Trimming gold

If you've had a responsible 5% - 10% portfolio allocation to gold and silver and the miners, it's now grown to an oversized position. I've been trimming recently where I could do so without triggering serious tax consequences. I'm only selling ETF and miner positions, of course. I'll never give up the physical.

I even bought Oct 125 GLD puts today, a little speculative bet on a pullback.

I'm probably early, but it never hurts to take a little off the table.

Dirty Fed leaks information to favored elites so they can trade ahead of the public

There's no better word for this than "kleptocracy":

To the outside world, the Federal Reserve is an impenetrable fortress. But former employees and big investors are privy to some of its secrets -- and that access can be lucrative.

On August 19, just nine days after the U.S. central bank surprised financial markets by deciding to buy more bonds to support a flagging economy, former Fed governor Larry Meyer sent a note to clients of his consulting firm with a breakdown of the policy-setting meeting.

The minutes from that same gathering of the powerful Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, are made available to the public -- but only after a three-week lag. So Meyer's clients were provided with a glimpse into what the Fed was thinking well ahead of other investors.

His note cited the views of "most members" and "many members" as he detailed increasingly sharp divisions among the officials who determine the nation's monetary policy.

The inside scoop, which explained how rising mortgage prepayments had prompted renewed central bank action, was simply too detailed to have come from anywhere but the Fed.

Greenspan's Body Count: Paul Grothe

Marin Independent Journal:
A longtime real estate broker died Monday night of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Tiburon police said.

Paul Grothe, 71, of Tiburon, was co-owner of Marin Land Co. at 1610 Tiburon Blvd. with his wife, Zohre. His body was found by his wife in the couple's garage Monday night, said Tiburon police Chief Michael Cronin.

He said Grothe had been depressed about business and personal matters. The Marin County Coroner's Office, which will determine the official cause of death, was expected to conduct an autopsy Wednesday.

HT: Bob in Dallas.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 144.

McDonald's to drop health care coverage for 30,000 workers due to ObamaCare rules

Hope and change:
McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers' health plans as the law ripples through the real world.

Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn't loosen a requirement for "mini-med" plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.

The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.

While many restaurants don't offer health coverage, McDonald's provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald's official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain's insurer won't meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.

McDonald's and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims.

Late McDonald's owner Joan Kroc was a big-time Democrat donor. She's probably spinning in her crave at the incompetent tyrants that are today's Democratic Party.


Great! Let's try it here.

Goldman warns regulation could drive it out of Europe.

Tea Party reject Mark Williams screams for attention by attacking Tea Party leaders

I've said before that Mark Williams was not the face of the Tea Party.

Since then, Tea Party Express, a Republican organization not aligned with Tea Party Patriots, kicked Williams out for bad racist satire.

Embittered, Williams is now attacking real Tea Party leaders including Mark Meckler and Dawn Wildman. I know Dawn Wildman and I've met Mark Meckler, and I have a deep admiration and respect for both of them. Read all about it at Temple of Mut.

UPDATE: Here's the weasel Mark Williams begging for cash under the name "Tea Party patriots." Note the lower case "p" which I guess is supposed to distinguish it from "Tea Party Patriots," the organization which Williams is not a part of and which he is openly attacking.


Varones Voters' Guide to the 2010 California Propositions

Your reform / libertarian / common sense / Tea Party guide to the issues.

UPDATE: Guide to the candidates is here.

Prop 19 - Yes. Legalize marijuana. Stop prosecuting adults for what they decide to consume, and let law enforcement focus on real crime.

Prop 20 - Yes. Stops politicians from gerrymandering their own districts and creates a citizens' panel to draw district boundaries for Congressional races.

Prop 21 - No.
Increases car tax to pay for state parks. We already pay taxes for the state parks, but Sacramento politicians gave it all away to the state employee unions. This is just another money grab to fill the hole left by the money they stole.

Prop 22 - Yes No.
Prohibits politicians from raiding transportation funds to fill holes in general fund budget. UPDATE: I'll trust Chuck DeVore on this one:
Initially, I was in favor of this initiative, as I thought it dealt solely with protecting local funds from raids by Sacramento. As I studied it I discovered otherwise. Prop. 22 is really about protecting often abusing redevelopment agencies from Sacramento. Redevelopment agencies use eminent domain to take property from one private owner and give it to another. They are legally state, not local agencies, and they have been diverting ever larger chunks of local property tax revenue (now some 12 percent) away from local schools, fire departments, and special districts.

Prop 23 - Yes. Suspends California's draconian, job-killing AB32 energy tax until the economy improves.

Prop 24 - No. Raises taxes on California businesses, already struggling in the worst business state in the U.S.

Prop 25 - No. Makes it easier for legislature to raise taxes by removing 2/3 requirement. Even with the 2/3 requirement, we have the highest taxes in the nation. Imagine what they'd do if we made it even easier!

Prop 26 - Yes.
Closes loophole where politicians can raise taxes without a 2/3 vote by dishonestly calling them "fees."

Prop 27 - No. Reinstates gerrymandering, allowing state legislators to draw their own districts.

San Diego Prop D - No.
Raises the sales tax to among the highest in the entire United States to allow the fatcat public employee unions to avoid pension reform.

I came to these positions independently, but my views align with many reform/liberty organizations such as the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, Richard Rider's San Diego County Tax Fighters, Temple of Mut, the John and Ken Show, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, and the CA Libertarian Party.

I welcome your feedback. Please forward to your liberty-minded friends. Candidate endorsements to follow soon.


New faces in a growing movement

Shane Atwell is a brilliant new libertarian blogger I've recently begun reading. He posts sporadically but thoughtfully. Bookmark him.

Here's his book review on Dick Armey's Give Us Liberty. Click on over for both Armey's excellent articulation of the Tea Party movement, and Atwell's excellent review of the book.

You can't fix stupid, but you can put it on the government dole

UAW Workers Vote 457 to 96 to Close Plant Instead of Reducing Salaries

Casey Serin is back!

Having laid low for a while, our friend Casey Serin, formerly of the now-defunct I am Facing Foreclosure blog, is blogging again at I am Fighting Foreclosure. He lost all of the houses he bought in the bubble with no income and no money down, but now he's fighting to keep his parents' house from foreclosure.

The new blog is a mix of practical advice (bankruptcy as foreclosure delay) and kooky scam attempts ("Accepted for Value" idea that you can just forward all your debts to the U.S. Treasury Department).

Welcome back, Casey! We missed you.

Rise of the Machines, continued

Here we go again. Why would you hire people and take on huge payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and ObamaCare liabilities, when you can automate or outsource instead?

Morgan Stanley Institutes Investment Banking Hiring Freeze With More Fun Possibly To Come

According to Charlie Gasparino, “there will be fairly significant cuts” if “the fourth quarter mirrors the third quarter.”

vs. machine:
Cognex Corp. (CGNX) raised its third-quarter revenue guidance on stronger-than-expected demand from the factory automation market, which provided more than two-thirds of its business in the previous quarter.

Shares jumped 11% to $25.38 in after-hours trading. The stock was up 29% this year as of the close.

The vision-sensor maker now expects record revenue between $74 million and $76 million, up from its August forecast of $65 million to $68 million.

Because he wants children to dislike him as much as adults do

Obama calls for longer school year.

Paging Dr. Fama, Paging Dr. Fama

Eugene, can you please tell the ignorant masses where today's action falls in your Efficient Market Hypothesis?

I suggest that in a world where high frequency trading is the bulk of the market action, the hypothesis is just that; something to jerk off to down in Hyde Park because obviously the world they are discussing doesn't exists.

The markets are broken, friends; they don't work for you and me. They only work for the insiders, and even an administration change which promised Hope and Change won't change this.

Again, Lucky Luciano was extremely correct in saying “I realized I’d joined the wrong mob” after taking a tour of the stock market.

Denninger and Zerohedge provide much more analysis of today's flash crash of Progress Energy Inc. In summary - you have to be stupid to play in and think you can beat this market. It's royally rigged.

CNBC survey: Dirty Fed to print, print, print

I wouldn't want to be short stocks or gold when the Fed starts up the blizzard of dollar bills known as QE2:

The Federal Reserve will boost its balance sheet by about half a trillion dollars over a six-month period beginning in November and keep it inflated for up to a year, according to a survey of leading markets participants by CNBC.

About 70 percent of the 67 respondents, which include economists, strategists and fund managers, believe the Fed will begin quantitative easing again.

Of those, 80 percent believe the Fed will start before the end of this year. November is seen as the most likely month for the Fed to restart asset purchases by 38 percent of those who took the survey, but December was a close second with 32 percent.

“The trigger for the resumption of quantitative easing late this year will be an increase in unemployment back into double-digits,” wrote Mark Zandi, of Moody’s Economy.Com. He thinks the Fed will act in December and ultimately purchase an additional $1 trillion in assets.

Keep it inflated for up to a year? If the Dirty Fed actually starts looking for an exit within a year, I'm Santa Claus.


Even the vandals know the Democrat / MSM talking points

If you criticize Democrat economic policy, you're a racist.

Kate Zernike was here.

Racist Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez tries to inflame ethnic tensions between Latinos and Vietnamese

The scary thing is that Sanchez is so confident that her audience is so overwhelming racist that they would be supportive of, rather than offended by, a message like this.

Are today's Orange County Hispanics as racist as 1950's West Virginia white voters who sent Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd to the House of Representatives and then the Senate on a similar message of hate and division? We may find out in November.


Pelosi and Company Beg for a USDA, SSA, USPS Bailout OR ELSE

I'm not kidding.

The Obama administration last week submitted to lawmakers a spending proposal that would cost, according to Republican estimations, between $20 billion and $30 billion.

The administration is asking Congress to add some of these spending initiatives to a bill that must be approved by October 1 to avoid a government shut-down.

Don't ask me if this is really happening, you already know the answer.


555 YVR - Release 2.0

We've reported many times about a couple of condo complexes in suburban Walnut Creek. 555 YVR (Ygnacio Valley Road) is a particular favorite because traffic-wise it sits on the busiest street in the city and abuts motel and a gas station. It's still at least 4 blocks from downtown stores contrary to what the website implies and the only real convenient shopping is the nearby Target(of course pronounced 'TAR-jae' by these residents).

It became real comedy when some of the units were converted to low income housing which we linked here. You know, you get to sit on the top of the luxury, urban/suburban setting here sipping chardonnay with your fellow low income owners. Although I believe they prefer a pinot grigio, but this place supports diversity so that's OK.

But I could be wrong, this owner seems to be living the dream:
...When I evaluated 555YVR, I was struck by the urban contemporary feel (SoMA on North Main…), and their attention to design detail. Having lived here a few months, I find that the fringe benefits are not bad either. Walking distance to all the downtown amenities? Check. Proximity to public transportation and the freeway? Got that, too. Rooftop lounge with fireplace and stunning view of Mt D? Yup!

And now, to add to the mix, a nascent courtyard “scene”. What better way to wind down than returning home to an on site ”happening”! As a foodie bachelor who is challenged in the culinary department, I’m always a sucker for free food and wine. On my wishlist? That a certain residential yoga instructor organize a sunset yoga class up on the roof, followed by a wine social.

Anyway, the reason this came to my attention again is that I got a flier in the mail advertising a 3.5% down payment option. Brilliant! The less you put down the easier it is to walk away from this pig when it's lost half it's value. I mean what happens to the value of your condo if they decide to turn it into a rental building like the Mercer?

Yesterday's FOMC summary

Lifted from the comments over at JDA's place, where she enjoyed it so much I thought it was worth repeating here:
In other news, the Dirty Fed said the economy is totally fu***d and they are going to debase the currency as much as necessary to keep the stock market afloat in nominal terms, and gold hit another new high.

But that's all Same S***, Different Day.


Heckuva job, Larry

His failings more diffuse, and yet profoundly more powerful, than those of a favorite whipping boy of the Bush years, Lawrence Summers calls it a day.

Whatever happened to... ?

Remember the Coffee Party, that fake grassroots group organized by an Obama operative as a reactionary response to the Tea Party?

How's that working out for you?

Mitch McConnell's duplicitous cowardice and hypocrisy

... and Jim DeMint's courage, and Lisa Murkowski's betrayal.
The knives were out for Jim DeMint in the Senate last week, as Republicans laid into the South Carolina senator for supporting Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell over Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican primary and endangering the GOP's chances of taking control of the Senate in November.

Wonder if Sen. Lisa Murkowski will get the same treatment this week?

The Alaska senator lost the Republican primary to her Tea Party-backed challenger, Joe Miller, in a fair fight. But instead of graciously conceding and endorsing the Republican nominee, Murkowski announced Friday that she will continue her campaign as an independent write-in candidate. Polls showed Miller -- a West Point grad with a Bronze Star and a Yale law degree -- leading Democrat Scott McAdams by six to eight points. Now Murkowski has thrown the race into disarray. Where is the outcry at Murkowski for putting a Republican seat -- and the Republican majority -- at risk?

GOP leader Mitch McConnell -- who helped to engineer Murkowski's rise to the Republican leadership table -- has accepted her resignation from her post as vice chairwoman of the Republican Conference. But Murkowski has not been required to give up her position as the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee -- a perch she will no doubt use as evidence she can deliver for Alaska. Will McConnell strip her of this role, too -- and make clear to Alaska voters that Murkowski will not enjoy the privileges of her GOP seniority if she is elected as an independent in November?

McConnell and other GOP leaders threw down the gauntlet to DeMint last week, telling him it was his responsibility to make sure that O'Donnell won in Delaware. DeMint responded with a "money bomb" -- raising, at this writing, more than $214,000 for O'Donnell in a just a few days, with a target of $348,000 by the end of this week. Will McConnell and the GOP leadership produce a "money bomb" for Joe Miller? If delivering Delaware is DeMint's responsibility, then delivering Alaska just became McConnell's responsibility.

Obama: United States is hopelessly insolvent

He didn't put it like that, of course. Karl Denninger clears up the obfuscation. It's the entitlements!

Entitlements consume, for all intents and purposes, every dollar of tax receipts in the here and now. Not tomorrow, not as growth in medical spending occurs, not in the future.

Right here, right now, today.

Note that we haven't spent one nickel on defense yet. Nor have we paid the interest on the debt, which is quite mandatory. Nor have we funded one of our so-called "discretionary" programs, including Homeland Security, Energy, Education, HUD, Department of State, Veterans Affairs, Justice or anything else.

What President Obama told you is that The Federal Government has no plan to deal with this, not now and not in the future. It cannot even meet its own entitlement spending from the taxes it collects, leaving the entirety of the rest of the government, including national defense, to be put on the credit card.

You were told, today, that our government is insolvent.

Not "might become" insolvent if we don't change our ways.

The United States is insolvent, right here, right now, today, and The President announced it for all who cared to listen worldwide on national television.

President Obama says "we can't afford" that $700 billion. But that number is over 10 years, as are all numbers proffered by the CBO and other agencies when talking about the budget and debt. Those numbers are thrown around because they make you think they're big now, which is especially important when a politician wants to lie to you about what they can and will do about deficits tomorrow.

In point of fact it's $70 billion a year, or about $5.8 billion a month.

The Federal Government accumulates, at today's run rates, approximately $4.1 billion in deficits per day.

That is, this big fat "$700 billion" amounts to roughly 5% of the deficit, and that is what we would "collect" if taxes go up and people do not shift behavior as a consequence (but they probably will.)

Got it yet?

The "Bush Tax Cuts" are absolutely irrelevant to this discussion. The problem is not found in taxes and cannot be solved via tax policy. President Bush, via signing Medicare Part D, dramatically exacerbated this problem, but he was hardly the one who started it. For that you need to look back to FDR and Eisenhower, along with all the others since including The Right's "standard bearer" Ronald Reagan.

It is mathematically impossible to solve this problem without dramatically cutting back on entitlement spending - by something approximating one third to one half.

That isn't going to happen (voluntarily) either.


Friends in high places

Yesterday was the quasi-quarterly Beer Summit, a gathering of local San Diego bloggers and Tea Party leaders.

A couple of them had big news to celebrate. Tim Daniels, aka Left Coast Rebel, has been picked up by Pajamas Media and is now an official guerrilla journalist. Here's his first piece. And local Tea Party founder Dawn Wildman was covered in the highbrow National Journal in an article by Jonathan Rausch on the unique, decentralized organizational structure of the Tea Parties.

The Liberator today sums up the Beer Summit:
Looking around at the folks gathered at the Beer Summit today at Sarah's place, I thought that the founding fathers would have been both appalled by and proud of our situation. I saw a small group of ordinary Americans, Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians, just one of a countless number of such groups, roused to action by a federal government that had over reached its bounds. The Tea Partiers in the room were not tools of corporate interests, not interested in political office, and motivated only by a desire to change the direction of their country. The founders would have been appalled because the constitutional republic they had bequeathed posterity had been so violated by the rapacious over reach of a political class that had lost all regard for their vision of limited government. And they would have been proud that ordinary citizens had risen up to restore that government to its proper limits.

The Tea Party isn't complicated. If you don't think that the Constitution imposes any meaningful limits on the federal government's regulation of the economy, then you should not join our cause. But if you think Obamacare, the stimulus packages, the deficits, and the bail out of corporations and Wall Street's financial firms are harming our country, then by all means, join us; protest, vote, support candidates for limited government, write letters or blogs and make your voice heard. The hour is late, but not too late, to save our nation from calamity.

And Leslie has come up with the Mad Men Index for candidates and issues in the November election.


Somewhere on a desert highway

... he rides a beater mountain bike ...

Americans flee socialist utopia blue states for freedom-loving red states

California lost 2.2 million people with a combined Adjusted Gross Income of $48 billion. All of the top 10 net-loss states were blue states, with the exception of Louisiana, which lost people due to Hurricane Katrina.

You can only tax the productive class so much before they get out of Dodge.

And where are these economic refugees landing? Low tax states like Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas.

California's 9.55% income tax on that lost $48 billion in income would be a big chunk of the state's chronic deficit.

Memo to Democrats: people respond to incentives!

See also Skeptical CPA: Escape from New York and CEO survey: California worst state for business.


She's a witch!

Boehner wants to bring back earmarks

Why is this corrupt old hack still the leader of the House Republicans?

With their eyes on a House majority, Republicans are leaving the door open to allowing earmarks after a one-year party-imposed moratorium.

So cue the “bridge to nowhere” and “pork” rhetoric and fire up the angry press releases from fiscal watchdogs.

This close to the election, Republicans are all over the place on how they’ll handle earmarking as they are poised to ride an anti-spending wave to electoral victories.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor indicated in August that earmarks could make their way back but would be allowed based on “merit, not muscle.” He tried to clarify Wednesday, telling POLITICO that his party has “learned its lesson, and a new majority will spend its time and energy cutting spending, not increasing it, and that includes earmarks.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner is hedging, saying Republicans banned earmarks because of a broken process spurred by Democrats but that “whatever happens in November, the need for bipartisan reform will continue.”

Yet House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence said Wednesday that Republicans are still determined to “end earmarks as we know them.”

The Republicans should throw this deadweight overboard before November and make room for leaders like Mike Pence and Paul Ryan.


Is Lisa Murkowski delusional?

After being rejected in the Republican primary in favor of true conservative Joe Miller, establishment porkmeister Lisa Murkowski is about to announce a write-in candidacy.

I think she's underestimating the anti-establishment mood this year. She's a silver-spoon Senator who was handed the seat by her Daddy, and she's been a consummate Washington insider as long as she's been there.

Alaska's an independent, freedom-loving state, and I don't think they're gonna buy what she's selling. I hope the NRSC will advertise heavily against her to discourage such suicide bombings by RINOs in the future.

Surely Murkowski is burning bridges she could have used to a fatcat lobbyist career, or future cabinet appointment.

Gold gold gold

I'd be remiss not to point out that gold hit yet another record high today over $1280, after rocketing $20 Tuesday and edging higher the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, the game of Global Competitive Devaluation continues.

Gee, who could have seen that coming?

Oh, and how's that "sell gold" call working out for you, Richard Wiggins?

Obama "Organizing for America" staffer carries Nazi signs in protest

The post-partisan President.

Let me get this straight: Tea Parties are held responsible for whatever any unaffiliated random wacko does, but the President's paid political operatives can run around with Hitler signs?

I'm not holding my breath for Lame Stream Media coverage.

Yeah, the world's oldest business

Pelosi: "If I were not in politics, I'd probably be in business."

The treachery of Alan Greenspan

Click on over to JDA and Kliguy for two excellent posts on the hypocrisy of the young sound money advocate turned decrepit old bubble blower.


Angry leftist MSNBC rants drive 66-year-old man to threaten Congresswoman.

Prison ensues.
"I'm terribly sorry that it ever happened," Pidrman said before his sentencing Thursday morning, according to the Tribune. "I very often watch the recycled news shows on MSNBC," at the time at which he made the call, he said.
Well done, Olbermann and Maddow!

70's stagflation: a preview of what's to come

I agree wholeheartedly with this Gonzalo Lira piece. Those of you interested in the subject should click over and read the whole thing. Those of you here only for the fart jokes can take away this key excerpt:
But here is the key difference: Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve cannot raise rates to reign in incipient hyperinflation, like Volcker did in ‘79.

Apart from the obvious fact that Bernanke is not half the man Paul Volcker is (both literally and figuratively), and therefore lacks the balls and the backbone to do what needs to be done, Bernanke simply does not have the room to maneuver, insofar as the Fed funds rate is concerned.

If there was a run on Treasuries, Bernanke today cannot raise interest rates to retain Treasury holders—if he did, he would wipe out all the Too Big To Fail banks, and break the Treasury of the U.S. Federal government, both of which depend on the Fed’s cheap money as completely as if it were oxygen.

Back in 1979, Volcker didn’t have this constraint. He could raise rates—but even so, he paid for it with 400 basis points of unemployment.

However, unemployment today is already at 10%, in a soft credit environment. So even if he didn’t have the TBTF banks and the Federal government on the cheap money life support, Bernanke cannot raise rates in order to stop a run on Treasuries, stop a run up on commodities, and stop incipient hyperinflation: The economy is too weak. Adding 400 basis points to the current employment situation—that is, driving U-3 unemployment to 14% or more—would cause political pandemonium, not to mention riots.

Finally, Bernanke won’t raise rates—can’t raise rates—because of a disease of the mind that he has: Due to Alan Greenspan’s pernicious, destructive influence, which I have discussed at some length, Bernanke thoroughly believes that only liquidity injections and cheap money can save the economy—he is looking for inflation. He is so terrified of the American economy circling the deflationary drain, that he is deliberately going in the other direction: He is trying to cause inflation.
That's exactly the point I was trying to make in How I learned to stop worrying and love the bubble. Buy gold, buy a house, buy stocks, whatever. Just get out of Zimbabwe Ben Bucks and Timmy the Tax Cheat T-bonds.

Porsche SUV owners for Obama

I guess that Hope & Change thing is working out pretty well for some people, huh?

That's an Obama bumper sticker in the window. This is one of those "my SUV is too cool to put a bumper sticker on the bumper so I'll put it on the inside of the tinted window" SUVs.

"CDMA," by the way, is a reference to the wireless technology developed by Qualcomm, a company whose executives are huge Obama/Democrat donors (founder Irwin Jacobs, chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs, firmwide).

The signs were there
You should have
Bought connections before

Canada fires up the Home ATMs

... 'cause, you know, it worked out so well down here.

Party on, Garth!

CIBC offers 7% bonus loan on top of your existing mortgage balance.

CIBC Up to 7% Cash Back Offer could be for you if you:

  • Want to renovate, furnish or decorate your home
  • Would like to take a dream vacation
  • Want to prepare for any unexpected moving expenses
  • Want to make an additional lump sum payment on your mortgage
  • Need money for a special upcoming event such as an anniversary, wedding or child on the way
  • Want to renew an existing mortgage early, or transfer your mortgage from another financial institution and have prepayment costs to pay
  • Want to purchase investments, open an RESP or make an RRSP contribution

CIBC Up to 7% Cash Back Offer Key Benefits:

Saves you money

  • You get up to 7% cash back based on your mortgage amount and term1, to spend however you choose
  • This cash back amount is completely tax-free **
  • There are no cash maximums - the larger your mortgage, the more cash back you receive
I don't even see anything about needing to have any equity or an appraisal. I hope that falls under the vague "standard lending requirements" in the fine print.

HT: Mish


Who says Democrats aren't fired up for November?

Leslie Eastman knows plenty of Democrats who have never been more enthusiastic about voting.
The establishment pundits say that the Democratic base is NOT enthusiastic about November. I say that they are wrong — in part. A good many Democrats are chomping at the bit to vote this November. These Dems WILL be voting for the COUNTRY CLASS CANDIDATE. I know, as I met several of them at the Sacramento Tea Party.

In almost 2-years of Tea Party activism, I have never over-heard fellow Democrats “outing” themselves at an event. They did so at the recent 9-12 Tea Parties. For example, at the Sacramento rally, five other registered Democrats came up to me (after over-hearing my party affiliation) and introduced themselves. The non-Dems who overheard these conversations were supportive and excited to discuss the upcoming election. The passion among my fellow Californians was infectious.

Click on over to Temple of Mut for much more, including Leslie's take on the Christine O'Donnell victory.

Other good links today:

The Liberator Today on the wisdom and the meaning of the O'Donnell victory.

And James Taranto, a lukewarm Castle supporter, on what happened: "To HELL with them!"
Oh well, at least Castle isn't a sore loser. As he was conceding last night, he congratulated O'Donnell, pledged his support, and promised to "do whatever I can to send my party's nominee to the Senate."

Haha, just kidding! Actually, the Wilmington News Journal reports that "Castle will not back Christine O'Donnell in her bid for U.S. Senate . . ., his campaign said this morning." My way or the highway, the "moderate" said. You can see why a Delaware GOP voter might say of his state party's establishment, "To HELL with them!" That's essentially what the establishment's senior figure is saying to the voters.

Michelle Obama wants to be Restaurant Menu Czar.

Ruling Class media stalwart Washington Post flip-flops on whether to post really unflattering picture of Christine O'Donnell on victory night. Stay classy, guys.

Bitter, Party of One

Karl Rove, who engineered the destruction of the GOP by turning it into the second party of big government and pork, is really bitter about Christine O'Donnell's victory.

Headline stolen from TLP, who finds Democrat machine politician Tim Kaine just as bitter as Rove about the popular revolt. Funny how that works.


Wake up and smell the Tea!

Tonight's Christine O'Donnell victory wraps up an incredibly successful primary season for the Tea Party -- we knocked out Stupak, Murkowski, Bennett, Specter, Crist, Castle, and a whole bunch of other establishment candidates.

Now on to the general election. Ruling Class politicians of all parties, you are on notice. We are coming for you.

And Christine, this one's for you. FAP-FAP-FAP!!!

Christine O'Donnell takes early lead in Delaware

Way too early to tell, but Christine O'Donnell is up 55% - 45% over Mike Castle for the Delaware Senate seat with 35 of 325 precincts reporting.

Fox News better servers, better results. 55-45, 119/325

Back to Delaware State site. 65% in 210/325, O'Donnell up 54.3 - 45.7%. Looks like a winner!

Tea Party favorite Ovide Lamontagne winning in New Hampshire, too.

Millions of Americans in poverty; Obama hardest hit

The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

Census figures for 2009--the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency--are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.

It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase--from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent--would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.


The skunk at the tea party

Tattooed San Francisco hipster shows up with F-bomb T-shirt at social-con-leaning Sacramento Tea Party. Hilarity ensues.

I wanted to ask Judge Roy Moore to take a picture with her, but I didn't have the cojones.

Your turn, peanut gallery

Chairman Varones and I have a dispute about the below Economist text. We would like you to chime in. The article in question is a review of two books: Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future; and Turned Out Nice: How the British Isles Will Change as the World Heats Up.
The ways of a warmer world
Books about how people can and will adapt to climate change need not be Panglossian--as these two show

Climate change is a pretty scary topic, and those who write about it have, for the most part, been happy to play up the scariness. This may be due to noble motives or base ones. Many will have chosen to write about climate change because they think something should be done about it and that if their readers get scared they will be more likely to act. Others may intuit that their readers are likely to be seeking stuff that confirms how right they were to have perceived the dreadfulness of the world in ways lesser people have not. This is the road to "climate porn", which revels in exaggerated disaster.

It is refreshing, then, to read books which look at the warming to come not as a frightful warning, nor as a fait accompli, but as something to which, at some levels of change, people will have to adapt--and which in some settings they may adapt to rather well. The setting Matthew Kahn is interested in is the city, one of his preoccupations as an economist; Marek Kohn's is the British Isles.
Dictionary.com has Panglossian defined as: "characterized by or given to extreme optimism."

Readers, will you kindly provide your opinions as to whether the headline writer uses "Panglossian" correctly?

Say it ain't so, Economist

(cross-post from Charlie McDanger's blog)

Several years ago I wrote a piece on LongOrShort about the declining standards at the Wall Street Journal. I've since fled to safer ground, and still hold the Economist in high regard; thus it is with consternation that I've been seeing things like this lately:

If it's not immediately clear, the headline writer uses "Panglossian" to say the opposite of what it means. Pangloss is the wildly optimistic character in Voltaire's Candide--"Panglossian" is to say overly cheery.

All the more embarrassing that this review dismisses one author as "pedestrian"...I'll bet that author doesn't regularly toss out literary references he doesn't understand.

I, for one, think the death of print media isn't such a bad thing. The best writing and analysis is not from writers per se; it is from people smart enough to do something else (professors, traders, engineers, etc.) and keep a blog on the side.

Pangloss might agree.


Sacramento Tea Party

A half hour before the 11AM start of the Sacramento 9/12 Tea Party, hundreds of people were already gathering. Speakers for the four-hour-long event include Tammy Bruce, Rep. Tom McClintock, and our So Cal Tax Revolt Coalition friend Leslie Eastman.

Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition co-founder Dawn Wildman and friends:

A big tent with lots of donated goodies in a silent auction fundraiser:

I happened to be on the same flight up from San Diego as Leslie, and her Tea Party lapel button earned a "You're with the Tea Party? You can sit by me any time!" from the fellow in the aisle seat. Also aboard were two Carly girls decked out in the Carly red T-shirts and hats.

I'll be updating when possible throughout the day.

Here's a video of the national anthem, a parachutist flying in with the American flag, and a big crowd shot at the end.

Judge Roy Moore and radio hosts Armstrong and Getty have just spoken. Crowd in the thousands.

Statuesque Lisa Fritsch of Project 21: "Wake up and smell the tea because government will not be our God!"

Tammy Bruce speaking on being a reformed leftist and how the left wants individualists to be "disappeared.". Also slamming RINOs. "Let them continue lying to themselves because they are done lying to us!". "... A quiet revolution that the left may not understand, but we will save their lives and their future whether they like it or not."

Sam Paredes of Gun Owners of California: honor the founders by restoring liberty and taking back the Constituion.

Rep. Tom McClintock speaking now.

Here come a bunch more pics.

Lisa Fritsch of Project 21.

Armstrong & Getty.

Crowd looking up at parachutist.

Jon Coupal of HJTA (here in person, also on giant screen).

Tammy Bruce.

Fun for the whole family...

... including the family dog.

Steve Brandau of the Central Valley Tea Party speaking now (the guy in the Tyranny Response Team shirt). He is fired up and a great speaker!

Leslie gave the penultimate speech and did a great job talking about her experience meeting with young European future leaders, and getting the opportunity to speak at Tea Party Italia. We're going global, baby! I'd put the video of her speech up here, but I'd rather you come see her live at the 10/10/10 Tea Party in Oceanside. Leslie has her post up on the Sacramento event at Temple of Mut.

Our friend Jr. Deputy Accountant's pics and a video here.


Tea Party 9/12

I'll be there in Sacramento tomorrow. If you're anywhere near Sacramento, St. Louis, or Washington, D.C., please join us.

Koran-tearing wacko Andrew Beacham calls himself Tea Party leader; biased, incompetent MSM repeat claims without basic fact-checking

PR Newswire:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Andrew Beacham, Tea Party leader from Indiana:

"I fear God alone; I will not live in fear of Islam, and I will not deny the gospel. I will preach the Christian faith - that Jesus Christ is Lord, Priest, King, and Prophet - and that Muhammad is a false prophet. Beyond that, I will not allow the oppressive teachings of Muhammad and the tyranny of Sharia law to remain unchallenged." Andrew Beacham, Tea Party leader from Indiana.

For immediate release: A Large group of Tea Party and Religious rights activists will gather in front of the White House to tear out egregious passages from the Quran that call for violence against Christians and Jews.

The claim that this guy is a Tea Party leader was credulously reported as fact by Agence France-Presse, Yahoo! News, Google News, the Times of India, and CNBC.

Here is the web site of Tea Party Patriots Indiana in which you will find contact information for its leaders. You won't find "Andrew Beacham" among them.

Andrew Beacham is a follower of anti-abortion extremist Randall Terry, and both of them are publicity hounds trying to claim the mantle of the Tea Party to get some media attention. The Washington Independent:
Andrew Beacham, a young, bearded activist who has been ejected from four of President Obama’s speeches–including his University of Notre Dame commencement speech and a health care event in Maryland–was just as adamant. He came into Terry’s fold after a disappointing stint as a Republican activist and a Tea Party organizer in Indiana. Suiting up and heckling the president of the United States, he said, made him aware of how “in history, there are always people who are willing to step up and be the tip of the spear.” Shouting down the president of the United States is more effective than nearly any form of public protest, said Beacham, especially when the president is hesitant about how to respond.

Sounds to me like the Indiana Tea Partiers ran this wacko out of town.

But far be it from the MSM to do any fact-checking when they get the opportunity to smear the Tea Party!

UPDATE: San Diego Tea Party organizer Dawn Wildman confirms:
“As a Tea Party Patriots coordinator, I have talked often with the organizers in Indiana. This man is not one of the people I recognize, nor am I aware of his participation in any official Tea Party events before. He sounds like a fringe type who is using the hard-won relevance of the Tea Parties to give him self credibility. If the media really does its job, it will discover he has none — Tea Party Patriots would never condone an act of desecration for any reason.”

And our friend Left Coast Rebel has much, much, more.

Well, he certainly sucks like one

Is Obama the next Hoover?


From the Wild Conspiracy Archive: Did an Asteroid Hit San Bruno?

Not to make light of a tragic situation, of course, I've been doing my part. This is still where I live and what happened down there is absolutely frightening.

But you should know that the Internet kooks are calling the San Bruno explosion an asteroid and, strangely, the esteemed San Francisco Chronicle confirms their suspicions:

Henry Sanchez was driving home from his three kids' back-to-school night at a nearby school when he approached the intersection of Claremont and Glenview.

He looked through the windshield where just a few blocks ahead of him a flash of flame crossed the sky, followed by a deafening explosion.

His three kids were at home doing homework - and located directly on the other side of the fireball, which seemed to reach 100 feet into the sky.

He took back roads to avoid the geyser of fire, and found his kids outside on the street.

"They were terrified," he said.

I bet. On September 8th, CNN reported that an asteroid "narrowly missed Earth" and that another would come by but only graze us on the way. A few days earlier on September 6th, a giant fireball struck Colombia if you can believe their reports (I guess no one has emailed this to AC360 yet). The descriptions of the impact in Colombia are very similar to reports from San Bruno, where many residents used to the airport traffic and likely afraid of an inevitable crash into their roof one day thought a plane had crashed.

Here's another Chron report:

Julio Barajas, 34, who lives on Maple Avenue in San Bruno, was watering his lawn when he felt a vibration and immense shaking.

He saw a fireball rising about a mile from his home and promptly grabbed his children, ages 10, 8, 7 and 3, put them in the family van and drove away.

When he returned an hour later, the whole neighborhood was covered in ash, Barajas said.

I doubt Obama has gotten so horribly desperate to ditch excessive housing inventory that he has resorted to launching nukes to destroy some perfectly fine but overpriced and unable-to-move inventory so was it really lazy PG&E not keeping up their gas pipeline maintenance? I find that hard to digest.

I am not endorsing crackpot theories but a few things are suspicious about San Bruno if you ask me.

First, PG&E took almost immediate responsibility even though a full investigation into the explosion will take 12 - 18 months to complete. How many companies do you know that volunteer themselves like that? This is Bay Area real estate we are talking about, people, it's not Marin but still, PG&E is really going to have to jack up the SmartMeter scam if they're going to cover replacing those homes. Here's to hoping for PG&E's sake that some of them have been re-appraised since real estate tanked.

Second, it seemed to take PG&E the longest time to actually cut off the gas in the area. My experience, after 11 years in their jurisdiction, is that it's REALLY easy for them to cut the gas at any point in someone's house for whatever reason (maintenance, not bill paying issues) so it seemed weird that they were having such trouble with that. Paint me ignorant to the intricacies of Pacific Gas & Electric but, uh, isn't there, like, an Off Switch?

Still more actual reports:

A huge fireball lit up the sky over San Bruno with a thunderous roar, and flames spread quickly across 10 acres of residential housing after dark. With electricity cut off, hundreds of evacuees fumbled their way to safety in the darkness, as firefighters arrived and worked through the night to try to save their homes.

Bob Pellegrini and his brother Ed fled from their home in time to see it destroyed by the flames, which also wrecked their four cars.

"It looked like hell on earth. I have never seen a ball of fire that huge," Bob Pellegrini told the San Jose Mercury News.

Know what would really distract people from realizing an asteroid just came down on their asses? A kook Pastor trying to burn Korans would work awesome, let's make sure to get the POTUS in on it.

Whatever. Today was also supposed to be the End of the World (and is the 2 year anniversary of when the first bits were shot around the Large Hadron Collider, which was also supposed to end the world) and so far I'm still here so I'll believe it when I see it. All I saw was a big black cloud coming off of San Bruno on my way down 280. When's the next catastrophe?

Retraction: Tea Partiers FOR Christine O'Donnell

Ask not for whom Retracto the Correction Alpaca bleats. He bleats for me.

I'm not often accused of being pragmatic. And today's lesson is a reminder not to try to be pragmatic again.

Last week I posted Tea Partiers against Christine O'Donnell, saying that electing RINO Mike Castle is better than letting the Delaware seat go Democratic in a year when control of the Senate hangs in the balance.

In a moment of ill-considered haste, I forgot that this election is not about which party will control the Senate. It's about whether the Ruling Class will control the Senate. And Mike Castle is Ruling Class to the extreme. He co-sponsored the DISCLOSE Act, which would protect the establishment and incumbent politicians by tying up grassroots opposition groups like the Tea Party in red tape. This election isn't about helping the Republicans. It's about throwing the bums out. And Mike Castle is the Mother of All Bums.

Thanks to my good friend Mutnodjmet for pointing out the error of my ways. Click on over there for lots of good reasons to support Christine O'Donnell. And see the American Spectator on The Ruling Class vs. Christine O'Donnell.

UPDATE: Sen. Jim De Mint endorses O'Donnell. If she's good enough for the greatest Senator, she's more than good enough for me!

The wisdom of children redux

If a nine-year-old could see this coming in 2008, why couldn't Christina Romer, Austin Goolsbee, and Ben Bernanke?

Palomar Community College's "Benito" strikes again

We pointed out last week that someone at Palomar Community College is devoting an awful lot of time to spamming the Internet with racial rants against the Republicans.

Last night, the Pride of Palomar came to the WCV again with his copy-and-paste "Republicans hate Mexicans" drivel.

If there's anyone with any dignity at Palomar, you might want to have a chat with Benny and tell him to knock it off. He's not doing any favors for community college prestige. He'll be easy to find. He's the loner who hangs out in the computer lab all the time hitting copy-and-paste.

Your tax dollars at work -- either paying Benito's salary if he's a teacher (highly likely if you know anything about community college teachers), or giving him a free place to hang out and spam the Internet if he's a student.


Nobody loves you when you're down and out...

President Hopey McChange can't even fill a community college gym.

Our correspondent I.P. Freely notes that he once filled that same gym with his high school jazz band.

HT: Temple of Mut.


What we're fighting for

More at Defeat the Debt.

Watermelon launch fail

Reality TV is only good when it fails. And you are about to witness an epic fail.

Another one bites the dust: Chuck Ponzi buys a house

One by one, the blogosphere's hardcore housing doomers are succumbing to the lure of easy credit and buying into the Great American Ponzi scheme.

First it was your humble correspondent, W.C. Varones: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bubble.

Then it was Skeptical CPA's Independent Accountant: I.A. short sells dollar!

Now it's Southern California Real Estate Bubble's Chuck Ponzi: Buying a house.

Which raises this question: if the last guys to want to buy a house have finally capitulated, where are the next marginal buyers going to come from? As far as I know, Twist of Housing Doom, Dr. Housing Bubble, and Patrick of Patrick.net still haven't bought, so that's three potential sales at some point in the future if prices ever become attractive to them. Seriously, though, how many people do you know who have the down payment and the income to purchase a house, who don't already have one?


MIT Professor Ricardo Caballero agrees with WCV: The Fed is doing it wrong

We've said many times here that the Fed stuffing the banks with cash only creates asset bubbles, and what's really needed is devaluation via a printing-financed tax refund.

The head of the Economics Department at MIT agrees:
The US economy is barely muddling through. While some of this is unavoidable given the magnitude of the financial shock that is slowly working its way out of the system, macro-policy still has an important role to play in preventing a relapse. Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve has the resources but not the instruments, while the US Treasury has the policy instruments but not the resources. It stands to reason that what we need is a transfer from the Fed to the Treasury.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as much of the progress in central banking over the last few decades has been aimed at giving central banks independence from hungry executive branches. However, all good systems need escape clauses if they are to be preserved as the anchor for daily policy concerns. Moreover, the Chairman of the Fed should have the final, and perhaps the first, word over this matter.

Isn't quantitative easing just such policy? Not quite. Quantitative easing, when directed to Treasuries, adds a little bit of good to the mix by lowering the cost of funding public debt, and it also helps a little bit with the long-run cost of capital for the private sector. But these are second-order effects; the Treasury still increases public debt at a fast pace, and a slightly lower cost of capital doesn’t much help the private sector if aggregate demand is not there to buy the goods in the first place.

Instead, what we need is a fiscal expansion (e.g. a temporary and large cut of sales taxes) that does not raise public debt in equal amount. This can be done with a “helicopter drop” targeted at the Treasury. That is, a monetary gift from the Fed to the Treasury.

This comes to us by way of Steve Keen who has related excellent thoughts here and here.

HT: John Mauldin and T-Dub.


Tea Partiers against Christine O'Donnell

UPDATE: Retraction! Defeat Castle!

I noted Thursday that it would be a huge mistake to support a Tea Party candidate over popular RINO Senate candidate Mike Castle in blue state Delaware.

I said at the time that I knew nothing of Christine O'Donnell. Now that I know something about Christine O'Donnell, it's much worse than I thought. It turns out O'Donnell, unlike Yale-educated lawyer, former judge, and decorated combat veteran Joe Miller, has done nothing of note in her life other than be a Republican party insider and talking head. But a thin resume is the least of her problems. She's a serial deadbeat and a paranoid nutjob.

I understand the frustration of Delaware primary voters with Mike Castle's establishment voting record. But Christine O'Donnell ain't the answer.

Doing the jobs that Americans won't do

Setting wild fires and collecting 23% of all Los Angeles County welfare.

10-10-10 Tea Party rally in Oceanside, CA

Just a month before we go to the polls to take our country back from the leftist elites, a grand coalition of southern California Tea Party groups will be rallying at the pier in Oceanside on October 10 at noon.

I'll be there to celebrate this historic citizens' movement and prepare for victory in November!

Gold 101

ZeroHedge has a useful primer on gold full of facts and graphs like this:

The U.S. has the world's largest gold reserves, if you believe all that gold is actually in the vault of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Some people like Ron Paul want to see proof. And some people like Ben Bernanke are acting very suspiciously and doing everything in their power to resist an audit, even going so far as to hire a former Enron lobbyist to bribe Congress (successfully) into gutting an audit.

What is Zimbabwe Ben hiding? KliGuy wonders too.


Quit while you're ahead

The Tea Party Express, a Republican consultant-led group not affiliated with the grassroots Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Nation, deserves a lot of credit for Joe Miller's stunning upset victory in Alaska. They had faith and put resources in Miller's campaign when even fiscal conservative powerhouses like Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund thought it was a fool's errand.

Nevertheless, I'm not getting on board for this campaign.

Tea Party Express Launches Independent Expenditure Campaign for

Christine O'Donnell in Delaware U.S. Senate Race

The Tea Party Express (website: www.TeaPartyExpress.org) is pleased to announce the commencement of its Independent Expenditure campaign in support of Conservative Republican Christine O'Donnell's bid for U.S. Senate in Delaware against Liberal RINO Mike Castle.

RINO Mike Castle is actually favored in blue state Delaware. Any Tea Party candidate (though I know nothing of Christine O'Donnell) is going to be a serious underdog against any Democrat.

You don't primary the RINOs in blue states. You live with your Olympia Snowes, Susan Collinses, and Mike Castles. You run the conservatives in the red states like Alaska and the purple states like Colorado and Pennsylvania. Unless you want two more years of Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Comment of the week

shoot, you guys are waaaaay ahead of me. i didn't take no hostages; i didn't even buy me no boat. all i did was let myself go and quit shaving and get sloppy fat and divorce my wife and solicit handjobs from 55-year-old massage gals.

but i'm tellin' you, my adductors and that chakra feel *great* now. well, the extra $100,000,000 helps, too.

Chrissy "Tingly Pants" Matthews in jealous rage over Obama affair with Teleprompter

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.


At Least One Dirty Fed Operative Knows What His Job Duties Are

I believe those asshats in Congress and the White House just got told by Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher:

The Fed is not the end-all for curing every economic pathology. [W]e are not the only authority in the pilot house. We play a crucial role in conditioning the economy, but we do not play the only role. Fiscal and regulatory authorities share significant responsibility for incentivizing economic behavior through taxes, spending and rulemaking.

Oh snap! Here comes the rebellion!

(remember this is the same guy who said the Fed wouldn't play handmaiden to the Treasury so don't get too excited, it's not like Bernanke said this)

The disinformation and election interference is coming from inside the house

The FBI just admitted in court that Hunter Biden's laptop is real. Here are 20 minutes of Joe Biden, U.S. intelligence officials, and th...