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Archive 2012


Top News and Analysis

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Dow soars 308 points as the New York equity market cheers the resolution of the fiscal cliff


Market Watch: Congress passes a fix to the fiscal cliff


CNN Money: Your taxes under the fiscal cliff deal


Treasury yields rise to highest level since September


Monday, December 31, 2012
Dow leaps 166 points on the last day of 2012, giving the average a gain of 7.3% for the year


The year 2012 stock market performance by the numbers


Gold finishes the year at $1,658 per ounce, marking a gain of 7.8% on the year in 2012


Friday, December 28, 2012
Dow loses 158 points on the day and 2% on the week under the fiscal cliff shadow

President Obama holds the line on tax rate threshold during a Friday afternoon White House meeting with Congressional leaders


Thursday, December 27, 2012
Dow manages an 18 point loss after recovering from a triple digit low during the trading session


Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The retail sector leads the Dow to a 24 point loss following a report of weaker than expected holiday sales


Treasury Secretary Geithner: The U.S. will hit its debt limit on December 31st, although extraordinary measures will delay the event's impact


As President Obama and Senators head back to Washington, sixty votes on a fiscal deal is the important number


Friday, December 21, 2012
The failure to resolve the fiscal cliff is undeniable: Dow loses 121 points


Thursday, December 20, 2012
Dow meanders to a 60 point gain despite continuing budget uncertainty


Speaker Boehner cancels vote on tax legislation as many GOP members in the House revolt


U.S. economy grew a larger than forecasted 3.1% in the third quarter


Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Dow falls 99 points in a late-day selloff after budget talks stall


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dow climbs 116 points as prospects appear to grow of a resolution to the budget impasse


Monday, December 17, 2012
Dow jumps 100 points as optimism grows concerning a resolution of the fiscal cliff


Thursday, December 13, 2012
Dow slips 75 points in reaction to the latest set of comments on the progress of fiscal negotiations in Washington


Senator Marco Rubio: Tax increases will not solve the Nation's $16 trillion debt problem


The Washington Post: Obama's second term will be shadowed by budget woes


Deferred repayment financings have put California school districts into scenarios where they must repay 10 times as much as the amount of money borrowed


Food stamp use reaches another high in September: 47.7 million program participants


Advocacy groups see an alarming rise in younger homeless veterans


The Washington Times: The United States borrows 46 cents of every dollar the federal government spends


Congressional Budget Office: The federal government is borrowing $4.8 billion per day so far during the 2013 fiscal year


Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Dow advances for the fifth straight day with a gain of 79 points



Michigan legislation weakening unions is signed into law


Friday, December 7, 2012

U.S. economy adds 146,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate falls to 7.7%, its lowest level since December, 2008




Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy, or quantitative easing, will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it without being pressured by a determined questioner who is armed with facts and understanding of this phenomena Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

For example: David Seigel, CEO of Westgate resorts, terrorizes his employees with an "Atlas Shrugged" rant


For example: The GOP/Lockheed Martin layoff notice threat/hoax


The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 7.7%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"


The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?



Peter Schiff: The fantasy of a 91% top income tax rate



Thursday, December 6, 2012
Dow gains 40 points as the market plays watch and wait in December


2012 will likely go into the record books as the warmest in U.S. history


The dollar makes gains versus the euro after interest rate comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi


Federal Reserve: U.S. household wealth rises to $64.77 trillion, a figure that approaches the 2007 all-time high
Yeah, but part of the problem is we're living like we're worth $100 trillion

Michael Santoli: The U.S. financial markets in 2012 have been shockingly normal by many forms of measure


Nin-Hui Tseng: Not everyone is afraid of the fiscal cliff


Congressional Budget Office: Stop the hysteria - the fiscal cliff is not an unmanageable calamity


Marc Lasry: The best place for a person's money right now is in cash


CBS News: The fiscal cliff is not really a cliff at all - it would be far more accurate to call it a slope


Jeanne Sahadi: The perils of temporarily going over the fiscal cliff


Darrell Delamaide: The progressive backlash to debt reduction


The stories that companies are rushing to pay dividends ahead of the fiscal cliff are mostly myths


Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Intelligence sources raise serious concerns about Syria's intention to use chemical weapons

Rush Limbaugh turns real life into a pretzel as millions of devoted/deluded fans listen and nod their heads in agreement

Pretzeled people decide their next move should be to secede from the Union, since that strategy has always worked so well in the past


Pretzeled people applaud as the Republicans in the Senate reject a United Nations disabilities treaty

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Dow surges 83 points on the strength of the banking stocks as the Industrials index diverges from the Apple-dominated Nasdaq

Asian markets were lifted overnight by positive comments made by incoming Chinese leaders who pledged continuity and stability


Labor Department: U.S. productivity surges as labor costs fall


Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Dow loses 14 points as the market treads water amid the budgetary debate in Washington




Gold drops below $1,700 an ounce after short selling in Asia



CNBC: How China's yuan could take the crown from the dollar

The corporate tax structure has been absent from the fiscal cliff discussion


Charley Blaine: What are the worst-case scenarios if the U.S. goes over the fiscal cliff?


Former Senator Alan Simpson: Do not expect a confused Washington to find a compromise in order to resolve the Nation's budget issues


Paul B. Farrell: The U.S. economic outlook is bleak - for decades to come


Irwin Kellner: Austerity is coming no matter what the politicians accomplish

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan: Fiscal cliff repercussions could stretch into 2014


PressTV: Iran claims it has captured an American ScanEagle drone that violated its airspace


New York Times: The United States denies the capture of a drone by Iran


Monday, December 3, 2012
Dow slips 60 points after a weak manufacturing report heightens caution among traders

U.S. corporate profits are at record levels, but wages have fallen to their lowest level as a percentage of gross domestic product


Republicans put forth a fiscal cliff plan that calls for changes to Medicare and Social Security


Friday, November 30, 2012
Dow closes with a 4 point gain in a day of lackluster trading

Gold futures lose nearly $17 an ounce as precious metal investors take on a bearish viewpoint


The GOP balks at White House plan for resolving the fiscal crisis

Charles Krauthammer on the fiscal cliff negotiations: "Republicans ought to simply walk away"


Rush Limbaugh speaks to his listeners: What should the Republicans do regarding the fiscal cliff: "Walk away"


Rising home prices are a signal of economic recovery


New York Times: The tax burden on most Americans today is less than what that burden was in the 1980s


PressTV: The United Nations has delivered a humiliating defeat to the United States and Israel regarding Palestine


William Saletan: An analysis of the voting patterns in the 2012 presidential election reveals the true depth of the GOP's defeat


A lot of people worry obsessively about how much taxpayer money is required for President Obama and his family to go on vacations. That's curious. I do not remember these expenses ever being an issue during previous administrations

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Dow ekes out a 37 point gain on the strength of positive economic data


In 1978, when I was 29 years old and working as a corporate finance attorney on Wall Street, my gross income was in the 55% tax bracket for federal taxes alone, a very much higher rate than today's maximum of 35%. Today's top federal income tax rate of 35% applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2012.

It was a different world in 1978: No one claimed that the country was going socialist; no one claimed that the President was trying to redistribute wealth; no one ranted that society's producers were being held in slavery by the IRS; no one was talking about going out to buy another gun because they may need more than one gun because the government was probably going to come and steal their money next week.

There has been a huge change in attitude in the United States over the past 35 years. Where has our spirit of social compact gone? Where is our willingness to work hard, and our willingness to work a few more years in order to become wealthy? The United States is in dire need of a return of the Americans of just a few decades ago.


Does lowering income tax rates necessarily stimulate economic growth or increase revenues to the taxing government? The answer to that question differs tremendously depending upon who gives the answer. For example, the economic research of the
Heritage Foundation and Econdataus reach totally different conclusions regarding this enormously important question. What has been the answer of the Federal Reserve chairmen on this issue? Both Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have continually and unequivocably stated that lowering income tax rates has never increased revenues to the U.S. Treasury



The linchpin of Republican economic policy rests on the theory that individual and corporate tax rates should be reduced, and as a part of this theory, the claim is made that a reduction of income tax rates from their current levels would actually increase income tax revenues collected by the Treasury. Is the forecast of an increase in revenues true? The unfortunate reality for the United States, in a time of huge budget deficits, is that a lowering of our income tax rates will most likely result in a lowering of tax revenues, because the United States' individual and corporate income tax rates are in most likelihood already lower than the point of revenue maximization. Summary of the Laffer Curve theory


Presenting a competent summary: The issues raised by the fiscal cliff

Goldman Sach's five strategies for 2013 and S&P 500 index forecasts



The flag of Al-Qaeda
"There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God"

It seems very clear at this point that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was not prompted by the video "Innocence of Muslims", which was produced in the United States by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The fact that the Obama Administration initially made that claim is being cited continually by right-wing critics as the foundation for their allegations of a cover-up by President Obama of a foreign policy failure.

Lost in the right-wing's critique, however, is the fact that the blasphemous video spawned incidents and protests in at least 39 countries - not including Libya - that led directly to the deaths of at least 101 people. Instead, the right-wingers prefer to focus on the fact that the incident in Benghazi was not related to the video, and deride the jailing of Nakoula as an effort by Obama to pin Benghazi on the video. In fact, Nakoula's adoption of a false identity to produce the video and his use of You Tube to post it online were clear violations of the terms of Nakoula's probation from an earlier bank fraud conviction. If violating one's probation in a way that results in the deaths of 101 people does not land a person back in prison, then I really do not know what would put a man back behind bars.
Apparently, however, opinions can vary widely with respect to the severity of Nakoula's actions. For example, right-wing talk show host Roger Hedgecock has stated to his radio audience that he feels Nakoula's punishment should be no more than a $500 fine

McClatchy News: The United States' description of the Benghazi attack was cautious at first, but changed after three days to an emphasis on the anti-Islam video The McClatchy article, as a matter of fact, grossly mischaracterizes the history of politics in the Benghazi area. In fact, the Benghazi-Derna region is infamous for the number of al-Qaeda figters that were recruited in that area and then travelled to Iraq in order to fight against America during the Iraq War. In 2007, American troops in Iraq uncovered a list of Libyan foreign fighters in Iraq; almost half the fighters on the list came from the Benghazi-Derna area. It is clear that anti-American sentiment has existed for years in that part of Libya.

The very sad question regarding Benghazi is actually the following: Why were our ambassador and other personnel in Benghazi on 9/11? One would hope that the mission they were performing was of some very high importance to justify travelling outside of the more secure embassy in Tripoli, especially on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks in North America.

There is a second sad reality that is presently not being addressed in the media. Namely, the size of the force that attacked the consulate indicates that the installation would still have been overrun even if there had been a significant security detail guarding Ambassador Stevens. In reality, a larger security detail would only have resulted in a greater number of U.S casualties. That's the only difference a security detail would have made: more Americans dead or wounded. This is real life, not an episode of "24"




Gladys Knight: "Seconds"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dow climbs 107 points after optimistic statements with respect to a resolution of the fiscal cliff

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dow falls 89 points following warnings regarding the fiscal cliff


Monday, November 26, 2012
Dow loses 42 points in the first full day of trading after Thanksgiving as worries over the fiscal cliff and European debt rule investors' sentiments


Friday, November 23, 2012
Dow soars 173 points in a holiday shortened trading day as technology companies lead the market higher

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Dow closes with a gain of 48 points in light pre-holiday trading


Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Dow loses 7 points in a market pressured by weakness in Europe and a sharp sell-off in the shares of Hewlett-Packard


Friday, November 16, 2012
Dow rises 46 points as optimism grows over the possibility of a fiscal cliff solution following a series of White House meetings


Thursday, November 15, 2012
Dow loses 29 points following the release of unemployment data and forecasts of weak retail sales


Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Dow falls 185 points as prospects of a quick resolution of U.S. fiscal problems and tax issues fades at the President's press conference

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Dow falls 59 points as a midday rally collapses under the pressure of the looming fiscal cliff

Friday, November 9, 2012
Dow finishes with a 4 point gain on the day, but the weekly loss is the worst in five months


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dow continues its slide with a loss of 121 points, as oil and gold advance in price


Wednesday, November 7, 2012
President Obama wins re-election in a near sweep of the swing states

Video of President Obama's victory speech


President Obama's victory sets up the next battle : The fiscal cliff


Dow plunges 313 points as fears of recession once again take the front following a bad day on the European equity markets


Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Dow surges 133 points in a broad-based rally as Americans head to the polls across the country

The two sides' last task in a long election campaign: Get out the vote



This is it

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dow climbs 19 points in a day characterized by low volume and wait-and- see positioning prior to Election Day


New York Times: A sprint through swing states in the campaigns' final hours


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Souls to the Polls
"Emmanuel"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The election campaigns enter the final weekend with both sides claiming the lead in the race for the Presidency


Friday, November 2, 2012
Dow falls 139 points in the wake of weakness among the energy stocks and casualty insurers


The U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October, as more people entered the work force and pushed the unemployment rate to 7.9%

The United States has 194,000 more jobs now then it did in January, 2009 when President Obama took office

Gold loses over $40 per ounce in fourth weekly loss


The price of oil falls as the dollar strenghtens and gasoline demand is affected by Sandy


Associated Press: A state-by-state assessment of Sandy's damage


The Pentagon has divulged that secret commando units have been sent to Libya following the attack in Benghazi



CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Dow gains 136 points in anticipation of data showing a picture of an improvement on the employment front


The Presidenial election is by far the most expensive in history


The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits, some Democrats, and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Dow losses 11 points on the first day of trading in New York after Hurricane Sandy


In 1978, when I was 29 years old and working as a corporate finance attorney on Wall Street, my gross income was in the 55% tax bracket for federal taxes alone, a very much higher rate than today's maximum of 35%. Today's top federal income tax rate of 35% applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2012.

It was a different world in 1978: No one claimed that the country was going socialist; no one claimed that the President was trying to redistribute wealth; no one ranted that society's producers were being held in slavery by the IRS; no one was talking about going out to buy another gun because they may need more than one gun because the government was probably going to come and steal their money next week.

There has been a huge change in attitude in the United States over the past 35 years - where has our spirit of social compact gone? Where is our willingness to work hard, and our willingness to work a few more years in order to become wealthy? The United States is in dire need of a return of the Americans of just a few decades ago.



CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Death toll from Hurricane Sandy rises, and millions are left without power


The economic impact from Hurricane Sandy will be in the billions


Monday, October 29, 2012
Trading on European equity markets was weighed down today by worries over the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the U.S. economy, as well as pessimism regarding earnings reports to issued by European companies

Hurricane Sandy blows into stock market history


Analysis: Hurricane Sandy is unlikely to damage the U.S. economy


Commerce Department: Consumer spending picked up in September, but the country's savings rate causes concern


Bureau of Labor Statistics: The jobs report release scheduled for this Friday may be delayed due to the hurricane's shutdown of federal offices



CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Denzel Washington's depiction of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas in "American Gangster" was a box office sensation. This link is to a second trailer for the movie. Here is a brief documentary on Frank Lucas, giving more details of Lucas' drug ring that annually smuggled 2,200 pounds of pure heroin into the United States using U.S. military aircraft and bases.

However, the true story leaves Hollywood far behind. For one thing, “American Gangster” gives the impression that with Lucas’ arrest, the trafficking of heroin into the United States by the use of military transport aircraft ended. In fact, the trafficking continued unabated. I know this first-hand, because in the 1970s I was a foot soldier in America's so-called War on Drugs at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. This turned out to be an extremely dangerous way to spend one's time in the military - I would have been a lot safer if I was stationed in the jungles of Vietnam, because at least then the Air Force would have believed there actually was an enemy out there when I busted the Norton Air Force Base smuggling operation in January, 1976. The drug cartel tried to kill me on two occasions in 1977, and, in fact, they almost succeeded in permanently shutting my mouth on a third occasion when they were actually trying to murder my wife.

One of the people with whom I worked in 1976 on a heroin smuggling case at Norton stated to me that the traffickers would kill both of us before they would let the story of this crime reach the public's attention. Sadly, he was half right; he was the victim of homicide outside St. Louis in 1992, during a period of time when he was once again trying to help me get to the bottom of the Norton story. A few weeks earlier, on March 11,1992, another man whom I was trying to reach for information regarding the situation at Norton was shot dead in New York City by a hitman contracted by a Colombian drug cartel. He was murdered on the very day I was scheduled to contact him. I can only infer from these two homicides that the Norton traffickers were potentially still active as recently as 1992, trying to cover the trail of their hideous crimes.

Jonathan Kwitny, a 16-year veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in his book "The Crimes of Patriots - A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the Central Intelligence Agency", that the shipments through Norton Air Force Base were orchestrated by senior U.S. officers, and the quantity of heroin trafficked on a regular basis was up to 50 pounds per shipment; plus, the heroin being smuggled through Norton was 100% pure China White - reputedly the most powerful heroin on the planet.

As a point of reference, the quantity of heroin involved in the famous 1971 "French Connection" film was the one-time shipment to New York City of 132 pounds of diluted heroin that was only 87% pure; nevertheless, the French Connection heroin was valued at $32 million on the streets of America

 


Souls to the Polls
"Emmanuel"

Saturday, October 27, 2012
A closer look at Romney's small business and tax claims


Eric Clapton: "My Father's Eyes"

Friday, October 26, 2012
Dow gains 4 points on the day's trading, but the average has fallen in two out of the last three weeks


U.S. consumers push the the Nation's GDP to a 2.0% gain despite lackluster performance from the business sector

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey issues a disappointing number in light of a downward revision for September


Gold futures get a boost from the U.S. GDP report by investors who view gold as an inflation hedge



In January, 2009, two top economic advisers of the Obama Administration, Christine Romer and Jared Bernstein, projected that, if the $787 stimulus plan was enacted, the level of U.S. unemployment would not exceed 8%. The projection was flat wrong, as witnessed by the levels of unemployment experienced over the last 3-1/2 years. The U3 unemployment rate is currently at 7.8%. However, a projection is not a promise. Parts of the media continuously argue that jobs creation during the Obama Administration has been a failure because it has not lived up to the faulty Romer/Bernstein projection.

Instead of the projection offered by two economists who apparently do not have the gift of prophecy, the unemployment levels over the last three years should be compared to numerous 2009 projections that indicated the Bureau of Labor Statistics U3 unemployment rate could have reached 14% without a Keynesian stimulus plan

Economics 101: How is the unemployment rate calculated?




Sources say that requests by CIA personnel for military backup during the Benghazi attack were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command


Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: The U.S. did not have enough information to justify the deployment of troops in Benghazi

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Critics of the handling of the Benghazi attacks are Monday morning quarterbacks


It seems very clear at this point that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was not prompted by the video "Innocence of Muslims", which was produced in the United States by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The fact that the Obama Administration initially made that claim is being cited continually by right-wing critics as the foundation for their allegations of a cover-up by President Obama of a foreign policy failure.

Lost in the right-wing's critique, however, is the fact that the blasphemous video spawned incidents and protests in at least 39 countries - not including Libya - that led directly to the deaths of at least 101 people. Instead, the right-wingers prefer to focus on the fact that the incident in Benghazi was not related to the video, and deride the jailing of Nakoula as an effort by Obama to pin Benghazi on the video. In fact, Nakoula's adoption of a false identity to produce the video and his use of You Tube to post it online were clear violations of the terms of Nakoula's probation from an earlier bank fraud conviction. If violating one's probation in a way that results in the deaths of 101 people does not land a person back in prison, then I really do not know what would put a man back behind bars.

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Dow manages a 26 point gain despite continuing earnings and forecast disappointments and a weak report on pending home sales


Commerce Department: Durable goods orders soar 9.9% in September, due in large part to strong aircraft demand

U.S. pending home sales barely budge upwards in September


Market Watch: Business investment in the United States has ground to a halt, and the reasons why are uncertain


Treasury prices stay in concert with German bund, as well as the yen


Edward Krudy: Americans will face a tougher 2013 due to rising prices and higher taxes


Jim Cramer: The suit against Bank of America, which alleges $1 billion in damages, is too little, too late



Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to pay $175 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against minority borrowers in mortgage financings



Rush Limbaugh: Regime shakes down banks for $25 billion


Take a trip down Memory Lane after reading Rush Limbaugh's description of the U.S.'s mortgage loan debacle. This Wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this Wikipedia link: When Rush Limbaugh asserts that the government was the cause of the financial debacle known as the subprime mortgage crisis, he is intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to him.

Limbaugh's propaganda is based on a contention that he has made hundreds of times on the radio over the last three years. Limbaugh specifically claims that the banks were forced by the Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to unqualified borrowers. The immense problem in Limbaugh's argument is the fact that a large proportion of subprime loans were actually made by loan companies that were not even under the authority of the Community Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the lenders were making subprime loans not because the government was forcing them to lend. The real reason lenders were in the subprime market was because subprime loans were extremely profitable to originate - extremely profitable for the originating mortgage lender and extremely profitable for the loan officer who convinced the borrower to sign the mortgage papers




Obama campaign publishes "The New Economic Patriotism - A Plan For Jobs & Middle-Class Security"

The Christian Science Monitor: Five ways in which the Romney and Obama economic plans for the country's future differ



One reason why the Democrats may lose next month: the Party's base is way too comfortable with being uninformed regarding the relevant facts and issues confronting the Nation. Such as the blindfolded people marching like lemmings off a cliff, as in the above picture. For example: Man on the street interviews of Obama supporters after the election in 2008 Second example: Frank Luntz conducts focus groups with Democrats and Republicans When a person is unaware of the facts and reasoning behind his beliefs, it is improbable that he would be able to persuade another person to adopt those beliefs - or even be inclined to try. In 2012, the Democrats must be able to persuade others to join their position based on the issues, and this reality is very different from the festive Hope and Change campaign of 2008. It's time to get real. In order for President Obama to win in 2012 he will need millions of fully informed supporters speaking on his behalf to other citizens, and they must particularly debate and persuade their relatves, neighbors and co-workers who are not otherwise inclined to vote in favor of a second term for Obama


CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map


Tierra: "The Old Songs Medley"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Dow slips 25 points as the Fed pledges to continue its low interest rate policy at least into 2015 due to the weakness of the economy


Justice Department sues Bank of America alleging the bank defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by sale of $1 billion of bad mortgages



HSBC's China manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index gives a boost to Asian equity markets, as the preliminary figure borders on an expansionary level

Japanese stocks follow Wall Street lower at the opening in Tokyo


Mark Hulbert: How will the stock market react to a Romney win? What about an Obama re-election?

The ICE dollar index rises as investors realize that falling earnings do not bode well for equities, plus the euro does not present itself as a viable alternative

CNBC: A Romney victory could trigger a shift in Federal Reserve policy


CNBC: U.S. companies are sitting on more cash than ever before


John Nyardi: The fiscal cliff is a bigger problem than worries about Bernanke's career progression



The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits, some Democrats, and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject


Tuskegee Airmen photographed beside a P-40 fighter aircraft
"Red Tails" takes its place in Hollywood history


Many people are unaware that Martin Luther King, Jr. first gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech on June 23, 1963 at Cobo Arena in Detroit. He spoke in front of a huge crowd, following a civil rights march by thousands of people down Woodward Boulevard. I was one of the marchers in Cobo Arena that afternoon. The speech was the most moving oration I have ever had the privilege to witness


Rihanna and Eminem make a statement: "I Love The Way You LIe"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A series of disappointing earnings reports and cuts in earnings guidance hammer the Dow for a loss of 243 points

Oil price falls below $88 per barrel on global growth concerns


Gold futures settle at nearly a seven-week low of $1,709.40 for the December contract

In overnight trading, Asian equity markets fade away from gains made in early trading


Reuters: If the United States goes over the fiscal cliff, the value of the dollar may soar on the theory that the country is getting its house in order

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry: The United States will never go bankrupt because America has control over its currency


Politico: Obama's "The New Economic Patriotism" lays out the plan of action for Obama in a second term


"Believe in America": Mitt Romney's 59 point plan to create jobs and drive the economy



Bob Marley: "Exodus - Movement of Jah People"

Monday, October 22, 2012
The Dow closes with a gain of 2 points, following a day of trading during which the index was down at one point by 108


Ten nations that control the world's supply of gold


Greg Robb: The Fed is considering an increase to the size of the proposed next stage of quantitative easing


CNN Money: With respect to the defense budget, a total of $2 trillion separates President Obama from Mr. Romney



Debate Night in America
Final Round: Obama v. Romney

Fox News: Romney accuses the President of "weakness", as Obama calls his rival "all over the map"


NBC Politics: Obama casts Romney as unseasoned on foreign affairs


USA Today: Fact checking the presidential debate

First Read NBC News: Fact checking the presidential debate


The New York Times: Fact checking the presidential debate


CNS News: Fact checking the presidential debate


ABC News: Fact checking the presidential debate


Yahoo! News: Fact checking the presidential debate


PolitiFact: Fact checking the presidential debate


Huffington Post: Fact checking the presidential debate


National Journal: Fact checking the presidential debate



During this evening's debate, Mitt Romney raised a recurring theme from talk radio. Namely, the assertion that President Obama made an apology tour in which he defamed U.S. accomplishments. Is such an assertion true? Actually, no, but the claim has been very effective propaganda smearing the President

Another example of a myth perpetuated by right-wing media commentators refers to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union. Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

 

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim

Saturday, October 20, 2012
Canada has rejected the $5.2 billion bid from Malaysia's Petronas for the purchase of natural gas giant Progress Energy


Xinhua News Agency: The rate of inflation in China's real estate has slowed, along with the rate of growth in that nation's GDP


Myra P. Saefong: What strikes in South Afica really mean to the commodities market


This man's next move will be a reflection of how he has lived his life

President Obama's recent address to the United Nations: The United States will "do what we must" to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons

Romney voices an aggressive stance regarding Iran during his trip to Israel in meetings with that country's top officials


Intelligence gains concerning Iran are a confidence builder for the Obama Administration


The U.S. defines its demands for a new round of talks with Iran


Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a diplomatic way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat in the world to the U.S. economy

Arutz Sheva: An Iranian official has called for an Islamic awakening among the Palestinian Authority that will destroy the State of Israel at a conference in Tehran marking May 15, Nabka Day


United Nations Headquarters
During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: An attack on Iran by the United States or Israel would be a catastrophe that would haunt the United States for generations



American-made Israeli F-15 fighter jets - history's most effective fighter aircraft. This airplane - in the hands of American and Israeli pilots - has shot down at least 100 enemy aircraft in combat with the distinction that no F-15 fighter has ever been destroyed by an enemy aircraft. No other airplane in the history of aerial combat can match the F-15's scorecard - the performance record of no other aircraft of any nation is even close to the battle reputation of the F-15. Israel has plenty of F-15s

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map


Israeli American-made F-16 fighter-bomber

New York Times: Obama Administration moves to tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by freezing all assets of the Central Bank of Iran, as well as other assets of Iran in the United States. So, instead of attacking Iran with munitions, the United States is attempting to ruin the country's economy through financial attack. This plan envisions economic collapse, deprivation of the populace, civil unrest that culminates in rebellion and the assassination of the current leaders of Iran

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that he had no idea what those words mean

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says Israel belongs to the Jews, so the Jews are back from Europe to seize and hold the land at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told the Jews it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?



The GOP intends to win this election

So much has changed since the 2008 election. For one thing, in 2012 there is no hot babe singing a theme song. Solution: Replay 2008

Friday, October 19, 2012

Earnings fears slam the Dow for a 205 point loss on the 25th anniversary of the 1987 crash, as oil and gold also lose ground


Asian equity markets make gains in overnight trading, as Tokyo and Hong Kong lead the way


Mark Hulbert: Another crash like the one in October, 1987 is inevitable


McClatchy News: The United States' description of the Benghazi attack was cautious at first, but changed after three days to an emphasis on the anti-Islam video The McClatchy article, as a matter of fact, grossly mischaracterizes the history of politics in the Benghazi area. In fact, the Benghazi-Derna region is infamous for the number of al-Qaeda figters that were recruited in that area and then travelled to Iraq in order to fight against America during the Iraq War. In 2007, American troops in Iraq uncovered a list of Libyan foreign fighters in Iraq; almost half the fighters on the list came from the Benghazi-Derna area. It is clear that anti-American sentiment has existed for years in that part of Libya.

The very sad question regarding Benghazi is actually the following: Why were our ambassador and other personnel in Benghazi on 9/11? One would hope that the mission they were performing was of some very high importance to justify travelling outside of the more secure embassy in Tripoli, especially on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks in North America.

There is a second sad reality that is presently not being addressed in the media. Namely, the size of the force that attacked the consulate indicates that the installation would still have been overrun even if there had been a significant security detail guarding Ambassador Stevens. In reality, a larger security detail would only have resulted in a greater number of U.S casualties. That's the only difference a security detail would have made: more Americans dead or wounded. This is real life, not an episode of "24"


American Spectator: And you thought the housing crisis was over!! According to William Tucker (and Rush Limbaugh) the Community Reinvestment Act was the liberal villan that nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008

Take a trip down Memory Lane: Rush Limbaugh oftentimes spends a good deal of time reiterating his description of the U.S.'s mortgage loan debacle as a creation of the federal government and its attempt to make poor people homeowners. This Wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this Wikipedia link: When Rush Limbaugh asserts that the government was the cause of the financial debacle known as the subprime mortgage crisis, he is intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to him.

Limbaugh's propaganda is based on a contention that he has made hundreds of times on the radio over the last three years. Limbaugh specifically claims that the banks were forced by the Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to unqualified borrowers. The immense problem in Limbaugh's argument is the fact that a large proportion of subprime loans were actually made by loan companies that were not even under the authority of the Community Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the lenders were not making subprime loans because the government was forcing them to lend. The real reason lenders were in the subprime market was because subprime loans were extremely profitable to originate - extremely profitable for the originating mortgage lender and extremely profitable for the loan officer who convinced the borrower to sign the mortgage papers



November 6th is right around the corner. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the very last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits, some Democrats, and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject


CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map

Sometimes you just have to laugh

Romney roasts President Obama and himself during his comedic address at the Al Smith dinner in New York City
President Obama takes the stage and proves he can also deliver in the comedy arena

Thursday, October 18, 2012
Google's earnings, as well as Microsoft's, pull the technology sector down, and the Dow follows for an 8 point loss


Gold futures lose ground after the release of economic data by China


CNN Money: Mortgage rates remain near record lows


Alicia Munnell: Is $250,000 a middle-class income? Actually, that income level is definitely not middle-class according to Census Bureau figures


The Weekly Standard: Obama is the 7/11 president, which means that for every $7.00 the government receives in revenue, the government actually spent $11.00. On a macro level, that means the federal government in 2010 took in $2.449 trillion in tax revenue, but spent $3.456 on government programs. The resulting deficit was $1.293 trillion

Congressional Research Survice: Welfare is the government's single largest budget item in the 2011 fiscal year at a figure of $1.03 trillion

The Washington Times: The level of welfare spending has surged 32% in the last four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011

Larry Kudlow: Is the Obama Administration trying to buy the election with the explosion in welfare payments?


Real Clear Politics: Romney has taken the lead in Electoral College forecasts for the first time


Fox News: Violent crime jumps 18% in 2011, marking the first rise in that statistic in 20 years



Gene Chandler
"What Now?"
"I Fooled You This Time"
"Rainbow '65 Part I and II"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Weakness in the shares of IBM and Intel limit the Dow to a 5 point gain on the day, despite a milestone housing starts number


Commerce Department: Housing starts surge to highest level since July 2008; namely, a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000

David Goldman: Why Apple will never bring manufacturing jobs back to America, and it's not just because of tax rates and cheap labor


Record high enrollment for food stamps: 46,681,833



Market Watch: The ten greatest market crashes



The Fast and Furious gun-running situation was raised by Mitt Romney in last night's presidential debate.

Fast and Furious has caused a tidal wave of criticism - mostly on right-wing talk radio where people manage to deftly ignore the fact that the entire GOP herd is standing in a tar pit regarding this controversy. Someone on the side of the Democrats should yell: "The whole herd is in the anti-gun control tar pit!! It's Checkmate!!"

A typical example of the news reporting on Fast and Furious states that the Obama Administration foolishly allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican criminals, such as in this recent Time Swampland article

The truth about Fast and Furious is a far different story than the tale told for so long by Republicans such as Congressman Darrell Issa, Time Swampland, and now Mitt Romney. Read the extensive report of Fortune Magazine, linked here, regarding what actually happened in the series of investigations known as Fast and Furious

The reason why reality dictates that the GOP has placed itself into a tar pit requires a sentence or two in order to explain. The critics of Fast and Furious have insisted that allowing guns to flow into the hands of Mexican criminals was, to put it mildly, unacceptable. Their criticism was directed at the Justice Department for allowing this outcome to occur. However, the reality is Arizona gun laws compelled the ridiculous outcome, and the hands of the Justice Department and ATF agents were tied by Arizona's statutes. The problem is not the Justice Department; the problem is the gun law regimen in Arizona. Thus the tar pit: Is the GOP now going to demand changes in the Arizona gun laws, since they were so critical of the outcome of the application of those laws - albeit that criticism was when those leaders thought the outcome was a Holder Justice Department folly? As party leaders ponder that point while stuck in the tar, Rep. Issa is not to be deterred in his quest to not know the truth



Who you gonna believe?



Lee Greenwood: "God Bless The USA"


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Positive earnings reports boost the Dow to a gain of 128 points, marking the index's best two-day performance since mid-September


Asian equity markets climb in overnight trading as investors react positively to the economic data released in the United States on Monday


The IRS audits only 1.1% of the 141 million filed federal tax returns. Here are seven tips to help you avoid audit scrutiny


Paul B. Farrell: The Doomsday Cycle targets the United States next according to Simon Johnson and Peter Boone


Car battery
maker A123 files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, despite receiving a substantial amount of stimulus funding

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "I am responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts"

The New York Times: The U.S. will help create an elite, Libyan commando unit to help Libya combat Islamic extremists


The New York Times: American officials and Mideast diplomats have reported that most arms that were sent to forces opposing Bashar al-Assad have landed instead in the hands of jihadists


The president of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, was shot and wounded by his own "jumpy" troops



Debate Night in America
Round Two: Obama v. Romney

NBC Politics: Sharp exchanges between Obama and Romney characterize tonight's debate


Associated Press: Romney and Obama have a crackling face-to-face debate in New York

Fox News: Romney and Obama turn up the tension in the second presidential debate


The Daily Beast: Barack Obama seizes the upper hand over Mitt Romney in the second presidential debate


Scott Pelley: This was the most rancorous presidential debate ever


The Washington Post: Fact checking the presidential debate


Yahoo! News: Fact checking the presidential debate. This link includes a video of the full debate


ABC News: Fact checking the presidential debate


The New York Times: Fact checking the presidential debate


CBS News: Fact checking the presidential debate


The Wall Street Journal: Five economic tests for the president-elect


Candy Crowley and her role as the debate moderator were under scrutiny even before the debate began
Ms. Crowley gives Obama more time than Romney during the course of the debate Joe Trippi: Crowley's intervention was "like a referee throwing a flag" The Washington Free Beacon: Crowley interfered with a point Romney was trying to make regarding terrorism in Libya

Romney's path to 270 Electoral College votes - and victory




CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map



How biblical literalists get their numbers: Is the Earth really 6,000 years old?



Faith Hill: "There You'll Be" - the "Pearl Harbor" soundtrack


Monday, October 15, 2012

A decent report with respect to September retail sales surges Dow to its best day in a month, with a 95 point gain


Lending by the Nation's largest banks remains weak despite the Fed's efforts to stimulate economic activity


Asian markets were mostly lower overnight as the economic data out of China provided mixed signals on the future


The equity markets face the heaviest week of earnings season this week as 40% ofhe Dow components are scheduled to report by Friday

CNBC: Good luck figuring out what either candidate for President really plans to pursue regarding the U.S. tax system

The Nobel prize for economics has been awarded to two Americans, Lloyd Shapley of UCLA and Alvin Roth of Harvard




Republican House committee report says that warnings were ignored regarding the Solyndra loan

Why did Solyndra go bankrupt? Solyndra failed because China developed a superior solar panel technology in a government-subsidized development program at the cost of $30 billion dollars. It is ironic that the collapse of Solyndra is being touted by critics as evidence that the U.S. government should not subsidize private enterprise on the theory that green energy subsidies lead to nothing but failure


What decline? The U.S. will add five million millionaries by 2017 according to Credit Suisse, and that would be a 53% increase from the 11 million millionaires of today


Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll: Is the election slipping away from Obama's grasp?

As Election Day nears, the size of the crowds appearing at Romney campaign events is surging


Fisher cut bait: Affirmative action will live on irrespective of what the Supreme Court does in the Fisher case


Skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, lands safely in New Mexico following his historic 24-mile, supersonic dive from the stratosphere


Do you ever wonder what Governor Romney and President Obama spend their money on? Take a look at this link



The moon rises over the Eastbay and San Francisco on a summer's evening
Montell Jordan: "This Is How We Do It"

Sunday, October 14, 2012
After the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the issues surrounding the use of private security resources have taken on new urgency

The U.S. government is rethinking its pursuit of a drug war after several incidents involving Honduras



"The Way We Were"


Saturday, October 13, 2012

The U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2012 was $1.089 trillion, marking a 16% improvement from the previous year. In fact, the month of September produced a budget surplus of $75 billion, which is a milestone as the largest budget surplus since April 2008 and the second surplus of 2012. This may very well mark the highly significant turning of a fiscal corner in the battle to lower the deficit


Talking Points Memo: Yes, Mitt, people do actually die in the United States because they don't have health insurance


Sterling Wong: Can the Congressional Budget Office be trusted?



The Treasury Department has delayed the release of its semi-annual report on international exchange rates until after the G20 meeting that is scheduled for November in Mexico City


The Treasury's report on international exchange rates is oftentimes critical of China, alleging that China manipulates its currency. To paraphrase what Bill Clinton said at the Democratic National Convention - albeit in a different context: It takes some real brass to criticize someone else for something that you are also doing. The United States' efforts at quantitative easing, as well as the Federal Reserve's decades-long practice of adjusting U.S. interest rates, is just as manipulative of the dollar as anything the Chinese ever do with respect to the yuan.

We need to get real. All countries manipulate their currencies to support their national interests. China is not doing anything unusual regarding currency manipulation. The fact of the matter is the Chinese government's handling of that nation's economy may be the most skilled and successful in the modern world. Their current financial acumen echoes the fact that during the Great Depression in the 1930s, China was the only major economy in the world that did not sink into depression


White House: The President and Vice President were not aware of the requests for heightened security at the Benghazi consulate before the September 11th attack


AFP: Hezbollah claims that it sent an Iranian-built drone over Israel, and flew the drone near the Israeli nuclear munitions plant at Dimona in the Negev before it was downed by the Israeli air force



Sometimes you just have to stop and laugh



La Jolla, California: A summer's sunset
Next: "Too Close"
Teena Marie: "Hypnotized"

Friday, October 12, 2012
Dow finishes the day with a 2 point gain, however, the performance for the week is the worst in four months


The University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index has moved to 83.1, its highest level in five years


U.S. wholesale prices rise 1.1% in September, but the core rate was flat


Myra P. Saefong: Gold appears to be primed for a breakout







Gold futures wobble overnight during European trading


Real Clear Politics: At present, Obama is ahead in only eight states, as compared to the nine states held by Romney


Does lowering income tax rates necessarily stimulate economic growth or increase revenues to the taxing government? The answer to that question differs tremendously depending upon who gives the answer. For example, the economic research of the
Heritage Foundation and Econdataus reach totally different conclusions regarding this enormously important question. What has been the answer of the Federal Reserve chairmen on this issue? Both Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have continually and unequivocably stated that lowering income tax rates has never increased revenues to the U.S. Treasury



The linchpin of Republican economic policy rests on the theory that individual and corporate tax rates should be reduced, and as a part of this theory, the claim is made that a reduction of income tax rates from their current levels would actually increase income tax revenues collected by the Treasury. Isthe forecast of an increase in revenues true? The unfortunate reality for the United States, in a time of huge budget deficits, is that a lowering of our income tax rates will most likely result in a lowering of tax revenues, because the United States' individual and corporate income tax rates are in most likelihood already lower than the point of revenue maximization. Summary of the Laffer Curve theory


The vice presidential debates once again raises the question of whether Congress should increase taxes on "millionaires". Is this a good idea? Quite frankly, the President's proposal needs to be reworked, and everyone needs to stop acting like the Buffett Rule is smart tax policy What is the justification for a progressive income tax structure?

The forecasted cost of the Affordable Care Act is once again in the news, such as the report of the Heritage Foundation or the recent rant by Rush Limbaugh.

Summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
One of the problems that confronts the Obama Administration with respect to the health care plan is the fact that there is very little literature in the marketplace that explains what the legislation does. One of the few competent books available on the subject is "Landmark - The Inside Story of America's New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All", which was authored by the staff of The Washington Post



Fox News: Biden adds more confusion to the issue of security at the Benghazi consulate with his denials during the Kentucky debate


Chicago Tribune: Fact checking the vice presidential debate


Huffington Post: Fact checking the vice presidential debate


Politifact: Fact checking the vice presidential debate


ABC News: Fact checking the vice presidential debate


The Washington Post: Fact checking the vice presidential debate


The New York Times: Fact checking the vice presidential debate


Politico: Fact checking the vice presidential debate


National Journal: Fact checking the vice presidential debate



Today, Rush Limbaugh ranted on the air that the Obama Administration had forbidden the security detachment to carry weapons with live ammunition at the United States' Cairo embassy. This myth has marched through the right-wing media on many occasions since the September 11th attack on the Benghazi consulate.
In fact, the Pentagon has made it clear that the guards at the embassy in Cairo were fully armed

November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject

It's time to get real

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Dow posts its fourth straight loss with a slide of 19 points


Oil futures top $92 per barrel in response to tensions in the Mideast


CNBC: The United States is nearing a fiscal disaster, and Washington is doing nothing


Roger Altman: The euro-debt crisis is only at half-time, the crisis is not over

U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest level in more than four years
However, the jobless claims numbers have a caveat, which requires an explanation


Some information warrants repeating in light of this week's hearings in the House, as well as the discourse during this evening's Biden/Ryan debate in Kentucky: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence says it got the circumstances of the Libya attack wrong, not the White House


The Hill: Presidential campaigns spar over cuts to embassy security in Ryan's budget, which was proposed earlier this year


International Herald Tribune: Must all U.S. embassies now be constructed, maintained and defended like fortresses?
A description of the only U.S embassy in the world that could have successfully defeated the magnitude of the Benghazi attack: the $1.3 billion facility in Baghdad

A Yemeni employee at the U.S. embassy in Sana has been shot dead in an attack that appears to have been a political act



Debate Night in America

Biden v. Ryan

NBC Politics: Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan tangle in a free-wheeling debate in Kentucky


Fox News: Sparks fly at the high-stakes vice presidential debate


Summary of the concept of carried interest taxation. Now you understand why this tax treatment is so important to Governor Mitt Romney


Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: An attack on Iran by the United States or Israel would be a catastrophe that would haunt the United States for generations



Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

What are the roots of the Syrian civil war that has cost so many lives?


The next President will in most likelihood nominate more than one Supreme Court justice. How important is that reality?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Continuing worries over the domestic and global economies pushes the Dow to a loss of 129 points

A former leader of the protection team testifies that diplomatic security in Libya was weak before the attack in September


A recurring theme on talk radio is that President Obama made an apology tour in which he defamed U.S. accomplishments. Is such an assertion true? Actually, no, but the claim has been very effective propaganda smearing the President


Tues
day, October 9, 2012
Dow suffers a loss of 110 points as global worries and weakness in the technology sector continue to weigh on the market

U.S. officer got no response to requests for more security in Benghazi



The final tally is in: Romney told 27 myths in 38 minutes at the Denver debate
Now keep in mind, as far as myths are concerned, there is a difference between myths and lies, as Jason Alexander made clear on "Seinfeld" The rate of Romney's myth-telling was one myth at an average of every 85 seconds. That tends to explain why the President spent so much time looking down and writing, since if the President tried to make a quick note of each Romney fallacy there would have been virtually no point in time at which Obama could stop writing and look up

Romney speaks harshly but treads a fine line on foreign policy


Election Truthers: Will Republicans accept an Obama election victory
?


November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits, some Democrats, and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject



CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map



One reason why the Democrats may lose in November, 2012: the Party's base is way too comfortable with being uninformed regarding the relevant facts and issues confronting the Nation. Such as the blindfolded people marching like lemmings off a cliff, as in the above picture. For example: Man on the street interviews of Obama supporters after the election in 2008 Second example: Frank Luntz conducts focus groups with Democrats and Republicans

When a person is unaware of the facts and reasoning behind his beliefs, it is improbable that he would be able to persuade another person to adopt those beliefs - or even be inclined to try. In 2012, the Democrats must be able to persuade others to join their position based on the issues, and this reality is very different from the festive Hope and Change campaign of 2008. It's time to get real. In order for President Obama to win in 2012 he will need millions of fully informed supporters speaking on his behalf to other citizens, and they must particularly debate and persuade their relatves, neighbors and co-workers who are not otherwise inclined to vote in favor of a second term for Obama




Tamia: "You Put A Move On My Heart" and "Slow Jams"

Monday, October 8, 2012
Dow loses 27 points as the technology sector pulls the market lower


The third quarter earnings season kicks off this week with reports from Alcoa and J.P. Morgan

Pew Research Center: Romney's strong debate performance erases Obama's lead


Romney leads Obama by two points in a Rasmussen national poll that was compiled in large part after the debate in Denver



The GOP intends to win the election in 29 days

Romney casts Obama's foreign policy as dangerous and weak



Denzel Washington's depiction of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas in "American Gangster" was a box office sensation. This link is to a second trailer for the movie. Here is a brief documentary on Frank Lucas, giving more details of Lucas' drug ring that annually smuggled 2,200 pounds of pure heroin into the United States using U.S. military aircraft and bases.

However, the true story leaves Hollywood far behind. For one thing, “American Gangster” gives the impression that with Lucas’ arrest, the trafficking of heroin into the United States by the use of military transport aircraft ended. In fact, the trafficking continued unabated. I know this first-hand, because in the 1970s I was a foot soldier in America's so-called War on Drugs at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. This turned out to be an extremely dangerous way to spend one's time in the military - I would have been a lot safer if I was stationed in the jungles of Vietnam, because at least then the Air Force would have believed there actually was an enemy out there when I busted the Norton Air Force Base smuggling operation in January, 1976. The drug cartel tried to kill me on two occasions in 1977, and, in fact, they almost succeeded in permanently shutting my mouth on a third occasion when they were actually trying to murder my wife.

One of the people with whom I worked in 1976 on a heroin smuggling case at Norton stated to me that the traffickers would kill both of us before they would let the story of this crime reach the public's attention. Sadly, he was half right; he was the victim of homicide outside St. Louis in 1992, during a period of time when he was once again trying to help me get to the bottom of the Norton story. A few weeks earlier, on March 11,1992, another man whom I was trying to reach for information regarding the situation at Norton was shot dead in New York City by a hitman contracted by a Colombian drug cartel. He was murdered on the very day I was scheduled to contact him. I can only infer from these two homicides that the Norton traffickers were potentially still active as recently as 1992, trying to cover the trail of their hideous crimes.

Jonathan Kwitny, a 16-year veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in his book "The Crimes of Patriots - A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the Central Intelligence Agency", that the shipments through Norton Air Force Base were orchestrated by senior U.S. officers, and the quantity of heroin trafficked on a regular basis was up to 50 pounds per shipment; plus, the heroin being smuggled through Norton was 100% pure China White - reputedly the most powerful heroin on the planet.

As a point of reference, the quantity of heroin involved in the famous 1971 "French Connection" film was the one-time shipment to New York City of 132 pounds of diluted heroin that was only 87% pure; nevertheless, the French Connection heroin was valued at $32 million on the streets of America

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Beyonce:"At Last"







Friday, October 5, 2012

U.S. unemployment rate falls to 7.8%, the lowest level in 44 months


An early Wall Street rally fades, despite the jobs report, but the Dow finishes with a gain of 35 points


U.S. deficit tops $1 trillion for the fourth straight year

Anthony Mirhaydari: Are the unemployment numbers for real?


Chris Isidore: Comments on Jack Welch's implication that the Labor Department's figures are fictitious

Economic Policy Institute: The jobs numbers are not manipulated, and any claim to the contrary is outrageous




Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy, or quantitative easing, will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it without being pressured by a determined questioner who is armed with facts and understanding of this phenomena
Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

For example: David Seigel, CEO of Westgate resorts, terrorizes his employees with an "Atlas Shrugged" rant


For example: The GOP/Lockheed Martin layoff notice threat/hoax


The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 7.8%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"


The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?


Crude oil settles at $89.88 on the New York Mercantile Exchange


California is facing an all-time record high for gasoline prices. Why? It's not because of the price of oil

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A better than expected jobs report helps the Dow to a gain of 81 points


U.S. rate on 30-year mortgages hits a record low of 3.36%




Michael Shear: Debate praise for Romney as Obama is faulted


Brad Plumer: A closer look at Obama's "$90 billion for green energy jobs"


Clean Energy News: Did Obama spend $90 billion on green energy?

National Review Online: The phantom $5 trillion tax cut


Presidential debate 101: Does Romney really have a $5 trillion tax cut?


What are the $4.5 billion per year of tax advantages available to the oil and gas industry?


Is there a provision of the U.S. tax code that gives a special deduction for companies that ship jobs overseas? Actually, there is no such provision, unless you take the position that the deduction for standard business expenses is the fiendish, job-killing loophole


John Dickerson: Mitt Romney has his best day in the campaign so far


The Buzz:: Obama did not mention Bain in the debate - Hallelujah


Josh Vorhees: Is Jim Lehrer really that bad as a debate moderator?


Romney surrogate John Sununu calls the President "lazy, incompetent and disengaged", based in part on a joke Obama made two days ago


AlterNet: The ten most shameless Romney debate lies have been debunked


Calvin Woodward: Presidential debate missteps


Washington Post: Fact checking the Denver debate


CNBC: Facts take a beating in the first Presidential debate

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Dow adds 12 points as oil drops below $90 a barrel and Hewlett-Packard falls to a 10 year low


A global slowdown is becoming a genuine possibility as Europe and China decelerate further


Is the Federal Reserve finally out of bullets in its attempt to stimulate the economy?


NBC News: Colonial sins return to haunt former world powers


Fortune Magazine: The truth about Fast and Furious is a far different story than the tale told for so long by Republicans such as Congressman Darrell Issa If the analysis made by Fortune Magazine in this link is accurate, then the reporting to date on the Fast and Furious situation by much of the news media is among the least competent in many years

Blue truth and Red truth: Has fact checking become irrelevant? Why does the public now want to believe that you can eat cake and lose weight?



Debate Night in America

New York Times: Blogging the Presidential debate


Washington Post: Romney was on the offensive in the first debate


Washington Times: Governor Romney labels the President's first term a failure


Fox News: Obama and Romney spar over taxes and jobs plans in Denver



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dow loses 33 points, but the loss would have been worse without the help of Apple



Hey everybody gather around!! President Obama is black, and the Daily Caller has a 2007 video of him you haven't seen before now!! He is so messed-up, and this video proves it for all to see!!

As another example of President Obama's messed-upedness, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language.

The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim


Monday, October 1, 2012


Dow climbs 78 points in a day when the Nasdaq finishes with a loss


CNS News: The level of U.S. government debt increased by $1.28 trillion in the fiscal year that ended on September 30th


CNNMoney: A millionaire "supertax" is a question of fairness



In 1978, when I was 29 years old and working as a corporate finance attorney on Wall Street, my gross income was in the 55% tax bracket for federal taxes alone, a very much higher rate than today's maximum of 35%. Today's top federal income tax rate of 35% applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2012.

It was a different world in 1978: No one claimed that the country was going socialist; no one claimed that the President was trying to redistribute wealth; no one ranted that society's producers were being held in slavery by the IRS; no one was talking about going out to buy another gun because they may need more than one gun because the government was probably going to come and steal their money next week.

There has been a huge change in attitude in the United States over the past 35 years - where has our spirit of social compact gone? Where is our willingness to work hard, and our willingness to work a few more years in order to become wealthy? The United States is in dire need of a return of the Americans of just a few decades ago.



Mariah Carey: "Hero"


Friday, September 28, 2012

Dow loses 49 points on the day's trading, but the third quarter still marks best gains since 2010


Defense Secretary Panetta: The attack on the Benghazi consulate was the work of terrorists


Office of the Director of National Intelligence: DNI statement says it got Libya wrong, not the White House


Washington Post: Security was lax in Libya before the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador


Thursday, September 27, 2012

An improving outlook on the jobs front pushes the Dow to a 72 point gain


Jim Cramer: Is the market headed for a breakdown?


Oil ends trading near $92 a barrel due to tensions fomented by Netanyahu's address to the United Nations


It takes real brass to condemn someone else for what you yourself have already done: Netanyahu draws a red line to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon

American Spectator: And you thought the housing crisis was over!! According to William Tucker (and Rush Limbaugh) the Community Reinvestment Act was the liberal villan that nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008

Take a trip down Memory Lane: Rush Limbaugh oftentimes spends a good deal of time reiterating his description of the U.S.'s mortgage loan debacle as a creation of the federal government and its attempt to make poor people homeowners. This Wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this Wikipedia link: When Rush Limbaugh asserts that the government was the cause of the financial debacle known as the subprime mortgage crisis, he is intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to him.

Limbaugh's propaganda is based on a contention that he has made hundreds of times on the radio over the last three years. Limbaugh specifically claims that the banks were forced by the Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to unqualified borrowers. The immense problem in Limbaugh's argument is the fact that a large proportion of subprime loans were actually made by loan companies that were not even under the authority of the Community Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the lenders were not making subprime loans because the government was forcing them to lend. The real reason lenders were in the subprime market was because subprime loans were extremely profitable to originate - extremely profitable for the originating mortgage lender and extremely profitable for the loan officer who convinced the borrower to sign the mortgage papers


Are reverse mortgages the next big disaster?


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dow finishes 44 points lower as worries over Europe, as well as weakness in technologies, housing and energy stocks, shake the market


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dow falls 101 points under the pressure of profit-taking and economic worries





President Obama's address today to the United Nations: The United States will "do what we must" to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons


Romney voices an aggressive stance regarding Iran during his trip to Israel in meetings with that country's top officials


Intelligence gains concerning Iran are a confidence builder for the Obama Administration


The U.S. defines its demands for a new round of talks with Iran


Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a diplomatic way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat in the world to the U.S. economy

Arutz Sheva: An Iranian official has called for an Islamic awakening among the Palestinian Authority that will destroy the State of Israel at a conference in Tehran marking May 15, Nabka Day


United Nations Headquarters
During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: An attack on Iran by the United States or Israel would be a catastrophe that would haunt the United States for generations



American-made Israeli F-15 fighter jets - history's most effective fighter aircraft. This airplane - in the hands of American and Israeli pilots - has shot down at least 100 enemy aircraft in combat with the distinction that no F-15 fighter has ever been destroyed by an enemy aircraft. No other airplane in the history of aerial combat can match the F-15's scorecard - the performance record of no other aircraft of any nation is even close to the battle reputation of the F-15. Israel has plenty of F-15s

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map


Israeli American-made F-16 fighter-bomber

New York Times: Obama Administration moves to tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by freezing all assets of the Central Bank of Iran, as well as other assets of Iran in the United States. So, instead of attacking Iran with munitions, the United States is attempting to ruin the country's economy through financial attack. This plan envisions economic collapse, deprivation of the populace, civil unrest that culminates in rebellion and the assassination of the current leaders of Iran

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that he had no idea what those words mean

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says Israel belongs to the Jews, so the Jews are back from Europe to seize and hold the land at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told the Jews it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dow loses 20 points in a day characterized by downdrafts from commodities, Europe and China


Friday, September 21, 2012

Late-day selling pushes the Dow into a 17 point loss, marking the first losing week in three weeks


Gold hits a 2012 high: $1,778 per ounce


U.S. says that the attack on the Libya consulate was the work of terrorists


How much are the American taxpayers spending on Egypt and Libya?


The Romney campaign has released the candidate's 2011 tax return


The Romney 2011 tax return has curious anomilies that continue to raise questions in the eyes of voters



November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits, some Democrats, and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments.
Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject


CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dow manages a 19 point gain despite weak mahufacturing data out of Europe and China


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lower oil prices and good news from the real estate sector push the Dow to a 13 point gain


Does Mitt Romney know anything about nuclear weapons?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dow gains 12 points despite worries over the global economy and European debt


Romney stands his ground on 47% comment made at a fundraiser in May

Romney says that his remark on voters will help to clarify his position


Full video and transcript of Mitt Romney's remarks at the Boca Raton fundraiser


Wall Street Journal: The data behind Romney's 47% comments


Who are the Americans viewed as dependent on the government?


How is it that 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax?


Monday, September 17, 2012

Dow loses 40 points under the pressure of weak economic data


The United States has filed a WTO trade case against China regarding autos and parts


Cultural clash fuels Muslims raging at online video


Whoops! Turkish jets and Russian ships made an appearance at the Democratic convention

Friday, September 14, 2012
The rally in equities continues as the Dow adds 54 points

Ratings firm Egan-Jones has cut the rating of the U.S. government to AA-


The White House gives details of the proposed fiscal cliff spending cuts


Can the U.S. stop the wave of Muslim protests targeting its embassies?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fed stimulus announcement causes the Dow to soar 207 points, marking a five-year high, as the price of gold and oil also advance


Fed unveils bold and open-ended steps to aid the economy


CNBC: Three things the Fed did today that it has never done before


Dollar falls and the euro hits $1.30 following the Fed's action


Republicans blame Obama for the Fed's stimulus action


William Saletan: Romney's criticism of the Cairo embassy's actions is a betrayal of free speech


Turmoil over contentious video spreads to Yemen and Iran


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dow finishes trading with a gain of 10 points following the ruling of Germany's court approving Europe's rescue plan


Rick Newman: Romney's budget plan does not add up


Timeline: Political fallout from an attack on diplomats in Libya


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dow gains 68 points on the strength of energy and financial shares


Moody's: U.S. credit rating hinges on Congressional action


U.S. Treasury expects a $15.1 billion profit on the AIG bailout


The Bush White House was deaf to 9/11 warnings before the attack



A recurring theme on talk radio is that President Obama made an apology tour in which he defamed U.S. accomplishments. Is such an assertion true? Actually, no, but the claim has been very effective propaganda smearing the President

If words could kill the economy, Rush Limbaugh would be happy to do it so long as Obama is President


Monday, September 10, 2012

Dow loses 52 points as the market appears to await decisions from the Fed and Germany's Constitutional Court


Friday, September 7, 2012

96,000 new jobs were created in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.1%


Dow manages a 15 point gain after spending most of the trading day seesawing near unchanged

Patti Domm: Market sees "Helicopter Ben" coming to the rescue


CNNMoney: A snapshot of the economy under the Obama Administration




Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy, or quantitative easing, will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it without being pressured by a determined questioner who is armed with facts and understanding of this phenomena
Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

For example: The GOP/Lockheed Martin layoff notice threat/hoax


The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.1%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"


The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?


The GOP intends to win the election in November

MarketWatch: QE3 is pointless as we head over the fiscal cliff

Actually, QE3 may be pointless for another reason: business owners are channeling "Atlas Shrugged"; namely, many decision-makers are purposefully hiring as few people as possible in an attempt to hobble the Obama economy - QE3 would be torpedoed by that effort, just like the first two programs of quantitative easing. It would be the better idea under these circumstances to just skip trying any further quantitative easing efforts, and, instead, confront the business owners with our knowledge that everyone is now aware of what they are doing. Hopefully, unmasking their efforts will bring the John Galt-imitators to their senses before the economy is further harmed

What is quantitative easing?


Video of President Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention


Thursday, September 6, 2012
Dow soars 245 points on the wings of positive news out of Europe and optimism concerning jobs creation

ECB will buy sovereign bonds in a new program to save the euro


Video of President Clinton's address to the Democratic convention


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dow closes with a modest 12 point gain as tech and energy companies struggle and the market awaits the outcome of tomorrow's ECB meeting


At the Democratic convention, there is an emphasis on social issues


Video of the First Lady's address to the Democratic convention


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Market struggles halfway out of a hole to close with a 55 point loss on the Dow



November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits, some Democrats, and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments.
Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject

Friday, August 31, 2012
Dow gains 90 points on the strength of Chairman Bernanke's hint of boosting the economy

Paul Krugman: The Medicare killers


New York Times: Romney vows to deliver the country from economic travails in his acceptance speech in Tampa


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dow loses 107 points and barely holds the 13,000 level as traders await Fed Chairman Bernanke's input tomorrow


Fact check: Representative Paul Ryan addresses the GOP convention


Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Trading closes with a 4 point gain on the Dow as damage from Hurricane Isaac to oil production is minimal in the Gulf


Future leaders are on display at the GOP convention in Tampa

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dow loses 22 points as holding pattern trading continues


Monday, August 27, 2012

Dow falls 33 points as the Wall Street market awaits further word from Fed Chairman Bernanke


Friday, August 24, 2012
Dow adds 101 points following implications of further Fed stimulus from Chairman Bernanke

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dow loses 115 points as economic worries from China and Europe dominate market sentiment


Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Dow closes with a 31 point loss as the Fed implies that more stimulus may begin in September

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The loss of 68 points on the Dow puts the brakes on the summer's rally


Monday, August 20, 2012

The market has a down day but almost breaks even with a 4 point loss


Friday, August 17, 2012

Dow finishes its sixth straight week of gains by adding 25 points


Thursday, August 16, 2012
Dow closes up 85 points as the market moves closer to setting a new high for the year

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dow slips 7 points following a lackluster day of trading


U.S. Department of Labor: Inflation remained in check duing July

Matthew Lynn: When will the euro collapse? It's already dead


Jeff Cox: If the Bush tax cuts end, it will cost a lot out of taxpayers pockets


Are you curious? There are countries that have no income taxes. Here is a list of some very interesting places



Vice President Biden attempts to explain his "chains" comment, or something like that, as the United States builds the 20th Century's best automobiles, or something like that


Mitt Romney's 5-point plan for the economy

Europe is the biggest threat to U.S. corporate earnings

 



President Obama signs veterans tax credit bill

AIG's Greenberg sues the U.S. for $25 billion with respect to the actions taken to save AIG


Douglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell: President Obama should not run for re-elction, instead he should step aside and let Hillary Clinton run for the highest office

Standard Chartered: China's yuan will appreciate at a gradual 3.3% relative to the dollar in 2012


Israeli American-made F-15 fighters

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran.

An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night


And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to wipe Israel off the map

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

New York Times: The number of "near-poor" startles the Census Bureau

Occupy Wall Street after two months: A scorecard

Newt Gingrich, who is known for speaking his mind, tells the Occupy protesters: "Go get a job right after you take a bath"



Yolanda Adams: "Open My Heart"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Positive news on retail sales and producer prices creates a good climate for stocks, but the Dow manages only a 3 point gain on the day


Dollar moves up following the release of economic data by the Commerce and Labor Departments


Most Asian equity markets see gains overnight, but Shanghai continues to suffer losses



Treasury Department: If the government was to sell its stake in General Motors at today's share value, the taxpayer's would lose $25 billion on the 2009 auto bailout. That means: Do not sell at today's share value






The linchpin of Republican economic policy rests on the theory that individual and corporate tax rates should be reduced, and as a part of this theory, the claim is made that a reduction of income tax rates from their current levels would actually increase income tax revenues collected by the Treasury. Isthe forecast of an increase in revenues true? The unfortunate reality for the United States, in a time of huge budget deficits, is that a lowering of our income tax rates will most likely result in a lowering of tax revenues, because the United States' individual and corporate income tax rates are in most likelihood already lower than the point of revenue maximization. Summary of the Laffer Curve theory


Rutland Herald Commentary: Romney's tax plan defies the rules of math


David Weidner: Wall Street loves Paul Ryan's stand on the privatization of Social Security, his support of government spending to support the financial industry, as well as his opposition to bankruptcy reform that would prevent many home foreclosures

If you do not know what the Galt/Taggart '12 symbol depicted above means, then you are not paying enough attention to this election, the state of the country, or your own future. Wake up. Something important is happening, and it's going to happen to you more readily if you are asleep


November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits, some Democrats, and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject




The Controllers: "Somebody's Gotta Win, Somebody's Gotta Lose"



Monday, August 13, 2012
Dow slips 39 points as Wall Street follows the lead of the Asian markets with its focus on the slowing economy in Japan

Asian markets struggle in overnight trading under the burden of a falling GDP in Japan and a downdraft in Hong Kong and Shanghai


Jeffry Bartash: The U.S. economy is downshiftng, but it has not stalled, amid cautious actions by both businesses and consumers

Mark Hulbert: The meaning of the weakness in the Dow Transport index


Rachel Koening Beals: Large, dividend paying stocks are the place to be in this market


Jose Pagliery: Small businesses are already feeling the effect of the fiscal cliff, even though potential federal cuts are still months away



As a part of Israel's ongoing willingness to threaten Iran with attack at least a couple of times a week: Israeli media talks of imminent war push The self-righteous Israel can justifiably attack Iran theme, which is exemplified in this Reuters link, is much more fully explored in this column's text dated July 30, 2012
CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat in the world to the U.S. economy


CNNMoney: The world's best economies -- including the United States


Russ Britt: Does the bold choice of Congressman Ryan mean that the choice was reckless?

Lex Haris: Five things to know about Paul Ryan's positions on the economy


Congressional Budget Office: Analysis of Rep. Ryan's Path to Prosperity budget plan


Tax Policy Center: The bottom line of Paul Ryan's budget plan is big tax cuts for the rich


Brian Faler: Paul Ryan's budget-cutting zeal will transform the campaign's debt debate into one of sharp contrasts


What happened to all that talk about the Fast and Furious gun-running situation? It's still around; mostly on right-wing talk radio where people manage to deftly ignore the fact that the entire GOP herd is standing in a tar pit regarding this controversy. Someone on the side of the Democrats should yell: "The whole herd is in the anti-gun control tar pit!! It's Checkmate!!" The truth about Fast and Furious is a far different story than the tale told for so long by Republicans such as Congressman Darrell Issa The reason why reality dictates that the GOP has placed itself into a tar pit requires a sentence or two in order to explain. The critics of Fast and Furious have insisted that allowing guns to flow into the hands of Mexican criminals was, to put it mildly, unacceptable. Their criticism was directed at the Justice Department for allowing this outcome to occur. However, the reality is Arizona gun laws compelled the ridiculous outcome, and the hands of the Justice Department and ATF agents were tied by Arizona's statutes. The problem is not the Justice Department; the problem is the gun law regimen in Arizona. Thus the tar pit: Is the GOP now going to demand changes in the Arizona gun laws, since they were so critical of the outcome of the application of those laws - albeit that criticism was when those leaders thought the outcome was a Holder Justice Department folly? As party leaders ponder that point while stuck in the tar, Rep. Issa is not to be deterred in his quest to not know the truth




Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy, such as quantitative easing, will be doomed to fail because conservative business owners would act to keep unemployment at high levels despite efforts to stimulate the economy. If channeling is taking place, no conservative taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it without being pressured by a determined questioner who is armed with facts and an understanding of this destructive phenomenon that is torturing the Nation's citizens and dangerously hobbling the United States' economy

Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus "Atlas Shrugged"

Los Angeles Times: Paul Ryan loved Ayn Rand as recently as 2005, but now . . . Oopps! . . . now Paul Ryan says he does not like Ayn Rand


Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

Flag of Canada

Bill Mann: The principal myths about the Canadian health care system are debunked here


AARP: Five myths about Canada's health care system - the truth may surprise you about international health care



President Johnson signs the Medicare provisions into law in July, 1965, as former President Harry S. Truman and his wife Bess look on with the First Lady. Mr. Truman received the first Medicare card; Mrs. Truman received the second card. The Medicare program has made effective medical care a reality for millions of elderly Americans over the last 47 years at a level that never would have been practicable, or affordable by the elderly, through what would be a prohibitively costly private medical insurance system.



Summary of the Medicare system - the United States' national, single payer health care insurance system, which provided health care to 48 million citizens in 2010


TPM: The difference between the Obama cuts and Ryan's cuts to the Medicare program -- there is a big difference in substance -- do not just focus on the amount of dollars involved


Ezra Klein: The Republican ticket's big Medicare myth


Denzel Washington's depiction of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas in "American Gangster" was a box office sensation. This link is to a second trailer for the movie. Here is a brief documentary on Frank Lucas, giving more details of Lucas' drug ring that annually smuggled 2,200 pounds of pure heroin into the United States using U.S. military aircraft and bases.

However, the true story leaves Hollywood far behind. For one thing, “American Gangster” gives the impression that with Lucas’ arrest, the trafficking of heroin into the United States by the use of military transport aircraft ended. In fact, the trafficking continued unabated. I know this first-hand, because in the 1970s I was a foot soldier in America's so-called War on Drugs at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. This turned out to be an extremely dangerous way to spend one's time in the military - I would have been a lot safer if I was stationed in the jungles of Vietnam, because at least then the Air Force would have believed there actually was an enemy out there when I busted the Norton Air Force Base smuggling operation in January, 1976. The drug cartel tried to kill me on two occasions in 1977, and, in fact, they almost succeeded in permanently shutting my mouth on a third occasion when they were actually trying to murder my wife.

One of the people with whom I worked in 1976 on a heroin smuggling case at Norton stated to me that the traffickers would kill both of us before they would let the story of this crime reach the public's attention. Sadly, he was half right; he was the victim of homicide outside St. Louis in 1992, during a period of time when he was once again trying to help me get to the bottom of the Norton story. A few weeks earlier, on March 11,1992, another man whom I was trying to reach for information regarding the situation at Norton was shot dead in New York City by a hitman contracted by a Colombian drug cartel. He was murdered on the very day I was scheduled to contact him. I can only infer from these two homicides that the Norton traffickers were potentially still active as recently as 1992, trying to cover the trail of their hideous crimes.

Jonathan Kwitny, a 16-year veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in his book "The Crimes of Patriots - A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the Central Intelligence Agency", that the shipments through Norton Air Force Base were orchestrated by senior U.S. officers, and the quantity of heroin trafficked on a regular basis was up to 50 pounds per shipment; plus, the heroin being smuggled through Norton was 100% pure China White - reputedly the most powerful heroin on the planet.

As a point of reference, the quantity of heroin involved in the famous 1971 "French Connection" film was the one-time shipment to New York City of 132 pounds of diluted heroin that was only 87% pure; nevertheless, the French Connection heroin was valued at $32 million on the streets of America



Scherrie Payne Mary Wilson Susaye Greene
A loving shout-out to my precious Facebook friends, Mary and Susaye
"You Are The Heart Of Me"


Saturday, August 11, 2012
Governor Romney selects Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, announcing his choice at a Virginia event in the shadow of the USS Wisconsin



The Weekly Standard: Excerpts from Congressman Ryan's first speech as Mitt Romney's running mate



Who is Paul Ryan?

Mark Murray: What is the Ryan budget?


Congressional Budget Office: The long-term analysis of the Ryan budget proposal that will substantially change Medicare and Medicaid


C-Span 3 video in which Rep. Ryan addresses President Obama at a health care summit in 2009, regarding the proposed health care legislation, during which the Congressman famously stated that hiding spending is not the same thing as reducing spending


Democratic response to Rep. Ryan's selection as the presumptive vice presidential nominee: "All to pay for tax cuts for those at the top"


Obama campaign ad: Looking at Mitt Romney's record on economics while governor of Massachusetts



Allyson Felix Carmelita Jeter Bianca Knight Tianna Madison
World record holders at 40.82 in the women's 4x100 meter relay
The Dells: "Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation"

Friday, August 10, 2012
Dow finishes with a gain of 43 points despite being in a losing position for most of the trading day following economic data out of China

China's July trade surplus shrinks unexpectedly to $25.1 billion


Dhara Ranasinghe: Beijing may act to stimulate the country's economy in days, not weeks


Kevin Mellyn: Why millions of jobs are not coming back - the era of big labor is over


Justice Department: There is no viable basis to prosecute Goldman Sachs regarding its actions leading to the subprime mortgage crisis


The health care law's tax hikes are coming: Who will pay the freight?


"Welfare-voters" are latest battleground in Brown-Warren Senate race


CNBC: Fear and loathing of the One Percent


Rick Rothacker: U.S. banks were advised to make plans for preventing collapse. This article is being pitched on right-wing radio as a harbinger of further, huge problems in the Nation's future, including threats of a government takeover similar to the takeover of General Motors in 2009



Have you seen this man anywhere?
"Romney murdered JonBenet Ramsey", alleges the Obama campaign in a 30-second ad being aired in key swing states!!!


Ashton Eaton
Gold medalist - 2012 Decathalon

Thursday, August 9, 2012
The Dow slips for a 10 point loss as Wall Street focuses on slowing growth in Europe and China

The U.S. trade gap narrows sharply to $42.9 billion in June, a fact that indicates an increase in America's GDP in the second quarter

U.S. weekly jobless claims fall 6,000 unexpectedly to 361,000, a very encouraging data point



Losses at the U. S. Postal Service are at epic levels


Asian stock markets advance overnight as data from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics reveals that consumer price increases in China have been moderate

The Bank of Japan leaves its monetary policy unchanged with an interest rate target of 0.0 - 0.1% and a 1.0% growth target in consumer prices



Gold medalist Ma Long of China
Playing the game for blood


Jordin Sparks is "Sparkle"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Worries over Europe and the domestic economy hold the Dow to a 7 point gain, as oil pulls back from the $94 level and gold sees gains

U.S. productivity rebounds in the second quarter as companies produce more goods and services


Europe's bourses lose ground overnight as investors appear to take profits following the string of recent gains in the equities markets, plus Standard and Poor's has downgraded Spain's outlook


Mark Hulbert: Watch out for a correction - or worse


David Waring: The divergence between stocks and bonds is the widest of this century, and that is not an indicator one should ignore


July of 2012 was the hottest month on record in the contiguous 48 states


CNBC: Why $9.00 corn could be a big problem for the economy


Priorities USA Action, a superPAC that supports President Obama, runs a political ad that is very misleading with respect to allegations of responsibility on the part of Mitt Romney for a woman's death The ad - "Understands" - is viewable on the Priorities USA Action website

The failure to fact-check "Understands" before its release is an abysmal dereliction of duty on the part of someone at Priorities USA Action, which will lead to a mountain of criticism from the GOP For example: Obama camp denies knowledge of cancer tale the Administration told in May

Unlike the irresponsibile propaganda published by Priorities USA Action, there are real issues concerning health care being discussed at NBC News: Falling through the cracks if the states do not expand Medicaid


Summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
One of the problems that confronts the Obama Administration with respect to the health care plan is the fact that there is very little literature in the marketplace that explains what the legislation does. One of the few competent books available on the subject is "Landmark - The Inside Story of America's New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All", which was authored by the staff of the Washington Post


Romney claims that President Obama has gutted the work requirements of welfare legislation


Tami Luhby: Obama's welfare-to-work firestorm


Welfare spending has been cut in half since reform legislation in 1996



Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Jamaica takes the gold in the women's historic 100 meters

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Dow closes with a gain of 51 points as the markets absorb positive earnings reports and continued optimism about a solution to Europe's debt problems

Oil and retail gas prices climb to their highest levels in more than two months following supply reports and a refinery fire near San Francisco

Asian stock markets push higher overnight as the Pacific region joins Wall Street's optimism concerning Europe


Chinese private equity faces an uncertain macroeconomic future


Trade with China profits both red and blue states


Both the dollar and the euro gain ground as investors seem willing to take on more risk


Mitt Romney: Obama favors a culture of dependency

A few hundred words from the insane: The writer of this article, Wayne Allyn Root, sincerely believes that President Obama actually did not attend Columbia University, or, in the alternative, he suspects that the President had lousy grades at Columbia, if he ever actually was a student at the school. As an additional alternative, Root suspects that if Obama was a student at Columbia, then he was registered as a foreign student from Indonesia. Root clamours for the release of Obama's academic records, while at the same time he ignores the portion of the President's academic record that has been made public: namely, the fact that the President graduated from Harvard Law with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude, meaning the degree was conferred "with great honor" based upon his grade point average. Yep, to a person flirting with delusion such as Root, magna cum laude at Harvard Law sounds like a person who probably did lousy at Columbia. Root is an example of a reality of the human condition: People believe what they want to believe



Amid all the soundbites, the gaffe searches, the gotchas and calculated political ads -- is anyone actually looking out for the good of our Nation?

CNNMoney: The world's worst economies


The infamous Zimbabwe one hundred trillion dollar note

The world's worst cases of hyperinflation: Imagine prices doubling every 15.6 hours as in Hungary in 1946. The moral regarding these incidents is actually very straightforward: It is possible for a country to totally mess up its economy - to the immense detriment of its people



Gabby Douglas
A legend is born in London

Monday, August 6, 2012
Dow closes with a gain of 21 points as optimism regarding Europe continues to push equities higher



Usain Bolt
The World's Fastest Man

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Michael Phelps
Champion of Champions


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Congratulations Serena!!
Superstar

Friday, August 3, 2012
Dow surges 217 points as Wall Street hits its highest levels since May following the jobs report


Labor Department: The U.S. economy created a net of 163,000 jobs in July, but the Nation's unemployment rate moved upwards to 8.3%


Kristen A. Lee: Mixed messages in July's employment reports has fodder for both the Obama and Romney campaigns


Oil price surges 4% following today's promising jobs report


Treasury yields rise to session highs because of the confluence of reaction to the jobs report and the sentiment held by some market participants that the Fed may still invoke economic stimulus


Wall Street stock futures rise during the pre-opening hour after the release of the jobs number


Asian markets fall in overnight trading as the Pacific region joins Wall Street's disappointment with the ECB's lack of action on Thursday



Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy, or quantitative easing, will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it without being pressured by a determined questioner who is armed with facts and understanding of this phenomena Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

For example: The GOP/Lockheed Martin layoff notice threat/hoax


The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.3%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"


The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?


The GOP intends to win the election in November

MarketWatch: QE3 is pointless as we head over the fiscal cliff

Actually, QE3 may be pointless for another reason: business owners are channeling "Atlas Shrugged"; namely, many decision-makers are purposefully hiring as few people as possible in an attempt to hobble the Obama economy - QE3 would be torpedoed by that effort, just like the first two programs of quantitative easing. It would be the better idea under these circumstances to just skip trying any further quantitative easing efforts, and, instead, confront the business owners with our knowledge that everyone is now aware of what they are doing. Hopefully, unmasking their efforts will bring the John Galt-imitators to their senses before the economy is further harmed
What is quantitative easing?


One reason why the Democrats may lose in November, 2012: the Party's base is way too comfortable with being uninformed regarding the relevant facts and issues confronting the Nation. Such as the blindfolded people marching like lemmings off a cliff, as in the above picture. For example: Man on the street interviews of Obama supporters after the election in 2008 Second example: Frank Luntz conducts focus groups with Democrats and Republicans When a person is unaware of the facts and reasoning behind his beliefs, it is improbable that he would be able to persuade another person to adopt those beliefs - or even be inclined to try. In 2012, the Democrats must be able to persuade others to join their position based on the issues, and this reality is very different from the festive Hope and Change campaign of 2008. It's time to get real. In order for President Obama to win in 2012 he will need millions of fully informed supporters speaking on his behalf to other citizens, and they must particularly debate and persuade their relatves, neighbors and co-workers who are not otherwise inclined to vote in favor of a second term for Obama



Republican House committee report says that warnings were ignored regarding the Solyndra loan

Why did Solyndra go bankrupt? Solyndra failed because China developed a superior solar panel technology in a government-subsidized development program at the cost of $30 billion dollars. It is ironic that the collapse of Solyndra is being touted by critics as evidence that the U.S. government should not subsidize private enterprise on the theory that green energy subsidies lead to nothing but failure


It seems like just yesterday: What happened to all that talk about the Fast and Furious gun-running situation? It's still around; mostly on right-wing talk radio where people manage to deftly ignore the fact that the entire GOP herd is standing in a tar pit regarding this controversy. Someone on the side of the Democrats should yell: "Checkmate!" The truth about Fast and Furious is a far different story than the tale told for so long by Republicans such as Congressman Darrell Issa However, Rep. Issa is not to be deterred in his quest to not know the truth


Earth, Wind and Fire: "Imagination" and "Be Ever Wonderful"
"Devotion"

Thursday, August 2, 2012
The announcement of the European Central Bank disappoints Wall Street, but by the close of trading the Dow's loss had shrank to 92 points from an intraday loss of 192 points


Oil and natural gas end lower after ECB President Mario Draghi leaves the commodity markets in a state of pessimism


General Motors' profits slip 41% in the second quarter under the influence of a slowing European market


New Jersey-based Knight Capital stumbles into a loss of $440 million

San Bernardino files for Chapter 9 bankruptcy - the third California city to follow such a path since the housing crisis


Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Wall Street is not impressed with the Fed's policy announcement: Dow loses 33 points as traders and investors wait for the ECB to act on Thursday and Friday's jobs report


ADP: Companies add more jobs in July, but the manufacturing sector falters

Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center: Romney tax plan would shift financial burden to the poor

Are you poor if you have a flai-screen TV? The curious case of poverty in America. The fact is that many poor Americans, on the basis of their assets, would be considered as middle class in much of the developed world


The GOP intends to win this election

November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject



During the height of the financial crisis and for the last several years, a number of financial pundits have preached that the ownership of gold was the best lifeboat for financial security. This philosophy was - and, in fact, still is - a popular source of advertisement dollars on right-wing radio stations. Outfits such as Goldline and Jonathan Rose's Capital Gold Group tried to convince anyone who would listen that the American economy was headed for collapse, and economic collapse was especially certain since President Obama and his policies were running the government.

For example, on August 8, 2010, Jonathan Rose forecast that the world's financial system would be in such a shambles by the end of 2012 that the price of an ounce of gold would be $2,000, and he predicted on July 18, 2010 that by the end of 2013 the price of an ounce of gold would be $5,000. It was not by coincidence that the gold-sellers' forecasts tended to affect the non-commodities financial markets negatively at a time when building investors' confidence across the spectrum of investment categories was so important to the Nation, as well as the global economy..

Today's gold price - around $1,602 - shows no upward momentum towards $2,000 by yearend or $5,000 by the end of next year. In fact, there are people who bought gold in November, 2011 following Rose's advice at $1,788, and these people have lost over 10% of the value of their investment over the past nine months. A 10% loss is a very leaky lifeboat. It's a really good thing that the cataclysmic financial storm forecast by Rose is not actually even here to rock that boat.

In 1978, when I was 29 years old and working as a corporate finance attorney on Wall Street, my gross income was in the 55% tax bracket for federal taxes alone, a very much higher rate than today's maximum of 35%, a top rate that applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2012. It was a different world in 1978: No one claimed that the country was going socialist; no one claimed that the President was trying to redistribute wealth; no one ranted that society's producers were being held in slavery by the IRS; no one was talking about going out to buy another gun because they may need more than one gun because the government was probably going to come and steal their money next week. There has been a huge change in attitude in the United States over the past 30 years - where has our spirit of social compact, our willingness to work hard, and our willingness to work a few more years in order to become wealthy? The United States is in dire need of a return of the Americans of just a few decades ago.

What is the reasoning behind a progressive income tax structure?



Los Alacranes: "Chicano Park"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dow falls 64 points as Wall Street awaits action by the Fed and the European Central Bank, as well as Friday's employment report


U.S. corn prices hit record as crops shrivel in the heat


Conference Board: Consumer confidence rose in July to 65.9

Drought strains U.S. oil production


Eurozone unemployment hits record highs


Kevin Marder: World equity markets languish before the deluge of economic data hits during this week

Massive power outage in India affects 670 million people


Peter Schiff: An economic collapse will begin tomorrow that will be worse than 2008 The fact that this link to the Peter Schiff article is here should not be taken as my endorsement of its forecast

Michael Tomasky: Mitt Romney's wimp factor


Romney: "I did not speak" about Palestinian culture

Rush Limbaugh: Romney's trip to Israel has been so successful that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has endorsed President Obama


New York Times: Mitt Romney is in Europe now - a different continent, so we hear a different tune about social welfare states



Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola

Monday, July 30, 2012
Dow ends the session virtually flat with a 3 point loss as traders seem to be on hold, waiting for political and economic events to unfold


Asian stock markets rally overnight as European leaders signal positive action is forthcoming


Japan's June industrial output posts a surprising fall

Craig Stephen: Asia braces for another roller coaster onslaught of quantitative easing coming out of the West


Romney voices an aggressive stance regarding Iran during his trip to Israel in meetings with that country's top officials


Intelligence gains concerning Iran are a confidence builder for the Obama Administration


The U.S. defines its demands for a new round of talks with Iran


Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a diplomatic way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat in the world to the U.S. economy

Arutz Sheva: An Iranian official has called for an Islamic awakening among the Palestinian Authority that will destroy the State of Israel at a conference in Tehran marking May 15, Nabka Day


United Nations Headquarters
During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night


American-made Israeli F-15 fighter jets - history's most effective fighter aircraft. This airplane - in the hands of American and Israeli pilots - has shot down at least 100 enemy aircraft in combat with the distinction that no F-15 fighter has ever been destroyed by an enemy aircraft. No other airplane in the history of aerial combat can match the F-15's scorecard - the performance record of no other aircraft of any nation is even close to the battle reputation of the F-15. Israel has plenty of F-15s

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map


Israeli American-made F-16 fighter-bomber

New York Times: Obama Administration moves to tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by freezing all assets of the Central Bank of Iran, as well as other assets of Iran in the United States. So, instead of attacking Iran with munitions, the United States is attempting to ruin the country's economy through financial attack. This plan envisions economic collapse, deprivation of the populace, civil unrest that culminates in rebellion and the assassination of the current leaders of Iran

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that he had no idea what those words mean

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says Israel belongs to the Jews, so the Jews are back from Europe to seize and hold the land at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told the Jews it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?


Catalina Island's famous Green Pier minutes before sunrise
Chaka Khan: "Through The Fire"

Friday, July 27, 2012
Dow climbs 188 points to close at 13,076 on hopes that the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will provide further stimulus

Reuters: U.S. consumer sentiment falls to lowest level in 2012 at 72.3


Commerce Department: The U.S. gross domestic product's growth slowed to a gain of 1.5% in the second quarter of 2012; however, the majority forecast was for a gain of only 1.3%


The U.S. dollar gains on both the euro and the yen after the GDP number comes in better than forecast

Commerce Department: The recession of 2007-2009 was not as deep as initially thought and the recovery has been slower than anticipated


Martin Crutsinger: The sluggish U.S. economy is unlikely to strengthen soon, according to a concensus among economists



Myra Saefong: China's $15.1 billion Cnooc/Nexen deal in the oil and natural gas sector will have a global impact


Mike Paulenoff: Is gold set to accelerate higher, or is the present market just a step along the way to collapse in the price of the precious metal?


American Spectator: And you thought the housing crisis was over!! According to William Tucker (and Rush Limbaugh) the Community Reinvestment Act was the liberal villan that nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008


Take a trip down Memory Lane: Today, Rush Limbaugh spent a good deal of time at the start of his radio program reiterating his description of the U.S.'s mortgage loan debacle as a creation of the federal government and its attempt to make poor people homeowners. This Wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this Wikipedia link: When Rush Limbaugh asserts that the government was the cause of the financial debacle known as the subprime mortgage crisis, he is intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to him.

Limbaugh's propaganda is based on a contention that he has made hundreds of times on the radio over the last three years. Limbaugh specifically claims that the banks were forced by the Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to unqualified borrowers. The immense problem in Limbaugh's argument is the fact that a large proportion of subprime loans were actually made by loan companies that were not even under the authority of the Community Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the lenders were making subprime loans not because the government was forcing them to lend. The real reason lenders were in the subprime market was because subprime loans were extremely profitable to originate - extremely profitable for the originating mortgage lender and extremely profitable for the loan officer who convinced the borrower to sign the mortgage papers


Are reverse mortgages the next big disaster?


November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject


Avant and Keke Wyatt: "My First Love"


Thursday, July 26, 2012
Dows soars 212 points on the wings of the European Central Bank's pledge to defend the euro


Vow by President Mario Draghi, of the European Central Bank, to defend the euro rockets Wall Street forward from the opening bell

Treasury yields rise after comments by President Draghi


Charles Riley: Corporate America has raised alarm bells concerning a looming global slump



CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map

Results of Gallup poll and Rasmussen poll regarding November 7th


Catalina Island - off the coast of Southern California
Kenny G and Smokey Robinson: "We've Saved The Best For Last"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Dow gains 59 points to end a three-day losing streak


Sales of new houses fell 8.4% in June after reaching a two-year high in May


U.S. News & World Reports: What no one is telling U.S. workers



Satyajit Das: The global economy is broken, and the cure will not be pleasant or easy


Bush tax cuts: What taxes would be due under rival plans




Denzel Washington's depiction of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas in "American Gangster" was a
box office sensation. This link is to a second trailer for the movie. Here is a brief documentary on Frank Lucas, giving more details of Lucas' drug ring that annually smuggled 2,200 pounds of pure heroin into the United States using U.S. military aircraft and bases.

However, the true story leaves Hollywood far behind. For one thing, “American Gangster” gives the impression that with Lucas’ arrest, the trafficking of heroin into the United States by the use of military transport aircraft ended. In fact, the trafficking continued unabated. I know this first-hand, because in the 1970s I was a foot soldier in America's so-called War on Drugs at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. This turned out to be an extremely dangerous way to spend one's time in the military - I would have been a lot safer if I was stationed in the jungles of Vietnam, because at least then the Air Force would have believed there actually was an enemy out there when I busted the Norton Air Force Base smuggling operation in January, 1976. The drug cartel tried to kill me on two occasions in 1977, and, in fact, they almost succeeded in permanently shutting my mouth on a third occasion when they were actually trying to murder my wife.

One of the people with whom I worked in 1976 on a heroin smuggling case at Norton stated to me that the traffickers would kill both of us before they would let the story of this crime reach the public's attention. Sadly, he was half right; he was the victim of homicide outside St. Louis in 1992, during a period of time when he was once again trying to help me get to the bottom of the Norton story. A few weeks earlier, on March 11,1992, another man whom I was trying to reach for information regarding the situation at Norton was shot dead in New York City by a hitman contracted by a Colombian drug cartel. He was murdered on the very day I was scheduled to contact him. I can only infer from these two homicides that the Norton traffickers were potentially still active as recently as 1992, trying to cover the trail of their hideous crimes.

Jonathan Kwitny, a 16-year veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in his book "The Crimes of Patriots - A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the Central Intelligence Agency", that the shipments through Norton Air Force Base were orchestrated by senior U.S. officers, and the quantity of heroin trafficked on a regular basis was up to 50 pounds per shipment; plus, the heroin being smuggled through Norton was 100% pure China White - reputedly the most powerful heroin on the planet.

As a point of reference, the quantity of heroin involved in the famous 1971 "French Connection" film was the one-time shipment to New York City of 132 pounds of diluted heroin that was only 87% pure; nevertheless, the French Connection heroin was valued at $32 million on the streets of America


Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Apple misses Wall Street estimates, and the Dow sees a third straight day of losses with a fall of 104 points


Asian stock markets fall in overnight trading under the influence of a once-again, trouble-plagued Europe




HSBC manufacturing index for China improves to 49.5 for July


Corn, winter wheat and soybean futures fall in price as the weather forecast becomes more optimistic



Only a fool believes 2012 will be as easy as 2008
That's right - 2008 was easy

November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject


Dancing down Memory Lane: It's time for a Romney/Obama dance-off !!!

Monday, July 23, 2012
The Dow, which was down by as many as 240 points during the session, closes with a loss of 101 points

During pre-opening on Wall Street, Europe takes a beating: Italy is down by 6% to its lowest level in history amid resurgent worries over sovereign debt in Italy, Spain and Greece




Calgary-based Nexen Inc, has agreed to be acquired by China's CNOOC Ltd., giving China an enty into the North American energy market


Nouriel Roubini: The U.S. economy is going from bad to worse

Associated Press: The U.S. poverty rate is at highest level since 1965




President Obama's re-election campaign spent more money in June than it took in through political contributions
That sounds like a problem for the President. I wonder why I'm not hearing a lot about this on TV? Because the brand of support that the President receives from the media is a very lazy and detached "hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil" treatment of news regarding the Presidential race. This brand of support leads to apathy and is the product of apathy


Rihanna and Eminem make a statement: "I Love The Way You LIe"

Friday, July 20, 2012
The worsening Spanish economy spawns a 121 point loss in the Dow, despite good earnings reports from Google and General Electric

Asian stock markets have an optimistic opening but then fade in overnight trading



Brazilian equities fall after there is a rekindling of worries over Europe, plus consumer prices are rising in the South American giant


Daily Telegraph: London and Singapore stock exchanges are in merger talks


Robert Frank: The falling fortunes of the One Percent - the rich are actually becoming less wealthy


New York Times: What student loans have in common with subprime mortgages


Compilation of U.S. municipal bankruptcies


The euro is at a more than two-year low against the dollar, and the euro is at a twelve-year low versus the yen

Ronald Orel: Skepticism regarding the Dodd-Frank legislation persists two years after the passage of market reform

Rachel Koning Beals: The drought could drive the price of food commodities higher for years to come




Stephen Gandel: Was Barclays the biggest Libor liar? No, that title may very well go to America's Citigroup


Howard Gold: Volatility is not what it used to be, and opportunities exist for bold investors



La Jolla, California: A summer's sunset
Next: "Too Close"
Teena Marie: "Hypnotized"

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Dow closes with a 35 point gain as strength among technology companies trumps a weak economy


Senate Republicans block a bill that would have ended tax breaks for American companies that move jobs offshore

Drought in the United States means wilting crops and higher food prices


Gas prices start to head higher


Lawrence G. McMillan: No one believes in this market

A compilation of "American" companies that are actually foreign-owned



Beyonce and Shakira: "Beautiful Liar"


Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Dow rallys for 103 point gain as the market reacts to the best report on housing starts in nearly four years. Gold moves lower




For the first time in history, Canadians are now more affluent than Americans
This milestone is a direct result of the fact that laws and regulations in Canada prevented its citizens from acquiring subprime mortgages on their homes, and, consequently, there was no meltdown of real estate values in Canada; plus, there was no wave of foreclosures or bankruptcies in Canada such as the mortgage fiasco triggered in the United States over the past several years

In early trading, Australian mining companies fall as the financial companies gain ground


The price of oil falls below $89 overnight in Asia


The legality of the European Stability Mechanism is under review by the German Federal Constitutional Court, and a ruling is expected in mid-September


Japanese shares rise as an echo of Wall Street's performance and the yen's fall against the dollar and euro




MarketWatch: QE3 is pointless as we head over the fiscal cliff
Actually, QE3 may be pointless for another reason: business owners are channeling "Atlas Shrugged"; namely, many decision-makers are purposefully hiring as few people as possible in an attempt to hobble the Obama economy - QE3 would be torpedoed by that effort, just like the first two programs of quantitative easing. It would be the better idea under these circumstances to just skip trying any further quantitative easing efforts, and, instead, confront the business owners with our knowledge that everyone is now aware of what they are doing. Hopefully, unmasking their efforts will bring the John Galt-imitators to their senses before the economy is further harmed

What is quantitative easing?


Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy, or quantitative easing, will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it without being pressured by a determined questioner who is armed with facts and understanding of this phenomena Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.2%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"


The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?



One reason why the Democrats may lose in November, 2012: the Party's base is way too comfortable with being uninformed regarding the relevant facts and issues confronting the Nation. Such as the blindfolded people marching like lemmings off a cliff, as in the above picture. For example: Man on the street interviews of Obama supporters after the election in 2008 Second example: Frank Luntz conducts focus groups with Democrats and Republicans When a person is unaware of the facts and reasoning behind his beliefs, it is improbable that he would be able to persuade another person to adopt those beliefs - or even be inclined to try. In 2012, the Democrats must be able to persuade others to join their position based on the issues, and this reality is very different from the festive Hope and Change campaign of 2008. It's time to get real. In order for President Obama to win in 2012 he will need millions of fully informed supporters speaking on his behalf to other citizens, and they must particularly debate and persuade their relatves, neighbors and co-workers who are not otherwise inclined to vote in favor of a second term for Obama



FT.com: Chairman Bernanke is gloomy on economic outlook

Paul B. Farrell: How Bernanke will cause the next crash before 2014

Paul Farrell's article contains a list of commentators who predicted the 2008 financial calamity

Conor Sen: Four reasons why the hedge fund industry is dead


Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio absolutely insists that President Obama's birth certificate is a phony, and the President is a threat to national security. This is unbridled "I wish it was true" on Arpaio's part, and it is probably a sentiment shared by many other people who are also nearly delusional



Clay Aiken: "Solitaire"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Chairman Bernanke vows Fed action will be provided if needed, and Dow gains 78 points


Text of Chairman Bernanke's prepared testimony today before the Senate Finance Committee

The Libor system is structurally flawed


Hong Kong shares surge at the start of trading after a string of losses and in concert with U.S. equity futures


U.S. Treasury 10-year note yield falls to its lowest level in history: 1.44%


The News Hub: The U.S. is in an invisible depression right now - there are no soup lines only because of food stamps


Lance Roberts: Will QE3 save us from another recession?



Keith R. McCullough: Why I moved all my money to cash - this story that we are all following on a daily basis will not end well


Senate subcommitee on investigations: HSBC, due to lax controls, allowed terrorists, drug dealers and rogue states to launder billions of dollars through its bank



Nina Easton: Millionaire taxes hurt the masses from Newark to Paris. It's time to get real


In 1978, when I was 29 years old and working as a corporate finance attorney on Wall Street, my gross income was in the 55% tax bracket for federal taxes alone, a very much higher rate than today's maximum of 35%, a top rate that applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2012. It was a different world in 1978: No one claimed that the country was going socialist; no one claimed that the President was trying to redistribute wealth; no one ranted that society's producers were being held in slavery by the IRS; no one was talking about going out to buy another gun because they may need more than one gun because the government was probably going to come and steal their money next week. There has been a huge change in attitude in the United States over the past 30 years - where has our spirit of social compact, our willingness to work hard, and our willingness to work a few more years in order to become wealthy? The United States is in dire need of a return of the Americans of just a few decades ago.

What is the reasoning behind a progressive income tax structure?


Michael Crowley: Romney feels the Bain, but the race seems close so far


Fortune Magazine: Romney's "responsibility" for Bain Capital



CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map


Rex Nutting takes these questions very seriously: Does Romney believe in capitalism? Does Obama believe in capitalism?


Money-smart and money-dumb states in America

Obamas kiss at a basketball game


Jennifer Hudson: "Neither One Of Us "

Monday, July 16, 2012
The slowing economy hits retail sales hard in the United States for the third straight month, and the Dow suffers a 50 point loss


The Department of Justice is building a case against several large banks and individuals who allegedly manipulated Libor


Xinhua News Agency: Foreign investment in China has fallen 3.0% from the comparable period last year to a level of $59.1 billion

Asian markets are mixed and choppy in overnight trading under the influence of earnings data coming out of China

International Monetary Fund: The global recovery is weak and facing growing dangers coming primarily from Europe

National Association for Business Economics: Most economists are less bullish on future prospects as the gains from early in 2012 wither


Annalyn Censky: The myth of the "Zombie Economy"



Fiscal cliff babble from the Washington Post: Democrats threaten to go over the fiscal cliff if the GOP fails to raise taxes


A U.S. Navy oil supply ship has fired on a small vessel in the Persian Gulf near Dubai, killing one person


The Pentagon is sending the supercarrier USS John C. Stennis to the Mideast ahead of schedule to insure that two carriers are in the region

This link is to a subject that has been featured almost daily on the Drudge Report for many years: Iran renews threats to close the Strait of Hormuz


American-made Israeli F-15 fighter jets - history's most effective fighter aircraft. This airplane - in the hands of American and Israeli pilots - has shot down at least 100 enemy aircraft in combat with the distinction that no F-15 fighter has ever been destroyed by an enemy aircraft. No other airplane in the history of aerial combat can match the F-15's scorecard - the performance record of no other aircraft of any nation is even close to the battle reputation of the F-15. Israel has plenty of F-15s

U.S. intelligence gains concerning Iran are a confidence builder for the Obama Administration


The U.S. defines its demands for a new round of talks with Iran


Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a diplomatic way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat in the world to the U.S. economy

Arutz Sheva: An Iranian official has called for an Islamic awakening among the Palestinian Authority that will destroy the State of Israel at a conference in Tehran marking May 15, Nabka Day


United Nations Headquarters
During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that he had no idea what those words mean

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says Israel belongs to the Jews, so the Jews are back from Europe to seize and hold the land at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told the Jews it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?



New York Times: Mitt Romney will soon announce that either Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, or Senator Rob Portman will be his running mate in November

Video of President Obama annoying 97% of the business owners in America. Someone should really convince the President that this line of rhetoric is not helping him to reach his goal in November If I were the President, I would call my speechwriters on the carpet, or. if the President was ad libbing, I would kick myself in the place the sun don't shine. Here is the problem: The use of the word "that" in the phrase "you didn't build that". I am sure that the antecedent of "that" was "roads and bridges", and the antecedent intended by the President was not "a business". However, the antecedent is not crystal clear, and because of that lack of clarity right-wing radio talk shows - and Mitt Romney - have gone hyperbolic in their criticism for the last several days, claiming that the President was stupidly saying business owners did not build their own businesses - or, in the alternative, the critics claim his statement proves the President is a secret Marxist socialist. That's just crazy!!!


As another example of President Obama's stupidity, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union. Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

 

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim


Gladys Knight: "Seconds"

                 

Friday, July 13, 2012
Dow soars 204 points following better-than expected results from the banking sector


Mother Jones: Did Mitt Romney make a false statement on his financial disclosures?


Thursday, July 12, 2012
Dow slips 31 points, but the day's performance could have been much worse, since at one point the market was down by 112 points

Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to pay $175 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against minority borrowers in mortgage financings



Rush Limbaugh: Regime shakes down banks for $25 billion


Take a trip down Memory Lane after reading Rush Limbaugh's description of the U.S.'s mortgage loan debacle. This Wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this Wikipedia link: When Rush Limbaugh asserts that the government was the cause of the financial debacle known as the subprime mortgage crisis, he is intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to him.

Limbaugh's propaganda is based on a contention that he has made hundreds of times on the radio over the last three years. Limbaugh specifically claims that the banks were forced by the Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to unqualified borrowers. The immense problem in Limbaugh's argument is the fact that a large proportion of subprime loans were actually made by loan companies that were not even under the authority of the Community Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the lenders were making subprime loans not because the government was forcing them to lend. The real reason lenders were in the subprime market was because subprime loans were extremely profitable to originate - extremely profitable for the originating mortgage lender and extremely profitable for the loan officer who convinced the borrower to sign the mortgage papers


Let us not forget: In January, 2009, two top economic advisers of the Obama Administration, Christine Romer and Jared Bernstein, projected that, if the $787 stimulus plan was enacted, the level of U.S. unemployment would not exceed 8%. The projection was flat wrong, as witnessed by the levels of unemployment experienced over the last 3-1/2 years. The U3 unemployment rate is currently at 8.2%. However, a projection is not a promise. Parts of the media continuously argue that jobs creation during the Obama Administration has been a failure because it has not lived up to the faulty Romer/Bernstein projection.

Instead of the projection offered by two economists who apparently do not have the gift of prophecy, the unemployment levels over the last three years should be compared to numerous 2009 projections that indicated the Bureau of Labor Statistics U3 unemployment rate could have reached 14% without a Keynesian stimulus plan

Economics 101: How is the unemployment rate calculated?


The Fact Checker: The truth behind claims that Obama made an international tour apologizing for America. These assertions are perfect examples of mischaracterizations that have become treated as fact due to their voluminous reiterations

It all depends on who you ask Department: The real Federal deficit dwarfs the official tally Once you have read the link touting a dwarfing of the official tally, then take a look at Rex Nuttings' commentary: The Obama spending binge never actually happened

President Obama once again presses Congress to increase taxes on "millionaires". Is this a good idea? Quite frankly, the President's proposal needs to be reworked, and everyone needs to stop acting like the Buffett Rule is smart tax policy What is the justification for a progressive income tax structure?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Dow falls 49 points after the minutes released by the Federal Reserve fail to offer hope of any immediate program to stimulate the economy

The scandal over Libor rate-fixing is about to hit the United States





Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it, so commentators would best be advised to not even bother to ask a question on the subject in an interview Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.2%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"


The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?



John Maynard Keynes
Summary of Keynesian economics philosophy



Only a fool believes 2012 will be as easy as 2008
That's right - 2008 was easy

November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Market ends a roller coaster day with a loss of 83 points


The dollar hits a two-year high following data out of Germany and Italy


The rate of delinquencies of FHA mortgages soars despite improvements in other sectors of the mortgage market

Monday, July 9, 2012
Dow slips 36 points at the start of earnings season


Obama urges tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year


Friday, July 6, 2012
Bureau of Labor Statistics: The economy created a net sum of 80,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%

Dow falls 124 points following a disappointing jobs report


Thursday, July 5, 2012
Dow closes with a loss of 47 points as Wall Street awaits tomorrow's jobs report


European Central Bank cuts interest rates to an all-time low


China's central bank cuts interest rates for the second time in less than a month


Retailers post worst June sales in three years


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lee Greenwood: "God Bless The USA"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Dow finishes with a gain of 72 points in a rally prompted by geopolitical concerns

Monday, July 2, 2012
The impact of a slump in the ISM's manufacturing index is limited to a 9 point loss on Dow


MarketWatch: A recession is now much more likely


Friday, June 29, 2012
Dow soars 278 points after European leaders agree to use bailout funds to stabilize the continent's banks

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Supreme Court upholds the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act

Text of Supreme Court's opinion on healthcare


Dow closes off 25 points in a comeback surge following the Supreme Court's ruling on healthcare

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Surprising strength in pending home sales and durable goods orders pushes Dow to a 92 point gain


Fortune Magazine: The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal


Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Dow manages a 32 point gain following a positive housing report


Monday, June 25, 2012
European worries once again slam Wall Street, and Dow loses 138 points


Both sides declare victory after the Supreme Court rules on Arizona's immigration law


Friday, June 22, 2012
Dow closes up 67 points as stocks see a rebound from yesterday's losses


Thursday, June 21, 2012
Dow plunges 251 points as economic worries deepen


Moody's Investors Services downgrades its ratings on major global banks


Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Dow loses 13 points after Fed offers small stimulus to offset slowing jobs growth and economic wekness in Europe


Treasurys react to the Federal Reserve's announcement


The price of gold falls in response to Operation Twist


Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Dow closes up 96 points as worries over Europe ease, optimism over Fed action increases and the U.S. housing market shows life

Monday, June 18, 2012
Dow closes with a 25 point loss as initial bullishness following the Greek election fades during the course of trading

Friday, June 15, 2012
Dow finishes the week with a 115 point gain in a sign of market optimism preceding Sunday's election in Greece


Obama immigration order poses dilemma for eligible illegal immigrants


Thursday, June 14, 2012
In the final hour of trading, news of a concerted plan among nations to aid Europe pushes the Dow to a 156 point gain


Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Dow closes with a 77 point loss following a weak retail sales report and continuing worries over Europe

Crisis focus shifts to Italy ahead of tommorrow's bond auction

Allan Sloan: The five myths of the great financial meltdown


Summary of Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation


Summary of the Volcker Rule


Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Dow gains 163 points as global stimulus talk raises bullishness on Wall Street for equities as well as oil and gold


Asian equity markets retreat overnight as European reality resurfaces

Standard & Poor's: India's debt may lose investment grade due to the nation's slowing growth


Federal Reserve: The wealth of Americans has plummeted 40% during the 2007-2010 period


Investors.com: Private sector jobs have fallen 4.6 million since January, 2008, and during this same time period Federal jobs have increased 11.4%



Seven shrinking state economies
Ten fastest-growing states

Monday, June 11, 2012
Dow loses 143 points as the euphoria over the Spanish bank bailout evaporates. Explanation: Fairy Dust only works for short periods


Daniel Woolls: Relief regarding Spain's bailout proves to be short-lived


Italy is stuck in deep economic recession and feeling market pressure


Asian financial markets soar overnight, prompted by the very favorable reaction to the news of the bailout of Spain's banks


Spanish bank bailout could cost up to $125 billion, as Spain becomes the fourth European country during the current crisis to require international financial assistance



Jeffry Bartash: We are looking at a global economic slowdown

Myra P. Saefong: With an OPEC meeting scheduled for June 14th, the members will have a lot to talk about



CNN Electoral Map Sean Hannity Political Map

Obama to Congress: Do something


The prospect of a successful prosecution for leaking national security information is quite slim


Detroit city officials: Detroit will go broke within a week unless a lawsuit challenging a consent agreement with the State of Michigan is withdrawn



As an example of President Obama's stupidity, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim

Friday, June 8, 2012
Dow closes up 93 points and moves back into the black for 2012. The rationale: Fairy Dust has apparently cured the problems in Europe


Asian equity markets fall overnight as recent optimism seems to have run its course, despite yesterday's interest rate cut in China


Japan's GDP expands at an annualized rate of 4.7% in the first quarter, but its trade deficit widens 12.6% from a year earlier


Howard Gold: It's time to bury supply-side economics, because the evidence indicates that tax cuts do not create jobs

Politico: Bill Clinton attempts to explain the comments he made earlier in the week regarding the expiration of the Bush tax rates in December


Video of today's White House press conference
NBC Politics: Obama urges Congress to act on boosting public sector jobs

Rush Limbaugh: Obama denies national security leaks and the New York Times denies taking dictation

New York Times: Obama order sped up wave of cyberattacks on Iran


Thursday, June 7, 2012
Dow closes with a 46 point gain after an early-day rally faded following Bernanke's congressional address, which did not specify that the Fed would give further quantitative easing, plus the report on consumer borrowing left the bulls uninspired


Gold bugs retreat due to lack of Fed stimulus: Gold futures lose $46.20 in a single day, marking the worst one-day slide since April


Oil prices give up gains as the dollar strengthens


CNBC: The financial markets' fate is in the hands of Chairman Bernanke


Spain successfully auctions €2.07 billion in government debt, with the ten-year bond at an average yield of 6.04%



People's Bank of China cuts 0.25% from its lending rate, lowering its deposit and lending rates to 6.31%

Fortune China: The ten most powerful businesspeople in China


Xinhua: China further delays the start of Basel III rules


The Federal Reserve is set to vote on the implementation of Basel III capital rules, which many fear will trigger unintended consequences


Romney and GOP raise more campaign contributions than President Obama and the Democrats in May

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Dow soars 287 points as hope returns to the stock market of a fix in Europe and quantitative easing from the Fed. The rationale: Fairy Dust


European Central Bank officials hold interest rates steady at 1%


Asian stocks gain ground overnight with Japan in the lead


Australian first quarter GDP jumps an unexpected 4.3% in the resource-rich country


Labor Department: The first quarter productivity of U.S. workers and businesses has been revised 0.9% lower


CNNMoney: The economic growth of the states slowed in 2011, coming in at half of the previous year's rate


John Markman: Is a bear market around the corner?


The Fact Checker: The truth behind claims that Obama made an international tour apologizing for America. These assertions are perfect examples of mischaracterizations that have become treated as fact due to their voluminous reiterations


One reason why the Democrats may lose in November, 2012: the Party's base is way too comfortable with being uninformed regarding the relevant facts and issues confronting the Nation. Such as the blindfolded people marching like lemmings off a cliff, as in the above picture. For example: Man on the street interviews of Obama supporters after the election in 2008 Second example: Frank Luntz conducts focus groups with Democrats and Republicans When a person is unaware of the facts and reasoning behind his beliefs, it is improbable that he would be able to persuade another person to adopt those beliefs - or even be inclined to try. In 2012, the Democrats must be able to persuade others to join their position based on the issues, and this reality is very different from the festive Hope and Change campaign of 2008. It's time to get real. In order for President Obama to win in 2012 he will need millions of fully informed supporters speaking on his behalf to other citizens, and they must particularly debate and persuade their relatves, neighbors and co-workers who are not otherwise inclined to vote in favor of a second term for Obama

The voters in two California cities embrace pension cuts



Jackie Wilson: "Danny Boy"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Dow climbs 26 points as a better than expected ISM services index report helps to spur financial and energy stocks


Long-term Treasury yields rise for a second straight day


Former President Clinton is interviewed on CNBC: The United States is already in a recession, and Congress should extend all the tax cuts due to expire at the end of 2012


U.S. stock-index futures hover near unchanged in pre-dawn hours in advance of a G-7 teleconference

New York Times: Europe's problems are affecting the sales volume of America's companies


Estonia uses the euro, but its economy is booming


Asian stock markets rebound overnight from a four-day selloff due to hopes that politicians will find solutions to the globe's financial crises

Josef Ackermann: Germany will eventually rescue the euro



Mark Hulbert speaks one man's opinion: The correction is close to being over. We shall see. I do not endorse this forecast


China's U.N. Ambassador Li Bao-Dong: Syrian crisis is at a critical stage



Paul B. Farrell: Unfortunately, it appears that war spending is America's new economic stimulus policy


Governor Walker survives a recall election in Wisconsin by a comfortable margin of 7 points, and what was forecasted as a nail-biter is called a victory for Walker within two hours after the polls are closed

The principle demonstrated by the Wisconsin recall's failure is a bitter pill: If the other side's position is right and you are wrong, give up. "Right" is herein defined as the side holding the larger percentage of the votes. The foolishness of the recall is screachingly loud: Walker won by a wider margin of the voters in 2012 than he did in 2010. The people of Wisconsin have spoken on the issue of public union collective bargaining rights, and Wisconsin has joined the list of states, which are a majority of the states, that do not allow its governmental employees to bargain collectively. Notably, collective bargaining is also not available to federal employees

Ezra Klein: Do we still need unions? Yes
Mark McKinnon: Do we still need unions? No

Forbes: Governor Walker's victory spells doom for public sector unions


How can Wisconsin stop its public employees from bargaining collectively? Simple, ignore their leaders and representatives

Summary of National Labor Relations Act of 1935

Delusions die hard: MSNBC host Ed Schultz does not take Walker victory gracefully, as the 99% turned out to be less than 50%


Only a fool believes 2012 will be as easy as 2008
That's right - 2008 was easy

November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject

Monday, June 4, 2012
Dow suffers a 17 point loss following a disappointing factory orders report, but short-covering saved the day from a steeper drop

Asian stock markets skid badly overnight in reaction to U.S. economic data released on Friday

George Soros: Europe has three months to address its financial crisis


Ben Rooney: The stock markets are flirting with a correction

Floyd Norris: Unlike 2008, in 2012 the world may not work together to lessen the pain of the current crisis

Larry Summers: Look beyond interest rates in order to get out of the gloom- or, in other words, the United States should borrow more money

Robert Powell: What if the United States gets downgraded again?

The Trading Deck: Get ready for Dow 11,000


Anthony Mirhaydari: The economy is worse than you think



It's simple . . . right?
Maureen Dowd in The New York Times: Dreaming of a Superhero


What is the best age to start collecting Social Security benefits?

AIG chief sees retirement age moving to 80 after financial crisis


CNNMoney: Romney's criticism of Obama on Solyndra is wrong on significant facts



Tuskegee Airmen photographed beside a P-40 fighter aircraft
"Red Tails" has been released on DVD

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Treasure Cove in Newport Beach
Miki Howard: "I'm In Love Under New Management"

Saturday, June 2, 2012


You have three years to learn Mandarin. Better get started today



GQ: "I Do Love You"

Friday, June 1, 2012
Non-farm jobs crashes to a dismal 69,000 new jobs as the unemployment rate increases to 8.2%, with a 0.2% uptick in the labor force participation rate. Plus, jobs figures for April and March were revised lower. U6 unemployment rate ticks back up to 14.8%



Dow plunges 275 points following the foreboding jobs report - Dow is now negative for 2012



Let us not forget: In January, 2009, two top economic advisers of the Obama Administration, Christine Romer and Jared Bernstein, projected that, if the $787 stimulus plan was enacted, the level of U.S. unemployment would not exceed 8%. The projection was flat wrong, as witnessed by the levels of unemployment experienced over the last 3-1/2 years. The U3 unemployment rate is currently at 8.2%.
However, a projection is not a promise. Parts of the media continuously argue that jobs creation during the Obama Administration has been a failure because it has not lived up to the faulty Romer/Bernstein projection.

Instead of the projection offered by two economists who apparently do not have the gift of prophecy, the unemployment levels over the last three years should be compared to numerous 2009 projections that indicated the Bureau of Labor Statistics U3 unemployment rate could have reached 14% without a Keynesian stimulus plan

Economics 101: How is the unemployment rate calculated?


The rate level on the U.S. 10-year note falls to historic level of 1.45%

Asian stock markets experience bumpy trading overnight after the release of data regarding a slowing momentum in the Chinese economy


China's Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics: China's PMI has fallen to 50.4 in the month of May. However, HSBC in a separate poll places the PMI at 48.4 in May

German two-year government debt yield dips into negative territory


Mortgage rates keep plunging: The 15-year loan dips below 3%


Alan Greenspan appears on CNBC, before the release of the employment data, for a free-wheeling interview on the state of the Nation


Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch Confidence Springs Forward: 2012 CFO Outlook Spring Update


Myra P. Saefong: Is gold really a safe-haven, considering the precious metal lost 6% in May?


V. Phani Kumar: Why is it that the other Asian countries do not complain against the weak yuan?


Howard Gold: It's time to get real with respect to Marc Faber's and Peter Schiff's predictions of hyperinflation in the U.S. and economic collapse. Simply put, these calamities have not happened




Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it, so commentators would best be advised to not even bother to ask a question on the subject in an interview Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.2%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"


The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?



John Maynard Keynes
Summary of Keynesian economics philosophy


Thursday, May 31, 2012
Dow suffers a 26 point loss to conclude the worst month in two years

Crude oil falls below $87 per barrel, marking a 17% decline for the month of May


Michael Casey: The global financial crisis plays itself out in New York's gold market


CNNMoney: ADP jobs report for May casts a dismal forecast with respect to tomorrow's Labor Department report


U.S. Commerce Department: The economy grew at a 1.9% annual pace in the first quarter, a number that falls short of estimates


Billions of euros are being withdrawn from Spanish banks


Nikkei Stock Average plunges in early trading due to weak euro's affect on Japanese exports

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry: Japan's industrial production has fallen short of expectations in April



India's GDP slows sharply to 5.3% in the first quarter, a number far short of concensus forecasts. Following the report, the rupee fell to record lows


Investors flee Spain as the financial crisis spirals downward


Homes in foreclosure made up 26% of sales in the U.S. in the first quarter


Fifteen states rule that unemployment benefits will no longer be available to seasonal workers



The importance of economic reports cannot be overstated,
since President Obama is being characterized as anti-business

CNBC reports on the ADP jobs report: ADP May payrolls Jobs and what's at stake, according to two former governors Art Cashin: The significant risk of Europe bursting into flames


Mitt Romney visits bankrupt solar power company Solyndra amid attacks on the Administration's jobs record



Why did Solyndra go bankrupt? Because China developed a superior solar panel technology in a government-subsidized development program at the cost of $30 billion dollars. It is ironic that the collapse of Solyndra is being touted by critics as evidence that the U.S. government should not subsidize private enterprise on the theory that green energy subsidies lead to nothing but failure


Mark Hulbert: Has Dow Theory generated a sell signal?


David Callaway: The financial markets will rally when Greece leaves the euro. This article reflects one school of thought

CNNMoney: Black swan hedging for the masses


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Iran's program of enrichment is not a step towards the production of nuclear weapons


Anthony Mirhaydari: Five reasons to buy gold again



Kelly Clarkson: "A Moment Like This" and "Before Your Love"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Dow closes with a loss of 161 points as worries concerning Europe mount


U.S. equity markets stumble badly in early trading because of Europe and soaring VIX movement

U.S. pending home sales index plunges in April, a figure that startles many pundits


CNBC ay midday: U.S. stocks drop more than 1%; the euro falls below $1.24; and the VIX is surging

Asian stocks fall overnight as hopes fade of a Chinese stimulus package, while focus intensifies on Spain


Crude oil falls below $90 per barrel in overnight electronic trading due to fleeting hopes of stimulus


Matthew Lynn: Six reasons why Spain will be the first country to exit the euro, stealing that degree of infamy from Greece


National Bank of Greece: An exit from the euro would bring dire consequences to the Greek economy



Richard Suttmeier: Death cross signals that the bubble in the gold market has popped and its all downhill from here

Wall Street Journal: Legendary law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf files for bankruptcy. Thomas Dewey must be spinning in his grave


Escape from New York: The high-taxing Empire State loses 3.4 million residents in 10 years



The world's worst cases of hyperinflation: Imagine prices doubling every 15.6 hours as in Hungary in 1946. The moral regarding these incidents is actually very straightforward: It is possible for a country to totally mess up its economy - to the immense detriment of its people

Bruce Bartlett: It's time to get real on government spending and taxes


Robert Powell: Retirement security should be more of an issue in the campaign for the presidency



Fox News: Romney clinches GOP nomination with a win in Texas primary


First Lady Michelle Obama: The death of the President's father made him realize as a teenager that he should do more with his life than get high on marijuana


Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Dow jumps 126 points, apparently after a report indicates that housing prices may have stabilized

Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller housing report is subject to varying interpretations


Consumer confidence in the economy plunged in May


Is the payroll tax cut in its final lap?


Asian stock markets climb overnight as investors eye the possibility of a stimulus package in China


Oil futures edge higher overnight in electronic trading after polls in Greece indicated support for a pro-austerity government


Gold holds gains as palladium prices jump on easing of fears over Europe


The effects of the Bankia bailout are still reverberating in the Spanish financial markets


China paying billions for oil deals in the Americas



Mark Hulbert: Is it time to bet on the euro?


Mitt Romney proclaims to the American people that the world is a dangerous place, and America must remain its most formidible military power


The new big thing: Opponents demand to see President Obama's college transcripts, since they are hoping that the transcripts will show Obama was a poor student. There is more emphasis on this issue now than in 2008, since in the 2008 campaign there was a candidate who actually had been an abysmal college student - namely, John McCain. Senator McCain had one of the worst academic records in history for any student who actually managed to graduate from Annapolis



161 days until Election Day

Monday, May 28, 2012

Today is Memorial Day

Fly the flag proudly


Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

European bourses erased gains from early in the trading day as bank shares moved lower and pressure intensified coming out of Spain on its banks and Spanish government bonds

Asian stock markets rally overnight amid expectations that China will stimulate its economy



Gold futures edge higher because metals traders feel there is a lowering of the possibility that Greece will leave the euro

Friday, May 25, 2012
Dow loses 75 points as the perception grows that the situation in Europe is worsening, highlighted by growing attention on Spain's banks

U.S. consumer sentiment at 79.3 jumps to a four-year high


Wall Street Journal: 49% of the U.S. population lives in a household where at least one person is getting some kind of government assistance


Mark Hulbert creates an ominous sensation with his analysis: Facebook's stock should trade for $13.80

Chinese stocks fall overnight, although Hong Kong did rebound in late trading following the release of positive economic data in Germany


U.S. Treasury gets real with an important admission: China is not a currency manipulator. A lot of American politicians, including Mitt Romney, are not going to like this Summary of currency intervention

GfK sees German consumer confidence as steady in June

Spain's Bankia ask for $24 billion in government aid, just as Standard & Poor's downgrades the bank and Banco Popular to junk status

Paul R. La Monica: The euro's parachute drop has no end in sight


European leaders appear to fall short as the crisis spirals downwards


It all depends on who you ask Department: The real Federal deficit dwarfs the official tally Once you have read the link touting a dwarfing of the official tally, then take a look at Rex Nuttings' commentary: The Obama spending binge never actually happened

President Obama once again presses Congress to increase taxes on "millionaires". Is this a good idea? Quite frankly, the President's proposal needs to be reworked, and everyone needs to stop acting like the Buffett Rule is smart tax policy What is the justification for a progressive income tax structure?


The forecasted cost of the Affordable Care Act is once again in the news, such as the report of the Heritage Foundation or the recent rant by Rush Limbaugh. In addition, the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the statute is only weeks away


Summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
One of the problems that confronts the Obama Administration with respect to the health care plan is the fact that there is very little literature in the marketplace that explains what the legislation does. One of the few competent books available on the subject is "Landmark - The Inside Story of America's New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All", which was authored by the staff of the Washington Post


Both campaigns seize on Governor Romney's years at Bain Capital, with the Democrats trying to paint the private equity industry as in league with the devil, while the Republicans attempt to claim that Democrats involved with venture capital outfits are also attackable as private equity bandits.
What is the definition of "private equity firm"? Are all venture capital firms private equity firms, as some commentators would have their listeners believe? Actually, venture capital and private equity are not in all cases companies with the same sort of mission
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Dow closes up 34 points as the average splits form the Nasdaq



HSBC: Chinese manufacturing activity has worsened

Most Asian stocks drop overnight, towed down by the HSBC report on China's manufacturing and the continued uncertainty regarding Europe



Did you know that China has been the world's largest economy for 18 of the last 20 centuries? That fact is buried in this link, which is in large part filled with many of its author's dubious opinions


Chinese Ministry of Commerce: U.S. subsidies to clean energy companies have violated World Trade Organization rules


Why did Solyndra go bankrupt? Because China developed a superior solar panel technology in a government-subsidized development program at the cost of $30 billion dollars. It is ironic that the collapse of Solyndra is being touted by critics as evidence that the U.S. government should not subsidize private enterprise on the theory that green energy subsidies lead to nothing but failure




National debt: Will the U.S. be like Japan?


The Fiscal Times: Investors fear the end of the world as we know it


CNNMoney: What the *&#?! happened with the Facebook IPO?





A recurring theme on talk radio is that President Obama made an apology tour in which he defamed U.S. accomplishments. Is such an assertion true? Actually, no, but the claim has been very effective propaganda smearing the President


Governor Romney: I will get unemployment down to 6% by the end of my first term


A trip down Memory Lane: In January, 2009, two top economic advisers of the Obama Administration, Christine Romer and Jared Bernstein, projected that, if the $787 stimulus plan was enacted, the level of U.S. unemployment would not exceed 8%. The projection was flat wrong, as witnessed by the levels of unemployment experienced over the last 3-1/2 years. The U3 unemployment rate is currently at 8.1%. However, a projection is not a promise. Parts of the media continuously argue that jobs creation has been a failure because it has not lived up to the faulty Romer/Bernstein projection.
Instead of the projection offered by two economists who apparently do not have the gift of prophecy, the unemployment levels should be compared to projections that indicated the Bureau of Labor Statistics U3 unemployment rate could reach 14% without a Keynesian stimulus plan



This isn't about wishing upon a star
November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject


Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Stocks storm back from a 191 point loss and finish the day with a 7 point los. Thank you Greece


Wall Street slides 174 points in early trading in concert with an overnight erosion worldwide due to the ongoing crisis in Greece


CNBC Market Insider: The Greek crisis is killing the value of gold and oil. So much for sure things


Oil marks first close below $90 since October, 2011

Gold sinks 1.8% as the dollar strengthens under the influence of the troubles euro


A walk down Memory Lane from December 31, 2011:

Gold's 2011 gain was 8.41%, following a major pullback from the lofty highs of September, and a far cry from the levels of appreciation predicted by many doomsayer gold bugs during the stormy trading days of 2011. A reality is clear: The doomsayers were attempting to create a self-fulfilling prophecy; they should be named and shamed, and I will at a future date

Germany sells € 4.56 billion, 2-year notes at an interest rate of 0.0% amid anxiety over Greece


Asian stocks tumble in overnight trading as they are battered by Europe and a credit rating cut with respect to Japan


World Bank cuts China's 2012 growth forecast to 8.2%



The new tigers: Poland and Turkey may be the new countries to watch

Matthew Lynn's London Eye: The U.S., United Kingdom and China will weather a depression in Europe



David Novakowsli, a Roubini protege, predicts that several countries in Europe will experience high interest rates well into the future



Bundesbank declares that a Greek exit from the euro is manageable







Rush Limbaugh: Regime shakes down banks for $25 billion


Take a trip down Memory Lane after reading Rush Limbaugh's description of the U.S.'s mortgage loan debacle. This Wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this Wikipedia link: When Rush Limbaugh asserts that the government was the cause of the financial debacle known as the subprime mortgage crisis, he is intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to him.

Limbaugh's propaganda is based on a contention that he has made hundreds of times on the radio over the last three years. Limbaugh specifically claims that the banks were forced by the Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to unqualified borrowers. The immense problem in Limbaugh's argument is the fact that a large proportion of subprime loans were actually made by loan companies that were not even under the authority of the Community Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the lenders were making subprime loans not because the government was forcing them to lend. The real reason lenders were in the subprime market was because subprime loans were extremely profitable to originate - extremely profitable for the originating mortgage lender and extremely profitable for the loan officer who convinced the borrower to sign the mortgage papers







Lani Misalucha

Lani Misalucha, Asia's Nightingale, is truly special: "The Ultimate Whitney Houston Medley" - Whitney lives on in the voice of this beautiful woman

                                                                                                                                                                                

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Dow suffers a 2 point loss on the day, but the real story is the fact during the session the Dow was at one point up 71 points



Gold ends substantially lower for a second session. Is that handwriting on the proverbial wall?


Facebook has plunged to 18% below its IPO price


Fitch Ratings downgrades Japan's public debt to an A+ and issues a negative outlook warning


Asian equity markets rally overnight following Wall Street's positive performance on Monday



The Paris-based Orgaization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasts that Europe will experience a GDP contraction of 0.1 in 2012

Jeanne Sahadi: The debt ceiling debate is back in play thanks to Speaker Boehner's recent statements on the subject



Aftershock: This link is to a genre of thought that predicts an impending economic collapse. The problem with the information being pushed in this video is the fact that the average person watching does not realize that it's propaganda, which is designed to remove President Obama from office and, usually, to sell the concept of loading up on gold or to sell investment books and videos - usually a lot of "free" stuff is given away to the unsuspecting viewer who will ultimately pay a lot of money for what amounts to very little real and objective investment counsel


Maureen Farrell: The losses at JPMorgan Chase are only going to get worse and possibly top $7 billion. Nice work and congrats to all involved



As an example of President Obama's stupidity, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim




American-made Israeli F-15 fighter jets - history's most effective fighter aircraft. This airplane - in the hands of American and Israeli pilots - has shot down at least 100 enemy aircraft in combat with the distinction that no F-15 fighter has ever been destroyed by an enemy aircraft. No other airplane in the history of aerial combat can match the F-15's scorecard - the performance record of no other aircraft of any nation is even close to the battle reputation of the F-15. Israel has plenty of F-15s

U.S. intelligence gains concerning Iran are a confidence builder for the Obama Administration


The U.S. defines its demands for a new round of talks with Iran


Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a diplomatic way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

Arutz Sheva: An Iranian official has called for an Islamic awakening among the Palestinian Authority that will destroy the State of Israel at a conference in Tehran marking May 15, Nabka Day


United Nations Headquarters
During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat to the U.S. economy


And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that he had no idea what those words mean

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says this land is ours, so we are back to seize and hold it at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told us it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?


Ethereal Beauty

Monday, May 21, 2012
Dow rebounds for a 135 point gain, despite the fact that Facebook nosedives from the start of trading to end the day with a 11% loss


Xinhua News Agency: Premier Wen has vowed to make growth a higher priority after the Chinese economy has shown some signs of weakness

Most Asian equity markets rose overnight despite the uncertainty coming out of the G-8 summit and Greece

Japan remains the world's top creditor nation in 2011

The Guardian: The G-8 summit reflects a divided Europe on the issues of taxation and austerity

Some economists are more upbeat about jobs growth and housing


Facebook falls from its opening trade and in early trading slumps sharply below its IPO price


Jeffry Bartash: The U.S. economy and housing market are grinding forward despite headwinds from abroad

Governor Romney slams Obama's approach to economics at a "bridge to nowhere" in New Hampshire that was refurbished with stimulus money


Anthony Mirhaydari: Debt is the economy's problem


Up w/Chris Hayes tackled several interesting topics on Sunday, including Mitt Romney's Bain Capital background and the importance of the turmoil in Europe for the U.S. and the rest of the world and a discussion of the complexity of the Nation's debt burden

Did Facebook deserve the hype?


Meet the Facebook billionnaires On the day following the IPO, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has upadated his relationship status to married


Senator Marco Rubio on President Obama: He is the "most divise figure in modern American history"
Summary of the career of Senator Rubio

Chairwoman Roslyn Brock: The NAACP backs same-sex marriage


San Diego's La Jolla Cove
The Dells: "My Pretending Days Are Over"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today is Armed Forces Day


Downtown San Diego Another perfect day in Paradise
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: "You Can Depend On Me"

Friday, May 18, 2012

U.S. equity markets have the worst week of the year as Dow loses 73 points on the day that Facebook goes public

Equity futures in the U.S. edge upwards in anticipation of the historic Facebook initial public offering


The world's financial markets have experienced a global rout in overnight trading following Moody's action that cut the credit rating of Spanish banks, and with big losses for resource and drug stocks in Europe


Treasury yields manage to rise from record lows


Oil edges up to near $93 after a big two-week sell-off

Jon Friedman: Take the Facebook IPO and shove it

Mark Hulbert: It's time to turn to fundamentals: What does the Dow Theory say about the current market correction?



The Drudge website has posted a headline story that once again uses the marketing appeal of the notion that the President was born in Kenya; notably, the article from the Brietbart website disclaims bitherism in its first sentences, but then touts that its efforts are to expose the President as a person who does not share American values, and asserts that a large part of the media has assisted the President in hiding his true beliefs from the American public. This tact - so-called "vetting" - is also being actively pursued by Sean Hannity and other segments of the right -wing media



Teena Marie: "Hypnotized"

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Not a good day for stocks: Dow sputters to a 156 point loss with continuing worries over Europe and disappointing jobless claims


Facebook sets share price at $38 for tomorr9ow's IPO, giving the company a value of $104 billion. Founder Mark Zuckerberg's stake is worth approximately $19 billion


Asian equity markets bounce back to some degree overnight, but the Greece over-hang still impacts financial markets everywhere


World Gold Council: China has topped India for the first time as the planet's leading purchaser of gold, and forecasts are that China will hold that title thru 2012 and perhaps forever


Losses at JPMorgan Chase will exceed the initial expectations of $2 billion; the actual losses are probably closer to $3 billion in less than two months. Nice going and congratulations to all the smartest people in the room who were involved in making history!!!

Facebook will set the final price for its IPO today, with the selling price of the shares forecasted to be between $34 and $38

The gross domestic product of Spain is contracting as a direcr result of austerity measures


Christian Science Monitor: A doctor's report states that George Zimmerman had two black eyes, a broken nose, swollen lips and cuts on the back of his head when he was examined the day following the Trayvon Martin homicide Mark O'Meara, Zimmerman's defense attorney, has received a copy of the prosecution's evidence during the case's pretrial preparation pursuant to the regular trial procedure under Florida's criminal law ABC News: Cops and witnesses backup Zimmerman's version of the story of what happened on the night of the Trayvon Martin shooting Professor Alan Dershowitz: The evidence is clear - George Zimmerman acted in self-defense, and the prosecutor should stop playing politics and immediately drop the charges of homicide George Zimmerman's bail is revoked when judge discovers that Zimmerman misled the court on the amount of his assests An extensive compilation of information on the Martin case is set forth at datelines March 29 and April 11

Robert Powell: Five IRA account rules that can derail your retirement if you handle them incorrectly


Mayor Corey Booker and Governor Chris Christie make a major contribution to the genre of political humor - I can't believe they did this!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tension over Greece eventually takes its toll and turns a 91 point gain into a 34 point loss on the Dow by the end of trading. Worst yet, gold is nearing bear market territory, much to the embarrassment of a host of gold-pushing salesmen on right-wing radio and Fox cable news


Asian equity markets dive overnight in response to the situation in Greece, as Hong Kong leads the way down with a 2% loss

Wall Street Journal: A last-ditch effort to form a coalition government in Greece has failed, so that country's future in the euro is in great doubt


CNBC: The volume of lending by the four largest banks in China has stagnated due to a lack of demand


CNNMoney: Keystone is not the only pipeline project; there are at least 12 other projects that are slated to move forward in the U.S over the next few years. These pipelines will raise the Nation's distribution capacity to the Gulf Coast by a substantial two million barrels per days




As an example of President Obama's stupidity, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim


Tami Luhby: California could net $2 billion from the Facebook IPO


Mick Weinstein: A word to the wise - don't try to time this chaotic market



President Obama's net worth is approximately $10 million, with a good part of his income coming from the royalties on his three books. On the other hand, Vice President Biden is kinda hurtin' for bucks



Greece confirms bond repayment - Oh, good - the timely repayment avoids that typo problem referred to in this column yesterday




Denzel Washington's depiction of Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas in "American Gangster" was a
box office sensation. This link is to a second trailer for the movie. Here is a brief documentary on Frank Lucas, giving more details of Lucas' drug ring that annually smuggled 2,200 pounds of pure heroin into the United States using U.S. military aircraft and bases.

However, the true story leaves Hollywood far behind. For one thing, “American Gangster” gives the impression that with Lucas’ arrest, the trafficking of heroin into the United States by the use of military transport aircraft ended. In fact, the trafficking continued unabated. I know this first-hand, because in the 1970s I was a foot soldier in America's so-called War on Drugs at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. This turned out to be an extremely dangerous way to spend one's time in the military - I would have been a lot safer if I was stationed in the jungles of Vietnam, because at least then the Air Force would have believed there actually was an enemy out there when I busted the Norton Air Force Base smuggling operation in January, 1976. The drug cartel tried to kill me on two occasions in 1977, and, in fact, they almost succeeded in permanently shutting my mouth on a third occasion when they were actually trying to murder my wife.

One of the people with whom I worked in 1976 on a heroin smuggling case at Norton stated to me that the traffickers would kill both of us before they would let the story of this crime reach the public's attention. Sadly, he was half right; he was the victim of homicide outside St. Louis in 1992, during a period of time when he was once again trying to help me get to the bottom of the Norton story. A few weeks earlier, on March 11,1992, another man whom I was trying to reach for information regarding the situation at Norton was shot dead in New York City by a hitman contracted by a Colombian drug cartel. He was murdered on the very day I was scheduled to contact him. I can only infer from these two homicides that the Norton traffickers were potentially still active as recently as 1992, trying to cover the trail of their hideous crimes.

Jonathan Kwitny, a 16-year veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal, wrote in his book "The Crimes of Patriots - A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the Central Intelligence Agency", that the shipments through Norton Air Force Base were orchestrated by senior U.S. officers, and the quantity of heroin trafficked on a regular basis was up to 50 pounds per shipment; plus, the heroin being smuggled through Norton was 100% pure China White - reputedly the most powerful heroin on the planet.

As a point of reference, the quantity of heroin involved in the famous 1971 "French Connection" film was the one-time shipment to New York City of 132 pounds of diluted heroin that was only 87% pure; nevertheless, the French Connection heroin was valued at $32 million on the streets of America


Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Dow suffers a loss of 63 points as investors continue to focus on Greece, in addition, a Wall Street Journal article deadpanned Facebook by pointing out the fact that General Motors is halting its ads on Facebook

The ICE dollar index rises to 81.286, its highest level since January of this year, and the index's 12-session winning streak is the longest since 1985


CNBC: Greek investors have withdrawn €700 million from the nation's local bank, an amount reaching bank-run levels

U.S. Labor Department reports that consumer prices were unchanged in April, aided by falling gasoline prices and only modest gains in the price of food

Commerce Department tallies a 0.1% gain in retail sales for April as the boost from an unseasonably warm winter faded



Where was the California Department of Real Estate in 2005-2008 when the people of California so desperately needed someone to say to the California homebuyer: "Trying to buy a house that you cannot possibly afford is crazy, and the loan broker and real estate salesperson egging the buyer forward should be wearing a GPS ankle bracelet. I have a modest suggestion, if you can find their telephone number: Call the California Department of Real Estate and ask them "Seriously, where were you guys?"

National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo: Home-builder sentiment at highest level since the recession

South Korean stocks lead Asian markets lower overnight as Greece's woes take control



China appears to be shifting towards an intentional lowering of the value of its currency in order to assist its manufacturing sector


Bloomberg: Stocks and commodities drop as euro weakens under the pressure of the calamity in Greece
Anthony Mirhaydan: Stocks have broken through key support levels

Moody's downgrades 26 Italian banks by one to four notches following the country's relapse into recession




Whoops!!! A typo - the mistaken deletion of a paragraph in a key legal document - has created the possibility of a calamity for an extended period of drama regarding whether Greece will make a €436 million debt payment due today. Really, no joke, the world's financial system may be held in limbo for as long as a month by a fat-finger typo. Nice going everyone - realy, really good work on the part of all involved!!!

Jonathan Burton: How to handle your ETF's double-edged sword



American-made Israeli F-15 fighter jets - history's most effective fighter aircraft. This airplane - in the hands of American and Israeli pilots - has shot down at least 100 enemy aircraft in combat with the distinction that no F-15 fighter has ever been destroyed by an enemy aircraft. No other airplane in the history of aerial combat can match the F-15's scorecard - the performance record of no other aircraft of any nation is even close to the battle reputation of the F-15. Israel has plenty of them

U.S. intelligence gains concerning Iran are a confidence builder for the Obama Administration


The U.S. defines its demands for a new round of talks with Iran


Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a diplomatic way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

Arutz Sheva: An Iranian official has called for an Islamic awakening among the Palestinian Authority that will destroy the State of Israel at a conference in Tehran marking May 15, Nabka Day


United Nations Headquarters
During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat to the U.S. economy


And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that he had no idea what those words mean

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says this land is ours, so we are back to seize and hold it at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told us it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?


Chris Isidore: Thanks to strong growth in Germany, Europe is able to avoid dipping back into recession in the first quarter of 2012


Technical Indicator: Charting a bearish double bottom



Beyonce:"At Last"

Monday, May 14, 2012
Dow slumps 125 points for its eighth loss in ten trading days. The culprit is Greece, which appears to be headed for another election

Oil prices hit a five-month low below $94 a barrel


Many world equity markets suffer losses overnight as worries about Greece continue to grow


Hibah Yousuf: Are the financial market bears roaring back to life?


German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party suffers a substantial defeat in a regional election


Greek leftist leader rejects an opportunity for a coalition government


The Telegraph: The world must brace for Greece's exit from the euro



Once again, it is time to get real - Rick Newman: What's wrong with the Buffett Rule? The reality is everyone needs to pay higher taxes and undergo an attitude shift. The moral of this link: A private commentator will tell the truth that politicians would not dare utter. It is time to get real

In 1978, when I was 29 years old and working as a corporate finance attorney on Wall Street, my gross income was in the 55% tax bracket for federal taxes alone, a very much higher rate than today's maximum of 35%, a top rate that applies no mattter how many hundreds of millions of dollars a person may earn in 2012. It was a different world in 1978: No one claimed that the country was going socialist; no one claimed that the President was trying to redistribute wealth; no one ranted that society's producers were being held in slavery by the IRS; no one was talking about going out to buy another gun because they may need more than one gun because the government was probably going to come and steal their money next week. There has been a huge change in attitude in the United States over the past 30 years - where has our spirit of social compact, our willingness to work hard, and our willingness to work a few more years in order to become wealthy? The United States is in dire need of a return of the Americans of just a few decades ago.

An example of this decade's version of an Ameican: Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is about to come into a lot of money from the Facebook IPO, so Saverin renounces his American citizenship and becomes a resident of Singapore in order to avoid capital gains tax



Karyn White: "Superwoman"

Friday, May 11, 2012
Dow closes down 34 points after a boost from a stronger than expected consumer confidence report


An article in the Washington Post alleging that GOP candidate Mitt Romney attacked a gay teenager in 1965 while in high school spawns conversations coast to coast


President Obama affirms his belief that same sex couples should be allowed to marry, marking the first time in history that a U.S. president has taken such a civil rights position

Friday, May 4, 2012
Dow falls 168 points following a jobs report stating the creation of 115,000 jobs and a jobless rate of 8.1%





Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it, so commentators would best be advised to not even bother to ask a question on the subject in an interview Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.1%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?



John Maynard Keynes
Summary of Keynesian economics philosophy


Thursday, May 3, 2012
Dow slides 62 points in trading ahead of tomorrow's jobs report


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dow loses 11 points following a weak jobs report from ADP


Full text of President Obama's speech from Afghanistan


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dow closes up 66 points after a positive move in the ISM manufacturing index, marking its best close since December, 2007


Monday, April 30, 2012

Dow loses 15 points as Spain falls back into recession and the Chicago purchasing managers index indicates a slowing economy


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dow climbs 114 points despite disappointing earnings from Exxon Mobil


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dow gains 89 points as the Fed leaves interest rates unchanged and more good earnings reports are released


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dow climbs 74 points as investors focus on corporate earnings rather than Europe


Monday, April 23, 2012

Dow falls 102 points as European worries once again affect Wall Street


Friday, April 20, 2012

Earnings reports from GE, McDonald's and Microsoft spur Dow to a 65 point gain


Thursday, April 19, 2012
Dow falls 69 points after disappointing jobless claims and report on exising home sales

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Dow slips 83 points as the impact of IBM and Intel earnings sinks into traders' conciousness

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Dow surges 194 points, despite disappointing results from IBM and Intel

Monday, April 16, 2012
Dow closes up 72 points, being spurred on by a positive retail sales report



China widens the daily yuan band vs. the dollar from 0.5% to 1.0%


Uh, okay: For 2011, President Obama paid a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. Wait a minute - what?


Romney tells Obama to "Start Packing" in an ABC interview



This isn't about wishing upon a star
November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject

Friday, April 13, 2012
Dow closes with a 137 point drop due to multiple concerns, making this the worst weekly loss of 2012



China's National Bureau of Statistics: First quarter GDP growth was 8.1%


Flood of foreclosures will soon hit the housing market


The value of the dollar rises on data from the U.S., China and Spain


Thursday, April 12, 2012
The rally continues for a second day: Dow gains 181 points, as oil and gold also mark an up day


U.S. Treasury sells $13 billion of 30-year debt


World Bank cuts its 2012 forecast for growth in China to 8.2% and forecasts a soft landing for the world's second largest economy


Steve Goldstein: QE3 is still a possibility



Vanessa Williams: "Dreamin'"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Wall Street seizes the news of Alcoa's strong first quarter and a rebounding real estate sector as reason to push the Dow 89 points higher


Huge quake triggers tsunami warnings around the Indian Ocean

Beige Book: The U.S. economy continued to grow at a "modest to moderate" pace over the last month


The price of oil bounces upward following the release of industry's inventory report


Wells Fargo Neighborhood Watch Survey: The real estate market is in rebound in 20 markets across the country


Rick Newman: What's wrong with the Buffett Rule? The reality is everyone needs to pay higher taxes and undergo an attitude shift



Michael A. Gayed: Was that the bottom in gold?


Allan Sloan: Why you shouldn't buy corporate bonds anytime soon



Special prosecutor Angela Corey charges George Zimmerman with second degree murder. Zimmerman is taken into custody. A compilation of information on this matter is set forth under dateline March 29, 2012 in this column

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Dow plunges 214 points as worries over Europe and corporate earnings roil Wall Street throughout the trading day

Alcoa kicks off the earnings season with a surprising performance that is substantially better than the estimates


European equity markets drop as Spain's bond yields surge

The Bank of Japan stated that it will encourage the uncollateralized call rate to remain unchanged and did not announce any easing measures

The price of crude oil struggles to rise despite a weak dollar



Gold extends gains overnight in electronic trading, supported by the weaker dollar

Obama's Buffett Rule: Answers to frequently asked questions


Gene Sperling is interviewed by Maria Bartiromo on the subject of the Nation's budget

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum suspends his campaign



Mitt Romney: The GOP's last man standing
Summary of the career of the 70th Governor of Massachusetts


The forecasted cost of the Affordable Care Act is once again in the news, such as the report of the Heritage Foundation or today's rant by Rush Limbaugh


Summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
One of the problems that confronts the Obama Administration with respect to the health care plan is the fact that there is very little literature in the marketplace that explains what the legislation does. One of the few competent books available on the subject is "Landmark - The Inside Story of America's New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All", which was authored by the staff of the Washington Post

Monday, April 9, 2012
Dow falls 131 points under the weight of Friday's jobs report; oil was under downward pressure through most of the day, but gold saw gains coming from Asian demand under the spectre of rising prices in China



Wall Street falls sharply in early trading
Treasury yields fall to one-month lows Financial companies take it on the chin


Inflation in China rises by 3.6% in March, but producer prices fall by 0.3% from a year ago

Asian equity markets fall overnight under the weight of the U.S. jobs report and China's inflation data


Policy-easing expectations prompt a rise in the price of gold during overnight trading in Asia


Craig Stephens: China's welcome mat for foreign investors



Hibah Yousuf: Do not expect the first quarter earnings to be pretty - a nine quarter winning streak regarding earnings of the companies in the S&P 500 is going to end

AT&T vs. Verizon: The inevitable duopoly



Jeffry Bartash: Where will gas prices go from here? The impact in March was muted

Tami Luhby: Will a principal writedown of Fannie and Freddie mortgages work, and how would it be paid for?


Does Apple's CEO really make $1 million a day, as implied in the New York Times? Actually, no




American-made Israeli F-15 fighter jets
U.S. intelligence gains concerning Iran are a confidence builder for the Obama Administration


The U.S. defines its demands for a new round of talks with Iran


Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a diplomatic way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

CNNMoney: The spike in oil prices caused by an attack on Iran is the greatest potential threat to the U.S. economy


And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to wipe Israel off the map

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says this land is ours, so we are back to seize and hold it at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told us it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Lord is with us
The Great I Am

"Emmanuel"
"Total Praise"

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jobless rate falls to 8.2%, but the number of new jobs is a disappointing 120,000. U.S. stock futures react negatively


Silver linings in weak jobs report: The number of underemployed fell significantly, plus the reason for many individuals leaving the workforce is not solely discouragement


Asian stock markets traded lower overnight, with Japanese markets taking another hit due to a rising yen


Dollar moves lower in trading in Asia ahead of jobs report





Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it, so commentators would best be advised to not even bother to ask a question on the subject in an interview Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.2%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz

The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?



John Maynard Keynes
Summary of Keynesian economics philosophy


Greek police and protestors clash once again after an elderly man commits suicide rather than face life with a slashed pension



Senate Republican Budget Committee: Under Obama's budget, interest payments will exceed defense spending by 2019


Associated Press: Dollar figures on federal debt and spending


Attorney General Holder issues a letter stating the obvious: the Obama Administration recognizes the authority of the courts to determine the constitutionality of legislation


Nashville Business Journal: The Chevy Volt will pay for itself with gas savings if you drive the car for 26.6 years
Great where can I get one?

American Sociological Review: Conservatives believe less in science today that the conservatives of the mid-1970s!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dow loses 15 points as the market has its worst weekly decline of the year; however the Nasdaq had a positive day in large part due to Apple


Chris Oliver: China doomsayer sees a crash coming - forget the soft landing


Global oil production is in trouble. Our difficulties are not entirely due to the situation with Iran


IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman: Disaster looms next tax system unless Congress acts on the tax code

The Buzz: Sell in April and hide under the table?
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Dow closes down 125 points following a poorly received auction of Spanish debt and a weak ISM services report

Gold falls to a 12-week low due to the Fed's efforts to dampen expectations of further stimulus spending


Renewed worries about Europe hurt Wall Street in early trading

Asian markets fall overnight in reaction to Australia's posting of a trade deficit and that deficit's possible portend for China


ADP report: The private sector has added 209,000 jobs


The new normal regarding U.S. auto sales - things are not at all like they used to be

Willam D. Cohan: Why are the Fed and SEC keeping secrets from the American public?

Zhang Xiaoqiang: Research indicates that China's GDP will grow at a rate of 8.4% in the first quarter



Republican delegate tally
Romney sweeps three more contests

Let the vetting begin: Who will be Romney's running mate?


New York Times: Santorum's fight to stay relevant



USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)
Coronado's North Island Naval Base - November 28, 2011
One of the world's rarest sights: Seeing two supercarriers at the same time

Faith Hill: "There You'll Be" - the "Pearl Harbor" soundtrack

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Fed comments cause the Dow to slide to a 65 point loss, and oil also falls


Economic prospects are looking good in 47 states


President Obama likens the Republican budget to a Trojan Horse


Asian markets rise overnight, but Japan defies the trend due to a strengthening yen


Nouriel Roubini: The Eurozone needs a divorce



San Diego's La Jolla shoreline sprayed by 20-foot high waves
Klymaxx: "I'd Still Say Yes"


Monday, April 2, 2012
A solid report on manufacturing sends Dow to a 52 point gain, despite a weak report on construction spending


U.S. manufacturing continues to rebound with the monthly ISM index at 53.4 in March, growing for the 32nd month in a row



Gold ends the day with a gain of 0.5%


Eurostat: February unemployment in the Eurozone hits 10.8%, as the unemployment rate in Spain rises to a portenous 23.6%

Asian stock markets move higher overnight as Tokyo shares are boosted by a falling yen and Australian mining companies post solid gains


China reports that March saw an expansion in its manufacturing base, however HSBC says that actually there was a manufacturing contraction

Treasurys edge up and the dollar slipped over the weekend after Friday's release of economic data


Ireland faces popular revolt over new property tax


President Obama once again presses Congress to increase taxes on "millionaires". Is this a good idea? Quite frankly, the President's proposal needs to be reworked, and everyone needs to stop acting like the Buffett Rule is smart tax policy What is the justification for a progressive income tax structure?


Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject. The Obama Record makes clear the fact that the Administration has been working on vastly more than just health care

Sean Williams: The last man standing in opposition to a bullish attitude on the Nation's housing markets



En Vogue: "Giving Him Something He Can Feel"

Friday, March 30, 2012
Dow ends the day with a 66 point gain as the Dow and S&P have their best first quarter gains since 1998 and the Nasdaq has its best first quarter since 1991



Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

CNN Poll: Afghan war support hits an all-time low in the U.S. of 25% approval, and demands for withdrawal surge


Time Magazine: U.S. soldier is charged in the massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, charges that could lead to the death penalty

U.S. consumer spending jumps in February to the highest level in seven months, but a good part of those expenditures went to energy


University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey is at highest point in more than a year


Anthony Mirhaydari: How much should oil really cost?



Dan Mitchell: Cut oil subsidies, but don't decry profits - and, in fact, what are bing called subsidies are actually just business deductions available to all corporations under the federal tax code


Senator Mary Landrieu: We are not drilling everywhere for oil, in fact at present U.S. oil drilling is almost exclusively on non-federal land



Gold moves upwards as the dollar falters, snapping a short losing streak, while the Eurozone seeks to reinforce its firewall against debt


Rush Limbaugh: Regime shakes down banks for $25 billion


Take a trip down Memory Lane after reading Rush Limbaugh's description of the U.S.'s mortgage loan debacle. This Wikipedia link is an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this Wikipedia link: When Rush Limbaugh asserts that the government was the cause of the financial debacle known as the subprime mortgage crisis, he is intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to him.

Limbaugh's propaganda is based on a contention that he has made hundreds of times on the radio over the last three years. Limbaugh specifically claims that the banks were forced by the Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to unqualified borrowers. The immense problem in Limbaugh's argument is the fact that a large proportion of subprime loans were actually made by loan companies that were not even under the authority of the Community Reinvestment Act. Clearly, the lenders were making subprime loans not because the government was forcing them to lend. The real reason lenders were in the subprime market was because subprime loans were extremely profitable to originate - extremely profitable for the originating mortgage lender and extremely profitable for the loan officer who convinced the borrower to sign the mortgage papers





Switch: "I Call Your Name"


Thursday, March 29, 2012
Dow closes up 20 points in a rebound from a 94 point intra-day loss triggered by a disappointing jobless report and pessimistic news regarding Greece



Our home is for all of us
The Nation's population has submerged its attention in the Trayvon Martin case. The tragic death of a 17 year-old in Sanford, Florida has surged to the forefront of every branch of the news media at a level of saturation generally reserved for conflicts with racial plotlines. At times, the coverage has been hyperbolic. A wise person should not reach a conclusion as to what transpired on that rainy evening until the conclusion of George Zimmerman's trial - after all evidence has been discovered, presented and examined in a process that emphasizes diligence, objectivity and fairness.

On March 23rd, President Obama sagely asked the country to allow the investigation and judicial process to run its course.


MailOnline: Some aspects of Trayvon Martin's background portend problems for prosecutors
Daily Caller: Releases text of Trayvon Martin's tweets Some aspects of George Zimmerman's background raise an image that differs from the brutal narrative that permeates some branches of the news media KOFL FOX 35 TV reporter Valerie Boey interviews George Zimmerman's father Trayvon Martin's mother wants to trademark her son's name Congresswoman Maxine Waters tells CNN that she has heard enough of the facts to know that George Zimmerman has commited a hate crime Rev. Al Sharpton demands an arrest, and claims that civil disobediance will escalate if Zimmerman remains free New Black Panther Party offers a $10,000 bounty for the capture of Zimmerman Texas gun owner lawyers offer $10,000 for Zimmerman's legal defense Civil rights leaders condemn Sharpton's call for escalated civil disobedience Rush Limbaugh excoriates NBC for manipulating its coverage of the initial 911 call by Zimmerman NBC probe of error in the editing of Zimmerman's initial 911 call focuses on an experienced news staff producer NBC News: the coverage of the initial Zimmerman call to 911 was an error, but not deliberate Yahoo!News: Trayvon Martin case exposes the worst in the media Members of the Congressional Black Caucus sponsor a resolution, on March 30th, blaming racial bias for the Trayvon Martin shooting City of Sanford prepares for response to prosecution decision on Zimmerman A 78-years old man is assauted by six youths in East Toledo who were chanting "Remember Trayvon" Jesse Jackson calls on blacks to wear hoodies to the polling places The words "Long Live Zimmerman" were spray-painted on a wall of the Black Cultural Center at Ohio State University Armed neo-Nazis are now patrolling the streets of Sanford, FL in anticipation of violence in post-Martin era New York Times: Special prosecutor in Martin case will alone determine its merits; the case will not be presented to a grand jury Attorney General Holder praises Reverend Sharpton's handling of the Martin killing during an address at the National Action network convention

U.S. jobless claims total 359,000 in latest week


The Treasury Department will auction shares of preferred stock in six small banks that were acquired during the financial crisis

The Senate rejects President Obama's plan to end certain tax deductions by the oil companies


WTI crude oil settles under $103 per barrel on talk of a release from tyhe strategic petroleum reserve by consumer nations



American-made Israeli F-16 fighter-bomber
One of the world's most effective killing machines

New York Times: Obama Administration moves to tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by freezing all assets of the Central Bank of Iran, as well as other assets of Iran in the United States. So, instead of attacking Iran with munitions, the United States is attempting to ruin the country's economy through financial attack. This plan envisions economic collapse, deprivation of the populace, civil unrest that culminates in rebellion and the assassination of the current leaders of Iran

Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a fancy way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

Foreign Policy Magazine: Israel's secret staging ground bases in Azerbajian - potential launching points for an attack on Iran


The Washington Free Beacon: Palestinian protests turn violent


An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to wipe Israel off the map

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says this land is ours, so we are back to seize and hold it at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told us it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Dow drops 72 points under the influence of a weak durable goods report, as well as falling energy shares



Shanghai index plunges in its worst performance of the year and pulls most of the Asian markets lower

If the health insurance individual mandate fails, some justices seem open to saving parts of the law

U.S. News & World Report; What happens if the Supreme Court strikes down the health care law?


Solicitor General Donald Verrilli makes the worst oral argument before the Supreme Court of all time - maybe the dog ate his homework

Examples of the reaction: Jeffrey Tobin of CNN reacts to Verrilli's performance before the Supreme Court
Jay Sekulow on Fox News reacts to Verrilli's oral argument

Audio recording of the Supreme Court oral argument on the individual mandate aspect of the health care law

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Dow loses 44 points as slumping consumer confidence and real estate values weigh on the market

Supreme Court appears to be divided over the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the health care law


Peter Wallsten: Behind Obama's grand bargain on the United States' debt


Zimmermann v. Dicker: Are speculators driving up the price of crude oil?


The U.S. corporate tax rate will be the highest in the world as of April 1st; however, after loopholes are taken into account, American corporations' effective tax rate is actually below the average rate of the other major economies




As an example of President Obama's stupidity, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim

For two lives lost
Donny Hathaway: "For All We Know"

Monday, March 26, 2012
Dow jumps 161 points after Chairman Bernanke indicates that interest rates are not on the rise

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dow gains 36 points amid rising oil prices and falling home sales


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fears concerning Europe and China send Dow to a 78 point loss


AIG makes a $1.5 billion repayment to the U.S. Treasury

The Keystone XL pipeline: Separating rhetoric from reality

The Hill: Obama's oil policy is mocked by the right and left


Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Dow loses 46 points as existing home sales disappoint traders

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Dow falls 69 points as worries about a slowdown in China's demand for steel roil the U.S. market

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dow pushes ahead by 7 points on the day that Apple announces its first dividend


The U.S. Treasury nets a $25 billion profit on its sale of mortgage-backed securities that were acquired during the financial crisis


Friday, March 16, 2012
Rising gasoline prices push the CPI higher and push the Dow to a 20 point loss on the day's trading


Consumer prices rise sharply in February


University of Michigan report indicates first loss since September, 2011


Oil tops $107 but notches a loss on the week



Asia Week Ahead: Are Chinese bank profits growing?


CNNMoney: Jobless numbers defy economic theory




Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it, so commentators would best be advised to not even bother to ask a question on the subject in an interview Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.3%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz



John Maynard Keynes
Summary of Keynesian economics philosophy

Anthony Mirhaydari: Risky stocks are on the way higher



"I Will Always Love You"

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Dow climbs 59 points in a day ruled by a rumor regarding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The market struggles to a 16 point gain on the Dow after a strained auction of the 30-year bond


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dow soars 218 points as the Fed holds interest rates steady


Ally, Citigroup, MetLife and Sun Trust fail the Fed's stress test

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Dow manages a 6 point gain as the situation with respect to Greece treads water


Treasury prices fall in early trading as yields climb to 3-month highs


Benchmark crude oil rises above $99 per barrel in Asian trading after a report by the American Petroleum Institute shows a drop in supply

Asian stock markets gain ground overnight, led higher by the region's auto makers


European equity markets move higher in optimistic trading before the opening of Wall Street


Ben Rooney: Greece is facing a dramatic dilemma


New York Times: Rick Santorum scores the trifecta in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri


Summary of the career of Rick Santorum


After a review of Mr. Santorum's biography, one is struck by the fact that he lost his last election to the Senate in a landslide. This is the person who the GOP base expects to defeat President Obama in the general election. In order to understand why the GOP base expects victory, one must realize that conservatives believe that President Obama is very dumb; plus, conservatives feel that the only reason why the whole world does not realize Obama's abject ignorance is because the main stream media is covering up for the President's stupidity



As an example of President Obama's stupidity, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim



Brenda K. Starr:"I Still Believe"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Dow climbs 33 points as investors become optimistic regarding a resolution of the debt crisis in Greece


Gold futures end at a two-month high under the assistance of a climbing euro and the comments of Chairman Bernanke before the Senate Budget Committee

Asian equity markets trade lower overnight and China leads the slide in the wake of investor disappointment regarding China's failure to ease


Rex Nutting: Investor demand for U.S. government debt remains very high, despite the large amount of debt outstanding


Gingrich looks to the eleven contests on Super Tuesday, March 6th, when 466 delegates are up for grabs

Donald Trump: Decision to endorse Romney based on candidate's position on China



State-by-state GOP primary results


Russia and China challenge the West on Syria: What are the implications for Iran?


Joseph Massad: Imperialism, despotism and democracy in Syria



Israeli American-made F-16 fighter-bomber

New York Times: Obama Administration moves to tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by freezing all assets of the Central Bank of Iran, as well as other assets of Iran in the United States. So, instead of attacking Iran with munitions, the United States is attempting to ruin the country's economy through financial attack. This plan envisions economic collapse, deprivation of the populace, civil unrest that culminates in rebellion and the assassination of the current leaders of Iran

Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a fancy way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to wipe Israel off the map

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says this land is ours, so we are back to seize and hold it at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told us it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?



Tamia: "You Put A Move On My Heart" and "Slow Jams"


Monday, February 6, 2012
Dow loses 17 points under the weight of ungoing negotiations on Greece's austerity plans


Gold futures lose ground due to a strengthening dollar, despite the unresolved situation in Greece


Asian stock markets climb overnight led by the shares of commodity producers, exporters and financials


Nevada's triple level economic dilemma, which stems from real estate building glut spawned by the subprime mortgage debacle

Ben Rooney: Where things stand with Europe's debt crisis


Fitch Ratings boosts its credit rating of AIG to positive from stable




Xinhua: Syrians hold pro-government protests after a United Nations resolution intended to unseat al-Assad is aborted by China and Russia


PressTV: The U.S. plan for Syria involves incursions by Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Israel


New York Times: Syrian unrest after a failure of diplomacy




ICBM in flight shortly after launch

NATO: Missile shield plans will proceed despite Russian unwillingness to accede to the idea that the immense expenditure of capital is needed in order to guard against somebody shooting missiles at the Europeans for whatever reason!!


Sunday, February 5, 2012
Mitt Romney scores a big victory in Nevada with broad support from the GOP's base elements


Summary of the career of the 70th Governor of Massachusetts



Summary of 2012 Republican primary campaign


Summary of 2008 Republican primary campaign


Friday, February 3, 2012
Dow rises 157 points under the spur of a far better than expected jobs report, plus the Nasdaq climbs to an 11 year high


Gold futures take a substantial fall for first time in four sessions following the release of the Labor Departments jobs report


Yield on the U.S. 10-year note jumps 12 basis points to 1.95%


Dollar loses ground relative to the euro in wake of jobs data


Labor Department jobs report: A booming 243,000 new jobs have been created and the unemployment rate falls to 8.3%, plus there were substantial upward revisions to previous months' jobs totals


Alan Krueger, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, comments on the jobs report


CNBC: Steve Liesman sets forth the influence of the labor participation rate on the unemployment number



Rush Limbaugh: Happy days are here again in Obamaville? Raw numbers tell a very different story
In order to really understand the level of propaganda in Limbaugh's prattle about the labor participation rate, it is helpful to review an explanation of the role of the labor participation rate in the computation of the unemployment rate delivered by an objective economist, such as CNBC's Steve Liesman in the link above


Rick Santelli: Here's what's wrong with the jobs numbers


European equity markets nudge higher in early morning trading before the U.S. jobs report


Asian markets were mostly lower in overnight trading ahead of the U.S. jobs report and the outcome of the crisis in Europe


Why the United States should get rid of the $1 bill

Debt of emerging market nations is growing in popularity among investors



Why did Solyndra go bankrupt? Because China developed a superior solar panel technology in a government-subsidized development program at the cost of $30 billion dollars. It is ironic that the collapse of Solyndra is being touted by critics as evidence that the U.S. government should not subsidize private enterprise on the theory that green energy subsidies lead to nothing but failure


Attorney General Holder addresses the House Oversight and Government Relations Committee regarding the failed Fast and Furious gun running operation



This isn't about wishing upon a star
November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. Plus, everyone should check now to see whether all people in their circle of acquaintances - particularly among the young people and senior citizens - have whatever identification in their possession that is required in their jurisdiction to be presented at the polling place. If they do not have the required identification, then encourage them to take the steps to acquire the needed identification right away - do not wait until the last minute

The claim is oftentimes made, by Republican pundits and other people featured in the news media, that President Obama cannot run in 2012 on his record. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the Administration actually has a very lengthy and impressive list of accomplishments. Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., a presidential historian at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, has devoted a huge amount of effort to the compilation of an extensive record of President Obama's accomplishments to date. I have seen nothing comparable to the level of scholarship present in Professor Watson's work in any other source of information on this subject



The Royalettes: "It's Gonna Take A Miracle"

Thursday, February 2, 2012
Dow falls 11 points as the market awaits tomorrow's jobs report

Chairman Bernanke urges a Congressional armistice


Commodity shares power Asian equity markets overnight in response to optimistic reports on global manufacturing data

France sells €8 billion of bonds, with very strong bid-to-cover ratios


New York Times: Mortgage relief plan aims at refinancing dilemma left over from the subprime mortgage fiasco
Take a trip down Memory Lane: This link is to an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this trip down Memory Lane: People who point to the Community Reinvestment Act as the cause of the financial debacle are either intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to them, or such people are grossly uninformed regarding the complexity and confluence of factors that led to the subprime mortgage crisis


John Dickerson: Romney's latest gaffe regarding the poor is the latest installment in a series of out of touch revelations
MSNBC conversation on Romney's explanation of his comment on the poor

Romney proposes to raise and index the minimum wage to the rate of inflation Rush Limbaugh comments on Romney's views on the minimum wage

The simple truth: The author of this column really likes pictures of airplanes

Russian Sukhoi SU-33 Flanker-D aircraft carrier-borne fighters
Peabo Bryson: "Feel The Fire"


Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Dow ends trading with a 84 point gain as a rally fades under the pressure of profit-taking late in the session


Facebook files with SEC for a $5 billion initial public offering

Will the Facebook IPO create 1,000 millionaires?
Zuckerberg's stake of Facebook is worth at least $16 billion
Lead underwriter on the Facebook IPO: Morgan Stanley

Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index climbs to 54.1% in January


President Obama proposes new mortgage refinancing plan and seeks Congressional approval


Amanda Gengler: Do not rush into REITs

Romney wins by a large margin in the Florida primary

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Dow and S&P 500 have their best January since 1997 despite today's loss of 21 points


Congressional Budget Office: Budget deficit will dip slightly, but deficit will run $1.1 trillion for the fiscal year ending on September 30th


S&P/Case-Shiller: U.S. home prices post steep price declines in November, with prices falling to 2003 levels

West Texas Intermediate climbs above $100 per barrel following austerity measures in Europe and eased concerns regarding Iran



Gold settles higher in response to proposed eurozone plan


Flag of Iraq. horizontal tricolor charged with "Allahu Akbar" in Sufic script

Remember me? Forget about the role of Iran, because it is the events in Iraq that are threatening to move oil prices higher

Consumer confidence dipped in January


Most Asian equity markets post decent gains overnight

European Union leaders endorse a stricter fiscal pact

Eurozone joblessness hits its highest level since the birth of the euro

Markets push the yield on Portugese bonds to the level facing a pariah sovereign such as Greece


Freddie Mac invests in securities that will profit from homeowners who are trapped in high interest rate mortgages


Freddie Mac: A mess, and likely to stay that way



Paul Farrell: China's commodities bubble is set to pop


Which jobs pay better - the government sector or the private sector?

Newt Gingrich: Romney is a liberal and a liar who is no different from Barack Obama


Romney ridicules Gingrich on the eve of the Florida primary


U.S. drones provoke outrage in Iraq amid charges of infringement by the United States on the country's sovereignty



Mary Mary: "Yesterday"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Afghanistan: The irresistible illusion

Dow closes down 7 points as good news regarding business loans and manufacturing activity in Texas convinces the market to look past continuing problems with Greece


The price of oil falls as Eurozone worries raise concerns regarding future demands for energy

U.S. wages rise 0.5% in December, but spending ebbs and the national savings rate hits 4.0% in 2011


Asian stocks weaken overnight as focus remains on Europe

Asia awaits Japanese earnings reports this week


Dollar index regains some lost ground overnight following last week's slippage brought about by the Federal Reserve's interest rate forecast


Apple wrestles with China problem - migrant workers have become an underclass

Iran hits back at Europe with its own oil embargo threat

Charley Blaine: Will the jobs report derail the market rally?


CNNMoney: President Obama's record on taxes


Florida: At $20 million, this may be the most expensive primary in history

George Will: Time is not Newt Gingrich's friend, because the more time Newt has the more he talks


Newt Gingrich's plan to colonize the moon is classic Newt - lunacy


She's back!! Sarah Palin says "Annoy a liberal, vote Gingrich"

Muir Woods in Marin County

The Temptations: "You Can Depend On Me"

Sunday, January 29, 2012


2012 Year of the Dragon

Xinhua: Chasing the Dragon, and the Monkey and the Rooster



Friday, January 27, 2012
Dow loses 74 points and books its first weekly loss of 2012

Conference Board: U.S. leading indicators advance 0.4% in December

New home sales declined in December to a level that is the lowest in recorded history


Gold sustains its rally against a falling dollar

Fitch downgrades five eurozone nations - Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain

China's yuan set for more international role


Obama's 30% millionaires tax - fleshing out the Buffett rule



Anthony Mirhaydari: The economy is weaker than you think


Business Insider: 50 economies that will dominate the globe in 2050



Ethereal Beauty
Atlantic Starr: "If Your Heart Isn't In It"


Thursday, January 26, 2012
Dow slips for a 22 point loss as a strong open fails by the end of trading

U.S. stocks lose traction following poor data on home sales

The Hong Kong market leads Asia upwards overnight, but Tokyo slips lower after a mildly positive opening


George Soros: In 2009, Obama should have made a capital infusion into the banks that would have been politically unacceptable


George Soros: We need a better form of capitalism, or there will be increasing levels of social unrest


George Soros: Why I support the Buffett rule


George Soros: The euro will survive and a global recession is unlikely, although a recession in Europe is likely


Rex Nutting: Why expansionary austerity fails to add up in reality



Congressman Ron Paul wants to close the doors at the Fed and return to the gold standard, and these ideas are catching on with the GOP


Mark Hulbert: Are the financials a precursor of an improving market?


Washington Post: California and Nevada team up to investigate mortgage fraud during the subprime mortgage era


Israeli American-made F-16 fighter-bomber

Obama Administration: With respect to Iran, no options are off the table. That's a fancy way of saying "We'll attack you when we want to"

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran

An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to wipe Israel off the map

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor, namely, Russia, was in 1826

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says this land is ours, so we are back to seize and hold it at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told us it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh? Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953?


Vanessa Williams: "Dreamin'"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Dow closes up 83 points to reach an eight-month high

Fed makes an historic forecast of future rates and lowers outlook on growth

Asian markets make solid advances overnight on the basis of stronger-than-expected economic data

Japan posts its first annual trade deficit since 1980

Is the U.S. encouraging offshore investment?


How the stock markets perform after the State of the Union address

Did Obama really make government bigger?

Has Obama's housing policy failed?


There are three holes in Romney's economic development plan

CNSNews.com: Under Obama, the price of gas is up 83%, the price of ground beef is up 24% and bacon is up 22%


Dido: "Here With Me"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


President Obama presents the State of the Union

Full transcript of 2012 State of the Union address

Full text of Governor Daniels' GOP response to the President's speech

Video of the President's speech to Congress

Dow loses 33 points as the talks on Greece hit complications

European stock markets declined in today's trading as market participants keep an eye on negotiations that might end the crisis in Greece


Asian markets advance overnight, with energy companies leading the way after the European Union votes to embargo Iranian oil

FHFA report: Writedowns of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages that are underwater would cost the taxpayers over $100 billion

Romney v. Gingrich on the economy

Jonathan Alter: Five myths about Barack Obama


What is the definition of socialism? What does it mean to be a socialist?

National Conference of State Legislatures: Compilation of the Nation's voter identification laws

Summary of Nation's voter identification laws

Mississippi voter ID law rejected overwhelmingly by blacks, but supported by the states' whites

It's Time To Get Real
Grassroots efforts aimed at helping those who need assistance in order to acquire the necessary identification is what's called for here. Do not rely on the attorneys to successfully fix this issue before November. A little organization, money and effort will nullify this threat to the voting rights of potentially millions of people across the country. Start early; this is not something to leave until the last minute

Where Romney keeps his money is possibly bland by design

Romney made $42.7 million in two years according to his tax returns



The Originals: "Baby I'm For Real"

Monday, January 23, 2012
Profit-taking and ongoing interest in the European debt crisis steer the Dow to a 12 point loss on the day

IMF chief Lagarde urges larger firewalls and deeper integration to avoid a repeat of the 1930s


Sydney market falls overnight as Asia is quiet as holiday week markets weigh encouraging earnings reports against the situation in Greece

Asia focuses on central banks in the week ahead


How the U.S. lost out to China on the manufacture of the iPhone


Year of the Dragon roars into Asia

Financial Times: The European Central Bank has pared 3,200 debt instruments from its list of allowable collateral



Short-term euphoria over European debt auctions is overstated

Iran is urged to negotiate as the 27 nations of the European Union vote to impose sanctions over Iran's nuclear program

PressTV: World Bank forecasts that the Iranian economy will grow during 2012 despite the sanctions imposed from abroad

Dueling tax plans: Romney v, Gingrich

Jeanne Sahadi: Is Romney's effective tax rate of 15% lower than yours? Actually, probably not


Jacob Weisberg: Is Newt Gingrich nuts? Please consider the list of symptoms manifested to date before you answer this important question

Summary of the career of Newt Gingrich: Former assistant professor of geography at the University of West Georgia makes good in life despite being denied tenure at the University of West Georgia.

After a review of Mr. Gingrich's career, one is struck by the mediocrity of his credentials when viewed separately from his success as a politician. This is the person who the GOP base expects to dominate a debate with President Obama. In order to understand why the GOP base expects Gingrich to dominate the President, one must realize that the GOP base believes that President Obama is very dumb, and the base feels that the only reason why the whole world does not realize his abject ignorance is because the main stream media is covering up for the President's stupidity




As an example of President Obama's stupidity, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim


New York Times: Romney and Gingrich trade jabs with each other as the GOP primary season rolls forward


Sunset at Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad opposite Vigilucci's Ristorante
Tony! Toni! Tone!: "It Never Rains In Southern California"
"Anniversary"

Saturday, January 21, 2012
Gingrich wins South Carolina primary, leading to the unprecedented situation in which each of the first three GOP contests has had a different victor


This isn't about wishing upon a star
November 6, 2012 is not very far away. Never take anything for granted. This time, each person must take nine people with them to the polls who would not otherwise vote. To say that this election is important totally understates the gravity of the situation that faces our Nation and the world. It is time to work hard and long at doing the right thing

The global street economy is probably the world's second largest economy, behind the economy of the United States


There are no guaranteed returns with gold ETFs

Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization redraws global resource map


Friday, January 20, 2012
Dow closes higher for the fourth straight week with a gain of 97 points

Gold and silver rally in trading today as investors are focused on Greece

Where to put your money if the bull market in bonds stumbles


According to U.S. Treasury Department, China cut its holdings of Treasurys in November

Gold futures ease overnight after upbeat numbers on U.S. jobless claims


At $400 billion, Apple is worth more than Greece


Mack Daddy Newt: A former Mrs. Newt Gingrich offers the nation a Maury Povich moment. . .and the results of the lie detector tests are . . .

Inside Newt Gingrich's tax return

Investors exit big-name mutual funds as star fund managers fall to earth

President Obama can sing Al Green like the record!

Thursday, January 19, 2012
Dow gains 45 points on the strength of corporate eanings and jobs report

Jobless claims fall 50,000 to 352,000

Asian stock markets moved higher overnight after an injection by China's central bank into the money markets

Zhou Xin and Nick Edwards: China has multiple choices to avoid a hard landing, including the benefits of tax revenues of $1.6 trillion

As the European banks limp home to preserve capital, China has become lender of last resort in Asia


T. Boone Pickens: The rejection of the KeystoneXL pipeline project was a gift to OPEC that will directly benefit China

ABC News: Romney parks millions of dollars in the Cayman Islands

Is Romney's effective tax rate lower than yours is?

Surprise! Actually, Rick Santorum won Iowa, not Mitt Romney!

Rick Perry returns to the State of Texas after endorsing Gingrich, as well as making a lot of other mistakes over the course of his campaign


A December day at my neighborhood's beach - Pacific Beach, San Diego
Bloodstone: "Natural High"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The Dow rides energy, techs, banks and housing stocks to a 97 point gain, as all three major averages meet six-month highs


Newsweek's Andrew Sullivan: How Obama's long game will outsmart his critics



An interesting question should be raised whenever the claim is made that Mitt Romney is a superlative businessman, a claim generally based upon Romney's net worth of between $190-$270 million.
The obvious inference drawn is that only a keen business acumen could have amassed such great wealth. However, Mitt Romney comes from a wealthy family, and that reality raises a question: How much money did Romney inherit, or receive as intervivos gifts, from his parents and other relatives? I do not know the number of dollars, having never seen a figure stated in the media. On Monday, January 16th, Rush Limbaugh came to the candidate's rescue, or, in the alternative, stabbed him with a dagger. Never mind about the number of dollars, because according to Rush Limbaugh, Romney gave away his inheritance to Brigham Young University. Someone should really check to see what's what regarding this issue




Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it, so commentators would best be advised to not even bother to ask a question on the subject in an interview Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.6%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz



John Maynard Keynes
Summary of Keynesian economics philosophy


Mamta Badkar: The Obama Administration will reject the Keystone XL pipeline

Steve Hargreaves: KeystoneXL project has been rejected

U.S. industrial output rises as manufacturing rebounds at the best rate in a year

The International Monetary Fund estimates that it must raise $600 billion in new resources

Tami Luhby: Has the Obama housing policy failed?

ABC World News: Mitt Romney donated millions to Mormon church


Treasure Cove in Newport Beach
Miki Howard: "I'm In Love Under New Management"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Dow closes up 60 points as Wall Street feels optimism spawned by China's positive GDP report

China's 4Q quarter GDP beats estimates with a gain of 8.9%

Asian markets gain ground overnight after release of China's GDP figures

Gold tops $1,650 overnight as China's GDP data negatively affects the value of the dollar

European stock markets rally overnight under the influence of the Chinese GDP report

Anthony Mirhaydari: The final act of the eurozone debt crisis will force the U.S. down a painful path


Charley Blaine: Forecasting the market at the start of 2012 is determined by three issues: The economy, Europe and earnings
Jeffry Bartash: This month's economixc reports are likely to show that the economy is on an upwards path

Standard & Poor's credit rating cuts in the eurozone created a flight to quality on Friday in Treasurys, which resulted in price gains in U.S government debt instruments

Level of U.S. credit card debt falls 11% in 2011



Beyonce and Luther: "The Closer I Get To You"

Monday, January 16, 2012
European markets are shaken by the S&P downgrades, but are not broken, even though the EFSF seems threatened

Asian stock markets fell overnight after the S&P downgrades of nine European countries and the apparent stall of Greek debt negotiations

France sells €8.6 billion in bills, and it is a good sign that the yield on the bills has fallen from the level of a week ago


Europe can't catch a break

Craig Stephens: Will Beijing move to curb hot money outflows after report shows a drop in forex reserves?

CNNMoney: The 19th Century version of Occupy Wall Street


Occupy Wall Street gathers in New York's Zuccotti Park in December
The payroll tax cut: Is the revenue being replaced from elsewhere?

Romney put on the defensive in South Carolina, as Republican rivals vye for an edge in this Saturday's primary

John Huntsman quits the presidential race and immediately endorses Romney

New Santorum ad hits Romney: Why would you vote for someone who is just like Obama?

Romney bashing: Part 2 will focus on taxes


Many people are unaware that Martin Luther King, Jr. first gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech on June 23, 1963 at Cobo Arena in Detroit. He spoke in front of a huge crowd, following a civil rights march by thousands of people down Woodward Boulevard. I was one of the marchers in Cobo Arena that afternoon. The speech was the most moving oration I have ever had the privilege to witness
Saturday, January 14, 2012

Okay, okay - it's back because of popular demand: The Obama Girl: "I've Got A Crush On Obama" and since once is seldomly enough, here is a second version of "I've Got A Crush On Obama"

Friday, January 13, 2012
Dow ends the week with a loss of 49 points, although the average had been down 159 points during the trading session

Standard & Poor's slams nine European sovereign credit ratings

Asian stocks climb in early trading amid optimism regarding Europe

Italy sells 4.75 billion euros of bonds, with an adequate bid-to-cover ratio of 1.22 and a yield of 4.83%

The lure to leave the euro may prove to be irresistible for Italy, Greece and other embattled euro-zone countries


U.S. debt nears $15.194 trillion debt ceiling - here we go again


President Obama asks Congress for debt limit hike of $1.2 trillion


The Administration proposes to merge six agencies involved with international trade and commerce into a single agency in order to streamline the bureauracy, help U.S. exporters and boost the economy


Has gold lost its glitter? Hurdles affecting further growth are very real

Why buying Alcoa is a bet on the economy


Michael Gayed: The China bull returns


Jim Jubak
Jim Jubak: Top 10 stock picks for the next 10 years



Housing stocks have been hot, but the rally may not last because housing's recovery may still be a good distance in the future

Election 2012: How rich are these guys?



Gingrich attacks Romney with the "Bain Bomb" - fact checking the attack film reveals its propagandistic nature

Did Romney really create 100,00 jobs? His math looks a little fuzzy

Larry Kudlow: Mitt Romney has offerred a big tax-reform step


You have three years to learn Mandarin. Better get started now


GQ: "I Do Love You"

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Dow gains 22 points despite disappointing jobs report and less than robust retail sales


Rate on 30-year mortgage drops to record low: 3.89%

European Central Bank and the Bank of England hold steady on interest rates, as well as quantitative easing

Most Asian markets move lower overnight after the release of Chinese inflation data and ahead of central bank meetings and auctions in Europe



Obama requests that Congress raise debt limit by $1.2 trillion

Oil pulls back sharply as the Europeans balk at imposing sanctions on Iran for the time being

Gold extends gains in overnight electronic trading


National Bureau of Statistics: Chinese inflation cooled modestly in December to a level of 4.1%

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book is more upbeat about the economy, which increased at a modest to moderate pace at the close of 2011

Foreclosure activity in U.S. at lowest level since November, 2007


Take a trip down Memory Lane: This link is to an excellent summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, and it is very comprehensive (considering the text is only 24 pages long), but without being overly difficult to read, although there is a fair amount of arcane jargon. Unfortunately, the subject matter virtually demands that there be arcane terms and concepts.

One thing is made abundantly clear by this trip down Memory Lane: People who point to the Community Reinvestment Act as the cause of the financial debacle are either intentionally trying to deceive anyone who will listen to them, or such people are grossly uninformed regarding the complexity and confluence of factors that led to the subprime mortgage crisis





Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it, so commentators would best be advised to not even bother to ask a question on the subject in an interview Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years

Company policy: "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 8.6%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz



John Maynard Keynes
Summary of Keynesian economics philosophy

Anthony Mirhaydari: The Fed's talk of quantitative easing is dangerous because it may spawn inflation

Mitt Romney says that concern about economic inequality is just envy

Ann Coulter: Who wouldn't enjoy firing these people?

Iran's distressed oil will keep flowing, but at a deep discount

New York Times: Iranian outrage over assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist grows, along with threats of revenge

PressTV: Santorum refers to the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist as a "wonderful" thing


Washington Times: U.S. Navy readies for Chinese power grab on shipping The problem with this article is the same problem as with many articles in the Washington Times: It's so twisted and inflammatory that it's borderline nuts. The Washington Times' writers remind me of the crowd of children on the elementary school playground who circle around two boys who are arguing and chant "Fight! Fight! Fight!". Several countries around the South China Sea have differing, legitimate viewpoints regarding the application of international law with respect to rights of usage and exploitation of the South China Sea. In time, the disputes will be peacefully resolved. In the meantime, the Washington Times and others of the same genre gleefully chant "Fight! Fight! Fight!"


Queen Calafia's Island at sunset
The President and Obama Girl get down in a patriotic duet!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Dow loses 13 points in a split market, as Europe, large oil supplies and slumping natural gas keep investors in check

Gold price shakes off effects of a weak euro and moves upwards under the influence of increased buying coming from China

Foreign firms have invested $6 billion into U.S. oil and gas drilling in the last few weeks


Treasurys gain after 10-year has a record breaking auction in which the yield was 1.90%, the lowest yield ever

Paul R. La Monica: Can anyone save Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?

Price of West Texas Intermediate oil dips to near $101 as talks falter on the issue of embargoing Iranian oil

Destatis: Germany's GDP expanded at a rate of 3% in 2011


Asian markets rise overnight, except for China, which slipped despite anticipation of policy easing

Japanese stocks rise modestly in early trading as financials lead the Tokyo market higher as a reflection of gains on Wall Street

Matthew Yglesia: Japan's lost decade is very real



In an effort to denigrate President Obama, right-wing media commentators oftentimes refer to an instance during the 2008 campaign when President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union.
Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the Union.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim



Summary of Republican 2012 primary season




Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire in historic follow-up to victory in Iowa

Video condemning Romney as a corporate raider, which is being aired in South Carolina by a super Pac favoring Newt Gingrich


GOP rivals hope to block a Romney trifecta with a win in South Carolina



Jacob Weisberg: Is Newt Gingrich nuts? Please consider the list of symptoms manifested to date before you answer this important question



O'Jays: "Stairway To Heaven"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Dow moves up 70 points, in tandem with oil and gold , in response to upbeat sentiments on global growth, particularly in China

Gold futures settle at highest levels in four weeks, but gold's performance was eclipsed by silver and palladium

Wall Street up over 100 points in early trading, spurred by an optimistic report from Alcoa and no bad news from Europe

FT.com: European markets see gains in early trading

Shanghai stocks surge overnight to lead gains in Asia

Chinese trade surplus widens to beat forecast

CNNMoney: Can China avoid a hard landing in its economy?
China has rejected U.S. trade restrictions on Iranian oil exports

Chinese Foreign Ministry: Sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S., Britain and Canada will aggravate the situation

Shai Ahmed: Tensions concerning Iran and the Strait Of Hormuz will keep oil prices high However, Yahoo Finance places an equal amount of emphasis on rising demand from China and labor problems in Nigeria


Israeli American-made F-15 fighters

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran.

An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night

And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to wipe Israel off the map

If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody


Jihadist Hafiz Hanif: Al Qaeda's strength has been shattered on the Afghan border



Kevin Marder: The big money is biding its time



Memory Lane: Summary of the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program




The video link in this article entitled "New Year, New Economy?" is an excellent example of a conversation among "economics experts". Time will prove that many of the opinions and forecasts offered in this discussion are incorrect. The problem is the fact that many experts allow their political bias to dictate their analysis; consequently, many knowledgable people are very poor forecasters of future trends and events



Newsmax is a constant fountain of politics expressed in the form of a dire economic warning, as exemplified by this link. This genre is designed to strike fear into the hearts of the uninformed, and almost always are a sales pitch for some form of financial advice

Supporters of Newt Gingrich prepare to release in South Carolina a film attacking Mitt Romney as a ruthless financier while at Bain Capital

Rush Limbaugh: Gingrich goes Perot on Romney as an act of revenge

IRS gives offshore tax cheats another chance to come clean


Tebow Time

Monday, January 9, 2012
Dow closes up 33 points in a market where the major averages were little changed

World Bank will recommend that China make financial reforms


What is a super PAC?

Pro-Gingrich super PAC will air an anti-Romney video

Romney's steel skeleton in the Bain Capital closet


CNNMoney: What Mitt Romney did at Bain Capital


Fact or fiction: Romney's private equity past


Daniel Gross: The real problem with Romney's "fire people" gaffe




Congratulations Beyonce and Jay-Z!! I am so happy for you two!!  

Friday, January 6, 2012
Dow loses 56 points with a trading pattern similar to the past two days

December jobs report: 200.000 new jobs lower the unemployment rate to 8.5%

Gold ends its four-day winning streak as the dollar strengthens

Thursday, January 5, 2012
Dow closes down 3 points, which was a substantial recovery from an intra-day loss of 135 points

President Obama describes refocused startegy for a leaner military


Recess appointments of Richard Cordray and three NLRB members draw fire from GOP opponents

Memory Lane from December 8, 2011: Senate blocks appointment of Richard Cordray

Jonathan Turley: Is the Cordray recess appointment constitutional?

Mark Levin: Obama's recess appointments create a constitutional crisis

Los Angeles Times: The recess appointments are a rational response to a gridlocked Congress

Amidst all the scholarly debate over the President's recess appointments, a factor is sometimes missed: The U.S. courts in Washington, D.C. will probably strike down the President's appointments as unconstitutional and render invalid any actions taken by the appointees. The Administration should not try this tactic in the present judicial climate


Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Dow climbs 21 points after a lackluster start of trading


Who is Rick Santorum? Summary of Santorum's career

Rachel Maddow draws contrasts between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Dow moves up 180 points on the back of positive manufacturing reports

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's sunrise over the Atlantic - 311 days to Election Day

Friday, December 30, 2011
Dow falls 69 points on the year's last trading day. The Dow Jones Industrials gain for the year was 5.50%; the Nasdaq Composite Index saw a loss of 1.80%; and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed the year almost exactly flat


The New York Stock Exchange during the Christmas Season

Corporate bond returns fell short of Treasurys' 2011 gain of 9.61%. Everyone should take note of the fact that in 2011 there was a relentless barrage of economist, pundit and politician claims that the debt of the United States would soon be worthless. The fact of the matter is in 2011 the debt of the United States was the domestic asset class that gave the year's best performance to investors. The message is clear: We have gone through some extremely hard times, but the Nation's economy is sound and improving


Gold's 2011 gain was 8.41%, following a major pullback from the lofty highs of September, and a far cry from the levels of appreciation predicted by many doomsayer gold bugs during the stormy trading days of 2011. A reality is clear: The doomsayers were attempting to create a self-fulfilling prophecy; they should be named and shamed, and I will at a future date


The dollar's 2011 gain was 1.65%, during a year in which many foolish pundits predicted that the dollar would lose its status as the world's reserve currency. The foolish pundits should be named and shamed, and I will at a future date

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