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United States Maintains Banking Sanctions Against Iran

Despite the lifting of international sanctions against Iran earlier this year, the United States government intends to continue denying Iranian companies access to the US financial system. This highlights how the US financial system is viewed not as a market-based system in which private companies are free to do what they want, but rather as a tool of the federal government used to carry out the government’s policy aims. For the banks, it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, US banks have to comply with the federal government’s edicts, now matter how draconian. On the other hand, they continue to benefit from high barriers to entry that keep out competitors, as well as from subsidies such as deposit insurance and access to the Federal Reserve’s discount window and bailout facilities.
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See Ron Paul at a Conference This Year? A Few Generous Donors Can Make It Happen!

How about a Ron Paul Institute (RPI) conference this year? Ron Paul, RPI’s chairman, is excited about the idea. Of course, he would be a featured speaker at the conference.

The only barrier to making the conference a reality is money. The institute needs to spend its minimal resources on its ongoing activities; there are just not the additional funds now to pay for a conference as well.

Recently, the possibility of a conference became more real. I brought up the topic with an RPI supporter. He told me the conference sounds like a great idea. He donated $500 to help make it happen.
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Dozens, Maybe Hundreds, Smoke Marijuana in Front of White House; Two Fined $25 Each

Saturday saw marijuana prohibition protestors walking through the United States capital city to outside the White House. Once there, dozens — maybe hundreds — of the protestors smoked marijuana. The response of the many assembled police to the lawbreaking: two people were fined $25 each for public consumption of marijuana. Oh, and it seems some police chased protestors who had inflated a 51-foot “joint” after police had told them not to do so.
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They're at it Again: Pentagon Training New Syrian Rebels

You know the old saying: if at first you don't succeed, keep trying the same dumb thing over and over and wonder why you are still not succeeding. Well, at least that's the neocon version of that old saying. 

We know what happened last time the Pentagon launched a program to train rebels to fight ISIS (and overthrow Assad) in Syria: they spent half a billion dollars and ended up with five fighters

What do they care, it's only (our) money!
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School Bus Bombing?

The CIA was allegedly engaged in a training exercise in suburban Virginia, which required real plastic explosives in a real school bus. Then it “forgot” them and returned the bus to the school, where it carried children again. So forget for a moment that this Deep State org is supposed to be killing innocents only in other countries, what could this have possibly have been about? Something sinister, of course, which is the Agency’s daily bread. The scheme went wrong, which is to say, to the normal, right...
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Obama: 'I Don't Want to be Iraq's Air Force...'

A friend pointed out to me that in this White House interview Obama told Thomas Friedman (paraphrasing) that during the process of ISIS overrunning much of northern Iraq he deliberately withheld massive air attacks on ISIS so that he could maintain political pressure on the Iraqi government to reform itself in directions that are the goals of US policy, i.e., inclusiveness, power sharing with the Sunnis, etc.  

I, too, think that the intensely Shia run government that the US helped come into being in Iraq is unlikely to ever be able to run the country, but the notion that in the face of the onrushing horde of Sunni jihadi "reivers" one could withhold aerial fire support as leverage to bend the Shia government to  one's will is bizarre.
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White House to Syrians: Don't Dare Vote For Assad!

US backing for the overthrow of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was supposed to be all about democracy. As Washington tells it, the people took to the street demanding democratic reforms and Assad did not listen, so he lost his legitimacy and needed to be overthrown. The US helped facilitate that overthrow by shipping in tons of weapons (much of which ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda and ISIS).
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Iraq Ranks In Ten Most Corrupt Countries In World, Again

Iraq, the failed state that over 4,600 (and counting…) Americans died to free from some evil tyrant 13 years ago, is still ranking high internationally in something. Unfortunately, that something is corruption. A couple of other places where America has been intervening for freedom also made the list.
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