-Jazeera, Qatar’s media channel, calls the president of Egypt “El Sisi”, avoiding the title “President”, because Qatar still sees Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood champion, as the lawful president of Egypt. As opposed to Al-Jazeera, Al Mayadeen uses the title “President Sisi”.
Al Mayadeen was founded two years ago in Lebanon by a former Al-Jazeera reporter , Ghassan Ben Jeddou, who handed in his angry resignation from Al-Jazeera because of the network’s political stand on Saudi Arabia and the takeover of Bahrain during the “Arab Spring.”. Al Mayadeen is suspected of being prejudiced against Qatar and its policies. However, now that there is a proliferation of Arab media channels that are free of government censorship, the only way a network can succeed is if its reports are seen as trustworthy. The above means that the information that follows reporting on the Qatari Emir’s visit to Riyadh, his meeting with the Saudi King and the words exchanged during the meeting, is not totally reliable.
Note: My interpretations are in the parentheses.
On August 9th, Al Mayadeen reported in Arabic: “The Emir of Qatar told the Saudi King that his country is not in favor of forming alliances (i.e. Qatar is giving up the leadership of the Axis it led up to now). Gaza has become everyone’s focus (i.e. we know that Saudi Arabia does not care about Gaza’s fate)…”.
“The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Ben Khalifa El Thani, said that he has arrived (i.e. was forced to crawl) to Riyadh in order to meet the Saudi King Abdallah ben Abed Elaziz, because he (the Qatari Emir) knows well the loyalty of the Saudi King to the Arab Nation (i.e. to Saudi Arabia, its friends and their interests alone) and the trust he places in him and he will tell him (the king) what is going on in Gaza (i.e. the catastrophe Israel is wreaking on Hamas and Qatar) out of fear that we will lose our way (i.e.Israel will win).
“Qatar does not have a policy of forming alliances (Qatar is sorry it led an alliance against the Saudis) even though there was once someone in Qatar who acted like a megalomaniac on the subject of Qatar and its size (severe criticism of Sheikh Hamad, the present Emir’s father and of Sheikh Hamad’s Foreign Minister, who took a politically arrogant line towards the Arab world and Saudi Arabia in particular, despite the fact that Qatar is a tiny Emirate. The Qatari Emir understands that without this criticism, or true repentance, the Saudi King will give him short shrift.).
Al Mayadeen continues: “The Qatari Emir made it clear to the Saudi King that Qatar is worthless if it does not belong to the Gulf Emirates (here he is begging the Gulf nations to allow their ambassadors return to Qatar) or its Arab partners (i.e. we are sorry for the anti- Egypt, Jordan and PA policies we espoused). Both sides (i.e. Axes) complement one another (i.e. our Axis surrenders to yours).
“The Qatari Emir told the Saudi King in plain language: Qatar is willing to follow in your footsteps and heed your instructions (i.e. totally abrogates its independent policies of the last few years) in order to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people (i.e. to salvage Hamas’ rule over the Palestinians who serve it as human shields).
“The Qatari Emir added: ‘In the face of the immense magnitude of the crimes and war of destruction going on in Gaza (and the danger that the Gazans will rebel against Hamas rule), there is no reason for Egypt (and its backer, Saudi Arabia) to insist on an initiative (i.e. conditions for surrender) that doesn’t meet the minimum expectations and demands of the Palestinians (read Hamas), especially now that Israel needs a ceasefire (i.e. Israel can continue fighting on and on because of the Israeli public’s support for their government).
“‘I don’t see how the Egyptians can bring themselves to shut out the Hamas movement. Let us put aside, my lord (!!!), our reckoning with Hamas (and the crimes it committed against Egypt and the Palestinians) for a future date (and then we will forget about them) and stand with the Palestinian people who stand behind Hamas (bearing knives) and support Hamas’ demands (to end the siege).’”
“‘I have come to you, my lord (!!!) in order to hear good tidings (now that we have surrendered and ended our policy of supporting Hamas) that will save us from the situation we are in now (i.e. the isolation we brought on ourselves by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, which is on the verge of collapse).’”
Al Mayadeen reports that the meeting between the Saudi King and the Qatari Emir was just ten minutes long, and does not bring the response of the Saudi King – who may have remained silent throughout.
The significance of the detailed report is in the total subjugation of Qatar to Saudi Arabia, of a young and inexperienced Emir to an older and wiser king. What brought about this abject surrender is the combination of Israeli determination and the geography of Gaza, an area under siege even if the present siege is removed, with Israel on one side, Egypt on the other and only the sea – blockaded as well – as a way to find refuge. Qatar’s peninsula is in a similar position: one can reach the rest of the continent from Qatar only by way of hostile Saudi Arabia or by way of the sea. If not for the American presence there, Saudi Arabia could crush the Qatar regime within a few hours as it did to Bahrain in 2011.
If it is true that the Emir visited Riyadh and if the text of his monologue, as reported by Al Mayadeen, is accurate, we are about to face a new constellation of forces in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, a tribal monarchy with an Islamic cast – has become the leading force, Israel is closer to the winning axis and the US is on the losing side. The Iran-Syria-Iraq Axis is under pressure because of the IS Jihadists and the US is attempting to bolster up its status by using air power against IS.
There are voices calling on Israel to take advantage of this new situation, go ahead with the Arab peace initiative whose origin is in Saudi Arabia, leave Judea and Samaria and establish a Palestinian state with Mahmoud Abbas that will be part of the new array of forces, united against a weakened Hamas and Qatar.
The idea is a good one, except that carrying it out is problematic: coalitions and alliances in the Middle East are exactly like the sand dunes that mark this region of deserts; today they are here and by tomorrow the wind has blown them somewhere else. In the past, there were those who advised Israel to hurry to make peace with Assad while he was still powerful, even if that meant giving up the Golan Heights. And where is Assad today, pray tell? And what would have happened had Jabhat El Nusra or the Islamic State taken over the Golan, able to look down at Tiberias and aim weapons at its residents?
The Middle East seesaw is weighted on the Saudi-Egyptian side now, but it is not at all clear whether that coalition will continue directing the Middle East in another year or two. Israel must not be tempted to place its future and security in the hands of a temporary coalition, no matter how good it is.
Israel must act on the basis of long term planning that centers on Israel and its territorial possessions, not on the changing alliances of the sand dunes of the Middle East.
Reprinted with permission from Arutz Sheva
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama`s true colors revealed
on: August 18, 2014, 02:02:57 AM
Steven Emerson's Op-Ed: The President's True Colors Finally Revealed
Steven Emerson, Executive Director
August 17, 2014
Articles by IPT | IPT in the News | IPT Blog | Profiles | Multimedia | Donate |
Op-Ed: The President's True Colors Finally Revealed
by Steven Emerson
August 17, 2014http://www.investigativeproject.org/4522/op-ed-the-president-true-colors-finally-revealed
When I first glanced at the headline on today's Jerusalem Online and reports in the
Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire:
"Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will grantee Israel's commitment
to any agreement signed." But it was not a satire. The was deadly serious, confirmed
by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.
The US offering to Hamas to "guarantee" Israeli commitments to any agreement signed?
As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration's antipathy to Israel, here it
was in black and white. If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its
agreements in any deal, it would have been Hamas, that has been known to break every
commitment it ever made. To pick just a few at random:
* Hamas recently violated 9 cease fire agreements, including two of its own
* Hamas illegally siphoned thousands of tons of cement and steel shipments it
received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to use the build
the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings;
instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly
build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out
murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands
* Hamas violated the 2012 Cease Fire negotiated by then State Department Secretary
Hillary Clinton together with then Egyptian Muslim President Mohammed Morsi in which
Hamas committed to stop smuggling weapons and missiles into Israel, of which nearly
4000 were recently launched into 80% of Israel's population centers
* Hamas violated the commitment to the Palestinian Authority that it would never
launch a coup d'état against the PA after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But in
2007, Hamas did exactly that in a bloody takeover of Gaza, kicking out and killing
* Hamas violated a publicly solemn commitment to its own civilians that it would
uphold the rule of law (yea, right) when it took over Gaza only to subsequently
execute hundreds of dissident Gazans, torture and imprison thousands of political
opponents, violently persecute the minority of Christians still living in Gaza and
imprison and prosecute suspected gay Gazans.
* Violating a commitment it made in the Clinton negotiated 2012 truce that it would
cease its missile attacks on Israel.
And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an
official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated cease fire to Prime Minister
Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop
Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that empty promise, Hamas soon
received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. That promise was
never carried out.
Israel on the other hand meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by severely
relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and
steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff
and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than
250 truckloads a day ( a commitment is still upheld during the Hamas war against
Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas
narrative that Israel was the aggressor).
Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and
ceremoniously declared, "I got your back." This is the same President who, as the
Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for
additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas.
As far back as 1967, the United States had made a firm promise to Israel that it
would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, considered the
lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straights of Hormuz in May
1967, what did the US do? Nothing.
And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to
leaked details in Egyptian newspapers reported by today's Jerusalem Online
Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:
* "Israel will stop its attacks in Gaza - in land, sea and air. No ground operations
will be conducted."
* Israel has agreed to the "opening of crossings between Israel and Gaza [in which]
Movement of people and merchandise will be allowed, to rebuild Gaza."
* "Eliminating the buffer zone in the North and East of Gaza and deployment of
Palestinian military forces starting from January 1, 2015"
* "Freedom of fishing and action in the territorial waters of the Palestinians in
Gaza to a range of 6 miles. The range will gradually be increased, to no less than
* "Israeli authorities will assist the Palestinian Authority to restore the
foundations in Gaza, as well as help provide the necessary living needs for those
who were forced to leave their homes due to the battles. Also, Israel will provide
emergency medical attention to the wounded and will supply humanitarian assistance
and food to Gaza as soon as possible."
It should be noted that even during the recent murderous war waged by Gaza, Israel
had opened up its borders to treat wounded Gaza civilians in Israeli hospitals and
continued to supply daily more than 500 tons daily of humanitarian assistance and
food to Gaza even as the Hamas launched thousands of rockets and attempted mass
murder of Israeli civilians by attempts, fortunately thwarted by Israel, to
infiltrate dozens of fully armed Hamas terrorists into Israel via the tunnels dug by
And what did the Hamas commit to?
* "All Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop the attacks against Israel, in the
land, the sea and the air; also, building tunnels from Gaza to Israeli territory
will be stopped."
That was it. Virtually the same identical commitments it agreed to in December 2012.
Quite interestingly, Hamas insisted--which Israel did not agree to--to the immediate
opening of a Gaza seaport and airport. But the party that suggested to Hamas that
they insist on these demands was none other than the Qataris, the country--which is
the top financial patron in the world today to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and
many of its terrorist offshoots--curiously selected personally by Obama to be the
official diplomatic interlocutor in the Cairo talks. The role that Qatar was
supposed to play was to convince the group to make concessions. But curiously the
opposite happened. Qatar, the country to which that the US just sold $11 billion
worth of military weapons, actually sabotaged the negotiations. So far, the
President has been studiously silent on this betrayal.
In light of the fact that Hamas has manifestly never upheld any of the commitments
it has ever made, the salient question that has to be asked is why Obama did feel
compelled to assuage Hamas with an assurance that the US would "guarantee" that
Israeli upheld its commitments? The word "guarantee" has a rather expansive and
vague latitude for definition. The most recent demonstration of an American
guarantee that Israel would halt its defensive war against Hamas was the suspension
of critical military deliveries to Israel during the height of the conflagration
instigated by Hamas.
Indeed, for all the public affirmations made last week--after the WSJ expose-- by
the Obama Administration that the US was "totally committed to the security of
Israel," Obama suddenly decides to make a promise to Hamas--whose covenant differs
not one bit from the fascist radical Islamic doctrine adopted by ISIL--that it would
enforce the commitments made by Israel, which in fact have historically been
studiously upheld by Israel.
If Obama was truly sincere in his now obviously contrived promises to "watch
[Israel's] back", he would have offered to guarantee Hamas commitments, a terrorist
group that has repeatedly violated its commitments in previous agreements. But with
his statement that he would "guarantee" Israeli commitments and not those made by
Hamas, the President has revealed his true colors for everyone to see.
Steven Emerson is Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism
), a non profit group that investigates the threat of
radical Islam, author of 6 book on terrorism and national security and executive
producer of the award winning 2013 documentary "Jihad in America: The Grand
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Steve Emerson: Who watches the watchers?
on: August 17, 2014, 04:14:10 PM
by Steven Emerson
The Jerusalem Post
August 16, 2014http://www.investigativeproject.org/4521/who-watches-the-watchers
The performance of the media in covering the Israel-Gaza conflict remains the one
area of investigation that is sorely needed.
As is the historical pattern concerning Israel, last week began the growing tsunami
of groups - representing the United Nations, The Hague, the European Union, human
rights groups, and other non-governmental organizations - announcing their intention
to "investigate and review" the military actions under taken by Israel and Hamas
during the past five weeks to determine if "war crimes" were committed.
We know from past history the demonstrable manifestation of the vitriolic anti
Israeli (and some might add anti-Semitic) bias by nearly all of these organizations
clamoring to declare Israel guilty of war crimes, as they have repeatedly accused
Israel in the past of everything from massive human rights violations to war crimes
No other country in the world - even those like the Sudan, North Korea and Iran -
who have committed genuine massive human rights violations - have ever been the
object of such massive condemnations as Israel has selectively been. And as far as
the official inclusion of Hamas actions into the investigative agenda of these
groups, we know that their inclusion is only window dressing, designed to give the
false veneer that their investigations are "even handed."
Yesterday, the UN announced that nearly 2,000 civilians were killed in the Ukrainian
battle with the pro Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine in the past 2 days alone.
Two-thousand in two days? In five weeks, Gaza suffered 1,957 deaths, of which most
were actual terrorists, not civilians, as the mainstream media and UN agencies had
speciously alleged. But don't expect any onslaught of investigations by the UN or
human rights groups. And where was the international media coverage of the 2,000
deaths in eastern Ukraine? AWOL of course.
Indeed. the performance of the media in covering the Israel-Gaza conflict remains
the one area of investigation that is sorely needed. And if truth be told, why
should the media be afraid of an assessment of its performance? After all, it is a
profession that claims the moral high ground, asserts that it is only pursuing "the
truth," claims that it is the only institution in a free society that can provide
accountability to the actions of the government, hence the moniker "Fourth Estate"
for the media, and portrays any criticism of its performance as somehow an attack on
But who watches over the watchers?
Well, no one actually does. Yet the media likes to proclaim they are self-policing
and that any external oversight would be a violation of the fundamental right to
free speech. So from time to time, ever so rarely, we actually witness the media
admitting to mistakes and inaccuracies in its coverage. Generally speaking however,
those admissions of wrongdoing are initiated not by the high priests in the
mainstream media but by "lesser" media on the periphery of the priesthood, outside
observers and critics who have caught the media with their hands in the cookie jars
and by truly honest journalists, few as they are, snubbed and derided by the
mainstream media. Just look at how established journalists Bernard Goldberg and
Sharyl Attkisson were viciously denigrated and attacked by the mainstream media
after they had the chutzpa - actually integrity - to criticize the performance of
their own co-religionists.
What is at stake here is the very honesty and accuracy of the mainstream media's
coverage of the Israel-Gaza war. Specifically, how honest, fair and accurate was the
mainstream media - such as The Washington Post, National Public Radio, The New York
Times, and CNN - in covering Hamas actions in Gaza, Hamas human rights violations
and atrocities, and Hamas threats to journalists. We know all too well how they
covered Israeli actions in Gaza. Coverage of the deaths and damage in Gaza was
covered wall to wall by both print and television, often without providing the
critical context that the Israeli targets were Hamas terrorist missile launching
sites, Hamas command and control headquarters, and Hamas military sites - all
embedded in Gaza's civilian population centers, from schools to hospitals to UN
In the coverage provided by those above named media outlets, there was not one photo
of one Hamas terrorist, not one photo of a Hamas missile site embedded in a civilian
area, such as a UN school, hospital, apartment building, kindergarten. There was not
one story or photo of Hamas executions of Palestinian dissidents. And there was not
one story about direct Palestinian threats to and harassment of journalists if Hamas
suspected them of actually showing any of the above. Thus, it was with amazingly
refreshing candor that we witnessed Foreign Press Association (FPA), an organization
of 480 international journalists covering Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, actually
issue a statement last weekcondemning the threats by and intimidation of journalists
It's worth reprinting the actual text of the FPA statement, known for its antipathy
to Israel than for any criticism ever issued of Hamas.
"The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and
unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives
against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month. The
international media are not advocacy organizations and cannot be prevented from
reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers
an objective picture from the ground. In several cases, foreign reporters working in
Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they
have reported through their news media or by means of social media.
We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a 'vetting' procedure that
would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a
procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA."
A truly extraordinary statement. But did the mainstream media in the US actually
report on this self-indictment? Not one mainstream media outlet said a word. Not
Worse, some journalists like the Jodi Rudoren, New York Times bureau chief in
Israel, dismissed the FPA statement with total disdain. In a blog posted by the
media oversight group CAMERA, Rudoren's response to the FPA statement was short and
sweet: "Every reporter I've met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA
narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense."
The CAMERA blog then went on to cite the numerous reports by journalists, after they
left Gaza, of how Hamas threatened, intimidated and manipulated them.
But all that must have been part of a fabricated Zionist narrative according to
Rudoren. And so must have been the report about the planned massive Hamas multi
tunnel attack that was to occur near the period of the high holy days. This planned
attack was intended to kill up to tens of thousands of Israeli civilians. But in the
more than 800 stories filed by The New York Times during the five-week war, the
Times never reported a word of it. Why? According to an email that I obtained that
sent by Rudoren, she claimed she spoke to an Israeli military official who dismissed
the planned Hamas attack as "totally false, a rumor, no evidence whatsoever."
When I asked Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesperson about this plot, he said, "Israeli
military intelligence confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hamas had planned to
carry out this multi-tunnel attack in order to kill thousands and thousands of
Israeli civilians." Nearly every single Israeli media outlet--even those like
Ha'aretz known for their ultra left views--reported on this mass murder Hamas plot.
But left unreported for readers of the Times, thanks to a manifestly pernicious
ideological agenda of its bureau chief in Israel.
Rudoren was interviewed on CNN's Reliable Sources on July 30, 2014 The show's host,
Hala Gorani, revealed CNN's own unvarnished anti Israeli bias in the questions she
asked of Rudoren: "Jodi, we have been showing our viewers and international networks
have been running these images of absolute devastation and the humanitarian disaster
in Gaza. Are Israelis in their own country seeing these same images?
Rudoren responded: "Not as much. I mean, certainly some. But in some ways you have
to seek it out. I -- someone told me that they were watching Al Jazeera so that they
could get the other side as well."
In fact, as anyone watching Israeli television, there was extensive coverage of the
damage inflicted by the IDF in Gaza. Rudoren's statement that Israelis had to sneak
viewing of Al-Jazeerah was simply a fabrication. But to CNN, it was incredulous that
Israelis could not disown their own government for defending them from the thousands
of rockets reigning down on the entire population and the dozens of tunnels dug into
Israel to carry out mass murder attacks. Unlike CNN, Israeli television also showed
how Hamas had stored munitions and launched missiles from mosques, hospitals,
schools and UN facilities. Israeli TV also showed photos of Hamas command and
control facilities at Al Shifa hospital as well as photos of the actual munitions
and missile launching sites embedded in civilian areas.
On another CNN Show that aired on August 3, 2014, host Brian Stelter acknowledged
that viewers had complained that CNN was deliberately refraining from showing
pictures of Hamas terrorists or how they operated out of civilian areas.
Stelter: "So are reporters in Gaza under pressure from Hamas? Are they being
intimidated into only showing civilians, and not the people Israel calls terrorists?
Well, I asked the executive in charge of international here at CNN, Tony Maddox. And
he says no.
Let me put his comments up on screen: "Our in-field reporters have repeatedly say
that Hamas militants are rarely to be found on the streets of Gaza. We have had no
intimidation from Hamas and received no threats regarding our reporting. They have
so far refused all requests for interviews in Gaza.