A NATO missile struck a house in Tripoli where Moammar Gadhafi and his wife were staying on Saturday, missing the Libyan leader but killing his youngest son and three grandchildren, a government spokesman said.
Seif al-Arab Gadhafi was the sixth son of Gadhafi and brother of the better known Seif al-Islam Gadhafi. The younger Gadhafi had spent much of his time in Germany in recent years.
“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Seif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29, and three of the leader’s grandchildren,” Ibrahim said.
Seif al-Arab “was playing and talking with his father and mother and his nieces and nephews and other visitors when he was attacked for no crimes committed,” Ibrahim said.
Greenspan's Body Count is usually the story of someone driven to murder and/or suicide by despair resulting from the effects of Greenspan's easy money policies.
Today's story is a little different. This family of three died by fire, living in squalor in an abandoned foreclosure in the wreckage of Greenspan's bubble.
Among [subprime lender Accredited Home Lenders' loans] was a balloon mortgage for $384,000 in November 2005 to one Domingo Cedano, who used the money to buy a three-family building at 2321 Prospect Avenue in the Bronx. The mortgage carried an interest rate of 7 3/8 and monthly payments of $2,491. Mr. Cedano put none of his own money into the purchase.
By this week, Mr. Cedano had long since stopped making payments. The property was in foreclosure. Accredited Home Lenders itself had gone bankrupt.
On Monday morning, when a fire in the building killed three people who lived on the top floor, it was a warren of rooms nested inside rooms. As the stairway roared with flames, illegally built walls blocked access to the fire escape for Manuel Lopez and Christina Garcia and their 12-year-old son, Christian Garcia.
Where Greenspan is going, he'll get to know how Manuel, Christina, and Christian felt in those last terrifying moments.
On the eve of the NFL football draft I thought it might be an interesting exercise to consider what kind of football quarterback Ben Shalom Bernanke would be, at what draft position he would be picked at and what would his professional career look like so far. So let’s first consider his collegiate experience.
Major: Modern and Classic Football Theory
Ben studied all the great quarterbacks from Sid Luckman to Otto Graham to Bart Starr up through the modern era QBs such as Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
His major included such topics as Reading Coverages, Utilizing Audibles and Other Topics. His thesis was titled - The Failure of the Jump Pass, A Comprehensive Study.
By all accounts Ben was the most accomplished theoretical quarterback in Princeton history. Some even say in Ivy League history.
Minor: Physics of Football
Ben also minored in the physics behind throwing the perfect football. Ben successfully modeled and demonstrated, using machines of course, the perfect way to throw the football to hit the target both at a standstill and while moving. Again Ben scored excellent marks in this and was awarded the National Collegiate Football Physics Award. Again he is generally considered a titan in the field of football throwing in academic circles.
College Stats: none
Now while being an expert in the science and art of playing the position of quarterback, he never actually played for the Tigers. He certainly attended a couple of games during his college career but as far as playing, on any level really, he didn't. But then why would he, he already was considered the highest level expert in the field of quarterbacking so really there was no need.
Ben applied for the NFL Draft but did not participate in any of the physical tests at the NFL Combine for prospective professionals. He did however participate in all of the interviews and the takeaway by most scouts and coaches was that no one was more confident in being able to play the position of quarterback in the NFL. He stated rather arrogantly that the other quarterbacks couldn't hold a candle to his collegiate accomplishments and therefore insisted he should be the first pick in the draft.
When asked to demonstrate his skills he instead provided numerous papers to illustrate his superior acumen. He refused to actually throw a ball though. He did however manage to impress one organization.
Draft Day – "With the first pick in this year's NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions pick Ben Shalom Bernanke from Princeton University.”
Strangely enough the Lions fans actually cheered because, really, what does it matter who they pick?
It's all the same Only the names have changed Everyday, it seems Greenspan's killin' away Another place where the bodies are so cold Another family that will never grow old
Loyal readers of Greenspan's Body Count already know the story. Only the details differ. A man gets in over his head in debt lured by Greenspan's easy money. The ensuing financial ruin leads to despair and murder. Today's tale comes from the Portland suburb of Vancouver, Washington.
Investigators said Wednesday they believe a Washington father who was sliding into financial ruin deliberately set a fire that blew up his home, killing himself and five of his children.
"The fire was intentionally set," said police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.
Tuan Dao is the only suspect identified.
The Columbian newspaper reported that Tuan Dao's mother answered the door briefly on Wednesday and broke down in tears.
"That was my son, you know?" she told the newspaper before closing the door.
The Columbian reported Dao's wife, Lori, and a 13-year-old daughter were away at the time of the fire.
Police said they believe based on evidence that those killed in Sunday's fire were 37-year-old Tuan Dao, 12-year-old Nolan, 9-year-olds Noah and Jacob, 8-year-old Samantha and 6-year-old Nathan. The names may be officially confirmed in a few days by the Clark County medical examiner's office, which is using dental records, Kapp said.
Tuan and Lori M. Dao filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Sept. 21, 2010. The couple's bankruptcy filing depicts a family once on firm financial footing that began to crumble.
Together they earned $86,000 annually. He was an assistant manager at a FedEx store in Portland, a position he held for 14 years. Lori Dao had spent more than two years as a banker at a U.S. Bank branch in Vancouver.
They cited $158,000 in credit card debt and other debts. The paperwork also disclosed $2,000 in gambling losses. The couple also owed $262,000 on the house that burned, while the property was valued at $179,000.
Their checking accounts were nearly tapped — $50 in one checking account and $700 in another. They estimated an $8,000 refund on their 2010 taxes.
Their largest asset was a $51,165 retirement account.
They took out a second mortgage on the home that burned, but the bank that issued it, San Antonio-based USAA Federal Savings Bank, declined to say when.
Alan Greenspan, you sick bastard. Greenspan's Body Count stands at 159.
Come on now. Even Timmy's mommy has to be embarrassed by statements like this:
The Treasury is steadfastly committed to a strong dollar, Mr. Geithner said. The U.S. will never debase its currency under his watch, he said.
I've got news for you, Timmy. Debasing the currency is exactly what Congress, the Administration, and the Federal Reserve have been doing the past 2+ years while you've been playing Mr. Super Important Treasury Secretary. And they didn't ask your permission.
UPDATE: It looks like the Wall Street Journal has memory-holed the whole story by Bradley Davis and replaced it with a story by Damian Palletta and Janet Hook that omits the Super Timmy statement. Free Republic and others linked the original story too. Here it is as captured by blogger lillierm:
Geithner: Debt-Ceiling Debate Is 'Irresponsible'
April 26th, 18:36
NEW YORK—New headwinds—most notably oil prices—confront the U.S. march to recovery, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday.
Unemployment, long a weak spot in the economy, remains "very high," and the economy feels "unfairly hard" to most Americans, Mr. Geithner said in comments that weighed on the dollar. He said oil prices at current levels, while challenging, weren't at levels that threaten to derail the recovery.
First, though, U.S. lawmakers must agree to increase the debt limit, something some politicians have said they will not do unless there is broad agreement on massive cuts to a bloated federal budget.
The U.S. has "unsustainable" budget deficits and the country faces no alternative but to cut, Mr. Geithner said to an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations. Political consensus has come around to this view, the Treasury secretary said, and despite some discussion to the contrary, politicians will agree to raise the debt cap, he said.
The debate on whether or not to increase the debt limit is "ridiculous" and "irresponsible," Mr. Geithner said.
While talk of a failure to expand the U.S. debt limit has caused some concern that the credit of the nation could be damaged, investors still are confident in the U.S., Mr. Geithner said, as indicated by their flocking to the dollar in times of trouble.
The Treasury is steadfastly committed to a strong dollar, Mr. Geithner said. The U.S. will never debase its currency under his watch, he said.
This "fundamental confidence" in the U.S. depends "a lot," Mr. Geithner said, on the Federal Reserve's controlling of inflation, something he said he was confident the Fed would do.
Lawmakers, also, will play their part in increasing the debt limit, Mr. Geithner said, pegging the end of June as the absolute deadline for approval of the increase.
"Of course they will act," he said.
After that comes the hard part, he said, with deficits needing to be brought down to a sustainable level of 3% of gross domestic product. Rules to enforce budgets to hew to this limit must have teeth, he said.
The "no new taxes" pledge many lawmakers take is "the most difficult" barrier for some to overcome when it comes to crafting a plan to cut spending and increase revenue, Mr. Geithner said.
Whatever reforms are agreed to must be phased in, Mr. Geithner said, saying the U.S. does not find itself in as desperate shape as the U.K., whose leaders have rammed through a series of belt-tightening austerity measures.
Doing the same thing in the U.S. could risk squelching growth, Mr. Geithner said.
The U.S. is far ahead of its global competitors when it comes to reforming its financial system and putting the economy on the path to long-term, sustainable growth, Mr. Geithner said.
Write to Bradley Davis at email@example.com
Zerohedge has posted 22 excellent questions for Ben Shalom Bernanke. If only we lived in a democracy where the representatives of the people held the government responsible for it's actions. Hah! What am I talking about, we'd have to move to Brazil for that.
NL Bonus Question:
Ben, how many dead people will it take to produce your economic utopia? Hunger, my dear Shalom, isn't transitory when ivory tower kleptocrats print, print and print.
UPDATE: Denninger has four great questions. I hope someone among the press idiots is bright enough to ask them.
With gold well above $1500, silver challenging $50, and the dollar index threatening all-time lows even against a basket of other printable fiat currencies, I thought it would be helpful to revisit Advice to a young man on supporting a mistress. This post from a year and a half ago listed investment ideas to protect your portfolio from Zimbabwe Ben. While the positions have performed extremely well since then, I think they still make sense today.
Foreign stocks: VWO, VEA -- Vanguard emerging markets and EAFE index ETFs SWISX -- Schwab international index fund EWA -- Australia stock ETF EWC -- Canada stock ETF
Foreign currencies: FXA -- Australia currency ETF FXC -- Canada currency ETF Everbank.com -- savings accounts and CDs denominated in many different currencies
Foreign bonds: PFUIX -- Pimco Foreign Bond (unhedged)
Commodities: GSG -- Goldman Sachs Commodity Index ETF (yes, they are evil, but their index is OK) GLD, SLV -- gold and silver ETFs GDX -- gold miner index ETF gold coins -- pick them up at your local dealer for $50 -$70 per ounce above the spot price of gold
For most investors with a long time horizon, I'd recommend a very diversified portfolio with most or all of the above in addition to significant chunk of US stocks (VTI -- Vanguard total index is the only thing you need to hold there) and a good chunk of cash/short-term CDs.
I still hold all of the above, or their functional equivalents, with the exception of the the foreign bond fund. With fiat currencies around the world likely to continue competitive devaluation, I'm not that enthusiastic about bonds anywhere.
I also mentioned real estate in the post. Ironically, the one thing Zimbabwe Ben most wants to inflate is the one thing he hasn't been able to yet. It's still an open question whether the dollar collapse will be big enough to overcome today's still-high real estate valuations. But if it does, 4-to-1 leverage with a 30-year-fixed mortgage is a great way to play it.
The Federal Reserve’s experimental effort to spur a recovery by purchasing vast quantities of federal debt has pumped up the stock market, reduced the cost of American exports and allowed companies to borrow money at lower interest rates.
But most Americans are not feeling the difference, in part because those benefits have been surprisingly small. The latest estimates from economists, in fact, suggest that the pace of recovery from the global financial crisis has flagged since November, when the Fed started buying $600 billion in Treasury securities to push private dollars into investments that create jobs.
A Phoenix man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty on Tax Day has been arrested for indecent exposure, police said on Thursday.
Kevin Robert Theriault, 42, was booked on suspicion of three counts each of indecent exposure and public sexual indecency.
The woman, who was standing on a street corner, dressed as the iconic statue to promote a tax preparer, called police after a man had masturbated in front of her four times. [ed. note: I guess she liked it the first three times?]
In his post-arrest interview, Theriault told detectives that he "just wanted to go home to do his taxes," Carbajal said.
In my own areas of modest expertise--poker and aviation--I often gag at what passes for reportage in the mainstream press. They frequently get things flat wrong, and even when the facts are correct, it's clear that the reporter still doesn't "get it."
And now, in case you wanted to know what I was referring to, the panic-mongers at ABC, WaPo, et al, provide Exhibit A: the recent case of Michelle Obama's Near-Disastrous Brush With Death. This is from an aviation writer who actually knows what he's talking about:
Basically, in terminal airspace, where Michelle Obama's C-40/737 was, the required IFR lateral separation is 3 miles, which wasn't compromised. But in following a heavy jet like the C-17, 5 miles of in-trail spacing is required for wake turbulence and that's where the bust was. As the C-17 rolled out on the runway, this evolved into a runway separation issue for the tower controller so he sent the airplane around. Big deal. It happens.
This sent me out in search of world's worst reporter on the aviation beat. And believe me, there's no lack of candidates. I award first place to Lisa Stark, of ABC News, who consistently reports aviation stories, no matter how minor, in urgent, 72-point type. Her report on this incident, while not wildly inaccurate, lacks the balancing perspective a lay viewer could grasp if the story weren't so dumbed down. Her gatekeeping of facts proceeds from the notion that this was a dangerous situation when, in fact, is was just less than optimal. Too tight sequences get fixed every day.
Second place goes to The Washington Post's Ashley Halsey III who decided it would be a good idea to say in his lead that the First Lady's airplane "came dangerously close to a 200-ton military cargo jet." Allowing as how the copy desk—if the Post still has one of those—may have sexed up the lead, it's just wrong. Completely. It's tabloid-level interpretation.
P.S. Never mind that Mobama was cruising around in a jet you paid for to appear on "The View." Ruling class wins again.
One of my favorite daily reads is Grant Williams' Things That Make You Go Hmmmm.
Here's yesterday's issue, with a good section on the joy of physical gold -- and lots of fascinating data on world gold ownership.
Williams had a very short run publishing TTMYGH for investment bank Jefferies, but he was fired for linking to a Hitler parody video that made fun of Jamie Dimon. You DON'T insult Jamie Dimon if you want to work on Wall Street.
I happen to agree with it 100 percent, not that I would want to use it.
But the fact is, if you have a person living in an area that’s not even necessarily a good area, and government, whether it’s local or whatever, government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and make area that’s not good into a good area, and move the person that’s living there into a better place — now, I know it might not be their choice — but move the person to a better place and yet create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good.
Trump would be for the nation what Arnold Schwarzenegger was to California: an unprincipled egomaniac who would put personal aggrandizement and favors for friends ahead of fixing a badly broken government.
The U.S. government plans to sell a significant share of its remaining stake in General Motors Co. this summer despite the disappointing performance of the auto maker's stock, people familiar with the matter said.
A sale within the next several months would almost certainly mean U.S. taxpayers will take a loss on their $50 billion rescue of the Detroit auto maker in 2009.
To break even, the U.S. Treasury would need to sell its remaining stake—about 500 million shares—at $53 apiece. GM closed off 27 cents a share at $29.97 in 4 p.m. trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, hitting a new low since its $33-a-share November initial public offering.
There will be no QE 3. [...] the whole QE game is over. I know that most folks believe Bernanke will issue QE all the way to infinite [sic], but the actual likelihood of this is low given the public’s outrage over the continued bailouts and the like. Obama and the rest of Washington can sell out to the Wall Street banks all they want. But when the US starts experiencing the sort of turmoil that is rocking the Middle East (and it will, mark my words) the QE game will end.
Indeed, the Fed HAS to engage in more QE 3 if it doesn’t want the entire market to collapse. Given the breakdown in Europe, the IMPLOSION in the Middle East, and the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan, the removal of Fed liquidity would kick off a MASSIVE systemic Crisis.
Remember, we had a full-scale market breakdown when QE 1 ended and that was because of Greece: a country with a GDP of $329 billion. Removing liquidity from the markets when Japan, the fourth largest economy in the world (if you count Europe as one economy), the largest Oil exporting region in the world (the Middle East), and Spain and Portugal are all breaking down would lead to an absolute market DISASTER.
The Fed will not risk this. Besides it HAS to keep the liquidity going if it’s to continue supporting the TBTF banks in the US. Remember, 99% of what the Fed’s done in the last two years has been aimed at supporting the large, Too Big To Fail (TBTF) Wall Street banks.
To be fair, I've been a little uncertain on QE3 myself. I've been of the mind that the Fed will eventually have to monetize the giant deficit, but they'd need a big excuse like a market crash to do it.
What's changed between Summers' two forecasts that made him do a 180-degree turn? The Japan disaster, European deterioration, and US GDP slowing. I don't think that's enough yet to overcome gas prices and "Let them eat iPads." But it's probably getting close.
Dubbed the "Cape-A-Bility Challenge," a $73,000 public-relations campaign by Workforce Central Florida features a cartoon character named "Dr. Evil Unemployment" and includes handing out about 6,000 red superhero capes to jobless Central Floridians.
The campaign, revealed Saturday in a report in the Orlando Sentinel, was met with derision by many unemployed who questioned spending more than $14,200 on capes and $2,300 on foam cutouts of "Dr. Evil Unemployment." They said the campaign's tone risked minimizing the severity of the region's labor problems.
Hat tip to Jeff, who notes, "You can wear it to bars and pick up chicks, it has forward facing sleeves so it doubles as a Snuggie, it's made of special material that makes it a perfect Sham-Wow for your car, it has an optional shock corded frame that allows it to do double duty as a pup tent for impromptu camping under highway overpasses, it is flame retardant like children’s pajamas, the Unemployed Cape of Justice allows wearers to leap buildings in a single bound and stop speeding locomotives, a thousand and one uses..."
As you're pondering the campaign, note that
1) Workforce Central Florida gets millions of dollars in federal money, and
It's not just the super-hero campaign. Imagine how much this regional employment office with a $23 million annual budget blew on this flash-intensive, cartoon- and video-loaded web site. Are cartoon flash animations really the best way to spend taxpayer money to get people employed?
The nation's second-biggest academic endowment fund just took physical delivery of $1 billion dollars worth of gold. That's 5% of the value of the fund.
And they don't trust the ETFs or COMEX futures.
If major institutions like this are starting to wake up to precious metals as an investment class, watch out! As we've pointed out before, there ain't that much gold to go around. Not everybody can get to a 5% weight in gold without gold being at multiples of its current price. Do you have your 5% yet?
Independently financed, with a distribution deal done outside of the realm of Hollywood's normal process, Atlas Shrugged, the movie, has hit the theaters. The movie was finally released in 300 theaters (find your local showing here), the numbers so far this weekend are positive, and suggest it could possibly get picked up for wider distribution into perhaps 1000 theaters. For decades, the development of an Atlas Shrugged movie was mired in episodes of fits and starts, as rights changed hands multiple times, and major studios showed tepid interest, despite the book's historically monstrous sales numbers and the large cultural imprint it left in this country, in helping spread kind of strong message of freedom Atlas Shrugged presents.
You might recall W.C. Varones mentioning Atlas Shrugged in the past, here and here.
The book sold approximately 160,000 copies per year, until Obama took office. Then it sold over 720,000 copies in 2008 and 2009, as Obama's rose to the oval office and completed the first year of his presidency. Freedom-loving individuals started seeing the horrors our president was unleashing upon us, and began searching for a better understanding of their own freedom. It sold over 500,000 in 2009 alone (but not in socialist France, where it's unofficially banned, boycotted by all the major French publishers).
If you'd like to help spread the message of freedom, participate in the free market, and take a skeptical or socialist friend to see Atlas Shrugged in the theater. Help keep it in theaters for a while so that others might have a chance to see what real freedom means. It's just "part 1" of a 3 part series of movies that will cover the whole story, and so far, it's fairly true to the book. Ironically, it was partially shot in Chicago.
The movie's release has increased the book's sales, and it is now #4 on Amazon.
The movie really makes clear the story's relevance to our contemporary political situation (which I like to call "Crony Socialism"), as did the Wall Street Journal back in 2009, in this piece called "From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years". And of course, as we would expect in this society that is divided into two classes, "The Ruling Class" and "The Country Class", there's an "enormous disconnect" between the critics' take on this movie, and that of the average viewer, who comes away pleased, informed, and inspired. Demand for tickets in some markets was "shockingly" high. Yet here we see a perfect example of the Hollywood media's basic ignorance and myopia all in one reviewer's comment about the movie:
Especially as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had been an ardent Randian, it's recently become easier than ever to blame contemporary economic ills on the fallout from her unregulated philosophy, even if the fiscal blundering of many governments provides equally persuasive arguments on the other side.
Did a bunch of people leave the state? According to their own data I don't see anywhere in the 4 pages of crack analysis by Loree Levy and Kevin Callori that indicates that. Here's the table: So the labor force shrunk by 39K? Really? That seems pretty drastic for a 1 month period don't you think? Yet on the unadjusted table the unemployment rate increased. Why? Oh:
The share of the population that is working fell to its lowest level last year since women started entering the workforce in large numbers three decades ago, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000. Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record.
How's that working out for tax revenues if so many Americans either can't find a job or don't want to work? Did you know that Obama's budget projects a 65% increase in tax revenues over the next four years?
In the middle of this mess, don't you wish our government would just go ahead and tax us some more? Well, you're in luck! Dick Durbin (D- IL) is pushing the old Internet Tax Bill again. Just watch as they wait until after tax day to propose adding new taxes, and then come out swinging, singing that timeless classic, "Unfair Advantage".
The proposal--expected to be made public soon after Tax Day--would rewrite the ground rules for Internet and mail order sales by eliminating the ability of Americans to shop at Web sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com without paying state sales taxes.
Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second most senior Senate Democrat, will introduce the bill after the Easter recess, a Democratic aide told CNET.
"Why should out-of-state companies that sell their products online have an unfair advantage over Main Street bricks-and-mortar businesses?" Durbin said in a speech in Collinsville, Ill., in February. "Out-of-state companies that aren't paying their fair share of taxes are sticking Illinois residents and businesses with the tab."
Call me naive here, but if a "State Sales Tax" can effectively extend itself to the point where it applies to sales made outside of that state, then why stop at sales made in other states? Why not apply a "State Sales Tax" to purchases made internationally? Or in U.S. territories? Maybe IL should start taxing everything its citizens buy while vacationing in Puerto Rico and call it an "Illinois State Sales Tax". If I sit here in Illinois and buy something from TX via a website, how has the government of Illinois participated in that sale? And why should it get some of that money?
The argument they make, and you can be the judge of its validity, is that online retailers who have brick-and-mortar stores or partnerships in Illinois, must charge sales tax, even if the order itself doesn't get filled by a brick-and-mortar store or partner physically located in Illinois, but gets filled by a brick-and-mortar store from another state. The result? It kills jobs. For instance, after Illinois itself passed its own version of this Internet Tax in March (Durbin is simply proposing the Federal Government pass the same law), Amazon.com is now pulling out of its 9,000 affiliations with Illinois businesses. Those brick-and-mortar stores will lose about 25% of their sales, and they will now have to consider cutting jobs or close up shop. More people go on Welfare, loose their house, can't afford to buy things, and the Big-Government party wins once again.
Staying true to the typical Liberal Politicians' way of "selling" such legislation by publicly stating that it will do the opposite of what it will actually do, thus accomplishing what even his opponents (more conservative people) would want, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn drew from some knowledge-base existing very far outside of Basic Laws of Economics, carefully filled himself up with buzzwords, and then spit them out as he explained the glorious virtues of Illinois's new Internet Tax law:
“Illinois’ main street businesses are critical to ensuring our long-term economic stability, which is why they must be able to compete with every company doing business online in Illinois,” said Quinn. “This law will put Illinois-based businesses on a level playing field, protect and create jobs and help us continue to grow in the global marketplace.”
Did someone move the 2012 election to June 1? We ask because President Obama's extraordinary response to Paul Ryan's budget yesterday—with its blistering partisanship and multiple distortions—was the kind Presidents usually outsource to some junior lieutenant. Mr. Obama's fundamentally political document would have been unusual even for a Vice President in the fervor of a campaign.
The immediate political goal was to inoculate the White House from criticism that it is not serious about the fiscal crisis, after ignoring its own deficit commission last year and tossing off a $3.73 trillion budget in February that increased spending amid a record deficit of $1.65 trillion.
Our country is like the Titanic with one major difference; the iceberg (our debt) is in plain view. Its distance to us it debatable but we can definitely, without question, see it and we are heading right for it.
Our Congress is the management staff or the Titanic, and their solution??? To move a few deck chairs around! From WAPO:
The Congressional Budget Office estimate shows that the spending bill due for a House vote Thursday would pare just $352 million from the deficit through Sept. 30. About $8 billion in cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid are offset by nearly equal increases in defense spending.
$352 MILLION from a deficit of 1,600,000 MILLION? A 0.022% decrease in borrowing?
PEOPLE! I cannot stress enough that the fabric of America is being burned by the liars and counterfeiters of this great nation. We must as a population thank our astute and johnny-on-the-spot law enforcement for cracking down on the evils that so tarnish our population. To wit: BARRY BONDS! Evil, evil, evil! How dare he lie about his use of performance enchancing drugs. The fact that he almost got away with it risked, well, elderly starva....no; risked selling people loans they could not afford...no; risked selling securities that he later shorted and made a profit on....no. Oh yes, he lied to a Grand Jury and that is against the law. But aren't there more sinister examples of Wall Street fat cats lying to everyone that did cause those things? And they don't even get indicted?
BUT I DIGRESS!
As to the Counterfeiters! HOW DARE YOU Chucky Cheese! SHAAAMMMEEEE! What you are doing is destroying the savings of the elder....no; causing commodities prices to sky rocket....no; destabilizing 3rd world countries because of 6 fold food increases....no; enabling the US Government to run trillion dollar deficits....no; destroying DEMOCRA.....no! Chucky Cheese, you sir threaten the very fabric of this great nation with your so called game tokens. HOW DARE YOU DEAR MOUSE, HAVE YOU NO SHAME?!?
Please see Alt-Market for more excellent commentary:
And don't EVEN get me started on getting oral satisfaction from staffers! Unconstitutionally declaring war is one thing but getting a BJ is obviously quite a more serious matter indeed.
NOTE: For those not up to speed on the Chuck E. Cheese reference, please see the case of Bernard Von Nothaus, who was convicted of counterfeiting and labeled a domestic terrorist by the prosecutor for making Ron Paul silver coins which a) look nothing like U.S. currency and b) if you were going to counterfeit currency, why would you do it with precious metals that are worth far more than the currency you're allegedly trying to fake?
Tiger Woods did not win the Masters this year. However, he gave it an amazing run and pulled even with leader Rory McIlroy in Sunday's early going, before ultimately being overtaken and finishing fourth.
I mention it because, had you listened to AP reporter Tim Dahlberg and the countless mainstream outlets that carried him (including Forbes here), you'd have believed that Tiger was out of contention after Saturday's round.
He's as done as some of the patrons who baked for hours in the Georgia sun to catch a glimpse of him. There will be no fifth green jacket on Sunday, even if Woods is the last one to figure that out.
Mocking a fan who had told Woods, "You're in this, Tiger!", Dahlberg concluded his Saturday article:
Not a chance.
This is Exhibit A of why the mainstream press is dying a well-deserved death.
To borrow a line: Those who can do; those who can't become reporters.
I've long been convinced that a reporter is essentially a well-rounded idiot--someone who knows enough to fool the crowd, but not enough to fool anyone who knows what he's talking about.
In my own areas of modest expertise--poker and aviation--I often gag at what passes for reportage in the mainstream press. They frequently get things flat wrong, and even when the facts are correct, it's clear that the reporter still doesn't "get it." (Incidentally I'm watching Suze Orman fool a starry-eyed crowd on PBS right now.)
It's likely the same in your area(s) of expertise. And yet, for every Tiger who dedicates his life to excelling at something, there are a thousand critics/reporters/fans who snicker at each failing, and pretend a knowledge that masks a deep, vacuous cavity in their own respective beings.
I didn't really like Tiger Woods yesterday. Today I recognize he's a thousand times the man that some clown writer for AP is.
Paul Krugman apparently once had something interesting to say about economics, as he got a Nobel Prize for something he wrote years ago (though Al Gore, Yasser Arafat, and Barack Obama all won Nobel Peace Prizes, so maybe I'm reading too much into that).
Nonetheless, as we've documented here again and again, Krugman hasn't had an original economic thought in years. His New York Times columns always boil down to two themes: 1) we're not borrowing, printing, and spending enough money; and 2) Republicans are stupid and/or evil.
Alas, the frequency of Krugman's inanities is far to great for us to respond to every instance. Fortunately, we've found Krugman in Wonderland, an excellent blog devoted to mocking the ridiculous things that Krugman writes. Blogger William L. Anderson is an economics professor of the Austrian persuasion, and it's a thing of beauty to see a relatively unknown professor from a small college regularly destroy the pronouncements of the East Coast elitists' Oracle Krugman.
In response to an article on the Fed ruining elderly savers with zero interest rates, three such victims wrote letters to the editor in today's Wall Street Journal:
When my wife and I planned for our retirement we only expected a return of 4% to 6% on our savings to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. As luck would have it, we retired right into Alan Greenspan's low interest-rates folly. Thankfully, we were "laddered" and survived his relatively short dip with principal intact. But Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's never-ending "zero" interest-rate policy has caused us to bite, not dip, into our principal ("Fed's Low Interest Rates Crack Retirees' Nest Eggs," page one, April 4).
We expect to do our fair share to help the nation recover. To destroy, however, a whole class of senior citizens who have very few tools with which to fight back, while the banks get richer and richer, isn't the American dream.
Here's a message to Ben Bernanke: Get interest rates heading back up to normal levels and the economy will start thinking positively and return to normal levels. Zero rates make everyone think we're still at the edge of a cliff.
Richard Hippner Sun Lakes, Ariz.
As a tax preparer, I have watched as my clients' incomes have fallen for the last three years as their higher earning CDs mature and are rolled over into the near-zero rate environment. They feel they are the ones being punished to save the banks and homeowners.
This is nothing more than a transfer of wealth from savers to speculators, and our country will be worse off because of it.
Richard Chappell West Chester, Ohio
When I retired, 6% was an average CD rate, and I blindly thought it would continue. Later, the government forced me to take out specific amounts of money whether I wanted to or not. Now the interest rate hovers around 1%.
No longer can we live on interest but are forced to reduce our principal in a downward spiral. Evidently President Obama wants to reduce us to abject poverty so we will be forced to depend on government aid. Welcome to the U.S.S.A., the United Socialist States of America.
Harold G. Cohon Morton Grove, Ill.
The Greatest Generation are now Bernanke's collateral damage. The Selfish Generation, baby boomers, have managed to destroy both their parents' generation with dollar debasement and their children's and grandchildren's generations with debt. Well played, boomers. Hope you enjoy that home-equity-funded retirement.
1) This radical is calling for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Why has he not been arrested for Treason yet?a) He has an organized political party behind him, b) he's planned demonstrations at various sites around the nation for this May (historically the Communists' big celebration month), and c) he advocates violence as a means of overthrowing the U.S. government. Is that not enough to warrant Federal Treason charges?
"So, our party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, we are building a Revolutionary Party with one idea in mind; that the same phenomenon that happened in Egypt, will actually happen in the United States."
"Now, we're going to be out on the streets in 2 weeks, in front of White House and around the coutnry demonstrating. Some people will be demonstrating with us because they're against any war. They're against violence. They're against bloodshed. They would consider themselves non-violent people and pacifists. And while we don't like violence, we are not pacifists. And in fact, we recognize that violence is not only sometimes necessary, but necessary for the liberation of human beings. "
"So we, unlike Pacifists, don't abhor violence so much that we could say that violence is never possible."
"Just to make it clear that our opposition to war is not based on an abstract opposition to all manifestations of violence. It is not. "
2) I like when radicals really clarify things for the people out there who are still in denial, living in the fog of what the media presents as current events. Here in this video clip, this radical, violent-advocating Communist explains that "Marxist Politics", "Socialist Politics", and "Progressive Politics", are all the same thing! Hey, all you people who call yourselves "Democrats" or "Liberals" and have a soft-spot for your politicians who use the word "Progressive", wake up! The "Progressive" movement has a name, and has a history. Learn it. The use of the word "Progressive" was started because the people pushing "Marxist" politics in America found that Americans didn't like Marxist politics! So they simply changed the name of what they were pushing to "Progressive". And the current day "Progressives" are indeed still pushing Marxist policies. But you think, since you're so "modern" and "hip" and "tolerant" and "smart", that anyone who calls himself a "Progressive" must be pushing the same things you would want. So you sign on as a "Progressive". They hook you on fashionable, trendy ideas that make you feel good about yourself, and then use you and your support to help them push oppressive and anti-freedom Marxist policies. "Progressive Politiics" is the American version of Marxism.
3) If you research Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Progressive politics, you will find that they use phrases in their propaganda that are normally associated with the polar opposite ideology, which is that of freedom and democracy. Freedom is the polar opposite of Marxism. Yet the Marxists constantly say they want people to be "free". What they don't tell you (at least not until you read the fine print) is that they view "freedom" as having a government that provides everything for you, and protects you from anyone trying to sell you something for a profit. And "Democracy", to a Marxist, is actually "Direct Democracy". "Direct Democracy", to the average American, is a pure nightmare. It means that the people who don't have money will simply vote to take money from those who do. Got some money? Tough. This is "Democracy" to a Marxist/Progressive/Socialist. That's why you always see them carrying signs (like they did in WI protests) touting "Democracy". Don't fall for this. As a "Democratic Republic", we are very different than a "Direct Democracy". We have a "Representative Democracy", which ensures protection of individual rights, and ensures minority rights. Marxists always refer to their revolutions as "Liberations". They are "liberating" people from Capitalism. That's how they see it. That's how they use the language of freedom and liberty to sell their Central Planning, freedom-less utopia to the masses.
Try reading some of the world's radical Socialist leaders' writings. Try, for example, Gadaffi's "Green Book", which is an owner's manual telling Libyan citizens how to live their lives, and about the greatness of their Socialist Revolution. He even talks about the need to "Organize" amongst the lower levels of society, much like Lenin did, and Alynski, and Obama. Oh, you didn't know Gadaffi is a raging Revolutionary Socialist? Media didn't explain that to you? Louis Farrakhan's, Reverend Wright's, and Obama's joint fascination with Gadaffi, and partnerships with Gadaffi, never made sense to you before? Ever heard of "Black Liberation Theology" (Obama's "religion")? There's that word again, "Liberation". Have you ever read their charter? No? So you didn't know that it was based on Marxism? Oh, then I'm sorry for raining on your happy-ignorance parade. Gadaffi's "Green Book" clearly explains that "Freedom" is when all of an individual's material needs are provided to that individual by the government. Is that also your understanding of "freedom"? I only use Gadaffi as an example of Socialist / Marxist / Progressive ideology, not as a way of commenting on current events there.
4) Here are a number of quotes from the video clip, proving the point that this man should probably be arrested for Treason, not in the future sometime, but right now, after he has already threatened violence, and has stated that he is planning to overthrow the U.S. government.
"We are not a party that just analyzes what's going on. We're a party of activism. We believe that without action, without struggle, the idea of Marxist Politics, or Socialist Politics, or Progressive Politics, is in fact, very empty and meaningless. "
"We're not a discussion group. We're not discussing issues because they're interesting. We are discussing things b/c we want to go into struggle against oppression. For the party for Socialism and Liberation, which operates out of a Marxist framework, a Revolutionary Socialist Framework, to answer the larger question; if it wasn't just for oil, what made this war happen?"
"The best thing we can do for the people of Cuba and Venezuela, and the people everywhere who want to be free, is build a Revolutionary Party, and organization, and movement in the United States that can fight and defeat U.S. imperialism."
We are running $1.5 trillion serial deficits, and the clowns in Washington are arguing over $30 billion in cuts. That is less than 1% of federal spending. They are watching a tsunami coming, and they are arguing over what bathing suit to wear.
The shutdown is a farce. They will close the national parks just to show the public that they can screw up people's vacation plans if they don't get a blank check to sell our children into debt slavery.
They may shut it down for a few days until the couch potatoes start complaining because CNN told them to. Then they'll come to a compromise which does absolutely nothing to address the fiscal crisis.
And when QE2 is done, if the Chinese don't want to buy our debt any more to fund the reckless spending, we'll have QE3.
Shut it down for a year! Our parents and grandparents lived without an omni-intrusive federal government and 10% GDP deficits. Let's give it a try.
Be John Galt has linked a hilarious rant pertaining to Lindsey Graham's commentary which we commented on here.
Ms. Barnhardt nails it:
In her second part, which you can get to by clicking the Be John Galt link above, she burns pages of the Koran. I personally can't stand the burning of any books because it's only destruction of content. Whether you think the content is BS or not, it's still destruction and it's wasteful to me. I don't believe any books should ever be burned, BUT I certainly support her right to do so without exception.
I generally think religion is just a huge distraction supported by the ruling class to control their subjects. Whether it be Christian, Muslim, whatever; religion is a tool used to control, and in the case of radicals, incite violence.
The only thing close to religion I have is the Constitution of the United States of America. What I see happening today is people like Lindsey Graham trying to destroy it. And with each action by our current, and previous, administration that violates the Constitution, it becomes more apparent that it is truly at risk.
Statutory supervision of government bureaucracies is usually workable because Congress maintains the power of the purse. But the Fed, which can print money, has no budget constraint. Its profit and loss statement doesn't matter because, unlike every other legal entity, its liabilities are irredeemable. Not having a real budget means that the Fed doesn't have to compete with anyone for scarce resources.
Accordingly, Congress, banks and businesses—institutions that would typically be skeptical of a government bureaucracy's uncontrolled expansion—are instead interested in capturing the Fed for their own purposes. From the Long-Term Capital Management bailout in 1998 to the cleanup of 2008, Congress has come to rely on the Fed's ability to act—and thereby excuse Congress from having to vote on unpopular bailouts. What's more, the government remains dependent on the Fed to help finance its debt going forward. Similarly, banks and big corporations are potential beneficiaries of low-cost leverage and (in the wake of popped bubbles) expedient bailouts.
The superficial aspects – anecdotal accounts of outrageous pension manipulation – have received the most media attention. Meanwhile, the more meaningful issue of whether taxpayers and employees face a ticking time bomb of unfunded liabilities is complex and unsexy, receiving relatively little attention.
For the most part, Brown's plan deals with the former rather than the latter. It gives the illusion of being tough on pension issues without making truly tough choices.
Much of it deals, for instance, with "pension spiking" through various manipulative techniques – outrageous, certainly, but of little effect on the larger and more serious issue. Other points are of equally light weight, such as prohibiting retroactive pension benefits or pensions for convicted felons.
Meanwhile, the plan either omits anything that would touch the larger issue of unfunded liability or places it in the category of "under development."
Free speech probably allows that, but I don’t like that. I don’t like burning the flag under the idea of free speech. That bothers me; I have been one of the chief sponsors of legislation against burning the flag. I don’t like the idea that these people picket funerals of slain servicemen. If I had my way, that wouldn’t be free speech. So there are a lot of things under the guise of free speech that I think are harmful and hateful.
I'll bet Lindsey has a thing for stern father figures in military costumes. Just a guess.
Let me tell you, the First Amendment means nothing without people like General Petraeus. I don’t believe that the First Amendment allows you to burn the flag or picket the funeral of a slain service member. I am going to continue to speak out and say that’s wrong.
But, seriously, click over and read the whole thing. Lindsey comes off as a real intellectual lightweight with an authority fetish trying to defend his position.
ZH posted this and it deserves posting here as well. CNN's soccer moms were thrown into a shark tank by their producers. Behold:
I'd like to thank the producers at CNN for their obvious understanding of improvisational humor. That was a perfect setup and the execution did not disappoint.
DISCLAIMER - I LOVE SOCCER MOMS, I married one, well, she wasn't a soccer mom when we..anyway, some soccer moms don't exactly know all there is to know about foreign politics, budget deficits and the Constitution, in general. But, to their credit, I'm sure percentage-wise soccer moms blow Congress away on that count. I'm just saying that these 2 CNN bimbos project the stereotype of soccer moms in that unflattering way. You know, the type that thinks Regis and Kelly is a major news outlet. Or CNN for that matter..... And most soccer moms are smart enough not to get into debates on subjects about which they know nothing with experts in said subjects.
It's no "Joker". But here's a painting, called "The Forgotten Man", by John McNaughton. It's the artist's vision of how all of our previous Presidents would react to our current President. When artists start to openly express their discontent with any Liberal politician, you know the wider public must be way ahead of them. Especially considering that artists and professional creative types gushed tears of joy as they ushered our first "post racial" President (guffaw!!) into office, it's usually a big, yet very personal, moment of "reckoning" for them as they each individually come to the realization that Obama is just another thieving, lying politician hell-bent on enriching his cronies at the expense of the average citizen. Here's my own anecdotal support for that statement: In Hollywood, CA, back in the fall of 2009, I personally was told first hand by maybe 30 self-described "Liberals" and "Democrats", each of whom was a creative professional, that they thought Obama was an awful President, "a 1-Termer". I never asked anyone's opinion, nor did I even mention the President. But these creative professionals kept volunteering to me their disgust with Obama, out of nowhere, in the course of normal one-on-one conversations.
All of that notwithstanding, I doubt this particular artist was ever much of a supporter of Obama's, judging from his previous work. Still, his career certainly is now in more danger than ever before, as the majority of the arts community remains deeply brainwashed and hypnotized by the Radical Leftists in this nation, and is actively nasty, censorial, judgmental, intolerant, and reactionarily vindictive towards anything and anyone they deem to be even remotely "conservative". -
We've covered the CARB fraud story before, wherein crazy lady Mary Nichols hired a fake researcher with a fake degree from a fake internet university to write a fake report saying diesel trucks were killing little babies. After the fraud was exposed, guess who was fired. Not the fraudsters, but the whistleblower, UCLA researcher Dr. James Enstrom.
"America is not broke. Not by a longshot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just… that it's not… in your hands!" -Socialist Michael Moore in Wisconsin on March 5th, 2011.
Using facts and numbers, let's now see how Michael Moore's implied "solution", which is simply taking the money from those who have it and giving it to those who don't, would help solve our Federal budget problems.