Thursday, May 28, 2015

Weekend at Bernies 3, Vote 4 Bernie!

Weekend at Bernies 3, Vote 4 Bernie!
My favorite candidate. ..

How Bernie Sanders Learned to Be a Real Politician
A portrait of the candidate as a young radical.

Bernie Sanders in 1981, a few months after being sworn in as mayor of Burlington, Vermont Donna Light/AP
Sometime in the late 1970s, after he'd had a kid, divorced his college sweetheart, lost four elections for statewide offices, and been evicted from his home on Maple Street in Burlington, Vermont, Bernie Sanders moved in with a friend named Richard Sugarman. Sanders, a restless political activist and armchair psychologist with a penchant for arguing his theories late into the night, found a sounding board in the young scholar, who taught philosophy at the nearby University of Vermont. At the time, Sanders was struggling to square his revolutionary zeal with his overwhelming rejection at the polls—and this was reflected in a regular ritual. Many mornings, Sanders would greet his roommate with a simple statement: "We're not crazy."

"I'd say, 'Bernard, maybe the first thing you should say is 'Good morning' or something,'" Sugarman recalls. "But he'd say, 'We're. Not. Crazy.'"

Sanders eventually got a place of his own, found his way, and in 1981 was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's largest city—the start of an improbable political career that led him to Congress, and soon, he hopes, the White House. On Tuesday, after more than three decades as a self-described independent socialist, the septuagenarian senator launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in the Vermont city where this long, strange trip began. But it was during Sanders' first turbulent decade in Vermont that he discovered it wasn't enough to hold lofty ideas and wait for the world to fall in line; in the Green Mountains, he learned how to be a politician.

Not long after graduating from the University of Chicago, and fresh from a stint on an Israeli kibbutz, Sanders arrived in Vermont in the late 1960s on the crest of a wave. The state's population jumped 31 percent in the 1960s and '70s, due largely to an infusion of over 30,000 hippies who had come to the state seeking peace, freedom, and cheap land. Sanders and his then-wife bought 85 acres in rural Vermont for $2,500. The only building on the property was an old maple-sugar house without electricity or running water, which Sanders converted into a cabin.

Free-range hair and sandals notwithstanding, Sanders never quite fit the mold of the back-to-the-landers he joined. "I don't think Bernie was particularly into growing vegetables," one friend put it. Nor was he much into smoking them. "He described himself once in my hearing as 'the only person who did not get high in the '60s,'" recalls Greg Guma, a writer and activist who traveled in the same circles as Sanders in Burlington. "He didn't even like rock music—he likes country music." (Sanders did say in a 1972 interview that he had tried marijuana.) "He's not a hippie, never was a hippie," Sugarman says. "But he was always a little bit on the suburbs of society."

What Sanders did share with the young radicals and hippies flocking to Vermont was a smoldering idealism forged during his college years as a civil rights activist—he coordinated a sit-in against segregated housing and attended the 1963 March on Washington—but only a fuzzy sense of how to act on it. Sanders bounced back and forth between Vermont and New York City, where he worked at a psychiatric hospital. After his marriage broke up in the late 1960s, he moved to an A-frame farmhouse outside the Vermont town of Stannard, a tiny hamlet with no paved roads in the buckle of the commune belt. He dabbled in carpentry and tried to get by as a freelance journalist for alternative newspapers and regional publications, contributing interviews, political screeds, and, one time, a stream-of-consciousness essay on the nature of male-female sexual dynamics:

This 1972 Sanders essay, published in an alternative newspaper called the Vermont Freeman, reflected his affinity for Sigmund Freud. Vermont Freeman
Sanders was aimless. Then he discovered Liberty Union.

The Liberty Union party was conceived in 1970 as part of an informal network of leftist state parties that would uproot the two-party system and help end the Vietnam War. In Vermont, the party's leaders hoped to find a receptive audience amid the hippie emigrants. Its cofounder, a gruff, bushy-bearded man named Peter Diamondstone, had predated Sanders at the University of Chicago by a few years; Diamondstone likes to joke that they "knew all the same Communists" on the South Side.

By the winter of 1971, Liberty Union was floundering. "We were lost as a political party," Diamondstone says. That January, Sanders showed up with a friend at the Goddard College library, for a Liberty Union meeting. (The school was a favorite lefty gathering spot, and its alumni include Mumia Abu-Jamal and the members of the band Phish.) It was a large crowd by the group's standards—maybe 30 people. The party was struggling to field a candidate for the upcoming Senate special election. Sanders, with dark hair, thick black glasses, and his two-year-old son in his arms, stood up impulsively in a room full of strangers. "He said, 'I'll do it—what do I have to do?'" Diamondstone recalls.

Sanders lost that race, the first of four losing campaigns over the next five years (twice for Senate, twice for governor). In addition to opposing the war, the party pushed for things including a guaranteed minimum wage, tougher corporate regulations, and an end to compulsory education. (Vermont's schools "crush the spirits of our children" Sanders once remarked). Sanders floated hippie-friendly proposals, such as legalizing all drugs and widening the entrance ramps of interstate highways to allow cars to more easily pull over to pick up hitchhikers.

But through these campaigns, Sanders emerged as one of the leading voices within the organization and as its spokesman to the rest of the state. Within a few years, he was named Liberty Union's chairman. "He was a mouthpiece, he was an orator—we called him 'Silvertongue,'" Diamondstone says. During his 1972 campaign for governor, Sanders crisscrossed the state with the party's choice for president—the child-rearing guru Dr. Benjamin Spock.

During his years with Liberty Union, Sanders' uncommon political views helped him get headlines, but not votes. Bennington Banner
In those early years, Sanders, a member of the Young People's Socialist League at the University of Chicago, was a true believer in what might be called small-s socialism, and had little patience for lukewarm allies. He believed in the need for a united front of anti-capitalist activists marching in step against the corrupt establishment. Guma recalled meeting Sanders for the first time at a campaign information session and asking why the candidate for Senate should get his vote. Sanders, in effect, told Guma that if he even needed to ask, Liberty Union wasn't for him. "Do you know what the movement is? Have you read the books?" he recalled Sanders responding. "If you didn't come to work for the movement, you came for the wrong reasons—I don't care who you are, I don't need you." In interviews at the time, Sanders suggested that dwelling on local issues was perhaps counterproductive, because it distracted activists from the real root of the problem—Washington. Sanders started a small monthly zine to promote the Liberty Union's agenda. It was called Movement.

"I once asked him what he meant by calling himself a 'socialist,' and he referred to an article that was already a touchstone of mine, which was Albert Einstein's 'Why Socialism?'" says Sanders' friend Jim Rader. "I think that Bernie's basic idea of socialism was just about as simple as Einstein's formulation." (In short, according to the physicist, capitalism is a soul-sucking construct that corrodes society.)

Before there was the 1 percent, there was the 2 percent. This lo-fi 1972 ad pitted the young Senate candidate against the elite few who control the nation's wealth. Bennington Banner
Sanders built his campaigns against a theme that would sound familiar to his supporters today—American society had been pushed to the brink of collapse by plutocrats and imperialists and radical change was needed to pull it back. "I have the very frightened feeling that if fundamental and radical change does not come about in the very near future that our nation, and, in fact, our entire civilization could soon be entering an economic dark age," he said in announcing his 1974 bid for Senate. Later that year, he sent an open letter to President Gerald Ford, warning of a "virtual Rockefeller family dictatorship over the nation" if Nelson Rockefeller was named vice president. He also called for the CIA to be disbanded immediately, in the wake of eye-popping revelations about the agency's misdeeds.

But Sanders was beginning to question whether Liberty Union had a future. He drew just six percent of the vote when he ran for governor in 1976 (the three other campaigns didn't fare any better), and he was drifting away from the global ambitions of Diamondstone, who was now advocating "a worldwide socialist revolution." After the last American troops left Saigon in 1975, the anti-war party was faced with an existential crisis. And Sanders faced one of his own. Liberty Union could claim a few victories—it helped to defeat a telephone rate increase and secured more funding for state child dental programs. But he believed that absent a serious change, the party would never be anything more than symbolic.

"That's what distinguished [Sanders] from leftists who were more invested in the symbolism than in the outcome," Sugarman says. "He read Marx, he understood Marx's critique of capitalism—but he also understood Marx doesn't give you to

Sunday, May 24, 2015

PATRIOT Act on life support after Rand Paul stymies renewal efforts

Frankly, Rand Paul is the only Senator I trust, that is not part of the inside-the-beltway fix. Paul and 41 Democrat senators held up this bill because it authorizes spying on all of us.



The Senate plunged into chaos Saturday as Republicans found themselves tangled over the PATRIOT Act, Rand Paul repeatedly stymied his leaders, and senators left town with critical national security programs about to lapse.

In a rare early morning Saturday vote, the Senate blocked a popular House bill that would rein in controversial government surveillance programs. The vote was 57-42, and it needed 60 votes to advance. Immediately after that vote, the Senate also rejected a straight 60-day extension of the Bush-era national security law on a 45-54 vote — leaving the Senate with no immediate options to ensure the programs don't expire before the end of the month.

Paul, the libertarian firebrand and GOP presidential hopeful, pushed the Senate into the wee hours of Saturday to protest the bulk collection of phone records, as weary and recess-hungry senators trudged through a packed to-do list — finishing trade legislation but getting stuck on the PATRIOT Act issues.

"It's not about making a point, it's about trying to prevent the bulk collection of data," Paul told reporters after the Senate floor drama. When asked whether his objections were a fundraising tactic, Paul responded: "I think people don't question my sincerity."


After the two failed votes early Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to swiftly pass shorter and shorter temporary reauthorizations of the PATRIOT Act — extending it to June 8, June 5, June 3 and then June 2 — but he was blocked by Paul, as well as two Democratic senators.

After being stiff-armed at every turn, McConnell announced that the Senate would be back in session on May 31 to resolve the PATRIOT Act standoff — just hours before the critical provisions are poised to sunset.

"This is a high threat period and we know what's going on overseas, we know what's been tried here at home," McConnell said. "We better be ready next Sunday afternoon to prevent the country from being in danger by total expiration of the program that we're all familiar with."

Paul had a long list of demands, even after holding the Senate floor for nearly 11 hours this week while railing against the controversial surveillance tactics. Many of those demands were viewed as unrealistic by his colleagues.

"I'm a little surprised," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said. "Sen. Paul is asking for something that nobody will agree to."

Still, Paul was far from the GOP leadership's sole obstacle. Senate Republicans were scrambling for much of Friday to reconcile vastly different views among their ranks over the PATRIOT Act, and a closed-door party meeting during the day didn't resolve how lawmakers would deal with the provisions that are set to expire after May 31.


After the failure of the two high-stakes votes, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters: "That's what happens when you try to jam everything in a short period of time."

On Friday, senators on both sides of the surveillance divide worked to whip up support — or opposition — against a popular House bill that would rein in the bulk collection methods first revealed by Edward Snowden. That bill passed the House on a 338-88 vote, but influential Senate Republicans, including McConnell, have criticized it as an untested proposal that would be installed just as the nation faces a host of security threats.

At the closed-door GOP meeting, senior senators, including McConnell, told Republicans considering a vote for opening debate on the House's USA Freedom Act that if they did so, the Senate would stay all through next week's recess.

"We need to recognize that terrorist tactics and the nature of the threat have changed," McConnell said Friday. "At a moment of elevated threat, it would be a mistake to take from our intelligence community any — any — of the valuable tools needed to build a complete picture of terrorist networks and their plans, such as the bulk data collection program."

But McConnell has found himself in a bind as the Senate rushes to a deadline at month's end when key provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including the section used to justify the bulk collection program, will expire. The House NSA bill, called the USA Freedom Act, has significant support, but many Senate Republicans oppose the legislation and see current surveillance tactics as a critical part of fighting terrorism.

McConnell preferred a two-month extension of current surveillance law to buy time for a broader compromise on the programs. But senators and aides had indicated in advance of the late night vote that the 60-day punt was also likely to fail.

Most Senate Democrats opposed the 6o-day extension because they believed two months is still too long for the current PATRIOT Act programs to continue. Now, GOP leadership is looking to recalibrate on an even shorter extension — anywhere from one week to one month — and hope that the House swallows that plan.

"If those choices aren't viable, then I'm sure we'll try to go for some shorter extension," Cornyn said earlier Friday.

It's far from clear whether that gamble would work, considering the House has vowed that a short-term extension of current PATRIOT Act provisions, without any changes to bulk collection, won't fly in their chamber. And the House has already left Washington for the weeklong Memorial Day recess, leaving the Senate boxed into a corner on the surveillance issue.

The Senate reconvenes at 4 p.m. on May 31, just eight hours before the PATRIOT Act provisions will lapse.

Two of Paul's closest allies in the House — GOP Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Justin Amash of Michigan — were on the floor for the Saturday vote. Amash said he would oppose even a one-week extension of the current PATRIOT Act provisions, if the Senate were to pass one and send it to the House for quick passage before May 31.

McConnell pressed hard for a 60-day extension for much of the day on Friday. The Republican leader stressed that details of calls surveilled under current PATRIOT Act programs — such as who is making them and their content — aren't being kept, just the time and lengths of conversations. And McConnell raised concerns that under the House bill, telephone companies are not legally required to keep the call records for a certain period of time, although such a data-retention mandate would not have the support to pass Congress.

That was a worry shared by Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats and one of the few members of the caucus who opposes the USA Freedom Act.

"I learned between last year and this year that the phone companies won't agree to retain the data for any length of time, which renders the bill – as far as I'm concerned – ineffective," King said Friday. "If the phone companies can discard the data at any point, then it doesn't protect the public the way I think it should."

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest accused the Senate of playing "chicken" with national security.

"There is no Plan B," as far as an administrative fix to prevent gaps in the program, Earnest said. "These are authorities that Congress must legislate."

Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) unveiled a proposal Friday framed as a compromise of sorts. It calls for a transition period of two years for the telephone companies — which, under the House bill, would hold the data that can be accessed by intelligence officials with a court order — to adjust to the new system. After the two years, the bulk collection by the NSA would end.

Two other expiring parts of the PATRIOT Act — provisions to track lone-wolf terrorists and the use of roving wiretaps — would be permanently reauthorized under Burr's plan.

Kate Tummarello, Alex Byers and Sarah Wheaton contributed to this report.

read more

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Under 0bama income inequality has increased 26%

A measure of a failed presidency: Under 0bama income inequality has increased 26%

While soaring stock prices do nothing to boost the economy, because as 7 years of hard facts have shown, the only thing "trickle down" QE has done is forced economists to jump the shark and demand not one but two seasonal adjustments to goal seek collapsing economic data, the S&P hitting new all time highs on a daily basis has certainly succeeded in one thing: pushing inequality around the globe, and especially in the US, to new record highs.

And earlier today the latest OECD report confirmed just that, when it reported that gap between the rich and poor in most of the world's advanced economies is at record levels.

In most of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development the income gap is at its highest level in three decades, with the richest 10 percent of the population earning 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 percent.

In the 1980s this ratio stood at 7 to 1, the OECD said in a report.

The wealth gap is even larger, with the top 1 percent owning 18 percent and the 40 percent only 3 percent of household wealth in 2012.
"We have reached a tipping point. Inequality in OECD countries is at its highest since records began," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

Keep in mind this only looks at earnings, which have actually slowed down in recent years, and ignores the massive imbalance in accumulated assets: assets which almost exclusively are controlled by the top 10%. As for the bottom 10%, 50% and even 90%? Well they have "liabilities."

Sadly as this point it is far too late for hopes of a change: the wealthy are so engrained in the fabric of official decision-making, that any hope they would willingly cede their wealth, or power, is naive. As a result, the failed policies which have pushed the world to this disastrous condition will continue as can be seen by the recent launch of QE in Europe and the boost of QE in Japan, which will make the rich even richer, and the poor and hungry even madder until one day, the entire world decides it has had it and is covered in a bloody revolution against a broken status quo regime.

The OECD's is a little more politically correct, but it too now gets the message:

"By not addressing inequality, governments are cutting into the social fabric of their countries and hurting their long-term economic growth," said Gurria.

Here is the direct evidence that it is the Fed's policies that are causing the economic slowdown: the study found that the rise in inequality between 1985 and 2005 in 19 OECD countries knocked an estimated 4.7 percentage points off cumulative growth between 1990 and 2010.

One can only imagine what inequality did to GDP after 2005 when it really took off.

Another point Zero Hedge has made since 2010: the reason there is no inequality is the surge in part-time labor and temp jobs, which the idiot economists have consistently spun as bullish for an "any minute now" recovery. As it turns out it was just another byproduct of the Fed's disastrous monetary policies.

According to AFP, "an increase in part-time and temporary work contracts as well as self-employment was seen as an important driver of increased inequality, with half of all jobs created in OECD countries between 1995 and 2013 falling into these categories."

So we guess that wasn't just yet another Zero Hedged "conspiracy theory" after all.

Naively, the OECD believes that wealth redistribution with taxation may fix the problem:

Redistributive taxes and transfers is another effective option, said the OECD as it noted that existing mechanisms have been weakened in many countries.


"To address this, policies need to ensure that wealthier individuals, but also multinational firms, pay their share of the tax burden," said the OECD, which has been playing a key role in an international effort to crack down on tax avoidance.

Great on paper; horrible in practice for the simple reason that it is the wealthiest 0.001% who now own the legislative branch, directly and indirectly, will never agree to laws that tax them more. Case in point: Buffett who is all about boosting income tax which crushes the middle class, while staying mute on carried interest and financial asset tax. Of course: he is no idiot, and realizes that in a crony capitalist world made for billionaires, the only thing that matters are "assets." Plus cash flow in a ZIRP (and certainly NIRP) world is a thing of the past.

And finally, while the US middle class is approaching extinction and millions are desperate to find how to feed their families, the 0.001% are spending their money on stuff like $50,000 monthly rentals. From Bloomberg:

There's a four-story townhouse on the Upper East Side for $35,000 a month that Marilyn Monroe once called her "sanctuary," according to the listing, and a four-bedroom duplex in Midtown for $70,000 that Oscar winner Anne Hathaway used to rent. There are rentals in iconic new buildings and in grand old hotels. For $42,500 a month, you can live in the Chelsea condominium designed by Pritzker-winning architect Jean Nouvel. For a cool quarter million, there's the Jewel Suite at the New York Palace, decorated with glass-encased rings and necklaces by the designer Martin Katz. (Management will gladly add the baubles to your bill, said Margaret Bay, an agent at Brown Harris Stevens, who has the listing.)


In all, there were 82 apartments renting for at least $50,000 a month listed on StreetEasy during the first three months of the year, more than triple the number listed in the first quarter of 2008. At lower thresholds, luxury listings are also on the rise. Apartments renting for more than $25,000 a month made up 0.95 percent of total inventory in the first quarter of 2015, up from 0.46 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Real estate agents and wealth managers say the increase in expensive rentals is partly an outgrowth of the luxury building boom sweeping through New York City, and partly due to the shifting whims of a global elite that wants luxury digs without the hassle of a long-term commitment.

How does all of this class insanity end? Simple: watch the following documentary on the French Revolution which we first posted over the weekend, for the answer.

Rand Paul Filibustering Renewal of Patriot Act 5-20-2015

Funny, how most of the Senators that were there and agree with Senator Rand Paul are Democrats, including this opening segment with Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon.
The NSA withheld information from the Senate and lied about it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jobs? Only in government with this administration

Congressman Love: "Funny how some only talk about jobs when it expands government control. Where was the concern for jobs in 2010 with the passage Obamacare?"

Monday, May 18, 2015

Yahoo Finance: The Saudi's just went nuclear on their 0bama snub

The Saudis & others now say they'll match Iran--so thanks, 0bama, for setting off a Middle East nuclear arms race!

Friday, May 15, 2015

0bama is simply a passenger in the nation's car wreck

There you have it, straight from the mouth of a typical millennial. 0bama is on the sidelines, and is not responsible in ANY way for the mess we are in, whether it be Iraq, the economy, healthcare costs, you name it. It's just not his fault.

On Wednesday afternoon, just as she sat down to watch TV and eat a corn dog, Ivy Ziedrich's phone rang. It was her sister in Montana.

"I am so proud of you," her sister said, "for yelling at a politician."

It was the first inkling that Ms. Ziedrich, a 19-year-old college student with a passion for the debate team and the finer points of Middle Eastern policy, had gone viral.

Her confrontation with Jeb Bush, in which she told the former Florida governor a few hours earlier, "Your brother created ISIS," was suddenly everywhere online, casting an unwelcome hue on President George W. Bush's legacy from the war in Iraq.

"My sister started freaking out," Ms. Ziedrich recalled.

In an interview, Ms. Ziedrich described a dizzying 24 hours of social media frenzy, her upbringing in a conservative Republican family, and the circumstances that prompted her to approach Jeb Bush, who was in Reno for a town hall-style meeting on Wednesday.

She had shown up with a few college friends uncertain of whether she wanted to ask anything at all. But as Mr. Bush spoke about the rise of the Islamic State, and put blame on President Obama for removing troops from Iraq, Ms. Ziedrich found herself becoming furious. ISIS, she believed, was the product of George W. Bush's bungled war in Iraq.

"A Bush was trying to blame ISIS on Obama's foreign policy — it was hilarious," said Ms. Ziedrich, who attends the University of Nevada. "It was like somebody crashing their car and blaming the passenger."

She acknowledged she was deeply nervous about walking up to him after the meeting and asking her question. "I get nervous any time I talk to an authority figure — he wants to be president of the United States," she said.

Her question and his reply seemed to distill deep, lingering anger of the war in Iraq and encapsulate Mr. Bush's political challenges as the brother of George W. Bush. Much online commentary has focused on her somewhat aggressive tone, a fact that Ms. Ziedrich finds a bit baffling.

"I wasn't trying to be disrespectful," she said. In fact, she said she is grateful that Mr. Bush responded, even if it did not exactly satisfy her.

Ms. Ziedrich, a high school debater who specialized in the parliamentary style and still helps coach her former team, said that all the attention she is garnering from those on the right (who thought she was rude) and those on the left (who want to canonize her) is confounding given her own political journey. Growing up in Northern California, she considered herself a conservative like her mother and father, who is a loyal Fox News viewer.

Then she identified as a libertarian and, ultimately, as Democratic, influenced by her time spent debating and by books like Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."

Speaking from her apartment, Ms. Ziedrich says she is busy juggling calls from old friends and media outlets.

"I am still trying to process all of this," she said.

So far, her mother has expressed approval of the confrontation. But she hasn't yet spoken with her father. "I am hoping he will be proud of me," she said.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

No worries - Stocks at all time highs!

Given that US equities are at record highs, everything must be great in the US economy...

US Retail Sales At Recession, Weakest Since Financial Crisis

Yeah, now would be a GREAT time to buy stocks. Bwahaha ha ha

Oh well: it rained in the spring, unexpectedly, preventing Americans from spending trillions in cash they don't have on stuff they don't need. Oh, and don't forget Easter came around this year.

April just printed the slowest YoY growth since Nov09 at just 0.9% (retail sales has still missed expectations for 4 of the last 5 months). Against expectations of a 0.2% MoM rise in April (considerably slower than the 0.9% pop in March), Retail Sales missed with a 0.0% change. Ex-Auto and Gas MoM also missed with a mere 0.1% gain (aghainst +0.5% exp.) but it was the control group that saw the biggest miss, printing 0.0% (against hopeful expectations of a 0.5% gain). There was widespresd weakness with outright declines in autos, furniture, gas, food, electronics (AAPL hangover), and general merchandise.

What is curious is that moments ahead of the release, sellsiders were overslling the retail print to appear far more important than it is, in hopes for a big beat. CRT strategist David Ader says in note that "Retail Sales is, oddly, perhaps more important than NFP..."

And now we get the talking down.

MoM saw a modest reveision in march save it from 5 monthly misses in a row:

Year-over-Year retail sales growth slowest since July 2008's slump:

Worse, non-seasonally adjusted retail sales which however are perfectly relevant on a Y/Y basis as the same seasonal adjustment takes place every 12 months, posted their first decline since the Great Recession.

And the Control Group shows no signsof improvment post-weather or post-gas savings...

The Breakdown is particularly ugly...

Oh well: it rained in the spring, unexpectedly, preventing Americans from spending trillions in cash they don't have on stuff they don't need. Oh, and don't forget Easter came around this year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

National Debt: Can You Explain It In 10 Seconds?

Yeah: Dummycrats spend more that we have on useless crap!

There are so many ways to talk about the 10-year balanced budget plan Congress passed last week – the first blueprint of its kind since 2001.

But when a 16-year old blogger asked Speaker Boehner, "Can you explain this debt to me so I can explain it to my friends?," he went with a more straightforward approach. Take a look.

Over seven years, President Obama has NEVER proposed a budget that balances.  But now, just four months into the new Congress, Republicans have worked together to pass the first joint 10-year balanced budget since 2001.  

As former Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote last week, "The comparison between undisciplined, out-of-control spending and a pro-growth plan to cut spending and reduce the size and scope of the federal government should hearten every conservative."
Of course, this budget is just a blueprint, and as we continue to build on it, it's worth putting in perspective  – as Speaker Boehner did here -- why this work is so important.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Americans Not In The Labor Force Rise To Record 93,194,000

Shameful. We can do much better!

Americans Not In The Labor Force Rise To Record 93,194,000

Part-Time Jobs Soar By 437,000; Full-Time Jobs Tumble, Stay Firmly Under Pre-Recession Highs

0bama economy still sucks!
For all the talk about a jobs recovery and about a US economy that has put the great financial crisis and recession of 2007/8 in the rear view mirror, don't tell it to those workers who desire a full-time job and instead are forced to settle with measly part-time offerings (mostly courtesy of Obamacare). Because as the chart below shows, as of April 2015, the number of full-time jobs remained well below the pre-recession peak, which incidentally was hit on December 2007, the month the last recession officially started.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

In 2014 there were 141 pipeline explosions in the US.

Correction, 141 oil train derailments and fires.

Exactly two months after the latest Warren Buffett-owned BNSF train derailed near the spot where the Galena river meets the Mississippi, resulting in a huge fire and the evacuation of all homes in a one mile radius, moments ago another of Buffett's BNSF oil trains derailed, this time near the town of Heimdal, North Dakota, resulting in the same outcome.

According to the Bismark Tribune, the town in Wells County was evacuated Tuesday morning after a train full of oil tanker cars derailed and burned about a mile and half east of here.

Wells County Emergency Manager Tammy Roehrich said the BNSF Railway oil tanker train derailed around 7:30 a.m., setting six oil tanker cars on fire.

Roehrich said she couldn't get close enough to the train to see whether it was exploding or just burning. No injuries were reported, she said.

 "It looks a lot like Casselton," she said, referring to the fiery train wreck of oil tankers near Casselton in late 2013.

As a reminder, in 2013 another oil train, also owned by Buffett's Burlington Northern, derailed and led to the evacuation of the town of Casselton, and people living in a 5 mile radius.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Keeping score ?

For those keeping score at home, the 2016 race for president pits a corrupt aged white woman on one side (Clinton)...
Against a female former CEO of a Fortune 500 company (Fiorina),
 a brain surgeon who is black (Carson),
 a former TV host and governor (Huckabee),
 the longest serving Governor of Texas (Perry),
 the Indian-American Governor of Louisiana (Jindal),
 and we already have a doctor turned Senator (Paul),
 two Hispanic Senators (Rubio, Cruz),
 and we are waiting on the former Governor of Florida who speaks Spanish and is married to a lovely lady from Mexico (Bush),
 not to mention the very successful Governor of Wisconsin (Walker).
There may be more (NJ Gov Christie, Ohio Gov Kasich, Former PA Sen Santorum, SC Sen Graham)


So why would we ever vote for a corrupt aged white woman of a bygone era with little or no accomplishments telling the nation that to go forward they must go backward?

Friday, May 01, 2015

Quid Pro Quo: Uranium One for campaign cash

If this were a Republican the story of Quid Pro Quo would be on the front page of the New York Times. Oh wait, this IS from The New York Times! Time for Hillary to pack her bags and go... directly to jail

From the NYTimes:
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One's chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company's assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show....