http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304840904577422553286744174.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop'A stimulus program should be timely, targeted and temporary." (Lawrence Summers, January 29, 2008)(*SNORT*)Well, well. So the folks who have run U.S. economic policy since 2008 are alarmed about the peril of the 2013 "fiscal cliff." Too bad they didn't worry about that when they were creating the very ledge they now lament.(*SMIRK*)One point to keep in mind is that CBO's economists are as true-blue Keynesians as exist on the planet. Like the Obama White House and Treasury, they believe in the "multiplier" that $1 of federal spending somehow creates $1.50 in greater GDP. Thus they plug large spending cuts into their economic models, and, presto, they find a recession.* YEP! IGITS! (AS IN "IDIOTS.")* REPEAT AFTER ME, FOLKS: C*A*L*V*I*N C*O*O*L*I*D*G*E* REPEAT AFTER ME, FOLKS: R*O*N*A*L*D R*E*A*G*A*N* FOLKS... IT'S INSANE! WE KNOW WHAT WORKS (COOLIDGE/REAGAN) AND WE KNOW WHAT DOESN'T (FDR/OBAMA).One remarkable (and highly dubious) note in the CBO report is that the budget gnomes predict a big surge in tax revenues in 2013 — to 18.4% from 15.7% of GDP — despite the recession they also predict. CBO simply doesn't think taxes matter much to taxpayer behavior, so it applies the higher rates to its current predictions of income and pretends revenues will roll in like the tides. But this will be a fantasy if enough Americans find ways to hide their income or work less, or if they simply earn that much less thanks to the recession.The larger policy point is that this is the fiscal cliff the Keynesians built. Rather than provide predictable, consistent policy for the long term, the Summers-Obama-Geithner-Krugman theory goes that government should jolt the economy with spending and tax cuts that are "targeted" and "temporary."(*ROLLING MY EYES*)The jolt will [- so the theory goes -] drive the economy out of recession, rapid growth will resume, and the wizards of Harvard Yard can then tell us the precise moment when the stimulus can be withdrawn and taxes should rise again.Or, if the jolt doesn't work, then order up another jolt, which makes the tax cliff even steeper.(*BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE DESKTOP*)Instead of "timely, targeted and temporary," tax policy should include lower rates (and fewer loopholes) that are applied as broadly as possible and are permanent. These were the principles that guided the Reagan policy of the 1980s, and they need to be revived.
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314694/bad-worse-obama-s-gm-bailout-michael-barone“GM is going from bad to worse,” reads the headline on the analysis of Automotive News’s editor in chief, Keith Crain. GM has been selling cars in the U.S. at deep discount, and while it’s making money in China — and is outsourcing operations there and elsewhere — it’s bleeding losses in Europe. (It’s spending billions to ditch its Opel brand there in favor of Chevrolet, including $559 million to put the Chevy logo on Manchester United soccer-team uniforms — and it just fired the marketing exec who cut that deal.)It botched the launch of its new Chevrolet Malibu by starting with the green-friendly Eco version, which pleased its government shareholders even though the car got lousy reviews. And it’s selling only about 10,000 electric-powered Chevy Volts a year, a puny contribution toward Obama’s goal of one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.(*SMIRK*)The government still owns 500 million shares of GM, 26% of the total. It needs to sell them for $53 a share to recover its $49.5 billion bailout. But the stock price is around $20 a share, and the Treasury now estimates that the government will lose more than $25 billion if and when it sells.* NO... WHAT THE WRITER MEANS TO WRITE IS "THE TAXPAYERS WILL LOSE MORE THAN $25 BILLION..."(*SPITTING*)That’s in addition to the revenue lost when the Obama administration permitted GM to continue to deduct previous losses from current profits, even though such deductions are ordinarily wiped out in bankruptcy proceedings.* IN ENGLISH: GM WAS "FORGIVEN" ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO PAY INCOME TAXES FOR SEVERAL YEARS. (*SMIRK*)It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that GM is bleeding money because of decisions made by a management eager to please its political masters — and by the terms of the bankruptcy arranged by Obama car czars Ron Bloom and Steven Rattner.Rattner himself admitted late last year, in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club: “We should have asked the UAW [United Auto Workers union] to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay.” Non-union employees of GM spin-off Delphi lost their pensions. UAW members didn’t.The UAW got their political payoff. And GM, according to Forbes writer Louis Woodhill, is headed to bankruptcy again.(*PURSED LIPS*)* AMERICA IN THE AGE OF OBAMA.
http://www.infowars.com/bbc-censors-video-showing-syrian-rebels-forcing-prisoner-to-become-suicide-bomber/The BBC has sensationally censored a news story and a video showing Syrian rebels forcing a prisoner to become a suicide bomber, a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, presumably because it reflected badly on establishment media efforts to portray the FSA as glorious freedom fighters.* WHY DO WE CARE WHAT THE BBC DOES? WELL, FOLKS... LET ME ASK YOU... HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS "INCIDENT" FROM *OUR* NEWS MEDIA...?!?!The video, a copy of which can be viewed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbxz6THXsf4&feature=player_embedded#t=0s), shows Free Syrian Army rebels preparing a bomb that is loaded onto the back of a truck to be detonated at a government checkpoint in the city of Aleppo.The clip explains how the rebels have commandeered an apartment belonging to a Syrian police captain. The rebels are seen sneering at photos of the police captain’s family while they proclaim, “Look at their freedom, look how good it is,” while hypocritically enjoying the luxury of the man’s swimming pool.The video then shows a prisoner who the rebels claim belonged to a pro-government militia. Bruises from torture on the prisoner’s body are explained away as having been metered out by the man’s previous captors. The BBC commentary emphasizes how well the rebels are treating the man, showing them handing him a cigarette.However, the man has been tricked into thinking he is part of a prisoner exchange program when in reality he is being set up as an unwitting suicide bomber. The prisoner is blindfolded and told to drive the truck towards a government checkpoint.“What he doesn’t know is that the truck is the one that’s been rigged with a 300 kilo bomb,” states the narrator.The clip then shows rebels returning disappointed after it’s revealed that the remote detonator failed and the bomb did not explode.The BBC narrator admits that forcing prisoners to become suicide bombers “would certainly be considered a war crime.”New York Times reporters who shot the video claim they had no knowledge of the plot. A longer version of the clip is posted on the New York Times You Tube channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgsI21x3ab0&list=UUqnbDFdCpuN8CMEg0VuEBqA&index=1&feature=plcp). The title of the clip glorifies the rebel fighters as “The Lions of Tawhid”.It seems clear that the only reason for the video to be removed would be because senior BBC news editors felt the story reflected badly on the propaganda campaign to characterize the Syrian rebels as venerable and proud freedom fighters, when in reality as we have documented they have been guilty of massacres, kidnappings, torture and other acts of brutality.This represents a clear effort to hide evidence of Syrian rebels, who the Obama administration recently pledged to support with taxpayer dollars, engaged in war crimes.In addition, the fact that the rebels, under the direction of Al-Qaeda fighters, are building bombs and carrying out terrorist attacks is something the NATO-aligned media is keen not to emphasize.* JEEZUS...
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/80013.html?hp=l4Barack Obama could favor denying legal protection to babies after they are born and the press wouldn’t bat an eyelash. In fact — he did.President Obama is an extremist on abortion. He has never supported any meaningful restriction on it, and never will.In the Illinois legislature, he opposed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” three times. The bill recognized babies born after attempted abortions as persons and required doctors to give them care. * AFTER...!* AFTER "ATTEMPTED"... MEANING NOT "SUCCESSFUL!"* YOU'VE GOTTA BE ONE SICK SON OF A BITCH...Obama’s stalwart opposition to the bill came up during the 2008 campaign, and his team responded with a farrago of obfuscation and distortions.The bill was supposedly redundant. Except it wasn’t. (Protections for infants who survived abortions were shot through with loopholes, which is why the bill was offered in the first place. Abortion doctors were leaving infants to die without any care.) The bill was supposedly a threat to abortion rights. Except it wasn’t. Obama opposed a version that stipulated it didn’t affect the legal status of infants still in the womb.Obama opposed a partial-birth abortion bill in Illinois, even as the federal version passed the House with 282 votes and the Senate with 64 votes and was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. He arrived in the U.S. Senate in time to denounce the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the ban.In 2007, [then-Senator Obama] told the Planned Parenthood Action Fund that his first act as president would be signing the Freedom of Choice Act. The act would enshrine in federal law a right to abortion more far-reaching than in Roe v. Wade and eliminate basically all federal and state-level restrictions on abortion. This isn’t a point its supporters contest; it’s one they brag about. The National Organization for Women says it would “sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”The Freedom of Choice Act won’t reach the president’s desk. His support of it, though, shows how it is impossible to stake out a position further to his Left on the issue...In May, a bi-partisan majority of the House, including 20 Democrats, voted to ban abortion for the purpose of sex selection. As the National Right to Life Committee noted, it didn’t occur to reporters to ask the White House about the president’s position on the legislation, with the honorable exception of Jake Tapper (who, for some reason, is always the honorable exception). A White House spokeswoman said: “The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.” In other words, gender-based discrimination is OK — so long as it [concerns] abortion.* SICK - ISN'T IT?Even as he stakes out the outer edge of the abortion debate, the president sounds soothing. He has said he wants to "discourage" the practice. Uh-huh. He is as serious about discouraging abortion as he was about opposing gay marriage up until a few months ago. (*SNORT*)How many other things does the president want to "discourage" but not restrict in any fashion...* WAIT FOR IT... WAIT FOR IT......and to fund with federal dollars?(*PURSED LIPS*)
http://reason.com/archives/2012/08/22/big-government-ratchet-turns-another-cliAs critics warned, the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) will not “bend the cost curve downward” as promised. To the contrary, a June report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid predicts that national health spending through 2021 will continue to grow at a considerably faster clip than Gross Domestic Product.That growth will not be even. Private health insurance spending will rise about 8%. Medicaid spending will grow about 20%. * AND WHO PAYS FOR MEDICAID, FOLKS...??? (*SIGH*)[F]ederal health care costs will consume a larger and larger share of the federal budget — and crowd out all other government functions in the process. If current trends continue, then by 2025 just four budget categories — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the debt — will gobble up every last federal dollar.Pause for a second to review how we got here. Although numerous factors have contributed to the explosion of health-care costs — an aging population and expensive technology, for example — a chief driver is government itself. WW-II-era wage controls, followed by the tax preference for employer-provided health insurance, combined to create the third-party-payer conundrum vexing us today. Medicare and Medicaid made the cost problem worse. It’s the same dynamic driving up college tuitions: Massive government subsidies encourage massive price hikes, which then ostensibly justify yet more government intervention to bring prices down.If you’re wondering whether anyone could have seen this coming, the answer is: yes. (*RAISING MY HAND*) (*SHOUTING "ME! ME! ME!"*)Precisely the same story has played out in Massachusetts, thanks to Mitt Romney and RomneyCare. According to The Wall Street Journal: "Health costs...will consume some 54% of the Massachusetts state budget in 2012, up from about 24% in 2001. * OOPS! (NOW WHO... OH, WHO... COULD HAVE EVER SEEN THIS COMING...???)(*JUMPING UP AND DOWN, WAVING MY ARMS, SHOUTING "ME! ME! ME!"*)Over the same period state health spending in real terms has jumped by 59%, while education has fallen 15%, police and firemen by 11% and roads and bridges by 23%."So Massachusetts is imposing a cap on health spending, public and private. (*FEELIN' A MIGRAINE COMIN' ON*)Here’s the Wall Street Journal again: “All Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and other providers must register with a new state bureaucracy as a condition of licensure...They'll be required to track and report their financial performance, price and cost trends, state-sanctioned quality measures, market share and other metrics....An 11-member board known as the Health Policy Commission will use the data to set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than projected gross state product through 2017.”* UH-HUH...(*SILENCE*)* SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT... MORE PAPERWORK... MORE TIME SPENT ON PAPERWORK BY DOCTORS, NURSE PRACTIONERS, REGISTERED NURSES... MORE ADMINISTRATORS AND MORE CLERICAL PERSONNEL NEEDED... MORE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES NEEDED...(*FULL ONSET MIGRAINE*)* AND ALL LEADING TO RATIONING... AND NO DOUBT TO FURTHER STRATIFICATION AND SEGREGATION... AND THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS HAVING TO BYPASS THE GOVERNMENT SYSTEM (AS SO MANY CANADIANS DO WHEN THEY CROSS THE BORDER TO PAY FOR THE MEDICAL CARE THEY'RE PROMISED - BUT DON'T ACTUALLY RECEIVE) IN ORDER TO PAY AN EXTRA PREMIUM IN ORDER TO GET TIMELY TREATMENT.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/08/23/lawyer_tells_santelli_he_plans_to_pursue_criminal_charges_against_corzine.html* FROM A CNBC SEGMENT:SANTELLI: Boy, this is a story that never goes away. And, in some respects, I think there's a lot of people that are happy about that, actually. James Koutoulas, lawyer who represents thousands of customers of MF Global. James, last week when word came out that the Department of Justice basically didn't see any crime, I called you up and you said, 'I believe unequivocally that fraud and crime were committed.' Can you expand upon that?KOUTOULAS: Sure, Rick. According to the trustee's report, MF Global was routinely using customer funds to fund intraday operations as far back as August, months before the bankruptcy. That's a violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. Then, once their credit rating was downgraded, they just outright took those funds and wired them to JPMorgan to meet house margin calls, which is also a violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. It is a felony, and it bears a penalty of 10 years in prison per offense.SANTELLI: Now, the Department of Justice obviously doesn't see it that way, and everything you've talked about we've discussed ad infinitum, and it doesn't seem to make a difference. Now we see that PFG has come into the blend. Is there really a lot of difference between PFG and MF?KOUTOULAS: No, not at all, Rick. If you read Russ Wasendorf Sr.'s suicide note, he talks about the fact that he had the choice between going out of business or cheating. And he just decided to cheat for 20 years and steal customer money. Sure, he put it in his own account. MF Global, same decision. Senior management says, 'Do we go out of business or do we cheat?' And they cheated. They broke the law. And they took these customer funds to meet margin calls.SANTELLI: You know, Edith O'Brien supposedly has information. Yeah, you must have information if you want to be protected to give it. You told me they never even really went that route. They didn't give her any immunity. So they don't care that she knows something that probably isn't very good? That's it?KOUTOULAS: Right. By not giving her immunity, it's a way to stalemate the case and say, 'Well, we don't really have enough evidence to prosecute it. But Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice is the biggest enabler of financial crime in U.S. history, and that's why, way back in January, we went to Congressman Grimm, and we asked him to write a letter demanding that independent counsel be appointed for this case. And 65 congressmen agreed with him.SANTELLI: Well, I'm sure this isn't going to be the end of this. And the final question I'm going to ask you, again, I know you believe crimes were committed there, you're not going to let up no matter what happens at the Department of Justice, you're going to move forward for criminal prosecution?KOUTOULAS: That's right, Rick. We've got 50 states in this country, and each of them has an attorney general. I will go to each and every one of them, be it New York, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, and I will explain to them how to prosecute this case, how to cut through the jargon and the confusion that try to distract people, and we will win. We will get a conviction. And the next time a sociopath CEO says, 'Do I go out of business or do I cheat,' he's going to think about the president's biggest fundraiser in an orange jumpsuit in state prison.
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://buzz.money.cnn.com/2012/08/23/oil-economy-gas/?iid=HP_LNFederal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke may or may not give the market more hints about a possible third round of bond purchases at his speech in Jackson Hole next week. But investors are clearly betting on more quantitative easing or other forms of stimulus. Just look at what's going on in the commodity and currency markets.The price of crude oil is getting dangerously close to $100 a barrel again. It hasn't been above that level since May. The euro has strengthened against the dollar as of late, partly due to hopes that the European Central Bank will step in and buy more Spanish bonds and also because of rising expectations for QE3. If the Fed turns on the printing presses so that Bernanke can take yet another helicopter ride, that could further weaken the dollar and push the prices of oil and other commodities higher.* I PRAY THAT BERNANKE IS REMOVED FROM THE EQUATION... (MAKE OF THAT STATEMENT WHAT YOU WILL...)Needless to say, that would not be good news for the U.S. economy. Many consumers are already growing increasingly nervous about the fact that gas prices are once again nearing $4 a gallon nationwide.* AGAIN, FOLKS... I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I NEED TO REPEAT THIS... BUT BERNANKE'S "PLAN" IS TO DEVALUE THE DOLLAR. SINCE OIL IS DOLLAR-DENOMINATED... (*SIGH*)... THAT MEANS EVER HIGHER OIL PRICES.* NOTE, FOLKS... YES... WE STILL GET "VALLEYS" AS WELL AS "HILLS"... BUT THE TREND IS UPWARDS. WHERE OIL USED TO SINK BELOW $3 IT NOW "CATCHES ITSELF" AT ABOVE $3 AND WHEN IT MOVES UP IT MOVES UP HIGHER THAN THE LAST HIGH - NOW APPROACHING $4 AGAIN.Rising energy prices are likely to be a hot topic of debate during the presidential campaign as well. Republican challenger Mitt Romney issued an energy plan Thursday that calls for more offshore drilling. Meanwhile, rumors that President Obama may tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to boost supplies and alleviate some gas price pressures just won't die.* ENDING ETHANOL DILUTION RULES WOULD IMMEDIATELY LOWER PRICES! HE WON'T DO THIS. RELEASING OIL FROM THE STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE IS A SCAM THAT WON'T HELP MUCH SHORT-TERM AND WILL COST MONEY LONG-TERM.But oil prices may keep climbing even if the White House steps in. That's because releasing oil from the SPR won't be enough to counteract the likely moves from the Fed.(*NOD*)Analysts for KilduffReport.com, an independent energy research firm, noted in a report Thursday morning that "the monetary easing from the Federal Reserve is coming" and that "regardless of your view on the effectiveness or necessity of further easing, the markets are highly reactive to the prospects for it." The upshot is that "inflation sensitive commodities" like oil and gold, which has also been on the rise lately, should continue to head higher.* UNFORTUNATELY, OIL ISN'T JUST ANY OL' "COMMODITY" - IT'S THE LIFE BLOOD OF THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE AND THE AMERICAN LIFESTYLE... MEANING OUR STANDARD OF LIVING!* FOLKS... UNDERSTAND... THE LEFT WANTS AMERICAN STANDARDS OF LIVING "NORMED" - MEANING LOWERED. That may make some traders happy. But it would be terrible news for consumers. Despite some encouraging signs of life in the housing market, consumer spending is still relatively sluggish and economic growth is expected to be modest at best for the rest of the year.Throw in worries that Congress is going to close its eyes and take a flying leap off the fiscal cliff following the elections in November and you have yet one more reason why higher gas and oil prices are the last things consumers need right now.* AGAIN... IF ONLY BERNANKE WERE TO BE TAKEN OUT OF THE PICTURE...(*SHRUG*)* TO BE CONTINUED...
* CONCLUDING... (Part 2 of 2)Of course, we can't blame the spike in oil entirely on Bernanke and the Fed. * OH, PLEASE... WE'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE! YES... THERE ARE OTHER CONTRIBUTING FACTORS... BUT SYRIA WAS IMPLODING AND ISRAEL AND IRAN WERE GOING THROUGH THEIR ACT WHEN PRICES WERE DECLINING!Still, the Fed clearly seems to think that the economy needs more stimulus in the form of low long-term interest rates.* THE FED MUST BE - IF NOT SHUT DOWN - REFORMED SO AS TO REMOVE THEIR POWER TO DESTROY OUR ECONOMY!And it's true that real inflation in the classic textbook sense is not a problem yet. * OH, BULLSHIT! (WE'VE GONE OVER THIS A MILLION TIMES, FOLKS...)What's more, if the Fed really wants to try and solve the chronic problem of high unemployment, it may be shooting itself in the foot with more bond purchases. If companies are wary of hiring now, how are they going to feel if their energy costs keep climbing?(*PURSED LIPS*)Make no mistake. A painful side effect of easing could very well be a return to $100 oil and $4 gas ... and that's just going to make the Fed's job even more difficult.* FUCK THE FED! IT'S GONNA KICK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN THE BALLS!
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